Entry-level courses in the Colleges, aimed at school leavers, normally are of two years duration; students who successfully complete them are awarded a National Certificate. Students who achieve an honours grade (Merit or Distinction) in the National Certificate are eligible to enter a one-year National Diploma course in the same discipline; as not all colleges offer National Diploma courses in all disciplines, the students may transfer to another college to continue their studies. Some colleges also offer Degree courses in some disciplines, generally as a one or two year post-Diploma course for those with an honours grade.
In addition to the add-on Diplomas and Degrees, some colleges also offer ab-initio courses where students enroll for a three or four year course instead of the incremental 2 + 1 + 1 approach.
In 1997, the Minister for Education changed the titles of the Colleges in the sector to "Institute of Technology", to more closely reflect the nature of their work and courses.
There are Institutes of Technology (former RTC's) in: