Audiology students at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) have won a legal battle with the college over the decision to cancel their course.

First year audiology students at AIT took legal action against the college after being informed  last July that their course was to be cancelled due to funding problems.

The students were offered places in alternate courses by AIT.

Agreement has now been reached between AIT and the Health Service Executive (HSE) for the degree to continue.

Audiology student Megan Munnelly told the court that she was under “extreme stress” over the uncertainty of whether she would be able to resume her studies in September.

The Audiology programme only began at AIT last year, but the course was offered to students without the necessary approvals on funding.

The HSE had refused to provide work placements for students in the programme as they they were not consulted by AIT prior to the college offering the course.

The HSE announced yesterday that the students would be offered placements at hospitals when entering their third year.   

AIT president Professor Ciaran O Cathain, said the college deeply regretted inconvenience caused to the students. He said he was delighted that matter had now been satisfactorily resolved.

"It was always our intention to support the students, and we are very pleased this agreement has been reached," he said.