Gotocollege Rss Feed Gotocollege en-us Monday 24th 2017f July 2017 09:43:21 AM Monday 24th 2017f July 2017 09:43:21 AM Webmaster Scholarships and Bursary Schemes There are a number of bursary schemes available to prospective college students. These include the third-level bursaries announced in 2012 by the Department of Education and Skills for students from DEIS schools; STEM bursaries for students pursuing science, technology, engineering or maths; and the All-Ireland Scholarship Scheme funds which are awarded based on Leaving Certificate results.   Go to www. education. ie for further details of any of the scholarships mentioned.    2016-05-27 Griffith College - Top 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of College With the first round of CAO offers having been released, thousands of students around the country are now making plans for their first year of college.     To help make the transition a little bit easier Griffith College have compiled 10 tips for getting the most out of college:     "Alongside study, taking part in student activities and clubs, making friends, undertaking internships, and perhaps having a part-time job, are the key student experiences that will set you on the road of self-discovery and help develop your confidence, job skills and global awareness.     There are so many social and academic opportunities at college. You may never find yourself with such a wealth of time and choices again in your lifetime"      Click here to read these tips on making the most of your student days!   2014-08-19 Griffith College launch BA in Film and TV Production Griffith College will host an informal launch event for the new BA in Film and TV Production on Thursday 7 August from 5. 30pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask the film and television industry-expert staff and lecturers about the course and also find out about the equipment they could be using during the three-year programme. This degree is aimed at learners who have already begun to experiment with filmmaking and visual storytelling in some capacity and enrolment is now open for September 2014.  Students will develop the essential practical skills and knowledge required to work in the dynamic area of film and television production. Core subjects in the first year will include Screenwriting, Film History, Digital Cinematography, Applications Technology and Online Screen Media. Applicants will be required to demonstrate a passion and curiosity for film and television, and the means by which it is produced. This will be supported by a proven interest in filmmaking. If you are interested in this course, please click here to find out more about the BA in Film and TV Production. 2014-08-06 CIT Launch Bachelor of Business (Honours) in International Business with Language The School of Business at Cork Institute of Technology has announced the launch of a Bachelor of Business (Honours) in International Business with Language which will be available for applicants for September 2014. Applications can now be made for this innovative programme. The programme is a 4 year full-time course entailing a placement opportunity as well as a weeklong study trip and an innovative seminar series. Speaking of its launch, Dr. Pio Fenton, Head of Department of Marketing & International Business said “This is a very exciting opportunity that is a direct response to industry demand. We know that there is a shortage of business graduates in Ireland who have the ability to speak a foreign language. The opportunities for graduates with those skills are enormous. ” The programme can be taken with French, German or Spanish provided you have studied the relevant language at leaving certificate and meet the specific criteria. The programme prepares students for the modern workplace with a distinct emphasis on the global business environment, business development and marketing.  Entailing a 6 month overseas placement Dr. Fenton highlights the opportunities for those that have worked or studied abroad: “Employers will look at the CV of someone that has studied abroad and know that such a candidate is open-minded, adaptable and experienced. In this respect, a graduate of this programme has distinctiveness in the jobs market subsequently. ” Further queries can be directed to Shirley O’ Driscoll at 021 4335939 or Shirley. ODriscoll@cit. ie or Dr. Pio Fenton pio. fenton@cit. ie 2014-07-22 NUI Galway lecturer named one of Ireland's top women in technology 2014 An IT lecturer at NUI Galway has been named one of Ireland’s top role models in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Catherine Cronin, who is also an academic co-ordinator of online IT programmes was given an award for Top Role Model of 2014 in Social Media by the tech website Silicon Republic. The site had recently drawn up a list of the top 100 women in STEM in Ireland. Academics, tech business leaders, entrepreneurs and science communicators were among those who made it onto the final list. Catherine’s work focuses on online and open education, digital literacies, and social media in education. In addition to her teaching and research, she works with schools and community groups, including Coder Dojo, exploring these areas. She is currently pursuing a PhD in open education and digital identity practices. Speaking at the award ceremony, Catherine said: ‘As a long-time advocate for girls and women in STEM, it was an honour to receive this award from Silicon Republic. Women continue to represent less than 20% of all physicists, engineers and IT professionals. Encouraging girls and women to consider STEM and providing role models and mentors are just the first steps toward changing this. Our goal must be to create an inclusive STEM culture – beginning with noticing and challenging gender and other stereotypes, and under-representation, wherever we are. Imagine STEM classrooms, labs, workplaces and conferences with a truly diverse range of people and standpoints – all working together to solve problems and to create solutions. That’s my vision of success for the future. ’ 2014-07-08 NUI Maynooth students’ app up for major award Access Earth, an app designed and developed by three students from NUI Maynooth, has been nominated to compete for one of the world’s largest student technology competitions. The app will compete in the ‘global citizenship’ category of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 World Finals, which will take place at the end of July. The ‘global citizenship’ category focuses on apps that are designed to be beneficial to the broadest possible spectrum of people. The team’s app easily qualifies for the category as its purpose is to provide information to those with mobility impairments about the accessibility, or lack thereof, of buildings. This means it lets them know about facilities such as ramps and wheelchair accessible toilets. The app will also give buildings an accessibility rating. In order to do so, the app depends on the public to provide information on buildings and shows where each relevant access point is. A total of 35 teams (out of 170) were selected to compete in the finals in Seattle on 28 July. 2014-06-20 Online Change of Mind Q and A with NUI Galway With the deadline for the CAO Change of Mind option now looming on July 1, NUI Galway is offering all CAO applicants the chance to go online for a question and answer session. Staff will be on hand to respond to queries on Wednesday, June 25 between 3 and 5 pm. This is an excellent opportunity for students to receive tailor-made information on university facilities and student support services including finance and accommodation or even about the CAO process itself. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: ‘Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and we want to ensure that both students and parents have all the information they need to help them make the best choice. Go online wherever you are, at home or abroad, and don’t be afraid to ask the question!’Students can click here at any time between 3pm and 5pm Wednesday 25th of June 2014. Anyone that wishes to pre-register for a reminder text can register here. 2014-06-19 CAO applications hit record number More students than ever before have applied for college places according to the latest CAO figures. With the late applications facility now closing on May 1, the total number of CAO applications has hit a record high of 77, 725 – some 1, 641 more than at the same period of last year. The applications show that certain trends are continuing, such as the growth in popularity for engineering and technology courses, which posted a 10 per cent increase in first preferences. Agriculture/horticulture also enjoyed a surge in popularity, with growth of 12 per cent. There was growth too for science courses, though the 1 per cent increase in applications was less than anticipated. Education courses, however, showed good signs of recovery, with primary teaching reversing last year’s 8 per cent decline with an increase of 2 per cent. The record number of applications for courses in autumn 2014, coupled with the popularity in areas such as those mentioned above, is also likely to result in an increase in points requirements in these areas. Students who wish to change their application or college/course preference may do so through the Change of Mind facility, which will remain open until July 1. 2014-05-06 Tech Week 2014 A new nationwide technology festival will take place from 27 April to 3 May. The festival aims to engage, challenge, and inspire students to connect with technology and consider ICT as a possible career option. Computer technology is Ireland’s fastest-growing professions: it is estimated that there will be up to 44, 500 new ICT jobs by 2018. As a result, demand for skilled professionals will intensify. As things currently stand, supply is a long way from meeting that demand, with third-level education producing only 20 per cent of the numbers required. Tech Week will give students, parents and the public a chance to learn about 3rd- level and career options in computing and other technology fields through a series of informative events. The festival hopes to inspire greater engagement with STEM subjects and ensure that students have the knowledge and experience necessary to make informed choices about their future subject and career choices. Tech Week also aims to educate all citizens about the risks and rewards of an increasingly technological society. For more info, visit the Tech Week website. 2014-04-23 Get inspired with GCD's Creative Week 2014 Are you looking for a course that will fire your imagination and get your creative juices flowing? If so, then Creative Week 2014 at Griffith College Dublin could be just what you need. Creative Week 2014 is a week-long exhibition designed to put the high-calibre work of Griffith College students in the spotlight. Attendees at the event will be given the chance to see for themselves the projects that students in computing, interior design, architecture, fashion, film and photography have been working on. For some idea of what to expect, click on the link to see what the previous exhibition looked like. The event, which is free of charge, will launch on Thursday, May 29 at 6pm at the Griffith College Campus on South Circular Road, Dublin 8. For more info, click here. 2014-04-15 Irish institutes to help develop new world-leading medical technologies Enterprise Ireland has signed an agreement with one of the world’s most prestigious medical device facilities to help develop and commercialise new medical treatments and devices. The highly reputed Mayo Clinic in the US will have Irish academic institutions develop a number of its early-stage products. The clinic will hand over some 20 high-potential ideas for new medical technologies to experts here, who will receive €12 million in support for them developing the products for the market. Work on the first project – a device for treating acute pancreatitis – is already under way at NUI Galway. It is hoped the unique partnership will lead to the creation of 10 spin-out companies, and as a consequence the creation of dozens of jobs. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland was delighted to support the work of Mayo Clinic to develop medical technologies that will benefit patients worldwide. ‘This project fits well with the medical technology strategy supported by the Government’s action plan for jobs. ’ 2014-04-14 Free Leaving Cert revision sessions at NUI Galway University Taster Day NUI Galway is offering Leaving Certificate students the chance to avail of revision sessions in a number of subjects along with an opportunity to attend some taster workshops in Arts-related subjects that are not covered by the Leaving Cert curriculum. The revision sessions will be delivered by university lecturers. The sessions will cover some 23 subjects, including English, Irish, French, Geography, History and more. ‘Students are focused on their revision for the Leaving Certificate at this time of year, ’ said Joe Mac Donnacha, the organiser of the University Taster Day. ‘The aim of the NUI Galway Taster Day is to help them maximize their revision in key subject areas, while also giving them an enjoyable introduction to some of the subjects taught on the University’s Arts degree. ’The university taster sessions will also allow students explore some less familiar terrain, with subjects such as psychology, economics, drama, and film studies on show. Speaking on the enduring appeal of the Arts degree at NUI Galway for students, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: ‘Arts and Social Science students are very creative. More start-up enterprises are founded by Arts graduates than Business graduates. You find successful Arts and Social Sciences graduates in almost every walk of life. Of course, we need scientists, engineers, doctors, and entrepreneurs but we also need those people who understand and can critique human behaviour, social values and cultural creativity. That is what Arts graduates are trained to do. ’The NUI Galway University Taster Day will take place in the Arts Millennium Building on Wednesday, April 23, from 9. 30am to 3. 15pm. While this is a free event, those interested in attending should note that advanced booking is essential. Bookings can be made online at the following link. For more information call 091 494 145 or email visit@nuigalway. ie 2014-04-11 DIT and IADT the big winners at Student Media Awards The 14th National Student Media Awards – known as the Smedias – took place on Wednesday, April 9 at the Ballsbridge Hotel, with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) coming away as the event’s big winners. The Smedias are designed to recognise excellence in the field of student media across print, design, radio, TV and film. Awards are given in a number of categories including blog, editor, journalist and magazine of the year. However, it was students from DIT who enjoyed the most success on the evening, scooping the gongs for Editor of the Year, Radio DJ of the Year, Features Writer of the Year, Colour Writer of the Year, News Photographer of the Year, and Radio Production of the Year for News and Current Affairs. Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design (IADT) was the evening’s other major achiever, bagging an impressive total of four awards. 2014-04-10 Advisors look at updating Leaving Cert subjects A number of Leaving Certificate subjects are to be reviewed – many for the first time in forty years – with the aim of creating a more engaging and relevant experience for students. Curriculum advisors will look at modernising subjects such as economics, project maths, agricultural science, biology, chemistry, physics to bring them in line with the demands of third –level education and the twenty-first century work environment. The changes will also be designed to ensure that students understand, and can apply in real life, what they learn in school. The proposed changes include augmenting the written tests in the sciences with practical tests. In all, about one quarter of the 33 subjects on the Leaving Cert curriculum will be put forward for modernisation; however, some subjects will be given only a limited review, with the onus of developing new forms of assessment that will offer better practical opportunities for students to display their learning. In addition to the subject reviews, the possibility of creating new Leaving Certificate subjects is being examined. One of those being considered is physical education, while another is politics and society. However, the final decision on the actual implementation of Leaving Cert changes will remain in the hands of politicians, who will also have to consider the costs involved in such a reform. 2014-04-07 All welcome at CIT Information Evening on April 10 Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) is inviting students, parents, guardians and all interested parties to its CAO Applicant Information Evening, which will take place on Thursday, April 10 from 6pm to 8pm. Though the information evening is primarily aimed at students who have applied for courses at CIT, it will also welcome students who may be considering their ‘change of mind’ options. Those who attend the event will be given the chance to learn about the courses on offer at CIT, take a tour of the college campus, view the facilities, and speak to those who know about issues such as accommodation, grants and bursaries, support services and general student life at the university. Communications and Marketing Officer for CIT, Mervyn O'Mahony said: ‘Choosing the right third level course is a crucial decision for students so it's very important to have the right information to hand when making it. That's why an evening like this is so very important - people can have a look at the campus, meet people, and ask questions that can help in making the right CAO choices’. The CAO Applicant Information Evening is a free event and will take place in the Tourism & Hospitality Building of CIT’s Bishopstown Campus. For further information on the event, click here. 2014-04-03 Open Day 2014 at NUI Galway On Saturday, April 5, NUI Galway will open its doors to prospective students who are eager to explore their college choices. The college’s Open Day 2014 will take place from 10am to 3pm and all CAO applicants (undergraduate and mature students) are invited to attend, as are parents, guardians and families. The event will give attendees the chance to explore the college campus and facilities, as well as afford them the opportunity to speak directly to lecturers about the 60-plus courses that are on offer at NUI Galway. In addition, there will also be more than 80 exhibition stands, each dedicated to a specific subject. Elsewhere, a ‘Parents Programme’ will provide students and their parents/guardians all the information they need on important topics such as funding, careers, accommodation and student services. The day will also feature a series of talks. Highlights include: New Scholarship Schemes for 2014 - CAO Performance Points Scholarships in Sports and Arts, and all you need to know about Excellence Scholarships. A guest appearance and talk about Sports at NUI Galway with Pat Lam, Connacht Rugby Head Coach. Career talks – ‘Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?’ Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: ‘Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, explore the campus and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July. ’To plan your day in advance and receive a programme on Open Day 2014 visit www. nuigalway. ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494145 or email visit@nuigalway. ie. 2014-03-26 Upcoming open days at DIT Students looking at their college options will get a chance to experience all that DIT has to offer at two of its upcoming open days: the DIT Science Open Day on Saturday 29 March and the DIT Engineering and Built Environment Open Day on Saturday 5 April. Science Open DayThe Science Open Day takes place from 9. 30am -12. 30pm at DIT Kevin Street. There will be tours of the labs and other facilities in the College and student ambassadors will also be present to share their experiences student life at DIT Kevin Street. Attendees can also find out about the full range of subjects offered by the College of Sciences and Health. Engineering and Built Environment Open DayThe Engineering and Built Environment Open Day will be held on Saturday 5 April from 10am to 3pm at both DIT Kevin Street and DIT Bolton Street. The event will afford visitors the opportunity to chat to current engineering and built environment students, attend specialist talks and tours, meet lecturers and check out facilities for the various courses. Attendees can learn more about the full suite of subjects on offer at the College of Engineering and Built Environment. There will be free bus transfers running between both locations on the day. The open days are open to all. For more information on the Science Open Day, click here. For more on the Engineering and Built Environment Open Day, visit the dedicated website. You can register in advance for the Open Day through the site. 2014-03-21 Griffith College to provide free ordinary level maths revision course Griffith College is offering thousands of Leaving Certificate students the chance to fine tune their exam preparations with free revision courses in ordinary level maths. The courses will give students the opportunity to have any lingering questions they may have answered. The revision courses will also reflect the new project maths Leaving Certificate syllabus. More than a thousand students from across the country registered in 2013 for the free revision courses, which are held in Griffith College’s three locations: Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The sessions will be presented by Tomás Mac Eochagáin, director of academic programmes at Griffith College, who has over 25 years’ experience teaching maths. The revision sessions will also be recorded and made available online until after the June examinations. Given the demand for the free revision courses, advance online booking is required and full and professional attention is required throughout. Please note that all communication will be via email only (so ensure that you insert a functioning return email address). Students who have not pre-booked a place will not be permitted to the venue. Register for the courses online here. The website address for the accompanying maths resources is www. maths. gcd. ieDates & VenuesDublinThursday 24th & Friday 25th AprilGriffith College Dublin Campus, South Circular Road, DublinCorkTuesday 15th AprilSilver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, CorkLimerickWednesday 16th AprilSouth Court Hotel, Raheen, Limerick 2014-03-20 Biology exhibition to highlight science research at NUI Galway NUI Galway is giving students interested in science the opportunity to experience the research being carried out at the college through its exhibition, ‘Biomedical Science Under The Microscope’. The exhibition, which comprises a series of scientific images, will be on display at Galway City Museum from the 11th to the 22nd of March. The exhibition represents a Community Knowledge Initiative project among second-year students of the BSc. in Biomedical Science programme. The intention of the display is to raise awareness among the public of current areas in biomedical science research in NUI Galway. Images on display at the exhibition span a wide range of research areas including developmental biology, chromosome biology and studies of the brain and nervous system. The images are drawn from the major disciplines that support Biomedical Science – Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology. Taking place at Galway City Museum on Wednesday, March 19, the exhibition will give visitors the chance to speak with students involved with the project. For further information, contact Dr Derek Morris on 091 494439, or email Derek. morris@nuigalway. ie. 2014-03-13 WIT students rediscover Einstein - literally! Two students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) scientists made a startling discovery recently when they inadvertently came across an original manuscript by the great theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. The students, Cormac O’Raifertaigh and Brendan McCann, came across the finding when browsing the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem. The 1931 draft sees the physicist expound upon a previous theory whereby he postulates that the universe is potentially ever-expanding even while density remains consistent due to new particles and matter being continuously formed. The students, with the assistance of other colleagues, posted an English translation of the manuscript to Cornell University’s online arXiv page. Writing of why they feel Einstein never put the paper forward himself, the team said:‘We find that Einsteins [sic] steady-state model contains a fundamental flaw and suggest that it was discarded for this reason. We also suggest that he declined to try again because he realised that a successful steady-state model would require an amendment to the field equations. ’ 2014-03-10 Record number of students awarded grants in 2012/2013 The number of people receiving grants for third-level education was close to 80, 000 in 2012/2013 – an increase of 45 per cent on the number of grants awarded before the economic collapse in 2007/2008. The record figure has been attributed to the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant system. While the new system has experienced some problems following its launch in 2012, the higher number of grants awarded suggests that centralisation and consistency are now proving beneficial to applicants. Before the introduction of the SUSI system, grants were processed by numerous agencies including county councils and VECs. In all, 66 agencies had previously been involved in processing of grant applications nationwide. ‘The creation of a single grant-awarding agency and the electronic compilation of data will enable greater visibility and analysis of trends in this area, ’ said a spokesperson from the Department of Education. Owing to the economic difficulties of the last number of years, the demand for college places has grown significantly, with factors such as a lack of opportunity for school-leavers as well as a growing need among mature students to acquire the higher-level qualifications sought by employers. 2014-02-28 Major History Conference taking place at Mary Immaculate College Limerick Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick is to host a major international history conference for the first time from February 28 to March 2. The 64th Annual Irish History Students’ Association Conference is to be jointly hosted by the MIC History Society and the Department of History at MIC. The conference will be the Limerick’s primary forum for students of history during its reign as National City of Culture. According to conference conveyer and MIC PhD student Paul O’Brien, the event will feature the delivery of almost 60 papers from both undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over Ireland and the UK. There will cover a range of such diverse topics as the War of Independence, Women’s Health, and the Goodwins earthenware business in Limerick city. Speaking in advance of the event, Rob Hartigan, conference conveyer and PhD student at MIC, said that:‘Since its inception CSS - IHSA has performed an invaluable role in providing students with an opportunity to develop their interest in history in an enjoyable atmosphere and in promoting friendships between students of history from universities and colleges throughout Ireland for almost four generations. We look forward to continuing this role at our forthcoming conference at Mary Immaculate College. ’The conference will begin on Saturday March 1, with registration taking place from 8am in the Students Union Lounge, TARA Building. Price is €12 (includes lunch and light refreshments). For more info, click on the following link. 2014-02-21 NCAD exhibition to launch February 18 The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, will officially open the 1913 Tapestry exhibition at the gallery of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8 at 6pm this evening. The 1913 Tapestry is the outcome of an ambitious collaborative arts project, led by NCAD and the trade union, SIPTU. Artists, staff and students from NCAD, and more than 200 volunteers from 30 different community organisations worked on the project over a period of two years. The tapestry, which tell the story of the 1913 Lockout in graphic images, is comprised of multimedia textile pieces, laid out in comic-book fashion, with each panel measuring 60cm x 76cm (2ft x 2. 5ft). There will be a narrative explanation displayed next to each panel relating who was involved in its creation and how. Volunteers that took part in the project will attend tondight’s opening, as will Chairperson of NCAD, Seán Ó Laoire; the College’s Director, Professor Declan McGonagle; and its Head of Education, Professor Gary Granville, who led NCAD’s work on the 1913 Tapestry project. Joe O’Keeffe, General Secretary, will represent SIPTU. Professor Granville will highlight the important role of art in documenting Ireland’s history and cultural heritage at the opening. For more information about the 1913 Tapestry exhibition and the programme of ancillary events, go to www. ncad. ie. To view a video about the 1913 Tapestry project and its community basis, click here.   2014-02-18 CAO receives record number of college applications The Central Applications Office (CAO) has reported a record number of college applications. It received more than 73, 000 applications, a marginal increase on the 71, 000-72, 000 of the previous four years. However, the figure is expected to continue to rise as late applications come in. The high number of applications is likely to make competition for course places even tougher as an abundance of students pin their hopes on a limited number of available positions. Students will have to wait for some weeks to find out which academic areas are the most competitive. A Department of Education report shows that completion rates have improved significantly on those of a decade ago, with around 90 per cent of pupils sitting the leaving cert in 2012/2013 as compared to approximately 82 per cent in 2002/2003. Another factor in the record number of applications is the return to education of mature students. While the 15 per cent rise in third-level entrants will be largely welcomed as a sign of expansion for Ireland’s knowledge economy, it has also come at a time when state funding has been reduced by 15 per cent. College leaders claim that the system requires more funding if it is to deal with surplus demand while also retaining the quality of available programmes. 2014-02-03 Open evening at Griffith College Cork this February Griffith College Cork will host an open evening on Wednesday, February 12 at its campus on Cove Street, Sullivan’s Quay, Cork. The event is open to all prospective full-time and part-time students and gives attendees the opportunity to meet members of the Admissions Team to discuss application procedures, eligibility criteria, timetables and fees. You may also speak on a one-to-one basis with members of each Department and Faculty to discuss whatever course queries you may have, along with examination and assessment methods and the range of educational and career progression methods available upon graduating. The college runs numerous courses at certificate and degree level in areas such as Business, Law, Journalism, Marketing and Accounting. 2014-01-30 Open evenings at Portobello Institute in early 2014 If you’re considering doing a part-time, full-time or evening course, then Dublin’s Portobello Institute will host two open evenings in January and February to showcase its programmes and facilities. Portobello Institute runs a variety of programmes in the following areas: Beauty, Sport, Business, Creative Studies, Montessori, Travel and Tourism, CME and Health & Education. Prospective students can also avail of the college’s open door policy, so if you are interested in enrolling on any of its courses feel free to call its dedicated course advisors who would be happy to arrange an appointment with you and advise on the courses best-suited your needs. Creative and Beauty - Teri Chamberlain - 01 892 0031 - teri. chamberlain@portobelloinstitute. ieEarly Years - Melisa Kearney - 01 892 0040 - melisa. kearney@portobelloinstitute. ieSport & Health - Dave Turner - 01 892 0007 - dave. turner@portobelloinstitute. ieBusiness & Travel - Michael Atkinson/Teri Chamberlian - 01 892 0000 - michael. atkinson@portobelloinstitute. ie/teri. chamberlain@portobelloinstitute. ieThe open evenings will take place on:Thursday, January 30 (5-7pm)Thursday, February 6 (5-7pm)Note that the Sport & Health Open days are held at the sports department at Croke Park, U401 Cusack Stand entrance. All other department open days are held at Portobello’s main venue, 43 Lower Dominick Street, D1. 2014-01-27 Open Day at The Lir for Stage Management and Technical Theatre programme If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes workings in the months before the curtains go up on a big performance, then don’t miss The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art’s open day for their Professional Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre on Wednesday, January 29 between 11am and 1pm. The event will be held at the Academy’s campus on Pearse Street, Dublin. The Professional Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre programme will allow students to specialise in areas such as:• Stage management• Stage electrics• Scenic construction• Sound• Scenic art• Property making and procurement• Costume• Theatre History• Set design• Stagecraft• Career developmentAttendees at the open day will listen to a short presentation on the course and on student life at The Lir.  This will be followed by a tour of the Academy’s facilities and an opportunity to talk with current students. All are welcome! 2014-01-24 NCI Open Day Saturday 25th January 2014 Students will be given another opportunity to explore their college options before CAO deadline day (on February 1) at the National College of Ireland’s (NCI) next Open Day, which will be held on Saturday the 25th of January between 10. 00am and 1. 00pm. The college, which is located near Dublin City centre and boasts an excellent transport link with a Luas stop next to the campus, provides students with a range of top-quality features and facilities such as:A large 270-seater lecture theatre for College and public activitiesState-of-the-art computer laboratories and large studio classroomsLarge modern library with extensive IT facilities (along with seminar rooms, a public access information area for students, local community and local business, network connection points and wireless connectivity throughout the campus)A fully-equipped, state-of-the-art gymPremises that are adapted to the needs of students with disabilitiesThe Open Day will give you the chance to explore the campus and facilities for yourself. It is also an opportunity to chat with current NCI students, faculty members and staff before you fill out your CAO form, in addition to attending highly informative presentations. 2014-01-22 Advanced Certificate in Health Services Supervisory Management Skills at DFEi A new programme in Health Services Supervisory Management is now available from Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute (DFEi). The course is designed to train participants in the range of the skills and competencies required in supervisory management roles in a variety of health services environments. Modules on the programme include Health Promotion, Personal and Professional Development, Conflict Management and Communications. Graduates from the programme will not only have greater job prospects, but they will also have the chance to advance their training through follow-up courses in related areas. For more information on the course and its entry requirements, click on the following link. 2014-01-21 Open Day at Mary Immaculate College on 18th of January Many students struggling to fill out their CAO forms before the upcoming February 1st deadline may be glad to learn that Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Limerick will hold an Open Day on Saturday the 18th of January. The Open Day will give students an additional chance to meet and discuss college life with students, faculty members and college staff. There will also be individual talks on MIC’s four undergraduate programmes as well as on its wide range of postgraduate programmes. The talks will take place at 11am and 11. 30am in the TARA Building.   Information stands and support services will be available between 11am and 1pm. To make sure that students come away from the day properly informed and with an accurate feel for MIC, students may also take a tour of the recently redeveloped college campus. The Open Day will be of particular interest to Leaving Certificate students, mature students and those interested in examining their postgraduate study options. 2014-01-14 Technology company calls for more school-leavers to enter IT and science courses A multinational technology company has called for more computer and data science graduates in order to meet the sector’s growing needs. With Ireland well-placed to become a major IT hub in Europe, the demand for skilled IT graduates in emerging IT areas such as cloud storage, big data, analytics and IT security is steadily growing – so much so that a Forfás suggests that some 44, 000 jobs will be created in the sector by 2018. Speaking about the statement, EMC’s vice-president, Bob Savage, said: ‘The global IT sector is expanding, and Ireland will need skilled graduates to take up jobs in emerging areas like cloud, big data and IT security. As our students weigh up their CAO applications over the next few weeks, we urge them to consider courses in science, technology, engineering and maths because, over the coming decade, the global technology sector will expand and we need skilled Irish graduates to take up new high-quality jobs. ’The science and technology sector in Ireland is one of the country’s leading sources of jobs, with 108, 000 people currently in employment. 2014-01-10 January open event at Dublin Business School Those looking to weigh up their study options in 2014 will have a chance to get an early start when Dublin Business School (DBS) opens its doors to the public for an Open Event that will be held on Tuesday the 7th of January. The event, which will offer prospective students the perfect opportunity to meet the college’s academic team and view the impressive array of available facilities, will be held on Tuesday 7th January from 5-7pm at the college’s Aungier Street Building.   Set up in 1975, Dublin Business School has since grown to become Ireland’s largest independent third-level college. More than 9, 000 students from Ireland and abroad currently participate in the college’s 100-plus accredited courses.   2014-01-02 Dublin Business School named ‘Best Business School in Ireland 2013’ at awards ceremony Dublin Business School was the worthy recipient a top award at this year’s InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards, which took place in Dublin earlier this week. The awards, which were initially set up in 2012 to celebrate success and excellence in Irish business, brought together representatives from a range of businesses. Prizes were handed out in 22 categories – among them Best Tourist Attraction, Best in Financial Services, Exporter of the Year and Company of the Year. Run in association with Chambers Ireland, the awards selects its winners according to a broad criteria that encompasses areas such as company growth, profile of business, range of services on offer and business-to-customer relationships. The winners and chosen by the editorial team of InBusiness. Speaking at the ceremony, InBusiness Editor Joseph O' Connor said: ‘It’s been a pleasure to cover the highs – those companies who have thrived in adversity or shown inspirational leadership and innovation when it has been most needed. We are delighted to recognise the men, women and firms who have displayed such qualities with this event. ’ Click on the link to view the list of courses available at Dublin Business School. 2013-12-19 Special offers for students at CMIT this December The College of Management and IT is offering students the chance to avail of some festive special offers this December. After all, tis the season to be jolly!The offers are as follows:Special offers (enrol online)FETAC Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education – €995. Any two FETAC Business Courses – €495. Any two of the following NCFE courses for €495: Social Care, Care Counselling for Children, Human Anatomy, Educational Psychology, Psychology, Child Psychology, Workplace Psychology, Life Coaching, Sports Psychology, Sociology, Drug and Alcohol Counselling. Any 2 Oracle courses – €395. Any 2 CompTIA courses – €395. Diploma in Criminal Psychology and Forensic Psychology – €695. Diploma in Criminology and Forensics – €695. Course Bundles (enrol by phone)FETAC Web Design and CIW Web Foundations Associate – €895. FETAC Digital Photography and NCFE Photo Journalism – €595. NCFE Psychology and NCFE Advanced Psychology – €695. NCFE Medical and Clinical Administration and FETAC Mental Health Awareness – €695. Conditions: The following programmes are excluded from special offers: CIW and Travel and Tourism courses. Students must complete their chosen first course before progressing to the second. Unless stated, courses must be completed by the same person. Certification or exam fees may be payable on some courses. These offers are not valid with any other special offers. These offers are not valid with completion-based / delayed funding. 2013-12-13 New Computer Science course at DIT to begin in 2014 Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has announced a new programme for the 2014 academic year – the BSc in Computer Science (International). The programme has been designed as a four-year honours degree in core computing and programming skills. In addition to this, the course will also have an international dimension with a focus on globalisation. Students on the programme will be given training in highly valuable IT skills, a foreign language, and will be provided with a thorough understanding of internationalisation. The programme will be offered as a joint international bachelor’s degree with a number of international colleges worldwide. Current partners include the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany, and the University of Applied Sciences in Oulu, Finland. Chinese and German will both be available as foreign languages. International (and certain EU students) whose native language is not English will also be taught English for academic purposes. Gaining industry experience is a key goal of the course and year 3 of the programme features a work experience placement. To find out more about the BSc. in Computer Science (International), click on the link. 2013-12-09 New appointment strengthens DIT's university ambitions Dublin Institute of Technology’s (DIT) plans to become a technological university were given a significant boost by the appointment of Dr Tom Collins as DIT chairperson. The appointment will take effect from December 8. Dr Collins is also chairperson of IT Blanchardstown – one of DIT’s two partners in the alliance aiming to obtain university standing. The Institute of Technology Tallaght is the third partner in the alliance. Given the recent appointment – and taking into consideration his extensive experience in Ireland’s education sector – Dr Collins is now placed to play a highly influential role in guiding the process to fruition. DIT’s bid for university status is joined by that of two others:  Waterford IT/IT Carlow alliance, which aims to become the University of the South East; and a Cork IT/IT Tralee partnership. However, the Dublin-based alliance is considered to be in the strongest position for success. 2013-12-06 90 per cent of NUI Galway’s H.Dip in Software Design and Development Graduates Find Employment NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne recently conferred the first group of students from the college’s innovative new Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development programme. The course offers internships to graduates and works with leading ICT companies to meet their employment need. Approximately 90 per cent of the programme’s graduates have successfully secured employment. The programme is a collaboration between NUI Galway and leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies which help design the course and provide internships for the graduates. Dr Enda Howley, Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) said ‘we are seeing huge benefits of closer collaboration between academics and industry and we are fortunate now that these students are able to reap the rewards of this new programme. ‘The first year of the programme has exceeded all expectations” he said “and we look forward to working with many more talented students over the coming years and engaging with more new companies interested in developing their long-term supply chain of talent. ’The ICT Skills scheme was devised by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to fund the university fees of suitable graduates from areas such as engineering and science in order to furnish them with the requisite skills for entry into the software development industry. 2013-12-04 NASA looking for space vehicle designers! Interested in space exploration? Want to help NASA design a vehicle that can travel across the surface of other worlds? Well, the world-famous space agency is looking for your help!Second-level and college students worldwide are being invited to contribute their ideas for extraterrestrial travel. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is designed to engage students in the next phase of human space exploration by having them design, build and test technologies that enable vehicles to function in various environments. The teams will be timed, ranked and scored based on design, safety and the performance of their vehicle as it travels across the set course. NASA will use the teams’ results to help it develop and meet its own future space exploration goals, said Rocky Lind, who manages education and outreach efforts in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. Rocky Lind, a manager in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate said: ‘We designed this engineering challenge to align with NASA's commitment of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s. ’In space, there is no AA roadside assistanceTeams who enter the competition will have the performance of their vehicle tested on a terrain that includes a simulated field of asteroid debris, with boulders from 5-15 inches across; an ancient stream bed with pebbles about 6 inches deep; and erosion ruts and crevasses in varying widths and depths. You can learn more about this kind of stuff on the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge website. ‘The obstacles around the course will mimic some of the real terrain challenges of solar system exploration, so students must design robust and durable rovers with the traction to scale obstacles and meet other challenges, ’ said Tammy Rowan, manager of the academic affairs office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The culminating event of the NASA rover competition is scheduled for 10-12 April at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center, also in Huntsville. Registration for the competition closes on 10 January for international teams, and on 7 February for US teams. There will be prizes awarded in numerous categories. 2013-12-02 National Film School opens at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology Last Tuesday, the 26th of Novemeber, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) officially opened (with the help of President Michael D. Higgins) its brand-new National Film School building. The National Film School is a highly innovative project with top-quality facilities that will help students prepare for roles within the film, radio and television industries. Funded by the government, the 7. 5 million euro building features professional-quality TV and film studios; HD cameras; radio studios; workshops; control, lecture and news rooms, along administrative spaces. The facilities at the National Film School will cater for a range of related disciplines, such as costume and set design, make-up, lighting, special effects, film production, screenwriting and editing. Click here for more information about the National Film School.   2013-11-29 NUI Galway’s Winter Conferrings Over 1, 300 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from Tuesday the 26th of November to Thursday the 28th of November. Degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. About NUI GalwayNUI Galway is one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. Over 17, 000 students undertake an extensive range of studies at the University, which is renowned for the quality of its graduates. NUI Galway is a research-led University with internationally recognised expertise in areas including Biomedical Science and Engineering, Web Science, Human Rights, Marine Science, Energy and Environmental Science, Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy, and Humanities, in particular literature, theatre and Irish Studies. 2013-11-26 NUI Galway launches free booklet for first-year students First-year students at NUI Galway can now avail of a free resource: a helpful new booklet offering advice on low and no cost ways to take the hassle out of student life. The new publication, entitled ‘Risky Bizzness: Student Well-being for Successful Students’, was commissioned by the Health Promotion Service, part of NUI Galway Student Services. The booklet aims to assist students in reaching their full potential by providing impartial and up-to-date information on a range of topics, including healthy living. A healthy lifestyle has been proven to have a positive impact on grades and on a person’s ability to deal with the stresses of study, research and exams. The new booklet also provides information on relationships, study tips, nutrition, budgeting and much more. There are facts, ideas, contact details and also plenty of online links to articles and video clips. Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: ‘One way to help students cope with the challenges of third-level education is to give them the knowledge they need to prevent, or to identify and address common problems. We hope that this booklet provides students with the information necessary to succeed academically and to lead full lives while at university and beyond. ’The booklet was written Rab Fulton, the editor of riskybizzness blog, with Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator, NUI Galway student services. For more on Health Promotion in NUI Galway, click here.   2013-11-21 NUI Galway students among award winners at Dublin ceremony Last week saw four NUI Galway students collect Undergraduate Awards as category winners at a ceremony in Dublin City Hall. The four NUI Galway students who received their Bram Stoker Gold Medals were: Marcus Byrne, who won the Ancient & Classical Studies for his paper ‘Inferring Status From Early Bronze Age Burial’ Aisling Ní Churraighín, who won the Irish Language, Literature and Folklore category for her essay ‘Seán Ó hEochaidh – Bailitheor Béaloideasa in Iardheisceart Thír Chonaill sna 1930aidí: Léargas ón Dialann’ Khai El Baba Jones, who won the Philosophical Studies and Theology category for his essay ‘Faith in Kant: The religiosity of moral faith and its relation to ecclesiastical faith in Kant’s thought’ John Birrane, who won the Psychology category for his essay his essay ‘Is There a Need for Positive Psychology?’ John’s essay won both the Irish category for Psychology as well as the overall international award. The Undergraduate Awards is the only international pan-discipline academic awards programme in the world. It has been in operation across the island of Ireland since 2009 and operating globally since 2011. The awards seek to recognise the best students in the world and to connect them to one another in order to encourage inter-disciplinary co-operation that also transcends borders. The 2014 Undergraduate Awards Programme is now open for registrations and submissions. If you are interested in applying, click on the link. 2013-11-19 Irish people put their faith in science Irish people believe that developing an interest and education in science gives students a better chance of securing a good job. This is according to a Eurobarometer survey which showed that some 77 per cent of Irish people feel that that science and technology have a positive influence on society. Furthermore, the survey showed that 92 per cent of Irish think that a scientific education is essential to stimulating creative thinking in young people. The survey also showed that the level of interest in science and technology among Irish people is quite high, with the Irish average standing at 56 per cent compared to the EU average of 53 per cent. The survey revealed that Irish people feel more informed (47%) compared to the EU average (40%). ‘The results of this survey show that Europeans support the role of science and technology in society, but at the same time expect scientists and politicians to ensure that their values and concerns are taken into account, ’ Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said. ‘The next EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, is focused on achieving that balance. ‘We now need to step up our efforts to enter into dialogue with society about science, and must get more young people interested in science and innovation careers, ’ Geoghegan-Quinn added. 2013-11-15 ITT Dublin Open Day ITT Dublin will welcome prospective students to the college at its open day today, Thursday the 14th of November. Students, adults and parents are encouraged to look around the facilities and talk to lecturers and current students to gain an insight into what student life is like at ITT Dublin, what courses are on offer, and what makes ITT Dublin different to other colleges. Academics and students will be on hand to answer any queries you may have about the college and courses. Date: Thursday 14th November Time: 12pm – 6. 30 pm ITT Dublin Open Day provides the following opportunities:Speak to lecturers first handView the facilities at the collegeMeet current studentsDiscuss your course options!ITT Dublin offers 3 academic schools:School of Business & HumanitiesSchool of Engineering and the School of Science and ComputingIf you’d like to attend today’s Open Day, you can register here.   2013-11-14 DIT Open Days this December Dublin Institute of Technology’s (DIT) Open Days will take place on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December at DIT Aungier Street (9am to 3pm). The Open Days give students a chance to discover DIT for themselves, meet current students and staff, attend talks and check out the facilities and clubs and societies that DIT has to offer. All events are free and there will be plenty of fun and lightheartedness with the college’s mascot Duck Norris shaking a tail feather and the Spin 103. 8 crew on hand with live broadcasts from DIT Aungier Street. Among the talks lined up will be a parents’ information session for any mums, dads and guardians who want to pop along to the Open Day. Also lined up on Saturday 7th December is the Music Open Day (for third-level music programmes at DIT). Students can visit both Aungier Street for the main open day and then head around the corner to the DIT building on Chatham Row (just off Grafton Street). The Music Open Day takes place from 2 to 4. 30pm and will feature classical and traditional music demonstration lessons and performances. The DIT Open Days are always among the most interactive and fun events of the academic year so make sure to keep the 6th and 7th of December free. For more, visit the DIT Open Day website. 2013-11-13 Studies show that distance from college affects participation rates for students from lower income families A new study carried out by researchers at NUI Galway, the University of Limerick and the Economic and Social Research Institute has indicated that distance my be a factor in college participation. And it warns that a change to student grants in recent years is likely to make it even more difficult to overcome the distance difference. The study showed that for every 10 kilometres of travel distance from a student’s home, the likelihood of them going to college is reduced by 2. 7 per cent. The probability of college participation of a school leaver living 50 kilometres from college is therefore reduced by as much as 13. 5 per cent than if they lived closer to a course provider. Longer travel distances were associated with lower participation rates for those from lower social classes in particular. Greater travel distance is naturally associated with a range of additional costs, including travel expenses (such as public transport/fuel), paid accommodation, food and other expenses. While the study noted the good geographic spread of colleges across Ireland, it also found that there are large areas from which an individual would have to travel 50 kilometres or more, as well as areas from which the nearest third-level college was over 75 kilometres away. The report was conducted at a time when students had to live 24 kilometres from college in order to be eligible for the full student grant, but that threshold has since increased to 45 kilometres. ‘The effect of distance on participation for those form lower social classes is likely to have been exacerbated by this change’ the report states. 2013-11-11 NUI Galway-led biomedical programme gets prestigious partner BioInnovate Ireland, a medical device innovation training programme led by NUI Galway, has been selected by the prestigious Stanford Biodesign programme as its first Global Affiliate programme. The move represents clear recognition of the BioInnovate Ireland’s continued development and commitment to high standards. ‘We are pleased and excited to see the growth of BioInnovate Ireland into a world-class training program in biomedical technology innovation’, said Dr Paul Yock, Director of Stanford Biodesign. ‘Going forward, we are happy to be able to partner with BioInnovate as our first “Global Affiliate” program.  We look forward to this opportunity to share best practices in education and training, create new teaching materials and provide mutually beneficial experiences for our fellows and students. ’President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne commented that the affiliation was ‘further recognition of NUI Galway’s commitment to biomedical excellence. The BioInnovate programme enables collaboration across diverse fields to meet the needs of patients, clinicians and industry and puts innovation at the forefront of what we do. ’Dr Mark Bruzzi, Director of BioInnovate Ireland said ‘We are delighted to partner with Stanford Biodesign through their affiliates programme, and very much look forward to working with them and maximising our efforts to the benefit of both programs. ’The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship is a medical device innovation training programme that is modelled on the prestigious Stanford Biodesign programme. With access to leading academic researchers, clinicians and industry experts worldwide, the programme facilitates and trains multidisciplinary teams of experienced professionals in the process of matching unmet clinical needs to attractive market opportunities. The programme is led by NUI Galway and offered in collaboration with University of Limerick, University College Cork and Dublin City University. The programme receives support comes from Enterprise Ireland, Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Creganna Tactx Medical, Steripack, Aerogen and Zeus. 2013-11-06 FE1 Examination Preparatory Courses at Independent Colleges Dublin Independent College Dublin’s FE1 preparatory courses are due to commence on the 4th of November. Those who enroll on Independent College’s FE1 preparatory courses will be following in the footsteps of hundreds of students who have succeeded in passing their exams. Students undertaking the FE1 course with Independent College Dublin have achieved a total of 24 Law Society Entrance Examination first-placed prizes, including the Overend Prize for Best Overall Student Performance in four of the past five years (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012). Students on the course will benefit from the most-up-to-date course texts; sample solutions from most recent examination papers; examination review tutorials; the availability of online lectures; and an excellent city centre location on Dawson Street, Dublin 2. To view Independent College Dublin’s Law Faculty videos, click here. For more information about the FE1 examinations, contact:Mr Val Corbett – Head of the Law School Email: val. corbett@independentcolleges. ie Tel : 01 635 1192 Mobile : 086 043 6081Ms Olga Gargan – Enquiries/Admissions Email: olga. gargan@independentcolleges. ie  Tel: 01- 635 5826 or 01-6351183 2013-10-22 Moving up in the world: NUI Galway the only Irish university to improve its position in both QS and THE world rankings NUI Galway is now the only Irish university to increase its position in the two main international rankings, having recently moved up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by 22 places to 314, and to 284th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: ‘This is very good news for NUI Galway. As the only Irish university to increase our position in both the 2013 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, I am pleased to see that our position globally is on the rise. We have experienced significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing an international reputation in a select set of research areas. ’The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across each continent. The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world-class university: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10, 000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2013 ranking. President Browne added: ‘It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. While the rankings evaluate universities against a limited range of measures, there is no doubting their influence on a University’s ability to attract international students. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success. ’To see the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2013-14, click here. 2013-10-07 Colleges set to vote down lighting up on campus? Two of the largest universities in Ireland are considering plans to become smoke-free zones. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD) are both giving thought to a complete ban on smoking anywhere on college grounds. Any proposed ban will likely be met with an extremely mixed response from the colleges’ respective student populations – which, when combined, amount to approximately 50, 000 people. The feasibility of the proposed ban is currently being investigated at TCD. The matter appears to be at a more advanced stage at UCD, where the health promotion committee has already suggested that the ban should come into effect from October of 2014. Smoking is already prohibited from several areas of the college campus, but a ban could mean that lighting up on any part of the college grounds could become a thing of the past. The UCD student union is due to hold a referendum on the issue next week, though even a ‘No’ vote against the proposed ban would not mean that the health committees plans would be derailed. One potential side-effect of the ban that is being discussed is the possibility that students will be forced to congregate at entrances and exits, thereby creating an obstacle for other students or members of the public. Mixed ResponseTrinity has already conducted a survey among staff and students to gauge the response to an outright ban. It found that younger a respondents were less likely they were to lend their support to the idea. However, TCD registrar Prof Shane Allwright told board members that if the ban was adopted it would help to denormalise smoking in society, thereby discouraging the adoption of smoking and help smokers to quit. She also said that any move to make the campus smoke-free could include a ban on the selling of cigarettes from all college and student union outlets. 2013-09-30 Funding cuts affecting students most of all, say school managers Sustained cuts in education are adversely affecting student behaviour, attendance and exam results, according to second-level school managers. According to the Joint Managerial Body (JMB) – who represent managers in about 380 secondary schools – the biggest losers in the cuts to funding in education for the last five years are the students. The JMB is one of a number of education bodies piling pressure on the Government to prioritise education in the forthcoming Budget, where savings of between €44m and €100m are being sought from Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. The Church of Ireland Board of Education has claimed that there is no room for further reductions in the annual state spend on education; indeed, it claims that the current level of €8bn is the ‘absolute minimum required’. In its pre-budget submission, the board argues that increasing class sizes or cutting funding to schools is short-sighted and potentially harmful as it is ‘focused on the balance sheet rather than the child in the classroom’ rather than on the furthering and improving the quality of teaching and learning in Ireland. The JMB's submission agrees with the assessment, saying that ‘savings must no longer be found from sources which disproportionately affect frontline services to students’. JMB General Secretary Ferdia Kelly said this week: ‘the pupil-teacher ratio could no longer be seen by Government as a potential target for achieving savings. ’JMB President Fr Paul Connell said the grant to schools had been cut by 11 per cent, and they were forced to find 30 per cent funding locally by fundraising activities or through voluntary contributions from parents. 2013-09-27 NUI Galway launches Arts in Action Programme NUI Galway has launched the 2013/2014 Arts in Action Programme, which encourages students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. The programme is aimed at students across the campus and offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. This year’s programme – a development and promotion by the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies – is heavily embedded into a series of academic modules in diverse areas throughout the college, which means that students, both Irish and International, will be awarded marks for attending and reflecting on some of the events that are of benefit to their studies within particular modules and projects. The programme is the culmination of a three-year cycle of introducing the international arts to the students at NUI Galway, completing the journey with a focus on the richness of Irish culture, particularly the art forms of the western region. The special features are legends of traditional arts and the introduction of emerging young professionals with special features on the Aran Islands. Arts in Action allows most of the emphasis on performances from the young emerging artists who are producing high-quality music, song and dance while remaining active and engaged students of the university community throughout Ireland. Students will also be introduced to some of the international legends of traditional music and will be shown how the culture and the art is passed from generation to generation. Mary McPartlan, Creative Director of Arts in Action, said: ‘The message of this year’s programme is to create a dynamic showcase for the young pioneers of the traditional arts in the Galway, Connemara and the wider western region. It is also the most significant outreach approach to presenting Irish Culture at its best to visiting students from all parts of the world currently studying at NUI Galway. ’All of the events are free to attend and will take place from 1–2pm in The Cube in Áras Na Mac Léinn NUI Galway. The programme will run from 3 October to 20 March, 2014. The programmes are available in the foyer of Áras Na Mac Léinn and all of the details are available on the Arts in Action website.   2013-09-23 Leaving Cert economics paper comes under fire from academics Two leading academics have raised serious concerns about how the Leaving Certificate higher level economics paper is set and marked. Dr Kevin Denny of University College Dublin (UCD) has written to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and the State Examinations Commission (SEC) about problems he sees with the paper or its marking scheme. Dr Denny raised issues about 14 of the 17 questions/answers on the paper, while omitting some other ‘minor’ issues that he noticed. Among his criticisms were that the paper did not allow for sufficient distinction between students, along with the terminology used in some of the questions. Dr Denny said the most serious problems were with a question on trade/competitiveness /slowdown in the euro-growth areas, which dealt with a cornerstone of economics, the law of comparative advantage. In its response, the SEC insisted that both the ‘academic integrity and structure of the paper are valid’ and claimed that the marking scheme was appropriate for the level of candidates. However, Dr Denny also said he had checked comparable exams in the UK and Australia and he did not find the same issues. SupportAnother academic who also weighed in on the issue was Dr Aedin Doris, a lecturer at NUI Maynooth who wrote to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to say that she was unhappy with young students' understanding of a certain topic – the Law of Demand. She was prompted to comment after UCD-based economist Dr Kevin Denny criticised the 2012 paper and its marking scheme. Although the SEC has dismissed his concerns, Dr Denny has won support from a number of economists and academics in the field. Dr Doris posted her comments in a blog on irisheconomy. ie, where she recounts that in 2008, when she was teaching first years for the first time, there was a problem with an assignment for the students. She claimed that a significant minority of the class discussed in detail why the demand for the goods mentioned in the question could slope upwards, even though this was not something that she had discussed in class. ‘Somewhat taken aback, I Googled one of the phrases that I'd noticed coming up in these answers, and the first link that popped up was to the Leaving Cert exam marking scheme from that year’, she said. One of the questions asked for exceptions to the Law of Demand, with four suggested reasons in the marking scheme. Open to DebateShe said one was ‘so unimportant in the real world that it surprised me they bothered teaching it’, another was ‘debatable’, while she was very unhappy with the other two. Responding to Dr Doris's criticism in relation to the question on the Law of Demand, the SEC said that examples are given in the marking scheme – and alternative answers would be accepted on their merits. The SEC said it was satisfied that that the first two sample points presented in the marking scheme were ‘wholly appropriate’. Economists were divided in their opinions on the third one and said that while the fourth point gave rise to discussion among examiners, ultimately there was no issue. 2013-09-20 Education Training Board face a major challenge in potential budget cuts Delegates of the newly formed Education and Training Board have claimed that the jobs of successfully rebuilding Ireland’s skills base in further education would be made much more difficult should there be budget cuts in October. The Education and Training Boards – operating under the name ‘Solas’, the new further education and training authority – have taken over the role of the Vocational Education Committees and also, over the coming months, the training and education normally provided by Fás. Solas and the boards came into being back in July. ‘It represents the most profound structural overhaul of the further education system since the 1930s’, said Michael Moriarty, the general secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland, the representative body for the huge further education sector. ‘The name has changed but there is a huge amount of integration under way to create a single structure’, he said. The 16 new boards were formed by statute and are taking on an extensive range of higher education activities. They will provide education for 100, 000 second-level students through former VECs and Fás. The boards are also the patrons of 258 secondary schools. The boards have their own colleges – for example, Ballyfermot, Dún Laoghaire and Larkin colleges – which deliver adult training to around 250, 000 people. They also run night courses across the country. ‘The boards have quite a broad remit’, said Moriarty. Should the Department of Education and Skills impose cuts in the October budget, the boards will face a huge challenge. Cuts as high as €100 million have been mentioned, though no final decision has been taken as yet. Mr Moriarty added: ‘The Minister has targeted further education and training as a key way to rebuild Ireland’s skills base, but we cannot be starved of resources. ’ 2013-09-18 UCC student a winner at international biotech event A team that included UCC student Stephen Fahy has won the prestigious Novartis Biocamp in Basel. The event, which was held in August, saw 60 talented science students from 40 universities across 21 countries and territories explore some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in the biotech and healthcare industries. Stephen, a final-year Process and Chemical Engineering student in UCC, was one of two students selected by Novartis Ringaskiddy to attend the Novartis International Biotechnology Leadership Camp 2013. William Byrne, a PhD Scholar with Cork Cancer Research Centre, was also selected to participate. The program of seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as input from Nobel Laureate Dr. Rolf M. Zinkernagel, gave the students a thorough overview of the life sciences industry, thus enabling them to think like entrepreneurs and understand the challenges faced in bringing medicines to market that benefit patients. Stephen’s team presented the best concept for a new hypothetical biotech company at the end of the three days. This is the first time that Novartis in Ireland has entered the BioCamp programme and it is an initiative Novartis Ringaskiddy is keen to build on in the future. Click on the link for more information.   2013-09-10 800 students refused grant renewal Hundreds of third-level students who were awarded grants last year have been informed they are not eligible for a renewal of their grant this year due to ‘revised income thresholds’ from last year’s budget. The income thresholds for grant eligibility were lowered by 3 per cent in the 2012 budget. Households living exclusively off social welfare are not affected. For 800 students who were within 3 per cent of being eligible for the lowest grant offered by the Government’s processing body, Student Universal Support Ireland, or SUSI, this means they are ineligible for a grant of any kind this year and will receive no State support for the funding of their education. The new income limits mean that students in families with an annual income in excess of €54, 240 for a household with less than four children, €59, 595 for between four and seven children, and €64, 700 for a household with more than eight children, will not receive a grant. The earliest a grant payment can be made is the end of October when registered students are confirmed by colleges. Registration fees are paid directly to colleges, so students can attend when they have grant approval, while maintenance grants are lodged directly into students’ bank accounts. 2013-09-09 DIT seeking developers for proposed 200 million euro campus The National Development Finance Agency is looking for a developer to build a €200 million campus at Grangegorman for Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). The college is currently spread across some 39 separate sites across the city centre. With 20, 000 full- and part-time students, DIT accommodates close to 10 per cent of all students in higher education in Ireland. The move to the 50-acre site on part of the former St Brendan’s Hospital grounds is happening in stages and is due to be completed by 2020. The PPP contract will be for the design, building, finance and maintenance of two ‘quads’ to accommodate 15 existing teaching schools of the institute. The Central Quad, at about 34, 000sq m of internal space, will accommodate about 6, 400 students and 450 staff. It will house the schools of science, engineering, mathematics, computing, culinary arts and hospitality management. It will also have specialist areas including laboratories, professional kitchens, training restaurants, workshops, teaching space and staff offices. The East Quad will be smaller, with 16, 000sq m of space for 3, 100 students and 250 staff. It has been designated as the creative and cultural industries quad and will accommodate the schools of music, media, languages, social science and law, and art, design and printing. The facilities will provide specialist areas such as performance spaces, media and computer rooms, musical practice and rehearsal rooms, art and design studios, workshops, teaching spaces, and staff offices. The existing plan is to have 10, 000 students on campus by 2017, when it is expected to be served by the new cross-city Luas line. 2013-09-03 ACE in the Pack: NUI Galway Engineering Lecturer joins the American Council on Exercise's Board of Directors The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced that NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, a lecturer in Engineering and Informatics at the University and co-founder of boards. ie, has been appointed to their board of directors for a three-year period. With over 50, 000 certified professionals, ACE is the largest non-profit fitness certification, education and training organisation in the world. ACE-certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors are now practising in more than 110 countries worldwide. The organisation recently became the first US-based fitness certification provider to earn approval by the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA) Standards Council, allowing fitness professionals with ACE certifications to join the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS). In 2010, NUI Galway became the first university outside North America to form a University Course Curriculum partnership with the American Council on Exercise. At NUI Galway, Dr Breslin teaches courses to undergraduate electrical, computer, sports and exercise students, and has worked with ACE on sponsored postgraduate research to examine the relationship between mobile social fitness reporting and exercise adherence. ‘Personal fitness and fitness training are being increasingly impacted upon by emerging technologies in social media and mobile devices, ’ said Dr Breslin. ‘The surge in usage of social media and shared experiences has led many to share details of their daily exercise routines through social networks. These updates are mainly communicated through the proliferation of mobile devices we now carry about our persons daily. ’‘The same mobile devices used by those measuring their fitness levels can also be used as advanced education delivery platforms for training instructors and fitness professionals, ’ said Dr Breslin. ‘ACE is a very forward-looking organisation, always mindful of emerging trends in technology and education, and I will be doing my best to help keep them abreast of current developments based on my technology expertise and education experiences. ’‘I am honoured and delighted to join the all-star board of directors at ACE, each member having expertise and success in differing domains ranging from government and business to fitness and health. ’ 2013-09-02 More than 30 NUI Galway courses increase CAO points; 15 courses by more than 20 points There has been a huge increase in demand for Commerce courses in NUI Galway, a fact clearly reflected in the points requirements for General Commerce increasing from 340 to 375 points.  Students’ awareness of the need for language mobility in a global jobs market has also grown as Commerce (International) with French has increased by 30 points to 525, Commerce (International) with German is up 45 to 450 and Commerce (International) with Spanish is up 50 points to 460. Business Information Systems recorded an increase of 30 points to 400 while Commerce (Accounting) is up 20 to 440. Science courses, equally, show increased demand. Against the backdrop of NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in biomedical science programmes, Biomedical Science rose from 540 to 545, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is at 505 (up 10), Biotechnology is at 465 (up 20) and Environmental Science is up 25 at 400. A new course in Physics is offering places to students with 400 CAO points or more. Another new course, Arts with Journalism, (480 points) generated significant interest. Arts, the second-largest CAO undergraduate course in the country remains unchanged at 300 points despite the downward trend in Arts courses nationally. In Law, both Civil Law (up 10) and Corporate Law (up 15) recorded increases. Engineering courses remain popular with Leaving Cert students with Electrical and Electronic Engineering soaring 60 points to 515, while Civil Engineering and Project and Construction Management both increased by 30 points.  Energy Systems Engineering, taught in NUI Galway’s award-winning Engineering Building and home to the largest School of Engineering and Informatics in Ireland, increased 10 points to 440. Podiatry, which is a unique course option in Ireland, is up 10 points to 470. There was also an increase in demand for General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and Midwifery courses, while the demand for Medicine remained largely unchanged. NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘This year, CAO applicants have their eyes firmly the jobs market with marked increases in demand for Commerce and Science courses in particular. Demand for all Commerce courses has increased substantially with Commerce (International) with French up 30 to 525. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in bioscience is also reflected with Biomedical Science (545) continuing to perform well and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry increasing to 505 points. In Engineering Electrical and Electronic Engineering soared 60 points to 515. ’‘Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme facilitating staff and students in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship and research. Our new course, Arts with Journalism, has performed particularly well, at 480 points, contrasting with the downward trend in demand for Arts courses nationally. ’ 2013-08-19 2013 Leaving Cert students set new record A record number of students attempted the Higher Level maths paper in the 2013 Leaving Cert exams. Approximately 26 per cent of students, or 13, 014 to be more specific, took the Higher Level paper – the highest figure on record. The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, TD, sent his congratulations to all those who collected their results. ‘The waiting is over. I hope the results received reflect the work and the many hours of study that the students have committed to over the last few years, ’ Quinn said. ‘While our congratulations and good wishes must be focused on the students who receive their exam results today, I also want to pay tribute to the parents, families, teachers and school communities who have helped them reach this milestone. ‘I am particularly pleased to see the significant growth in the number of students taking Higher Level maths continue this year. There can be no doubt that the 25 additional bonus points available for those who achieve a D3 or higher has had a major impact, but the increase also reflects the introduction of the new Project Maths syllabus. ‘Completion of the Leaving Certificate is the end of a very important phase of our young people’s lives. It is the start of a new beginning, filled with new opportunities – not only in further and higher education for the majority – but also in many other fields. ’ *Image courtesy of artur84/freedigitalphotos. net 2013-08-15 First-Year Student Hotline at NUI Galway gears up for Leaving Cert results day With the Leaving Cert results due out tomorrow, students up and down the country are waiting with baited breath to see what comes next for them. Those who applied for a course at NUI Galway may avail of the college’s dedicated First-Year Student Hotline on Wednesday 14 August. Now in its fourth year, the hotline will be open to students, parents and advisers, and will run until Monday 30 September 2013. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first-year students make the transition to third-level education. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3, 200 new students in September, a team of specially trained students will service the hotline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 17 and 24 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active during first-year orientation on 7 and 8 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures commence on September 9, providing students with a place to direct any and all queries they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first-year students. Typical queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A regularly updated website for first years will also provide the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, said: ‘For all students receiving their Leaving Certificate results, the next few weeks will be a very hectic and exciting time indeed, with the transition from second to third-level education representing a major milestone in the lives of these young people. We at NUI Galway recognise the significance of this change and the impact that it will have on the individuals and the families of those entering into University education for the first time. As such, we have setup the First-Year Student Hotline to provide information, support and guidance for all who are involved in the transitions process. We invite students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible. ’Students, parents and advisers can contact the First-Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit the website. 2013-08-13 Leaving Cert Students Offered a Second Chance to Pursue Engineering Career at NUIGalway The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination that will give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday 21 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate Engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 15 to 20 August. NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to applicants for more than 20 years to help those who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Certificate may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have met the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. In addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will also demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. ‘The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem-solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics, ’ said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. ‘Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents. ’NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam click here. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination can also call 091 492 101 for further details. 2013-08-07 Calculate your Leaving Cert points quickly and easily with free IPoints app NUI Galway has launched the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate leaving certificate points. The free app is called iPoints and is a must for all Leaving Cert students expecting their results on Wednesday 14 August. It is available through iTunes as of today (that is, 6 August). The app will allow Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results. NUI Galway developed the app for iPhone with former IT student Paul Herron. Paul, originally from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, explained: ‘This app aims to simplify the point calculation process for students to relieve some of the stress of Leaving Cert results day. ’What does it do?CAO points are calculated based on a student’s six highest results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. To use the app, students simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level. The app then calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths, if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The app also gives students the option to share their results by text message, or through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. Commenting on the app, Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway said: ‘New technology is continually shaping the way we live and manage our lives and the iPoints points calculator is another useful tool in our increasingly hectic lives, and as every Leaving Cert student knows, results day is very hectic indeed. As NUI Galway has a well established reputation in software development, the app’s benefits to all Leaving Cert students, is a compelling indicator of what can be achieved in third-level education. ’NUI Galway is the only third-level institution to offer a points calculator app to students. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store now. For more, follow the link. 2013-08-06 SUSI Sushi – Sinn Féin Deputy criticises system crash News that the SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) computer system crashed on the last day for the submission of third-level grant applications has been described as ‘worrying’ by Sinn Féin education spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien. The website Deputy O’Brien said: ‘SUSI’s IT systems failure was attributed to the influx of last minute applications from students attempting to access the site on 1 August deadline. ‘It is worrying that after all of the problems associated with SUSI since going online, over a year ago, that when it mattered the SUSI website was unable to cope with the increased usage from students on the last day for applications. ‘It remains to be seen if the serious flaws within the SUSI system have been addressed but there cannot be any repeat of debacle that dogged the new awarding body in 2012/13. ‘Last year’s problems resulted in significant financial hardship and worry for students and their families. It also had a very negative impact on the staff of SUSI who, despite the lack of resources and poor planning, did their best to make the system work in very difficult circumstances. ‘I sincerely hope that yesterday’s system’s crash is not a sign of things to come’, concluded Deputy O’Brien. Due to the system problems the deadline for online grant applications has been extended to Monday 5 August. 2013-08-02 NUI Galway announces appointment of its first Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Patrick Lonergan as its first ever Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. Professor Lonergan’s appointment greatly underpins NUI Galway’s reputation as a national hub for theatre study. His focus will be on developing new courses, building new research resources, and partnering with theatre companies. Speaking upon his appointment Professor Lonergan said: ‘It is a great honour to have been named NUI Galway’s first Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. I look forward to working with colleagues in the University and the wider community, as we develop new courses, forge new partnerships with theatre-makers, and make sure that NUI Galway is recognised as a world leading centre for the study of Irish theatre. ’NUI Galway currently offers a successful BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance, along with a Performing Arts degree. A new part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is currently enrolling for September 2013. As part of its educational offering, the University once again partnered with the Galway Arts Festival this year. One element of the partnership was to offer six NUI Galway students the opportunity to be part of the SELECTED programme. This unique internship with an all-areas backstage pass to the festival gave the students an intensive two-week immersion in festival organisation. The selected students attended shows, liaised with performers and directors, and were given access to visiting international Festival Directors. Speaking about these developments at the college, Professor Lonergan continued: ‘We have achieved an enormous amount in the area of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway already. Our aim now is to build on those achievements, so that students and researchers from Ireland and abroad will recognise that NUI Galway is the best place in the world to study Irish drama. ’Professot Lonergan has written widely about Irish theatre for publications such as The Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine. His first book, Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger won the 2008 Theatre Book Prize, a prestigious international award whose previous winners include the Guardian critic Michael Billington, the theatre director Peter Brook, and Columbia University Professor James Shapiro. More recently he has published The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh with Bloomsbury in London. He also serves on the boards of several major international journals (including Contemporary Theatre Review and Irish University Review), is a Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, and is active in many other international organisations. 2013-07-31 INSIGHT@NUIGalway to research how journalists use social media Are you interested in becoming an journalist? If so, have you ever considered how social media is affecting how stories are researched, reported and made public? Well, INSIGHT@NUIGalway has, and it's launched a survey to find out more. Social media is becoming a vital tool to many contemporary journalists. From Syria to Turkey to Brazil, international news stories break every day thanks to ordinary citizens using social media and it’s not just serious news. The latest football transfer rumours or celebrity scandals are now more likely to break on Twitter than they are by conventional means. The emergence of these new technologies is fundamentally changing the way journalists work and source stories. Researchers at the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre INSIGHT@NUIGalway have launched the first national survey on how Irish journalists use social media. This new study aims to measure the prevalence of social media use among professional journalists, and determine the role it plays in the modern Irish newsroom. The researchers are calling on all media professionals working in print, TV, radio and online media to take 10–12 minutes out of their busy schedules to fill out the online survey. ‘The ubiquity of social media is quickly changing the global media landscape, leading us to query Ireland’s contemporary journalistic practices’, said Dr Bahareh Heravi, the project leader and head of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at INSIGHT@NUIGalway. ‘This survey will help to not only delineate these practices, but the data collected has the potential to ultimately result in more informed and accurate reporting, ’ she added. Dr Heravi stressed the need for all journalists to get involved, from digital natives to those who don't even have a twitter account: ‘We are aware that there are some journalists who don't use social media or even feel that it shouldn't be used for journalistic purposes. It is very important for the study to capture all journalists' opinions. ’The project is being run by the Digital Humanities and Journalism group in INSIGHT@NUIGalway, which leads a number of projects exploring how new technologies are impacting the world of journalism and other digital humanities such as archiving. ‘This survey will help us to determine the needs of the media industry in Ireland and enable us to shape its future. This is the role of the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at INSIGHT@NUIGalway, ’ said Director of INSIGHT@NUIGalway Professor Stefan Decker. INSIGHT is Ireland’s National Data Analytics Research Centre, hosted at NUI Galway, UCC, DCU and UCD. The survey can be accessed here,  and more information on the research group can be found here. 2013-07-25 Students make complaint over delayed grant payments A number of students whose grants have been delayed due to ongoing problems at the body that processes them have made complaints to the Ombudsman. Student Universal Support Ireland (Susi) was established last year to replace applications to individual local authorities but the system has been beset by problems which have resulted in significant delays. The body said that it regretted any hardship caused to the ‘very small’ number of students still waiting on grant decision from the 2012–2013 period. ‘There are currently fewer than 15 individual cases to be finalised and Susi is working with each on a case-by-case basis. ’Emily O’Reilly, a spokesperson for the Ombudsman, confirmed that five complaints had been received so far in relation to the grants issue, but she cautioned that the number would likely increase. Several public bodies, including Susi, were brought within her remit in May. Among the others are all publicly funded third-level education institutions, the Central Applications Office (CAO) and the State Examinations Commission. Ms O’Reilly may now examine complaints in relation to the administrative actions of these new bodies, which occurred on or after 1 May this year. ‘The Ombudsman and officials from the office have met with Susi to discuss our role and to set out what we expect in terms of good public administration and good complaint handling, ’ she said in a statement. ‘The office will continue to liaise with Susi in order to promote best administrative practice. ’Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore told the Dáil that the Government intended to process all third-level grant applications by Christmas. Mr Gilmore said recommendations to improve the system were being implemented, some of which involved earlier and more effective means of application processing. ‘I think it is far to say that students will not experience the kind of difficulties that they experienced last year, ’ he added. ‘But as we all know, it depends on the individual application, its quality sometimes and various information provided. ’ 2013-07-22 IADT students impress at Galway Film Fleadh Graduates from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology made a strong impression at the Galway Film Fleadh, with two graduates taking home awards and several others having their films shown at the event. Recent graduate Rory Kerr won the ‘Best First Animation’ category at the Film Fleadh (which was celebrating its 25th anniversary), while Alan O' Cuileann, a 2003 IADT Animation graduate, took The International Federation of Film Societies ‘Don Quijote’ award for his Frameworks animation 'CODA'. Other recent IADT graduates Claire Lennon, Thomas Young, Natalie ni Chlerigh, Matthew Porter, Eamonn O' Neill and John Peavoy all showed films at the Fleadh. Lecturer David Quin's latest Animation also debuted at the festival. Click on the link to read more about the Galway Film Fleadh awards. 2013-07-17 National College of Ireland Open Evening The National College of Ireland will host an open evening this evening (Tuesday 16 July) from 5pm to 7pm at its IFSC Campus (which overlooks the Mayor Square Luas stop), Dublin 1. The college offers a variety of full-time and part-time courses in Ireland across a range of disciplines. Specialist areas include accountancy, business, psychology, marketing, computing, finance and human resource management. Full-time and part-time courses in these areas are available from foundation to degree and postgraduate level through our the college’s two schools: the School of Business and the School of Computing. NCI courses are accredited by QQI and qualify for relevant grants and tax relief. All full-time courses qualify under the Free Fees Initiative. For more information on the open evening or on NCI’s suite of programmes, call 1850 221 721, or email info@ncirl. ie. 2013-07-16 Course discounts on offer at Portobello Institute Portobello Institute has announced major discounts on its fees for a number of its Sports Courses, which are due to commence this autumn. Among the discounts on offer are: Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer courses – Normal price €3360 (€1680 x 2); Discount price when signed up for together is €1960 (must sign up for the two together) Strength and Conditioning – Normal price for 4 modules (Olympic Lifting, Speed and Agility, Functional Screening and Programme Design) €2240; Discount price when booked together €1700 Occupational First Aid and One-Day Taping & Strapping – Normal price €380; Discount price when booked together €315 Pitch Side First Aid and Manual Handling – Normal price €170; Discount price when booked together €150. For more information on these special offers, or to apply, visit the Portobello Institute homepage.   2013-07-11 NUI Galway's Go to College initiative receives community backing NUI Galway recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives from the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies and intellectual disability service providers including Ability West, Brothers of Charity Services Galway, Brothers of Charity Services Roscommon and Western Care. The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the partner’s strong commitment to the ‘Going to College’ initiative at NUI Galway and their agreement to provide direct funding for the coming academic year. ‘Going to College’ is a pioneering higher education initiative, supporting the full inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities at NUI Galway. Students are registered full-time students and are fully included in all class activities. Students also have chance to undertake meaningful work placement and volunteering opportunities. Aiming to support each student to develop the vision, knowledge and transferable skills to live a more independent and inclusive life after university, the ‘Going to College’ initiative is underpinned by a rights base and recognises the strengths and potential of each student to achieve in a mainstream higher education environment. Consistent with UNESCO’s principles for inclusion in education and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it promotes citizenship, inclusion and participation, with a focus on the will and preferences of each individual student. Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: ‘This is a significant development for NUI Galway and for students with intellectual disabilities and their families. We warmly welcome the strong university/community partnership forged with intellectual disability service providers today. Our aim is to provide each student with opportunities to engage in the full college experience here at NUI Galway, to broaden their social networks and undertake meaningful work placement and volunteering opportunities that will enrich their lives into the future. This partnership with our community partners will provide a very strong foundation in achieving this aim. ’Anne Geraghty, Director of Services with Brothers of Charity Galway, said: ‘Just like many people of their age, young people with intellectual disability have hopes and dreams about going to college, learning new things, making new friends and becoming part of the whole college experience. The “Going to College” project supports this to happen, and the Brothers of Charity Services Galway is delighted to partner with NUI Galway. ’Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Executive with Ability West, said: ‘We are delighted to support the “Going to College” project. This project is unique in that it is fully integrated in the college as students with intellectual disability are recognised as students and they are supported and encouraged to take part in all mainstream college activities. ’For further information on the Going to College initiative contact Breda Casey, Going to College Co-ordinator, NUI Galway, at breda. casey@nuigalway. ie. 2013-07-08 Sports scholarships at NUI Galway – final call NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2013/14. The University has a long tradition of excellence in sport, as evidenced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Wednesday 31 July at 5 pm. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. The scheme is also open to students who are already studying at NUI Galway. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople continue to develop their sporting prowess. There are currently 60 students receiving support under the scheme in a variety of sporting categories. The scheme has assisted dozens of athletes’ progress to the highest levels of their respective discipline in recent years and is aimed at providing them with the tools for success in the long term. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan, NUI Galway’s Elite Sports Development Officer explained: ‘The strongest selling point of our Sports Scholarship program is the results that it is producing. We have supported the development of numerous Irish Internationals including some World Champions and medallists over the last number of years as well as the enormous success that so many of our GAA players have enjoyed at Senior and U21 level in recent years. ’A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: ‘Our focus is on the support of our student athletes in their dual careers. We strive to offer world-class supports in one of the Ireland’s leading Universities. Our scholarship students develop skills that will sustain them in their future sporting and professional careers and the long list of successful sporting alumni is testament to that. ’For the Scholarships, students who meet the University’s entry requirements will be selected for the Scholarship Programme on merit. An independent panel will make the decision. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, injury treatment, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. Click on the link for more details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme or call the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway on 091 495979. All applications must be submitted online. 2013-07-02 Education and Training boards set to replace VECs The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T. D. , has announced the establishment of 16 new Education and Training Boards (ETBs), which will replace the 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs). Minister Quinn said: ‘Today marks a new era for education and training in Ireland. The new ETBs will strengthen locally managed education and enhance the scale of local education and training. This represents a major component of the public service transformation agenda. At a time when the need for training and reskilling has never been more important, it is crucial to provide appropriate programmes and courses that offer students and learners the best opportunities to progress. We must do all of this while providing value for money to the taxpayer. ’ This major reform will reduce the number of Chief Executive Officers in line with the number of bodies. It is estimated that the new reform will result in annual savings of over €2 million. The new configuration paves the way for the establishment of SOLAS, the dissolution of FÁS and the transfer of training functions to the newly formed Education and Training Boards. The Further Education and Training Bill 2013 to provide for the establishment of SOLAS will be enacted this month. It is envisaged that SOLAS will be formally established before the end of this year. As part of the change, the Irish Vocational Educational Authority will change its name to Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI). ETBI will represent the Education and Training Boards and promote their interests. ‘I want to pay tribute to all stakeholders – staff, councillors, managers, parents, teachers and students – who will be instrumental in ensuring the success of the Education and Training Boards, ’ Minister Quinn said. *Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos. net 2013-07-01 NUI Galway sets up CAO hotline Just finished the Leaving Cert and unsure of your CAO choices? Thinking about the change of mind deadline but need more information on your course choices?NUI Galway has opened a dedicated CAO Hotline to provide information and advice to students planning to start University in September. A dedicated Hotline Team will provide detailed information on NUI Galway’s 60 undergraduate degree courses, as well as on other aspects of University life. Any students, parents and guardians who are interested in getting further information on NUI Galway should call (091) 49 44 99, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert. NUI Galway offers a wide range of courses across most subject areas, including Arts, Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Healthcare courses, Science, IT and Engineering. As well as the full suite of traditional broad-based degree programmes, which allow students to keep their options open until the later stages of study, NUI Galway also offers a wide range of specialist degree courses in areas where the University has unique strengths. Popular choices at NUI Galway include Biomedical Science, Marine Science, Engineering, IT and Drama and Theatre Studies. New courses for 2013 include a Journalism degree and a new Physics programme. With such a wide range of choices on offer, it’s not surprising that CAO applicants are looking for advice and information. Commenting on the new CAO Hotline, Director of Marketing and Communications, Caroline Loughnane, said: ‘Every year, more and more students are availing of the Change of Mind option to revise their course choices. Choosing the right course for you is the most important decision a Leaving Cert student has to make. So it’s important to research all of your options carefully before making that final decision. Our CAO Hotline aims to provide students with all of the practical information they need to make informed decisions about courses at NUI Galway. ’Call NUI Galway on (091) 49 44 99 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert and have your questions answered. 2013-06-24 UCD and Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology (IADT) sign Memorandum of Understanding University College Dublin (UCD) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology (IADT) to develop and implement substantive new educational and creative collaborations between the two institutions. The announcement was made following the publication last week of the HEA report to the Minister for Education and Skills on system reconfiguration, inter-institutional collaboration and system governance in Irish higher education, which highlighted plans to thematically cluster third-level institutions in the Dublin region around the Creative Arts and Media areas and which recommended the development of strategic collaborations. Speaking about the alliance, Deputy President of UCD, Professor Mark Rogers, said: ‘We see excellent opportunities arising from a closer collaboration with IADT. We both promote an entrepreneurial spirit among our students and our staff and I can foresee creative outcomes from the cross-pollination and exchange of ideas between the two institutions. With this agreement, we will now develop specific plans to encourage and facilitate joint projects on an academic as well as on a social and innovation exchange level, ’ he added. Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology President, Dr Annie Doona, said: ‘We have been in discussions with UCD since July 2012; the signing of today’s [17 June] agreement signifies the further development of our on-going collaboration and the formation of an alliance in areas such as teaching, research and innovation. IADT will maintain its specialised position within the education landscape and today’s announcement is a step forward in developing relations between our two Institutions. We also welcome the fact that our alliance with UCD was mirrored in the Department of Education and Skill’s plans for the Higher Education Authority, ’ said Dr Doona. The HEA report to the Minister recommends that Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology continue to develop its role as an institute of technology with a specialist mission in the field of Creative Arts and Media. It goes on to suggest that IADT should engage in discussion with University College Dublin and National College of Art and Design with a view to developing an alliance that could actively exploit opportunities for cooperation. NCAD has been a recognised college of University College Dublin since 2011. 2013-06-19 Places Still Available for NUI Galway Engineering Summer School NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics still has a few spaces available on its one-day Engineering Summer School. The summer school is specially designed to give prospective students a real taste of university life through a wide range of hands-on practical activities. Students interested in attending have a choice of days to participate: Thursday, 27 June, or Friday, 28 June. The summer school, which will take place in the new state-of-the-art Engineering Building on campus, is a free event and will provide second-level students with an opportunity to learn more about the various fields of engineering that can be studied at NUI Galway. ‘We have seen a huge interest once again this year among both senior and junior cycle second-level students in our Engineering Summer School, but we have a few remaining spaces which students can apply for’, according to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. ‘The places in the free summer school are competitively awarded so we would invite any students who would be interested in learning more about Electronic, Mechanical, Civil, Biomedical or Energy Systems Engineering to apply for these last few places. ’Interested students, particularly those undertaking higher-level maths, can apply by email to damien. scanlon@nuigalway. ie before Monday, 17 June. Applicants should indicate what year they have just completed at second level and what level of maths they are undertaking for the Junior or Leaving Certificate. 2013-06-11 UCC symposium to examine link between music and theatre The growing significance of music in Irish theatre will be among the topics explored and celebrated at an upcoming UCC symposium to be held on Saturday 15 June. Among the nine acclaimed contributors to the free FUAIM Theatre and Music Symposium on Saturday 15 June at Ó’Riada Hall in Cork City are composer and director Heiner Goebbels (music theatre works include Black on White [1996], Eraritjaritjaka [2004], Stifters Dinge [2007] and Songs of Wars I Have Seen [2007]), Tom Creed (Festival Director of Cork Midsummer Festival) and Emelie FitzGibbon (Artistic Director of Graffiti Theatre Company in Cork). The symposium will offer an open dialogue on creative opportunities between music and theatre and a showcase of current research and experimentation in the area. It is organised by the School of Music and Theatre at UCC in association with the Cork Midsummer Festival and the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences at UCC. While the affinity between theatre and music is as old as the history of the arts, the tendency to combine these two media took a particularly intensive turn in the last century. Since Cage’s ‘happenings’, various modes of theatricalising music have irreversibly eroded the boundaries between music conceived for the concert hall and for the stage. At the same time, contemporary theatre has been increasingly influenced by the idea of theatre as music. From the use of language as music and the actor as a musical performer in Beckett’s plays, which mark the beginnings of postdramatic theatre, to the transformation of stage, props, actors and images into musical instruments in recent productions by Simon McBurney and Heiner Goebbels, contemporary theatre has often appeared most exciting, innovative and provocative when inspired by music. In the keynote address of the first FUAIM Theatre and Music symposium, composer and director Heiner Goebbels – whose work epitomises the intermedia tendencies of contemporary theatre – will discuss his aesthetic principles and modes of musicalising theatre and theatricalising music in landmark productions such as Max Black (1998), Landscape with Distant Relatives (2002), Eraritjaritjaka (2004) and Stifters Dinge (2007). Renowned intermedia artist, composer, musician and writer David Toop will investigate different modes of reception and the connections between different artistic media in an anti-lecture which will use recorded and live sound, images, voice, verbal and non-verbal information. Director Emelie FitzGibbon and composer/sound designer Cormac O’Connor will provide insight into their collaborative process in a presentation about Graffiti Theatre Company's production of Angela Betzien's Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?Composers Roger Doyle and Conor Linehan, writer-director Paul Mercier, director Tom Creed and composer-writer-performer Ray Scannell will lead a panel discussion on the relationship between music and theatre in their work, and reflect on the growing significance of music in Irish theatre. The free symposium (registration required by emailing fuaim@ucc. ie) takes place on Saturday 15 June from 10. 30am–6pm at Ó Riada Hall (Music Building, School of Music & Theatre, Sunday’s Well Road, Cork). For further information and a full schedule of events visit the website. 2013-06-06 Government approves plans for three new technological universities The Government has signed off on plans to create three new technological universities as part of a huge reform of third-level education in Ireland, according to an Irish Times report. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is due to publish the final draft of the plan today along with the Department of Education and Skills. The Cabinet accepted proposals this week from Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn to form the new universities from conjunctions between institutes of technology in Dublin, the southwest and the southeast. The proposals also call for the establishment of clusters that will connect the existing seven universities, the new bodies, and all other institutes of technology and publicly funded centres of higher education. The Minister’s plans are largely based on a report first published in February 2012 by the HEA on the future of third-level education in Ireland which was then updated in November 2012. Three of the four groupings that applied to become technological universities have been accepted. Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) joined with IT Tallaght and Blanchardstown IT in one application. Cork and Tralee institutes formed a second grouping and Carlow and Waterford institutes submitted a third. A further bid from Galway-Mayo, Letterkenny and Sligo institutes was unsuccessful. 2013-05-30 NUI Galway Welcomes Elite University Leaders from Across Europe NUI Galway has announced that the 2013 Coimbra Group Annual Conference will be addressed by President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and will take place from 22–24 May at the University. The theme of this year’s conference is 'Creativity, Research and Innovation in Universities'. Founded in 1985 and formally constituted by Charter in 1987, the Coimbra Group is an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities of high international standard. NUI Galway is a longstanding member of the Coimbra Group and last hosted the Coimbra Group annual conference twenty-five years ago in 1988. Other members include leading institutions such as University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Università di Bologna, Saint Petersburg State University and Trinity College Dublin. The Coimbra Group is committed to creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefit of its members, internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. It is also the purpose of the Group to influence European educational policy and to develop best practice through mutual exchange of experience. The symposium ‘Creativity, Research and Innovation in Universities’ on Friday, 24 May, will include a keynote address by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. Other keynote speeches and panel discussions on the day will include contributions from: Commissioner Maire Geoghegan Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science Professor Carol Becker, Dean of the Arts, Columbia University, New York Professor Joep Leerssen, Professor of Modern European Languages, Universiteit van Amsterdam Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland & Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland.   President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: ‘NUI Galway is a proud member of the Coimbra Group since 1986. As a university on the western edge of Europe we value deeply the rich network of connections and links which the Group has fostered to promote excellence in scholarship, research and service to society. It is particularly fitting that the conference returns to Galway in the year in which Ireland holds the Presidency of the European Union and at a time when the conference theme of Creativity, Research & Innovation in Universities could not be more relevant or timely for our European universities. ’Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, who will speak at the event, said: ‘If we want to tackle our biggest societal challenges and develop technology-based business, we need an excellent science base and we need to train creative graduates and foster critical and innovative mind-sets. In my view, universities should become “innovation centers” for their region. They should train and retrain the workforce in cooperation with industry. Mobility between industry and academia should become the norm. ’Speaking in advance of the conference, Dorothy Kelly, Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board, commented: ‘We are delighted to be revisiting NUI Galway after 25 years. This year the theme is a reflection of the central role universities play in societal progress and well-being as open, diverse and critical spaces for the pursuit of knowledge something we look forward to discussing at length. We are particularly honoured this year to welcome to our meetings both the President of the Republic of Ireland, Dr Michael Higgins, and the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, as we hold our 29th General Assembly in Ireland and under the Irish presidency of the European Union. ’ 2013-05-22 NUI Galway Event to Assist Graduate and Student Job Seekers Graduated recently and looking for work? Or in your final year and keen to start weighing up your options?All recent graduates currently seeking employment are invited to attend a unique graduate support event titled ‘Kick Start your Job Search’ in NUI Galway on Thursday 30 May from 9. 30am to 2. 30pm in IT 125G in the Information Technology Building. This free event, organised by the Career Development Centre, is aimed at NUI Galway graduates and final year students, but all are welcome to attend. Attendees will find plenty of information on emerging employment areas, innovative job search strategies and tips on how to stay motivated. Graduates and students will also be able to get an employer’s perspective on how to stand out from the crowd; this workshop will be run by local multinational SAP. Attendees are also encouraged to bring CVs for an interactive workshop. Professional bodies will be present for a networking event after the workshops, including JobBridge (The national internship scheme), Galway County & City Enterprise Board, and Engineers Ireland. Information will also be available on postgraduate study options at NUI Galway. ‘We look forward to continuing our support to our alumni through this unique event and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and “kick start” their job search’ said John Hannon, Head of the Career Development Centre, NUI Galway. For further details contact the NUI Galway Career Development Centre on 091 493589 or email pamela. devins@nuigalway. ie. 2013-05-16 Griffith College Dublin Open Day, Thursday 23 May Prospective full- and part-time students will be given the opportunity to explore their study options when Griffith College Dublin (GCD) hosts its next Open Day on Thursday 23 May. The event is open to all and will afford attendees the opportunity to meet members of the Admissions Team to discuss issues such as the application process, eligibility criteria, timetables and fees. Because guests will have the chance to meet on a one-to-one basis with members of each Department and Faculty, they will also be able to discuss specific elements and aspects of courses they may be interested in taking, along with examination and assessment methods, and educational/career progression. • Applicants can avail of a range of study options at GCD, such as part-time and full-time study. The college offers solutions to fit your budget and your  personal/professional commitments. • Applicants may be eligible to avail of tax relief on all HETAC-validated courses. • Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria but who have sufficient work experience may be permitted onto a number of postgraduate courses at Griffith College. The Open Day will take place from 5:30pm to 8pm. 2013-05-13 UCC Improves Ranking Among World’s Universities University College Cork has been ranked among the world’s top 200 institutions for ten of its subject areas, with the release of the third edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject. Law, Modern Languages and Biological Sciences were among the college’s top performers and featured in the top 100 institutions worldwide for the first time – a significant improvement on their top 150 ranking in 2012. English Language & Literature and Medicine followed closely, achieving a top 150 ranking and improving upon their top 200 ranking from 2012. Electrical Engineering at UCC continues to maintain its strong 2012 performance within the top 150 institutions worldwide, as does Geography within the top 200. Chemical Engineering is ranked within the top 200 for the first time since the additional subject ranking measure was introduced by QS in 2011. Pharmacy and Pharmacology also returned to a top-200 ranking, as did Environmental Sciences. These remarkable outcomes are based on an extensive evaluation by QS of 2, 858 universities, with 678 institutions in total ranked. The results are generated by QS from global surveys of reputation among employers and academics, as well as the impact of research through citations. With UCC already ranked among the top 2 per cent of universities worldwide by QS (2012), the ethos behind this offshoot of the main QS World University Rankings (announced each September annually) is that international students often prioritise the area of study that interests them over the issue of college location. These results mark UCC out as a global leader across many subject areas. The rankings will help prospective students – nationally and internationally –choose the third-level education pathway that is right for them by facilitating their understanding of the high calibre of teaching and research that lies behind these subjects at UCC. There are currently almost 3000 international students at UCC, representing more than one hundred countries worldwide. UCC is also home to approximately 14, 000 undergraduate students, 4000 Masters and PhD student and 2000 part-time students in Adult Continuing Education. A recent UCC Careers Service survey as part of the National Higher Education Authority ‘First Destinations of Graduates’ Survey revealed employment levels for graduates of UCC are very positive, despite a tough economic climate. Employment rates for 2011 undergraduates are now back to 2006/2007 levels, with 90 per cent of primary degree graduates in employment or further study. 2013-05-07 Griffith College Dublin announces Creative Week 2013 Following on from last year's hugely successful Creative Week, Griffith College Dublin has announced that it is to repeat the event with a week-long exhibition showcasing the high-quality work produced by the students at the college. Creative Week 2013 will be launched on Wednesday 29 May at 6. 30pm at the Griffith College Campus on South Circular Road, Dublin 8. The evening offers you the chance to experience the best of computing, interior design/architecture, fashion, film and photography. The opening times for Creative Week are as follows:Wednesday 29 May (Launch Night)     6. 30pm Start Thursday 30 May to Friday 1 of June    11am to 7pm Saturday 2 June to Monday 3 June       11am to 5pm Tuesday  4 June  11am to 7pm* Wednesday 5 June to Thursday 6 June    2pm to 5pmAdmission to Creative Week is free of charge including the launch night on Wednesday 29 of May. For more information contact louise. walsh@gcd. ie. To view some of our students'  previous exhibitions click here. 2013-04-30 Griffith College Limerick to move campus Griffith College Limerick has announced that it is to relocate its campus to the premises formerly used by HSI Limerick Business School on Quinlan Street. The new state-of-the-art premises will allow Griffith College Limerick to extend its current student offering by introducing a higher number of places on each course along with a number of new Hetac and Fetac-certified courses to its portfolio. The college hopes to relocate all of its students and staff from its current campus on Upper William Street over the next three months. The iconic facility on Quinlan Street is twice the size of Griffith College’s current campus and offers a more central location and a modern, well-equipped teaching environment. ‘We have outgrown our premises on Upper William Street and our relocation represents an increase in capacity for us. It allows us greater scope in the range of courses we can provide and the number of people we can accommodate, ’ said Kevin O’Sullivan, head of Griffith College’s Limerick campus. ‘The old part of the building has been developed over the years as a bespoke educational facility and we have plans to improve it further. The new Nora McNamara building offers us state of the art facilities, ’ he added. The former HSI building has become a landmark in the city thanks to its long, storied history. ‘Griffith College will now carry on that tradition with our high level degree courses along with the professional and vocational training programmes we will continue to offer, ’ said O’Sullivan. 2013-04-24 Computer Science information evening at Griffith College Dublin Griffith College is hosting a Computing Science Information Session on Wednesday 24 April from 6. 00pm to 7. 30pm at its campus on the South Circular Road. This session is aimed at Computing Science applicants along with anyone else with an interest in the area (parents, guidance counselors, etc. ) and wants to know more about what is involved in studying Computing Science at third level. It is advised that anyone considering studying Computing Science starting in September 2013 attend this session as it will provide an overview of this area of study, explaining key terms such as ‘cloud computing’, ‘mobile applications’ and ‘networking’ – all of which have seen impressive employment growth over the last few years. The college’s experienced faculty team will be on hand to provide details on the College's Computing Science courses: the modules included in each, the type of projects participants will undertake and what careers are open to them once they have graduated. The evening will finish with a question-and-answer session. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-to-one with lecturers of the Computing Science faculty and will also have the chance to view the work of past and present college students. Tours of the college’s large, 7-acre campus will also take place throughout the evening. To RegisterIf you are interested in attending this session please register by emailing julianne. lawlor@gcd. ie  This session is free of charge. Click on the link to view the range of Computing Science degrees at Griffith College. 2013-04-22 NUI Galway Offers Free Places on Software Development Programme   NUI Galway, in collaboration with a number of software industry partners, is offering a limited number of places on its innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme for free. Due to the strategic importance of developing skills in this area, support has been arranged by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), meaning that successful applicants will not have to pay any course fees, other than a student levy of just €224. Industry experienceIn conjunction with 12 Industry partners in the ICT sector, NUI Galway has designed a twelve-month conversion programme that is designed to enable graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. The aim of this one-year postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, as well as present them with an opportunity to obtain valuable work experience within the industry. The new Diploma builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, along with a choice of software architecture specializations in either . NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid work placement to gain relevant experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. As students progress through the course, training content is determined by their associated industry partner. Upon completion of the course, students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a wide range of excellent options opening up to them for further progression – either in industry or via more specialisation through a Masters degree. The industry partners involved include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, Schneider Electric, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Entry RequirementsThe course is open to all those who have a level 8 degree, or alternatively those with a level 7 degree with some relevant industry work experience. The course is ideal for those from a Science or Engineering background, and relish challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. Applications are now being processing and those interested can apply through www. ictskills. ie or seek more information via Twitter, @hdipindustry. The deadline for applications is Friday 17 May and with significant interest expected, early application is advisable. For further queries contact Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway. ie. 2013-04-17 Eurostudent Survey - Have your say! If you’re in college and have ever wanted to express your views on the student experience – whether it is expenses, modes of study, or accommodation – now is your chance to have your voice heard!The Higher Education Authority is looking for the participation of all full-time and part-time students in higher education in Ireland in the Eurostudent Survey. This is a European-wide survey about the social, economic and living conditions of higher education students in EU states. The survey will cover the following topics:o    Demographics o    Accommodation & Travel o    Income & Expenditure o    Well-being o    Study AbroadThe survey will only take roughly 15 to 20 minutes to complete. There are a series of questions with ‘tick-box’ style answers and open-ended responses. All survey responses will remain anonymous and results will only be presented in aggregated format. All undergraduate and post-graduate students (full time and part time) are invited to respond to the online survey from 22 April to 24 May. Note that each students who completes the survey will have the opportunity to win one of ten €100 vouchers (one4all or equivalent)! Winners will be notified by email in June 2013.   2013-04-16 Griffith College Dublin to host Computing Science Information Evening Griffith College will host a Computing Science Information Session on Wednesday 24 April from 6. 00–7. 30pm. The event will be held at the college’s campus on the South Circular Road, and is free of charge. The Information Session is aimed directly at anyone with an interest in Computer Science that is considering enrolling on an undergraduate computing course. Those who are considering studying Computing Science from September 2013 are advised to attend this session as it will provide an overview of this field of study, explaining key terms such as cloud computing, mobile applications and networking – all of which have seen huge growth in employment figures and investment in recent years. The college’s experienced faculty team will be on hand to provide details on the Computing Science courses on offer, the modules included in each, the type of projects that participants will undertake and what careers are open to graduates who have completed their studies. The evening will finish with a question-and-answer session, and there will also be an opportunity to engage on a one-to-one basis with lecturers of the Computing Science faculty. Tours of the college’s expansive, seven-acre campus will also take place over the course of the evening. To RegisterIf you are interested in attending this session please register by emailing julianne. lawlor@gcd. ie When     : Wednesday 24 April, 6–7. 30PMWhere   : Griffith College campus, South Circular Road, Dublin 2013-04-11 NUI Galway to host Spring Open Day on Saturday 20 April NUI Galway is extending an invitation to all CAO applicants and interested students of all years to its annual Spring Open Day on Saturday 20 April. The Open Day will give students a taste of university life and is an excellent opportunity for students and parents to learn about the courses on offer at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and have a look at the facilities. The Spring Open Day will run from 10am to 3pm, and is expected to attract more than 3, 000 visitors. Taster sessions will run throughout the day, giving students the chance to gain some real insight into studying at NUI Galway. These will include hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops, which are sure to be a particular highlight. New for this year, students from the School of Law will show short films they have made about famous legal cases, giving would-be solicitors and barristers a chance to observe the Law in action. A wide range of short taster sessions in Arts subjects, together with interactive Engineering and IT Zones will also form part of the line-up for the day. Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, along with the new Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day.  Parents will also be interested in attending the talks, 'Focus on Your Career' and 'A Parent's Guide to University'. This year, each county in Ireland will be represented by a selection of 'student ambassadors', sho will be happy to answer questions on specific courses and all aspects of university life. Lecturers and support staff will also be available at over 80 stands to deal with any queries about courses, accommodation, finance and much more. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said:‘Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July. ’About the College NUI Galway is an internationally recognised university with a distinguished reputation for teaching excellence and research. Currently ranked third among the Irish universities in international rankings, NUI Galway is only one of two Irish Universities to be awarded the prestigious top rating of five stars in the latest QS Stars rating system. Five stars are awarded for exceptional developments in education, including teaching and research activity, as well as for top-quality facilities. The University is also one of the top two universities in Ireland for student retention and graduate employment. Each year, NUI Galway recognises the academic excellence of new undergraduate students with the presentations of Excellence Scholarships (valued at €2, 000) to students who achieve exceptional Leaving Certificate results. Generous Sports Scholarships are also awarded to high performing athletes. Booking and Further InfoVisitors for the NUI Galway Spring Open Day can book a place and receive a programme in advance by visiting  www. nuigalway. ie/opendays, calling 091 494 145 or emailing visit@nuigalway. ie. 2013-04-09 Engineering and Built Environment Open Day at DIT Anyone thinking of studying Engineering and Built Environment is encouraged to come along to Dublin Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering and Built Environment Open Day 2013 on Saturday 20 April. The Open Day will run from 9am to 2pm and will take place at Kevin Street and Bolton Street campuses. The Open Day presents you with a great opportunity to discover DIT for yourself, meet current engineering and built environment students and staff, attend a presentation or two and check out the facilities for the any programmes of particular interest to you. This is an important element in helping students to determine the suitability of any programmes they may be considering enrolling on. The event is entirely free and is sure to be packed with information concerning all aspects of life at DIT. There is also a full schedule of interesting talks for you to attend. To see what’s on offer, just click on the link provided. Event: DIT Engineering & Built Environment Open DayWhen: Saturday 20 April 2013. 9am–2pmWhere: Kevin Street and Bolton Street 2013-04-04 Institutes of technology may face summer exam disruption The summer exam schedules at Ireland’s institutes of technology could face disruptions after a Teacher’s Union of Ireland conference voted to refuse to mark examinations should new Croke Park proposals be put into operation. The TUI’s decision marks an escalation in its campaign against the new proposals, which are effectively seeking to eliminate payment to lecturers for exam work. It is estimated that approximately €4 million is spent on exam payments at institutes of technology around the country. Delegates at the conference also raised concerns over the growing administrative workload faced by lecturers and assistant lecturers given that staff numbers in the sector have been severely depleted (having dropped by more than 7 per cent in the last four years) while student numbers continue to increase (rising by almost 15 per cent in the same period). The student-teacher ratio is set to deteriorate further if estimates that student numbers will increase by a further 12 per cent from 2013 to 2014 are to be believed. 2013-04-03 One-day symposium ‘ADHD: An Illness of our Time? A Psychodynamic Perspective’ at Carlow College Carlow College and the MA in Therapeutic Childcare course will run a one-day symposium ‘ADHD: An Illness of our Time? A Psychodynamic Perspective’ at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art & George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow College Campus on Monday 8 April. The symposium will include a presentation by consultant psychotherapist Damien McLellan, who will speak about the principal theoretical models that underpin the care and treatment of very troubled children, including a psychodynamic perspective on ADHD. Another talk will be given by Dr Kevin McGrattan, a senior clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, who will share insights and learning from his current professional practice in a HSE CAMHS clinical setting helping children with ADHD behaviours to self-regulate. There will also be a series of interactive workshops, all led by practitioners with experience working with children with ADHD behaviours. The symposium will cost €45, which includes Lunch, CPD Certificate and Conference Pack. Please send cheques (payable to Carlow College), or money orders, with completed booking form to Catherine Carey, Symposium Secretary, Carlow College, College Street, Carlow (Tel: 059 9153200). Email enquiries to adhdsymposium@carlowcollege. ie.   Please note that early booking is recommended. 2013-03-28 MIC now accepting applications for its full-time undergraduate courses Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, is currently inviting applications from interested candidates for its four full-time undergraduate programmes: Liberal Arts (BA), BEd in Primary Teaching (four year-programme), BA in Early Childhood Care & Education and BEd in Education & Psychology. Applications from mature candidates (i. e. those above the age of 23 on 1 January in the year of college entry) are strongly encouraged. Mary Immaculate College is committed to the provision of educational opportunities for mature students and has proved to be hugely successful in attracting mature learners from a wide variety of backgrounds over the past number of years. This is largely attributed to the College’s suite of adult education access programmes, along with the alternative pathways in gaining access to third-level education it provides, which are in addition to the tailored support systems available to mature students. Mature learners at MIC are given full access to many supports, including the Access Office, Counselling Service, Learner Support Unit, Medical Services and Student Parent Coordinator.  With the College’s state-of-the-art campus this could be the perfect year for you to take the leap of faith and return to college. Note that the deadline for completed applications for full-time undergraduate programmes is 8 April 2013.  To read instructions on how to complete the application form, click on the link. For further information please contact the Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick. Tel: 061 204348 / 204929; Email: admissions@mic. ul. ie. 2013-03-25 Griffith College Dublin now accepting applications for Thomas Heinrich Scholarship 2013 The Thomas Heinrich Scholarship, funded by the Heinrich Family, Griffith College Dublin and the Macromedia School for Media and Communication (MHMK), provides support to exceptionally talented undergraduate students and provides them with access to international study. The scholarship will be awarded each year to an undergraduate student attending MHMK or Griffith College Dublin who demonstrates a particularly good knowledge of the local language (English or German) along with a high level of community involvement. The aim is to encourage more social involvement among students, faculty staff and others in the university, in addition to benefiting the student’s academic output. The student will serve as a cultural ambassador for his or her homeland while simultaneously developing a greater understanding of the culture of the host country. The stipend will be awarded for study at Griffith College Dublin, Ireland, or at one of the five MHMK locations in Germany, and includes tuition fees and the cost of accommodation for the duration of the semester abroad. 1. Prerequisites•          TOEFL-Score of at least 79 points, or DaF/DSH Test (or equivalent evidence) •          A cumulative GPA of at least 2. 0 •          Outstanding social commitment •          Willingness and motivation to act as an intercultural ambassador between the two universities2. Application Process•          Letter of Motivation describing the candidate's reasons for selecting the partner university, Griffith College Dublin, or the MHMK program, as well as future professional goals and personal aptitude (maximum of one A4-size page in 12-pt  Arial font; left and right margins at  1, 5 cm)  •          Letter of Recommendation from a Professor or Lecturer •          Evidence of social engagement or other community involvement •          CV with work or internship experience  •          Proof of required TOEFL/test scores •          Study Schedule (only for students of Griffith College Dublin)Please submit your completed and signed application to MHMK at: stipendium@mhmk. org3. Application DeadlineThe deadline for applications is 31 March. The scholarship is awarded once a year at the end of April and is decided by a committee that comprises representatives of the Heinrich family, Griffith College Dublin and the MHMK, along with a student representative of MHMK. The Thomas Heinrich Scholarship will be awarded for a period of five years, and therefore ends in 2018. To register your interest in the Thomas Heinrich Scholarship, or for further information, contact the GCD International Office on (01) 415 0426, or by email at international@gcd. ie.   2013-03-22 Career Profile - Entrepreneurship Name: Valerie O’Reilly Job: Owner and Managing Director of Unicorn PR & Communications Ltd (www. unicornpr. ie)I have always been described as a ‘people person’, so when it came to embarking upon a career path, I decided to combine my social skills with a flair for business subjects and studied Marketing at third-level. Throughout my three years as an undergraduate, I volunteered with Chris Roche Publicity – Ireland’s leading PR firm at the time - where I worked on a number of high-profile charity events. I gained invaluable experience from Chris and, following graduation, continued to work for him as a Junior Account Executive until his untimely death in 2002. To this day, I am forever grateful to him for all that he taught me about the world of public relations. In 2003, at the tender age of just 23, buoyed by an innate, enterprising spirit, I decided to take the leap to set up my own business - Unicorn PR & Communications. Coming from an entrepreneurial family - both of my parents and my older brother all took the entrepreneurial path – I knew that I would, inevitably, encounter numerous challenges along the way but I also had the self-belief to know that there wouldn’t be anything that I couldn’t overcome in the long run. Nine years on, and we are continuing to reap the rewards of building what has become a solid and profitable business. By constantly adapting, evolving, and developing a creative attitude to meet – and, where possible, exceed - our customers’ requirements, we design effective and innovative solutions that deliver measurable results to a myriad of blue-chip clients throughout Ireland, ranging from Corporate and Professional Services to Consumer, Financial, Entertainment and beyond. My daily responsibilities include pro-actively and effectively marketing the business; forward planning; networking; seeking new business; pitching to potential clients; overseeing all client projects; maintaining regular contact with all of our clients; liaising with various media; pitching ideas to journalists and broadcast producers; researching media features that could be suitable profile opportunities for our clients; overseeing finances and the overall management of the business. Without doubt, a client receiving positive, accurate coverage in the media is the highlight of my job. Not only is it proof that we have done a great job and delivered measurable results for our client but it is also an acknowledgement of the time and effort that we have invested in pitching to the media source and preparing our clients’ delivery of an accurate and effective message – in short, it is immensely rewarding. I am a strong believer in the importance of Continual Professional Development and the value to be gained from being open to learning and growing - personally and professionally - each day. In 2006 I completed a Diploma in Business, Executive and Personal Coaching. I took this course primarily for my own personal development but I soon realised that the lessons and transferrable skills that I learned during that time are now invaluable to me in my professional life. However, I had always wanted to complete a Masters in Communication and, in 2009, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Public and Political Communication from Dublin City University. I sincerely believe that, in order to achieve success, you must be prepared to question and heed advice; work hard; work harder; never say ‘no’ because you are afraid of the unknown, set achievable goals and realistic deadlines and, most importantly of all, enjoy going to work every day! 2013-03-21 Career Profile - Construction Management Name: Shane Mountain Job: Project Engineer with Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd.  (www. sisk. ie) I am a Project Engineer for John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd. , and am currently working on the Great Island CCGT Powerstation project in Campile, Co. Wexford. I completed a BSc. (Honours) in Construction Management & Engineering in Waterford Institute of Technology, graduating with a first-class honours degree in 2008. I have been working with Sisk since finishing college and have worked on a variety of different projects, in a range of sectors within the industry. I completed my Leaving Certificate in 2001, and commenced a course in Civil Engineering that year. Having completed the first two semesters of this course, I felt that it was geared too much toward design and decided not to return to complete the course the following September. I then worked for two years in the pharmaceutical industry, before deciding to return to third level education to complete the course in Construction Management & Engineering. I found that this course was better equipped to train the individual for site work and for the challenges that they are faced with on a daily basis on sites. We learned a lot about the management of people and resources on projects as well as the skills needed from an engineering viewpoint out on site. During my time in college, I spent two summer holidays working with Sisk. I also spent nine months with the company as part of the college's industrial placement programme. These stints on site during my college years were invaluable to me and gave a vast insight to how the industry works. It allowed me to put the theory that I had learned in college into practice in the work environment. I was then lucky enough to obtain employment within the organisation once I had qualified with my degree and have been able to progress my career from there. Working as a Project Engineer is a very challenging and rewarding career. Each day brings new challenges. Since I started work in the industry I have been involved in sectors such as healthcare, industrial/manufacturing, pharmaceutical, commercial, retail, restoration works, leisure and energy. Each of these areas has their own particular challenges to offer. The career also allows you to travel and work around the globe. The qualification that I obtained is well recognised around the world, with many of my colleagues from WIT now working with large multi-national organisations in a variety of locations around the globe, from America and Canada to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and onto Australia and New Zealand.   I spent one and a half years working with Sisk in Germany on two retail projects for one of our existing clients. These were very interesting and fast paced jobs to be involved in, and presented the project team with some challenges which we would not have faced previously. There were difficulties to be overcome with day-to-day items such as language barriers and logistics, as well as other items such as specific regulations and specifications which were new to the site team. However, these were very exciting projects to work on and the experiences gained on these jobs will be invaluable to those involved. Since starting my career in the industry I have built up a good knowledge bank and have become a respected member of site teams, both by my colleagues within the organisation and clients alike. It is a career that I enjoy and the knowledge, respect and responsibility that I have gained over the last few years make this profession so satisfying for me.   2013-03-15 Gaiety School of Acting announce new BFA in Acting The Gaiety School of Acting has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with American College Dublin for the joint delivery of a BFA in Acting. In attendance at the event, held at the Oscar Wilde House on Merrion Square, were Dr Donald E. Ross, President of American College Dublin, and Mr Patrick Sutton, Director of The Gaiety School of Acting.   The BFA in Acting is based on a continuation of the internationally renowned two-year Intensive Actor Training Programme already on offer at the Gaiety School of Acting. Past and present students can elect to undergo a further year’s study earning their BFA Acting degree, which will combine the two-year full-time course with a selection of American College Dublin’s general education courses and a 1200-hour in-house Gaiety School of Acting internship. This final full-time intensive year will see students engage in developing new and original work from the Gaiety School of Acting’s manifesto course, and will then culminate in a series of public performances at Smock Alley Theatre-1662.   ‘This is the beginning of a significant new offering from Ireland's premier drama school: The Gaiety School of Acting - The National Theatre School of Ireland’ said Director, Patrick Sutton. ‘Playing to the proven strengths of our two-year Intensive Actor Training Programme, student actors can now choose to remain at the school for an additional year, take classes at the historic Oscar Wilde House, Merrion Square – the home of American College Dublin – and join a resident company at the Gaiety School of Acting, presenting work at Smock Alley Theatre-1662, earning them a prestigious BFA Acting degree. ’ The BFA in Acting will commence in September 2013. Readers should note, however, that it is not a CAO offering and admission depends exclusively on audition and a personal statement. With that said, students who have graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting’s two-year Intensive Actor Training programme are eligible to apply for the final one-year programme providing a transcript from the Gaiety School of Acting is produced.      American College Dublin and the Gaiety School of Acting have previously collaborated (along with CoisCéim Dance Theatre) in the delivery of the BFA in Performing Arts. 2013-03-14 IDA Ireland calls on second level students to consider IT and language courses As many of the world’s leading multinational companies continue to select Ireland as a leading location for their Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, has called on Irish students filling out their CAO forms to consider where the best job opportunities for the future will lie. Based on current job creation trends within Ireland, sectors like information and communication technology (ICT), digital media and language-based business courses are likely to provide strong career opportunities for students in the years ahead. IDA Ireland client companies created 12, 722 jobs last year, with a significant proportion of these jobs in the ICT field. In addition customer and technical support roles which require IT proficiency and multilingual capability are also in demand. IDA Ireland Ireland’s availability of skilled labour is one of the primary reasons cited by IDA clients for establishing their operations in Ireland. The recently published IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 ranks Ireland 1st in the world for the availability of skilled labour. Ireland’s third-level institutions provide a wide variety of courses which qualify graduates to meet industry needs; these include technology programmes in computer science, software engineering and computer applications and support. Also offered are computer science courses with a foreign language, accounting, finance and international business courses with languages, supply chain/logistics programmes, science qualifications and chemical, electronic and mechanical engineering degree courses. Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland said, "there is a continuous flow of FDI into Ireland with jobs announcements from Vistakon, OmniPay and China’s Huawei in the first month of 2013 alone; this is something students should keep in mind when filling out their CAO applications. Ireland’s availability of skilled labour is frequently cited by company CEOs as one of the primary reasons for locating in Ireland". 2013-01-21 Extra €3 million to assist third level students facing financial hardship Higher education institutions reporting a two-thirds increase in demand for the Student Assistance FundThe Minister for Education and Skills is allocating an extra €3 million to the Student Assistance Fund, which is available to third level students who are experiencing severe financial hardship or who may have to drop out of college for financial reasons. This will bring to €11 million the amount of money available to the Fund in 2012/13. With the extra money, the Fund is expected to assist in the region of 16, 000 students this academic year. Higher Education institutions are reporting a significant increase in demand for this Fund. Last academic year, approximately 13, 000 students were given financial assistance. This year, universities, Institutes of Technology and other third level institutes are reporting an average increase in applications to the Fund of 67% to date. “I am acutely aware of the severe financial difficulties facing many families and students this academic year, ” said Minister Ruairí Quinn, “In light of this and the delays to the processing of some student grants, the Department of Education & Skills requested the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to examine if there was an increased demand from students to access the Student Assistance Fund. ”“Given the substantial increase reported by third level institutions, we have found the resources within our own budget to increase the Fund by €3 million which will help thousands more students stay in college or avoid hardship. ”The HEA asked 32 institutions to complete a short survey on the current position on the administration of the Student Assistance Fund. Overall, demand for the Fund has increased substantially on last year. It is also reported that a significant proportion of the total Fund has already been committed at this stage in the academic year. “I recognise that the problems with SUSI, the new grant awarding body, is one of the factors driving students to seek help, but there are others such as the withdrawal of other sources of funding like those from societies or partnerships and the increased numbers of students in poverty, and I hope the increased money now available to the Fund will go some way to alleviating student hardship, ” concluded Minister Quinn. 2013-01-16 Open Day for Full Time Courses at the NCI Interested in realising your full potential in a lively, supportive environment? The National College of Ireland (NCI) offers internationally recognised full-time Degrees and Higher Certificates, with dedicated teams in their Schools of Business and Computing always on hand to offer assistance and support. For more information on NCI's full time courses why not head along to the open day on campus, conveniently located in the heart of Dublin at the IFSC, near Connolly Station and the O2. Wed 23rd January, 11:00 - 15:00NCI Open Days give you the chance to speak to current NCI students, faculty members and staff before you fill out your CAO form. While there you can attend programme presentations and take a tour of the campus and student accommodation. Open Day Activities TIME ACTIVITY  All day  Course Information  All day  Campus Tours  All day  Computing Careers and Programme info  11am & 12. 30pm  Accountancy Careers and Programme info  11am & 12. 30pm  Business Careers and Programme info  11. 30am & 1pm  HRM Careers and Programme info  11. 30am & 1pm  Economics & Finance Careers and Programme info  12pm & 1. 30pm  Marketing Careers and Programme info  12. 30pm & 1. 30pm  Psychology Careers and Programme info 2013-01-16 Open day at Griffith College Dublin What'€™s the secret to a great education and successful career? Find out at Griffith College Dublin's next open day on 23rd January 2013 from 5. 30pm to 8pm. This event is open to all full and part-time prospective students and is ideal for those about to finalise their CAO course choices. Meet one-to-one with faculty teams to discuss specific course queries, take a tour of Griffith'€™s large 7-acre campus, and hear about the range of flexible payment options on offer. Find out more at www. gcd. ie/opendays. Read more about Griffith College Dublin. 2013-01-07 Waterford College of Further Education launches full time prospectus Waterford College of Further Education has published a 2013 prospectus outlining full time courses beginning in mid-September, as well as providing information on the application process, fees and funding, entry requirements and more. View the 2013 prospectus of full time courses. Waterford College of Further Education is the largest provider of Further Education courses in the South East. With over 30 courses, covering a wide range of disciplines, the college enjoys a national reputation for excellence. 2013-01-02 Special Feature: Entrepreneurship - Why Go It Alone? Entrepreneurship – why go it alone? Not every graduate is cut out to work for somebody else; there are maverick souls who will succeed or fail on their own terms, and who will never feel completely comfortable working for ‘the Man’. New small businesses have a very high failure rate – over 50 per cent – but that will never (and nor should it) dissuade those imbued with the entrepreneurial spirit from trying. Nevertheless, it is a big step, both personally and financially, and requires serious consideration. You will be in good company, however.  It’s not a well-recognised fact, but entrepreneurship is quite healthy in Ireland. According to the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report, an average of 2, 200 individuals started a new business each month in 2011. The growth aspirations of many of our entrepreneurs is also well ahead of EU and OECD averages, with 20 per cent of them expecting to employ 20 or more people after the first five years of business.   Why do people start their own businesses? Most entrepreneurs gain experience working for others, amassing knowledge and skills in their area of expertise, before striking out on their own. Often, they will have noticed a gap in the market during their employment, and will seek to capitalise on the commercial opportunity by developing an innovative idea or solution. Constraining issues motivate other small business starters; they may find that responsibilities keeping them at home leave a home-based business as the only viable option for paid work, or similarly, people who live a long distance from employment centres. Another common type of entrepreneur is the person pursuing his/her passion by making it into a business. These creative individuals set up businesses in art, crafts, web design, and a huge variety of other ventures. A final group is increasingly prevalent these days – those who set up their own business our of necessity.   The pros and cons of starting a business Guides to starting a business often refer to the freedom available to entrepreneurs as a major benefit of this option: the freedom to decide when to work, the type of work to do, and so on. In reality, however – especially in the early stages and despite best-laid preparations – many small businesses require a gruelling amount of labour in order to get off the ground. The freedom mentioned usually arrives with success and an increased workforce. Other disadvantages include the lack of employment benefits such as paid holidays, sick pay, and a pension scheme. Small businesses are notoriously vulnerable – one look at how quickly the shop-fronts change on Irish main streets will tell you that – and profits can be quite low during the initial period, because you must invest to succeed. The major benefit of having your own business is the tremendous motivation and job satisfaction that comes from being independent and making your own way in life. An immense pride can be gleaned from the knowledge that you have built a thriving enterprise ‘with your own hands’. The money gained from your success is not to be sniffed at either! What you need to succeed Entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed if they have certain personal qualities: drive and determination, good organisational skills, self-discipline, self-motivation, sound business sense, and an in-depth knowledge of their chosen industry. Thankfully, you need not be born with all these qualities; they can be gained during your educational and professional careers. Equally as important is a good business idea. Shell LiveWIRE is a UK organisation that helps young people to start businesses. BRIGHT is the snappy acronym it uses to capture the key ingredients to a successful business idea: Business-Orientated – the whole point of the exercise Realistic – a necessity for success Innovative – customers are always interested in new things Genuine – your business must meet an existing, real need Honest – to yourself and your planned customers Timely – will someone else get in ahead of you? Not all new businesses require strong innovation; franchises are a very popular option for young entrepreneurs. They have the benefit of supplying a well-worked and proven business plan, while also maintaining a sense of independence. Once you have a viable business plan, there are numerous organisations in Ireland that provide guidance and funding to new businesses. Here is a small sample:  Startups. ie  Enterprise Ireland  County & City Enterprise Boards  Microfinance Ireland - www. microfinanceireland. ie Educational Path Whatever your business idea, you are never too young to start formulating a plan. A 2006 report by the University of Limerick’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies found that 39 per cent of entrepreneurs were aged 20–30 at the initial start-up (rising to 67% for females). Your third-level education will more than likely be of a big help. The same report revealed that over 70 per cent of entrepreneurs found their formal education to be either very relevant or relevant to their current position. Some third-level courses, such as the following, make entrepreneurship a core theme of the programme: Enterprise Computing (DCU), Business in Enterprise (Dun Laoghaire Institute IADT), Rural Enterprise and Agribusiness (GMIT), Culinary Entrepreneurship (DIT), and Product Design Innovation (IT Carlow); while many others feature modules dedicated to business start-up. However, any business programme at higher or further level will instil the key skills required to strike out successfully on your own. 2012-11-07 Special Feature: Journalism - Still alive and kicking! Journalism – still alive and kicking by Barry McCall, Vice President, National Union of Journalists The imminent demise of journalism and various media channels has been predicted almost since the invention of the printing press which enabled its birth in first place. No other trade is more susceptible nor has proven itself more adaptable to technological change than this one. Various technological revolutions including wireless telegraphy, radio, TV, photocomposition, desktop publishing, and the internet have all been hailed as harbingers of oncoming doom for journalists and their craft. Yet there are more journalists working today than at any time in history and their number is likely to continue to grow as the amount of outlets and channels for their toils expands. The challenge is not merely being a journalist; it lies in making a living from journalism. And that’s a test which has faced almost every generation of journalist. For example, when the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) was founded in 1907 newspaper reporters were expected to be turned out in neat, clean morning dress provided at their own expense and to meet from their own pockets the cost of incidentals such as travel, notebooks, pens and so on. It is little wonder they felt the need to form a trade union. Freelancers, who make up more than 20 per cent of journalists today, face similar problems and the NUJ is constantly engaged in battles to ensure they not only are adequately rewarded for their work, but also appropriately compensated for the expenses they incur in the provision of computers, camera equipment, transport, and other essentials of the trade. But it’s not all a struggle. Journalism can offer a hugely interesting and rewarding career for those with the interest, perseverance, and no small amount of luck required to break into it. For those considering a career in journalism the first step is to choose the right third-level course. Very few journalists enter the trade today without a relevant qualification. This doesn’t necessarily mean a journalism diploma or degree. While there are many excellent journalism courses available to students in Ireland there are other routes to the job. Anyone qualifying in economics at the moment may find fertile ground for their knowledge and skills, for example. Similarly, history and politics and business studies have provided us with many of our better-known broadcasters and newspaper reporters over the years. Qualifications such as these are helpful but they are not in themselves an entree to journalism. The would-be journalist needs to possess a few characteristics and acquire a few skills before they can set out on the career path. A given is that they must be able to write clearly and in a form which is easily understood by almost any reader or listener. Another given is the ability to type and use the various pieces of technology to be found on the average office desk. The other skill which is not so easily acquired, but for which a college education is definitely helpful, is research. The ability to research a subject which you have never encountered before is the core skill of almost every journalist. A reporter working on a website, a regional newspaper or radio station, or a national newspaper can be asked to cover a huge range of topics from day to day and when asked what they know about any of them the usual answer should be: ‘I don’t know but I know how to find out’. Sharp research skills leavened with a strong measure of lateral thinking are essential. And then there is the character trait which is possibly more important than any skill or qualification; the ability to talk to strangers and ask them questions. The most gifted writer or photographer will never get beyond the metaphoric starting blocks if they aren’t able to phone or approach a complete stranger and ask them sometimes very searching and personal questions. For those that find themselves in possession of these skills and qualifications the next step is to break into the trade and overcome the seeming ‘Catch 22’ situation of job advertisements requiring candidates to have prior experience. Journalism courses are highly effective at organising summer placements for students in a variety of media organisations and these are very useful for gaining on the job training if not for actual experience. Students should never allow themselves be used as a source of cheap or free labour. This undermines staff members and freelancers who are trying to earn a living from journalism and devalues the work of everyone including the student. Early experience is best gained by using those research and other skills to gather stories from your local area or other field of expertise and offering them for sale at appropriate freelance rates to a publication, broadcaster or online service which may be interested in it. And there is almost sure to be some outlet for just about every story. Ireland has a thriving trade media sector with magazines covering a vast range of specialist topics from weddings to wind energy and pubs to paintings while local and regional media base their market appeal on the broad spectrum of their coverage. For the journalist starting out it’s a question of using that ability to speak to strangers to approach the editor or news editor and pitch their work. Oh, and one last thing: make sure to join the NUJ as soon as you can. 2012-11-06 Career Profile - Medicine Name: Dr Mark Murphy  Job: GP Trainee  Medicine: if I could go back and do it all over again, would I? Emphatically, definitely and for so many different reasons, the answer is ‘yes’.   Twelve years have flown by since I opened that fateful envelop in August 1999 and realised my Leaving Certificate results should just about get me into UCD Medical School. Believe me all that hard work was worth it. As a degree, Medicine at times challenged me, but always inspired, consistently fascinated and was simply great fun. It offered my friends and I the complete college experience.   I won’t lie, the curriculum seemed vast, even frightening; but compared to the Leaving Certificate it was a walk in the park. Whether we were cutting cadavers in Anatomy, growing streptococci on agar plates or examining patients in our clinical years, Med School never provided a dull moment. It was simply a privilege to learn such an incredible diversity of knowledge. However, your Medical degree will provide so much more than this absorbing syllabus. We enjoyed amazing summers, working in clinics around the world and the daily buzz of hospital life was a thrill. As a Med Student you will work hard, but you will learn to play even harder; many years in college will equate to many student nights out! The friendships you will make will last forever. Indeed, the collegiality, craic, and personal friendships remain the highlight of my university life. Medical School flies by and before you know it you will be a doctor. It’s not always easy, you’ve probably heard about the long hours and difficulties with our current health service. However, the rewards of being a doctor outstrip any difficulties we have. Most of my colleagues entered Medicine with an ideological ambition to help disadvantaged people and sick patients. Well don’t let the cynics put you off, if you are like us, Medicine is for you. I am now a qualified doctor six years and training to be a General Practitioner in Sligo. I have worked all over Ireland and abroad in New Zealand. The worldwide shortage of doctors will ensure you can travel anywhere and work; what other career can promise you that? It is often said that Medicine is a vocation, perhaps that is true, but you can maintain all your hobbies and interests, yet still work hard. I surf, keep fit, enjoy music and travel. I am a hardworking doctor, but I am also happy.   It is greatly important to improve our working conditions for future doctors, and as such I am currently the Chair of the NCHD (Junior Doctor) Committee with the Irish Medical Organisation. As a doctor you can make a difference in many ways. From genetics to pathology, cardiology to cardiac surgery, General Practice to Sports Medicine, a fascinating career will await you. Sure the hours can be long, the commitment to study constant, but would I have done anything else? Absolutely not. Do it. Enjoy it. And never look back. 2012-10-30 Social and Community Work Social & Community Work It seems sadly inevitable that in every society there will be number of people at risk of social exclusion. This is rarely due to any single influencing factor, and is more often the result of a range of complex issues. Naturally, poverty plays a major role, but so too do unemployment, alcohol/drug addiction, mental illness/disability, level of education, and ethnicity. As these factors are frequently interrelated it is often difficult to determine the causes from the effects, and so offering effective assistance can be even more of a challenge. To overcome this challenge (and many more besides), social and community care workers must be attentive, selfless, and non-judgemental in their approaches. They must also be good communicators, as it is their task to provide support and protection to some of the most vulnerable and disaffected groups in the community, such as the homeless, sick, elderly, or newly immigrated. Given the current economic climate, it seems likely that the number of those in need of help will increase. A course in Social or Community Work provides students with an opportunity to make a real difference. Education Applied courses such as Social Care, Social Work, and Community Studies are the recommended route for students seeking a hands-on career in social work, community care, and community development.   Social Care degrees are available in most institutes of technology and Carlow College. These courses include modules such as Child Development Psychology, Addiction Studies, Legal Studies, Social Policy, and Creative Studies (i. e. Art/Drama Therapy). Students undertake work experience, which will require Garda clearance. Government agencies and NGOs are the principle employers of graduates.   Thanks to accreditation by the National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB), graduates of Social Studies (Social Work) in TCD and Social Work in UCC (mature students only) need not enrol in a postgraduate course in order to become professional social workers.   A wide selection of PLC courses in Social and Community Studies are available in local colleges throughout Ireland. Typical subjects include Applied Psychology, Child Development, Care Provision, and Legal Studies. Regular work experience is also common. Graduates can apply to degree courses, or find work in the private, public, or voluntary care sectors as special needs assistants, youth workers, child carers, and so on. Volunteering is an excellent way for students to acquire valuable experience of working with the disadvantaged.   Sociology and Social Policy are good options for students interested in becoming involved in the academic aspects of social care provision.   Sociology involves the study of social groups and the social phenomena that affect them, such as social mobility, bureaucracy, crime, globalisation, and so forth. Study is not confined to the present, but also encompasses trends and theories from the past. Important theorists in the history of Sociology include August Comte, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim. Sociology is available to study as an Arts option or in tandem with subjects such as Economics, Politics, History, and Philosophy.   Social Policy enables students to critically analyse contemporary social issues (e. g. poverty, crime, etc. ) and help create the policies that are formulated to combat them. Social Policy prepares students for careers in research bodies, state agencies, local government, and NGOs (non-governmental organisations). Courses that enable students to pursue a combination of Social Policy and Sociology studies to degree level include: Social Science in UCD, Dublin Business School, NUI Maynooth, and UCC; and Sociology and Social Policy in Trinity College. Sociology is available to select as an Arts subject in most universities, while Arts students in NUI Galway can choose Public & Social Policy as an option. The Work Social care practitioners work with, and advocate on behalf of, children and adolescents in residential care, people with intellectual disabilities, alcohol and drug dependents, refugees and asylum seekers, families in the community, and many other social groups. Professional social workers differ in that their role includes managerial duties; for instance, arranging residential care, coordinating patient review meetings, and so on. Social researchers use statistics (quantitative research) and interviews and focus groups (qualitative research) in to analyse issues such as equality of access to employment or social services in a particular area or socio-economic class.   Community workers work with groups of people to improve their lives and solve problems in the community. They work in communities that experience disadvantage: enabling people to identify their needs and rights, and assisting them in working towards these goals. Did you know? According to the most recent Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland, the rate of those deemed to be ‘at-risk of poverty or social exclusion’ in the country stands at 32. 1 per cent. Further Resources Ø Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW): www. iasw. ie Ø Social Inclusion Division: www. socialinclusion. ie Ø Social Justice Ireland: www. socialjustice. ie    2012-10-30 Career Profile - Psychology Name: Michael Byrne Job: Principal Psychology Manager with HSE West Having wanted from an early age to work as an engineer, I enjoyed working as a design engineer exclusively through Japanese. However, my prolonged immersion in the vibrant but different culture of Tokyo made me realise that working with people was both more challenging and interesting than designing future technologies. Along with summer work, taking a year out before the final year of my undergraduate degree in Psychology (BA) allowed me to work in various clinical settings in North America and to sample what it might be like to work as a qualified psychologist. As the academic content of my BA was not exactly engaging, this working experience was significantly reinforcing in that it exposed me to the theory-practice links that are needed to work effectively with a variety of clinical populations. It also taught me that psychologists were both highly employable and remunerated. Having since completed both my Masters and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I first worked with children and adolescents with mental health presentations. Again, while rewarding in that early intervention can be particularly effective, the team I worked on did not work as well as it could have. That many service users lived in families with multiple problems also highlighted the need for multi-disciplinary input over and above what I could offer them. Working since predominantly with adults with mental health presentations may on any given day involve seeing a caseload of individuals one-to-one of or in a group format for therapeutic work. This work can be challenging in that by the time they attend, service users’ problems may be fairly entrenched (e. g. chronic depression, eating disorders). However, I have found that all challenges represent a learning opportunity. Recognising the need to work both more effectively and efficiently, our Department’s research programme publishes many papers on a variety of related issues (e. g. prevalence of psychological distress in GP attendees, team working). While reminiscent of my work in Japan, our research work is progressively helping us to answer the question: ‘what is the clinical need out there and in what way can we best service this need?’ Related aspects of my job include training psychologists and other heath care professionals, and contributing to national policy development. The more I work in our health system, with only about 650 psychologists in our health service, the more I realise just how peripheral psychological services are. Yet, with more jobs than there are qualified psychologists, there are many opportunities to work with a variety of clinical populations, not to mention the option of private practice. So, psychologists have a good deal of choice regarding career pathways. Overall, my decision to become a psychologist continues to be highly rewarding. If you are interested in a career in psychology and lifelong learning, look up the Psychological Society of Ireland’s website (www. psihq. ie). Better still, talk to any psychologists you might know. But as with everything else, chunk it down by taking it one step at a time. Get a good Leaving Certificate, get a good BA, and then pause to consider the many career opportunities open to you, be they within psychology (e. g. clinical, counselling, educational, occupational, research, sport) or otherwise.  And, at all stages, remember to enjoy your career journey. 2012-10-30 Bar Management Bar Management It is surely beyond dispute that public houses have long been central to Irish sociality, and despite recent difficulties in the industry they have managed to hold on to this position. This is because a good pub offers more than a selection beers and spirits; it offers a neutral, informal, and welcoming environment where we can interact with friends and strangers alike. However, pubs are still confronted by a bevy (pun intended) of challenges, chief among which is the competition they face from off-licenses and supermarkets who can sell drinks at far more affordable prices. As an upshot of this, prudent pub management has become more of a necessity than ever before. Managers need to be switched on and involved at every level of running an establishment – from front-of-house duties to stock control, from marketing and events to staff recruitment and training. It is a role that requires versatility, strong leadership skills, and a healthy work ethos. Having a friendly, customer-focused demeanour would no doubt go a long way too.     Education For those looking to enrol on a dedicated Bar Management course the options are relatively few: Cork Institute of Technology offers a three-year Degree in Bar Management (BBus) (Level 7), which is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and individual and group projects. First semester modules include Licensed Premises Regulations, Management Principles, and Business Maths for Hospitality.   Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s also offers a three-year Bachelor of Business in Bar Management (Level 7). Among the modules given are Business and Company Law, HR Management, and Tourism Studies. Dublin Institute of Technology’s four-year Degree in Bar Management and Entrepreneurship (Level 8) lists Communications, Hygiene and Safety, and Bar Preparation and Service among its first-year modules.   Underpinning the theoretical aspects of these courses is a focus on gaining practical experience through work placement programmes in approved Irish bars or hotels. Students are placed under the guidance of an experienced industry professional during their internship. It is also possible for students to take a role abroad as part of their work placement programme. Two-year Level 6 courses represent another option for those hoping to gain a foothold in the industry. Bar Supervision courses are offered by both Letterkenny and Athlone ITs (Letterkenny’s course also includes Restaurant Supervision). In these, students will receive thorough instruction in bar skills and customer communication, as well in the business principles of the industry.   The Work In some respects bar managers are like plate spinners: both must balance several things once and, over time, both become accustomed to the sound of things dropping and shattering into pieces on the floor around them.   It should almost be taken for granted that bar management is not an easy job – it comes with plenty of responsibilities, such as maintaining hygienic standards, enforcing health and safety regulations, managing accounts and manpower, creating a pleasant working environment and, above all else, keeping the customer happy. Bar managers will be expected to work long, unsociable hours and, due to the hectic nature of the job, they will need to be in possession of a large store of energy and enthusiasm. However, it is also a job that will bring you into contact with all kinds of interesting folk and it will almost certainly keep you on you toes by throwing up a variety of new and unexpected challenges at every turn. Depending on your level of experience, you may choose what kind of work environment you’d prefer to be in – from sleepy rural taverns to beat-thumping party extravaganzas to sun-baked cocktail bars on foreign shores. The versatility that good bar managers must have also affords them a choice of several career paths – some may end up in catering or in marketing, while others may look at someday setting up a business of their own.   Did you know? The Sumerians, those far-sighted innovators from antiquity, are credited with leaving us with the earliest recipe for beer. The 4, 000-year-old Hymn to Ninkasi, written on a stone tablet, gives instructions on how to brew beer from barley. Further Resources Ø Vintners Federation of Ireland: www. vintners. ie Ø Licensing World (magazine dedicated to the licensed trade in Ireland): www. licensingworld. ie 2012-10-25 Career Profile - Chef Name: Susan Murphy Job: Chef Susan Murphy, chef at MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion Co Cavan and assistant to celebrity chef Neven Maguire. Susan is a member of Neven Maguire’s kitchen team at MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan, and travels extensively as Neven’s assistant during his cookery demonstrations.           ‘Working with Neven is exciting, challenging and each day brings a new experience, ’ she says. ‘He is a very down-to-earth guy despite his celebrity status, but of course he is still a perfectionist!’ Susan graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in January 2011 with an Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery. While at college Susan was very successful in competing in culinary competitions. In first year she was a member of the college team which competed at Chef Ireland where she picked up a silver medal competing in the junior cook serve. Susan also represented the college in the Knor Student Chef of the Year competition. During her second year at WIT Susan was a member of Team Ireland which competed at The AEHT (European Association of Hotel Tourism Schools) student competition in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Susan was successful and achieved Gold.   ‘This was perhaps one of the most wonderful feelings I have had so far in my life, ’ says Susan. ‘It was very challenging, especially working with fellow cookery students from different countries. The whole experience was great and I got the chance to meet fellow competitors from all over Europe. ’ ‘Winning the gold medal opened up several opportunities to me, including being picked for the Irish Junior Culinary Team. I have also been to Johnson & Wales Culinary University in Providence, Rhode Island as part of a student exchange scholarship with Waterford IT. ’  ‘It is an amazing university that gives you the chance to experience and practice some of the most up-to-date skills that America has to offer in culinary arts. The training was very grounded and designed to be versatile for use all over the world. I also got time to visit New York and Boston and got to eat in several top-class restaurants. ’ ‘Neven himself travelled over to New York and we did a cooking demonstration in Grand Central Station, over a whole week in front of thousands of people, promoting Ireland. It was a week to remember!’ Susan’s scholarship was fully funded by Fáilte Ireland. On completion of her course Susan was awarded Humanities Student of the Year: a very prestigious award that not only recognises the academic achievements of the individual, but also the overall contribution of the recipient to student life at the institute.   Since January 2011 Susan has been a valued member of the Junior International Culinary team with which she has won many individual and team awards. Susan also won the National Skills Competition in June of 2011. She is currently in full-time training for the forthcoming World Skills Competition in London this October. 2012-10-25 Career Profile: Secondary-Level Teaching 2 Name: Richelle Hurley   Job: Secondary-School Teacher (St Patrick’s College, Thurles: 2005-2009) At St Patrick’s College Thurles I undertook a BA in Education, Business, and Religious Studies. Since graduating in 2009, I have been very lucky to secure employment immediately on completion of my studies. I attribute this to the knowledge, skills, and support I received day-in and day-out from the college staff and my fellow classmates. In St Pat’s, I found that each student is treated as an individual and not just as a number! The small class sizes gave me a good opportunity to get to know lecturers and classmates, and created a positive learning environment.   The course offers plenty of on-the-job training. Year on year, students gain practical teaching experience in secondary-level schools throughout Ireland. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on my teaching style and taught me to continually re-evaluate my teaching methodologies. My years in St Pat’s opened up a whole new world. It introduced me to lifelong friends, prepared me for a meaningful profession, and launched me on my way. The combination of enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers combined with a good balance between the theory and the practice made this a really rewarding and enjoyable course to do.   Teaching has many highlights and a variety of challenges. Some of the highlights include the sporting success of a school team and a transition-year drama performed without a glitch! School masses, seeing the delight on students’ faces as hard work and effort has paid off, and staff collaborating to maintain high levels of success - the list is endless! However, teaching has associated challenges, like: troublesome students, trying to motivate the unmotivated, strict deadlines, teaching plans which may not go to plan, and listening to excuses! Comforting students who have recently experienced a loss or who have problems within the home environment is also very difficult. Thus teaching is not for the faint-hearted! But when your heart is in the job you’re 99. 9 per cent of the way there! For those considering a career in teaching it is important to know that teaching requires hard work, dedication, and commitment. To be a teacher you really need to have the desire to teach. Every day is a challenge and you are continually facing different students with different levels of abilities. Your role as a teacher is to instill confidence in each of your students so they can achieve the highest level of achievement possible for themselves.   As a teacher, I believe that it is my primary task to create a student-centred learning environment. As a professional teacher, I have a responsibility to recognise, respect, and uphold the dignity of students while assisting them in the formulation of value systems. My role as a teacher is to be an educator who maintains good classroom management while also encouraging students to excel to the best of their ability. 2012-10-24 Career Profile - IT Information Technology Career Profile Gerard Matthews, System Administrator in an Irish hospital I work as a system administrator in a small hospital ICT department. I'm responsible for keeping the network secure and running with as little disruption to service as is possible. This means looking after all the servers, PCs, printers and phones, and any software that runs on them - basically anything with a plug hanging out of it. I've been in this job for almost four years now. In that time I have worked on and overseen several major projects as well as my usual duties of the day to day running of the network.   When I started out the entire hospital infrastructure (email, database, file and print, etc. ) was running on a single Windows Small Business Server that was well past it's sell by date and creaking under the workload. Over time we have upgraded and now have most of our workload virtualised on a number of virtual machines running on VMWare ESX Server. We also replaced our old analogue phone system with a modern VoIP system and we are in the process of migrating to a new nursing system that will, when finished, enable us to have a fully electronic patient record, eliminating the need for paper notes and charts completely. I began my career in ICT working first line phone-based support for Dell, and then after a few years moved on to a contract position doing deskside support. These two jobs provided me with different kinds of experience that I have been able to use in my career since then. In Dell I learned a lot about how to deal with people and then as a contractor I got a lot more hands on knowledge with a much wider variety of hardware and software. I've now had the experience of working for a major multinational, a small contract company and now a public sector position: three different environments each with their own unique challenges. As with most disciplines in ICT, to work as a system administrator it is essential that you have an inquisitive mind and good problem-solving skills. Most of the time, any problem that crops up will be one you've seen before and know an easy solution to. But every now and then a seemingly baffling problem will crop up that will require you to use all your critical thinking skills to troubleshoot the issue and find the cause and solution.   New technologies are always emerging and existing ones are updated so a system administrator constantly has to update their skills. Or quickly become proficient in any new systems you may have to support. When we replaced our old analogue phones I had to very rapidly learn the nuts and bolts of a Voice-over IP system, a technology that at the time I had no experience in using. 2012-10-19 Engineering Engineering Interested in building bridges (real ones – not flimsy metaphors)? Designing and creating prosthetic limbs? Manufacturing chewing gum? Powering a city? If any of these, or practically any endeavour that requires the building, design, or manufacture of an object is of interest, then engineering is for you.   Engineering is a great career for a number of reasons. The prospects are good despite the downturn. In July of this year (2012), the Government announced a €2. 25 billion infrastructure stimulus package which will create new jobs in construction and engineering. Engineers have the career versatility to either work for companies or become self-employed, to set up at home or abroad (where opportunities are also plentiful). The work itself is challenging, creative, and endlessly rewarding as practitioners move from one project to another, each with their own unique set of problems and solutions. Education Readers have two basic options when it comes to choosing a course: to select a general engineering programme that provides an overview before allowing students to specialise, or a specialised programme if you know exactly which branch of engineering is for you. General introductory engineering degrees are available from NUI Galway, Trinity College, University of Limerick, DCU, DIT, Cork IT, UCD, and IT Blanchardstown. Students are introduced to the fundamental principles of engineering (chemistry, physics, applied maths, etc. ) in year one, before specialising from year two onwards. Different colleges provide different specialist options (e. g. Civil, Mechanical, Electronic, Computer, and a joint Electronic/Computer programme in Trinity; Computer Engineering or Mechatronics in Blanchardstown), so a little research is required. A wealth of specialist Engineering programmes also appears in the CAO Handbook. A non-exhaustive list includes Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Awards are available from Level 6 to Level 8. Although the subjects are hugely diverse, there are common themes such as the development of scientific understanding, mathematical ability, and problem-solving skills. The Work Civil engineers are involved in every element of the construction process, from the planning stage right through to the cutting of the ribbon on the finished building, road, facility, or pipeline. General civil engineers work closely with builders, surveyors, and specialised civil engineers to oversee all elements of a project, dealing with the site, people, and materials involved. Electronic engineers work in many industries. In telecommunications they design, install, and maintain transmitters, satellite equipment, and the ever-expanding range of IT devices. The installation, upkeep, and improvement of manufacturing equipment and systems also require the services of an electronic engineer.   Electronic engineers also play a key role in the design of new products – everything from mobile phones to aeroplanes. They use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to produce models of the product. This is then tested to ensure that it works properly, and to allow the engineer to smooth out any problems in the design. The final step can then be to oversee the production of the new product on a large scale. Mechanical engineers design, build, and install new products or machinery, or improve existing models or products. Whether you end up working on jet engines, prosthetic limbs, or software programmes, the principles are basically the same. Research and development involves lots of time spent in the laboratory, carrying out tests and feasibility studies; using complex machinery and computers to work out which material is ideal, how the device should work, which components are required, and so on.   When a product is ready to be built, a prototype is designed (this could be a miniature model, life-size replica or computer simulation) and subjected to rigorous testing – both in the laboratory/factory and in the real world.   Did you know? The world’s most expensive engineering project is the International Space Station (ISS). A joint project between five participating space agencies, the total estimated cost of the ISS is thought to be around $150 billion. Further Resources Ø STEPS Programme – information about engineering courses and careers: www. steps. ie Ø Engineers Ireland: www. engineersireland. ie Ø The Irish Academy of Engineering: www. iae. ie  2012-10-19 Game Development Game Development From the 2D simplicity of classics such as Pong to the complex worlds and visuals of games such as Fallout 3 and Skyrim, the evolution of gaming has been a rapid one. It seems that the sophistication of games has coincided with that of gamers’ tastes – most reports place the average gamer as being somewhere between the ages of 32 and 36. Much gaming content now reflects this in theme, tone, and form. And it is not only games and gamers that have grown – the industry itself has matured into a major source of revenue, currently outperforming even the film industry. A recent report by the research firm DFC Intelligence seems to suggest that this dominance is set to continue – the firm estimated that the games industry will be worth well in advance of $70 billion by 2015.   Such projections come in light of fact that games developers must keep pace with advances in technology. With the ever-expanding popularity of various mobile devices, companies have now been given a new market to develop alongside the more traditional console, handheld, and PC platforms. Of course with this continuous market growth comes an ongoing demand for well-trained game developers and designers.   Education Games Development degrees are run by several institutes of technology around the country as well as by the University of Limerick. These courses tend to cover similar programming and software design areas as Software Development courses, but they also include specific modules on subjects such as Game Design, Interactive Storytelling, 3D Graphics & Audio Technology, and Animation & Modelling. Students will normally be given training in industry technologies such as Java and Javascript, as well as in using engines such as Ogre 3D and Havok. Many degree courses provide work placement opportunities as part of their programmes. Carlow IT (whose course was developed with the help of Microsoft) offer a six-month placement, while UL has an eight-month placement in the third year of its course, which can be taken either in Ireland or abroad. Students at Sligo IT receive pay during their work placements.   There are several PLC programmes that introduce school-leavers to the computer game design and development industry. Among the places offering courses are Ballyfermot College of Further Education, Cavan Institute, O’Fiaich Institute, Templemichael College, and St John’s Central College. Work While graduates of Game Development courses are perfectly situated to find work as games developers and graphics programmers – across all gaming platforms – their career options are wide ranging. Due to the fact that most courses offer students training in using computer languages and provide them with an understanding of computer architecture and operating systems, graduates may also move into the adjacent realms of software development or systems analysis and design.   However, most graduates will no doubt harbour ambitions to secure a role within the games industry itself; and as this is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, the chances of them landing games-related roles are thankfully very high. Of course those who pursue such a career route tend to be gaming enthusiasts themselves, and so there is little more to be said about working as a games developer other than the words ‘dream’ and ‘job’!  Did you know? The PSone was originally planned as a Nintendo console, with Sony set to design its electronic components. When Nintendo ditched the project, Sony decided to go ahead with the console anyway.  Further Resources Ø Dare to be Digital – computer game development competition: www. daretobedigital. com  Ø Games Industry International – games industry website: www. gamesindustry. biz     2012-10-18 Software Development Software Development ‘Software’ seems like a slightly nebulous, unassuming word, but it encapsulates a lot of very big constituent parts. Think of the pervasiveness of websites in your social and recreational life; of the need for computer networks in every modern university, school, and workplace; and of the programming that is essential for carrying out any kind of a task on your PC – from compiling a document to sending an email. And that’s just for starters!  Ireland is one of the world’s largest exporters of software, and courses in software development are noteworthy for producing graduates with excellent career prospects – both in Ireland and abroad. Education Software Development degrees are available from numerous institutes of technology and from NUI Maynooth (Computer Science & Software Engineering). These courses introduce students to computer programming – effectively the ‘language’ used to create all software – as well as to mathematics for computing, before moving on to more complex areas as the degree progresses, such as software testing, computer system/software design, and artificial intelligence. Some degrees enable students to focus on a particular area of software; for instance, Athlone IT’s Software Design – Web Development (four years’ duration) provides perfect preparation for a career as a web designer; while Cork IT’s Software Development & Computer Networking course (also of four years’ duration) targets the telecommunications and computer networking industries. Software-related FETAC Level 5 and Level 6 certificates are available from a range of PLC colleges around the country. Some focus on a particular area of software development, such as Plunket College, which concentrates on e-business; while St John’s Central College’s programme (Cloud Computing Telecommunications) prepares students for a career in the emerging field of cloud computing – an area of IT that many software companies are now eager to secure their place in.   The Work Software programmers, designers, and engineers are at the cutting edge of the information technology sector. While their roles may initially involve system testing and validation, with experience they may move on to the modification and development of existing software as well as the creation of new computer programmes that enable the functioning of everything from a network of PCs to a factory of industrial robots. Additional tasks may include customer and client consultation, analysing design feasibility, and compiling user manuals. Alternative career paths for graduates of Software Development courses are available in sectors such as e-learning, e-business, website development, mobile applications, and interactive TV and DVD technology. Did you know? Alan Turing, a famous English mathematician and logician, is generally credited with being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. His 1950 Turing Test was designed to measure a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour. A talented individual, Turing also worked as a code-breaker with the Allies during World War Two. Further Resources Ø Irish Software Association (ISA): www. software. ie Ø Irish Developer Network: www. irishdev. com Ø InfoWorld – Business technology and IT news site: www. infoworld. com 2012-10-18 Business Information Systems Business Information Systems There can be little doubt that the worlds of business and technology are not only interlinked; they are inseparable. For years now, companies have used all kinds of technologies – such as calculators, telephones, and fax machines – to improve efficiency. In addition to these stalwart devices, they have now added high-spec computers, laptops, and an abundance of online-based technologies. Such progression has had numerous advantages for the business world: it has allowed companies to decrease the costs of their business operations; enhance and extend their communication methods and their reaches, deepen research resources, improve business mobility, and a whole lot more besides. And it is in this climate that the demand for Business Information Systems graduates has grown. Companies require tech-savvy employees in order to help drive their businesses forwards. Graduates in BIS offer the required level of competence in things technical, but they also bring with them an excellent understanding of business practices. This versatility and well-roundedness has ensured that BIS graduates, despite the recent economic difficulties faced by many, continue to secure employment in a variety of roles.   Education There are several dedicated degree-level BIS courses for students to select from, most of which are of four years’ duration (three years for Dundalk IT and Dublin Business School). Each course aims to develop students’ IT skills, but firmly within a business context. This combination of the two means that typical business components such as Accounting, Business Management, and Business Economics are taught alongside IT-oriented modules such as Principles of Programming, Introduction to Multimedia, and Web Design.   While classroom-based learning and project work make up the bulk of all BIS courses, some colleges also offer a work placement component as part of their syllabus. Such placements allow students to utilize their learning in a work environment while developing an understanding of common business practices and etiquette. For example, University College Cork provides a six-month paid internship in the third year of their course. While students may complete their placement in Ireland, many of them opt to find work with companies based in the US or UK. The National College of Ireland also provides a six-month internship, with students often obtaining positions within well-regarded companies such as Microsoft or Vodafone. In addition to degree courses, there are also a number of BIS and BIS-related courses at PLC level that provide a solid grounding in business and IT principles. Among the modules taught are Text Processing, Legal Studies, and Systems Analysis and Design (note that Cavan Institute’s course includes work placement as part of its programme). Students who obtain a Level 5 or Level 6 certificate have the option of moving on to study at degree-level.    The Work The career prospects for BIS graduates rank among the very best of any degree programme in Ireland. As almost all major organizations now lean so heavily on the use of systems and technology to control and manage their data, a high level of proficiency in technological concepts and applications has become a much sought-after quality in employees. Graduates of Business Information Systems courses meet these criteria and, in addition, offer employers a high degree of versatility and an ability to contextualize technological development within a business framework. BIS graduates have a huge range of employment opportunities available to them. They may find work as software programmers, web developers, financial accountants, business analysts, consultants, project managers, and so on. Furthermore, because of their understanding of both technology and of business practices, any BIS graduates thinking of eventually setting up their own business are also well positioned to do so. Did you know? If you open a MS Word document and type in ‘=rand (200, 99)’ (omit the quotation marks) and then hit return, a strange thing will happen. It was reported that the Microsoft team themselves could not explain this odd result, though this isn’t actually true: the MS Support Centre has already explained that the mysterious code is no more than a little-known method of inserting sample text into a document. Further Resources Ø EuroISPA (association of European Internet Servcies Providers Associations): www. euroispa. org  Ø IrelandIP (Ireland’s IP and Technology law Blog): www. irelandip. com    Ø Silicon Republic: www. siliconrepublic. com   2012-10-18 Career Profile - International Business International Business Career Profile Colman Lydon, Managing Director/Owner of Fonepool Inc When I submitted my CAO selection and did my Leaving Certificate in 1993, I could not have imagined that ten years later I would be starting a new company and moving from Ireland to New York. The advice I received at the time was to make my selection based on subjects and potential career paths that I would continue to find engaging throughout my undergraduate career and beyond graduation. This remains sound advice. I attended Belvedere College in Dublin’s North City Centre, where I was taught how to learn. This may sound obvious, but we can only advance in life if we know how to learn throughout our academic and professional careers. Considering the rapid advances in technology and largely unpredictable global economic forces, the current college curriculum cannot possibly predict the future; however, it can certainly prepare you for the future. Make your course choices based on your ability to change and develop in your career. The areas of business where I have made a living for most of the past decade, including internet retail and mobile phones, essentially did not exist when I entered University College Dublin in 1993. After the CAO offered me courses both high and low on my preferred list, I settled on the Bachelor of Arts at UCD. This was lower on my list than other courses I was offered, however my early campus experience, along with the flexibility and array of subjects available to study, was sufficient to sway me in favour of the UCD Arts’ experience. I selected Psychology, Italian, and Archaeology, as my three first-year subjects. The prospect of the Erasmus programme in Italy during my third year made my final degree selection of Italian and Archaeology an easy one.   While these may seem unlikely subjects for someone who would go on to a career in international business, I often draw on the knowledge and experience I gained during my undergraduate career in my professional life today. My college experience taught me to want to learn. Irrespective of your eventual career path, it is important to gain international experience early in your career. As Ireland will always be an island, the best career opportunities will often involve an international component. I participated in the Erasmus exchange programme, studying in Rome. I took advantage of the opportunity to work abroad in Europe and the United States during summer breaks from college. Every Irish campus has international students; socialise and study with your fellow international students to learn more about their languages, countries, and cultures. Upon graduating from UCD I went on to work for USIT, Ireland’s leading student and youth travel company, for five years. This provided invaluable experience in working with a successful Irish company, while interacting regularly with international business and clients. In 2003, I started a company that provides local mobile phone service to people moving away from home for extended periods of time. Many of my customers over the years have been young Irish people going to live and work in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; many more have been from an array of other countries around the world. The best advice I received about going to college is to enjoy the social aspects and embrace the academic challenge. Your college experience will establish the framework for a bright future. Colman is currently Chairman of the Board of the New York Chapter of the Irish International Business Network – Connecting Entrepreneurs Globally. 2012-10-17 Politics, International Relations, and European Studies Politics, International Relations & European Studies With the financial crisis forcing nation states and the EU to question the very way in which they function, there’s more than enough fascinating material for students of politics and international studies to sink their teeth into.   Students in these fields look at the social, economic, and political structure of contemporary societies; examine their historical development; and consider ways in which their political and social organisation can be improved. Like most Arts subjects, Politics, International Relations, and European Studies are not vocational courses – you won’t graduate as a fully-fledged politician or diplomat. However, they do provide a broad understanding of the way the world works, and graduates can go on to successful careers in a varied range of sectors. Education Third-level students usually study Politics alongside another subject – such as Economics, Law, History, or Philosophy – or as a component of their Arts degree. International Relations can be studied as a subject in its own right at DCU, or with Politics at UCD or UL. Political Science students study different forms of government and look at the development of political ideas such as democracy, freedom, and equality. Other subjects encountered on a third-level Politics course include Introduction to the Irish Political System, EU Policy, and Politics & Globalisation. There are also classes in Economics, History, and Sociology. Students choosing International Relations take subjects in Language, Culture & International Communication, Ideology, Politics & Culture in Europe, Public International Law, and International Governance, as well as studying a foreign language such as French or German. European Studies is a broad topic that examines our continent through the lenses of history, economy, politics, law, and society. Students must learn a foreign language, and their proficiency in speaking the chosen language is bolstered by a study abroad period at a partner university. Degree programmes are available from IT Tallaght, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College, and UL. The Work The astute analytical skills and excellent general knowledge provided by these courses are sought after in many career areas, including public administration (both national and international), business, political research, media, NGOs, charities, and education. Political researchers provide politicians and political parties with information on a variety of political, economic, and social issues. They might study research reports, press and journal articles, and legal documents to help a TD prepare for a complicated debate in the Dáil. Researchers also write speeches and articles, conduct and analyse opinion polls, and deal with requests for information from the public and the media.   Graduates may find work for a national or international organisation, charity or lobby group (e. g. Greenpeace, Oxfam, or Goal). These highly desirable positions often require the additional experience that is gained from volunteering and travelling, as well as a third-level qualification. Administrators working for NGOs typically have wide-ranging responsibilities, including the lobbying of governments, alerting the media to issues, fundraising, and delivering aid to crisis-hit areas. Did you know? Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh contribute the largest number of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations. Further Resources Ø The All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution: www. constitution. ie Ø Official website of the EU: europa. eu Ø United Nations: www. un. org/en/ 2012-10-16 Case Study - Horticulture Name: Kate Mangen Job: Horticulturalist I am currently working as a Plant Area Manager in Gardenworks, Malahide; a plant lover’s paradise! When I was growing up gardening was always a big thing in my house as my Dad is a very keen gardener so my interest began at an early age. In my final year at school I decided I wanted to do something a bit different and Horticulture is just that. I get a buzz out of doing creative, interesting things and working outside and doing physical work (not sitting at a desk all day) is also important to me. I studied Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens and received a Diploma in Amenity Horticulture after my three years there. I was really drawn to this particular course because it was so varied. The horticultural subjects included Plant Identification, Garden & Landscape design, Floristry & Green Keeping. Business subjects included Marketing, Business Management, Communications, and HR to name a just a few. As part of the course second-year students are expected to complete six months’ work experience in the horticultural industry. This is so valuable as it gives you an insight into the areas you really like and the areas that you would rather avoid in your future career. An interest in plants is a must in this profession! Good communication skills are important, openness to change as it is a fast-moving industry with trends changing all the time, flexibility is important; but mostly hard work and not being afraid to get your hands dirty are crucial! Anyone pursuing a career in this area should talk to the people who are currently working in or studying in the horticultural industry. People will be more than happy to give advice because they were once asking the same questions themselves. I would advise anyone to visit the colleges that you would consider going to and get as much course information as possible from these colleges. 2012-10-12 Equine Studies-Part 2 Equine Studies Ireland is mad for the gee-gees. Horse racing is by far our most successful sporting export and Ireland is the third-largest producer of thoroughbreds in the world. It is also big business and besides offering the chance to acquire sporting glory, the equine industry is a source of lots of excellent career opportunities. In years gone by, experience was the single most important requirement for job applicants in the equine business. Nowadays however, an equal amount of weight is apportioned to the candidate’s qualifications. Thankfully, no matter which area you wish to work in, there is a course to meet your needs. Education Preparation for careers at the heart of horse racing, such as professional jockey and racing groom, are provided by traineeship programmes at the Race Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) in Co Kildare. Trainee jockeys must be under 18 years of age and nine stone in weight. Readers who wish to work in Horse Breeding & Training might consider the Level 5 programme in Kildalton Agricultural College in Co Kilkenny. It prepares students for a career in stud farms and training yards, and teaches skills such as horse riding, evaluating and managing young horses, and successful breeding techniques. Horsemanship (Level 5) courses vary between one and two years, with some featuring added specialisations such as Equine Nursing, Riding Instruction and Business Management. The courses are highly practical, with plenty of ‘hands-on’ experience, and are geared toward employment in stables, riding schools and equestrian centres. Common modules include Horse Anatomy and Stable Management. CAO courses include Athlone IT’s two-year Higher Certificate in Business Studies in Equine Studies. The course incorporates a wide range of subjects such as various business modules, equitation, equine science and veterinary skills; and is therefore suitable for many careers in the horse industry - stud farm/riding centre management, marketing of equine products and services, and equine administration to name just a few. The BA in Equine Business in NUI Maynooth is a unique degree programme. Besides core equine business modules, students can specialise in management, economics, or financial accounting. Thus employment can be secured in sectors (general business management, accountancy) other than the equine industry. Students also have the option after second year of taking a one-year, paid work placement – significantly strengthening their CV. Every year, the ‘Osborne Scholarships’ are awarded to four successful applicants to this course. Equine Science is available to study in UCD and University of Limerick. Students tackle areas such as horse health and welfare, genetics, nutrition, breeding and non-applied sciences such as management, financial planning (UCD), equitation (UL), and a foreign language (UL). Both courses prepare graduates for careers in academia and research & development, as well the many equine careers mentioned as well as management roles in the equine industry. UL affords the opportunity to enter equine science at Certificate (Level 6) or Degree (Level 8) levels. The Work Employment in the equine industry is spread across many sectors: public, tourism, leisure, racing, manufacturing, research & development, media, and so on. The ongoing success of Irish racehorses, plus the recent proliferation of riding centres across the country, ensures that career prospects for graduates in this area remain very healthy. First and foremost working with horses requires an empathy and affection for the creatures. Prior knowledge or experience of them is favoured, and in some cases required, by course providers. You should check with the college to see if this is the case with your preferred course. Depending on the area of the equine industry that you wish to go into, certain skills and talents will be particularly valuable. Trainers and grooms for instance will require good handling and riding skills and a good understanding of horse welfare. Stud farm and riding school managers need a good head for business, while researchers should have an active interest in biology and science in general. Further Resources Ø Irish Horse Society: www. irishhorsesociety. com Ø Horse Sport Ireland: www. horsesportireland. ie 2012-10-12 Veterinary Career Profile Veterinary Career Profile *Pat Kirwan MVB Cert PM When I entered the old Veterinary College in UCD in September 1984 it was a far different place to the new, state-of-the-art on-campus facility than replaced it at the turn of the century. Nevertheless, and in spite of change, the new buildings and the new accommodation of the Veterinary College has done nothing to dampen the spirits of those embarking on new veterinary careers in the modern UCD.   Having worked hard and obtained my MVB veterinary surgeon degree five years later, I had no idea what the future might bring, or what doors my qualification might open.  The 22 years since I graduated have passed ‘in the blink of an eye’. During that time I have embarked on many and varied veterinary journeys within and outside of the veterinary profession, from private veterinary practice dealing with pigs, cattle, pets, horses, sheep and a variety of other animals, to service with the Department of Agriculture. I am currently employed as a veterinary consultant in the pig and poultry industries. I have grasped the opportunities that have arisen with the wonder of a newborn baby discovering its hand for the first time … and over those intervening 22 years I have not been disappointed. Returning to basics, the requirement for embarking on a veterinary career is not necessary a ‘love’ for animals. Rather, a strong regard and appreciation of animals is far more important. The veterinary course is wide and varied. Founded on the sciences, it delves into topics such as cell structure, through the anatomy, biochemistry and physiology of animals, to the topics of pathology and how and where things go wrong.   Like Humpty Dumpty, the course’s clinical studies try to put things back together again. These years are very practical and concentrate studies on identifying the normal status of animals and differentiating from the abnormal.  Allied to the college studies is a broad Extra Mural Studies programme where students are initially obliged to observe different animals in their normal surroundings.  Later, the ‘seeing practice’ programme places veterinary students in a variety of veterinary practice situations.  Some of these placements are elective or voluntary, allowing a degree of specialisation while still retaining the basic element of the veterinary degree, which is to ensure broad and comprehensive qualification in all disciplines of the veterinary profession. Specialisation as a qualified vet is also encouraged, with a range of post-graduate diploma, certificate and degree options. Many consider the veterinary degree as only a stepping stone to further qualifications and vets are involved in many differing disciplines across the world from investment banking to human resource management. Of course, many vets follow their profession as private veterinary practitioners and enjoy the challenges faced throughout the varied agricultural, equine and companion animal landscapes of Ireland, Europe or further afield.   To conclude, I wouldn’t change my life as a vet for anything.  I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy every moment of it, good days and bad, and should you follow this route in your own studies then I am sure that you too will find the sense of achievement and fulfilment that comes with hard work and qualification as a vet. *Pat Kirwan is currently the President of Veterinary Ireland (www. veterinaryireland. ie), the representative organisation for vets in Ireland. Since qualification in 1989 he has worked in many disciplines of veterinary practice including cattle, sheep, companion animal, pigs, poultry, horses, state work, and veterinary politics. His hobbies include travel and walking. A good day involves friends and family. A great day for him would include some animal encounter in that mix! 2012-10-12 Case Study - Animation Name: Conor Ryan Job: Animator  Originally I worked as a muralist, and just didn’t like it; it dawned on me after a few years that I didn’t want to stay with it. I’m a big film fan and I love animation, and I could draw, and so it came to me to pursue it as a career. My brother had done animation in college for a couple of years so I’d seen the work that’s involved. So I decided to go back to college and study animation. I went to IADT (Institute of Art, Design and Technology). It was a good course, very broad and it covered all the different types of animation: 3D, pencil, computer generated, stop-motion, it touches on all of them before allowing you to specialise in a particular method. It was quite loose creatively in that they encourage you to make your own film. It was a three-year diploma, but it’s now a four-year degree course, but it’s pretty much the same course. At the time it was four years work squeezed into three years, so it was pretty intensive. I specialised with the pencil drawing in college because I didn’t have a computer at home. Since then I’ve taught myself the software properly and now I’m doing 3D and 2D. I have worked on a lot of ads, and on an Oasis video (The Masterplan) that we made in 2006. It was for the band’s Best Of album that came out that year. That was a good and interesting project, which we had a lot of artistic licence with.   The benefits of the animation industry are that you’re working in a creative industry and you work with really talented people. It enables you to retire having completed some work that you can be proud of, and that people like. That’s what I’m about; I like to make my own films and series. It can be a lucrative industry too as it’s quite specialised work. Animators can be highly paid or they can make quite a lot of money creating their own stuff on a freelance basis. It takes a lot of patience; animation can be painstaking work. But if you’re into it, like I am, I don’t find it painstaking or frustrating at all. It takes a certain kind of person to be an animator. You have to be patient and completely practical; a good degree on its own won’t get you anywhere, a good showreel of your material, that’s what gets you the work.   2012-10-12 Career Profile - Art Art Career Profile Ruth Wilkinson, Gallery Manager in London Having always had a keen interest in art I hoped to be able to study at one of the large art colleges in Dublin when I left school. As the entry requirements concentrate on a portfolio submission as well as the candidate’s Leaving Certificate results I spent a year putting together a strong portfolio to give myself the best chance of a place.   I completed a one-year Portfolio Preparation course at Sallynoggin College of Further Education, after which I went on to Dun Laoghaire IADT to study a Fine Art Diploma. I specialised in printmaking and completed my Diploma in this field.   During my final year at DLIADT I worked part-time at Graphic Studio Dublin, a fine art print workshop, where I was a printer’s assistant. Having completed my Diploma I started working full time, eventually becoming assistant manager of Graphic Studio Gallery: the outlet for the studio. During that time I completed a Sales, Marketing, Advertising and PR diploma by night. This gave my CV a business qualification along with my art diploma. After this I decided to move to London to pursue a job in the arts and broaden my experience.   I spent four years as gallery manager at a contemporary gallery that specialised in British and Irish fine art, and recently took a new job as gallery manager of a new contemporary gallery in London. Being involved in the set up is an incredibly exciting opportunity. You need to build a client base by getting people to come in and look around, create the branding and promotional material, and design and manage a website, as well as source artists.   Everyday is different; I deal with my artists every week, checking in with them to see how their work and various projects are coming along. I am in touch with my clients weekly too, making sure they are aware of new pieces that we have available at the gallery. Being in central London we have a huge number of walk-in clients browsing the gallery throughout the day, so there are always people to speak to about the art on show. Building relationships at the beginning of any business is important so I spend a lot of time getting to know my clients.   The art world is an exciting and vibrant place to work, you are surrounded by beautiful works of art and incredibly creative people, however, the hours are long and the work is often physical but it is always rewarding when an exhibition opens successfully or you read a positive review.   To work in art it is important to gain as much experience as possible. Studying a degree or diploma in either History of Art or Fine Art will give you the knowledge and foundation for a career, but it is important you get as much practical experience as possible. Most galleries welcome interns and if you can secure a work placement there is every possibility that it could lead to a job over time.   2012-10-12 Want to know about studying at Ireland's largest private college? Griffith College, Ireland's largest private college, is to hold an open day for full-time and part-time prospective students, providing the opportunity to meet members of the Admissions Team and discuss application, eligibility criteria, timetables and fees. Meet on a one-to-one basis with members of each Dept. and Faculty to discuss specific course queries, examination & assessment methods and educational/career progression methods. Griffith College offers direct entry application onto most courses until 31st August, 2012. Applicants can avail of a range of study options such as part time and full-time study. Griffith College offer solutions to fit budgets and personal/professional commitments. Applicants may be eligible to avail of tax relief on all HETAC validated courses. Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria but who have sufficient work experience may be permitted onto a number of postgraduate courses in Griffith College. Watch videos of six Griffith College students outlining their experiences. Read more about Griffith College. 2012-08-31 Great career opportunities with a BIS degree at UCC University College Cork graduates who emerge from their studies with a qualification in Business Information Systems (BIS) are in demand across a variety of businesses and industries – Briain Curtin, David Griffith, Padriag O’Sullivan, Niamh Cullen, and Kieran Cuddihy are evidence of this. Graduating from the BIS degree programme at UCC in 2007, Briain Curtin turned in his student card for a desk at one of the world’s most innovative, profitable and exciting companies – Google. Briain is now employed as a New Media Specialist for YouTube. 'BIS’s combination of business and technology has helped me immensely, both in acquiring and excelling in my role. Having a deep understanding of Web technology, as well as solid business acumen, is a perfect combination to thrive in the online media and advertising business', he said.   From new media to finance, BIS graduates have a diverse skillset that makes them suited to wider range of opportunities. While Briain is shaping the Web at Google, David Griffith works as a consultant with one of the world’s leading consultancy organisations. David believes that he entered the professional world fully-equipped to tackle the various and many challenges presented to him, courtesy of his studies: 'BIS graduates tend to be a better fit for consulting roles, as they tend to be a bit more rounded in terms of their expertise. In a position like mine, you work on a variety of projects and you interact with a lot of different core business elements, and it's in these scenarios, that BIS comes into its own. I can interact with all these different people - technology, governance, economics and so on, because I have a familiarity with all the various aspects of business. '    With his farming background and a natural business acumen that has been honed through academic study on the BIS degree programme, Padraig O’Sullivan’s idea for ParadeRing. ie was an instant hit. Through this online business, breeders or trainers are charged a flat fee to upload their horse’s details including photographs and video clips onto an online catalogue of thoroughbreds. 'BIS helped give me a general understanding of business and technology and how IT can help businesses. It helped my project management and programming skills so I had a good knowledge of what to expect when starting my own business. '   Having started at Beaumont Girls School in Blackrock, Niamh Cullen is now enjoying a career on Canary Wharf in London where she is an IT Business Analyst with Credit Suisse. For current third-level hopefuls who are still unsure as to what to place on their CAO, Niamh has some advice to offer based on her own experience: 'If you have an interest in IT but are not quite sure what area you would like to specialise in, then I believe BIS is a great choice. It will position you to avail of opportunities for many roles in many different industries. Taking a look at myself and my BIS classmates, we have graduated in one of the most challenging economic climates and those that have sought employment have been successful. '   Kieran Cuddihy completed his Leaving Cert at Nagle Rice Secondary School in Doneraile and went on to study BIS at UCC. Four years later, he was working as Technical Analyst with Kerry Connect, an innovative business venture that is part of the Kerry Group structure. Securing such a challenging and high-profile position was no easy task for a graduate, but Kieran had a distinct advantage over his competitors in the job market – he had experience. All BIS students undertake a six-month paid work placement in third-year of the programme. This offers them an opportunity to gain some real professional experience and add that cutting edge to their resume.   Kieran explained 'Obviously, the six-month paid internship with Fidelity Investments in Boston was a major highlight of my time with BIS. First of all, the opportunity to travel with my friends and broaden my horizons was not to be missed. Unlike many other courses, the vast majority of our class found work experience in the US and the UK, organised through BIS, while some students preferred to stay in Ireland. I got a chance to apply what I had studied in the classroom; I learned a lot about business etiquette and behaviour; and I received valuable feedback from my manager about my strengths and weaknesses in a work environment. In particular, the areas for development highlighted to me were a valuable wake-up call. These may have hindered my career prospects significantly but instead, I was made aware of them early in my career. 'Read more about BIS at UCC. 2012-08-15 Open day at Ireland's largest private college Find out more about studying at Ireland’s largest private college: Griffith College in Dublin.  This event is open to all full-time and part-time prospective students and gives you an opportunity to meet members of the Griffith College Admissions Team to discuss your application, eligibility criteria, timetables and fees.  Meet on a one-to-one basis with members of each Dept. and Faculty to discuss specific course queries, examination & assessment methods and educational/career progression methods. Griffith offers direct entry application onto most courses until 31st August, 2012. Applicants can avail of a range of study options such as part time and full-time study.  Griffith offer solutions to fit your budget and your personal/professional commitments. Applicants may be eligible to avail of tax relief on all HETAC validated courses. Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria but who have sufficient work experience may be permitted onto a number of postgraduate courses in Griffith College  They look forward to meeting with you on August 18th 2012. Read more about full time courses in Griffith College Dublin. 2012-05-29 Graduate show at St John's Central College St John’s College has announced the opening of DIRECTION, the 2012 student’s graduate exhibition, on Friday 25th May from 6. 30pm to 9pm. The title of ‘Direction’ was chosen as direction is crucial in any situation, and the vocational and creative skills the graduating students have acquired at St. John’s College will enable them to continue their journey with confidence. For over a quarter of a century St. John’s College has developed on it’s city centre campus a ‘culture of creativity’. This is achieved by having so many different courses where experimentation, inventiveness and expression are central to the learning experience. The college endeavours to provide a grounded base for study, whilst encouraging students to take chances, try new media, new ideas, and new approaches – to find their own direction. The exhibition, which is open to the public, will feature over a thousand of pieces of work from twenty further education courses making it one of the largest of it’s kind in the country. Visitors to the exhibition will see creativity expressed in a range of areas from fashion design to painting, musical instrument making to photography, film screenings to computer games demonstrations. The broadcaster John Creedon will be the guest speaker on the opening night and the St. John’s College Gospel choir will entertain visitors as they arrive. The exhibition it will be open to the public from 12 noon to 8pm on Monday and Tuesday 28th – 29th May in the college’s main building on Sawmill Street, Cork. One of St. John’s fashion students Michael Gurhy, has been selected for the prestigious Gillette fashion Awards. He is one of only 5 students from Ireland to be chosen. This competition will be held in mid May, and is a great achievement and example of a current student establishing a mark in their career whilst still at the college. Brown Thomas has also chosen Michael, to use his design skills to create a themed window dressing for one of their Patrick Street windows, which will be installed shortly. Michael said, ”Doing this fashion course at St. John’s has allowed me to explore that interest. I can’t recommend this course enough. It is a lot more intense and comprehensive than I expected and I have learned the basics of sewing, pattern drafting, design, garment construction, fashion, illustration and business retail. ” The window display is currently in place and will remain on view for a month. Another development has been a new photography darkroom set up by former St. John’s photography students in Camden Palace Hotel, Camden Quay. This long awaited facility, complete with introductory courses, has already attracted great interest amongst the keen photographers who have not had the facilities to develop and print their images in the traditional process. St. John’s has also attracted the attention of Big Fish, the computer games media provider who have already visited the computer games course to explore the student’s skills in this expanding market. Former students of St John's film department feature regularly in the making of numerous films in the Cork Film Festival, and indeed, on is currently showing in the Cannes Film Festival. Mark Cogan’s short film ‘All Night Long’, which was shot in Cork city in January last year, will be shown at the short film corner at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 this week. It will screen as part of the Cannes Court Métrage. Writer and director Mark Cogan said “it’s a great honour to be part of the Cannes Court Métrage, one of the best forums in the world for short films so it’s great company to be in. Having it screened there increases it’s chances of being selected for more international festivals and it can potentially be viewed by lots of film industry people there. ” The short film was shot over three nights at the Imperial Hotel and tells the story of a brief but intense encounter between two lonely strangers which changes both forever. Bertie og Murphy, St. John’s principal at the completion of his first year in the position said ‘I’m very proud of the way St. John’s College continues to enable students to create first class opportunities in their chosen careers. The quality of the work that is emerging for the exhibition is of such a high standard I know every visitor to the show will be impressed. It’s a great opportunity for the public and those considering further education to get an appreciation of what St. John’s College has to offer. The college is going from strength to strength with courses being advanced and new programs designed to address the changing developments in all areas of the economy. 'Browse full time third level and further education courses in St John's College. 2012-05-22 Career Profile - Social Work Name: Kerry CuskellyRole: Community Development Social WorkerI always knew that I wanted to be a social worker. My main motivation for pursuing social work was to challenge the many injustices I saw around me locally, nationally, and globally. To me, social work is about empowering people so that they can engage with the society they live in, in an equitable and fair way. It’s not about doing things for people, or giving people ‘handouts’, or feeling sorry for people. Simply put, it’s about ‘helping people help themselves’. I took a longer route than is usual in becoming a social worker. First, I did a two-year higher diploma in Applied Social Studies in Social Care in Ballyfermot College of Education when I finished my Leaving Certificate. Next, I worked as a social care worker in a homeless shelter and then in the area of intellectual disability. Then, after two years of working and saving and one year of travelling, I went back to college as a mature student and did my honours degree in Social Science in UCD. Finally, I did my Masters in Social Work in Trinity College. In my opinion it is imperative that you: work in the area of social care/youth work; have a substantial amount of volunteer experience; or are an extremely mature person before you take on studying social work. In my opinion, self reflection and self-awareness are core competencies in becoming a good social worker. These competencies are only touched upon in college so it is up to each person to work on these areas. My work placements in Ballyfermot (320 hours in total) and Trinity (1, 000 hours), my volunteer experience (over one year of regular volunteering), and my time as a social care worker really assisted me in this process. Self-motivation is also essential in this profession. As a social worker you are an advocate for those who are struggling as well as being an advocate for your own profession. To that end, I am an active member of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW). Upon graduating in 2010, two other new graduates and I took it upon ourselves to start a special interest group through the IASW for new social workers. We focus on empowering students and new graduates through peer support, exchange of professional opinions, and encouragement of research. Being a social worker can be hard at times; you may feel you are constantly challenging the status quo. Having the support of other like-minded people is an invaluable resource. Currently I am a community development social worker. I can say without hesitation that I enjoy getting out of bed every single morning to go to this job. Community development social work is, for me, very much about fostering positive, trusting relationships between statutory services, community groups and the general community in order to improve the lives and wellbeing of those living in the community in the long-term. In practical terms I work ‘behind the scenes’ with various community and voluntary groups. This might entail co-ordinating a group on mental health issues, such as a suicide prevention network, or facilitating different community groups on an issue such as promoting positive health. I focus on community-level issues, but I also understand and value the individual-level work of other social workers in the community, such as the child protection social workers. To my mind, a child protection social worker carrying out an individual intervention with a family in crisis ties in very clearly with my work of trying to strengthen communities on a wider level. You can’t have one without the other. 2012-04-25 Ireland's Agri-Food Industry: A Continuing Success Story With points for Farming and Food courses increasing year by year, and training colleges stretched to capacity, it is clear that something very exciting is happening in the world of agriculture. The country’s wide range of Agri-Food courses has always attracted school leavers. While the numbers applying have never been as high, those entering this world are, like their predecessors, guaranteed a top class education and career. They will graduate fully equipped to undertake and capitalise on the vast array of opportunities that lie within this ever-expanding sector.    Irish agriculture has worked hard to ensure that farmers produce products that are safe, traceable, and always of the highest quality. Implementing such standards for our primary producers has seen the country earn a name of great repute in the international marketplace. The agri-food industry consistently engages with the diverse demands of consumers globally and meets with the exacting specifications of some of the world’s most prestigious retailers. In 2010, the Irish agri-food and drink exports industry increased by an estimated 11 per cent to approximately €7. 88 billion (Bord Bia 2011). Today, agriculture accounts for one in seven Irish jobs. The global population is expanding and the world is about to experience one of the biggest changes that farming has ever seen. In line with these developments, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food have published Food Harvest 2020; a vision for smart, green growth in the agriculture and food industries. Supported by a number of implementations to secure Ireland’s competitiveness on the international marketplace, it also aims to ensure that the country can play its part in meeting the increased global demand for food. Food Harvest 2020 sets ambitious, yet achievable targets to increase the value of primary output by €1. 5bn, value-added outputs by €3bn and exports to at least €12bn. The graduates of tomorrow will have a huge role to play in delivering the targets set for 2020, and beyond.   Those pursuing a third-level Agriculture or Food course, be they from country or city, mature students, or fresh from the strains of the Leaving Certificate, are doing so at a very exciting time. The shift in the global demand for food coupled with government targets for 2020 means that skilled individuals will be in great demand and graduates of this industry will be a hugely valuable commodity. The excellent third-level and Teagasc courses available around the country will ensure that Ireland produces a highly skilled, knowledgeable workforce. Future education in the agri-food industry will encompass a strong focus on pupils learning from each other, sharing information and developing a dynamic thinking process. Access to, and sharing of, knowledge will be an essential component to drive the industry forwards. As such ‘learning to live’ will be a key skill that Agri–Food students will graduate with. There is a host of excellent opportunities available to Agri-Food graduates. Not only will work be found farming the land, but also in the variety of service sectors supporting it such as food science, sales, marketing, merchandising, consultancy,  and finance. Ireland is a country with strong ties to the land and there is great potential for expansion across the agri-food industry. There has always been huge positivity towards the sector and this is set to continue. For those who decide to engage with this industry, they will find themselves on a hugely rewarding path. The Ireland of tomorrow will have the best and brightest graduates, guiding it through these challenging, yet exciting times. Article contributed by Nora Ide McAuliffe - Public Relations and Education Executive with Agri Aware. 2012-04-25 High-speed broadband for all secondary schools 'by 2014' EVERY secondary school in the country is to get industrial-speed broadband to allow for interactive teaching within two-and-a-half years as the Government plays catch-up with our international neighbours. The rollout of 100Mb per second broadband in all 650 secondary schools is scheduled to be completed in September 2014 -- although just 200 schools will be connected by the start of the new school year in September. There will be a further 200 connected next year and the remaining 250 by 2014 -- meaning thousands of children will finish three full academic years before their school is connected. The entire scheme will cost a little over €40m and will be jointly funded by the Department of Communications and the Department of Education. In addition, there are no plans to extend the scheme to primary schools, the Irish Independent has learned. Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, who launched the scheme yesterday, admitted Ireland has yet to reach the same standard of schools broadband as other countries, like the UK. "They are ahead of us, that's true, " Mr Rabbitte said, but he insisted Ireland is doing well by "international comparison". A spokesman for his department also insisted there is adequate broadband infrastructure in place to install the system in every secondary school, no matter how remote. Although many schools have some sort of broadband connection at the moment, the new 100Mb per second system will allow for much heavier usage -- essentially allowing an entire school to be online at once, with no slowdown in connection speeds. The first schools to benefit will be those in counties furthest away from larger population centres like Dublin and Cork, such as those along the west coast and in border areas. The full launch follows on from a pilot scheme introduced by Mr Rabbitte's predecessor, the Green Party's Eamon Ryan, in October 2010. Pilot Some 78 schools were included in the pilot and students and teachers at one of those, Colaiste Bride in Clondalkin, Dublin, yesterday demonstrated what the broadband scheme could be used for. Students in the school write and submit English essays online, use the technology in interactive science classes to learn things like how electrical circuits work and also solve maths problems on interactive "white boards". Mr Rabbitte said the faster broadband is a "win-win" for students and teachers. "It's absolutely essential in terms of the digital economy, in terms of the knowledge economy, that we put this investment in at this stage, " he said. Mr Rabbitte also defended the national broadband scheme, which was set up to extend general broadband coverage to all areas of the country. The Comptroller and Auditor General's report last year said it may end up costing substantially more than expected because of poor uptake. The taxpayer is expected to pay €1, 180 per subscriber -- up from an estimate of €635. But Mr Rabbitte said a value for money test does not show its true worth. "If the national broadband scheme had not been installed, you would have huge tracts of the country that wouldn't have had basic broadband, " he said.   2012-02-07 Electric shock treatment 'improves academic performance' STIMULATING the brain with tiny electric shocks can boost people’s learning and memory ability, research has found. Scientists believe that passing small electric currents through certain parts of the brain can lead to increased academic performance.  The technique, known as Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS), has previously been used to treat cognitive impairment among stroke and brain injury patients and those with learning difficulties.  However, experts from the University of Oxford, have discovered that the technique can also help improve the abilities of healthy adults.  Researchers from the University’s Department of Experimental Psychology ran a series of experiments on healthy volunteers, testing how well they performed in mathematical, problem solving, and linguistic tasks before and after undergoing TDCS.  Electrodes were strapped to their heads to deliver small electric currents to individual parts of the brain for short bursts up to 20 minutes.  Results showed that the treatment improved subjects’ vision, decision making, problem-solving, mathematical, language, memory, and attention capabilities.  The positive effects can last up to 12 months, researchers claim.  Dr Roi Cohen Kadosh, who led the research, said: “The idea is to stimulate the brain in order to make it easier to learn new information such as maths.  “What we find with adults is that the improvement is not only in maths but actually in language, attention and decision making – they not only become better for a short time, but for long periods.  “It is not a magic pill like you might find in Hollywood movies, it’s not going to make you Einstein in one day – you still need to work hard – but together with that it makes an enhancement to your performance. ”  Their research, published in the journal Current Biology, also claims there are no apparent negative side effects from undergoing the treatment, if applied correctly.  Capable of being administered through portable devices worth little more than �500, the research raises questions over whether the treatment should be widely available to help improve people’s academic performance, including schoolchildren.  However, Dr Cohen Kadosh warned that as the technology is so new, there are no training or licensing rules, which could lead to poorly qualified clinicians misusing the treatment and causing brain damage to patients.  He added: “Inadequately trained clinicians might misidentify suitable sites for stimulation — an important issue as different cognitive abilities may be subserved by different brain areas at different stages across the lifespan.  “These unique features of TDCS technology raise important ethical issues for scientists, ethicists, policy-makers and the general public.  “At best, this situation could result in the exploitation of vulnerable patients or parents for financial gain; at worst, it may risk long-term damage to the brain and exacerbate the disadvantage, potentially worsening other psychological functions. ”  Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, said if proved safe, TDCS could be widely used to maximise people’s cognitive potential.  He said: “This could be the first step down a path to not only maximising human potential but perhaps even increasing it  “It has significant potential advantages to every human being because the capacity to learn is fundamental to our humanity.  “If some people have access to a technology and others don’t it creates inequality and in a sense that’s having an unfair advantage but this is relatively cheap and if it’s as cheap as caffeine then it should be made available to everyone. ”- Murray Wardrop 2012-01-31 IADT's Imaginationland The corridor outside IADT's CAVE laboratory is lined with easels as I am led inside by head of school at the centre for creative technologies and applications Andrew Power. "We have a lot of painters beside us, " he explains. It's an amusing juxtaposition: a classical mode of expression rubbing shoulders with a state-of-the-art virtual environment. The positioning implies all manner of creative conflicts: paint versus code; the pursuit of realism over the abstract; bright classrooms versus a cold dark lab space; obsessive geeks versus aloof artisans. Alas there is scant evidence of running battles, so we proceed inside unscathed. Running since 2008 after an investment of over €560, 000 by Enterprise Ireland, the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment has been used by students and researchers across disciplines practical and academic to replicate spaces and build prototypes of entirely new ones. The laboratory is a dark room humming to the sound of ventilators responsible for keeping the equipment cool. The CAVE consists of three rear-projection screens, with the floor acting as a down-projection screen. The user wears a heavy set of LCD 3D glasses and a wand to manipulate their surroundings or move about. Demonstrated The first demonstration I was shown involved a road traffic accident involving an articulated lorry. In front of me on the floor was a hole in the ground bridged by a single plank of wood. Looking down into the 'hole' there was a drop of approximately 50 feet. Despite the heavy glasses, PC-game graphics and conversation about the nature of the lab while using it, the effect was still remarkably convincing, and it took a small bit of convincing that moving off the plank won't do me any harm. Managing the demonstration from a PC beside the CAVE Grainne Kirwan, lecturer in psychology and an expert in computer-mediated communication, said virtual environments can be used to create situations for applications beyond gaming: "This specific scenario would be used for health and safety training. " Kirwan's second demonstration, a street scene in Iraq, covers is a more familiar gaming experience. As helicopter gunships fly overhead a robot aide appears from one of the screens and a large handgun appears in front of me. A clock on the top right screen keeps track of the time and my score. It's the sensation of moving forward, knowing that I might walk into the front screen but not able to discern accurately where it is that proves the most problematic part of the experience. Power and Kirwan said the facility is open to students and researchers from a diverse selection of fields. "This has been a useful tool for us in different disciplines, " Andrew Power said. "Our psychologists have been using it to explore perception and depth and to understand how people react to different situations and it's a way of creating a world that you couldn't do in real space. Similarly our software engineers and programmers would be interested in creating environments for first person shoot-em-up games. A third group of people would be in our film makers group. They've done things like running around Temple Bar in a shopping cart shooting in all directions and then loading it onto these four walls. As you walk along you get the sense of walking through Temple Bar because the ground, floor, ceiling all moves with you. " Models The third example I am shown is a mock-up of the Natural History Museum in Dublin and some simple exhibits presented in the middle of the floor, viewable from all angles. Power explains how this kind of modelling could be used as a way to store and recreate galleries elsewhere or as a tool for architects to gauge the feasibility of a design: "You could imagine an architect being able to walk around inside [a building] before a brick was laid, you can imagine if someone was being treated for some phobia using aversion therapy that you could produce whatever it is there were afraid of, be it spiders or whatever, you could introduce them very gently in this kind of environment then you could increase as you get more used to it. " While the projects the CAVE is being put to use on are on the bleeding edge, the technology itself has been around since 1992. This leaves it open to the inevitable upgrade to being able to interact with virtual environments without the need for a controller. Grainne Kirwan said: "There has been a certain amount done with head-mounted virtual reality systems where they use the Kinect to simulate driving games, and that can be done quite effectively. " 2011-12-01 Career Profile - Civil Engineering Name: Helena O’RourkeProfession: Civil Engineer I am a civil engineer with a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering and am currently working for a consultancy engineering firm. I am nearly four years out of college and have been with Hayes Higgins Partnership since then. I am responsible for various projects that incorporate different aspects of engineering such as; civil design, transport and road design, structural design, environmental engineering, and forensic engineering. I have gained vast experience in these engineering domains from the mentoring I have received from the senior engineers within the consultancy. When I have designed the project, I will then visit site on a regular basis to inspect the work carried out on site to ensure it is being built correctly. I will deal with any problems that may occur on site. I get a great sense of achievement to see a project that I have worked on develop from design stage to the project being built and completed. I chose civil engineering as I wanted to be challenged in everyday work. Civil engineering gives me great variety in my day to day work, no one day is the same as the next. I get out of the office regularly for site meetings, inspections, and so on. This outdoor element is the one of main elements that attracted me civil engineering. Being a civil engineer has brought me so many benefits. Nearly four years after leaving college I am respected as one of the main project engineers within Hayes Higgins Partnership. I have been able to expand my knowledge and career into so many different elements within the civil engineering domain such as; traffic, roads, sustainable drainage, structural, environmental, forensics and many more aspects that make the job interesting from day to day. I am continually learning through mentoring and courses that I attend on a regular basis throughout the year. The rate at which an engineer is promoted within the work place is rapid, from the salary aspect and from a career aspect. Engineers are always on demand within the industry and throughout the world. During my student days I attended Galway Mayo Institute of Technology to study a Certificate in Civil Engineering. This was a two year course. I remained in GMIT for another year to get my Diploma in Civil Engineering. In order to progress to a degree level I needed to leave GMIT and I decided to go to Queens University in Belfast. I spent two years studying for my degree. The university was very different from the institute of technology where the class size was bigger and there was a more theory based learning in the university. I found that the practical learning from GMIT helped me so much in university and especially when I first got my job. After I graduated with my degree I remained in Queens University to study for a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering. This was a very interesting year where I got to see a different side to engineering which has the environment as a key aspect. I spent a few summer holidays working in engineering firms and county councils. I found this to be invaluable experience that prepared me for when I left college. I learned a lot when on work experience that helped me through my college studies. I found the path that I took in college of certificate to diploma to degree was ideal for me as it gave me a sense of achievement when graduating in stages every one to two years. Engineering is a great career that I am thoroughly enjoying. The continual learning, responsibility, respect, and variety in my day are the key factors that make this career so enjoyable for me. 2010-10-21 Taxation Taxation Tax is at the very core of what makes every economy tick over – without it we wouldn’t have hospitals, roads or free third level education for that matter. Tax professionals, in their role of providing crucial financial direction to Irish and multinational companies, have long been at the forefront of Ireland’s boom economy. And in the civil service sector, the tax authorities have played a key role in the battle against organised crime and fraud. Education First off, it is completely feasible for graduates of business, accounting, finance or law courses, or indeed the arts and sciences, to establish a career in taxation. But there are courses with a focus on taxation that will hasten your progress. The Limerick Institute of Technology for instance, provides an Honours Degree in Law & Taxation where students are taught modules such as Financial Accounting, Public Sector Economics, Constitutional Law, and various tax modules. The course reflects the interlapping of business and law, and the increasing need for graduates skilled in both disciplines. The University of Limerick is in close partnership with the Revenue Commissioners and its dedicated National Centre for Taxation Studies teaches a core component in undergraduate programmes such as the Bachelor of Business Studies (Accounting & Finance) and the BA (Honours) in Law and Accounting. Non-graduates with a good standard of education can apply to the Revenue Commissioners at the clerical level. A third level graduate is generally qualified in order to become an executive officer, while candidates for the higher position of Administrative Officer in the Revenue Commissioners require a first or second-class honours degree (Level 8). The Work Graduates are employed in private sector taxation roles by accountancy firms, financial institutions, major legal firms and multinational corporations. These businesses will usually offer sponsorship as you pursue a professional AITI (Associateship of the Irish Taxation Institute) qualification. Competitions for taxation roles in the civil service are organised by the Public Appointments Service, and occasionally by the Revenue Commissioners themselves.   Training and promotion is readily available in all areas of the civil service, and Revenue Commissioners staff can apply for promotion to roles such as customs and excise enforcement, and inspector of taxes. The University of Limerick operates a Diploma and BA (Hons) in Applied Taxation, which have been designed specifically for employees of the Revenue Commissioners. Registered Tax Consultants help their clients make the best business decisions in light of the latest fiscal changes and development. They monitor and anticipate changes to tax legislation and respond quickly with advice specific to the client’s particular commercial requirements. Other tasks include handling revenue enquiries; developing, selling and implementing tax planning ideas; managing the tax compliance process for clients; structuring mergers and acquisitions; researching and utilising tax benefits in Ireland and overseas; and assisting clients with tax reporting. Public sector roles include customs and excise enforcement officers, who work in Ireland’s ports and airports and visit businesses to ensure that their VAT records are up to date and in order. The inspector of taxes may be assigned a wide range of tasks, including the determination of tax liabilities; assisting in the development of services to taxpayers (individuals and businesses); and investigating suspected tax evaders. It will not shock you that a good grasp of numbers and maths is necessary. If you are someone who enjoys researching and analysing problems (tip: try playing several games of Sudoku without flying into a rage to see if this describes your personality), then taxation could be the career for you. Did you know? There have been some pretty strange taxes over the centuries; these include a tax on urine in Ancient Rome, beards in Russia, and hats in Britain.   Further Resources Irish Taxation Institute: www. taxireland. ie Irish Revenue Commissioners: www. revenue. ie Department of Finance: www. finance. gov. ie 2010-10-21 Engineering - Building the Future Engineers make the difference! Engineering graduates help shape the world around us by developing and designing new products and new ways of doing things in many areas of life. Engineers play a vital role in our economy, they attract companies looking for skilled graduates and many engineers are entrepreneurs who create jobs.   Trained engineering graduates have skills which are attractive not only to engineering companies but to other businesses with their recognised numeracy and organisational skills. Engineers are needed to provide solutions to many of the challenges facing us such as climate change, energy shortages, water shortages, transport and medical related challenges including supporting an older population. What makes a good engineer? Engineers have enquiring minds, they like to find out how things work and plan better ways of doing things. They are good at problem solving and they think logically. Studying engineering in college You don’t have to do honours maths in the Leaving Certificate to get an engineering qualification.   There are many options open to anyone who wants to pursue a career in engineering with courses available from certificate to honours degree level.  What leaving certificate subjects are necessary or useful in studying engineering? For entry to honours degree courses at university you will need at least a higher level grade C in your Leaving Cert maths. Check the requirements for the course you are interested in. Other subjects which are useful to study for an engineering degree are physics, chemistry, and applied mathematics. Engineering Disciplines Engineering is a very diverse field of work and there are many areas you can specialise in. There are many different engineering courses on offer in Universities and Institutes of Technology around the country. It is worthwhile researching the different engineering disciplines to see which one you are most interested in. You can also join a course such as a ‘common entry’ or ‘undenominated’ course which will allow you to study engineering at a general level for the first year or two after which time you will make a choice of what area of engineering to specialise in. Focus on Biomedical engineering Biomedical engineering combines the fields of biology, medicine, and engineering, and is recognised as a varied and interesting career choice. Many devices and machines which improve or even save people’s lives have been developed by biomedical engineers; for example, pacemakers, bionic muscles, artificial organs, contact lenses, and artificial hips. Biomedical engineering is a unique mix of biology as well as mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering. A biomedical engineer will develop and use materials and medical equipment for clinical research as well as for diagnosis and treatment of patients.  Biomedical engineers have designed and built such life-saving devices as heart monitors, high-tech miniature devices for the use in the treatment of heart and lung disorders, rehabilitation aides, artificial organs, and life support apparatus. Biomedical engineering is one of the most successful and advanced industries in Ireland. Over 80 per cent of the world’s coronary stents and 40 per cent of the worlds’ artificial hip joints are made here. Further resources http://www. steps. ie/http://www. engineersireland. ie/ Article & image provided by Kate Cannon of Engineers Ireland. Kate is also the Co-ordinator of the STEPS to Engineering programme. 2010-10-21 Insurance Insurance Insurance is a process whereby more people are paying into a shared fund that covers their losses than are in a situation where they need to withdraw money. It makes everything from running sports clubs to the provision of bank loans a financially acceptable risk. The main areas covered by insurance are marine and aviation, life and pensions, property, accident, motor insurance and reinsurance. Resinsurance takes place when a risk is too great for one insurance company to cover, and it takes out a policy on the risk with another insurance company to reduce financial exposure. Ireland has a very strong reinsurance sector, one which has largely withstood the rigours of recession. Education Insurance courses are available in higher and further education. International Insurance and European Studies is offered at UL, where students are taught a European language as well as becoming proficient in the areas of insurance and risk management. Several FETAC Level 5 Insurance courses are available across the country in Limerick, Pearse, and Whitehall Colleges of Further Education, the Cavan Institute and Mercy College Galway. Many business courses nationwide provide the opportunity to study insurance-related topics, such as the honours bachelor degree in Business Studies at UL, which has an emphasis on Risk Management and Insurance. Qualifications can be attained that are suitable for specific roles. Holders of degrees in Science or Engineering are often employed as Insurance Surveyors, while two degree courses provide an alternative route to professional exams for entering actuary: Actuarial and Financial Studies in UCD and DCU’s Financial Actuarial Mathematics. The Work There are many different positions within insurance for those who are qualified, such as insurance clerks who are to be found in every department of each company. Insurance agents sell insurance packages and often have a background in sales. They conduct their work by visiting clients in their homes or working from call centres. The agent also collects premiums, and deals with enquiries regarding packages. It is the responsibility of an insurance broker to find the best possible insurance policies to cover the clients’ needs, and usually deals with the underwriter in an insurance company. The underwriter’s role is at the very centre of the insurance industry; he/she has to decide the extent of a risk, whether the insurance company should offer cover, and how much of a premium the client needs to pay to make the risk financially acceptable. The surveyor, who provides technical reports on the various risks the company are asked to cover, helps the underwriters in their work. Claims assessors are employed by underwriters to investigate any claims made by a policyholder, to discover what caused the loss and whether or not it is covered by the policy. Loss adjusters investigate the damage or loss on behalf of the customer, and act as an intermediary between the insurance company and policyholder in complex claims. Actuaries are senior professionals, who use complex mathematics in calculating long-term statistical probabilities in insurance, investments and pensions. Insurance is such a broad industry that there is room for many different strengths of character. However, common qualities required are an affinity for figures, an eye for detail and good organisational skills.  In some roles, the claims assessor and loss adjuster in particular, emotional tact will be required when dealing with policyholders who are trying to recover from what could be a devastating personal loss. Did you know? In March 2009, Lloyd’s insured the tongue of Gennaro Pelliccia, a master taster for Costa Coffee in the UK. Further Resources Lloyd’s – the world’s largest insurance market: www. lloyds. com 2010-10-21 Finance 2010-10-21 Accountancy Accountancy The sheer range of career options available to qualified accountants is brought into stark relief when you consider that every type of organisation – trade unions, religious bodies, schools, charities, sports clubs, private individuals, and of course, businesses – has the need for someone who can balance the books. In addition, this demand for their services is largely unaffected by the economic situation. Indeed, careful accountancy is even more important when times are tough. Aside from the basic number crunching duties, accountants play a key role in such vital activities as business development, corporate strategy and financial management. Education Most wannabe accountants begin by taking a third-level course in Accounting. Irish colleges offer a wide range of accountancy courses, with qualifications ranging from higher certificates to honours degrees. Typical modules include Economics, Statistics, Corporate Finance, Banking, Business Law, Computer Applications in Accounting, Taxation, and Auditing. Accounting at third level is also available to study as part of a joint degree. For example: with Law in University of Limerick or Athlone IT, Human Resource Management in the National College of Ireland, and with Finance in several colleges. A graduate with an Accountancy degree cannot automatically start work as a professional accountant. Candidates must apply to join one of the professional bodies (e. g. ICAI – see Further Resources). To become a member, you must pass a series of professional examinations, although partial exemptions from these are granted on graduation from approved undergraduate and postgraduate accounting programmes. It typically takes between three-and-a-half and four years to gain all the qualifications required. Many graduates are able to work for accounting firms while taking their professional exams. The firms should allow trainees time off to study, and also cover the course and exam fees. Those who are interested in the accounting area as a career, but are not yet ready to commit to the several years of education and training required to become a professional, might enrol in an Accounting Technician plc programme. Normally two years in length, typical modules include Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Law and Ethics, Taxation, and Integrated Accounting Systems (IAS). The Work There is no set career path for accountants – they have increasingly diverse responsibilities in areas such as financial analysis, risk management, auditing and financial advising. After gaining some experience, many qualified accountants move into other areas of work, heading for such high-profile positions as chief financial officer or financial director. According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI), nine out of the top ten Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) companies have a chartered accountant as their financial director. Most accounting technicians work under the direction of professional accountants or in smaller firms as the sole accounting employee. Their work is taken up with everyday tasks such as payroll, managing inward/outward payments, and preparing financial reports. Accounting technicians are not qualified for high-powered tasks such as conducting audits or make strategic financial decisions. A high proportion of qualified accountants work in business or industry. Many others take up positions in the Irish financial services sector, while the traditional career path into private practice is still popular. Qualified accountants are also highly sought after in the civil service. If you were handy with your times tables in school then chances are you possess at least one of the desirable attributes for accountancy. An analytical mind is also useful, as is a keen interest in the world of business. Did you know? The modern system of double-entry accounting can be traced back to a textbook written by Franciscan Friar Luca dal Borgo, the ‘Father of Accounting’, which was based on the methods used by late 15th century Venetian merchants. Further Resources Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI): www. icai. ie Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants in Ireland (IIPA): www. iipa. ie Accounting Technicians Ireland:  www. accountingtechniciansireland. ie 2010-10-21 Banking and Financial Services Banking and Financial Services The world of banking and financial services is vast. It encompasses banks, building societies and credit unions on your local main street; investment banks that provide a range of investment services and advice to individuals and organisations; and public institutions such as the Central Bank, Financial Regulator and the European Central Bank. A heavy toll has been taken by the recession, and the ire directed toward many of the financial institutions in Ireland for their perceived feckless behaviour during the boom years is plentiful, but despite it all financial services remains a major employer in Ireland and the source of great career prospects for graduates. Just don’t make the same mistakes they did! Education There are several finance related options in higher education. Finance can be studied on its own in UCC, or as part of a joint degree with subjects such as Economics and Accounting in numerous other colleges. Students of finance acquire a dual knowledge of financial economics - asset valuation, stock markets, etc - and issues of corporate finance - capital investment, strategic decision making, maximising company value, and so on. Courses in Financial Services are available from Dublin Business School (with Business), Athlone IT, IT Sligo, and IT Tallaght (with Investment Analysis).   A degree provides a good footing for careers in fund management, stock market analysis and corporate lending. Graduates will have excellent analytical skills, a deep understanding of products, participants and functions of the financial markets, and an ability to communicate expert financial advice to non-expert clients. Actuarial and Financial Mathematics degrees (available from UCD, DCU, UL, and NUI Galway) are suitable for students who enjoy solving mathematical problems and are interested in well-paid careers in the finance sector. Graduates learn how to utilise complex quantitative analysis in measuring financial risk, statistical probabilities, etc. Potential career areas include actuary, economic analysis, insurance and consultancy. Further education options provide students with a sound understanding of the basic principles in all the above areas. Available courses include Business & Finance, Financial Services, Accounting & Finance, and Insurance & Banking Studies. The Work Banks and stockbroking firms traditionally acquire new staff through graduate recruitment programmes. A lot banking and financial work is now done over the phone and online, with many commercial banks providing telephone and internet banking. In the bank itself there are a number of differing roles to fill such as customer service staff that deal with basic transactions and account enquiries, and also advise customers on services such as mortgages, loans, investment opportunities and pensions. Bank management staff is responsible for attracting new business, providing financial services to businesses and to private customers, evaluating customer requests and leading and motivating bank personnel. Corporate banking is also broken down according to specialisation. Corporate financial advisors help companies with business matters such as mergers, acquisitions, hedge funds and risk management. Actuarial analysts and researchers study the economic climate and stock market to find trends and developments. Fund managers build their client investment portfolios through successful equities, investment and asset management. Stockbrokers buy and sell bonds, stocks and shares to make profits for their clients. Clients can be either financial institutions or private customers. Most stockbrokers work for firms who are members of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ). There is also the option of opening an independent consultancy advising private clients. The fact that there is such varying positions within the banking industry mean that different traits are attractive in each one; for example stockbrokers need to work well under pressure and make decisions quickly. Research and analysis roles suit people who are independent and meticulous. Anybody interested in a financial career should have a good head for figures and IT competency. Did you know? The New York Stock Exchange had its first day on which a million shares were exchanged on December 15th, 1886. Further Resources Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland: www. centralbank. ie Irish Stock Exchange: www. ise. ie Financial Regulator: www. financialregulator. ie 2010-10-21 Psychology Psychology A popular misconception that is gradually losing its hold is that psychology is mainly emotive and involves a lot of psychobabble and self-help jargon: this is an extremely misleading view. Psychologists use scientific methods and empirical research to study human behaviour and how it is shaped by environmental and cultural factors. They then use this knowledge to help people overcome their problems. Psychology is not just used to cure and improve the lives of individuals, however; it can also improve the effectiveness of organisations such as businesses, schools, and hospitals. Education Psychology is widely available in the CAO system (Level 8) and can be studied in a number of formats: as a dedicated degree; as part of an Arts degree; or in conjunction with other topics such as Sociology, Business, Theology, and Education. An attractive aspect of Psychology is that it combines encompasses elements of the Humanities (philosophy, sociology, and history) and Sciences (biology, physiology, and statistics). Introductory subjects on a Psychology course could include Developmental Psychology, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, History of Psychology, Cognition, Research Methods, and Statistics.   In the latter years of a degree, students can specialise in subjects such as Psychology and Crime, Neuropsychology, and Social Psychology.   Courses also include a large amount of practical work and students can undertake projects that involve conducting psychological experiments, interviews, and surveys, often working in groups and presenting findings to the class. Psychology-related courses are also available in further education. Applied Psychology explains how core theories and techniques can be adopted into a particular industry or sector. Level 5 certificates enable students to apply their psychological knowledge to good effect in management, marketing, health, and education, care provision roles. The Work Completion of an approved honours degree in Psychology or its related subjects entitles you to become a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).   Psychologists use different scientific methods – including psychological tests, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, and observation – to determine how people react in different situations, as individuals, and within groups. They do this to help people or groups avoid, overcome, or control their problems and to maximise their potential. All psychologists are likely to attend meetings and case conferences, keep records, and write up reports. There are a number of specialist areas within psychology (usually requiring postgraduate study) including Clinical, Occupational, Child, Counselling, Health, Forensic, Educational, and Sports. Whichever area you specialise in will determine what your working day is like. Clinical psychologists work with people who suffer from emotional or mental problems; while health psychologists help those in their care adjust to the emotional and social demands of their medical treatment, or help with medical problems that are related to psychological factors.   Child psychologists assist children and families with behavioural or other problems. Educational psychologists work with schools and children, testing IQ, aptitude, and achievement; while occupational psychologists help businesses and organisations with human resources and recruitment issues. Some forensic psychologists assist in criminal investigations, while others help to rehabilitate criminals. Sports psychologists help athletes to mentally prepare themselves in order to maximise their sporting abilities. An ability to empathise with patients is imperative, though the role also requires a high level of detachment. As psychologists must inspire trust in their patients, they must be exceptionally good listeners and communicators. Did you know? According to the World Health Organisation, approximately half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Further Resources Ø Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI): www. psihq. ie Ø Encyclopaedia of Psychology – online information resource: www. psychology. org Ø Aware – voluntary group providing support to sufferers of depression: www. aware. ie 2010-10-21 Career Profile - Optometry Name: Aoife PhelanProfession: Optometrist I am delighted to celebrate six years as a qualified Optometrist this year. I am still very happy with my chosen career and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I applied for Optometry because the eye fascinated me and still does. I also loved Science and Medicine and wanted to pursue a career which didn’t involve too much gore. I trained in Dublin Institute of Technology, which provides a four-year Optometry Degree Course. Clinical training is carried out in the DIT National Optometry Centre where students in the final two years examine patients under supervision. After third year there is a six-month work placement, which gives students a great insight into the working day of an optometrist and a break from college. Once graduated students must sit Professional Qualifying Exams to register with the Opticians Board (the government body responsible for Opticians). It is now compulsory to attend lectures throughout your career under the continuing professional development programme. The working day of an optometrist involves carrying out eye examinations on an average of fourteen patients. Eye exams include the prescription of spectacles, contact lenses, and eye exercises for muscle imbalances. The detection of eye disease is one of the most important aspects of an optometrist’s eye exam. Eye disease can be present in the absence of obvious symptoms; that is, you might not realise you have an eye problem until you visit your Optometrist. It is not uncommon for optometrists to discover systemic conditions like hypertension, thyroid dysfunction, and diabetes or brain tumours. A major challenge for the Optometry profession is poor public awareness of eye conditions. Eye diseases such as glaucoma are silent – this means that a person with glaucoma may not be aware that they have it because there is no pain or vision loss. There is an enormous amount of job satisfaction as an optometrist. Think about it: fourteen people sit with you each day and tell you about their vision problems, you can fix the problem by dispensing a pair of spectacles to most of them. Optometrists are usually senior staff members or owners of practises so in addition to eye examinations they have management, operational, budgeting and human resource responsibilities. Other career opportunities include private practice, laser clinics, research, and lecturing. My current job is ‘Dublin Institute of Technology Research Optometrist’ with the Mozambique Eyecare Project. I am involved in the establishment of Mozambique’s first Optometry School. It’s pretty much a dream job which allows me to combine my enthusiasm for teaching, research and sustainable development together with my love of optometry and travel. Visit the Careers Section on www. gotocollege. ie for more career profiles. 2010-10-21 Career Profile - Languages Name: Sarah JaneProfession: Translator/Interpreter I knew from my teens that I wanted to work with languages; I had a flair for them, so I took all the languages I could at secondary level and then chose to study translation at college, earning a place on the Applied Languages degree course at Dublin City University. Even before college, I started to spend my summers in ‘language immersion’ situations, whether as an au pair, doing voluntary work or whatever. This was immensely useful and (mostly) enjoyable, doing more to improve my language skills and cultural awareness than years in the classroom could have done. A key feature of my degree course was also an ‘immersion year’ at a partner university abroad; Germany in my case, followed for good measure by a pre-final-year summer in Spain. The Applied Languages course formed and honed my translation skills and strategies and introduced me to various types of interpreting, so having achieved a good honours result and full of confidence, I headed off to Spain and ‘put myself out there’ as a freelance translator. Looking back, this was quite ingenuous, as it can take a long time to make contacts and gain experience as a freelancer, but things eventually came together and I was able to support myself, mostly with translation work, but also with some bilateral (or ‘liaison’) interpreting. Once I had enough experience, I applied to the Irish Translators’ & Interpreters’ Association for professional membership; this was and is very beneficial in terms of networking with colleagues and getting new clients. After five years in Spain, my (Spanish) husband and I moved back to Ireland, where I initially combined freelancing with lecturing at DCU, and later combined it with caring for our two children! Around this time, I also had my first opportunity to work as a conference (or simultaneous) interpreter: a very exacting, yet rewarding aspect of my career. If you are thinking of being a translator, you need to be a good, confident writer in your own language, as well as achieving a very high degree of fluency and cultural familiarity with your second language(s). It helps to specialize in a subject area that interests you, but you will regularly need to gain an overview of new areas as required by specific jobs, and an enjoyment of the ‘detective’ aspect of tracking down elusive concepts is important.   A disadvantage is that the work can be very solitary; just you and your PC! Interpreting requires a different skill set, with the obvious overlap of very high fluency requirements in both languages. Whether working inside or outside the booth, you will need excellent concentration, memory and linguistic resourcefulness: interpreters learn to think in terms of concepts rather than words, and have only moments to come up with adequate solutions when confronted with difficult concepts. Note that the interpreting market in Ireland is fairly small, so interpreters living here combine interpreting with some other type of (self-) employment to support themselves. 2010-10-21 Garda Career Profile Name: Maeve McQuillanProfession: Garda From a young age the public and external aspects of policing excited me; the uniform, the flashing lights, the sirens as well as the whole concept of dealing with emergencies. At university I studied psychology, which included criminology, and this sparked an interest in crime and why certain people commit crimes. Post-graduate study of Forensic Investigation gave me an insight into the technical and scientific aspects of solving crime. Although interesting, this lacked the public interaction associated with normal policing which appealed more to me. After considerable research I decided that a career in An Garda Síochána was definitely for me.  It is important to research the career in order to determine what is involved in the training and beyond so that you can be as prepared as possible. My advice would be to speak to as many Gardai as possible to find out what they enjoy about their work as well as what they find challenging. Try to gain as much life experience as possible prior to applying as this will help you deal with situations in your work life. Finally, when you do make the decision to become a Garda put everything into your application and, if successful, be totally committed during your training and probation and you will certainly get the most out of it. Interaction with the public is a major highlight of a Garda’s work as is being part of an organisation which is respected and relied upon. The concept of ‘team’ is important in An Garda Síochána and being part of a team is important to me. No two days are the same with each day bringing new experiences and challenges.  Certainly for a newly qualified Garda, it is challenging to properly apply what was taught in training to the many situations encountered during policing. In particular being aware of what legislation applies to a particular incident can also be initially challenging. It is also important to remain professional at all times regardless of the stress levels involved. Walking through the gates of Templemore Garda College for the first time is a daunting experience for anyone. It’s like being back at school again, making new friends and trying to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Living in the college with its rules and regulations in relation to dress, academic and fitness standards made everyday a challenge but certainly helps prepare you for life as a Garda. The study and learning of legislation can be overwhelming, with so much to be covered in a relatively short period of time. The six months attached to a Garda Station as a student Garda is a fantastic experience. It brings all the material learned at college into practice and you get the opportunity to shadow Gardai in their everyday work. This involves attending calls with them, going to court, dealing with prisoners and getting an insight into the various specialist units within An Garda Síochána. Overall the training was hard work and certainly challenging but definitely enjoyable and worth the effort. The feeling of pride and sense of achievement when you get to throw your cap in the air on graduation day is indescribable.   There is no typical day for a Garda. Often what you plan to do takes a back seat when an important call comes in which could mean you being tied up dealing with it all day. Every day one is detailed for a particular duty. This could mean patrolling the district in the patrol car or walking the beat, attending calls and generally showing a visible Garda presence in the area. It could also mean being Member-in-Charge of the Station which involves being responsible for any prisoners in custody, dealing with members of the public, answering telephone calls and relaying calls to the relevant mobile units. Frequently it is necessary to attend court if a case with which you are involved is being heard. This can be stressful but is also rewarding. As well as the above duties it is also necessary to find time to deal with the inevitable paperwork. Finally, although it is relatively early in my Garda career, having been through the training and having had a little experience I can certainly recommend a career in An Garda Síochána. I will leave you with a quotation from Commissioner Michael Staines, the first Commissioner of An Garda Síochána: “The Garda Síochána will succeed, not by force of arms or numbers, but by their moral authority as servants of the people. " 2010-10-21 Science - A World of Opportunity Jargon is often a means of concealing the truth, or the product of eager, but not particularly well informed types seeking to push the latest fad on an unsuspecting public. However there are times when the jargon is in fact describing something which is real, momentous and of critical importance to public policy, and indeed to every citizen of the country. The term ‘the Smart Economy’ is such a term. It is not a simply a piece of rhetoric, rather it is describing something which is real and of profound importance to all our futures. The ‘Smart Economy’ is shorthand for describing an economy which makes full use of information technology and communications to drive innovation, research and development in a world where economic growth must be environmentally sustainable.    The Smart Economy is a ‘Green Economy’ in that it recognises the inter-related challenges of climate change and energy security. It involves the transition to a low-carbon economy and recognises the opportunities for investment and jobs in clean industry. The core of this ‘Green New Deal’ is a move away from fossil-fuel based energy production through investment in renewable energy and increased energy efficiency to reduce demand, wastage and costs. It is no exaggeration to say that Ireland facing some immense challenges. The nations is now at a critical nexus point and the decisions we take today will decide whether we see a return to real prosperity or whether we enter a period of prolonged and painful decline. The career choices, indeed the subject choices young people make today, will decide whether they have the opportunity to share in this new future or not. Make no mistake there are a wealth of opportunities out there. Even in these remarkably tough times there are shortages of people with skills in high calibre niche areas including R&D scientists (chemists, biologists), managers (clinical trials, supply chain animal nutritionists, science technicians (prototyping/development), regulation experts and multidisciplinary experts (bio-convergence - blend of science and business. ) There are jobs out there for people with the right skills and new jobs are being created all the time. For example IBM announced the establishment of a Global Centre of Excellence for Water Management through the development of green data-centre technologies. Alcon, a leading eye care company announced a €21. 14 million expansion at its Cork operation increasing employment by 186 jobs; Microsoft expanded its Irish operations with a €360 million investment in a strategic data centre. The demand for skilled graduates with science engineering and technology skills are set to increase. Young people should look at a career in science engineering and technology and carefully chose the subjects that allow them to study these areas in college. Parents should remind young people of the need to keep their career option by choosing the right subjects. For those studying these disciplines there is far more than a job available when they complete their education - there are fulfilling and meaningful careers and the opportunity to contribute to a brighter and better future for Ireland.     This article was written by Peter Brabazon, Programme Director, Discover Science and Engineering (www. discover-science. ie). 2010-10-21 Career Profile - Finance Name: Tom RuaneProfession: Finance Operations I work in the Operations area of a foreign bank which has had a presence in Ireland for ten years. I have worked in the industry in a number of different institutions for ten years. Up until the last few years of financial turbulence it was quite easy to move around within the industry, but it has become necessary to have a degree behind you to get into banking - ideally with a financial or business slant but we do have a number of people with diverse educational backgrounds such as Science or Arts degrees. As much of the work is specialised there is a large amount of on the job training alongside good opportunities to further your education with bodies such as the Institute of Bankers. Most employers really encourage their employees to takes these opportunities as the banking environment is constantly changing and it’s important to keep abreast of latest best practices and new methods of working. My employer pays for relevant courses and is a great help with time off.    Day-to-day work in operations varies greatly on what you specialise in. It’s basically a support function to the front office teams (mainly consisting of traders); so you could find yourself dealing with clients to ensure their needs are being met, monitoring corporate actions, ensuring the bank is fulfilling its funding obligations or organising payments to clients or other institutions. As each section is reliant on each other to do its job properly it’s important to be able to work in a cooperative and professional manner. I’ve found most places I’ve worked in have a really good atmosphere and everyone understands that teamwork is essential.  My specific role involves ensuring our trading strategies are executed in line with market guidelines and our funding requirements are met; it allows me to build relationships with our clients and my colleagues in other banks. Occasionally I am taken out of my day-to-day role to take part in project work for the bank, which gives great exposure to other sides of the business.  There are also good opportunities to advance your career. This can be within the operations function itself, where the team structures mean there is a large middle management level or to join a front office team if your interest is in trading and creating new income streams. While it’s not as secure a career as it once was, skills are highly transferable from bank to bank and hence country to country. With most banks being part of a global parent company, occasional opportunities do come up to work abroad.  My workplace, along with most banks, offer the chance for students to come in and do intern work which would be of benefit to anyone who wants to see if banking is something they would like to pursue as a career. Fire off a CV to a HR department and see if it’s the job for you. Visit the Careers Section on www. gotocollege. ie for more career profiles. 2010-10-21 Technology Development Scientist Career Profile Name: Máiréad BreathnachProfession: Technology Development Scientist Maths was by far my favourite subject in primary school and once I discovered physics in secondary school it seemed like the perfect combination. During transition year and again in fifth year I competed in the Young Scientist Exhibition. The first year my group was highly commended and won the National Heritage Council Award, while the following year we received second prize in the Senior Physics/Chemistry/Mathematics section. My involvement in the competition greatly encouraged me to pursue science at third level. I chose the BSc in Applied Physics at the University of Limerick for two reasons. Firstly, it allowed me to develop both my mathematical and scientific skills. Secondly, it involved a nine-month work placement which gave me a valuable insight into the application of science in industry. My work placement was at Intel in Leixlip, Co Kildare, where I worked as a Sort E-test Engineer. Undertaking a PhD seemed the natural thing to do when I had completed my final year. At the time I couldn’t decide on a career path in industry so I felt that spending some more time in university and further developing my research skills was the best option. My PhD supervisor was a great inspiration. He encouraged me to apply for scholarships, in particular the IRCSET scholarship, without which I probably would not have been financially able to stay in college. During the final stages of my PhD I felt strongly about moving into industry to broaden my experience. The area of technology transfer always excited me and I was delighted to begin working at Technology From Ideas. It is an early stage technology development company that specialises in developing and proving early stage technologies for specific market applications. My role is as a technology development scientist working on each stage of the development of cutting-edge technologies. A typical day can vary depending on the projects I’m working on. At any one time I am usually involved in the analysis stage of about four ideas, the development stage of two or three projects and the sales of three or four technologies. At the moment the biggest challenge is understanding patent laws and license agreements, as this aspect of the job is completely new to me. The technologies we work come from all fields of science. Sometimes, understanding the technical detail of a technology which is not related to anything I’ve previously worked on can be very challenging. But this is also the most rewarding aspect of my job, as I am constantly learning about and gaining experience in new areas and applications of science and technology. I love working at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. I get to learn of technologies before they become public and it always amazes me how inventive some scientists can be. What’s not so great is when you analyse a particularly interesting technology only to find that it must be rejected for some reason or another. I have a very analytical and logical mind. This is an excellent skill to have in any job but particularly in this job as I am constantly analysing technologies. I also have strong scientific skills and hands-on experience spanning several scientific fields including physics, maths, materials science, electrochemistry and microscopy. If you love science or engineering and would like to be the link that brings vital research from the lab to the marketplace, then this is the job for you. You need to be interested in the transfer of knowledge and technology, and have a good scientific or engineering education. Good communication skills are vital as you need to be able to communicate with people from all aspects of business, such as researchers, inventors, patent attorneys, lawyers, manufacturers and customers. 2010-10-21 Case Study - Beauty Therapy Name: Sarah O’DonoghueProfession: Beauty Therapist I did a one-year course in Beauty and Body Therapy while working part-time in the tourism industry, in a restaurant, and in a catering company so I knew I liked dealing with people. After gaining experience in a beauty salon, I jumped at the chance to step back into tourism when a job came up in the Rain Spa at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Limerick. Depending on what your financial circumstances are like, or the pace you want to study, you could just do an evening or day course rather than a monthly or yearly one. I chose to do the yearly course because I had saved up beforehand and I was really eager to make a career for myself as soon as possible. In the course you aren’t just studying how to use a make-up brush like most people might think – you’re learning all about the body, the anatomy, and physiology of the skin and muscles, so it was challenging but very interesting in Pembroke College. Some might think it’s similar to the Leaving Cert, where you’re fitting everything into one year, but I found the experience of studying at third level completely different. You’re choosing to learn the subject this time around so you have a much more enjoyable experience. We get a mixture of tourists and locals coming into the spa. I enjoy being able to catch up with my regulars on one hand and then hearing fantastic stories about people from all over the world on the other. Clients also tend to be in good form 99 per cent of the time because they’re on holiday. The staff at the hotel are so friendly too and you can have the craic while putting the hard work in. Visit the Careers Section on www. gotocollege. ie for more career profiles. 2010-10-21 Sporting Chance - Scholarships and Professionalism The number of sports scholarships is increasing steadily in higher education institutions throughout Ireland. School leavers who excel at sport (avid Sky Sports viewers and tiddlywinks champs not included) and who wish to continue training and playing at a serious level during their third-level education have many options to consider when making their CAO application. All institutes of technology and universities now provide a form of sports scholarship. Student support services available to scholars vary widely – besides the traditional bursary (anything from €500 to €2, 000 usually), many scholarships include supports such as accommodation, travel costs, personal coaching, nutritional advice, and physiological assessment, as well as the money. Prospective students are advised to contact the respective sports departments of the institutions that interest them, and find out exactly what is provided to the student through the scholarship. It is certainly worth ‘shopping around’ as a growing number of sports are available outside the old favourites such as athletics, football, GAA (football, camogie, hurling), and rugby. These include canoeing at DCU, clay pigeon shooting in DIT, windsurfing at NUI Galway, martial arts in IT Carlow, and snooker at NUI Maynooth.   Applications for most scholarships are lodged only after students have already landed places in the respective college through the standard CAO process. However, in a reflection of the growing regard for sporting success in Irish higher education, there are a certain amount of cases in which students are not assessed solely by their CAO points tally alone, but by sporting achievement. NUI Maynooth, DCU (Elite Sportspersons Entry Scheme), and UCD (for the Sports Management Diploma only) are three institutions which offer limited places in this concessionary manner to the most talented athletes. These direct entry programme (i. e. outside the CAO process) are designed to cater for top athletes whose CAO points tally may have suffered due to intense training commitments. Traditionally, the most gifted Irish sportspeople, such as former world champion runner Eamonn Coghlan and Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delaney, had to travel to American colleges to avail of scholarship opportunities. With Irish colleges at last coming round to the idea that investment in sport is a win-win situation – excellent publicity for the institution and greater sports facilities for the student population – Irish athletes no longer need to cross the Atlantic in such numbers. They can pursue their sporting dreams and simultaneously attain qualifications for a career (inside or outside the realm of sport and fitness) in an Irish setting. Successful examples of this change include such nationally and internationally known sports stars as inter-county Gaelic footballers Conal Keaney (IT Tallaght) and Seamus Moynihan (UCC); international sprinters Derval O’Rourke (UCD) and Paul Hession (NUI Galway); inter-county hurlers Joe Deane (UCC) and Henry Shefflin (Waterford IT); footballers Seamus Conneely of Sligo Rovers (NUI Galway) and Ronan Finn of Shamrock Rovers (UCD); and international rugby players Brian O’Driscoll (UCD) and Paul Wallace (UCC). It that bunch are not sufficiently inspiring to you, then surely nobody is!Just remember that taking up a scholarship will require a serious commitment to your sport – no easy thing when you have to overcome the same academic challenges faced by every other student too. Visit www. cusai. ie for more information about competitive sport in Ireland’s colleges and universities. 2010-10-21 Art, Design, Drama & Music The careers in this section generally require a substantial amount of natural talent and a real ambition to succeed in areas that are not particularly well known for having an abundance of job opportunities.  With that said, there is no reason a combination of your own skills and a quality third-level education cannot endow you with healthy career prospects. Animation, Design, Fine Art, Music, Photography and Theatre are all sectors that have grown in recent years in Ireland. With the ongoing success of the Irish economy, society has proven increasingly willing to invest and spend on media and the arts. There has never been a better time for young students to achieve their dreams of becoming the next Gabriel Byrne or Francis Bacon. New media and computer technologies have created a whole new realm of activity in areas such as animation and design; for example, it is rare these days for any self-respecting national ad campaign to be launched without an array of accompanying graphics and website animations. With these notes of optimism in mind, there is no reason for those of you are fully committed to a career in creativity not to pursue in full confidence a higher education programme in Art, Design, Music or Theatre. 2010-10-20 Arts & Humanities While most media coverage of Ireland’s recent economic success has focused on subjects such as IT, Engineering and Science, a developing society must also keep an eye on its cultural and intellectual health. A well-rounded education, including good knowledge of the Arts & Humanities subjects, is useful for everyone. This is the island of saints and scholars after all, so we do have a certain reputation to maintain! The Arts & Humanities area includes a plethora of subjects and courses, covering many of the most renowned fields of human achievement. This section of the guide provides information on Anthropology, History & Archaeology, History of Art & Arts Administration, English, Geography, Librarianship, Philosophy and Sociology. Many courses mix two or more of these subjects in a single degree, so there is a world of choice. Many people who decide to take courses in the Arts & Humanities area don’t have a particular career path in mind. Most courses offer students the chance to take classes in a broad range of subjects, and then specialise in those that most hold their interest. Often, students can end up loving a subject they would never have considered before. The down side is that taking an Arts course doesn’t necessarily prepare you for a professional career as soon as you graduate. However, the knowledge and skills learned do prove useful in almost every professional role. Read on to find out which courses might suit you best… 2010-10-20 Computers & IT A recent report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) reflected that there are increasing demands for IT skilled professionals in Ireland. Computers have rapidly extended into every area of our lives: from buying shoes to email to bidding for fridge magnets on eBay. Most of us come into contact with IT on a daily basis. The conventional expectation of a boring computer job could not be further from the truth; technological advances continue to push the boundaries for innovation and design and never before have there been such limitless possibilities. For working with the latest, cutting-edge technology, you can do no better than enrolling on a course in Computing or IT. There is an immense amount of IT and computer-related courses in Irish third-level education today and the choices are vast. The many options are available at all levels, from PLCs to honours degrees, ranging from general courses that provide an introduction to all elements of IT, including hardware and software, to more specialised programmes such as Networking, Games Design and Software Development. The most recently founded courses are in Multimedia and are concerned with web-based and interactive IT applications, and offer exciting opportunities to students. The sheer number of websites in existence is proof of the many opportunities to the budding Bill Gates’ of the world. The world and its mother have sites that are crying out for IT and computing graduates…if this was a Budweiser ad I’d say ‘Answer the call’ but it’s not, so I won’t… 2010-10-20 Construction, Engineering & Property Build a bridge; and get over it…The persistent rumours surrounding the ‘hopeless’ future of the Irish construction industry are largely unfounded. Statistics show that there are shortages in the profession in sectors such as architects, quantity surveyors, building managers and civil engineers. Major investment from the private sector and the latest National Development Plan means that graduates will be employed in massive and exciting schemes, set to continue the transformation of Ireland’s landscape. The thousands who work on these large-scale infrastructural projects will find their third-level skills and knowledge tested to the fullest extent. Building projects increasingly require innovation and imagination; raising public awareness of the environment means that new construction must be sustainable, as well as functional and aesthetically pleasing. Much of the courses mentioned in this guide require work placement as construction is an industry where real-life experience is essential to developing your skills. So, if you’re looking for a well-paid and challenging career that involves changing the lives of individuals and populations for the better, read on and consider enrolling in a construction-related course. 2010-10-20 Education Dead Poet’s Society, Dangerous Minds, Sister Act and Finding Forrester are just a few films that inspired many late-night, short-lived determinations to change careers. Equipped with the rose-tinted glasses of Hollywood teaching can appear deceptively romantic. It’s certainly an admirable profession with unequivocal rewards but the demands are not to be forgotten; and the harsh reality is that your hard-work may not be immediately recognised. There are also clear positives of pursuing a career in teaching; for example short working days and long summer holidays are a major benefit. In addition to this it is a profession which offers more security than others Choosing the right level is imperative. For example those gifted with children should consider primary teaching. The following sections attempt to give an overview of the different choices within teaching to assist you in your decision… 2010-10-20 Food Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, famed French politician and gastronome, challenged, ‘Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are’ … perhaps it would be a good idea to avoid the fruit and nut bar for that conversation…Those who love food tend to do so passionately. It’s become a subject of great popular interest recently with a multitude of reality cooking shows making our stomachs rumble and our minds melt. Cookery classes are always a popular night course choice and restaurants everywhere benefit from our newfound love of dining. Every magazine and newspaper includes articles focusing on diet tips and promises of how to eat your way to your ideal weight; showing how our society’s obsession with food can have negative connotations. Irelands increasingly multi cultural society is reflected in the variety of cuisines available; no doubt it is an exciting era for everyone involved in the area. It’s a huge industry and encompasses dozens of different careers from chef to lab technician in all sectors of business, art, science and health; so have a browse through them and decide which area of food could be your forte…     2010-10-20 Health & Medicine There’s no denying or escaping our obsession with this area. From Scrubs to ER and Grey’s Anatomy: health and medicine is increasingly setting the scene for primetime TV. . . does however have somewhat greater significance as an industry than entertaining us with the various exploits of ridiculously good-looking people; it is a career that helps humanity and saves lives. The nature of this line of work is so interesting that it explains, and pardons, society’s infatuation. Employment in health and medicine can be much more varied than the most recognised roles of doctor and nurse. Other course and career options related to Medicine include Dentistry, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Linguistic Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry and Radiography. Each of these options is a distinct discipline and requires different and specialist training and education. There are also various subcategories within Nursing, including General, Children’s, Midwifery and Psychiatric. Health and safety inspectors are another source of employment in this sector. The CAO points’ requirements are famously high for courses in health and medicine. However, there are other avenues into medicine, such as the new medical school in the University of Limerick for graduates of other disciplines, and part-time introductions to nursing courses. A great level of dedication and sacrifice is called for as third-level medicine and health students are made to work extremely hard, yet the benefits are worth the effort. Careers in health and medicine tend to be well paid, secure and highly esteemed; Dr Dreamys are not included…   2010-10-20 Language, Media & Communications The media industry reinvents itself more than Madonna and Kylie combined and its only permanent trait is that it will continue to grow. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has noted (rather hypocritically) that ‘there is so much media now with the Internet and it’s so easy and cheap to start a newspaper that there's just millions of voices. ’ With everyone from Moby to your neighbour publishing blogs, having your say has never been so simple, but to pursue a career in the industry and earn a livelihood is quite a different matter. It is an incredibly interesting career path that promises to thrill, but for this reason the media is also an extremely competitive jobs environment, even for those with talent and determination. With new outlets continually emerging like Channel 6, Phantom radio station, and countless websites, there are a large number of avenues for graduates to pursue but individuality and a dogged attitude are necessary as competition is fierce. Although known for our friendly and approachable manner, the Irish image unfortunately does not extend to multilingual ability. The large numbers of language courses available in Ireland are attempting to change this. Many colleges offer a degree course along with a language reflecting how beneficial fluency in other languages can be to a career. A career in any profession listed in this section is not for the faint-hearted but it is sure to be an exciting and rewarding prospect for those with the appropriate disposition so have a look and see what’s right for you. 2010-10-20 Law & Politics If you hold a noble desire to illuminate a courtroom in the style of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men (‘I want the truth!’) then it’s our duty to inform you that preconceptions of a career in law are best left by the door. Undertaking a law course is a dedication in itself, it calls for discipline and motivation, as considerable academic achievements and qualifications are necessary. The good news is that it is undoubtedly a rewarding vocation both professionally and financially. Unscrupulous lawyers are as much a Hollywood staple as talking animals and evil masterminds with an English accent, but in reality most people choosing this path have a deep respect and devotion to protect the law and ensure society as a whole is served by it. Legal professionals are highly involved in social and political issues, such as constitutional crises and human rights issues. Their work can often be of major benefit to society in general. Many more people work in the legal world than solicitors and barristers; these occupations include legal secretary, law clerk and court clerk. People in these fields often use their work experience in training for the higher professions.       2010-10-20 Leisure, Travel & Hospitality Ireland is internationally lauded as the Emerald Isle, full of welcoming smiles and helpful souls. The truth, in its grey glory, is that Ireland has cleverly used this reputation to create a very lucrative industry, and there’s more to it than harping on about the ‘craic’ and leprechauns… Leisure, travel and hospitality includes careers more extensive than the average imagination; it can provide employment in anything from flying an airline jet to organising a science fiction convention in Kerry to giving Mrs Fitzgerald from next door the haircut she’s always wanted; the possibilities boggle the mind.   It’s an industry with excellent career opportunities and great scope for promotion and development. With regard to Leaving Cert points most courses in leisure, travel and hospitality have relatively low requirements. Careers in this area tend to require capability, character and innovation rather than depending solely upon academic achievement; so have a browse through our featured professions and see if any appeal… 2010-10-20 Public Services Careers in the public service are often occupied by those who have a deep commitment to improving society and have a desire to better the community around them. All careers in this sector are challenging and important and often include a very real element of danger. While the fundamental role of some professions can be to inform and entertain the public, the mission of the public services is to protect and save the lives of the public; not something to be undertaken lightly. The selection process for the Gardaí, ambulance, fire or prison services can be difficult; a number of attributes can help at the application stage. A good standard of physical fitness and education are required, so a third level qualification would be of great value. There are big rewards for those who are successful. It is undoubtedly a personally and professionally fulfilling and rewarding career, and coupled with the fact that the uniforms are cool should be enough reason for you to read on…   2010-10-20 Science & Mathematics Science and Mathematics are among the oldest subjects. School leavers who go on to study Science or Maths at university follow in the footsteps (or if you prefer, stand on the shoulders) of great names from history such as Archimedes, Newton, Galileo and Einstein. Science and Maths courses usually allow students to gain a broad knowledge of their subject in the first year, before going to on to specialise in a particular area. Courses can be theoretical (studying abstract theories) or applied (putting these theories to practical use). Science is concerned with gaining knowledge through experimentation, so science students (especially those studying Biology and Chemistry) usually spend a lot of time in the laboratory, wearing white coats and protective goggles. Mathematics and Physics are usually more theoretical, and these students are more likely to find themselves in front of a computer testing models and theories. As Ireland looks to establish a knowledge economy and attract high-value industries, fresh areas of scientific endeavour are becoming popular. Universities often have links with local industry – and taking courses and subjects such as biotechnology, fluid mechanics or pharmaceuticals can lead to work placements, or even directly to work straight from graduation. It is worth checking out college prospectuses and company web sites to find out who has links with whom. Before you do that, read this section to learn which scientific course and career options are best for you. 2010-10-20 Information Technology Information Technology In terms of image, the IT sector could probably do without a hit TV show like The IT Crowd with its stereotyped – though admittedly amusing – portrayal of two sociopaths sharing a basement with their computers. However, enough good work has been done in this area, particularly in attracting more women into the industry, so that IT is now generally and rightfully regarded as an exciting career that offers great flexibility, career prospects, and remuneration.   Information Technology is quite a general term; it can encompass everything from designing PC hardware units to fixing Internet connections to writing complex programmes using some almost indecipherable IT code. IT graduates are therefore well rounded and so can either specialise in a specific area or work in a more general capacity (e. g. as a company’s in-house IT officer). IT is increasingly referred to as ICT (Information and Communications Technology), which demonstrates the sizeable impression made on the IT sector by developments in Internet and communications technologies. As it is such a broad area, IT can suit people with very different skills and personalities – anyone with an interest in computers, communications, and technology may find a qualification in an IT subject well worth considering. It is also worth remembering that an IT degree is an excellent starting point for many careers outside the technology sector. For example, Business Information Systems prepares students for a wide rage of business management positions.   Education There is a vast array of IT options in both the CAO and FETAC systems. Courses may offer a diverse range of subjects that lead down markedly different career paths, so students should study the options carefully before deciding. Course titles include Business Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Computer Networking, Computer Science, Computer Systems, Computing, Information Systems, and Information Technology.   There are plenty of undergraduate and PLC course options available, though the CAO points required vary considerably. A good standard of Leaving Cert maths is required for some courses. Most courses feature similar basic IT subjects such as Computer Systems, Mathematics, Programming, Internet Development, Software Development, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Digital Communications, and Statistics in the first year of the course. Students then have the option of specialising in their own particular area of interest. Possible specialist subjects include E-Commerce, Artificial Intelligence, IT Security, Database Technology, Network Management, and many more. It is a good idea to check the relevant websites and prospectuses carefully before reaching a decision. The Work IT workers typically specialise in a particular area or skill, some of which are outlined below. If you love troubleshooting and problem solving, then you’re a perfect candidate for systems administration. The main goal of this job is to keep a company/organisation’s IT system running; this can involve everything from creating email accounts and troubleshooting problems with printers to eradicating a computer virus or installing a whole new system. Network engineers enable employees to access information within a company, as well as from vast databases worldwide. They install and manage the company network along with setting up new users, maintaining network security, planning future developments, and providing technical support for users.   Computer hardware designers and engineers are the professionals actively involved in the design, development, and manufacture of computer hardware. This hardware includes computer chips, robotics, disk intake storage drives, video and sound cards, circuit boards, and peripherals such as keyboards, printers, modems, and other ICT devices. This role suits people with a mix of interests in computers and engineering.   Systems analysts help organisations realise the maximum benefit from their investment in equipment, personnel, and business processes. They work with managers and employees to assess an organisation’s current computer system, identify areas for improvement, design IT solutions to meet their needs and, ultimately, implement new IT systems and processes. A common trait of practically all IT roles is the need to continually update one’s skills in order to keep abreast of the incredibly rapid progress of computer technology. Employers are often quite happy to assist IT employees in upgrading their certification – another attraction of working in this industry. Did you know? Having already defeated IBM’s Deep Blue computer in a chess match in 1996, chess world champion Gary Kasparov accepted a rematch with his computer foe a year later, suffering a crushing defeat the second time around. The dramatic reversal was attributed to Deep Blue’s development in the intervening period; however, Kasparov was convinced that there was a human agent guiding the computer’s moves. Immediately following its victory, IBM’s stock rose by 15 per cent. Further Resources Ø Irish Computer Society (ICS): www. ics. ie Ø Wired Magazine: www. wired. com  Ø Silicon Republic: www. siliconrepublic. com 2010-10-20 IT - A Great Career Choice Sharon Hogan, Marketing Manager for the Irish Computer Society, looks at the perks of getting into the IT sector A recent survey of IT Professionals revealed that 87 per cent are happy with their career choice and would recommend a career in IT to a friend. This survey was carried out by the Irish Computer Society, the national body for IT professionals in Ireland. So what makes IT professionals so happy with their career choice?  Well, for one, there are numerous employment areas to choose from: quality management and standards, education and training, research, software testing, database design, configuration and change management, systems development, web design and so on. Developers continue to be in demand in 2010. The greatest demand is for developers in Java and J2EE technologies, followed by . Net and C#, all leaning heavily on the web development end.    A good . Net developer with five years’ experience and a degree can expect €50k-€55k; throw in some managerial experience and this can rise to €60k. Looking outside of Ireland, to America; three of the top ten jobs are in engineering or computing.   The Best Jobs in America report by Money Magazine ranks jobs based on salary, career prospects, flexibility in work environment and hours. Systems Engineer comes in at number 1.   These are the ‘big think’ managers on large, complex projects, from major transportation networks to military defence programs. They figure out the technical specifications required and coordinate the efforts of lower-level engineers working on specific aspects of the project. Demand is soaring for systems engineers, as what was once a niche job in the aerospace and defence industries becomes commonplace among a diverse and expanding universe of employers, from medical device makers to corporations like Xerox and BMW. Pay can easily hit six figures for top performers, and there's ample opportunity for advancement. But many systems engineers say they most enjoy the creative aspects of the job and seeing projects come to life. Those of you who want to travel, IT is a universal language and the following are just a few of the countries that are experiencing and/or predicting skills shortages in IT: UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. One of the things that can make an IT career both exciting and daunting is the fact that there is an increasing rate of change in all areas of the field. This can make some skills irrelevant very quickly or over-emphasise others, so a well informed choice requires research. Even if you don't pursue a career in IT specifically, you will still need IT skills. Whether you become a bus driver, an administrator, a doctor, or a writer - IT skills are needed in this new knowledge-based economy. And for those of you that do, who knows what kind of grand challenges lay ahead of you, securing cyberspace, reducing our carbon footprint or even preventing nuclear terror? A career in IT can lead you just about anywhere. The Irish Computer Society provides professional development to make your career in IT attractive and successful. We’ve developed Choose IT to highlight the positive aspects of a career IT check out our interactive website for more interesting and engaging IT facts www. chooseit. ie 2010-10-20 Career Profile - Software Development Name: Karl StanleyProfession: Software EngineerI have been interested in computers since I was a child. When I was 13, I got a job delivering leaflets so I could buy a Sinclair Spectrum (an ancient home computer that would load programs from a cassette tape). I went to TCD to study maths and philosophy but switched to pure maths after first year. At the time, the maths department in TCD was a good place to be if you had an interest in computers, as there were lots of courses in mathematical computing and it was possible to take some courses from the Computer Science department. The School of Mathematics also hosted the very first website in Ireland, so there was a lot to learn if you were interested. I currently work for Ticket-Text.  My main responsibility is to write software that makes running the business simpler and more efficient. The purpose of technology is to automate the things that people are bad at, so they can spend more time doing things they are good at. People are not so good at repetitive tasks involving attention to detail. Computers are great at this sort of work. For instance, in our business the operations team need to enter the details for lots of live performances, set up ticket pricing structures, upload media to the website, and so on. This is quite error prone and tedious to do by hand, so the technology team helps by writing tools that take care of the details automatically. This allows the operations team to devote more of their time to developing relationships with promoters and venue owners, which adds value to the business. I make sure I spend up to an hour every day reading articles on technology (usually blogs and mailing lists) to keep up with new developments. This is important, as software is a constantly changing field and web development, in particular, changes all the time. One of the most satisfying events happened very early in my career when I was with MVT (Machine Vision Technology) in Dublin. I wrote some mathematical software to enable the inspection machines to process a circuit board approximately 10 per cent faster than before, which was a big win for the company. That code still runs on over 1, 000 machines worldwide a decade later. That gives me a little glow of satisfaction. What attributes are useful in software engineering? Intellectual curiosity - wanting to know how things work is a big plus. A certain kind of laziness - good software is all about finding things that are tedious and getting the computer to do them for you. Patience - you’re going to be asked to do the impossible; or you’re going to be asked to do something that’s hugely important, only to be told it’s no longer a priority once you’re finished. Don’t let it get to you though! If you can get an internship with a software house, that is great work experience. The best way to learn to write software is to write software! An internship is a good way to get exposure to these things. When it came to getting my first job, having that practical experience (and a good reference) definitely gave me an edge over the other candidates. 2010-10-20 Multimedia and Web Design Multimedia and Web Design With the ever-expanding galaxy of blogs, websites, and social media technologies floating about out there in cyberspace, people are being forced to come up with ever more inventive and creative ways of attracting attention. Multimedia and Web Design courses aim to harness this inventiveness into a commodity (i. e. an industry role). Media technology is evolving at a breathtaking rate: websites have become more sophisticated and computer games are now hyper-realistic, while developments in home entertainment, e-business, and e-learning technologies are also coming thick and fast. All this advancement means that exciting opportunities abound for people with multimedia qualifications. The word ‘multimedia’ means different things to different people, and the subjects offered on each course can vary. Some courses concentrate more on web design, some offer social science and media subjects, while others teach elements of computer programming and software design. The multimedia and web design sectors look certain to continue to grow for the foreseeable future, making them excellent career prospects for those who would like to combine visual design and IT. Education A large number of new Multimedia courses have been introduced in recent years. Options include higher certificate and degree courses in Multimedia, Communications & Multimedia, Multimedia Computing, Multimedia & Computer Games Design, Interactive Multimedia, and Multimedia Applications Development. There are also a number of specific Web Design courses available at further education colleges listed in the Guide. Subject options across the various Multimedia courses include Visual Design, Media Studies, Web Authoring, E-Learning, Computer Programming, Social & Economic Studies, and Games Modelling Design. Students may also learn how to use software programmes used in multimedia and website design (e. g. Flash, Director, Photoshop) as well as sound and video editing software (such as Final Cut and Pro Tools). The Work Multimedia graduates have a wide range of career options open to them, such as in the web design, media, e-learning, computer games, education, and e-commerce industries. There are also opportunities for them to find roles in business, tourism, arts, journalism, the civil service, and several other sectors, as the vast majority of organisations awaken to the importance of maintaining an attractive, informative, and smooth-running website. Industry professionals will typically find work on things such as interactive websites, DVDs, and programmes featuring an imaginative combination of image, sound, and text. The content can be anything from an e-learning language programme to a movie’s DVD menu.   Multimedia designers usually work with a client or manager who provides them with a brief containing the content to include. The designer then suggests a number of ideas or structures. When one is chosen, the designer must then create and design each of the elements (animations, menus, images, etc. ) and fit them all together, before testing the finished product and resolving any problems. With broadband access becoming more widespread, websites are gaining more interactivity, incorporating video, audio, shopping, and other content. As it is vital for a website to be memorable, innovation is essential.   Much like a regular designer, a web designer is given a brief and must use imagination and skill to create the finished product – a unique site that showcases the subject, product, or content as required. Sites can be for the Internet (public) or the intranet (accessible only within a company). The job may include design work on the ‘front end’ of the site (seen by the user), as well as programming and technical work on the ‘back end’ (the details visible only to the webmaster). Many designers specialise in a particular software programme or language, such as php, xml or Flash. Other responsibilities that multimedia or web design professionals may have include writing content for websites and manuals, editing video and audio files and preparing them to be viewed or heard online, designing and implementing database or e-commerce solutions, and regularly updating and managing clients’ websites.   Multimedia is especially suited to students with a combination of interests in the media, humanities, and computing areas. Creativity, IT skills, teamwork, and an enthusiasm for new technologies are all important qualities.   Did you know? The first webcam was used in a computer lab at Cambridge University – its sole purpose was to monitor the coffee levels of a particular coffee maker in order to avoid wasted trips to an empty pot. Further Resources q Irish Internet Association: www. iia. ie q Golden Spider Awards – Eircom’s website awards: www. eircomspiders. ie q The Eircom Junior Spiders – www. juniorspiders. ie  2010-10-20 Architecture Architecture Architecture combines the principles of art, engineering, and science, while also paying attention to historical significance, landscape, culture, environment, and, most importantly, functionality. In other words, designing an attractive and user-friendly building is a hugely challenging job that demands a lot of consideration, but it is a thrilling thing to do for a living. The bad news first: it is estimated that roughly 50 per cent of Irish architects are unemployed. Now that the casual readers have speedily moved on to the next page, let’s examine the opportunities for those of you with a real desire to create and shape public space and the lived-in environment. On a brighter note, in 2007 the term ‘architect’ became a protected, so that only those who are formally qualified may use the title. Students who complete a degree, do two years of postgraduate work experience and pass the RIAI’s (Royal Institute of the Architects in Ireland) professional entrance exam are thus placed on the official register of architects.   In addition to this, there is no knowing when the construction sector will recover; the employment scene for architects may well have improved significantly by the time new students have achieved registration. (And on another optimistic note: a survey conducted by RIAI in January 2012 found that 80 percent of firms do not expect staffing levels to change, which seems to suggest that the industry has finally begun to stabilise – hopefully a good sign for the future. ) Education Degrees in Architecture are available from Dublin IT, UCC, UCD, University of Limerick, and Waterford IT.   Course work is divided between practical studio work – sketching, technical drawing, computer aided design (CAD), model making, and so on – which increases in complexity as the course progresses; and lectures on the theoretical, historical, and cultural aspects of architecture. Students are also introduced to professional issues such as site management, engineering, and construction materials. Specialised architectural degrees on offer include Landscape Architecture (UCD), Interior Architecture (Griffith College, IT Sligo, and Cork IT), and Interior Design (Griffith College, IT Sligo, and DIT – including Furniture Design). Landscape Architecture is concerned with the design, management, and preservation of any external environment – from urban regeneration to national heritage sites. Interior designers/architects, as the title suggests, design the interiors of buildings. They prepare drawings, utilise CAD, and plan the layout, fittings, furnishing, and decoration of indoor environments. Architectural Technology degrees are available from a number of institutes of technology. The discipline is concerned with the technical aspects of the architectural process; that is, drawing, CAD, materials management, meeting design specifications, construction technology, environmental concerns, and so forth.   Architectural Technology, Computer Aided Design, Architectural Draughting, and Interior Design PLC programmes are widely available in local colleges around Ireland.  These courses are vocational, and therefore focus on the practical skills that are required by the architectural and design sector. The Work The majority of newly qualified architects and architectural technologists work for a private practice or in the architectural department of a local authority, government department, semi-state, or commercial organisation. After gaining experience, many architects choose to practice independently. The primary work of an architect is to design buildings and structures and to advise the supervisors working on the building projects. The appearance of the building and the materials used are decided by the architect, and on the basis of this he/she assesses what permits are needed and how much labour will be necessary, while remaining conducive to a given budget or client brief. Once construction is under way, the architect is often on-site consulting with engineers and builders. Architectural technologists help make the architect’s vision a reality. They play a leading role in the process, from the plans to the finished building: solving practical engineering and technical problems, and coordinating the additional input of consultant structural and service engineers and specialist sub-contractors. It is fairly common for qualified architectural technologists to become fully qualified architects through further study. Did you know? The inner framework of the Statue of Liberty was supervised by one Alexandre Gustav Eiffel. He later went on to build a certain tower in Paris you may have heard of. . . Further Resources Ø Architect Online – online edition of Architect magazine: www. architectmagazine. com 2010-10-20 Civil Engineering Civil Engineering Civil engineers manage the essential services and infrastructure we use on a daily basis as well as planning and designing prospective ventures. They manage and monitor the roads we use for travel, the water we drink, and the energy we use for heat, light and powering our PlayStations and GHDs. A civil engineer can work on a huge diversity of projects ranging from sport stadiums to sewerage systems,   hydroelectric power stations to high seas oil rigs. There are a number of different branches of civil engineering, most of which you will encounter on a third-level Civil Engineering course. These branches include structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering and hydraulic engineering. For students with an aptitude for maths, who are looking for a career that combines varied, indoor and outdoor work, civil engineering is definitely worth considering. Education Students considering Civil Engineering at third-level have a number of options open to them, including degrees and higher certificates at levels six, seven, and eight. The CAO points for these courses range from under 200 to over 500. A good grade for Leaving Cert Maths is necessary for some courses. The subjects you will take on a Civil Engineering course include Mathematics, Engineering Mechanics, Building Technology, Computer Applications, Materials Testing and Structural Design, while there is the option of specialisation in subjects such as Water Quality Management, Soil Mechanics, Highway & Transportation, Environmental Engineering and Hydraulics. Practical work, involving extensive use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD), forms a major part of the course and some students also undertake a period of work experience. Two PLC courses that offer a good introduction to civil engineering are Construction Technology – Civil Engineering in Galway Technical Institute and Engineering – Construction Technology in Carlow Institute of Further Education. The WorkCivil engineers are involved in every element of the construction process, from the planning stage, right through to the cutting of the ribbon on the finished building, road, facility or pipeline. General civil engineers work closely with builders, surveyors and specialised civil engineers to oversee all elements of a project, dealing with the site, people and materials involved. Structural engineers try to ensure that buildings are structurally sound and in particular, are responsible for the safe construction of tall buildings. This can mean using computer programmes to find solutions to complex mathematical problems, such as how thick the walls should be and what materials should be used. They work closely with architects and builders and are also regularly on-site during the construction process to ensure their instructions are being followed. Geotechnical engineers get to the root of problems by dealing with foundations and earth materials. They study rock or soil types to make sure the building or bridge, for example, is sturdy and not liable to collapse. They also have to prepare for possible disasters such as earthquakes or floods. Transportation engineers create roads, railways and pedestrian areas, and are also involved with transport infrastructure and traffic management. Their tasks include using computer models and statistical data to determine how many roads are needed and how long/wide they should be, as well as deciding which materials to use and where exactly to place roundabouts. Environmental engineers identify and design solutions for environmental problems. This can mean designing plants and processes for water purification, sewage treatment and hazardous waste management. An aptitude for maths and physics is useful in studying civil engineering. An interest in how things work and how they are built is important, as this is essentially the approach a civil engineer must have to everything. You should also like the challenge of finding solutions to technical problems and enjoy seeing projects through from start to finish. Did you know? The base of the Great Pyramid in Egypt is large enough to cover ten football fields. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, it took 400, 000 men twenty years to construct this great monument. Further Resources ICivilEngineer. com – online knowledge portal for professionals and students: www. icivilengineer. com National Development Plan: www. ndp. ie Engineers’ Week: www. engineersweek. ie 2010-10-20 Electrical & Electronic Engineering Electrical & Electronic Engineering Most of us treat electricity like water and give little thought to where it comes from. Thankfully, however, some people do - more specifically, electrical, and electronic engineers who design and develop products that involve the generation, transmission, and use of electrical energy. There is much overlap between the disciplines but the differences might be summarised thus: electrical engineering involves large-scale systems (e. g. power generation) and using electricity to transmit energy, while electronic engineers are usually concerned with smaller electronic devices such as computers, and using electricity to transmit information. Different fields of specialisation include telecommunications (satellites), manufacturing (washing machines), generation (power stations), microelectronics (iPods), biomedicine (pacemakers), and transport (LUAS). Students with an interest in maths, physics, and computers and an inquiring mind would enjoy a course in Electrical or Electronic Engineering. Education Students interested in taking a course in Electrical or Electronic Engineering are spoilt for choice. Higher certificates and degrees (at levels five, six, seven and eight) are available at most Institutes of Technology and universities, and at many smaller and private colleges. You can decide to take a broad Engineering course and specialise in electronics or electrical subjects, or take dedicated courses in Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Electrical & Control Systems, Electronic Technology, Electronics & Computer Engineering, Electronics & Telecommunications Systems, Engineering (Applied), or Communications Engineering, to name but a few. The subjects you will study depend on the course you choose, but most will feature introductory subjects such as Mathematics, Mechanics, Electronic Circuits, Computer Science, and Physics, before allowing you to specialise in areas such as Digital Electronics, Computer Engineering, Circuit Theory, Signal Processing, Electromagnetic Waves, Power Systems, Control Engineering, and Field Theory. Students are usually offered the opportunity to complete a work placement, and laboratory exercises and projects should form a major part of any course. The Work Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates have a range of options. Many of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronic equipment have operations in Ireland. Graduates are also in high demand in the manufacturing, IT, aerospace, energy generation, telecommunications, multimedia, and general business sectors. Electronic engineers work in many industries. In telecommunications they design, install, and maintain transmitters, satellite equipment, and the ever-expanding range of IT devices. The installation, upkeep, and improvement of manufacturing equipment and systems also require the services of an electronic engineer. Electronic engineers also play a key role in the design of new products – everything from mobile phones to aeroplanes. They use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to produce models of the product. This is then tested to ensure it works properly, and to allow the engineer to smooth out any problems in the design. The final step can then be to oversee the production of the new product on a large scale. Other tasks can include leading a team of researchers or engineers, liaising with managers, clients, or marketing experts to ensure the product they are working on will be profitable, ensuring safety standards are met, and writing reports and feasibility studies for new and existing projects. Electrical engineers are employed in the generation and supply of electricity. They design the equipment that makes this possible, and oversee maintenance, safety and upgrades. A propensity for problem solving is highly useful for electrical and electronic engineers. Technical ability, creativity, experience in using computers, an interest in maths and physics are other characteristics that are often sought. An inquiring disposition coupled with a desire to initiate improvements is of benefit. Good teamwork and communication skills are also important. Did you know? The ‘Baghdad Battery’ was a major discovery in the 1930s. Over 2, 000 years old, it is believed to have been used for electroplating gold onto silver objects. Further Resources Engineers’ Week: www. engineersweek. ie Electricity Supply Board (ESB): www. esb. ie 2010-10-20 Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Mechanical engineering involves the design, manufacture, and operation of all kinds of components, products, machines, and systems. The size of any specific project can range from a new coffee maker to the robotics on a manufacturing line. Mechanical engineers are necessary in the production of most inventions and developments: clearly an exciting process to be part of. So if the inner workings of your toy car have been puzzling you since childhood, then free yourself from your torment by undertaking a Mechanical Engineering course. Education There are many options for students interested in taking a course in Mechanical Engineering at third-level in Ireland. These include higher certificates and degrees at levels 6, 7, and 8. Other options include Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering & Renewable Energies, Aeronautical Engineering, Automation Engineering, and Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering courses. Mechanical engineering students gain a good grounding in Maths and Science in their first year, and specialise as the course continues. Typical subjects include Materials Science, Engineering Mechanics, Production Technology, Mathematics & Computing, Thermodynamics, Engineering Design, Engineering Drawing, Robotics, and Mechanics of Machines. As the course progresses, students move from the analysis of established designs and theories to working on their own designs and ideas. Group work is common, and students spend lots of time in the laboratory testing and working on engines and machinery. One-year, Level 5 Certificates that offer an excellent introduction to mechanical engineering for school leavers are available from Greenhills College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, and St Kevin’s College Crumlin. Besides facilitating progression to third-level education, they also prepare students for shop-floor careers such as machine operators, toolmakers, and maintenance fitters. The Work Mechanical engineering graduates should have a wide range of options once they finish their studies. Opportunities can arise in almost every industry, including the automotive, pharmaceutical, energy, environmental, and food processing industries, as well as in aeronautics, biomedical engineering, information technology and all types of manufacturing. The skills and knowledge accrued during a college course are used to design, build, and install new products or machinery, or to improve existing models or products. Whether you end up working on jet engines, prosthetic limbs, or software programmes, the principles are basically the same. The research and development route can involve lots of time spent in the laboratory, carrying out tests and feasibility studies; you will be using complex machinery and computers to work out which material is ideal, how the device should work, which components are required, and so on. When a product is ready to be built, a prototype is designed (this could be a miniature model, life-size replica or computer simulation) and subjected to rigorous testing both in the laboratory or factory and in the real world. Mechanical engineering is always developing and making use of new technology and theories. You will probably use a computer mouse much more than a hammer if you pursue a career in this area. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, along with computer modelling, are often used to develop ideas, research findings and draw up technical plans and specifications. Mechanical engineers can also be involved in the production process and oversee the building of the finished product, machine, or technology. These can range from one-off projects such as power stations, to mass-produced products such as microchips. Did you know? There are currently 4, 000 robots serving in the US Military – none of which are terminators. Further Resources Engineers’ Week: www. engineersweek. ie Mechanical Engineering Magazine Online: http://memagazine. asme. org/ The Irish Robotics Club: www. robots. ie 2010-10-20 Quantity Surveying and Construction Management Quantity Surveying and Construction Management From kitchens to LUAS lines, all construction projects must be carefully planned to meet expected costs and completion dates. Quantity surveyors have the unenviable task of formulating a budget and ensuring it is adhered to. They assess each stage of the process and examine all costs relating to materials, labour, taxes, and so on.  A building surveyor monitors the structural health of buildings for any possible defects, and oversees maintenance and conversion projects when desired or required. They often work in tandem with a building services engineer, who has responsibility for designing, installing, and maintaining a building’s internal systems: from lifts to swimming pools. Construction managers have a more general role to play in the construction process by planning, organising, and managing the overall building project, and focusing on resources such as finance, labour, plant, and materials. Although the outlook is currently bleak for the construction sector, there is some cause for optimism: the development of niche opportunities such as in the energy sector and the green economy, where semi-state bodies have encouraging capital investment plans. Also, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland, it is likely that development opportunities will arise as NAMA releases working capital to developers for the completion of unfinished estates and the development of land. EducationThere are several dedicated Quantity Surveying courses in Irish higher-level education. A Quantity Surveying course will cover subjects such as Construction Economics, Project Cost Management, Contract Law, Construction Law, Contract Administration, and Land Surveying. Projects form a major part of all courses, and many also require students to undertake an extensive period of work experience. Health & Safety and Environmental Sustainability, both of which are financial as well as ethical concerns, are increasingly important elements of a Quantity Surveying degree. Dundalk and Limerick ITs offer the only third-level Building Surveying qualifications in Ireland. Modules covered in this four-year degree include Building Technology, Building Design & Performance, and Building Conservation/Renovation. Building Services Engineering is available to study at Cork, Dublin, and Waterford Institutes of Technology. The mechanical, electrical, and construction aspects of building systems (heating, air-conditioning, water supply, etc. ) are studied here. Energy efficiency is a particularly important consideration throughout the course.   There are a large number of Construction Studies and Construction Management options in the CAO system, including degrees and higher certificate courses. Construction and Construction Management courses include subjects such as Construction Technology, Site Surveying, Drawing & CAD, Measurement & Costing, Quantity Surveying, and Legal Studies. The one-year, FETAC Level 5 Certificate in Construction Technology is a good foundation for all of the above courses and careers. Students are introduced to key skills such as Building Construction, Mathematics for Engineering, Materials Science, Health & Safety, and Mechanics, as well as receiving work experience. The WorkThe main employers of quantity surveyors, building surveyors, service engineers, and construction managers are construction companies and property developers. However, you can also find work in government departments and specialist surveying companies, or gain employment as an independent consultant or in a private practice.  Quantity surveyors are often referred to as building accountants. Their main concern is cost control before, during and after construction. They begin managing costs from the feasibility stage of a project and continue to do so right through to tendering and construction. When a building project is complete, they may be involved in preparing tax depreciation schedules, estimating replacement costs for insurance purposes, and, if necessary, mediation and arbitration. They must often ensure that work is carried out efficiently, approving payments to suppliers and employees, and preparing bills. The role of the construction manager involves overseeing everything that happens on the building site. This can mean hiring and supervising building staff and sub-contractors, managing specific projects, purchasing or renting equipment and materials, ensuring each step in the process takes place efficiently and on time, implementing new technologies, and making sure health and safety or environmental requirements are fulfilled. Some construction managers can specialise in a particular area, while others oversee the whole project. Did you know?London’s Olympic Stadium was built using 6, 500 cubic metres of concrete recycled from previous Olympic venues. Planning was therefore both environmentally conscientious and respectful of Olympic history – pretty impressive!Further ResourcesØ Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS): www. scsi. ieØ Construction Industry Federation (CIF): www. cif. ieØ Irish Institute of Surveyors (IIS): www. irish-surveyors. ie 2010-10-20 Primary Teaching Primary Teaching  The popularity of Primary Teaching as a CAO choice has not been diminished by ongoing and well-publicised recruitment embargoes and government cutbacks. The highly rewarding nature of the role and its conduciveness to a healthy work-life balance (generous holidays, etc. ) means that many school-leavers remain committed to embarking on a career in teaching.   Two factors that offer hope with regards to career prospects for this generation of school-leavers are the potential for economic recovery and Ireland’s growing population, which will see a natural rise in the recruitment of primary teachers.   Primary school teachers face surprises and challenges in their work every day – there is a high level of responsibility involved in being in charge of thirty or so ‘little angels’ each day; but if you feel challenged rather than terrified by the prospect then perhaps you may have what it takes… Education Students who wish to become primary school teachers will take a Bachelor of Education degree (BEd) at one of Ireland’s teacher training colleges.   Subjects on a BEd course include the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Education. Students will also study each of the subjects on the primary school curriculum, including Art, Irish Language, Music, Maths, P. E. , Religious Studies, and Social & Environmental Studies (Geography, History, and Science). Teaching practice is also given: students begin this by observing experienced teachers in a work environment, after which they must complete a certain amount of teaching hours themselves. Readers should note that it is also possible to become a primary teacher by supplementing any approved degree with a postgraduate certificate – namely, the Graduate Diploma in Primary Education – so there’s no need to feel like a decision must be made straight away!  The Work Graduates of Primary Teaching can find work as substitute or temporary teachers relatively easily. However, securing a permanent position can be more difficult, and it may take a few years of covering in different schools around the country before graduates settle in to more long-term roles.   Bachelor of Education graduates can also work in other fields such as secondary education, as lecturers in third-level institutions, or as school inspectors. In addition to these options, there are diverse careers to choose from in business, the media, and the civil service. Primary school teachers must not only teach the academic subjects on the national curriculum, they must also look after the personal, social, and physical development of the children. Preparing lesson plans, setting homework, marking tests, calling the roll, and keeping order in the classroom are all fundamental parts of the job.   Primary teachers may also be called upon to perform tasks beyond simply teaching the four-times-tables and basic Irish verbs: it is possible that you may be called upon to apply plasters to grazed knees, organise three-legged races or art competitions, and deal with disruptive students and doting parents. Some people are naturally suited to dealing with rooms full of demanding children. Ask yourself if you possess qualities such as understanding, patience, sympathy, and humour – all are essential for survival! Primary teachers obviously spend most of their time in the classroom, which can be, and quite often is, a hectic place! And while some of the most appealing characteristics of teaching as a career are the relatively short days and long holidays, these perks are offset by the amount of time that must be invested in preparation and after-school activities. However, no matter how difficult or heavy the workload, teachers have the huge satisfaction of knowing that they occupy such a privileged and influential position in society. Did you know? Among the literary greats who also once worked as school teachers are the novelists William Golding (author of Lord of the Flies), Ireland’s John McGahern (author of Amongst Woman), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost.   Further Resources Ø Department of Education and Science: www. education. ie  Ø INTO – Irish National Teachers’ Organisation: www. into. ie  Ø Scoilnet – online portal for Irish education: www. scoilnet. ie 2010-10-20 Early Childhood & Montessori Education   Early Childhood & Montessori Education ‘The child’, wrote William Wordsworth, ‘is the father of the man’. The sentiment is largely true – the links between one’s early childhood and their later adult identity have been well documented and discussed. There can be no doubt that the first three years in a person’s life will have a lasting impact upon their psychological development. Teachers play a vital role in ensuring that this development is both healthy and well balanced. However, while the importance of the job can’t be overstated, and it is indeed hard work, the children will make sure that dull days will become a thing of the past! Teaching can take place in a number of environments – at home, in a crèche, pre-school, kindergarten, play-school, and Montessori school. Different schools and childcare workers or teachers can concentrate on different areas and education styles, but all have to know how to plan and implement programmes that address the educational needs of young children. Montessori is among the most well-known childhood education methods. It was pioneered by Maria Montessori (1870–1952), an Italian physician and educator who believed that the learning environment should be tailored to meet the psychological needs and characteristics of children of different ages. She hoped that this would give children a greater chance of developing into well-rounded adults capable of building a better society.   Education Degree course options include Early Childhood Care, Early Childhood Education, and Early Childhood Studies. They teach students about the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. Typical subjects include Developmental Psychology, Language Acquisition, Inclusive Education & Sociology, Childcare Management, and Healthcare & Nutrition, as well as classes in teaching Art, Music, Science, Creativity, and Drama. Supervised work placements in a childcare environment are an integral part of most Early Childhood Education courses.   Childcare is one the most common and popular courses in further education, with dozens of providers nationwide. Options include one-year Level 5 certificates in Childcare, Childcare – Special Needs Assistant, and Childcare with Social Studies. Once completed, it is possible to advance to a Level 6 Childcare Supervision/Management programme. Work experience plays an essential role in all PLC Childcare programmes.   Montessori courses are available from a number of local colleges around the country. Students are taught the Montessori Method of education, including subjects that focus on Practical Life Exercises, Environment & Cultural Awareness, Art & Music, Movement Sensorial Education, Language, and Mathematics. You will also learn about child development (physical, social, and psychological) and experience an extensive period of teaching practice. The Work Graduates can find work in crèches, pre-schools, day nurseries, and private homes, as well as with special needs services, community services, and family centres. They may also decide to move into counselling or other areas of educational, organisational, and administrative work in the state, private, and voluntary sectors. One of the central tenets of early childhood education is that children learn through play as it allows them to form concepts and understand complex relationships while remaining interested in class exercises. Early childhood workers will typically lead their charges through activities that touch on key educational areas, such as music, art, science, maths, and literacy. Early childhood education professionals also deal with situations ranging from children who miss their parents to helping children gain confidence in everyday tasks such as pouring a drink and tying their laces. Montessori teachers deal with the above situations in a particular way. The child is encouraged to explore and learn through both his/her own will and though the examples set by the teacher. Someone who works in childcare education should, of course, like children and be able to communicate well with them. Young children generally don’t care if you are tired or not in the mood to play. High levels of energy, patience, and a sense of humour are useful for a career in this area, while the joy and satisfaction of helping young children learn is tremendously rewarding for many people. Did you know? The brain of a three-year-old child is twice as active as that of an adult. Further Resources Ø Early Childhood Ireland: www. earlychildhoodireland. ie  Ø St Nicholas Montessori College Ireland: www. snmci. ie Ø Síolta – The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education: www. siolta. ie   2010-10-20 Secondary Teaching Secondary Teaching Any students approaching the Leaving Cert will be well aware of the importance of having a good teacher to assist them in their studies. An enthusiastic, passionate, and talented teacher can make the most boring and difficult areas of study seem vibrant and interesting. One of the most popular reasons to become a secondary school teacher is that it offers the opportunity to concentrate on a particular area of interest – be it music, art, language, or physical education. Inspiring curiosity about your passion in others is extremely satisfying, and you get to talk about something you love all day!  Education The most common path to becoming a secondary school teacher is to complete a primary degree in one or two subjects and then take a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. You will find a list of recognised third-level qualifications – and the subjects they enable graduates to teach – on the website www. teachingcouncil. ie. For example, graduates of Athlone IT’s Bachelor of Business course can teach Accounting, Economics, or Business. Essentially, students must first develop a thorough knowledge of a subject during their degree course. Once they have done this they must then develop the teaching skills required to impart this knowledge.   Students who wish to become Art, Business, Home Economics, Music, Religion, Wood/Metal Work, and Physical Education teachers can take dedicated degree courses that bypass the need for a postgraduate qualification. Dedicated Science Education degrees have also been recently introduced. Some subjects (e. g. Physical Education, Art, Music, etc. ) require the candidate to demonstrate a certain amount of proficiency in the chosen area. Teaching courses combine academic and practical classes in a student’s chosen specialist subject with pedagogical and education-related subjects such as teaching skills, administration, assessment, and educational philosophy. Teaching practice placements often form a large component of teaching courses. These give students the chance to gain valuable experience by teaching in a secondary school. Graduates with general degrees can move on to the postgraduate diploma, while those who have taken a specialist education degree can enter the work environment directly. The Work The challenges of teaching are indisputable. Subjects, theories, and practical skills can be difficult enough for many people to master themselves without also having to pass this knowledge on to others.   Day-to-day work will depend on which subject you teach. For example, an English teacher’s day will be different to a P. E. teacher’s; a teacher of religion will have different tasks to a music or home economics teacher. What all teachers have in common is the necessity to abide by the curriculum and prepare students for their Junior and Leaving Certificates. The success of new examination practices (such as continuous assessment) and the growing use of technology in the classroom are also dependent on teachers’ efforts and skills. Teachers may also be involved in devising study plans, teaching ‘grinds’, supervising exams and after-school study sessions, organising sports teams, and other extra-curricular activities such as drama, art, music or debating, and planning field trips and school tours. Secondary school teaching is a tremendously rewarding and engaging career, where participants have the opportunity to make a real difference to young people’s lives by preparing them for the world beyond school. Did you know? Traditionally, a high number of TDs come from a teaching background. The trend has declined recently but with over 30 in the current Dáil, teachers still make up the largest professional group. Further Resources Ø Teaching Council – regulating and promoting the teaching profession: www. teachingcouncil. ie Ø Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI): www. asti. ie Ø Scoilnet– portal for Irish Education: www. scoilnet. ie 2010-10-20 Dietetics and Nutrition Dietetics and Nutrition The connection between our mental and physical well-being has long been recognised among cultures across the globe. It is generally understood that a balanced and nutritious diet promotes good health; but the more specific advice of experts in the field is increasingly sought by numerous sources – from those with special dietary requirements to elite-level athletes attempting to maximise their performance levels.      Nutritionists and dietitians study the components of food and the values they have; they are responsible for educating the general population about healthy food and promoting good eating habits. Third-level Nutrition and Dietetics courses are very scientific and cover the latest theories and technologies. For students with an aptitude for science subjects and an interest in human health, a course in Nutrition or Dietetics is well worth considering. Education School leavers interested in diet and nutrition have several degree options to choose from in Trinity, UCD, Dublin IT, Letterkenny IT, and Cork IT.   These courses teach students the connection between food and health on an individual and social level, against a background of scientific knowledge. Core aspects include the study of food chemistry, production processes, and safety requirements.  There is also instruction on the many facets of the human body: its biology, physiology, and metabolic system.   Students learn how the practical applications of this knowledge in environments such as public health, health education, clinical nutrition, food production, and laboratorial research. The development of research skills are a key  objective of nutrition degrees. Applied Biology – Food, Health & Nutrition, a Level 5 Certificate provided by Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, gives students the technical skills (Microbiology and Food Hygiene, Nutrition, Food Processing, etc. ) to work in the food or pharmaceutical industries or to pursue further study. The Work Clinical dietitians work in institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes, where they help prevent and treat illnesses by encouraging healthy eating habits. After consulting with doctors, the patient and his or her family, they scientifically evaluate the patient’s eating regime and suggest dietary modifications. This can include suggestions such as a reduced salt intake for those with high blood pressure or reduced sugar and fat intake for those who are overweight.   Consultant dietitians perform nutrition screenings and provide advice on areas such as cholesterol reduction and weight loss. Some have their own practices or work in health centres, while others find employment with sports boards or teams, supermarkets, or nutrition-related businesses. Management dietitians supervise the planning and preparation of meals in facilities such as hospitals, schools, prisons, and company cafeterias. They develop menus, hire and train food workers, and offer expert advice in budgeting and planning healthy meals, safety procedures, and sanitation. Nutritionists might also work in the food industry, where they help to develop new products and calculate their nutritional value. They may also work in a marketing or advertising department, helping to run promotional health campaigns, writing advertisements, and producing information to promote products.   Communicating skills are hugely important, particularly since dietitians are increasingly working on a freelance basis and must be skilled in connecting with and motivating others. Did you know? Berries contain more antioxidants than any other type of fruit. Further Resources Ø Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute (INDI): www. indi. ie Ø The Nutrition Society: www. nutritionsociety. org Ø Little Steps – online guide to healthy eating: www. littlesteps. eu 2010-10-20 Cheffing and Culinary Arts Cheffing & Culinary Arts The great French writer Voltaire once proclaimed that ‘Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity’; and as good chefs live to maximise the pleasure of this universal necessity, their talents will no doubt always be in high demand. As a result of this, professional cookery is one the best-catered-for professions in Ireland, with courses run all over the country. And as the most effective way for the Ramsays and Blumenthals of the future to sharpen their skills is in practice, all courses include work placement as part of the syllabus. Aside from the obvious prerequisites of creativity and cooking ability, a career in the culinary arts also calls for knowledge of nutrition and its various values and where they are to be found. Communicative and business skills will also be invaluable to those seeking success in this highly competitive sector. Education Any student with an interest in becoming a chef – or in choosing any other catering-related career – has a number of options, such as studying Culinary Arts at an Institute of Technology. Culinary Arts courses combine all aspects of practical cookery tuition with academic subjects such as Food Science, Product Development, and Entrepreneurial Studies. Three-year ordinary and four-year honours degrees are available, as well as two-year higher certificates, including one in DIT that specialises in healthy food provision and nutrition. Cheffing is also, ahem, ‘catered’ for at further education level. One-year Level 5 Certificates in Hotel & Catering – Professional Cookery are available from the Cavan Institute and Monaghan Institute of Further Education.   Hotel & Catering and Hospitality Management courses at higher and further level also include modules on catering management and food preparation.   The Work After qualification, most chefs take a job in a kitchen and work their way up the ranks. Quick progression, though possible, requires much hard work and dedication. Chefs have a rigid career ladder: there is the trainee chef, the commis chef (assistant), the chef de partie (section leader), the sous chef (deputy head) and the chef de cuisine (head chef). Other career opportunities in the food sector include restaurant management, along with food promotion, writing, styling, and product development. Chefs (also known as cooks) oversee the preparation and cooking of food and meals in kitchens. Larger restaurants or other establishments usually have teams of chefs who each have different responsibilities (e. g. , desserts, vegetables), with a number of specialist chefs working under a head chef. Junior chefs’ tasks and duties usually include cleaning the kitchen, unloading deliveries, and the preparation of food and vegetables, while senior chefs often have administrative responsibilities such as staff management, training, stock control, and accounting.   Chefs work in all kinds of places – mostly restaurants and hotels, but also pubs, cruise liners, and schools. Kitchens are generally stressful, hot, and noisy places to work and some head chefs run their kitchens like army generals. Long and unsociable hours, an angry working environment, and split shifts are all part of the job; but there are many positives too – the opportunity to self-express, work within a tight-knit team, along with the chance to travel and work in other countries. Did you know? Cooking is believed to have made us smarter – by encouraging our far-distant ancestors to socialise, cooking facilitated the development of our neural pathways and thus assisted the growth of our brains.   Further Resources Ø Fáilte Ireland: www. failteireland. ie Ø Panel of Chefs in Ireland – promoting professional cookery in Ireland: www. chefsireland. com Ø Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI): www. rai. ie 2010-10-20 Food Science & Food Technology Food Science and Food Technology Food science is more important than many of us realise. Yes, these are the guys who make sure our breakfast cereals are fortified with the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and iron, but they are also the guys making the effort to ensure the safety and quality of food around the globe, along with its sustainable production, processing, and packaging.   Food processing and manufacturing are currently big business areas in Ireland as our agricultural sector continues to develop and so there are plenty of opportunities for graduates in Food Science and Food Technology. Courses in Food Science or Food Technology combine theoretical science subjects with practical work experience and are well worth considering for school leavers whose interest in food goes further than just wondering what’s for dinner. Education There are a number of CAO options to choose from in food science. Degrees are available from UCC, UCD, UL, DIT, Waterford IT, and Letterkenny IT.   Food Science students gain a good grounding in general science subjects, including Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, before progressing to specialist Food Science topics such as Food Chemistry, Food Processing, Food Quality and Safety, Food Quality and Regulation, Nutrition and Food Microbiology. Students also gain a great deal of practical experience, spending plenty of time in the laboratory. A work placement in local industry is usually undertaken.   Most courses also include additional subjects on the curriculum, such as Communications, Information Technology, Accountancy, Management, and Marketing. These ‘non-scientific’ skills greatly enhance the employability of graduates in the food industry. Level 5 Certificates in Food Science are available from several further education providers. These programmes prepare students for work in roles ranging from the laboratory to the cottage food industry, or progression to higher level study. The Work There are many career options for food science and technology graduates, particularly in the agriculture industry. Many graduates are employed in dairy and meat factories, while others work with the Department of Agriculture as produce inspectors, or as researchers with Teagasc. Other possibilities include the industries concerned with brewing, cereals, fruit and vegetables, confectionery and soft drinks, as well as jobs in food marketing and retail. The appliance of science to food production is a particularly strong area for postgraduate study and research in Ireland, and there are many opportunities in the Biotechnology, Food Science, and Agricultural Science areas. Food scientists study the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of all types of food and use their knowledge to develop more efficient means of food harvesting, processing, preserving, packaging, and storing.   Food scientists will usually specialise in a particular area as their careers progress. Some may concentrate on basic research, while others may work in areas such as production management, food quality, safety and law, new product development, nutrition, marketing, research, and processing technology. Food technologists often work on the factory floor, assuring the day-to-day safety of the food produced. Other jobs that food technologists choose include product development and management; this could mean developing a recipe for mass-production as a microwave dinner.   Technical sales are another option – this involves liasing with clients, selling them your particular ingredient or product and explaining ‘the science bit’. To succeed in a food science career, you need a certain aptitude for science and mathematics, as well as a strong interest in food.  Attention to detail, good teamwork, and strong communication skills will also serve you well. Did you know? Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan which, once ingested, increases the body’s levels of serotonin – an effect similar to that of the anti-depressant Prozac. Further Resources Ø Bord Bia: www. bordbia. ie  Ø Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI): www. fsai. ie  Ø Teagasc: www. teagasc. ie 2010-10-20 Physiotherapy Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is a health profession that seeks to restore mobility and reduce the pain that results from injuries, aging, or illness. What is less well known is that physiotherapy also works in the prevention of such problems. Different techniques and programmes are used depending on the nature of the problem and the physio’s area of expertise. For example, a sports physio creates unique exercise and rehabilitation programmes to match the sport and role in question. So if you’re interested in helping others to maximize their physical performance and mobility then read on. Education Degrees in Physiotherapy are available from the Royal College of Surgeons, Trinity College, UCD, and UL. Only graduates of these courses can apply to become recognised members of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).   Physiotherapy students take a wide range of medical science subjects, including Human Anatomy, Biomechanics & Movement, Physiology, Electrotherapy, and Neurology as well as academic subjects such as Physiotherapy Theory & Context, Research Methods (with an eye towards a final year research project), and Health, Illness & Society. Students spend a great deal of time on clinical placements in a professional physiotherapy environment. This usually takes place in a hospital and sees students gaining experience of a variety of applications; for example, paediatrics, disability, musculoskeletal conditions, and respiratory cases. Closely related and highly interesting degrees are run by DCU (BSc in Athletic Therapy and Training) and by Carlow and Athlone ITs (Sports Rehabilitation & Athletic Therapy). These courses prepare students for a career in the world of sports injuries and performance, specialising in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries across all ages, standards of sporting ability, and population type. They differ from physiotherapists in that they specialise in musculoskeletal injuries arising from physical activity. A discipline that is closely related to physiotherapy but which does not require a degree to practice is that of sports therapy. Students of Level 5 Certificates in Sports Therapy learn how to massage, create exercise and fitness programmes, provide diet and nutritional advice, apply first aid, and more. Potential careers include physiotherapy assistants, physical educators, and sport injury therapists. Graduates may also secure roles in the leisure industry. The Work People with physiotherapy qualifications can find employment in public and private hospitals, within private practices, sporting organisations, education, industry, and within the Health Service Executive. ISCP membership is recognised worldwide, so graduates have the chance to work abroad if they wish. Physiotherapists are concerned with assisting those whose movement is restricted. Their first duty is to diagnose the patient’s problem before deciding upon the best course of treatment. The recovery process may involve several processes: exercise, movement, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, or manipulation. Examples of patients treated by physiotherapists include amputees, children with disabilities, stroke victims, and people injured in car crashes or playing sports.   Neurological physiotherapists treat patients whose movement difficulties stem from neurological conditions such as strokes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other forms of paralysis. Sports physiotherapists work with people who are returning from sports injuries. They devise programmes that help professional and amateur athletes to get back into peak condition. They can also work with sports coaches to devise training programmes that can help injury prevention. Other specialisations include respiratory physiotherapy, where patients with lung ailments such as asthma and bronchitis are given assistance in clearing their airways and breathing efficiently. All physiotherapists work closely with other health professionals such as doctors, nurses, radiographers and other therapists. Did you know? Twenty-five percent of the body’s bones are in the feet, so tread carefully… Further Resources Ø Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP): www. iscp. ie  Ø Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) – physiotherapy is a key service provided by the CRC to the physically disabled: www. crc. ie Ø Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (UK): www. csp. org. uk 2010-10-20 Optometry Optometry Elton John has over 500 pairs and although he may not be your fashion icon there is no doubt that glasses are fast becoming the ultimate accessory, as well as a necessity for many. A 2007 survey concluded that 46 per cent of Irish drivers had ‘indefinite’ vision and thus required an eye exam. So the demand is there for optometrists who assess the eyesight of individuals and determine the level of prescription called for to ensure good sight. Optometrists should be seen as distinct from opticians. An optician is someone who can dispense glasses or contact lenses, but to do the testing and prescription, you need to be a fully trained and qualified optometrist. Education The only undergraduate Optometry programme in Ireland is at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Kevin Street. This is an honours degree (level eight) course and candidates need at least one higher-level C3 in a Leaving Cert science subject. Optometry students study general science subjects such as Physics, Biology and Chemistry, as well as specialist eye-science subjects including Optometry and Optical Dispensing, Binocular Vision, Ocular Pharmacology & Contact Lenses and Optometric Instruments. The course also includes Business and Law subjects to prepare students for the professional requirements of an optometry practice. In the fourth year of the course, students take supervised optometric work placements for a period of at least six months. They must also undertake a research project or conduct a series of clinical case studies. Graduates then need to take examinations set by the Association of Optometrists Ireland before they can register to practice. As there are limited places to study Optometry in Ireland (which also increases the CAO points requirement), some people travel to the UK and take a course there. The Work There are good opportunities for optometrists in Ireland and abroad. After qualification, most new graduates are employed by optometry practices, where their main tasks are eye examinations, determining vision problems and preparing prescriptions. Many optometrists choose to specialise – some concentrate on treating partially sighted patients, while others choose sports vision or contact lenses. Other optometry graduates work in hospitals and for lens manufacturers. There are also opportunities in education, research and consulting work. Examining patients’ eyes is the fundamental part of an optometrist’s day. This process involves the assessing of three main areas of eye function: visual sharpness and refraction (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism), binocular vision (how the eyes work together), and eye health. An optometrist’ work goes further than asking you to read out the letters; expertise with a variety of instruments is mandatory. For example the retinoscope measures refraction by the amount of light that bounces off the retina, which determines the basis of a patient’s prescription. Lenses of varying power are then placed in front of the eye until the refractive (focusing) error is cancelled out and a final, more accurate result is achieved. The various tests that optometrists perform allow them to examine the internal and external structures of patients’ eyes. This means they may detect eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts, as well as systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Optometrists won’t treat such conditions themselves, but rather refer patients to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). However, they do play an important role in the early detection and diagnosis of these potentially debilitating conditions. Did you know? The reason why we blink is to lubricate our eyeballs so they don’t get too dry. Further Resources Association of Optometrists – www. optometrists. ie Sightsavers Ireland – www. sightsavers. ie National Council for the Blind of Ireland – www. ncbi. ie 2010-10-20 Occupational, Speech and Language Therapy Occupational and Speech & Language Therapy Occupational therapists help people overcome their physical, mental, or social problems. They teach people additional skills and guide them towards living independent and satisfying lives. The role encompasses a wide variety of activities, each concerned with overcoming physical, psychological, and social difficulties. Speech and language therapists identify, assess, and assist those suffering from communication disorders; a large number of clients would be children, although adults could also seek assistance for problems caused by illness, psychological trauma, or a number of other reasons. Modern improvements in the world of science and communications have made great differences to both of these professions; therapists have a chance to make a huge impact in the lives of those who need it most. Education NUI Galway, Trinity College, and UCC provide degrees in Occupational Therapy and in Speech & Language Therapy.   Occupational Therapy students take a variety of academic medical and social science subjects, including Psychology, Anatomy, Physiology, Neurophysiology, Group Work & Professional Skills, and Enabling Occupation. Speech & Language Therapy students take a similar combination of subjects, along with others such as Phonetics and Phonology, Linguistics, Social Policy and Psychology.   Both courses typically involve practical work placements in clinical settings, which form an important part of the students’ training. The Work Occupational therapists concentrate on the particular troubles or issues faced by an individual and then design a specific programme to assist and encourage the individual’s development. The overall aim is to teach skills that will lead to an increased level of independence and confidence. For example, occupational therapists may work with stroke victims or people badly injured in traffic accidents, and help them take up a hobby or learn a new skill (such as painting or carpentry). Such activities allow patients to ‘re-learn’ the use of certain physical processes and movements which may have been damaged, thus giving them a renewed sense of self-belief and facilitating their rehabilitation. Speech & language therapists enable people with communication disorders to achieve their maximum potential to communicate. Therapists assess an individual’s situation and needs, come up with a diagnosis, and implement a therapeutic programme.   Developmental speech problems include aphasia, motor-speech disorders, cognitive impairment, and swallowing disorders. Some people may develop these problems after an accident or stressful event, while others may have had a disorder since birth.   Speech & language therapists can assist with disorders where the patient’s understanding of the spoken word may be impaired. They can also help with disorders of articulation and fluency, when the intelligibility and continuity of speech is affected. They may also work with adults and children with learning disabilities to help them fulfil their communicative potential. Therapists also play a significant role in the management of clients with swallowing disorders. Both occupational therapists and speech & language therapists can be involved in the planning and implementation of health promotion and education programmes.   Patience, understanding, and resourcefulness are all required to be a successful therapist. Excellent communication skills and an enquiring mind would be of great assistance, while an aptitude for science subjects would also be useful. Did you know? Approximately one-third of occupational therapists work with children, many of whom are in need of treatment because of handwriting difficulties. Further Resources Ø Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI): www. aoti. ie  Ø Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists: www. iaslt. com Ø National Rehabilitation Hospital: www. nrh. ie 2010-10-20 Nursing Nursing Nurses are an intrinsic part of the healthcare system and provide services without which society would be at a massive loss. They have a fundamental role in the lives of others, being present at births, deaths, and all illnesses in between. While there is an ongoing recruitment ban in the health sector due to current economic conditions, there is always the hope that prospects will have improved in four years’ time. It is also worth bearing in mind that Irish nurses have an excellent reputation abroad and so overseas employment remains an exciting and viable option. In addition to this, busy private hospitals at home are continuing to recruit. To become a registered nurse in Ireland, you must first undertake a nursing degree from one of the many teaching hospitals around the country, all of which are affiliated with higher education institutions.   Nursing is a traditionally popular CAO choice among young women, though the number of men attempting to enter the profession is on the increase. If you think you have the required combination of scientific skill, patience, and empathy, then you may be well suited to a career in nursing. Education Those interested in a nursing career must choose one of the nursing disciplines – General, Children’s & General, Midwifery, Intellectual Disability, and Mental Health/Psychiatric. Level 8 honours degree courses are available in each specialisation. The General Nursing degree equips students with the skills to care for adults and children suffering from medical and surgical ailments through a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Subjects include Pharmacology & Health, Chemistry, Anatomy, Psychology, and Social Policy. Midwifery students take many of the same theoretical subjects as their general nursing colleagues along with topics such as Contemporary Midwifery and Health Care Quality & Informatics. Clinical placements are a major part of all nursing courses. Students gain hands-on experience of home care, surgical nursing, operating theatre techniques, maternity nursing, and accident and emergency procedures. Students taking the Psychiatric Nursing option focus on areas such as addiction services, acute assessment, admissions, and community care. An extended period of work experience is undertaken in fourth year, during which students receive payment.   A popular alternative route to nursing is through further education with the one-year Level 5 Certificate in Nursing Studies. Students who achieve a minimum of five distinctions are entitled to apply for places reserved for FETAC graduates on several third-level nursing degree courses. Competition is tough when taking this route, but a viable alternative is travelling to enrol in a degree programme in the UK, or working as a care assistant until entry into a third-level college is secured. The Work The primary objective of nurses is care and rehabilitation. The appropriate care needed will vary depending on the condition of the patient, but it will generally involve administering medicine, performing tests, and monitoring the patient’s health status and vital signs. It is the duty of a nurse to serve the best interests of the patient. Nurses also liaise with other members of the hospital team and help doctors and other healthcare professionals with procedures. Nurses who work with people suffering from mental disabilities encourage independence in patients and improve their quality of life. A nurse can be involved in all the client’s daily tasks, from assisting with washing or eating to taking part in activities such as art or swimming. Some people with profound disabilities may require intensive physical nursing, while others might require only supportive guidance. Psychiatric nurses help people with emotional or psychological illnesses, or those recovering from particularly traumatic experiences. Psychiatric nurses build strong relationships with individuals and their families and help their patients to live full lives. Midwives work with women during pregnancy, help during childbirth, and provide care to mothers and babies during the early post-natal period. Tasks can include monitoring the mother and baby using ultrasound scanners, advising the mother on diet and nutrition, and teaching both parents how to look after their newborn child. A caring personality and a desire to help others are prerequisites of nursing positions. A certain amount of scientific ability is also useful, as is a resourceful character. Nurses should also possess a certain amount of organisational skills and an ability handle pressure well. Weekly workloads are split into different shifts and so evening and weekend work is a common occurrence. Did you know? The first nursing school in history dates back to 250 B. C. and was located in India. Strangely, only men were considered to be ‘pure’ enough to work as nurses. Further Resources Ø Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO): www. inmo. ie  Ø An Bord Altranais: www. nursingboard. ie Ø Irish Practice Nurses Association: www. irishpracticenurses. ie 2010-10-20 Medicine Medicine Medicine is the Rolls Royce of the CAO and announcing it as your first choice is sure to impress. However, it is not a decision to be taken lightly as it takes a great deal of commitment and hard work. Applicants must accrue high scores in both the Leaving Cert and in the HPAT test. The latter measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as their non-verbal reasoning and ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour, and intentions of people. HPAT-Ireland will take place on the 20 January 2013 (registrations open in early November). Once all of this has been done, students can then look forwards to a further ten years of intense study and work experience, with long hours and (relatively) low pay. Like we said before, the decision to go for a career in Medicine should not be taken lightly! With the obligatory caveat out of the way, we should mention some of the plus points. For one thing, taking a career in medicine guarantees a challenge: if you feel that you have a lot to offer – intellectually and/or personally – then a career in medicine will ensure that your talents are put to full use. Another major plus is that you are directly helping people, and in a very real and tangible way. Other pros include the fact that your future income is guaranteed to be good and, as a medical practitioner, you will enjoy a great deal of social respect. All in all, it is clear why people want to become doctors, surgeons, specialists, and consultants, but the level of effort and determination required is immense, and this is something that potential candidates need to consider. Education Degrees in Medicine ordinarily last for five or six years. The emphasis is on pre-clinical skills for the first part of most courses. In the early years, students take basic medical science subjects such as Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pharmacology, Psychology, and Medical Informatics. In later years, students attend modular courses in clinical subjects including Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, and Psychiatry. This involves periods of residency in general and specialist hospitals, attachment to a general practice, and systematic instruction in the various medical specialities. Students spend lots of time in hospitals, shadowing doctors, learning in small group sessions, or at patients’ bedsides. Newly qualified/junior doctors must enter a specialised training scheme – all branches of medicine (Surgery, General Practitioner, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Psychiatrics, and Radiology) require further postgraduate training for between three and seven years. Medicine is now available as a postgraduate conversion course. This changes the education situation considerably, and means that people who have already taken a different healthcare or science undergraduate course – or even Film Studies or Accountancy (as long as you achieved at least a 2. 1 grade) – can apply to study medicine at a later stage. Graduate Entry Medicine programmes are provided by UCD, UCC, UL, and the Royal College of Surgeons. The Work The primary task of a doctor is to diagnose a patient’s problems, something which can often be far from obvious. Doctors can do this through effective observation of and communication with the patient, as well as by performing the relevant tests. The role of General Practitioner (GP) is, in itself, a specialisation. GPs assess and treat a wide range of conditions, ailments, and injuries – anything from sinus infections to chronic pain to broken wrists. When patients’ specific health needs require further treatment, GPs will refer them to a specialist in the relevant area. Hospital doctors diagnose and treat illness, disease, and infection in patients who have been admitted to hospital or outpatient clinics. They examine patients who fall within their particular specialisation and carry out the necessary treatment. Hospital doctors may be involved in teaching and performing research. Doctors may also have other administrative and management tasks within the hospital. Surgeons perform complex operations, some of which may be life saving, and which are carried out under local or full (‘general’) anaesthetic. Senior doctors can become consultants who may concentrate on a particular area and become experts in their fields. They can then work for a number of public or private hospitals. Doctors should possess a good memory and be instinctive in problem approaching and solving. They must also be good communicators and capable of making tough decisions. A good bedside manner is highly desirable, though a certain amount of emotional detachment is sometimes necessary. Hospital doctors’ working hours can be long and irregular, and may include working shifts, weekends, and public holidays. GPs typically work from their clinics or surgeries and are usually available for around fifty hours a week. Medicine graduates aren’t short of other options – there are opportunities to work as medical scientists in hospitals, or with pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, or medical device manufacturers. Did you know? The stomach gets a new lining every three to four days. The mucus-like cells lining the walls of the stomach would soon dissolve due to the strong digestive acids there if they weren’t being continuously replaced.   Further Resources Ø The Medical Council: www. medicalcouncil. ie  Ø Irishhealth. com: www. irishhealth. com Ø Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP): www. icgp. ie 2010-10-20 Dentistry & Dental Hygiene Dentistry & Dental Hygiene There are varying paths to consider within dentistry such as dental surgery, hygiene, technology, and nursing. Most dentists work as general practitioners, handling a variety of dental needs; others specialise in areas such as orthodontics, which can prove to be extremely lucrative. However, continuing advances in technology ensure that dentistry remains an innovative and exciting field to work in. The chief responsibilities that dentists and dental hygienists face are safeguarding the health of patients, promoting the welfare of the community, and maintaining the honour and integrity of the dental profession. Both professionally and financially rewarding, dentistry is a great career to get your teeth into (sorry…). Education Only two universities in the Republic of Ireland offer Dentistry degrees that enable graduates to practise as professional dentists: UCC and TCD. Both courses take five years to complete and provide a comprehensive theoretical and practical education in the dental arts. Topics include Oral Diagnosis, Restorative Dentistry, Periodontology, Orthodontics, Oral Health & Development, and Oral Surgery. Students spend a lot of time in the laboratory, and by their third year they are treating real patients in dental hospitals. Two-year Dental Hygiene diplomas are also available at UCC (direct entry – contact the university) and Trinity College (CAO entry). These include modules such as Infection Control & Immunity, Basic Preventive & Periodontal Care, Dental Radiography & Psychology, and Social Concepts in Patient Care. Graduates should have the skills required for entry into the Dental Council’s Register of Dental Hygienists. Qualifications in Dental Nursing are available at Level 5 from Cavan Institute and Marino College of Further Education, Level 6 from Athlone IT, Level 7 from Trinity; as well as another direct entry, two-year diploma in UCC. Aside from clinical topics such as Dental Studies and Anatomy, student nurses are taught the practical skills – infection control, business administration, and so on – required to run a dental surgery safely and efficiently. Cork College of Commerce provides a Level 5 Dental Reception course.   Trinity College also run a unique three-year degree in Dental Technology. A dental technologist designs and creates prosthetic dental devices (e. g. dental alloys, porcelain restorations), and is a key member of the dental team. Potential careers exist in dental hospitals, dental research, and dental forensics. The Work The basic day-to-day work of a dental surgeon involves the filling, straightening, extracting, crowning, and cleaning of patients’ teeth. They may also fit dentures and perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones in order to treat disease. Dentists must be proficient in the use of a variety of equipment, including drills and X-ray machines, and instruments such as forceps, scalpels, syringes, mouth mirrors, brushes, and probes. In the course of their work, dentists administer anaesthetic, write prescriptions for medication, and advise patients on oral care to prevent future problems. Depending on the job, they may have to perform administrative tasks such as equipment purchasing and bookkeeping.   Dental hygienists can work alongside dentists in practices or within the community dental service. Their duties include cleaning teeth by removing plaque and tartar, polishing teeth, taking X-rays, administering local anaesthetic under the supervision of a registered dentist, and applying temporary coatings and sealants. Dental hygienists can also plan, implement, and evaluate promotional and educational oral health activities for groups and individuals. Dental nurses assist in all the activities of a dental surgery, from assisting the dentists with clinical procedures (e. g. preparing and sterilising instruments, comforting the patient) to administrative duties such as managing patient records, appointments, and payments. Did you know? Some dentists recommend that toothbrushes be kept at least six feet from the toilet in order to avoid possible contamination from the airborne bacteria that result from flushing. Further Resources Ø Dental Council of Ireland: www. dentalcouncil. ie  Ø Irish Dental Association: www. dentist. ie  Ø Dental Health Foundation: www. dentalhealth. ie 2010-10-20 Journalism Journalism A newspaper is only ever hours away from the recycling bin and so a typical article only gets one chance to capture the reader’s attention. Although online articles, with their longer periods of publication, have lessened this pressure somewhat, all journalistic writing requires a particular type of immediacy and topicality that differentiates it from other forms of written expression. Journalists gather, assess, and report on the news. They help uphold a democratic society’s values by providing a forum for public reflection and debate, and so they have an obligation to present the truth in an objective, conscientious, and proportional manner. Recent phone-hacking scandals in the UK have revealed how bad things can get when ethics and objectivity are abandoned. Such underhand techniques are the easy way out, and only emphasise the level of hard work and discipline that is required to produce a genuinely informative article by honourable means. Education Journalism courses teach a broad range of vocational skills, including how to research and write a story and develop your writing style. Several options exist at third level. Journalism degrees are provided by DCU, DIT, Griffith College (Dublin and Cork), UL, Dublin Business School, and Independent Colleges.   Typical subjects on a journalism course include News Writing, Feature Writing, Law, Media Studies, Investigative Reporting & Research, Photography, Shorthand Writing, TV & Radio Reporting, and Ethics of Journalism. Students also learn the role that journalism plays in the context of society, politics, and the economy – both historically and in terms of the present day and new media technologies. Some interesting alternatives offer the opportunity to study journalism in a different context or with another subject. These include journalism through Irish in DCU, with Irish or French in DIT, and with Visual Media such as photography and video in Griffith College Dublin.   Many courses include work placements with newspapers, TV, or radio stations. It is a good idea for student journalists to get involved with their college newspaper or radio station and build up a portfolio of articles to impress potential employers. Journalism is also well catered for in further education. One-year certificates are provided in Print Journalism, and in conjunction with other disciplines such as Public Relations, Photography, Desktop Publishing, and Radio Broadcasting. The Work Many graduates start out as reporters for freesheets, Internet sites, trade magazines, or the local press, where they hone their skills on local issues or specific subjects (e. g. court reporting, entertainment listings, etc. ) and gain experience conducting interviews, writing stories, reporting news, web publishing, sub-editing copy, and page layout. This allows younger journalists to build a portfolio of stories with which to impress more prestigious national or specialist outlets.   The telephone is probably the most important tool of the professional journalist. More time is spent chasing stories, making contacts, researching information, and conducting interviews than actually writing the articles. Journalists can become experts in their particular areas (such as politics, sport, or culture) and must often explain complex issues in a language that everyone can understand.   Often, journalists aim to move from reporting to features or opinion writing. This means that they concentrate less on breaking news, and instead analyse the issues and contexts behind the stories. Careers that are related to journalism include sub-editing and editing newspapers or magazines, marketing and PR, and researching or producing for TV and radio news programmes. Sub-editors check and rearrange the text submitted to make sure that it complies with the paper’s style and point of view. Radio and TV researchers and producers source information, organise interviewees, and plan schedules for news programmes. A clear writing style is important to good journalism; and while a distinct voice is an asset that will make your articles more memorable and enjoyable, you must also be able to switch style in order to match the tone of whatever publication you are reporting for at the time. The ability to work well under pressure and to extremely tight deadlines is also a hugely important attribute. Did you know? The founder of the modern-day Financial Times, one of the largest business news publications in the world, was from Ireland. Brendan Bracken was born in Templemore, County Tipperary, though he spent much of his later life abroad and in denial of his Irish roots. Bracken also published The Economist, was the founding editor of The Banker, and, perhaps most remarkably, was an advisor and close friend of Winston Churchill for more than thirty years.   Further Resources Ø National Union of Journalists (NUJ): www. nuj. ie  Ø Pulitzer Prizes – a world-famous award for US-published journalists: www. pulitzer. org Ø National Newspapers of Ireland – representative body for Ireland’s national newspapers: www. nni. ie  2010-10-20 Languages Languages The study of language is much more than learning tenses or how to ask for iced tea in Germany; it also involves expanding your knowledge and experience to include other cultures and ways of life. Fluency in any language leaves you better equipped for employment in an array of sectors, from business to education, health to tourism. It also makes travel a more rewarding and interesting experience. Undeniably, many view Irish as a dead language, but the career opportunities that await those who know their Aimsir Chaite from their Aimsir Fháistineach prove this to be a fallacy. Irish students have a wealth of career paths ahead of them – from translating for EU bodies to working with TG4. It is becoming increasingly common for students to study a language alongside another subject. Many third-level courses now include a foreign language as an optional subject, thereby making it possible to gain fluency in a language without taking a dedicated course, which can greatly improve the look of your CV. Education While French, German, and Spanish remain the most popular language choices at third level, there is a wide range of other language courses for students to choose from – for instance, students can now take Chinese, Russian, or Welsh as part of their Arts or Business degrees. Language courses typically comprise two components – 1) the development of language and communication skills, and 2) the study of the culture and history surrounding the language. Courses cover areas such as grammar, comprehension, composition, textual analysis, and linguistics. They also examine the literature, culture, politics, history, and society of the country or countries where the languages developed. Interpreting and translation skills are taught during the latter part of a language course, when students are (hopefully) approaching fluency.   Of course a major incentive for anyone thinking of embarking on a Language course is the opportunity it gives them to study abroad for a year. By living among native speakers and absorbing the local culture, students can deepen their knowledge of a language’s intricacies and thereby take another important step towards outright fluency. Besides learning Irish as a subject in an Arts degree, students can also enrol in a Gaeilge degree with a particular focus – for example, translation in NUI Galway, and Journalism or Business in DCU. Level 5 Certificates in Language & European Studies (course code: ELESX) are available at PLC level from Dunboyne College of Further Education, Coláiste  Dhúlaigh, Pearse College of Further Education, Limerick College of Further Education, Cork College of Commerce, and Cavan Institute. The Work The most obvious career routes for graduates in Languages are teaching (at second and third level or in private colleges), interpreting, and translating. As a general rule, interpreters work with the spoken word, while translators deal with the written word.   However, language skills are also highly valued in other sectors, and there is a wealth of employment opportunities for graduates in areas such as international business, marketing, exporting, communications, IT, tourism, with EU institutions, and the Irish civil service.   Competition for interpreting and translating jobs is high, and so many graduates augment their career prospects with a postgraduate qualification. In order to work as an interpreter you will need to have complete fluency in more than one language. You must also be able to understand the nuances and context of what the speaker or author is trying to communicate, as often a word-for-word translation will omit the true meaning of what was said or written. Interpreters convert the spoken word (e. g. , speeches, conversation, questions, and statements) from one language to another, often in real-time, as a person is speaking. They may find work with international agencies, such as the United Nations, or as freelancers at conferences or in the courts.   Translators, on the other hand, may work on books, articles, technical instructions, and law documents. They will often need to have specialist knowledge of the subject with which they are dealing; some translators will have a formal education in their subject area, such as history or engineering, while others gain experience as their career progresses. Many IT and manufacturing companies now employ translators for the localisation of software packages or programmes; that is, the translation of software for different markets. As with interpreters, translators may also often find work as freelancers, either through contacts or through a translating agency. A real love of language is a must for any aspiring translators or interpreters. You must be capable of concentrating for long spells and of working well under pressure – especially for interpreting in front of large crowds or in difficult situations. Good writing skills are another essential tool for translation work. Did you know? Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is spoken by approximately 14. 1 per cent of the world’s population. Further Resources Ø Irish Translators & Interpreters Association (ITIA): www. translatorsassociation. ie Ø Erasmus Student Network (ESN): www. esn. org 2010-10-20 Sports & Leisure Sports & Leisure Sport is now a professional sector of the Irish economy with recent years witnessing an increase in gym membership, and a growing appreciation for a scientific approach to exercise and performance. This steady growth has led to the creation of a large number of jobs in the industry and has made it a viable career path for those with an interest in this area.   Management, education, and coaching are just a selection of the roles involved, so experience with fitness techniques alone is not enough. A third-level course is a valuable asset in this profession as it explores business and management aspects as well as physical performance.   Education Readers who are particularly interested in sporting performance, how the body works, and how that extra burst of speed or ounce of strength can be achieved, will enjoy a degree in Sports Science. Available from UCD (Science – Health & Performance), DCU, IT Tallaght, IT Carlow, UL, and Athlone IT, these courses examine all the scientific aspects of sport: Sport and Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Nutrition, Sport Psychology, Sports Injury and Treatment, Coaching, and Pharmacology. Many other Sport & Leisure CAO courses provide modules on coaching and physical performance, while also focusing on the managerial and business aspects of sports. Providers include various ITs (Athlone, Blanchardstown, Letterkenny, Limerick, Waterford), UCD (Sport & Exercise Management) and the LIT Tipperary. Administrative and sports development modules include Marketing, Sport/Leisure Facility Management, Accounting, IT, and Sport Law & Regulation. Interesting alternatives include code-specific Sport & Exercise degrees in football, rugby, or GAA available from IT Carlow; Community Sports Leadership in Dundalk IT, which explores the positive influence of sports and physical activity on local communities and youth groups; the BEd in Sports Studies & Physical Education in UCC, which facilitates a career as a PE teacher or team manager in a second-level school. Readers with a passion for the great outdoors will be tempted by degrees in Adventure Tourism Management and Outdoor Education & Leisure provided by IT Tralee and Galway-Mayo IT respectively. The courses make full use of local landscapes in producing graduates who are ready to begin their careers in activity tourism, expedition management, and adventure activities. At PLC level, the widely available Level 5 Certificate in Sport & Recreation is an excellent introduction to the above disciplines. Modules in this one-year programme include Anatomy & Physiology, Leisure Facility Administration, Sport Coaching (various codes), Health & Fitness, First Aid, and an opportunity to take a work placement. The Work Graduates in the sports and leisure arena work in sports development, sports marketing and sponsorship, sports club and leisure centre management, along with many other sectors of the entertainment and leisure industries. Sports and leisure managers are responsible for the administration of sports centres and leisure facilities. They may also be in charge of the organisation and development of sporting activities. Administration tasks of sports or leisure managers can include budgeting and financial management, hiring and training staff, advertising and marketing activities, purchasing materials and equipment, and organising competitions and events. Ensuring the adherence to health, safety, and legal requirements is an important part of the job. On the sporting side of things, leisure centre employees can be involved in maintaining sports equipment such as weights, pools, and pitches. They may also be involved in planning nutrition, training, and fitness programmes, and in coaching teams for competitions. People often start off as coaches or instructors and before being promoted to managerial roles when they have gained sufficient experience. Sports Development Officers help people of all ages and levels of ability take part in sport and develop their skills. They can work in schools or youth groups. Some may be involved in improving community sports facilities, while others might deal with administration tasks for a national sporting body such as the FAI or GAA. Responsibilities can also include working on policy at national or local level, and trying to increase levels of participation across all sectors of society. Sports Science graduates may work in coaching or in health promotion and development. They are also in a position to pursue a sport research career in academic or corporate organisations. Did you know? The javelin thrower Uwe Hohn was the first (and possibly the last) man to throw a javelin more than 100m. Hohn smashed the previous world record of 99. 72m when he achieved a distance of 104. 8m in 1984. Shortly after this the IAAF changed the design of the javelin in order to reduce the distance of throws and prevent flat landings. The record statistics were therefore restarted, and so Hohn’s throw became an ‘eternal world record’. Further Resources Ø Irish Sports Council: www. irishsportscouncil. ie  Ø FAI (Football Association of Ireland): www. fai. ie Ø GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association): www. gaa. ie 2010-10-20 Hospitality and Hotel Management Hospitality & Hotel Management ‘A satisfied customer; we should have him stuffed’, joked the best-loved hotel manager of all time, Basil Fawlty. The humour of this statement is born from its truth: running a hotel can involve crises and calm, disgruntled customers and satisfied clients. It is a role that involves a great deal of hard work, late nights, and early mornings; a good hotel manager is always available. The industry faces many challenges: when one considers the legacy of the boom years to the hospitality industry – refurbishment, reconstruction, expansion, and the development of a huge array of services (from golf courses to exercise and spa facilities), prudent management has never been more essential. The resources, after all, are there; what they now require is someone to run them both efficiently and profitably. The global fall in spend on services means that hospitality managers – from bars and restaurants to nightclubs and hotel divisions (e. g. food and beverage, accommodation) – have to work harder and with greater expertise in order to attract customers. A slapdash approach sugar-coated in Irish charm may have worked in the past, but such complacence has had its day, and customers now expect more, and rightly so.   Education Due to the practical skills needed to succeed in the industry, work experience plays a big role in Hotel Management courses. Students generally gain experience and training through obligatory placements (which are often abroad). These last for a minimum of six months. Hotel Management degrees are available from IT Tralee, Galway-Mayo IT, Athlone IT, and Shannon College of Hotel Management.   Courses include a combination of vocational and theoretical training. Academic subjects include Strategic Management, Finance, Marketing, IT, and Hospitality Law. Students will also learn technical, supervisory, and problem-solving skills. The courses also provide a thorough grounding in practical tasks such as front office and reception techniques, accommodation management, and food and beverage services. Field trips and in-house work practise utilising college catering and bar facilities also play an important role in the education of hotel managers. Hospitality honours degrees, ordinary degrees, and higher certificates are available from Galway-Mayo, Tralee, Limerick, Dundalk, Cork, Dublin, Tallaght, Letterkenny, and Waterford Institutes of Technology, as well as from Griffith College Dublin.   These courses aim to produce well-rounded graduates with the full skillset (people skills, business acumen, and technical abilities such as catering, bar management, etc. ) required for a hospitality management career. Students are introduced to the core skills required for management in all areas of the vast hospitality sector: HR Management, Accounting, Marketing, Food & Beverage Operations, Accommodation Management, and Tourism Studies. The International option in DIT, IT Tallaght, Griffith College, and Letterkenny IT also includes foreign language modules. Work placements and practical experience are a key element of all Hospitality Management degree courses. Front Office Management (encompassing customer service and reception) is a particularly important function for any business in the hospitality industry. It’s where most contact with that all-important person, the customer, takes place. Limerick IT (Front Office Management) and Letterkenny IT (Hotel Administration at Killybegs) provide front office training. Typical modules include IT Applications for Front Office, Communications and Customer Care, and a language. At PLC level, St Tiernan’s Community School in Dublin and Waterford College of Further Education also provide courses.   Several Hotel & Catering PLC programmes offer a non-management entry route to careers in hospitality, or alternatively progression to a higher education award in Hospitality Management. These courses also provide valuable experience through work placement. The Work Hotels usually prefer their executives to have experience in the nitty-gritty of running a hotel, so graduates often gain experience in each element of the hospitality business (e. g. catering, accommodation) before becoming senior managers. Day-to-day tasks for hotel managers can include co-ordinating a team of other managers and senior staff, planning the hotel budget, deciding on menus, dealing with important or troublesome guests, interviewing and training new staff, planning advertising campaigns, overseeing facilities, improvements and repairs, and liaising with other tourism professionals such as travel agents, tour reps, and local tourist authorities. As well as managerial positions, the expansion of the hotel industry means that there are also a variety of executive positions open to graduates who may obtain, for example, a position of high responsibility with a large international hotel chain.   Whether working in a hotel, nightclub, or hostel, hospitality managers must exhibit an ability to communicate with customers in a warm and welcoming manner, as well as a working knowledge of budgets, accounts, and the bottom line.   An ability to motivate, encourage, and get the best from what is often (and unfortunately) a low-paid workforce is also an important attribute for hospitality and hotel managers. Reception/front office staff are vital to a well-run hotel. They receive guests, handle reservations, and often have accounting and budgeting responsibilities. An ability to speak a foreign language will greatly increase one’s chances of securing work in one of the more prestigious hotels. Did you know? A study made by the British Hotel Association found that women steal more often than men. The American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates that theft in hotels amounts to US$100 million a year. Tut tut! Further Resources Ø Online directory of Irish hotels: www. irelandhotels. com Ø Barkeeper – online resource for hospitality businesses: www. barkeeper. ie 2010-10-20 Beauty Therapy & Hairdressing Beauty Therapy & Hairdressing Back in 2009, the Sultan of Brunei paid £15, 000 for his favourite barber, who usually charges £30, to be flown in private compartment luxury from London. This may not be a realistic prospect for most, but it does reveal the level of loyalty a good barber can expect from customers! Advances in treatments and technology meanwhile have had huge connotations for the beauty industry. The rewards are greater but an increasingly high level of training and expertise is required. A 2008 survey carried out by City and Guilds in the UK found that beauticians and hairdressers are respectively the first and second happiest workers. You can’t argue with happiness; so read on to find your path to job satisfaction… Education Dozens of further education colleges provide courses in Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing. Courses are one or two years in length and titles on offer include Beauty Therapy, Beauty & Body Therapy, Beauty & Complementary Therapies, and Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy. Certifying bodies include FETAC, City & Guilds and internationally recognised bodies such as ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council) and CIBTAC (Confederation of International Beauty and Cosmetology). Typical subjects covered on a beauty therapy course include Cleansing, Skin Analysis, Facial Massage, Electrotherapy, Indian Head Massage, Diet & Nutrition and Depilation, while Hairdressing modules include Blow-drying, Perming, Colouring, Styling and Hair & Scalp Diagnosis. Most of these courses also prepare students for professional practise with various business administration modules (e. g. Customer Service). FÁS provide entry routes to careers in Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing. They provide a 48-week Beauty Therapist Traineeship (see FÁS – Training & Trades) and numerous Hairdressing courses of varying duration are available at FÁS centres around the country. Another pathway into the hairdressing profession is to start your training with a major hairdressing chain. This allows you to earn as you learn. You will experience everything from the basics – washing, shampooing and blow-drying – to the more complex skills of cutting and colouring. A full salon training programme takes around four years to complete and involves both on-the-job and offsite instruction. Numerous private colleges and beauty schools provide full-time and part-time beauty courses. Check out the course search facilities on Gotocollege. ie and Nightcourses. com for further information. The WorkFacials, manicures, pedicures, waxing and plucking are all on the menu at your average beauticians while hairdressers and barbers cut and style hair and both professions can find themselves as an agony aunt as many customers use their services to help prepare for an important dinner, holiday, meeting with the ex, etc. Specialist equipment is ubiquitous in the beauty therapy business – electrolysis and laser hair removal are two of the most popular treatments offered and beauty therapists need to be fully trained in how to use the relevant machines. Electrical equipment is also used for certain slimming treatments and the eradication of thread veins and skin blemishes. Some therapists specialise in a particular area, such as nail technicians. Many beauty therapists and salons also offer additional services in alternative therapies and treatments such as reflexology, henna painting, aromatherapy, holistic massage, and body wrapping. There are also plenty of opportunities for a beauty therapist or hair stylist to move into different fields. One option is the fashion industry, styling models for photo shoots or the catwalk. A vivacious personality is at the forefront of the necessary characteristics for this industry. The aim is to make the client’s experience as pleasurable as possible and so enthusiasm and conversation are important. Employees should also be well groomed; a hairdresser with unruly hair doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Did you know? Hair is strong as a wire of iron. It rips after applying a force equivalent to 60kg, and only after it has stretched by about 70 per cent. Further Resources International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC): www. itecworld. co. uk FÁS: www. fas. ie 2010-10-20 Aviation Aviation The aviation industry has encountered a good deal of turbulence (pun intended) in recent months with even the all-conquering Ryanair forecasting losses thanks for rising fuel prices. In all likelihood, however, this will do little to lessen the competition for posts in aviation, as the travel and perceived glamour make it quite a popular career choice.   There are varying roles to consider: pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, and maintenance engineers are the most typical roles in the aviation industry, with different skills and qualifications necessary for each. Education There are a number of private organisations and schools licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority to provide pilot training (these course providers are listed on the IAA website below). Courses mix theory and practical elements, and you will have to complete a set amount of flying time to gain your professional pilot’s licence, which allows you to apply for jobs with airlines. The Irish Aviation Authority trains student air traffic controllers at its training centre in Shannon. The course lasts for two years and the entrance requirements are a Leaving Certificate with five passes (including English and Maths) with a Grade C in at least two higher-level papers. You must be 19 years old to apply. Students will be given tuition in Air Law and Navigation theory, Theory of Flight and Meteorology, as well as receiving instruction in Radar and Non-Radar skills and Aerodrome skills, plus on-the-job training at an airport. Graduates with a higher level degree or other qualifications in engineering or science subjects can move into Maintenance Engineering. A dedicated Aeronautical Engineering degree course is provided by the University of Limerick. The other route is to take an apprenticeship in Aircraft Mechanics with FÁS, which involves a mixture of classroom education and on-the-job experience. Shannon Aerospace also runs traineeships for would-be Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Aircraft Spray Painters. Cabin crew don’t usually need a third-level qualification, and students apply directly to the company or airline. An outgoing personality and good customer service skills are required, while a second European language, physical fitness, and sales skills are also useful. Employers will provide a preliminary training course that covers areas such as customer service, first aid, flight and communications theory, and safety procedures. The Work Most aviation graduates work in the passenger industry. There are also opportunities in freight, defence (air force), instruction and management roles. It can be difficult to break into the aviation sector as the level of competition is quite high. Before take-off, the captain/pilot meets with other flight crew staff and checks the serviceability of the aircraft and its systems. The pilot then studies the procedures to be used for take-off and ‘climb’, the route itself, and descent and landing, as well as checking the weather forecast and amount of fuel needed. Take-off and landing are generally the most active times of the flight – once airborne, most aircraft can be put on autopilot and the pilot sets the controls and monitors that it flies correctly. During the flight, pilots must also maintain contact with air traffic control and perform checks on all the aircraft systems. Air traffic controllers plot the routes that air traffic takes through the air to make sure planes land and take off safely and on schedule. Each might have responsibility of their own section of airspace and communicate directly to the pilot to give information, instructions and advice on exactly where and when to land. Maintenance engineers’ responsibilities include performing checks on the plane’s engines and fuselage before each flight, and investigating glitches and faults as they arise. Engineers can also be involved in replacing old or damaged structural parts of the plane, as well as refurbishing the cabin interiors. Cabin crew are responsible for the care and safety of passengers during flights. They ensure the aircraft cabin area is safe, clean and tidy, serve food and beverages, deal with troublesome passengers, and make safety announcements. Some cabin crew may have to write flight reports after each flight, while others will have supervisory and management responsibilities. Cabin crew also have to be prepared for any emergency situations in which they may have to use safety equipment or administer first aid. Did you know?The largest helicopter ever built was the Russian Mi-12, which was 37m in length with a wingspan slightly smaller than a Boeing 747’s. Further Resources Crewlink – one of Europe’s largest cabin crew recruitment agencies: www. crewlink. ie   Irish Aviation Authority (IAA): www. iaa. ie Shannon Aerospace: www. shannonaerospace. com 2010-10-20 Tourism Tourism Despite recording a 1. 1 per cent dip in the number of foreign visitors to Ireland in the first nine months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, tourism remains a bulwark of the Irish economy. A career in tourism can be extremely broad, from carting a group of Irish-Americans via the Ring of Kerry to organising a Patrick Kavanagh pub-crawl around Dublin: the possibilities are both endless and diverse. The industry calls for its employees to have a high level of specialisation and training, and foreign language capabilities are also very beneficial to your prospects. Despite our island status Irish people are well above the European average for taking holidays abroad, so for people with the right combination of business and marketing skills, a course in the holiday provision could also be an excellent opportunity. Education School leavers interested in tourism have a number of CAO options to choose from at ordinary degree and honours degree level. Courses titles to look out for include Tourism, Tourism Marketing, Travel & Tourism, Business and Tourism, and Tourism Management. The institutes of technology provide all third-level tourism programmes. Students taking a third-level course in Tourism will encounter a mixture of tourism-specific subjects such as Heritage, Culture & Tourism, International Tourism and Eco-Tourism, as well as general business modules like Financial Accounting, Human Resource Management and Marketing. Courses generally feature a language option (French, Spanish, German or Italian), while IT and Tourism Law courses are also included. There may be opportunities to spend a semester abroad, or to take a work experience placement as part of the course. There are also a large number of further education courses available in Tourism. The most widely available course is Tourism & Travel, which is good preparation for the travel agency and tour operator industries. Typical modules in a PLC Tourism course include Travel Agency, Retail and Service Skills, Customer Relations, Information Technology, Marketing and Tourism Analysis. The Work A tourism officer essentially promotes a particular area – local, regional or national. The work involves devising and co-ordinating marketing campaigns, producing tourist information and organising festivals, events and exhibitions. It can also mean travelling to other countries to generate interest in your area, and working with local tourism businesses to help them improve their facilities and attract more customers. Some tourism officers work in specific areas, such as heritage tourism or genealogy tourism. Tourism reps are usually employed by a tour operator or hotel and tend to work in popular holiday destinations and resorts. The basic brief is look after, and possibly travel with, a group of tourists; greeting them at the airport, showing them the sights, organising activities, selling longer day trips, and also dealing with problems that arise such as lost luggage or faulty showers. Travel agency staff helps customers to decide on their holiday and travel plans. This involves checking the availability of tour packages, flights, hotels, car hire and coach operators, and making bookings on behalf of their clients. They also advise on issues such as vaccinations, visas, passports, insurance, weather conditions, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Did you know? The number of international tourists rose from 25 million in 1950 to an estimated 806 million in 2005. Further Resources Tourism Ireland: www. tourismireland. com Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA): www. itaa. ie Picktourism. ie: www. picktourism. ie 2010-10-20 Fire Services Fire Services Firefighters' goals are to save life, property and the environment. A fire can rapidly spread and endanger lives; however, thanks to modern firefighting techniques and preventative measures, tragedy can often be avoided. To prevent fires from starting a firefighter's duties include public education and conducting fire inspections. It is usual for firefighters to be the first responders to people in critical conditions and so they must provide basic life support as emergency medical technicians or advanced life support as licensed paramedics. They may also be involved in dealing with floods, chemical spills and other emergencies. Fire fighting can be a full-time career, or it can be part-time and on-call in rural areas and in case of emergencies. Recent tragedies have highlighted the dangerous nature of fire fighting and the serious impact it can have. Education Fire fighters are recruited directly by the relevant Local Authority and positions are advertised in the local or national media. Candidates should be in good physical health (meeting strict requirements regarding physical fitness, hearing, eyesight, height and physique), have referees who can vouch for them, have passed the Junior Certificate or equivalent exam, and be at least 18 years-old. In the selection of candidates, additional marks will be awarded to those who have recognised engineering or architectural degrees, technical or trades training, experience of driving heavy vehicles, or service in the Defence Forces, FCA or the Civil Defence Organisation. The recruitment process consists of aptitude and fitness tests, and an interview. The aptitude test examines your mechanical reasoning and spatial and numerical ability, and is marked on speed and accuracy. The interview tests your ability to work in a team, communicate clearly and make decisions. Physical tests make sure you have the capacity to undertake all fire service duties. If you are accepted as a recruit, you will go on to train as a fire fighter. The training process involves learning fire station and brigade procedures, how to operate appliances and equipment, and rescue techniques. Recruits also receive training in the use of breathing apparatus, road traffic extrication, dealing with hazardous chemicals and coping with stressful environments and situations. The Work Although the primary occupation of the fire-fighter is fighting fires, they are also required to assist at a range of other emergency situations, such as floods, explosions and car crashes, chemical spills, water rescue, general rescue, flooding and a host of other incidents. Many fire crews are also trained as first responders so they can render first aid until the arrival of ambulance personnel. They also check the accident site for safety after the danger has been curtailed and produce detailed reports on incidents they attend. Insurance companies or accident investigators often use these reports. While they are waiting for call-outs, fire fighters perform maintenance checks on equipment, review procedures and go on fire safety visits in the community. They also spend time practising drills and training. District officers with the Fire Service are trained fire fighters who transfer from operational fire duties to fire prevention, and work primarily at night checking pubs and clubs to make sure they meet safety regulations. Junior officers are recruited from the general fire-fighter grades. They undergo training in command and control and in station management. Initially, junior officers start as crew commanders and are then promoted to station commanders. Full-time fire prevention officers are usually recruited at graduate level, and are already qualified engineers, architects or surveyors. Their work involves surveying both existing buildings and buildings under construction to ensure they adhere to fire safety regulations. They can also be called to a major fire where a coordinator is required to oversee certain operations. Fire fighters must have a brave disposition. It is a career that calls for both mental and physical strength, and an ability to work well in a team is also vital. The work can be of a dangerous nature and needless to say, working hours are not nine-to-five. Did you know? The primary risk to people in a fire is smoke inhalation. For example, burning plastics inside a car can generate 200, 000 m3 of smoke at a rate of 20-30 m3/sec. That’s a lot of smoke in a short amount of time. Further Resources Irish Fire Services Resource: www. irishfireservices. ie  Cork City Fire Brigade: www. corkcityfirebrigade. ie 2010-10-20 Army/Navy/Air Corps Army/Navy/Air Corps The Army, the Naval Service, the Air Corps and the Reserve Defence Force all fall under the umbrella of The Irish Defence Forces (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The Irish government delegated certain duties and responsibilities to the Defence Force which are to defend the state against armed aggression, to assist the Gardaí, to participate in peace support and humanitarian relief missions with the UN and to carry out other duties such as search and rescue, air ambulance and ministerial air transport. There is a wide range of career opportunities available including army, naval service and air corps recruits, cadetships and apprenticeships. There is a big difference between the career paths of people who enlist as a recruit or apprentice and those who apply for cadetships; read on to learn more about this important distinction. Recruits Recruits are accepted into the Defence Forces as required, and opportunities are advertised in the national press. Candidates must be between 17 and 27 years of age. Both male and female candidates should be over 5’2” and pass a stringent medical examination and tough physical fitness test. You need to submit an application form along with two references from responsible people such as a teacher, Garda or priest. Army Recruits in the Permanent Defence Force undergo an initial training period lasting 16 weeks. This training includes arms drill, foot drill, first aid, fieldcraft, rifle marksmanship, and tactical and physical training. When the training period is completed, the recruit becomes a two star private. After a further eight-week course, the recruit becomes a three star private and is assigned to a unit within the Permanent Defence Force. Naval Service Recruits in the Naval Service, like army recruits, begin with 19 weeks of training. This training covers basic military training and naval subjects such as boat handling, rope work, seamanship and communications. After basic training, the seaman will be assigned for further training and subsequent employment onboard a ship in one of the following specialisations: seaman gunner, communications operator, mechanics and catering or supply. Air CorpsAn air corps cadet completes a 21-month course – 7 months at The Cadet School in the Curragh, followed by 14 months at the Basic Flying Training Wing in Dublin. Upon successful completion of training, cadets join the commissioned ranks as an air corps officer/pilot. Cadetships Cadetships are like management or officer training for the Defence Forces. The purpose of cadet training is to develop character and leadership skills and to instil a sense of duty and responsibility. Candidates for cadetships need to be between 17 and 28 years old (for army cadetships), and must have already obtained a third-level degree, or else gained at least three Grade C3 marks at higher level and three Grade D3 marks at ordinary level subjects in the Leaving Certificate. They must also be in excellent physical and mental condition, with good teeth, eyesight and hearing. The selection process includes a preliminary interview, physical fitness test, psychometric tests and group assessment. This is followed by a final interview where candidates must demonstrate their communication, teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills, as well as their personal motivation to become an army/navy or air corps cadet. Candidates who already have a third-level degree are at an advantage. Army cadet training This takes place in the Curragh Camp and takes 15 months to complete. The cadet is instructed in weapons handling, arms and foot drill, tactics, military engineering, military law, human resources management, communications skills, IT systems and academic subjects including psychology, history and politics. Cadets are required to take an active interest in sport. Army equitation cadets undergo the same training as other cadets, also receiving horsemanship instruction. Air corps cadets first undergo basic training with other cadets, and then move to Casement Aerodrome for flying training. Navy cadets are divided into Operations Branch and Engineering Branch. Navy training takes place in Haulbowline in County Cork, and includes seamanship, navigation, gunnery and weapons control systems. A cadet who satisfactorily completes the prescribed course of military training and who passes all examinations and tests is eligible for appointment as a commissioned officer (CO). Cadets may decide to pursue third-level education after completion of initial training, and the Defence Forces generally pay for fees and accommodation while the cadets are gaining their degrees. Navy cadet training Candidates for navy cadetships must be aged between 18 and 28. There are two separate cadetships available for applications: Operations Branch Cadet and Engineering Branch Cadet. The Operations Branch Cadet is involved in the efficient running of a ship and is responsible for the officers, the communication system and any weapons on board. Another element of this branch is bridge watch keeping which is fundamental for the safe navigation of a ship. Captains can only be derived out of this group. The Engineering Branch involves training with a view to fulfilling the role of Marine Engineering Officer who concentrates on everything involved in keeping the boat afloat and moving. Both cadetships have a duration of two years. The first three months of the first year is spent in the Curragh, and the following nine months of first year focus on Naval Training both at sea and at the Naval Base in Cork. The second year involves cadets taking part in the first leg of a degree programme in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy Co. Cork. The Operations Branch study Nautical Science and the Engineering Branch undertake Marine Engineering. On graduating after two years, most cadets become officers. Apprenticeships Apprentices in the Defence Forces receive training for their chosen trade, as well as military training. Apprenticeships are available in the trades of Aircraft Mechanic, Heavy Vehicle Mechanic and Fitter Armourer. Defence Forces apprenticeships run in association with FÁS. Apprentice candidates should be between 17 and 20 years old and have received Grade C (Ordinary) or Grade D (Higher) in at least three subjects in their Junior Cert. They must also pass a rigorous physical test. Selection is by interview. Apprenticeships combine classroom instruction and practical instruction in a workplace situation. Apprentices also undergo military training and physical training similar to that of recruits. The entire training lasts four years and apprentices live together in barracks. On completion of training, apprentices are assigned to units and can expect to progress upwards through the non-commissioned ranks. The WorkWhether you enter the Defence Forces as a recruit or a cadet, and whether you join the army, navy or air corps, your basic duties and responsibilities are the same. The roles of the Defence Forces are Defend the State against armed aggression; this being a contingency, preparations for its implementation will depend on an ongoing Government assessment of the security and defence environment Aid the civil power (meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda Síochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State) Participate in multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations in support of the United Nations and under UN mandate, including regional security missions authorised by the UN Provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State's obligations as a member of the EU Carry out such other duties as may be assigned to them from time to time, e. g. , search and rescue, air ambulance service, Ministerial air transport service, assistance on the occasion of natural or other disasters, assistance in connection with the maintenance of essential services, assistance in combating oil pollution at sea Candidates for the Defence Forces need to be strong – both mentally and physically. Communication and teamwork skills are required, as is a taste for physical exertion. Cadets need to have good leadership skills, and the capability to cope with the academic parts of the course. Did you know? The shortest war was that between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar, from 9:02 am to 9:40 am on 27 August 1896. Further Resources The Defence Forces: www. military. ie National Maritime College of Ireland: www. nmci. ie EUFOR – EU peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina: www. euforbih. org 2010-10-20 Ambulance Services Ambulance Services (Pre-Hospital Emergency Care) Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Workers are the first ones at the scene of an accident and act in the most quick and efficient way possible to help those injured. Their work entails responding to emergency calls and transporting people to hospital, and depending on the particular situation they may need to treat people at the scene of the accident. The layman’s term is ‘ambulance drivers’ yet the responsibilities involve much more than merely piloting the vehicle. Extensive training in emergency medical treatment and first aid is necessary, and an ability to react well in pressure situations is a fundamental requirement for this career. There are three types of professional employed in the pre-hospital emergency care sector: Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Paramedic (P) and Advanced Paramedic (AP). The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) governs the education, training and qualification of each role.  Education An EMT can provide basic life support and is the minimum professional level that is recommended to provide care and transport of an ill or injured patient. The duration of education and training is five weeks and is designed to provide the EMT with the knowledge and skills for working primarily in patient transport services and in supporting the pre-hospital response to patients accessing the 999/112 emergency medical services. Successful completion of an EMT course at a PHECC-Recognised Training Institution entails four weeks theory and one-week clinical practice and assessment. Paramedic (P)A Paramedic can provide intermediate life support, including the skills listed for EMT This is the minimum professional level that is recommended to provide care and transport of an ill or injured patient following a 999/112 call. The paramedic is principally engaged in responding to patients who access the 999/112 service for emergency medical assistance. The education and training for Paramedics includes 28 weeks of theory, supervised clinical practice on emergency ambulance vehicles and healthcare service placements as well as a one-year internship. In addition, successful completion of a structured competence assessment during the one-year internship including case study submission, completion of professional development modules and competency assessment is required to become a fully registered paramedic. EMTs and paramedics can work for the National Ambulance Service; Dublin Fire Brigade; fire, rescue and auxiliary services; as well as voluntary or private ambulance services. Advanced Paramedic (AP)An AP can provide advanced life support and is a registered practitioner who has at least three years’ experience as a paramedic. The AP standard of education and training prepares graduates for their role as clinical leaders and expert practitioners in the field of pre-hospital emergency care. There is no direct entry to this course of training and candidates are experienced Paramedics principally employed by the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade. The Work A career in pre-hospital emergency care is very rewarding, fulfilling and challenging. Employment opportunities exist in the statutory services – Health Service Executive (HSE) and Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) as well as with private ambulance companies. The pre-hospital emergency care practitioner workload can be quite varied dependant on which service they work for. In the HSE, practitioners deal with four types of call categorised as AS3, AS2, AS1 and Inter Hospital Transfers. AS3 calls are routine calls and require basic skills. AS2 calls are usually doctor’s urgent calls and may require interventions. AS1 calls are emergency calls and can be life threatening to the patient. Inter Hospital Transfers may be classed as either routine transfers (for example, patient with fracture) or emergency transfers (patient with serious head/brain injury). Practitioners in DFB respond to 999/112 emergency calls in Dublin city and county and are deployed in ambulances. When not on ambulance duty they are deployed by the service to accident and emergency scenes in fire engines as a back up to the ambulance service. Did you know? Contrary to the first aid myth, in the unlikely event that you or a friend is bitten by a snake you should never attempt to suck out the poison. Seeking medical attention immediately is the more appropriate response. Further Resources Health Service Executive (HSE): www. hse. ie Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council: www. phecc. ie St John Ambulance Brigade: www. sja. ie 2010-10-20 Garda Síochána Garda Síochána The Garda Síochána, or the ‘Guardians of Peace’ in English, is the national police service and exercises all police functions in the country. It provides the State security services and all criminal and traffic law enforcement functions are performed by it. Gardaí are (in most cases) pillars of the community. Their duties and responsibilities can vary widely but the recurring theme is serving the common good. They aim to protect the state by solving crimes and also aid everyday life by keeping the peace and ensuring an efficient traffic flow. Education Becoming a registered member of www. publicjobs. ie ensures you will receive notification of forthcoming recruitment drives. The basic requirements for candidates are a pass Leaving Cert and a good standard of physical fitness; and good news for those of you with a more ‘compact’ physique is that the height requirement was recently phased out. Candidates go through a three-stage process. Stage one is three written tests – Verbal Evaluation, Analytical Reasoning and Job Simulation Exercise. Stage two includes a written communication exercise and interview. Stage three comprises a medical examination and physical ability test. Once accepted, recruits undergo two-year training that is divided into 5 phases and lasts 2 years. Initially, students spend 22 weeks at the Garda College in Templemore followed by a period of 24 weeks spent at selected stations under the direct supervision of tutorial staff. After further training at the College, students become members of the Service and are attached to stations. Subjects undertaken in the Garda College include Law, Social Science, Theory of Policing, Communications, Irish and Physical Training. Station-based tutelage is provided by a training sergeant and allows trainees to experience the practical application of the theories and skills they have learned. The Work Newly qualified Gardaí undergo a two-year probation period before becoming permanent Gardaí with full responsibilities. They usually spend at least three years on general policing duties. After that, they can apply to join one of the special units – the Serious Crimes Squad, Fraud Squad, Drugs Unit, Juvenile Liaison Section and Emergency Response Unit are just some of the options available. The Garda Síochána are responsible for maintaining law and order, protecting life and property and ensuring the security of the state. The most obvious day-to-day task of the Gardaí is solving and preventing crimes. This can mean patrolling on the streets, taking statements from victims of crimes, interviewing witnesses and suspects, providing information to the public and the media, giving evidence in court and manning road checkpoints. The Gardaí also have less crime solution-related responsibilities, including the provision of assistance at sports events and concerts, monitoring entry points into the state, searching for missing persons, giving directions to tourists, encouraging the community to protect their persons and property, helping to develop ethnic and religious equality, and visiting schools to teach children sensible and responsible behaviour. The qualities potential guards should possess include diligence and dedication. A police officer should be a good communicator and have an ability to act well under pressure. Did you know? Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) was founded in Austria in 1923 to facilitate cross-border police cooperation. Further Resources An Garda Síochána: www. garda. ie  Dept of Justice and Law Reform: www. justice. ie Interpol: www. interpol. int 2010-10-20 Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics, like IT and accountancy, is another subject that suffers from an image problem. But a third level education really brings it to life. You will see how the language of maths brings computers to life; can calculate the statistical probability of anyone ever defeating Kilkenny in the hurling; and the role it plays in disciplines such as Theoretical Astrophysics, which exist at the very edge of human knowledge. Indeed, theoretical Mathematics has often been compared with poetry and painting due to its aesthetic value and its reliance on creative inspiration. Still sound dull? Mathematics at third level is extremely demanding and it is important for potential students to have a high interest and capability in the area. These qualities will ensure good financial rewards, multiplied by serious job satisfaction, to the power of many career options. Education Various types of Mathematics degrees are provided at third level. It can be studied as part of most Arts Degrees; and in conjunction with Physics in UL and NUI Maynooth. Mathematics (or Mathematical Science) degrees introduce students to core topics such as Analysis, Geometry, Algebra, Computing, and Statistics. Studies are usually divided into Pure - examining theories such as Quantum Mechanics and solving mathematical problems for their own sake; and Applied – which applies Mathematics to real world problems in technology, economics, etc. As the degree progresses, students become adept at solving ever more complex problems, and should be able to generate and critically analyse their own mathematical hypotheses. By third year, students are usually free to specialise in this areas that particularly appeal to them. The business world relies strongly upon those with mathematical ability. Degrees in Financial Mathematics, Mathematics with Economics and Actuarial Mathematics produce the skilled graduates they seek. Students learn how quantitative information can help in making important commercial decisions, e. g. the market research conducted before a product is released.   Mathematics is also widely applied in the financial world in the solving of problems such as pricing financial products, and the modelling and analysis of financial markets. In economics, statistical analysis is used in economic forecasting. Econometrics is the testing and analysis of economic principles and theories using statistical methods. In financial, economic and actuarial mathematics in particular, students learn how probability theory and modelling are used to work out probable outcomes. In economics for instance, it might be the probable outcome of an economic policy; in finance, how a financial product will fare on the markets; and in actuary/life insurance, how long an individual might live and what value should be therefore placed on their life assurance policy. The Work Employers value the skills that mathematics graduates bring to the workplace, such as the ability to solve difficult problems, analyse information and think logically. Depending on your interests and the subject options chosen during your degree, you could end up working in finance, accountancy, computing, industry, investment, meteorology, IT, engineering, software design, economics, healthcare, energy, education, research, the government or the environmental sector, to name but a few. There are lots of potential career options to consider; we are going to concentrate on the mathematician and the statistician. Mathematicians can be divided into two groups – Theoretical and Applied. Theoretical mathematicians are involved in the advance of mathematical knowledge, developing new principles and recognising previously unknown relationships between existing mathematic principles. Many theoretical mathematicians are employed as university lecturers and divide their time between teaching and conducting research. Applied mathematicians use theories and techniques such as computational methods, to formulate and solve practical problems in business, government, and engineering; and in the physical, life, and social sciences. For example, they could analyse the most efficient way to schedule airline routes between cities, or examine the safety and side effects of new drugs across a section of the population. Statisticians collect, analyse and interpret quantitative information, for business, scientific or governmental use. This information could include birth and death rates, unemployment figures, the current prison population or the number of people on hospital waiting lists. Statisticians need to be able to explain their methods and results clearly, and also give advice based on what they have discovered. Did you know? The billionth digit of Pi is 9. Everyone knows that. Further Resources Plus Magazine – online mathematics magazine: http://plus. maths. org/ Math. com – online maths resource: www. math. com 2010-10-20 Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science This area of science examines the basic composition and properties (atoms, molecules, and so on) of matter, how they change through chemical reactions, and the myriad ways they can be utilised in modern industry and medicine. Chemistry, as the legends of alchemy suggest, is a particularly creative science. It is a key function in a variety of industrial processes including pharmaceuticals, which is a very strong sector in Ireland, employing 4, 500 people, 50% of whom are third level graduates. Education Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science are available to study as independent, dedicated degrees; or in degrees that combine both disciplines with a lesser degree of specialisation. Chemistry courses introduce students to the core strands of organic/inorganic and physical/analytical. Organic Chemistry is when carbon, a feature of all living things, is involved. Analytical Chemistry involves the study of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials, while Physical Chemistry is concerned with the physical relationships and reactions between molecules and compounds (e. g. in terms of an object’s strength or elasticity). Students also gain valuable experience of laboratory practice and computer/mathematical applications in chemistry. Applied courses examine how chemistry is utilised in areas such as pharmaceutical, environmental and material science. Pharmaceutical Science is a combination of biological and chemical disciplines. Graduates find challenging and financially rewarding work in an industry that develops new drugs and therapies to treat every kind of illness – from infectious diseases to cancer.   Besides the scientific and laboratory-based modules, students also tackle industry-related modules such as Manufacturing Technology, Regulation & Compliance, Quality Management and Pollution Control. Forensic science involves the retrieval and analysis of scientific evidence for legal purposes. This might be a crime scene, a drug test on an athlete, or instances of environmental pollution. Some Chemical and Pharmaceutical degrees include a module on this fascinating area, while a dedicated course is provided by Galway-Mayo IT. The Work The career options for chemistry and pharmaceutical science graduates are many and varied and include opportunities in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, horticulture, environmental protection, manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, food, cosmetics and textiles sectors. Employment can also be found in sales and business positions and in public sector laboratories, research institutes and second- and third-level teaching institutions. People generally start their chemist or lab scientist career as laboratory technicians or operatives. The tasks might include setting up equipment and preparing materials and assisting with experiments and processes. However once you learn the (nylon) ropes you will be involved in the full range of tasks and responsibilities involved with being a professional scientist. Analytical chemists examine the contents of foodstuffs, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and water to find out what chemicals they contain. In manufacturing plants, they ensure that standards of safety and quality are adhered to. Industrial chemists create, develop and test chemical processes and products. They are experts in the chemical make-up and behaviour of substances and they use this knowledge to create useful new products – coffee whitener, for example, is a result of their work. Biochemists are concerned with chemical processes in living things. The research the effect of various drugs, foods, hormones on humans, animals and plants, work to determine the cause of disease and develop and test new drugs. People with an inquisitive and analytical mind usually suit chemistry. An affinity with technology and of course, an interest in maths and science would also be helpful traits. Did you know? Natural gas has no odour. The smell is added artificially so that leaks can be detected. Further Resources The Forensic Science Laboratory: www. forensicscience. ie  Pharmachemical Ireland: www. pharmachemicalireland. ie American Chemical Society (ACS): www. acs. org 2010-10-20 Bioscience Bioscience The author freely admits to using the term bioscience instead of biology because it sounds cooler, but the terms essentially mean the same thing – the study of living organisms. For people of an inquisitive nature, who possess a fascination with the living world around them, a college course in bioscience is the natural choice. Education Students interested in taking a course in biology are spoilt for choice. Students without a specialised topic of study in mind might enrol in an Applied Biology or Bioscience course, which introduce students to core areas of the discipline, such as Animal & Plant Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology. A high percentage of these programme are spent in the laboratory. Specific fields of bioscience catered for by degree programmes include Biotechnology, Biomedicine, Biochemistry and Wildlife/Marine Biology. Generally speaking there are two avenues of study and careers for the first three categories. The industrial path involves using the sub-cellular components of living organisms to produce useful product, and it’s been around for longer than you might think; e. g. using yeast to make beer and bread. It provides an important contribution to areas such as food and drug production, energy and agriculture. The second path involves applying biotechnological techniques and technologies in a purely medical environment; e. g. using tissue samples to diagnose disease or monitor treatment. Graduates often work in hospitals in cooperation with doctors, or in a research environment in the pharmaceutical industry. Readers with an interest in animal life may enrol in one of the following. Research each course option carefully to see whether you receive training for one sector (e. g. industrial), or both. IT Tralee’s degree in Wildlife Biology fully utilises the nearby resources such as the Education Centre in Killarney National Park, and enables students to learn about wildlife and environmental issues in contemporary Ireland. Modules include Botany, Zoology and Environmental Protection. Galway-Mayo IT’s degree in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology and NUI Galway’s Marine Science deal with Ireland’s most precious resource – water. Students examine key issues such as Biodiversity, Pollution, Aquaculture (i. e. fish farming), and securing safe and sustainable supplies for Ireland’s growing population. Zoology is available to study through omnibus entry science degrees in UCC, UCD, Trinity College and NUI Galway. Studies encompass all areas of animal life, form amoebas to antelopes, and apply a variety of key disciplines: Anatomy and Physiology, Embryology, Taxonomy, Behaviour, Ecology, Genetics, Evolution, and Biogeography (distribution of species). NUI Galway, Trinity College and UCD provide degrees in Botany through the same omnibus entry system. The science of plants, students of botany examine issues such as structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development, diseases, chemical properties, and evolutionary relationships between the different groups The Work Due to the diverse range of biological applications in modern society, graduates are employed in a diverse range of industries. Professional bioscientists can be involved in developing and testing new products (from drugs to food products). Research scientists in biology study fields such as disease, drugs, water quality, and microorganisms. Their findings contribute to the existing body of scientific knowledge and can help develop new products, policies and opinions. Entry-level jobs in bioscience areas are often lab technician positions. Lab techs assist scientists by setting up equipment, carrying out experiments and reporting on their findings. In a medical laboratory, for example, they could be involved in the examination of body fluids, tissues and cells, analysing the chemical content of fluids or matching blood for transfusions. Bioscientists work in a team with other scientists and technicians. They design and conduct experiments, make observations, and write up the work in reports and scientific papers. They will often supervise the work of support staff and carry out administrative work. Bioscientists working in universities or teaching hospitals are usually also involved in teaching and supervising students. Most bioscientists spend a majority of their working life in a laboratory or office environment, but fieldwork is also often required – particularly among wildlife and marine biologists. Did you know? The North American Grey Squirrel is classified as an ‘invasive’ species in Ireland. It’s more varied diet and carrier-status of a disease that is deadly to native red squirrels, mean that reds disappear from an area within 5-20 years of the greys’ arrival. Further Resources Irish Wildlife Trust – www. iwt. ie Biotechnology Ireland – online resource for the Irish biotech industry: www. biotechnologyireland. com Biology. ie – collecting environmental data from the Irish public: www. biology. ie 2010-10-20 Physics Physics Physics encompasses a wide spectrum of interesting areas, from the study of planets to the workings of microwaves. In general physicists focus on matter and energy, and the sometimes tempestuous relationship between them. A various number of industries employ physicists to aid development and the manufacturing process. They can assist all kinds of businesses with any number of problems; the only certainty is that the prospects are substantial. It wouldn’t take Einstein to figure out why this is a good career choice, and he had no experience of career guidance anyway… Education Physics degrees are dedicated to either theoretical or applied branches, or they involve a combination of both. Theoretical physicists ask awkward and important questions. How did the universe begin? What is it made of? What is the nature of time? Why can’t I stop asking questions? They seek to develop a rigorous understanding of the laws of the physical world and generally work for research institutions or universities, or conduct high-level research for organisations. Applied Physics seeks to find practical applications and solutions to real world problems. For example, applied physics knowledge and experiments can assist with the development of advanced industrial and engineering materials, new energy sources, medical equipment, microelectronics and laser optical devices. Astronomy is a highly popular pastime among amateur enthusiasts but a Physics with Astronomy (or Astrophysics) degree takes it a step further, studying the latest knowledge in space science and technology, black holes, star formation and cosmology. In addition, students often have the exciting opportunity to work with the latest date recorded by telescopes and observatories around the world. Physics and Instrumentation courses examine the latest technologies used to measure and control variables such as temperature, light and pressure.   Graduates work in inventing and developing devices, ranging from electric guitars to ultrasound machines. The Work There are a huge number of career paths open to physics graduates in areas as diverse as astronomy, financial risk analysis, weather forecasting, computer game development, medical device manufacturing and telecommunications. Physics is arguably the most theoretical of the traditional science disciplines. Physicists try to understand how things work by developing simulations and models, designing and carrying out experiments, using mathematical equations, and writing up their observations and findings in reports and scientific papers. Most physicists divide their time between the laboratory and the computer. Physicists use super-fast computers to develop a model or theory and test it, with the computer performing many of the difficult and time-consuming calculations and raising any problems or errors. Then it’s off to the lab, where machines such as electron microscopes, particle accelerators, radioactive tracers and spectrometers are used to test whether the theories work in practice. Physicists need a combination of imagination and practicality. For a considerable chunk of their time physicists identify a problem and attempt a series of experiments to solve it; this can be a frustrating process so perseverance is important. An over average mathematical ability is necessary and, due to the amount of presentations and experiments, good oral and written skills are useful. Physicists can work in laboratories, workshops and offices – dividing their time between high-tech, expensive electronic equipment and computers. Many physicists’ work involves travel to communicate with and learn from other experts. Astronomers may travel even further. Did you know? All the matter that makes up the human race could fit in a sugar cube, as atoms are 99. 9999999999999 per cent empty space. Further Resources Institute of Physics in Ireland (IOP): www. iopireland. org Astronomy Ireland: www. astronomy. ie European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN): www. cern. ch 2010-10-20 Special Needs Teaching Special Needs Teaching Special needs teachers work with children who have a variety of conditions, ranging from emotional and behavioural problems to children with complex physical or mental handicaps. It is a highly challenging career, both physically and emotionally, as it involves not just the normal tasks of teaching but also helping pupils with everyday tasks such as eating. Due to the demanding nature of the job, two or three years' experience is usually needed; therefore in practise you must be a qualified teacher first before you can specialise in this field. Education Although some undergraduate courses, such as the Bachelor of Education (see the Primary Teaching section), touch upon the basic skills required for special needs teaching, students will have to complete a postgraduate programme – in the case of secondary teachers, for a second time after completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Education – before being qualified to become a special needs teacher. Examples of these postgraduate programmes include the Graduate Diploma in Special Education Needs provided by UCD, UCC, and St Angela’s College. In the meantime, you can attain good experience of helping pupils with special needs by becoming a special needs assistant (SNA). FETAC-accredited Childcare courses that provide training for SNA roles are available from local colleges across Ireland. Modules you will encounter include Working in Childcare, Child Development, Caring for Children with Special Needs, and Art & Craft for Childcare. Special needs teachers and assistants can work in three different areas. Many children with disabilities or special needs attend normal classes where they are allocated a resource teacher or special needs assistant. Some schools provide special classes with a deliberately low teacher-pupil ratio, to ensure a more focused approach, and there are also over one hundred special needs schools nationwide. The Work There are hugely differing special needs requirements and so it is impossible to simply categorise a special needs teacher’s role. A common goal is to encourage self-confidence and independence among the pupils. Imaginative methods of teaching are often utilised to convey the coarse material in a manner that suits the child, often involving audio-visual materials and computers. Specific conditions require different techniques. Pupils with learning difficulties may only need extra tuition to catch up with the rest of the class. Those with behavioural difficulties often require guidance in expressing themselves effectively. Students with permanent or long-term conditions, such as blindness, need to learn special skills (such as Braille) to help improve their quality of life. In the case of severely disabled students, assistance is often required with basic skills such as washing, dressing, and feeding themselves. In all cases, it is vital that the special needs teacher maintains constant communication with all others involved in the pupil’s wellbeing, including parents, doctors, social workers, physiotherapists, and psychologists. Special needs assistants work under the supervision of the class teacher. Their duties can involve helping pupils to improve their independent living skills, supporting pupils in social activities and outings, assisting pupils during therapy sessions, and attending to pupils’ physical needs. Good communication skills and patience are essential for becoming a special needs teacher. A warm and outgoing personality will also go a long way in establishing a trusting relationship with students. Special needs teaching will often require creative thinking and good problem-solving skills, as you must find a way to convey information in a manner that best suits your pupils’ learning capabilities. Did you know? In Denmark, 99 per cent of students with specific learning difficulties like dyslexia are educated alongside students without any learning challenges. Further Resources Special Education Support Service (SESS): www. sess. ie National Council for Special Education: www. ncse. ie Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education (IATSE) 2010-10-20 Prison Service Prison Service Corrections officer, correctional officer, detention officer, jail guard, prison guard, prison warder, or prison officer are just some of the terms used to describe a person who is responsible for the care of those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial while on remand, or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a prison or jail. There are 14 prisons and detention centres around the country in which these officers are employed. The primary concern is to keep prisoners in secure and safe custody, but much time is also spent on prisoner rehabilitation and maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing. It is employments that is suitable to characters with a deep sense of justice and who aspire to contribute to the betterment of society.   Education There are no higher or further education courses specifically designed for the prison service, although entrants into the service are required to have a good general standard of education. Positions are obtained by successful completion of a civil service competition that includes an interview and a written test that will establish the applicant’s numerical ability, comprehension, reasoning and language skills. Once accepted into the service, new prison officers must undergo an eight-week induction course that combines classroom tuition (lectures, practical exercises and group work), job familiarisation in a variety of custodial institutions, and physical training (control and restraint, breathing apparatus training, etc. ). Certain roles within the prison service require candidates to have specific qualifications. Trade Officers are prison officers whose role includes building maintenance; in applying for this position the candidate will need to be qualified in a trade such as masonry, bricklaying, painting, plastering, carpentry, electrics, fitting or plumbing. Nurse officers, who provide medical aid to prisoners and staff, must have obtained nursing qualifications before applying for the position. The Work The service is run on a hierarchy basis and there are good opportunities of promotion for those who excel. This career path consists of attaining the following successive levels of seniority – prison officer, assistant chief officer, chief officer 2, chief officer 1, deputy governor, governor 2, governor 1. Easy! Similarly to the rest of the civil service, prison officers can avail of in-house training programmes, and those who enrol in part-time further education often have their course fees refunded. Although the job calls for a certain amount of repetitious tasks, new challenges and tasks that arise on a daily basis. A fundamental aspect of this career entails working in conjunction with others; for example with welfare officials, teachers and psychologists, in providing the prisoner with the necessary social and work skills on the road to rehabilitation. Increasingly, prison officers are becoming involved in prisoner programmes such as theatrical productions. At all times during their work, prison officers must remain extremely vigilant in relation to breaches of security and investigate any suspicious incidents or sudden changes in prisoner behaviour. Prison officers supervise the workshops where prisoners manufacture products and items such as aids for the handicapped. A strong personality is a necessity for the role of prison officer. They must be absolutely committed to the rehabilitation of those who are often uncooperative individuals. Another possible difficulty is maintaining a sense of distance with work and personal life; it is a career that calls for extreme dedication and this can be a difficult aspect to switch off at the end of a shift. An ability to communicate well is an important skill to possess, especially considering the different individuals an officer will encounter. A certain amount of resourcefulness is also an attribute that will prove itself useful. The work often involves physical labour and so a degree of physical fitness is necessary. Officers can be assigned to any prison in the country, and are liable to be transferred a number of times over the duration of a career. Did you know? With 2. 2 million inmates, America has more prisoners behind bars than any other country on earth - 25 percent of the world's incarcerated, with just five percent of the population. Further Resources Irish Prison Service: www. irishprisons. ie Public Appointments Service: www. publicjobs. ie Irish Prison Service: www. irishprisons. ie 2010-10-20 Broadcasting and Film Broadcasting & Film Having a job in film, TV, or radio just makes people sound more interesting, doesn’t it? Those who choose to pursue a career in this area should consider beefing up their anecdotes – they will almost certainly be called upon at all future social occasions (e. g. ‘Matilda, have you met John? He works in film you know…’). Images of glamorous parties aboard luxury yachts and riotously upended hotel suites will no doubt be immediately brought to mind. And even if you have never so much as taken a small bottle of shampoo from a hotel room, much less seen the inside of a yacht, there is no need to fret – instead, just smile mysteriously and offer a pithy remark every now and then. Of course, the reality is much more likely to look like this: hard work, long hours, and a lack of job security; but the attraction to the variety of careers in these sectors continues to grow, and those wishing to avoid the routine of a nine-to-five lifestyle might relish such a challenging and relatively freeform environment.     Education Degrees in Film can be divided into two distinct areas: Film Studies – which is preoccupied with the academic study of film, including theory, criticism, and history – is available from colleges such as Trinity, NUI Galway, and Dublin Business School.   Production-focused programmes, such as that provided by Dundalk IT (Video & Film), Dun Laoghaire IADT (Film & Television Production), Galway-Mayo IT (Film & Television Production), Dublin Business School (Film & Media), DIT (Film & Broadcasting with a Language), IT Carlow (TV & Media Production), IT Tralee (TV, Radio & New Media Broadcasting) and Limerick IT (Technology – Video & Sound), are more ‘hands-on’. Students acquire technical skills; for example, among the modules studied are Camera & Lighting, Editing, Script Production, and Radio Broadcasting.   However, there is plenty of overlap with applied learning modules (e. g. filmmaking, scriptwriting) in the former, and film theory and history modules in the latter courses. Both approaches produce graduates with a well-rounded knowledge of the film and broadcast media industries and a variety of potential career paths. Besides higher education options such as these, there are many TV & Film production courses accredited by FETAC that are offered around the country. The Work Graduates of production/broadcasting courses can look for work in local or national radio, independent production companies, as well as the national TV stations. The competition for media and broadcasting jobs is intense; however, career prospects are somewhat improved by a graduate’s ability to move from one medium to another (e. g. from radio to TV or vice versa) with relative ease.   Entry-level positions in TV and radio are often on a work experience or intern level. Even graduates with degrees start off as industry factotums, making tea and labelling tapes in a production company or post-production house. Graduates must show initiative, persistence, and talent if they are to move into more senior positions. Researchers and production assistants on a TV or radio show have a wide variety of different responsibilities, including booking crew for shoots (cameramen, key grips, etc. ), researching guests’ backgrounds, calculating budgets, making transport and accommodation arrangements, and offering ideas. Broadcasting and sound engineers are responsible for the technical efficiency of a studio or outside recording scenario. Editors are involved in post-production, distilling the finished programme from hours of footage, and adding audio elements to a programme. The producer is the head of the production team. Producers begin with an idea (usually!) and then put together a proposal for the programme, hire the crew and talent, receive a commission from a TV station or secure funding from other backers, and ensure that the project comes in both on budget and on time. The director is responsible for the finished product. It is they who must plan visuals with the camera operators, elicit screen-worthy performances from the cast, write scripts for voice-overs or montages, and sit with the editor when putting the finished project together. Producers, researchers, directors, and other media professionals can either work full-time for TV, radio stations, or production houses, or they can work freelance on a contract basis. Freelance workers often experience very busy periods interspersed with quiet periods. Working hours can be long, and shoots can be stressful, but a quality end product can bring both personal satisfaction and public acclaim. Did you know? The audio-visual content production sector in Ireland is worth in excess of €550 million. Further Resources Ø Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) Ø Irish Film Board: www. irishfilmboard. ie   Ø Radio Teilifís Éireann: www. rte. ie 2010-10-20 Event Management Event Management If you think you could organise a glamorous party in a graveyard, in two hours, during a snowstorm, in a particularly under-populated area of rural Ireland – then event management might well be your calling. Meeting the wide-ranging needs and desires of individuals is the foundation of the industry. Most companies provide their services on a general basis; that is, they could be hired to organise a glamourous red carpet movie premiere, a refined wine reception for foreign dignitaries, or the subversively factious annual sheep-farmers’ convention. No event is too small or obscure. (Disclaimer: we are not at all sure that there is a sheep-farmer’s convention. If there is, then we are almost certain that it is neither a front nor forum for covert insurgent activity. ) To really flourish in this sector you must have a combination of business acumen and an extremely high level of sociability. Specific knowledge of a particular area can also be vital at times; for example, knowledge of current music would (live) aid the organising of a charity concert (sorry, couldn’t resist that terrible pun). Education Event Management degree courses are available from Dundalk IT, Limerick IT (with Business), Dublin IT, Galway-Mayo IT (with Public Relations), IT Sligo (with Tourism) and Dublin Business School (with Marketing).   The courses are taught in the context of a business and marketing outlook. Subjects covered include market research, fund raising and sponsorship, using IT and database software in event management, current legal requirements, and financial accounting. Students will be taught how the latest event management practices are being applied across various sectors – such as in tourism, sport, charity, and so on. Students of the aforementioned IT courses generally gain experience through a work placement/internship. Event Management is also increasingly provided for in further education. As well as dedicated courses (at Stillorgan and Ballsbridge Colleges of Further Education), programmes are available in conjunction with TV Studies (Limerick College of Further Education), Tourism Studies (Sligo College of Further Education and Bray Institute of Further Education), Travel (Monaghan Institute of Further Education), Performing Arts (Colaiste Mhuire Thurles), and Marketing (Cork College of Commerce).   Work Event Management graduates can work in a variety of organisations and career areas: corporate conference and exhibition organisers, tourism organisations, hotels, public relations, venue management, sports tourism, community development, and in the arts and music sectors.   Once the client has supplied the task or assignment, it is then the responsibility of the event manager to carry out intensive research (usually there are time constraints) and compile detailed proposals for the planning of the event. A clear breakdown of venue suggestions, budgetary proposals, and timetables should be outlined.   A publicity campaign often accompanies larger events; the event manager needs to promote the event by contacting media such as TV, radio, websites, and newspapers. Public relations work also involves writing press releases and helping to design ads that convey the precise feeling of the event to the targeted audience. Venue management is an integral part of a successful event – this involves tasks such as organising caterers and ensuring the required equipment (e. g. IT facilities for a conference, stands for a trade exhibition) are present and correct on the day. Strict legal regulations exist regarding events with large audiences – an event manager must ensure all insurance, security, and health & safety requirements are met.   A sociable and affable persona can greatly assist potential event managers. Communication skills are also a prerequisite as connecting with the client is imperative. A skill for multi-tasking is of huge benefit to those in this field, as is a certain creative flair. Time-management and delegation techniques can save money and simplify a process. These qualities can spell sensation or ruin, depending on the manner in which they are used. Did you know? According to the Guinness Book of Records, the highest-attended outdoor concert of all time was Rod Stewart’s 1994 performance at Copacabana Beach in Rio. A staggering 3. 5 million people (though some sources claim the number was even greater than this) turned up to watch the free event. Can’t have been easy for the cleaners the next day! Further Resources Ø National events directory: www. discoverireland. ie/whats-on/ 2010-10-20 Career Profile - Food Scientist Name: Helen CrowleyProfession: Food Scientist I specialised in Food Science and Technology as part of the BSc in Applied Sciences at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street. I decided to study Food Science for my degree as I had an interest in both science and food at school. I wasn’t interested in the catering side of food so I decided to pursue a career in food science. The course in Kevin Street is very varied and included the study of nutrition, in which I also had an interest. The chance to work in the area whilst undertaking research for the final year thesis was also a very valuable experience. I did a research masters with the Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street and after that I worked as a research officer at the Ashtown Food Research Centre, which is part of Teagasc. There I worked on projects concerning the prevalence of the pathogenic bacterium E. coli O157 in minced beef and beef burgers and on sheep and pig carcasses after slaughter. This is a particularly dangerous bacterium as it can cause serious illness when present in food in very low numbers. I work in the Information section of the FSAI. Our role is to disseminate information on food safety to, among others, the food industry, consumers, government bodies, students and staff who work under contract to us, such as environmental health officers and veterinary inspectors. As part of this service we operate an advice line that is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and is staffed by two advice line assistants and two food scientists. We provide information on food hygiene legislation, labelling, food additives, contaminants, food supplements, starting a food business and a variety of other food related issues. We have a five-day turnaround on queries so we are always kept busy. I provide technical support and advice to the advice line assistants. I am also responsible for developing sections on the website and attending exhibitions and events to promote the information services of the FSAI. It is a very interesting job as the work is very varied and you never know what sort of queries you will be dealing with from one day to the next. Someone considering food science as a career would need to have an interest in food and science in general, especially chemistry and microbiology. In particular, the area of food safety would deal with potential hazards like chemical hazards (detergents, lubricants, dioxins and other environmental contaminants) and microbiological hazards (pathogenic bacteria, norovirus, etc. ) which may cause a problem in food and so knowledge of these areas is vital. They would also need to have good communication and organizational skills and be able to work with a team and on their own. 2010-10-20 Earth Science Earth Science Climate change and its devastating prospect of crop failure, wildlife extinction and extreme weather conditions, along with rapidly diminishing natural resources all generate a lot of talk, but apparently little action. Earth Science degrees represent an opportunity for students to critically asses the facts for themselves – to study the possible outcomes of humanity’s current course of action, and the possible alternatives and solutions. Earth science encompasses the three streams of biology, chemistry and physics, and is therefore an excellent option for someone with a general interest in science. Education Earth Science degrees are available from Trinity College, UCD, NUI Galway and UCC. The courses introduce students to the various systems – geological, oceanic and atmospheric - that combine to make our planet tick. Modules on scientific topics such as Geology, Computer Programming and Mathematics, Physics, Biogeography, Meteorology, and Oceanography underpin this understanding. Earth Science is not simply a snapshot of the earth now, and the changing forces currently at work - it also encompasses the history of our planet. Geology is the discipline that examines the earth’ composition and how it has developed over billions of years, and it plays an important role in the Earth Science syllabus. Typical areas of geological study include Geophysics, which utilises geologic maps and other techniques in exploring topics such as the movement of tectonic plates and the earth’s internal structure; and Geomorphology, which examines natural landscapes and the forces that shaped them. Climate change is a core theme in an Earth Science degree. It is a highly emotive topic that is often discussed in overly simplistic terms in the public arena, with the emphasis placed solely on industrial activity, diminishing resources and rising temperatures. Earth Science Students are taught to tackle this complex issue in a critical and analytical fashion. All elements of the ‘equation’, including their numerous interactions and ‘feedback’, are taken into consideration – e. g. the biosphere, geological processes, the oceans and polar ice caps, and the atmosphere, and the earth’s system as a whole. Students are often able to specialise in one or more elected subjects such as Botany, Geology or Mathematics. All the degrees involve substantial practical work in the field and laboratory. The Work Graduates of Earth Science have a proven ability to research and analyse complicated data, and are capable of synthesising information from a variety of scientific fields (biological, chemical and physical) in formulating responses to complex environmental challenges. This attribute makes them highly employable in numerous sectors. Climate change is having a impact upon Ireland in myriad ways – energy policy, human health, urban development, agriculture, natural environment, water resources, insurance, law – and Earth Science graduates are employed as experts by various public and private organisations in estimating the changes required and developing effective policies. The ability to analyse the numerous causes and outcomes of climate change distinguishes them from scientists with a narrow specialisation in a particular field of expertise. Roles include environmental consultant, resource manager, risk assessor, and environmental analyst. Typical private sector employers include insurance, mining, exploration and engineering companies. Did you know? Volcanoes can grow a lot quicker than most people think. Paricutin Volcano in Mexico for example, appeared unexpectedly in a cornfield in 1943 and grew to a height of 424 meters in less than a decade. Further Resources The Marine Institute: www. marine. ie Irish Geological Association (IGA): www. geology. ie Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland (C4I Project): www. c4i. ie 2010-10-20 Career Profile - Secondary-Level Teaching 1 Name: Maeve O’BrienProfession: Secondary-Level Teacher Although I thought that I may like to pursue a career in teaching at a later stage, I wasn’t certain when choosing my CAO options in 1993. I really enjoyed studying Business & French at Leaving Certificate Level and consequently went on to do a degree in Business & French at the University of Limerick. I chose to do this course, knowing that I could go on to do a Graduate Diploma in Business Education afterwards to enable me to teach business subjects. I graduated from the University of Limerick with a first-class Honours degree in Business & French in 1997. I decided to apply for the Graduate Diploma in Business Education during the final year of my degree and was interviewed and offered a place on the course following the successful completion of a shorthand and typewriting skills test. The Graduate Diploma year was very intensive but definitely worthwhile. I learned a lot in a short space of time and thoroughly enjoyed my teaching practice placements. After a number of years working for multinational companies in a variety of roles in areas such as marketing and customer support, I started teaching full-time in September 2004 and have never looked back. My everyday duties and responsibilities include class preparation and delivery for class groups from first through to sixth year. This would include setting and correcting homework and liaising with the Learning Support Team within the school regarding students with special educational needs. As I am a Form Tutor, I meet with my class group every morning for roll call. I meet with parents at parent-teacher meetings and other parents’ evenings held throughout the year in the school. I meet regularly with the other teachers in my subject areas. We work on subject planning and this would involve agreeing what areas of the course we will teach within a specified timeframe. These meetings are invaluable as they enable the sharing of resources and ideas within a subject area. I also team teach a number of subjects including LCVP Link Modules and Transition Year Enterprise, and work very closely with the other teachers in both of these subjects. I also work closely with other members of staff on whole school planning to develop policies in areas such as admissions, special needs education, and health & safety. No two days are the same in teaching and new challenges present themselves all the time. As a teacher I consider myself a mentor to young people of all abilities, having an ability to make a difference by encouraging my students to maximise their potential. Irish schools are continually changing and this requires a teacher to continually reflect on their own work and the quality of the relationships that they form with their students. I really enjoy interacting with my colleagues on a daily basis. I am actively involved in the Limerick Branch of the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland and really enjoy meeting with teachers from other schools in the area. One of the benefits of teaching is that you have the time, particularly during the summer holidays, to pursue other areas of interest to you. There are many professional development opportunities on offer for practising teachers. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Education in Educational Mentoring at the University of Limerick and am thoroughly enjoying it. My thesis is based on the development of a mentoring programme for newly qualified teachers of the business subjects. The Masters is designed with practising teachers in mind, so has involved a combination of workshops at weekends and summer schools. My advice to anybody interested in pursuing a career in teaching is to think carefully about whether you would like to pursue a full-time teaching degree or a non-education degree followed by a Higher Diploma postgraduate course. I am really happy I made the decision to leave industry for a job in teaching a number of years ago and look forward to a long, rewarding, and challenging career.   2010-10-20 Applying to the CAO The CAO: if you listened to everyone– parents, teachers, friends, family, the media – you’d think your whole future and personal worth was being decided by the numbers printed on a small, plain-looking sheet of paper produced in the late summer. In reality a greater importance should be attached to the preparatory work for your Leaving Cert exams. If you manage to do that, then following some simple rules when filling out your form correctly and sending it on time should be easy in comparison. The first place to start is with the CAO handbook. This weighty tome has everything you need to ensure you complete the CAO form correctly and send everything to the right place at the right time. Most applications are fairly straightforward, but it’s very useful to have the handbook around to check things, just in case. Get yourself a copy from your school, or print it off the CAO web site, and keep it handy. 2010-10-19 Agriculture & Natural Resources Agriculture and agribusiness is booming in Ireland.  Courses that once attracted little interest at CAO decision time are now awash with applications. Ireland has an excellent international reputation for our produce, and the export-driven agriculture and food sector is reliant on a steady flow of highly qualified and ambitious graduates. From food science to marketing, finance to agriculture, this is a broad sector bursting with opportunities. 2010-10-19 Business & Law As with Arts, Business Studies and Commerce courses are a mainstay of higher education and always popular with school leavers. They are perfect for students who are interested in a career in business, but are not sure what particular area they would like to work in. We can’t all learn about business selling Bill Cullen’s legendary penny apples, thankfully the courses in Ireland’s universities, ITs and colleges are kept constantly in line with the latest trends and demands of the modern economy. 2010-10-19 International Business & Commerce International Business & Commerce Shouting and gesticulating wildly in the faces of bewildered foreigners is not the best or most polite way to either seek or provide directions. And it is certainly a big ‘no-no’ when it comes to sealing multi-million euro deals with international business partners. Some cultural knowledge, an ability to communicate in another language, and an understanding of the workings of other national economies all go a long way in the age of globalisation. The ever-increasing importance of the EU and European markets to Ireland’s economy, the rise of Asian economic giants such as China and India, and the prevalence of non-national firms in Ireland are just a few of the reasons why job opportunities for business graduates with international knowledge and language skills are always good. Not to mention the exciting opportunity to work abroad. Education Business degrees with an international flavour are widely available from third-level institutions across Ireland. Course titles include International Business, International Commerce, and Business with a foreign language. Typically, first-year students are introduced to core business topics such as Economics, Management, Accounting, Marketing, HR, and Business IT. A foreign language is usually mandatory. An impressive number of languages are available to choose from; besides the more standard roster of French, German, Spanish, and Italian, there are also more unusual (although excellent) options, including Russian, Chinese, and Japanese. Students have the opportunity to study or complete a workplace internship abroad, during which time they will have the chance to immerse themselves in both the language and the local culture. There is a particular focus on students learning how to conduct business in their chosen language.   International Business students examine issues such as the challenges faced by companies seeking to operate internationally, the worlds of international trade and investment, global monetary systems, and the strategic management skills required to trade successfully on an international level. There is little in the way of PLC International Business courses. Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education offers a one-year Level 5 certificate in International Business Trade Practice. Students gain skills and knowledge in all of the practical aspects of importing and exporting products for international markets. Graduates may embark upon careers with shipping and export companies. The Work Graduates of these programmes find work in a wide range of business-related professions: accountancy, financial services, marketing, human resource management, sales, and so on; and in other sectors such as IT, journalism, the non-profit sector, and teaching. The beauty of an International Business or Commerce degree, however, is that in addition to all the opportunities that are available to ‘normal’ Business degree holders, graduates are equipped with the required language and international business skills to work in multinational corporations, international trade and investment companies, and in non-English speaking countries. It is also possible for them to find work as sales managers in the export department of Irish companies. Responsibilities of this role might include using international market research and cultural knowledge to decide on the right products for a foreign target market, utilising language ability to maintain good relationships with customers, and overseeing the product distribution system.   Did you know? The world’s top five countries for exports are China, the USA, Germany, Japan, and France. Further Resources Ø International Financial Services Centre (IFSC): www. ifsc. ie Ø Shannon Development: www. shannonireland. com Ø Irish Exporters Association: www. irishexporters. ie 2010-10-19 Design: Industrial, Graphic, Fashion Design The huge success of Apple and its aesthetically satisfying products reveals just how influential good design can be. Without wishing to over-generalise, the average product designer has three goals in mind when working on a project: I. To make it aesthetically pleasing II. It must efficiently and effectively perform its function III. The project must be economically viable in terms of its production costs It is a highly desired career no matter what the sector (industrial, graphic, fashion) and as such, competition for a position is normally high. On the other hand, the public’s desire for innovative, attractive, and user-friendly products shows no sign of slowing down. Of course in addition to this, any well-designed product also needs impressive branding and identity design to help it sell. . . Education Otherwise known as Visual Communications, Graphic Design is concerned with the creation of imagery, logos, and typeface on everything from book jackets to online advertising and billboard posters. Degree courses in this subject include modules on Introduction to Design Software, Typography, Web Design, Photography, and Image Making/Illustration. Graphic Design is also available as a Level 5 Certificate in numerous PLC colleges around the country. Courses at higher and further levels, such as Digital Media, Multimedia, and Web Design/Development all feature a significant Graphic Design component. Industrial (or Product) Designers work with engineers in designing and producing material goods: anything from a toilet freshener to a lawnmower. Degree courses are multidisciplinary, introducing learners to all the processes – such as CAD (computer-aided design), model making, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing – involved in bringing a product from conception to the marketplace. Innovation and problem-solving are key aspects of industrial design courses. Anyone wishing to start their own design business will be interested by IT Carlow’s BA in Product Design Innovation: a four-year programme that combines design modules with entrepreneurial skills for small- to medium-sized businesses. Further education courses such as Art, Craft & Design and Computer-Aided Design offer a good source of preparation for those thinking of applying for an Industrial Design degree. Those who wish to specialise in Furniture Design will find relevant degree programmes in DIT and Galway-Mayo IT. There are also several PLC colleges that provide a dedicated FETAC Level 5 Certificate. Degrees in Fashion are available from Griffith College Dublin (GCD), Limerick IT, and NCAD (National College of Art & Design) – with the latter two options accessed by direct entry. Besides design skills such as drawing and pattern cutting, students also acquire practical business knowledge of the fashion industry in areas such as manufacturing and marketing. A full-time, three-year Diploma in Fashion Design is provided by the Grafton Academy of Dress Design. The course provides full professional training for the Irish and international dress trade. Numerous FETAC Level 5 Certificates are also available. Besides Fashion Design, which is a good preparation for traineeships and entry-level positions, courses are also available in areas such as Fashion Buying and Textile Design. Graphic and Fashion Design courses generally require applicants to supply a portfolio of art work, so make sure to contact your intended college for further details. The Work Designers often work as a part of a team that might include, for example, other designers, engineers, marketers, or production technicians. The ability to work effectively with others is therefore highly desirable. While creativity is an invaluable part of any designer’s artillery (‘art-illery’, get it?), a large portion of the early years of a designer’s career may well consist of attempting to meet the criteria of a product brief that’s been handed down from management or senior designers. In such cases, the ability to effectively follow instructions and pay attention to detail can be even more important than a flair for colour or patterns. Did you know? Carolyn Davidson, the designer of the Nike ‘Swoosh’ symbol, was still a student when she created the famous symbol. She charged the company $35 for her work. Further Resources Ø Creative Ireland (design community for designers): www. creativeireland. com  Ø Centre for Design Innovation: www. designinnovation. ie   2010-10-19 Agribusiness and Agriculture Agribusiness & Agriculture The food and agriculture sector is hugely important to Ireland, contributing around €24 billion to the national economy and accounting for almost 10 per cent of employment. Agriculture courses have received a healthy amount of applications over the last number of years as successive generations of school leavers recognize the good career prospects in a sector that has withstood the ravages of the recession so well. So if you’re interested in any aspect of the process involved in bringing that tasty steak (or salad for you veggies out there) from the field to your dinner table, then read on… Education Agricultural education and training is very democratic and is open to all levels of school leavers. In further education, the Certificate in Agriculture (Level 5) offers the initial training and work experience required by Leaving Cert holders who wish to become farmers or farm workers. Subjects tackled include animal and crop production, farm machinery, health and safety, and beef and dairy production. There is a wide range of agricultural subjects available at higher level. For example, the three-year Ordinary Bachelor Degree in Agriculture (Level 7) is available from four institutes of technology: Cork, Dundalk, Waterford, and Galway-Mayo (with Environmental Management). The course is highly practical – it includes a three-month work placement – and is suitable for roles in farm management, environmental management, sales and marketing, and quality control.   GMIT also provide a Level 7 Degree in Rural Enterprise & Agribusiness. The course is good preparation for management positions in agribusiness and also features a work placement component. Limerick IT’s Agricultural Mechanisation and Tralee IT’s Agricultural Engineering are two-year Level 6 courses for those who wish to work in the mechanical end of the farming industry, while Letterkenny IT’s two-year Applied Agriculture course, again Level 6, provides a multi-disciplinary approach, covering areas such as Food Science and Veterinary Nursing.   UCD is a major provider of agricultural courses at university level. Honours degree (Level 8) programmes are available in areas such as Food & Agribusiness Management, Agri-Environmental Sciences, Dairy Business and Animal & Crop Production. Alternatively, the omnibus entry Agricultural Science programme enables students to get a taster of these various areas before going on to specialise in a particular field. Waterford IT also provides an Agricultural Science option: a three-year Ordinary Degree. Graduates of these programmes can work in a wide range of agribusiness roles, including enterprise management, consultancy, education and research, marketing and communications, and food production.   The Work Agribusiness and agriculture comprises a large range of careers. Besides the various types of farming – itself becoming a part-time career for an increasing number of people – there are many other interesting and diverse roles available out there.   The following represent but a small and inexhaustive selection of these: businesses supplying goods and machinery to farmers; sales, production, and marketing staff in the large food producers and cooperatives; and representatives of rural development agencies and government bodies whose role is to monitor the environment and provide expert advice to farmers. There are also numerous scientific roles involved in researching areas such as soil chemistry, food processing, and so on.   Working in agribusiness requires a good head for figures, a solid understanding of rural industries and society, and above all, an interest in the natural environment.   Did you know? The expression ‘sweat like a pig’ is actually derived from an iron smelting process in which hot iron that has been poured to cool eventually comes to resemble the shape of a sow and her piglets. As the ‘pigs’ begin to cool, the surrounding air reaches its dew point and beads of moisture form on the surface of the iron – hence the ‘sweating’ effect. Real pigs don’t actually have sweat glands and therefore don’t sweat at all!  Further Resources Ø Teagasc – the agriculture and food development authority: www. teagasc. ie Ø Agri Aware – promoting the Irish farming and food industry: www. agriaware. ie Ø An Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board): www. bordbia. ie 2010-10-19 Environmental Studies Environmental Studies Pollution, climate change, deforestation, waste management, sustainable energy – the great environmental issues that confront us are more than just a source of consternation and worry: they are an exciting challenge. The scope and difficulty of this challenge is reflected by the range of highly involving courses and careers related to Environmental Studies. So if you’re willing to do your bit for the planet, and happy to earn a good living while you’re at it, then read on… Education Students interested in this field are not lacking in choice; third-level environmental science courses (from Levels 6 to 8) are available from the following institutions: DCU, DIT, IT Sligo, Limerick IT (including LIT Tipperary), NUI Galway, Tralee IT, UCC, UCD, and UL. Environmental science programmes are multi-disciplinary – they introduce students to the chemical, physical, and biological processes that occur in the environment. The courses explore current environmental problems (e. g. air/water pollution) and their effect on public health (e. g. food/work place safety) and the natural environment (e. g. fish stocks/biodiversity). Many of the courses also cover current environmental and health and safety legislation.   Through a combination of lectures, projects, lab work, and field studies, students will gain experience in a variety of areas – from environmental legislation to data research and analysis. Besides the level of certification, there are differences of subject matter and career opportunities between the various environmental courses on offer. For instance, DIT’s Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (Level 8) concentrates on legislative requirements and risk management, and is highly suitable for a career as an environmental health officer. Cork IT’s Level 8 Degree in Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology, on the other hand, provides students with the necessary skills to flourish in the ever-growing smart green economy. Check out the various courses on offer to find one that matches your particular talents and ambitions. Another interesting option is IT Sligo’s BSc in Environmental Protection, which explores the science behind measuring, combating, and preventing pollution. There is not much in the way of environmental studies on offer in further education. A good option, however, is Cavan Institute’s one-year Certificate in Environmental Science – Sustainable Development (Level 5). Students develop an understanding of topics such as Ecological Field Methods, Biology, and Lab Techniques. Another option is offered by Limerick College of Further Education. Its Certificate in Environmental Science (Level 5) covers subjects such as Waste Management, Communications, and Spreadsheet Methods. Holders of either of these certificates have the option of accessing many science-related third-level programmes.   The Work The growing realisation, among companies, public bodies, and the public, that our environment is a resource in need of sound management has led to an array of career options for graduates in Environmental Science and Health: environmental consultancy, waste management, pollution control, and mineral and water exploration are but a few of them.   Environmental health officers ensure that the public and workers are not at risk from environmental hazards such as noise, pests, pollution, or disease. They are usually employed by local authorities and spend much of their time visiting sites to ensure that environmental regulations are being adhered too. They also play a major role in ensuring that food is prepared and distributed safely and hygienically.   Working in environmental protection and conservation requires a healthy interest in science, as well as the ability to work in a number of different environments: the office, lab, and in the field. An ability to effectively communicate complex data to non-experts is also important, as winning the hearts and minds of the public plays a huge role in any sustained attempt towards safeguarding the future health of the environment. Did you know? The number of red squirrels in Ireland is decreasing by an average of 1 per cent per year. The native red’s decline in this country has largely been attributed to the introduction of the more adaptable – and more aggressive – grey squirrel in 1911. Further Resources Environmental Protection Agency: www. epa. ie Environmental Health Officers’ Association: www. ehoa. ie Department of the Environment, Heritage, & Local Government: www. environ. ie 2010-10-19 Why Study Arts? Year on year, Arts is by far the most popular CAO option for Irish school leavers. In this article we’ll explore the idea behind the Humanities, and why they represent a excellent choice for those with an open mind with regard to their future career. Many of the traditional disciplines of Arts & Humanities – such as classics, philosophy, and theology – have been at the heart of Western civilisation for centuries. In ancient times the Romans regarded these subjects as the ‘Liberal Arts’, a system of intellectually liberating skills that differed from the job-specific skills taught to slaves. While not in any way comparing those studying vocational courses such as law or medicine with slaves (although the poor souls undergoing exams in those disciplines may beg to differ!), what was true of the Arts in Ancient Rome is largely true today. Studying these disciplines provides excellent mental preparation for making your way in wider society, not just in terms of work, but also personally and culturally. Many courses are available for study in Arts & Humanities and at first glance, the school leaver may fail to see the slightest connection between them. However, there are interchangeable skills involved in the various disciplines, not least the highly valuable ability to critically interpret. In every subject of the Arts, students are required to do more than simply learn the facts and figures in the course material – they need to analyse and critically interpret. For example, a given article, book, poem, play, study or historical account will be read and studied with the following questions in mind: who wrote it? For what reason? Is there a bias element to the work? What is the author’s background and in what context was the piece written? Most of these questions will not have a single, definitively correct answer, as the ‘real meaning’ of something is often open to interpretation. The Arts & Humanities will teach you the skills to thoroughly research a topic and come to reasonable, evidential conclusions. It will also enable you to defend your proposals through highly-developed skills of communication, and the ability to clearly and reasonably defend your position. The subject material of most Arts & Humanities courses is undoubtedly fascinating stuff, and may well be of use in your later educational or professional career, but a common aim is to instill in students the habits of critically evaluate, manage and utilise information. It is these ‘good habits’ that employers are seeking to harness when they take on an Arts graduate. No two jobs are exactly the same, and initial training will not provide employees with the complete answers to every single problem they will encounter; after all, life has a habit of throwing problems at us that don’t fit neatly into pre-defined areas! In these situations, the skills of critical interpretation, information management, problem-solving and communication that you gained in your studies of the Arts & Humanities, will assist you. The fact that the core skills gleaned through an Arts programme are useful across many careers is reflected by the many and varied jobs graduates take – management, journalism, accountancy, tax consultancy, town planning, librarianship, civil service, local government, banking, teaching – the list is endless. Arts programmes in Ireland are available in various combinations. In general programmes, students pursue two, three, or four subjects, before dropping to two or sometimes one subject for the final year of the degree. In the case of specific Arts programmes, students are committed to one or two subjects from start to finish. The reason for taking this route is to guarantee a place on the topic at an early stage; but be aware that theses subjects are sometimes also available to those taking the general route. General programmes therefore, are a better choice for most CAO applicants, as they offer much greater flexibility. Some subjects such as History in Trinity, UCD, NUI Galway or NUI Maynooth and Classics in Trinity can be studied as a single-honours subject. A recent development has been the growing number of Arts courses offered in conjunction with non-traditional subjects; for example, Law and Business in NUI Maynooth, Creative Writing and Human Rights in NUI Galway. 2010-10-19 Art Art ‘Painting’, said Edgar Degas, ‘is easy to do when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do’. Degas clearly understood that learning is but the first step on the road towards mastery of any art form; however, it is also the most vital step. If you feel that your artistic talent would benefit from a contemplative, studious, and challenging environment, then studying Art at further or higher level education might well be the option for you. It is an unassailable fact that only a handful of extremely talented graduates manage to make a living from working as full-time artists, yet each of the following course areas produce graduates with good career prospects in a variety of fields: advertising, art administration, teaching, design, media production, journalism, photography, and art therapy are just some of the possibilities. Education Ordinary- (three years) and Honours- (four years) level degrees in Fine Art, Art & Design and Visual Arts are available from several of Institutes of Technology and from NCAD (the National College of Art & Design). A newly launched four-year degree at Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork enables students to specialise in ceramics. These programmes provide learners with a solid grounding in a variety of artistic formats. The traditional forms of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and so on, are generally supplemented by modules in computer-aided design and other digital media. The student usually goes on to specialise in one of these methods as the course progresses. Specialisation will often involve a large degree of self-directed learning and so the ability to self-motivate plays an important role.   A common objective of Art degrees is to educate students in art history and theory. This is an important aspect of students’ development as it provides them with the context necessary to critically evaluate not only the works of peers, but also (and more importantly) their own artistic output. Indeed, the ability to coolly revise and rework a project can be indispensable: students must be satisfied that their work is as strong as it can be – courses normally culminate in an end-of-year show that is open to the public. The degree courses mentioned above each require that applicants submit a portfolio of work for assessment. Contact the college in question to find out more about the specific requirements. Many local colleges and colleges of further education dotted around the country provide one-year FETAC Level 5 Certificates in Art and in Art & Design. Typical modules include Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Graphic Design, and Metalwork. All these courses enable graduates to apply for third-level Art degrees. Several local colleges also provide one-year Portfolio Preparation courses, which are specifically designed to prepare students for higher education. The Work A relatively small proportion of the most talented graduates go on to become fully-fledged professional artists. Most will supplement their income with another job or commit themselves fully to an art-related career (such as those listed above). Art therapy is a growing area whereby people of all ages who are faced with illness, disability or difficulty in everyday living can experience the joy of creatively expressing themselves, which in turn helps health professionals to identify their illnesses and worries.   Arts administrators work in cultural venues such as theatres, art centres, and galleries. They work with artists and artistic directors, and carry out functions such as marketing an event/installation, ensuring everything in the facility runs smoothly, and controlling budgets. Local authority arts officers seek to promote community interest in the arts by supporting artists, as well as by providing information and advice to the public and local organisations. Did you know? It is believed that Van Gogh sold only one picture during his lifetime – Red Vineyard at Arles. Further Resources   The Arts Council – the government agency for funding and developing the arts in Ireland: www. artscouncil. ie National Gallery of Ireland: www. nationalgallery. ie Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA): www. imma. ie 2010-10-19 Animation Animation Ireland is internationally recognised for the quality of its animators – one need only look as far as the Oscar-winning work of Dubliner Richard Baneham (for his work on the film Avatar) or the many successes of Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon (who gave us the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells) to see the abundance of talent present on this little island of ours. This is merely a continuation of the great legacy left by the 1980s and early 1990s, when Irish-based production companies were behind major cinema releases such as An American Tail and The Land Before Time. Education Degree-level courses dedicated solely to Animation are run by Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Limerick Institute of Technology (Tipperary), the Irish School of Animation (ISA) in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology. IADT’s four-year BA (Honours) in Animation explores all aspects of an animation project and is highly practical (the course consists of about 80% practical work, with 20% dedicated to the more academic side of things). The course tackles subjects such as Computer Generated Imagery, Visual Design, Life Drawing, and Post Production. LIT Tipperary’s degree in Digital Animation Production prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including special effects, animation production, graphic design, illustration, 3D modelling, and video and audio production. School leavers cannot apply directly for the degree programme (which is awarded by Scotland’s University of Dundee) in ISA. Instead, two other ISA courses facilitate progress. The one-year Animation Drawing Studies (FETAC Level 5) provides a good introduction to animation with a particular emphasis on drawing skills. School leavers and graduates of Animation Drawing Studies can apply for the two-year Higher National Diploma (HND) in Classical and Computer Animation (awarded by the UK body BTEC). Coláiste Dhúlaigh in Dublin has a three-year course that combines a FETAC Level 5 Certificate (awarded after first year), with a two-year HND in Animation programme. Students are encouraged to submit projects to various film and animation festivals. Graduates can apply to the final year of the animation degree course at the University of Wolverhampton, Cumbria University, or ISA; or year three of the IADT programme.   Three good introductory courses to animation (FETAC Level 5, one-year programmes) are available from Dundrum College of Further Education, Castlebar College of Further Education (Multimedia and Animation) and St John’s Central College (Cartoon Animation) in Cork. Most animation courses require applicants to attend an interview and submit a portfolio of selected work. Contact the relevant colleges as soon as possible for details of what that they are looking for.   The Work Animators are artists. They draw a series of pictures – frames – to make a character or scene come to life by conveying personality, mood, and emotion. A team of animators involves several people working together in different roles. Storyboard artists visualise written scripts by drawing out what each scene will look like onscreen. Layout artists work on the technical aspects of an animation, including how and where shadows may fall, changes in colour and light, and the varying contrasts and textures. Animation assistants concentrate on colour and backgrounds, while animation directors oversee the entire animation process.   Though the traditional method of hand-drawn animation (the execution of which is as painstaking as its results are rewarding) has been somewhat superseded in recent years by cheaper computer-aided processes, both means are still widely employed. In fact, the methods have been successfully fused together in the past, such as in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It is possible for animators to find employment in a number of arenas, such as computer gaming, advertising, or web design. Did you know? John Ratzenberger, better known as Cliff from Cheers, has voice acted in every one of Pixar’s releases to date.   Further Resources Animation Ireland: www. animationireland. com Cartoon Saloon – Irish animation studio: www. cartoonsaloon. ie Darklight Festival: www. darklight. ie 2010-10-19 Photography Photography It is impossible to ignore or avoid the visual image: it is used to inform, communicate, represent, reflect, and influence. This is hardly surprising of course; a picture, as we all know, is worth a thousand words. However, while a distinguished visual art form in its own right, professional photography is more familiar to most people as a supplement to news reports – pictures of politicians, sports stars, and celebrities help fill the column inches of magazines and newspapers the world over. Apart from the photojournalistic sphere, however, there are numerous other commercial opportunities for photographers in the guise of event (e. g. weddings), fashion, and advertising photography.   Perhaps due to this variety of options, most photographers work in a freelance capacity. Earning a living from photography alone can challenging in the beginning, however. A good income is usually not achieved until you have gained a healthy reputation for quality and efficiency. On the plus side, a career in photography also offers a lot of creative and professional freedom. Education There are three degree programmes available in Photography: a three-year BA (Ordinary, Level 7) in Griffith College Dublin, and two four-year BAs (Honours, Level 8) in Dun Laoghaire IADT and DIT. The practical side of these programmes involves carrying out photographic projects, darkroom processing, learning various photographic techniques, and processing digital images. Many photographers are self-employed, so business and management skills are also important areas of study. These course also place photography within its historical and cultural context. Students learn photographic theory, the importance of images in society, and how to critically analyse their own photos. A one-year Certificate in Photography (Level 5) is available in several colleges of further education. These courses are more vocationally oriented and focus primarily on practical skills such as film and digital photography, image downloading, Photoshop and image manipulation, and postproduction. Some further education programmes combine photography with a related topic; for example, Media Production in Carlow Institute of Further Education and Journalism in Waterford/Marino Colleges of Further Education. Applicants are normally required to submit a portfolio as part of their application for a photography course. Check with the course provider for further details. Besides these dedicated courses, photography is also taught as a module in many other third-level and further education programmes: Art, Digital Media, Journalism, Graphic Design, and so on. It is worth remembering that the single most important tool for securing employment in photography is not a pure photography qualification, but a high-quality portfolio of images. These programmes represent an equally viable path towards a successful career in photography. The Work Professional photographers require a number of qualities and skills: good eyesight, excellent attention to detail, a creative streak, patience, and good technical/IT skills. People skills are also important; for instance, in situations where photographers must direct or arrange their subjects/clients (e. g. at wedding parties, or at fashion or advertising shoots). A good head for business and financial budgeting is also required as freelancers must factor in the possibility of undergoing barren spells between their more productive periods. Did you know? Before colour photography came into being, hand colouring was used. This was both a time- and attention-consuming procedure as colours had to be applied using a fine brush. The colours were then fixed into place by breathing upon the plate.   Further Resources Ø Photography Ireland (forum and resource site for photographers in Ireland): www. photographyireland. net Ø The Irish Professional Photographers Association: www. irishphotographers. com Ø The Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI): www. ppai. ie 2010-10-19 History History The Roman politician and philosopher Cicero once claimed that ‘History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalises memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity’. Thus, with greater historical knowledge comes a greater capacity to contextualise and understand the present. Students who are interested in studying history can either choose for general History courses that provide a well-rounded knowledge of past events, figures, and processes, or they can opt to study more specialised subjects such as Anthropology, Archaeology, and Art History.   Education Third-level History programmes are available in a variety of formats. The subject can be studied as a dedicated degree at Trinity, UCD, or NUI Maynooth. It is also available as part of a joint degree; for example, with English (UL, Carlow College) or Law (UCD). Finally, it is also possible to take History as an option in most (but not all) Arts degrees.   History students generally take introductory subjects in the first year of their degree before narrowing their focus at a later stage. The first year aims to provide a more general knowledge of Irish, European, and World History, as well as research methods and political theory classes. Students then decide on the time periods and specialist areas that are of particular interest to them and will often choose subjects which are complementary to their final-year research project or thesis. This is usually on a topic agreed with the student’s supervisor, and could focus on anything from early Asian civilisations to The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Art History can be studied at UCD and TCD (along with architecture). It is the academic study of visual art (painting, sculpture, architecture, etc. ) in terms of its historical context. Students investigate issues such as the artists’ motivations; the relationship between artists’ work and their personal and cultural backgrounds; and artists’ influence on art and on wider society in general. Some level of aesthetic appreciation (or a good eye for art) is useful, as students are expected to express and support their own opinions and conclusions rather than relying solely on previous academic findings.   Anthropology is only available in NUI Maynooth and is the study of human societies and cultures across time. The aim is to arrive at a greater understanding of cultural, racial, ethnic, and sexual differences. Anthropological subjects include Popular Culture, Ethno-Psychology, Family Patterns, Folklore, Popular Culture, and Paleoanthropology. Archaeology is the study of the past through the recovery and analysis of physical remains and environmental data. It is available to study in TCD, UCD, and IT Sligo. Some of the topics studied on an Archaeology degree include: The Prehistoric World, Ireland and Europe in the Iron Age, Religion and Ritual in Celtic Europe, Environmental Archaeology, and Early Agriculture in Ireland.   Fieldwork is a particularly important part of all Anthropology and Archaeology courses. Heritage Studies tend to focus on national and local history, incorporating elements of natural and human history, archaeology, folklore, and genealogy. Careers in the heritage industry include tourism, archaeology, education, environmental consultancy, and public administration. A degree in Heritage Studies is available from Galway-Mayo IT, while Level 5 Certificates are provided by a number of local colleges around the country. The Work Graduates in historical fields can move into a wide number of areas. Some go on to pursue postgraduate study or work in their chosen specialist subject, working as historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, academics, researchers, curators, teachers, or archivists. Others use the more general knowledge, research, and writing skills they have acquired at college to enter careers in other areas, such as business, law, industry, the media, and the civil service. Archaeologists organise ‘digs’ to excavate artefacts and materials which they later analyse in a laboratory to determine use and worth. Tasks range from preparatory surveying and site selection to manually working the soil, using computers and high-tech analysis, writing reports and papers, and presenting findings. Anthropologists collect documents, data, and physical evidence of past and present civilisations; they then use their findings to make cross-cultural comparisons in relation to human behaviour.   Did you know? It is estimated that during the heyday of the Greek city of Sparta (circa 200 BC), there were around 20 slaves to every citizen.   Further Resources   Ø National Archives of Ireland: www. nationalarchives. ie Ø National Monuments Service: www. archaeology. ie  Ø The Heritage Council: www. heritagecouncil. ie 2010-10-19 English English While we all enjoy a good read, studying English at college is really for those who wish to explore and research the best of modern and classic literature – not to mention those who hope to eventually publish their own work. English students are required to engage with and analyse the texts they read; whatever interpretations they then offer must be supported through logical argument, traceable reference material, and clear articulation.    English courses are not just for those who have a realistic ambition of success in a creative sphere such as poetry, novel writing, or drama; they also equip students with valuable skills that are highly prized in virtually any workplace – for example, the ability to organise ideas, materials, and people; the capacity to think creatively and present persuasive arguments. The study of literature and language also disciplines the mind and teaches valuable skills in data collection, critical thinking, and communication. Education There are a number of different options available for people interested in studying English at higher level. Course titles include English, English Literature (TCD), English & Film/Drama (UCD), and English & History (Carlow College, UL). A common approach is to take English along with another Arts subject such as Sociology, History, Philosophy, or along with a foreign language. Students enrolling in an English degree should gird their loins for some heavy reading, as they will be expected to analyse a wide array of texts from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Roddy Doyle and Seamus Heaney. Most English courses are also concerned with the history and practice of writing in English, from Anglo Saxon times to the present day. Students learn how texts are constructed and how they operate. They study too the cultural and historical contexts within which they were written. English programmes aim to develop a critical consciousness in their students and to foster in them a strong awareness of the various schools of literary and cultural theory. Many English courses at higher level allow for specialisation; students can write essays and theses on subjects ranging from the influence of fairies in seventeenth-century English to feminism in twentieth-century America. A relatively high proportion of English students go on to participate in postgraduate study and research. An interesting option for students is All Hallows College’s degree in Theology & English Literature. Participants tackle the fascinating topic of theology and a selection of English modules, including the American Short Story, Gothic Literature, Anglo-Irish Poetry, and Modern Drama.   Students determined to study English at university level, but who lack the CAO points to gain admission, might consider enrolling in a Liberal Arts PLC course. These one-year courses offer graduates the opportunity to progress to an Arts degree at university level. The Work Many English graduates move into careers in writing, journalism, research, teaching, publishing, public relations, the civil service, and media. Others opt to embark on postgraduate study or seek professional qualifications in areas such as business and law. Many writers of fiction and non-fiction also work as scholars and lecturers in academia in between bouts of research and writing. Technical writers use carefully constructed and simple language to compile instructional manuals for products, ranging from computer software to washing machines and educational textbooks.   In general, however, English is useful for practically any career you can think of. Graduates put into practice a combination of the concise writing, creative thinking, problem-solving, and investigative research skills they have learned during their courses – whether they find work as journalists, solicitors, teachers, marketing professionals, proofreaders, or poets. Did you know? The youngest ever recipient of the Noble Prize for Literature was Rudyard Kipling (best known as the author of The Jungle Book). He was 42 when he received the award. Further Resources Ø National Library of Ireland: www. nli. ie  Ø Irish Writers’ Centre: www. writerscentre. ie Ø Poetry Ireland: www. poetryireland. ie 2010-10-19 Social & Political Studies Social & Political StudiesThese are extremely challenging times for Irish society, which makes courses in Social & Political Studies all the more relevant and interesting. Think you can help improve the lot of Ireland’s marginalised? If so read on, and find out how you can forge a career on a caring or policy-forming level. EducationApplied courses include Social Care, Social Work, and Community Studies, which prepare graduates for the more hands-on careers in social work, community care and community development; as well as Social Policy which enables students to critically analyse contemporary social issues (e. g. poverty, crime) and help create the policies that are formulated to combat them. Social Policy prepares students for careers in research bodies, state agencies, local government, and NGOs (non-governmental organisations). Social Care degrees are available in most institutes of technology and Carlow College. Theses courses include modules such as Child Development Psychology, Addiction Studies, Legal Studies, Social Policy and Creative Studies (i. e. Art/Drama Therapy). Students undertake work experience, which will require Garda clearance. Government agencies and NGOs are the principle employers of graduates. Thanks to accreditation by the National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB), graduates of Social Studies (Social Work) in TCD and Social Work in UCC (mature students only) need not enrol in a postgrad course in order to become professional social workers. A wide selection of PLC courses in Social and Community Studies are available in local colleges throughout Ireland. Typical subjects include Applied Psychology, Child Development, Care Provision, and Legal Studies. Regular work experience is also common. Graduates can apply to degree courses, or find work in the private, public, and voluntary care sectors as special needs assistants, youth workers, child carers, and so forth. Sociology involves the study of social groups and the social phenomena that affect them such as social mobility, bureaucracy, crime, globalisation, and so on. Study is not confined to the present, but also encompasses trends and theories from the past. Important theorists in the history of Sociology include August Comte, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim. Sociology is available to study as an Arts option or in tandem with subjects such as Economics, Politics, History, and Philosophy. Courses that enable students to pursue a combination of applied and theoretical social studies to degree level include: Social Science in UCD, Dublin Business School, NUI Maynooth and UCC; and Sociology and Social Policy in Trinity College. Politics courses at third level cover all aspects of the political system, from local government to the international relations of superpowers. Students will learn how politics affects all aspects our lives, how systems of government differ throughout the world, and how political thought has developed over the centuries. The ability to carry out effective political research, both statistical and qualitative, is another key aim of the Politics degree. Anyone with a keen interest in current affairs, and a determination to help solve the major tasks faced by the world today, from global warming to EU expansion and integration, will enjoy getting their teeth into a Politics degree. The WorkSocial care practitioners work with, and advocate on behalf of, children and adolescents in residential care, people with intellectual disabilities, alcohol and drug dependents, refugees and asylum seekers, families in the community, and many other social groups. Professional social workers differ in that their role includes managerial duties - arranging residential care, coordinating patient review meetings, and so on. Social researchers use statistics (quantitative) and interviews and focus groups (qualitative research) in to analyse issues such as equality of access to employment or social services in a particular area or socio-economic class. Political researchers might use the techniques to test the outcome of a proposed policy, or to prediction election results. Further Resources Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW): www. iasw. ie Irish Association of Social Care Workers (IASCW): www. iascw. ie Houses of The Oireachtas: www. oireachtas. ie 2010-10-19 Philosophy & Theology Philosophy & Theology As the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, ‘We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched’. Philosophy seeks to unearth universal truths by utilising reason and logic. It tackles concepts such as existence (ontology), morality (ethics), nature (metaphysics), and knowledge (epistemology). Theology also employs reason and logic, along with historical and religious knowledge, in the criticism, defence, and analysis of religious belief. Students are not required to hold religious beliefs in order to study Theology. Although these two disciplines may seem somewhat incompatible, they are bound together in numerous ways; for example, the philosophical works of Plato and Aristotle greatly influenced Western Christian theology. In turn, the theological work of St Thomas Aquinas has exerted a lasting influence on a number of subsequent philosophers. Education Students interested in Theology and Religious Studies have a number of options. Degree courses include Theology with Psychology, Philosophy, or English Literature (All Hallows College); with World Religions (Trinity College); or as part of an Arts degree in a number of colleges. Typical topics in Theology or Religious Studies include Biblical Studies, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Atheism, Ecumenism, World Religions, and Ethics. Several teacher training colleges also provide the necessary qualification for becoming a second-level religion teacher. There are plenty of options for students interested in taking Philosophy at degree level. You can choose to take a degree solely in Philosophy, or study your chosen subject in conjunction with other subjects, such as Law (UCD) or Political Science, Economics and Sociology (Trinity College). Philosophy is also an optional subject on most general Arts programmes.   Among the subjects you may have to get your head around on a Philosophy course are Ancient Philosophy, Eastern Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Ethics, Aesthetics, Epistemology, Postmodernism, and the Philosophy of Being. You will also encounter all the big names including Plato, Locke, Kant, Nietzsche, and (Homer Simpson’s favourite thinker) Wittgenstein. The Work Studying Philosophy or Theology at third level is often undertaken in an effort to expand knowledge rather than as a career move. However, the honing of research skills and intellectual capacity will prove extremely useful in a variety of careers. A high proportion of Theology graduates go on to become teachers of religion at secondary-school level. Some religious studies courses qualify students to teach religion directly (such as Mater Dei’s Bachelor of Religious Education). Graduates of other courses take a year-long Higher Diploma in Education to gain the necessary teaching skills. Professional philosophers are a lot less common than their amateur or barstool equivalents. Those who do make their living from philosophy are generally published authors and are attached to a university where they must also teach and write as well as think for a living. Philosophy graduates also have plenty of other options; the lateral thinking, logic, and reasoning skills you will learn should prove useful in almost any career. Did you know? According to the rules of logic, the question ‘What would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object?’ is meaningless, since in a universe where one of the two exists, the other, by definition, cannot. Further Resources Ø Philosophy Pages – free online resource: www. philosophypages. com Ø AskPhilosophers – put your questions to a panel of experts: www. askphilosophers. com 2010-10-19 Marketing Marketing You needn’t look like Don Draper from TV’s Mad Men to succeed in marketing, but you do need to acknowledge the huge importance that image plays in the commercial success of a company and its products. Marketing aims to continually improve the public perception of an organisation, product, or service by creating and promoting products that will appeal to customers. Marketing executives seek to increase ‘brand awareness’ – that is, to develop a relationship between the public and the product in question. A satisfied customer is more likely to show ‘brand loyalty’ – something akin to the Holy Grail of profitability for companies. Education Marketing courses are designed to provide students with the necessary practical knowledge and skills to allow them to design, implement, and manage marketing plans in a variety of companies and organisations. Third-level Marketing courses are available at levels six, seven, and eight, including both certificates and degrees. Marketing is also often a core subject on general business courses. A degree or certificate in Marketing features subjects such as Marketing Theories & Strategies, Consumer Psychology, Organisational Behaviour, Research Methods, Accounting, Communication Studies, and Marketing Management. Group and project work are a major part of any Marketing course. Getting the message across to a target market effectively and efficiently is a key goal of marketing, and so these programmes produce graduates who are therefore effective and assured communicators.   Information Technology also plays a key role in marketing. Students are introduced to the latest e-business techniques, such as utilising online social media (e. g. blogs, internet forums, YouTube, Facebook, etc. ) for marketing purposes. Dublin City University’s Marketing, Innovation & Technology is particularly strong on this increasingly important area of the industry. Industry-specific marketing courses are available in Retail Management (DIT), Food (UCC), and Tourism (DIT/Waterford IT). Marketing is also widely available as a PLC course subject. Students receive a good understanding of the basic principles of this key business activity. Typical subjects in a one-year Level 5 certificate include Behavioural Studies,  Statistics, Customer Service, and Marketing Practice. A two-year Business & Marketing Diploma provided by Rathmines College of Further Education includes the opportunity to record radio advertisements as part of its Advertising & Promotion module. The Work Every company or organisation has an interest in publicising its activities, products, or services, which means that Marketing graduates can find work in a huge variety of business sectors. Many big companies have dedicated marketing departments, and there are also a number of dedicated marketing agencies in Ireland. Other organisations – from charities to government agencies to sporting bodies – also employ marketing staff. It can be difficult to move into a marketing executive job straight from college, so many graduates work in related areas such as telemarketing, sales, or public relations, before moving to a dedicated marketing position. Some large companies employ Marketing graduates and provide on-the-job guidance through graduate training programmes. Other areas where marketing skills are required include advertising, market research, and business development. As careers progress, marketing experts may have the opportunity to move into senior management positions within companies and organisations. Research plays a key role in marketing. Different products or ideas are tested using focus groups and surveys. The data collected is then analysed before a decision is made to launch a new product. Marketing executives might then organise the product launch and work on its advertising and promotional campaign. An outgoing personality is a valuable asset as conducting effective presentations and communicating with the public are key elements of the job. Did you know? According to Laura Egendorf’s book Advertising, the average American child watches 40, 000 television commercials in a year – that’s over 100 a day! Further Resources Ø Marketing Institute of Ireland(MII): www. mii. ie Ø Marketing Magazine: www. marketing. ie Ø Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI): www. asai. ie 2010-10-19 Lodging/Digs This form of accommodation encompasses a number of different living arrangements. These include a self-catering arrangement with a rented room in the landlord’s house, or living ‘in digs’ with a host family, which may or may not include meals in the price. Living with a host family is another recommended option for first years, as is it represents the easiest transition from home life. Not only is it very affordable, with costs ranging from €70 to €150 a week (depending on meals and whether the student is staying for five or seven days a week), but the majority of these families will also have long experience of making students feel at home. It is highly recommended that you pay the host family/landlord a visit before agreeing to anything, just to cast an eye over the facilities and get a feeling for the place. Finding a landlord with whom you can strike up a good rapport is a valuable bonus, as nobody likes watching TV in an awkward silence, and sitting alone, sorting your sock collection in your box room is nobody’s idea of a fun evening. Tenants’ legislation does not cover students living in digs, so it is very important to set out in writing all agreements on bills, meals, deposits and notice to quit from the very beginning. You should also make sure to ask the householder about having visitors over, staying out late, access to facilities such as the TV, etc. 2010-10-19 Student Housing Student dedicated accommodation, or student villages, comprise of apartments or housing available to students only. These residences can be on- or off-campus and are run by the college or a private management company. Student housing in Ireland is of a high quality, with clean and modern facilities, and easy access to your college. The term ‘student village’ is apt as there are usually many services provided that help foster a communal environment; facilities often include wireless internet connection, laundry services, shops, cafes, and common rooms and halls. This communal spirit is why most higher education providers recommend that newcomers choose student housing for their first year in college. The student village encourages first years to make friends, grow in confidence and overcome homesickness, all of which prepares them for private rented accommodation in later years. Most colleges therefore ensure a large proportion of their student accommodation is available to first years only. The application times for student housing can vary greatly. Some colleges (e. g. NUI Galway) allow and recommend provisional booking as soon as your CAO choice is made, while others (such as Trinity College Dublin) do not accept applications until August, when you have received a course offer from the CAO. Please check what application policy your intended college applies. Accommodation costs also vary a good deal. The price for a standard 38-week academic year can be anything from €3, 000 to €5, 000, and is influenced by factors such as whether you are willing to share a room and the overall standard of accommodation. A security and/or booking deposit is usually required in advance, and the rent is normally paid in two instalments during the year. 2010-10-19 Information Updates From the CAO More Messages from the CAO Whether you apply through the post or online, the CAO sends out a series of messages to keep you updated as the process proceeds. If you have applied online and submitted an email address they will send you a confirmation email, or you can visit the CAO web site after a few days and check your application details online. If you applied through the post, and included the Initial Acknowledgement postcard, the CAO will return this to you as soon as your application is opened. A Statement of Course Choices should be received by all paper applicants by February 15th and a Statement of Application Record should be received by June 1st. If you don’t receive these statements, there is a problem with your application, so it is very important to contact the CAO immediately if either fails to arrive by these dates. If you see any errors on these statements, you should also contact the CAO as soon as possible to make sure there are no issues with your application. If you need to change your personal information (if you move house or your phone number changes), you can do this online or by post. Once the CAO makes the changes, an updated Statement of Application Record will be sent to you. 2010-10-19 Offers & Acceptance First Round offers are expected to be made on August 22nd, 2011. It is important to remember that once you have received an offer for a course, you will NOT be considered for a place in any course that was lower down on your chosen ten. However, you may still receive, at a later date, an offer for a course that occupied a higher level of preference in your selection. Offers are sent through the post, and are also available to view on the CAO website. Some people will receive an offer from both lists on the CAO form (Level 8 and Levels 6 & 7). You should only accept one or the other. You accept an offer either by filling in the form that arrives by post, or by accessing the web site. Accept either by post or online; if you use both methods it confuses the system. Offers must be accepted by 5:15pm on the Reply Date printed on the Offer Notice. You should receive an acknowledgement of acceptance from the CAO within three working days of the ‘Reply Date’ stated on the offer. Anyone who doesn’t receive an offer in the first round remains in the running for round two, so all is not yet lost. The expected date for the second round of offers is August 31st. Some people who didn’t receive an offer first time round will now get a place, while others who have already accepted an offer will have the chance to move to a course which was higher up on their list of preferences. Once you accept a new offer, it automatically cancels any previous acceptance. The place you previously accepted is then offered to someone else. Further rounds continue until all available places are filled. It is vitally important that you are in a position to accept an offer when it is made. There is a deadline attached to all offers, and if one passes without your acceptance, it is assumed you don’t want the place and you’ll have missed your chance. The CAO recommends you are either present at your correspondence address while the offer process is unfolding in late August/early September, or that you have a trusted person taking care of the correspondence for you. The whole acceptance/rejection correspondence takes place over the course of only a few weeks, so you have to be on the ball. There is no comeback if you ignore course offers and find yourself left with nothing. It is important to be extra careful and refer to your CAO handbook or contact the CAO directly, if you have any problems or confusion. Vacant Courses There are usually some vacant places left after all the two rounds of offers have been completed. These are advertised on the CAO web site as ‘Available/Vacant Places’. Any students who have not been offered a course, or who have not yet accepted an offer, can then apply for these vacant places. It is also possible for students who have not applied through the CAO to enter the system at this stage and, for a fee of €40, apply for a vacant place. Deferring Some people decide that they don’t immediately want to take the course place they are offered, wishing instead to defer. It can be possible to defer a course and take your place in 12 months’ time. If you decide to do this, you should contact the admissions office of the college or university you wish to attend as soon as you receive your offer of a place, and they will inform you if it is possible.   You must then write to the college immediately, outlining why you are taking the year off, and attach your CAO offer to the letter. Do not accept the offer before you have been informed of the college’s decision on the matter. And that’s all there is to it. Hopefully by this stage you will have been offered a course that you wanted and are preparing for life in higher education. Good luck! 2010-10-19 Geography Geography The term ‘geography’ was conceived in Ancient Greece; a rough translation would be ‘to describe the earth’. This provides a hint as to the huge scale of the discipline, encompassing far more than the recital of the capitals of Europe and drawing pictures of oxbow lakes. Geography can be divided into two major areas: the human, incorporating aspects of sociology, economics, history, and politics in the study of people’s interaction with the built environment and the spatial distribution of societies; and the physical, which involves the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes in the earth’s environment. Education There are a number of options for students hoping to study Geography at third-level. It can be taken with other related subjects such as Planning & Environmental Policy (UCD), Outdoor Education & Leisure (GMIT), or Political Science (TCD); or as an optional subject as part of a general Arts degree. As part of an Arts degree, students are introduced to both Physical and Human Geography.   Physical Geography subjects include Climatology – the study of weather patterns over prolonged periods (decades, centuries, millennia, etc. ); Atmospheric Science – studying our planet’s atmosphere and its processes; Biogeography – the distribution and changing patterns of life on Earth; Meteorology – short-term (in comparison with Climatology) weather processes and forecasting; and Geomorphology – understanding landscapes and how they take shape. An interest in science is therefore helpful to learning about and understanding physical geography. Typical first-year subjects in Human Geography include the History of Urbanisation (from the first settlements to today’s sprawling metropolises), Population Studies (migration, settlement, distribution of wealth, etc. ), and the implications of globalisation (e. g. how global forces impact on a local area). An important part of any Geography degree is learning how to research and analyse geographical data, and a key instrument in this process is GIS (Geographic Information System). This software enables geographers to efficiently capture, store, analyse, manage, and present spatial information; for example, the distribution of two-car owners in a particular district. Students are also introduced to the various environmental crises that have emerged from mankind’s interaction with the environment, including issues such as unsustainable development, pollution of natural resources, and climate change.   Practical classes form a large part of any geography course. Laboratory work, projects, and fieldwork all help students develop skills in collecting information and analysing results. The Work Even though not many people describe themselves as geographers, geography is a subject that offers many career options. Geographers can be involved in tasks as diverse as cartography (the science of map drawing), planning aid budgets for third-world countries, carrying out national surveys, monitoring levels of pollution, and conserving our national heritage sites. Geography can be attractive to students who enjoy a mixture of arts and science subjects. Students need a head for statistical data, good communication skills, and the ability to work well within a team. A large degree of technical and IT skills are often required for geographical work. Geography graduates can find themselves working in a variety of different environments, from science labs to county council offices and field research sites, both close to home and abroad. Tools range from a bucket and spade to the most advanced laboratory technologies.   Did you know? The Chinese city of Wenquan, standing at 5, 099 metres above sea level, is the highest city in the world. The second-highest city, at an elevation of 5, 019 metres, is La Rinconada in Peru. Further Resources Ø Central Statistics Office: www. cso. ie Ø Ordnance Survey Ireland: www. osi. ie 2010-10-19 CAO Welcome to the CAO section of Gotocollege. ie!Here you will find everything you need to know about the 2010/2011 CAO process, from negotiating the application process to effectively researching your options. 2010-10-19 Payment The best things in life may be free, but the CAO system isn’t. The way you pay depends on whether you use the paper form or apply online. If you are submitting a Paper Application, you should use the Application Fee Payment Form (which is supplied in your application pack) to pay in a Republic of Ireland bank. The bank will retain Part Three of the Payment Form and stamp Parts One and Two and return them to you. You keep Part Two for your own records, but you must staple Part One to your CAO Application form (as evidence of payment) and send it to the CAO with your application. If you are applying online, you have to pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or debit card (Laser). Application Fees & closing Dates All fees are non-refundable FEE CLOSING DATE Normal Application (Online of paper) €40  1 Feb 2011 (5:15 pm) Online discounted rate €30 20 Jan 2011 (5:15 pm)     Late online application €60 1 May 2011(5:15pm) Late paper application €80 1 May 2011(5:15 pm)     Change of Mind Nil 1 July 2011(5:15pm)         2010-10-19 Private Renting Renting private accommodation can be the most risky of the accommodation options, as well as the most attractive to students craving independence and responsibility. Students looking at possible flats and houses should keep their wits about them, and make their decision carefully. It is always easier to find somewhere suitable if you are moving in with friends. Three or four people getting a house or flat together is more convenient than moving in with strangers. That said, you won’t be strangers for long, and many people become lifelong friends after living together at college. It is generally best to find a house in an area heavily populated with students, where you will have better relations with neighbours, local student discount shopping opportunities, the cheapest rent prices, and shouldn’t be too far from your college. Some student housing can be towards the lower quality end of the rental market, so it is important to find a trustworthy landlord. The landlord should never enter the house without your permission. It is also his or her responsibility to ensure that all appliances are working, that there are solid locks on all doors and that the heating and hot water systems are up to scratch. Inspect the house thoroughly before handing over any money, and bring someone along (such as a parent or friend) who recognises the warning signs of damp and structural problems. You should insist on a rent book and a properly written lease, and it is generally best, though not always possible, to pay rent by direct debit. Renters usually pay a month’s deposit when they move in and pay each month’s rent in advance. Visit www. citizensinformation. ie, and check out ‘Landlord and Tenants Rights’ in the Housing section for further information in this vital area. The accompanying checklist includes some of the most important things to bear in mind when inspecting a potential home. One small upside of the ongoing recession is the growing number of rental properties available to students, and the fall in rental rates. Research carried out by Daft. ie shows that rents are now 25% below the peak levels witnessed in early 2008. This downward trend may well continue or the market may stabilise, but an increase in rents is not likely for the foreseeable future. Each student can expect to pay around €70 to €120 rent per week. It is important from the outset that you foster a spirit of sharing and cooperation with your fellow tenants lest the situation quickly degenerates to drawing borders with chalk on the floor. You should also make sure that there is agreement on how bills such as gas, insurance, waste collection and connection fees for the phone and NTL will be paid. Try and work out some agreed rules regarding housework and people sleeping over at an early stage also. A good financial tip is to maintain a kitty for food essentials, cleaning products, etc. Most students end up living in rented accommodation at some stage of their college lives, even if they choose on-campus or digs at first. Renting offers the most freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility, and it is up to you to decide the most suitable accommodation option for your financial and personal situation. 2010-10-19 Supply Chain Management Supply Chain Management A fundamental aspect of every company is an organised stock flow. A supply chain manages this process, ensuring that the correct channels are visited and the expected destination is reached. If you are one of those tidy (and annoying) people who enjoy nothing more than keeping everything nice and orderly, then you’ll be well equipped for a career in this field. An efficient supply chain is extremely important to manufacturing companies due to the nature of the competitive international environment. Recent years have seen the specialisation of roles within the supply chain, as companies seek to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their product supply. Supply chain management is hugely influenced by technology and it is common for manufacturing companies to have computerised systems that handle inward and outward deliveries, stock control and production forecasts. Education Honours Bachelor Degrees in Supply Chain Management are provided by DIT and IT Carlow. The DIT option is applied for through the CAO process (course code: DT358), while the IT Carlow programme is a two-year, add-on option to a relevant ordinary degree or higher certificate. Some of the topics covered in these degree courses include Introduction to Logistics & Supply Chain, Inventory Management, Transport & Distribution Management, Global Supply Chain Management, and Purchasing Management. DIT students take part in a minimum 15-week, paid work placement in their third year, and students at Carlow IT will have the option to study a language. Graduates of IT Carlow will be admitted as full members of the professional body the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (IIPMM). Transport Management is a key ingredient of an efficient supply chain. Three CAO courses in this area are Road Transport Technology & Management (Limerick IT), Transport Management and Technology (Cork IT), and Transport Operations & Technology (DIT). The Work Graduates in supply chain management can find work in any sector of the manufacturing industry – electronics, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and so on. There are also many logistic and distribution companies that regularly recruit new employees. Roles available largely depend on the size and function of the manufacturing company; some organisations may have a transport manager and a logistics manager, or one warehouse manager overseeing the wholes process. The bigger companies may well employ people in all of these roles. The logistics (or distribution) manager has the responsibility for warehousing, stock control, order processing and packaging, planning and scheduling deliveries, and controlling the operation of the company’s fleet of vehicles. A transport manager is responsible for organising the transport, scheduling deliveries (inward and outward), organising routes, managing drivers, and overseeing vehicle maintenance. Logistics companies, which are often hired by manufacturers to carry out supply chain functions, perform all of these roles. Purchasing is also an important aspect of the supply chain; without the right flow of raw materials inward, whether by over- or under-supply, a manufacturing company’s production operation cannot run effectively. The purchaser must also ensure that the best materials are bought at the lowest possible prices, so as to maintain the organisation’s profitability.    Time management is the most necessary feature to possess in supply chain management. Any stoppage in a company’s production line quickly leads to serious financial losses, and stoppages are, more often than not, a result of glitches in the supply chain. A good ability with mathematics is of benefit, particularly in the areas of production forecasting, purchasing, and stock control. Technology is increasingly widespread in the supply chain sector - such as with the use of SAGE software - so IT skills will prove very useful. Did you know? US expenditure on logistics is larger than the national GDP of all but ten countries. Further Resources National Institute for Transport and Logistics (NITL): www. nitl. ie Association of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (APS): www. irishpurchasing. com Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (IIPMM): www. iipmm. ie 2010-10-19 Accommodation Securing affordable and comfortable accommodation is a vital aspect of preparing for college life. If the location of your intended college makes living at home impossible, then you should start your research regarding the various accommodation options (to share or live alone, what you can afford, etc) as soon as your CAO choice is made. Demand for student accommodation is often high, and you don’t want to be forced into last-minute decisions when most of the prime affordable locations are no longer available. Living in cramped or unsuitable conditions can greatly reduce the enjoyment of your time in college, and it certainly does not help toward achieving good results. Most higher education and many further education providers have an accommodation office. They are your first and most useful port of call, providing information on campus accommodation (if available) and also on local landlords, rental properties and host families. Other useful sources of information include the Students’ Union in the college in question, local newspapers, and websites such as Daft. ie, Studentlettings. ie, and Collegecribs. ie. For those whose college is within commuting distance, then living in the family home is usually the best option. Not only are thousands of euro saved, but a recent survey by the Higher Education Authority revealed that far more of those living at home than those living in other accommodation are ‘very satisfied’ with their living arrangements. The underdeveloped culinary skills of many young school leavers no doubt playing a big part in these findings. There are lots of top quality accommodation choices available to the modern student. These can be divided into three broad areas: Student Housing, Lodging/Digs, and Private Renting. 2010-10-19 Disabled Students Every year thousands of students with disabilities enter third level education. In this section we will seek to keep you up to date with the latest information on the facilities and services available in Ireland's universities, ITs and colleges. . . 2010-10-19 Career Profile - Horticulture Name: Michael GaffneyProfession: Horticultural Development Officer, TeagascI suppose I have two kinds of typical days, depending on what area I need to focus on. A day doing advisory work usually involves spending the first half of the day visiting growers, talking about what problems or issues they are having and also talking over any successes that also may have occurred. The second half of the day would be back in the office following up on any queries or questions that arose from the visits that morning. A day working on research projects usually involves conducting and setting up experiments. Experiments in horticulture, especially field trials, need to be planned extremely well because if errors are made in the set-up, you usually have to wait till the next year to repeat it. Administrative work involved with research projects takes up a lot of time, but it has to be done. In reality my typical day is usually a mishmash of the two. My main responsibility is to provide an advisory service to growers, especially protected crop growers (crops grown in glasshouses and plastic tunnels). This can mean helping them with advice, from crop nutrition to pest and disease control and pesticide advice to help with government schemes. I am also responsible for conducting research programmes which have special relevance to the area of horticulture. The areas I focus on are pesticide replacement (biological control), phytochemicals (health-promoting chemicals) from fruit and vegetables, and the benefits of using compost in horticulture. One of the main challenges is trying to keep up to date with new innovations in the protected crops area. A lot of the research being conducted in the area is by private companies, so by the time it becomes public knowledge; it is usually a couple of years old. Because of this, I spend a lot of time going to growers conferences and visiting growers in other countries to keep up to date. Horticulture is very much about trends – some years grasses are very popular; the next year alliums may be the big sellers. Even in the fruit and vegetable sector things are always changing, be it the colour (blue potatoes, black carrots), size (different baby vegetables) or even new markets such as fresh herbs, which, except for parsley, would not have been very popular 10 years ago, are now becoming incredibly popular. Keeping up with all the new trends can also be difficult. If you want to get into horticulture, be it in research, advice or actually growing, there are many different ways to get the necessary skills. You can start by working in a nursery, learning on the job. Also applying to some of the horticultural colleges or research stations for work experience will also give you a good idea what this industry is about. There are plenty of college courses, both full- and part-time, that you can do. You can even get into the industry later in life if you wish to do another degree/course first. A lot of the people I see in horticultural college are people who have already started one career but then decided to go back to horticulture. A lot of people see horticulture a way of making their hobby into their job. 2010-10-19 Career Profile - Design Name: *John WalshProfession: Product Designer The best description of what a product designer does is ‘design stuff’. That may seem simplistic, but it’s the reality; almost everything that surrounds us in every-day life, from furniture to phones, toys to toothbrushes, lamps to laptops, ultimately begins its existence on the page of a designers sketch pad. Being a Product Designer can be very rewarding career- it can be exciting to see something you have designed being manufactured in volume or used by a person you pass on the street. As a designer you have the opportunity to make products that are better, life easier and even make the world a better place. Of course good design takes time and the design process is generally a long one; it can often take years for a product to get to production. Designers can be involved in all or just a part of the product development process, so as a designer, you might be responsible from sketching initial concepts, right through the whole design process which could include creating detailed drawing or models, designing technical details for manufacture, solving production problems, and even coming up the final packaging design for a product. Equally, a designer might work as part of a team where their responsibility is to concentrate on the creative/concept stages of the product development process, while engineers or others take care of the more technical aspects. Designers typically work ‘in-house’ or for a design consultancy. In-house designers are employed directly by the manufacturers of a product, so an in- house designer at Nokia for example, will most likely spend his or her time working on designs for new mobile phones. Design consultancies typically work for lots of different companies, so working as a design consultant you might find yourself designing a computer mouse one day, and an office chair the next. When I was at school, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be, but what I did know was what subjects I liked: Art, Technical Drawing and Physics were some of my favourites. So if you like these too then you could consider becoming a designer. For me, the most important attribute a designer should have is creativity. The ability to think technically and in three dimensions is important, but not as important as it is to be able to think abstractly; that is, to be able to ‘think outside out of the box’, look beyond what is obvious and ask ‘what if?’ So, should you be a designer?Do you look at stuff around you and think about whether you like how it works or looks? Do you ever think about how you could make something better? Did you like playing with Lego when you were small? Do you like to draw or doodle? Do you like working with others to solve problems? Do you like making stuff? Do you like breaking stuff??? If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the above questions, then Product Designer could be the career for you! *John Walsh is Product and Industrial Design representative of the Institute of Designers in Ireland  2010-10-19 Theatre Theatre Perhaps of all creative careers examined in this section, acting is the most difficult from which to carve a successful career. The stereotype of the penniless actor may not be exactly accurate, but acting is a precarious profession and graduates need to steel themselves for long periods of unemployment. There are several other branches of the acting industry that offer interesting and worthwhile careers such as drama teaching, writing, direction, production/artistic design, arts management/promotion, and more. Education Theatre, Drama and Performing Arts courses at higher level are available from a number two institutes of technology (Dublin, Sligo) and four universities (NUI Galway, Trinity College, UCC, and UCD). A useful guide to making your CAO decision is the varying degree to which these programmes specialise in actor training/performance skills, as opposed to the theoretical study of theatre, which can lead to related careers in drama teaching, theatre criticism, or academia for instance. Practical performance modules focus on skills such as movement (combat, dance, etc); verbal acting (voice projection, singing, etc. ); and various acting techniques such as improvisation and acting to camera. Students are also often taught various production skills, such as directing, playwriting, stage/costume design, and production management. Students also learn how to work, and act, as a team, with classes putting on regular performances for their peers, the public, and industry professionals. Higher education programmes also include theoretical studies that examine the theatre in historical, social, and educational contexts. Students examine particular genres, such as Shakespearean and contemporary Irish drama, as well as learning to critically evaluate both the performances of others, and their own. Early CAO entry, interviews and auditions are typical requirements; check with the college in question for details. An interesting new course that appeared in 2009 is Dun Laoghaire IADT’s BA (Honours) in Design for Stage and Screen. This four-year programme incorporates three specialised disciplines – Production Design & Art Direction; Make Up Design, and Costume Design – and prepares graduates for stage and screen careers. Applicants are required to provide a portfolio of work. Further education also provides plenty of vocational training opportunities for would-be actors and other theatre professionals, with the Level 5 Certificate in Theatre Performance.   Widely available in varying forms around the country, this course works on the student’s acting abilities and theatrical knowledge, while also providing valuable practical skills such as stage management and event production. The Work Most fledgling actors must find work where they can before hitting the ‘big time’. This can mean playing roles or working as extra in areas such as community/fringe theatre, corporate productions, independent films and TV commercials. The competition is always tough for any role, no matter how small, so a plenty of determination is required. Set designers create the sets used in plays and TV and films. They must work closely with the director and playwright in realising their vision, and are often required to work with technology (lighting, sound, etc) in creating special effects. Artistic talent and the ability to work with their hands are thus useful attributes. Stage managers are the logisticians of a theatrical production. They make sure everything runs smoothly, from rehearsals to scene changes, and ensuring a performance runs smoothly without any technical hitches. Did you know? Fear once surrounded Shakespeare’s Macbeth, traditionally believed to be an unlucky play after a long history of mishaps befalling cast members. It is still superstitiously referred to as ‘the Scottish play’. Further Resources The Abbey Theatre: www. abbeytheatre. ie Irish Actors Guide: www. irelandactorsguide. ie Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild: www. script. ie 2010-10-19 Music & Dance Music & Dance Watching Glee (which I don’t) gives the impression that a music education is just endless a capella renditions of popular hits; thankfully, a far more immersive experience awaits music and dance enthusiasts in college.   Courses hone students’ strengths and tackle their weaknesses, while also providing a practical knowledge of the industry and theoretical understanding. Students are prepared for many careers – and not just in performance, but also in areas such as composition, teaching, production, academia, and more. Education Music degrees are available from many universities and institutes of technology. It can also be studied as part of an Arts degree in some universities. Students work continuously on their musicianship (either instrumental or vocal), and learn to effectively analyse their own performances and that of resident and visiting performers. They also study the cultural and historical aspects of music. Over the course of the degree, students will specialise in areas such as performance, music teaching, musicology (the theory, or science of music), composition, and music therapy. Degrees specialising in a particular area of music are also available. Music Technology degrees prepare students for careers in music and sound production in the recording industry, TV, software development, and radio. The Degree in Music Education in Trinity College and the Bachelor of Religious Education with Music in Mater Dei Institute of Education prepare students for careers as second-level music teachers. Commercial Modern Music, or ‘rock and roll college’, is a new degree course in DIT and part of the UK’s prestigious BIMM group, graduates of which have gone on to major international success. There are several music-related awards available in institutes of further education. Besides Music, which includes modules on Performance, Sound Engineering, and Event Production, there are other one-year (Level 5) vocational certificates available in a range of interesting areas, such as Music Technology, Irish Traditional Music, and Music Production.   The University of Limerick’s BA in Irish Music and Dance produces dancers of the highest calibre. Besides performance, the course involves academic study (e. g. history of dance, dance education), technical skills development (e. g. using digital media), and instilling business acumen (e. g. planning a tour). Also available from UL, the BA in Voice and Dance is a similarly themed course, with an additional focus on a variety of singing skills and styles (contemporary, Irish, etc. ). Dance is available to study at a number of colleges/institutes of further education. It can be studied as part of a Performance Arts programme that also includes acting, or as a dedicated course. Some courses introduce students to various forms of dance (ballet, jazz, modern, etc), as well as related topics such as anatomy/physiology and history of dance. Besides a FETAC certificate, graduates often receive additional awards from bodies such as the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and the Royal Academy of Dance. Please remember that the majority of courses that contain an element of performance will require applicants to pass an audition or music test – contact the college in question for further details. The Work Careers in music and dance can be roughly divided into performance (professional dancer or musician), and the many associated roles (management, production/ engineering, education, academia, journalism). Most of the courses mentioned above are holistic in their approach, and produce graduates that can work in either area. Did you know? According to Berkley College of Music in Boston, USA, Carol Kaye is the most recorded bassist of all time, with 10, 000 sessions spanning four decades. Further Resources Music Network – set up by the Arts Council to support and develop the music profession in Ireland: www. musicnetwork. ie The National Concert Hall: www. nch. ie Dance Ireland – representing professional dance in Ireland: www. danceireland. ie 2010-10-19 Late Applications & Changes of Mind While it is highly recommended that you get your applications in by the official deadlines, it is still possible to submit Late Applications to the CAO. The very final date for a late application (online or paper) is May 1st 2011 (5. 15pm!). Late applicants have to pay double the fees of those who get everything in on time. The CAO realises that college choices are major decisions in anyone’s life, and so allow students to change their minds. You are free to change your mind as often as you wish, for free, from May 3rd until July 1st. You can do this on the CAO web site or by using the official Change of Mind form, which you should receive with your Statement of Application Record in May. Once the CAO receives your Change of Mind or Late Application form, it will send out a new Statement of Course Choices, which you should receive no later than the 7th of July. Some courses are ‘restricted’, i. e. it is not possible to apply late or to choose them with a Change of Mind form. See the CAO handbook for a full list of restricted courses and Page 4 for the exception to the above rule. 2010-10-19 Choosing a Career The CAO choices you make are of course linked with your future career ambitions, so it is wise to spend some time contemplating what you would like to do to earn your corn in later life before filling out the form. The following are a few simple questions to ask when examining your career options: What am I interested in?The primary goal of any career plan should be to land a job that engages your interest. No matter what the perks of a given role may be: good wages, lively social life, or if the role is perceived as glamorous by the public; all that does not matter a whit if the you find the work as stimulating as a lecture on religious footwear in the late 13th century (and if you DO find that stimulating, well then, history or fashion is the obvious choice for you). Enjoying your work is the most important ingredient of a fulfilling career. What are my values?Different people want different things from life; some are driven to express themselves in a creative format, some may attach the greatest importance to financial security, while others will cherish an ambition of working for themselves. All motives for working are equally valid, and will have an affect on the type of career that you choose to pursue. For example, two people may be passionate about art, but often only one will value it enough to spend his/her working life attempting to earn a living in a world that it is not particularly well known for its job security. What are my skills/attributes?Compiling a list of the skills that will prove useful in your favoured careers and comparing it with an honest outline of your own talents should also prove helpful. Many job skills will of course, be inculcated in you during your third level education; but there are soft skills such as communication, formal writing and project management that you should know by now whether you have a natural flair for them or not. For instance, is that career as a foreign correspondent or translator an achievable goal if you struggle with foreign languages? The object of this exercise is not to discourage yourself from a swathe of careers, but to form a realistic appraisal of where your real strengths may lie. What role will match my personality?Sometimes the people who live and work around us have a clearer view of who we are than we do ourselves. Trying to decide upon a career can be a difficult and arbitrary process when we are young and with relatively little life experience behind us, so it makes good sense to speak to all around you – teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, friends – in order to glean a clearer picture of what kind person you are and what job might suit you. Besides these techniques, some good old-fashioned investigative work ought to stand you in good stead when formulating a short list of potential careers. Make the most of your school’s careers guidance service; read up on the various careers that interest you (starting with the Guide to Third Level & Further Education of course!), question relentlessly any friends or relations who are studying or working in an area of interest, and visit as many college open days and careers information exhibitions as possible. What is most important at this early stage in your education and career development is that you avoid enrolling in what is, despite the absence of fees, a costly higher education to study a subject that does not interest you, for a career that will not satisfy you. For instance, sometimes students enrol in a course simply because there is a well-publicised shortage of workers in that industry or they avoid a course because it is rumoured to be difficult to get a job in that area. Information such as this, while useful, should not be your guiding light when filling out the CAO form, simply because there is no way of knowing what the job situation in a given career will be in a few years’ time. The only person who can decide the best area for you to study and work in is you, so try to take on aboard the advice of others without straying too far from your own instincts. It is after all, your life. Whatever the choice you make, it is important to remember that people today usually have more than one career during their working life, and that it is much easier to act upon a decision to change career or return to education on a part time or full time basis than was the case in the past. Your future is not set in stone by the CAO selections you make – but you can make your journey through adult life a little easier by finding the career that fits before you set out. 2010-10-19 Law Law The popularity level of Law courses may have dipped over the last few years – the sector was badly hit by the collapse in the property market – but embarking on a career as a solicitor or barrister still has a prestigious ring to it. Besides, both are still eventful and financially rewarding endeavours. However, the relative drop off in popularity does not mean that legal careers are now easier to establish: long and arduous years of study are necessary before students can develop into high-flying legal eagles!  Law degrees are also useful in opening the doors to a range of other career options – it is possible for Law students to enter into business, politics, journalism, lecturing, banking, stock-broking, teaching, and property management. There are additional opportunities in the public service, insurance, and taxation sectors, so students need not worry about over-committing themselves to careers as solicitors or barristers. Education There are dozens of Law degree options available at Irish third-level institutions. Besides dedicated Law degrees, many courses combine Law with another discipline such as Business, Economics, Accounting, French, German, Irish, Politics, Philosophy, and History. Law with German or French includes modules on the civil and constitutional law in the country in question. Other Law degrees specialise in a particular legal area; for example, Clinical Law in UCC, or Corporate Law in NUI Galway. A degree in law covers many aspects of Irish and International law (such as tort, contract, criminal, land, constitutional), as well as subjects such as Irish Legal History and Legal Research and Writing. Elective subject options in the latter years of a degree include specialised areas such as Human Rights Law, Family Law, and Environmental Law. Students on some courses will also have core or optional subjects in areas such as languages, business, and the arts. Those who do not achieve the points total required for a Law degree need not give up hope. Graduates of one-year Level 5 Legal Studies courses can gain entry to undergraduate Law courses. They will also be well-equipped for careers in legal firms and a variety of other businesses. The Work A Law degree in itself does not establish a successful career in law. Further training is needed. The Law Society oversees the professional training and certification of solicitors, while the Honourable Society of King’s Inns oversees the education of barristers in Ireland. A newly qualified solicitor will usually begin work as a junior in an established private practice, while new barristers spend a period devilling with an experienced barrister before branching out on their own. Solicitors are often the first port of call for members of the public when legal matters arise; solicitors can provide all manner of legal advice and services to the public, organisations, and businesses. Common tasks and responsibilities include drawing up documents to oversee land and property sales, helping individuals in legal disputes with others (e. g. unlawful dismissal, accidents), drawing up wills and other legal agreements, dealing with business and corporate law (e. g. mergers, copyright issues), advising people in trouble with the Gardaí, and briefing barristers for court cases. Some of the bigger firms of solicitors specialise in a particular area, such as environmental or media law.   The main role of the barrister is to plead cases before the district, circuit, high, and supreme courts. They can work for the prosecution or the defence. Barristers don’t usually deal with individual members of the public; they receive instructions and briefs from a solicitor. Solicitors often consult barristers for their advice and opinions on specific legal points, even if a court case is not pending. Barristers also represent clients at tribunals and public enquiries, and draft legal documents. Some barristers specialise in certain areas, such as criminal, family, or labour law. Did you know? It is illegal to die in the UK’s Houses of Parliament, as is it to enter wearing a suit of armour.   Further Resources Ø King's Inns: www. kingsinns. ie  Ø The Bar Council of Ireland - The Law Library: www. lawlibrary. ie 2010-10-19 Career Profile - Supply Chain Management Name: Henry SheehanProfession: Supply Chain Manager I have worked in the area of Supply Chain Management for the past 15 years. It was while I was working with Bank of Ireland that I decided to pursue a Professional Qualification in Supply Chain Management.   I was responsible for driving cost reductions and adding value to the bottom line so Bank of Ireland fully funded the three year programme and gave a day’s study leave for each examination taken. I was promoted after successfully completing the programme.      Some of the interesting aspects of working in a supply chain management career are being involved with all levels of the organisation, the fact that each day brings a new challenge, really getting to know your business and seeing how decisions made in one part of the organisation can have a serious impact on another part of the business. My duties and responsibilities include working with all heads of departments in managing, reviewing, tendering and awarding contracts; contributing to the budget process; managing change through new supply chain initiatives; building successful cross-functional teams; and providing regular reports to senior management. In the role of procurement and supply chain you are engaged with all the key stakeholders in the organisation. There is a great opportunity to get to know how the business operates in full as you are cross functionally involved with all departments.  In the role you will also be networking extensively both within and outside the organisation and this is a great opportunity to build on your reputation and gain invaluable experience.       If you would like a career full of different challenges and career satisfaction then a supply chain role may be the role for you. Supply chain management also allows great career flexibility. Having worked in financial services, retail telecommunications and private health care, I have seen first hand how a professional qualification can facilitate careers in a wide range of industries. Working in a supply chain management role offers you the opportunity of making a real difference in your company, and last but not least, thanks to the importance of the role people working in supply chain roles are generally paid good salaries! Visit the Careers Section on www. gotocollege. ie for more career profiles. 2010-10-19 Open Days - try before you buy We have all seen those programmes where initially optimistic and jovial holidaymakers are gradually reduced to a state of rank desperation as the chasmic differences between the brochure and reality become ever clearer. Nobody is comparing the factual and informative brochures of Ireland’s excellent colleges to those of a dodgy travel operator. Rather, the moral here is to research intensively so that no nasty surprises arise. If you’re unpleasantly surprised to discover that quantum physics involves working with numbers, well then there is nobody to blame but yourself really. Research carried out by DIT for instance, has shown that lack of knowledge about what is actually involved in a course is the main cause of people dropping out. Attending an open day is one of the best ways to get a feel for a college and a specific course. It is best therefore, to arrive well prepared; a complete checklist of every single query you feel is relevant is a handy accompaniment. That way, you can be sure you are making a well-informed choice when CAO time comes around. Be determined to get answers to every one of your queries; the colleges are eager for your application so don’t be hesitant in approaching any members of staff on the day. It is also worth remember that university campuses in particular are very big places, and it is easy to waste a good portion of the day wandering aimlessly when you don’t know what you’re looking for. When you choose a particular college, its campus is going to be your ‘home from home’ for the foreseeable future. A college Open Day enables you to take your time and soak up the atmosphere. Try to imagine yourself as a student there. Would you feel comfortable? Does the place seem welcoming? Is this a modern and challenging learning environment where you want to spend the next three or four years? As well as exploring the location, an Open Day is also a great chance to learn about the courses for which you may apply. There are usually lots of seminars and talks on the individual courses available. You should go to as many as possible, even if you are sure of the course you are going to take. You might find a similar course that will suit you better, or even have your interest piqued by something totally different. Both lecturers and students give presentations and answer questions at course seminars. You might sit in a college lecture theatre and find out about different subjects taught, assessment methods used and the career options available for the different courses you are considering. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the lecturers; they are generally very interested in their own subject, and like nothing more than sharing their enthusiasm and passion. Open Day also often features stands representing the various subject areas, manned by student ambassadors. Talking to current students to get their perspective of the college is a very useful part of an Open Day. If you know someone studying at the college already, see if they have time for a quick tour or a chat about their experiences. They can offer invaluable insights and advice to people who haven’t yet made up their mind about the subject they want to study. The social aspect of college life is very important too, so ask what student life is like. Be sure to pay a visit to the social and recreational areas such as restaurants bars and sports facilities, and have a look at the stands representing the various student societies and sports clubs. You should spend plenty of time checking out the different facilities and services on the campus by talking to staff in student services such as the accommodation office, the library and the IT department. This opportunity is especially important if you will be studying a course or subject that requires specialised facilities and equipment. Open Days should be more or less ‘access all areas’ so you can see how modern the science labs are, or what kind of multimedia or IT equipment is available. Many colleges will have presentations and chances for you to try out the equipment yourself. Don’t be shy about asking for a go on the X-ray machine or to sample the produce from the culinary arts course presentation. Remember, they are trying to sell their college to you and will usually be happy to oblige your requests. Open Days are also very useful for students who have needs and requests that are outside the usual run of things, and to offer a chance to gather information that is perhaps not featured in the prospectus. If you have specific questions about support services, access schemes or scholarship opportunities, an Open Day is an ideal opportunity to discover how the campus can cater for your own particular circumstances. So, if you want to discover the best place to pursue your chosen area of study, attend an Open Day. Don’t rely on the glossy brochures or second-hand rumours. Investigate the place for yourself and get a taste of what third-level life is like, and you’ll be able to make your CAO choices with more confidence. In the unfortunate event that you can’t attend on the Open Day, you should contact the institution in question as many can facilitate tours specifically organised for a class or individual, or they may be able to send a college representative to speak to your class. 2010-10-19 Career Profile - English Name: Sarah WebbProfession: Novelist I have been writing full time for nearly eight years now, both adult novels and children’s books. I have three kinds of days – writing days, event days, and publisher/agent days. Most weeks I have four writing days and one event day. This might be a school visit where I talk to the children and/or give a writing workshop, a library visit or a book festival – often on a Saturday or Sunday. Once every two months or so, I also have a publisher/agent day where I travel to London to meet with one of my publishers and/or my agent, or attend a party or launch. This is the glam bit! I did absolutely no creative writing in college, but I did study English and read until my eyes fell out of my head, a great asset to any writer. After college I worked in several bookshops, including Eason and Waterstone’s, along with fellow writers John Boyne and Paul Murray.  There are less than twenty full-time children’s writers and/or illustrators in Ireland and it’s not easy to make a living from writing for children. Saying that, many Irish writers have done exceptionally well worldwide, from Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), to Darren Shan (horror), Michael Scott (fantasy-adventure), Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant), Oliver Jeffers (picture books) and P J Lynch (illustrations). As well as the Ask Amy Green series for age 10+ (Walker Books and Candlewick US), I also write early readers for O’Brien Press, and adult novels for Pan Macmillan.  My adult novels are popular fiction, with plenty of dialogue and family and relationship dramas. I write to entertain and inform, and I greatly enjoy inventing characters and plots. My book, The Loving Kind, deals with plastic surgery, errant boyfriends, loyalty, and revenge. Ireland has an exceptional record when it comes to women’s popular fiction – with Maeve Binchy, Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern, Cathy Kelly, and Sheila O’Flanagan – all huge worldwide. There are also newer names on the scene – Amy Huberman, Sinead Moriarty, and Niamh Greene. There is always a market for good popular fiction but your voice and your style have to be original.  I start my writing day with a walk. Then I settle down at my desk and write from 9. 30 until 1. 30. After lunch I will edit what I have written, answer emails, write things for my website, do newspaper interviews or other media requests, answer readers’ emails, etc. I also work three or four evenings a week – writing my two blogs, answering more readers’ letters, keeping up with my readers on my Facebook page, writing children’s book reviews for the Irish Independent and Inis magazine, and doing other admin work.  A lot of writing is actually re-writing, working on a book until you get it right. Each book goes through many, many different drafts before it is complete. And it can be hard graft. But when you’ve had a good writing day, when your characters really come to life on the page and pull the story along in a direction you never anticipated, then it’s all worth it.   Visit www. sarahwebb. ie and www. askamygreen. com for more from Sarah Webb. Visit the Careers Section on www. gotocollege. ie for more career profiles. 2010-10-18 Economics Economics Many readers may have been expecting Economics to appear in the Business section of this guide; however, although it is closely related to areas such as Finance, Business Management, and Accountancy, the key difference is that these courses are fundamentally about providing a business service, while Economics is an objective social science that tries to measure and explain the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economists are therefore in a position to provide guidance on how a society might better manage its resources.   Though there are professional economists, they are relatively few in this country. However, Economics courses also prepare students for any number of careers in the private and public spheres. Graduates are able to deal with complex information, and have a solid grounding in both business and social science. Economics courses will allow students to develop their understanding of the influencing forces that brought wealth during the heady days of the Celtic Tiger, as well as the severity of the subsequent downturn. Remember – the more we understand a problem, the more likely we are to solve it and less likely we are to repeat it.   Education Most business courses, whether degree or PLC programmes, include an Economics module, but it is only available to study as a dedicated course at higher level. All university Arts programmes include Economics as an option, and it is also available to study in tandem with a range of other subjects as part of joint degrees – for example, with Finance (DIT, UCD, NUI Maynooth), Sociology (UL), Financial Mathematics (NUI Galway), or Politics & Law (DCU). A word of warning though: those with an aversion to maths should think carefully about taking this subject. There are plenty of statistics involved, and an emphasis on developing analytical abilities to a high level. Another common denominator of all economics programmes is the distinction between Micro- and Macroeconomics.   The former involves the analysis of individual actors in the economy – consumers, entrepreneurs, and so on – and how they are influenced by issues such as supply & demand and pricing. The latter deals with the economic interaction of larger bodies: international conglomerates, social groups, national economies, and so forth; and economic concepts such as GDP (Gross Domestic Product), unemployment, and inflation. Specialisations in Economics degrees are available in topics such as policy – examining government intervention in the economy; Europe – looking at the economic challenges faced by the EU; development – issues surrounding the development of third-world economies; and history – getting to grips with the works of influential theorists such as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The Work Economics graduates are well respected by employers for their understanding of the business and financial worlds, and their ability to analyse complex data. The subject is an excellent stepping-stone to a postgraduate specialism, which can lead to careers in accountancy, management, marketing, teaching, social policy, law, and the financial services. Professional economists find work as media commentators, in government and EU departments, as lecturers and researchers, and as economic consultants for public bodies such as the ESRI and large private corporations. Did you know? As of July 2012, China had $3. 2 trillion in foreign reserves. The only other country with reserves surpassing $1 trillion mark is Japan, which has $1. 2 trillion. Further Resources Ø The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI): www. esri. ie Ø World Bank Institute – source of assistance to developing countries around the world: www. worldbank. org  Ø Economist. com – online version of the renowned magazine: www. economist. com 2010-10-18 European Studies European Studies Ireland’s future is firmly tied with the EU for the foreseeable future. We are linked with our continental brethren in every area of life: economic, political, cultural, legal, and social. This makes European Studies a fascinatingly varied topic of study and the source of many exciting careers at home and abroad. Despite our smallness compared with fellow members such as the UK, Germany, and France, it would be wrong to view the European as a one-way process with little or no input from Irish people. Successive generations of Irish graduates have worked in policy, research, and administration capacities in Brussels, with some Irish people landing key roles in the running of the EU (e. g. Pat Cox – President of the European Parliament). Business people and exporters take advantage of the economic opportunities that membership provides. Education European Studies is available to study at degree level in University College Cork (as part of an Arts degree), University of Limerick, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College, and Institute of Technology Tallaght. Anyone thinking of applying should consider their ability and willingness to learn new languages, as each one of these courses involves studying at least one European language. European Studies programmes are highly multi-disciplinary and will suit students with a broad range of academic interests. The courses incorporate a wide range of disciplines: history, politics, sociology, geography, and more. Besides language modules, other potential areas of study include The History of European Thought – from the Renaissance to the present, Economics and Culture of the EU, Law of European Institutions, EU Literature & Society, and Migration and Settlement in the EU. Students who wish to enrol in a degree that focuses on the business aspects of Europe will be interested in DCU’s European Business option, which can be studied with German, French or Spanish. Another variant is European Business (Transatlantic Studies), which includes a year spent in Boston’s Northeastern University in the US.   A major attraction of a European Studies degree is the opportunity to study abroad. Usually third year is spent at a partner university in the country of your chosen language. This may involve an added expense in comparison with other degree courses, but generous funding is available from the Erasmus scheme. European Languages & Studies are also available to study at FETAC Level 5 with a number of PLC colleges; such as Pearse College of Further Education, Limerick College of Further Education, Greenhills College, and Coláiste Dhúlaigh. These one-year courses include business, IT, culture and language modules and are linked to higher education degree programmes. The Work European Studies prepares graduates for careers in the private and public sectors across the continent. Public careers include posts within education and the Irish diplomatic and civil services, while private sectors job opportunities include international business and finance, marketing, journalism, tourism, and translation. The variety of possible careers makes it difficult to identify useful attributes and typical daily tasks of a European Studies graduate, but it is certain that employers in a wide range of sectors value their impressive skillset of foreign languages, legal knowledge, business skills, cultural awareness, and so on. Did you know? The European Union is less than half the size of the United States, but its population is over 50 per cent greater. Further Resources Europa – the European Union online: http://europa. eu/ Erasmus Student Network (ESN): www. esn. org EUbusiness. com – an independent business information service about the EU: www. eubusiness. com 2010-10-18 Animal & Veterinary Studies   Animal & Veterinary Studies ‘Never work with children or animals’ is a famous old Hollywood maxim. For many non-actors, however, trying to work with a goat that’s eating your sweater or an easily distracted Labrador is a perk of the job rather than an unwanted challenge. When most of us think of animal-related careers it is probable that veterinary surgeons and farmers spring to mind. In reality, a wealth of careers revolves around Irish society’s enduring working and recreational relationships with animals. Education The Certificate in Animal Care or Veterinary Assistant (both Level 5) are good starting points for school leavers who choose to take the further education route to careers in areas such as veterinary nursing, animal grooming, and animal care. They cover core topics such as animal anatomy, physiology, welfare, and behaviour.   The CAO process offers a number of animal-related courses. Animal Science is available in UCD as a specialist degree, or as part of the omnibus Agricultural Science degree. It comprises applied sciences such as animal genetics, physiology, nutrition, and health, and is largely targeted at careers in agribusiness and research. Veterinary Nursing is an increasingly popular option at higher level, with programmes available in Dundalk, Athlone, and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology (Level 7) as well as in UCD (Level 8). These are multi-disciplinary courses covering issues such as animal anatomy and physiology, surgical nursing, veterinary practice management, and animal husbandry. A key component in Veterinary Nursing is the considerable time spent training in a veterinary practice or hospital. UCD’s Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB) is the only course in Ireland that enables graduates to register with the Veterinary Council of Ireland – a prerequisite for becoming a practising vet. This intensive five-year programme involves clinical placements in Belfield’s Veterinary Hospital and farm animal experience on a research farm in Co. Dublin. It also includes a period of study abroad.   Ireland has a very strong horse industry, a fact that is well recognised internationally; consider, for instance, the fact that in the equestrian events at the London Olympics, nine participating countries used Irish-bred horses. Reflecting such strength within the domestic horse industry is the number of courses on offer here. Horsemanship (Level 5) is a one-year programme available from Lanesboro Community College (Co Longford) and Coláiste Chiarain Croom (Co Limerick). The course is geared towards employment in stables, riding schools, and equestrian centres. One-year courses in Equestrian Studies are also available at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa (Cork), Muinebheag Vocational School (Carlow), and Grennan College (Thomastown, Kilkenny). These courses offer preparation for a position in horse care. Kildalton Agricultural College’s one-year Horse Breeding & Training (Level 5) is centred on the sport horse industry and prepares students for work in environments such as training yards and stud farms. Those interested in more managerial roles will be interested in Equine Business programmes in Athlone IT (Level 6) and NUI Maynooth (Level 8). Equine Science is available to study in UCD and the University of Limerick. Students tackle areas such as horse health and welfare, genetics, nutrition, breeding, and non-applied sciences such as business management and a foreign language (UL). Both courses prepare graduates for careers in academia and research & development, as well the many equine careers already mentioned and management roles in the equine industry. The Work Most practising vets work with family pets (‘companion animals’) while others may work either exclusively with farm animals or with a mixture of both. Besides empathy for animals, it is important for vets, veterinary nurses, and all animal-care professionals to have effective communication skills for dealing with pet owners. Good business management is needed in private businesses such as veterinary practices, stables, and dog kennels. Scientific knowledge plays a huge part in careers such as veterinary medicine, animal science research, and wildlife conservation, so a keen interest in subjects such as biology and chemistry would be very helpful. Did you know? Cows have regional accents – a phonetics expert at the University of London confirmed claims made by farmers in England that their animals were mooing in different dialects. Further Resources Veterinary Council of Ireland: www. vci. ie Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: www. dspca. ie Irish Horse Society: www. irishhorsesociety. com 2010-10-15 FAS: Apprenticeships & Traineeships Many people have had their fill of academic, classroom based learning by the time the Leaving Cert exams are done and dusted. Ireland’s national training and employment authority, FÁS (www. fas. ie), provides these school leavers with the opportunity to earn an internationally recognised qualification by learning a craft or training for a career – all while simultaneously earning a wage. Apprenticeships The title of popular TV series The Apprentice is a bit of a misnomer. The besuited popinjays vying to become Bill Cullen or Alan Sugar’s latest helper regularly appear to be master of nothing but self-promotion and backbiting. Real-life apprentices on the other hand, become the valued trade and craftspeople upon whose skills industry, and society in general, are so reliant. Getting started First off, some groundwork is required. The programme applies to 27 crafts (see accompanying table) so research what type of work is done in your intended apprenticeship by speaking to your career guidance counsellor, relevant employers and current apprentices. You should also try and observe a craftsperson in action. It is important to also speak to these people, as well as your local FÁS Employment Office, about current and prospective employment opportunities, because it is up to you to obtain a position with a FÁS-approved employer before you can enrol in the apprenticeship programme. Minimum requirements An apprentice must be at least 16 years’ of age and meet one of the following requirements: Grade D in five subjects of the Junior Cert (employers may require additional qualifications) Completion of an approved pre-apprenticeship training course and assessment interview (contact local FÁS office) Have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience and are over 18 years of age Course structure Unsurprisingly, learning a craft involves significant periods of getting your hands dirty and honing your skills in the workplace. The majority of apprenticeships last four years and comprise of three phases of off-the-job training and development, and four phases of on-the-job practice and work experience. The only exceptions being Floor/Wall Tiler and Print Media apprenticeships which both involve just five phases in total (three on-the-job and two off-the-job). Employers provide the on-the-job training, while a FÁS training centre or institute of technology normally provides off-the-job phases. In both cases the apprentice needs to meet a certain standard. He/she is assessed by way of practical and theoretical assignments in the classroom, and by the employer according to a pre-specified standard of competence in the workplace. The money A highly attractive feature of apprenticeships is that the apprentice receives payment throughout the 4-year programme. This is made up of a training allowance from FÁS during off-the-job training, and a wage from the employer during on-the-job training. The level of payment depends upon the trade and needs to be agreed with the employer beforehand, but it is normal for wages to rise the more experienced the apprentice becomes. Female apprentices FÁS are committed to increasing the number of women in the traditionally male-dominated crafts. A special bursary boosts their chances of finding employment by providing employers who take on a female apprentice with a grant of  €2, 667. Certification and progression A welcome development in 2008 was the quality assurance agreement between FÁS and FETAC, which meant FÁS awards are now assigned a level in the National Framework of Qualifications. People who successfully complete an apprenticeship are therefore awarded a FETAC Level 6 Advanced Certificate. For apprentices, this means that not only are their qualifications recognised worldwide (always useful for those considering working abroad), but that academic progression is also much more possible. Many qualified apprentices go on to improve their skills by enrolling in a part time degree programme. Apprentices and the recession Unlike undergraduate or further education programmes, the need for on-the-job training means that apprenticeships can be badly affected by adverse economic conditions. The slowdown in construction in particular has led to a situation whereby hundreds of apprentices lost their jobs with only part of their training completed. Indeed there has been a dramatic fall off in new apprentices, with just 1, 535 enrolling in 2009 compared with 8, 318 in 2006. Construction industry sources believe that such low numbers will not be enough should there be a big upswing in the economy. All is not doom and gloom however, and significant steps have been taken to reduce the bottleneck of partially trained apprentices. Bodies such as ESB and various local councils have established employment schemes that enable apprentices to finish their training and earn a wage. FÁS programmes such as the Redundant Apprentice Placement Scheme are also helping to ease the problem.    Try not to be too disheartened by the current economic crisis. New opportunities are arising for apprentices in areas such as alternative energy (fitting solar panels, etc), and the Government is intent on pushing ahead with several national development building projects. The key is to be committed to your intended craft, and to be prepared to search high and low for an employer. Apprenticeship Craft Occupations  Agricultural Mechanics* Aircraft Mechanics* Brick & Stonelaying Cabinetmaking Carpentry & Joinery Construction Plant Fitting* Electrical* Electrical Instrumentation* Electronic Security Systems* Farriery Fitting* Floor & Wall Tiling* Heavy Vehicle Mechanics* Industrial Insulation* Instrumentation* Mechanical Automation & Maintenance Fitting Metal Fabrication Motor Mechanics* Painting & Decorating* Plastering Plumbing Print Media* Refrigeration & Air Conditioning* Sheet Metalworking Toolmaking Vehicle Body Repairs* Wood Machining *Applicants must pass a colour vision test approved by FÁS Traineeships Similar to an apprenticeship, a traineeship comprises on-the-job and off-the-job training. Available in a wide range of careers the participant receives a FÁS training allowance for the duration of the programme. In most cases however, the average traineeship is less than one-year in length and is therefore a good deal shorter than an apprenticeship. The trainee begins the programme in a FÁS training centre, learning the initial skills and knowledge that will be further developed in the host company. An experienced member of staff in the host company is nominated as a skills coach, and oversees the trainee’s on-the-job training and workplace training plan. In many cases the successful trainee will be offered a full time, permanent position with the host company. Traineeship awards are also now part of the NFQ. The FETAC accredited award of either a Certificate (Level 5) or Advanced Certificate (Level 6) is recognised nationally and internationally, and as is the case with apprentices, facilitates academic progression to degree level. Traineeships are aimed at new labour markets and the unemployed, and as such there are only two minimum requirements for applicants: they must be at least 16 years of age and have registered with their local FÁS office. Please contact your local FÁS employment office for more information on any of the above issues. Traineeship Occupations Technical & Operative Jewellery Manufacturing Operative Business Systems Service Technician Private Security Personnel Personal Service Occupations Beauty Therapist Childcare Practitioner Healthcare Assistant Administration & Business Office Administrator Legal Secretary Financial Advisors Assistant Supply Chain Logistics Administrator Freight Forwarding Clerk Agri-business Thatcher Information Technology Software Developer IT Support Specialist Sales Pharmacy Sales Assistant Sales & Marketing Assistant Leisure & Sport Trainee Jockey Equestrian International Instructor Level 1 (BHSAI) Leisure Facility Instructor Outdoor Activity Instructor Racing Groom 2010-10-15 The CAO Form The CAO form is very straightforward, and it’s hard to go wrong. However, given the importance of getting it right, it is worth taking your time and concentrating on the task. There are four pages on the print CAO form and over thirty different spaces to be filled in. The majority of Irish school-leavers only need to complete Part A (pages 1 and 2). Part B (pages 3 and 4) is for graduates of further education, mature students, or people with qualifications from the UK or further afield. Make sure that you write clearly and in block capitals, especially for course codes. The online form is exactly the same, except, well, it’s online. The CAO is actively encouraging people to apply online – so actively, in fact, that it costs less to do so – €30 as opposed to €40 (if the online application is made by 5. 15pm on the 20th of January). As efficient as online forms generally are, it is not a good idea to wait until the CAO deadline day to complete your online application, in case the dreaded ‘technical difficulties’ strike – which a danger if half the country’s Leaving Cert students are also trying to use the system at the same time. The CAO recommend online applications are made at least one week prior to a closing date. The online application service will be available from November 3rd 2010 at 12. 00 noon – these people are nothing if not precise! Most of the information requested is straightforward enough – you already know your name, date of birth, nationality and address. It’s a good idea to give your home address and home phone number, as mobile phones are less reliable and have been known to abandon their rightful owners given half a chance. The most important part of the form is the Course Choices section. The CAO choice system is split into two categories: a Level 6 & 7 list, where you put your higher certificate and ordinary degree choices, and a Level 8 list, where you put your honours degree options. Each category has ten spaces for course choices and it is recommended you fill in all ten spaces on each list. You complete the Course Code of the courses you want, not the name of the course, or the institution where it is held. Each third-level course has its own code number, usually made up of two letters and three numbers. You can find this code in the course listings section of this guide, in the CAO Handbook and in the college’s prospectus and web site. Always, always, always put the course that you really want to do at the top of each list, and then work down the list in order of your own personal preferences. DO NOT rank courses in order of last year’s points, according to what you think your points tally will be, or according to any other consideration. The reason there are ten spaces is that you can afford to aim high, with plenty of space to list other ‘insurance’ courses, should you not get the required points for your first choice. For most people, this is the end of the form filling. The other two pages (Part B) are for Special Category Applicants. This part is for students taking GCSEs in the UK, mature students, and people without their Leaving Cert applying with a further education qualification. If none of these categories apply to you, write NO in the box at the bottom of Page 2 or click the ‘none of the above’ box on the online form. It’s a good idea to get someone to check over your form before you send it off, or have someone sitting with you while you are completing the online form.   Even the most organised of people can make a small slip-up, which may prove costly later. So make like Santa and check everything twice. Having a parent or friend check your form will give them and you peace of mind. If you apply online, make sure you follow all the directions to the end of the process. You are not finished until you print or save the screen receipt of acceptance of your online application. You should keep evidence showing you have sent your form, just in case there are problems with the online system or the postal service. Online applicants should keep their printed receipt of acceptance safe. Paper applicants should enclose a stamped addressed card/envelope with their initial application, which will be returned immediately by the CAO as confirmation that your application was received. If your application gets lost in the post you will need a Certificate of Posting (available at the back of the CAO Handbook) and payment evidence of the application fee to show the CAO you applied in the correct way, and that you aren’t to blame for the form’s disappearance. 2010-10-11 Listen HEAR Hear (Higher Education Access Route) is a special admissions scheme for applicants from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. A large number of colleges and universities apply this scheme. School leavers who provide the necessary evidence regarding their family’s financial circumstances are eligible to compete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis in these colleges. Visit www. accesscollege. ie for further information. 2010-10-11 Entrepreneurship & Business Management Entrepreneurship & Business Management There is no age too young for starting to formulate your own business ideas. The fresh viewpoint that young people bring to the marketplace can lead to innovative and profitable solutions to longstanding problems and inefficiencies. However, setting up your own business requires more than just a great idea, skills such as finance, marketing and communication are also essential. Starting your own company is inevitably a risky business, but the odds are much improved by a good qualification. Similarly, management is no longer the preserve of older people who have earned their position through many years’ service. Management today is regarded as a viable career aim for young graduates. EducationITT Dublin (CAO codes: TA113/TA122), DIT (DT324), IT Carlow (CW908), and NUI Maynooth (MH404) all provide dedicated business management courses. Such programmes represent an excellent springboard to management careers in public or private organisations. The wide array of business modules covered means that graduates can specialise through further study in areas such as human resources, accountancy, marketing, and so on. Dun Laoghaire IADT offers a degree for students who want to shape their own future in the world of business. The four-year Honours Degree in Business Studies – Entrepreneurship allows students the exciting opportunity to run real life, well-resourced businesses during the course of their studies.   Several third level institutions provide a degree in Business Studies/Commerce. Besides introducing students to the principles of management, these courses also include various core business modules; for example, accounts, marketing, communications, business law, entrepreneurship, and human resource management. Whether running your own business or taking up a management position, it is vital that you have a holistic knowledge of all aspects of the organisation’s activities. The comprehensive mix of business modules in a Business Studies/Commerce programme, which often enable students to specialise in management or enterprise, provides this understanding. FETAC Level 5 Business Studies programmes enable students to learn the practical skills involved in running a company: communications, bookkeeping, marketing, IT skills, etc. Work experience provides the valuable opportunity to apply these skills in a real life business setting. Business Enterprise and Marketing in Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education is a one-year programme dedicated to producing graduates with the required planning, financial and managerial skills required to successfully set up their own small business. The WorkThere are many routes into management positions. Graduates may wish to specialise in a particular area of management (e. g. marketing, financial services) by undertaking a postgraduate programme. Alternatively they may be fortunate enough to land a management traineeship. These positions, usually offered by larger companies, provide paid employment as well as a fast track to challenging and well-paid roles in middle and senior management. Good management requires a number of attributes: a high level of numeracy, leadership ability, self-confidence and the ability to make tough decisions in difficult circumstances. It is the manager’s duty to ensure that all the various parts of a company (sales, production, etc. ) are working smoothly together in achieving a single, over riding goal. Communication skills are particularly important as nowadays managers are required to be motivators and approachable, rather than the more dictatorial approach which was favoured in the past. Those seeking to go own their way by setting up a small business need to be innovative (formulating a new service or product that fills a gap in the market), determined, and ready to work extremely hard to achieve their dreams. Many ‘start-up’ businesses get into difficulties very quickly due to a lack of fundamental business skills such as finance, IT skills and business planning. Further Resources Young Entrepreneur Programme: www. youngentrepreneur. ie Enterprise Ireland – government agency responsible for developing and promoting Ireland’s business sector: www. enterprise-ireland. com Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC): www. ibec. ie 2010-07-26 Business Studies & Commerce Business Studies & Commerce As with Arts, Business Studies and Commerce courses are a mainstay of higher education and are always popular with school leavers. They are perfect for students who are interested in embarking on a business career but who are not yet sure what particular area they would like to work in – after all, we can’t all learn about business by selling penny apples in the style of Bill Cullen. Thankfully, the courses in Ireland’s universities, ITs, and colleges are always kept in line with the latest trends and demands of the modern economy.   Education Courses are readily available nationwide from Level 5 Certificates to Level 8 Honours Degrees.   A general business or commerce qualification introduces students to all forms of business activity: management, human resources, accounting, finance, marketing, information systems, and so on. Understanding the relationships between these various activities is essential for obtaining managerial roles. Students are also taught the soft skills – communication, negotiation, teamwork, and so forth – that are essential in every business. It is standard practice for degree students to be given a choice of subjects to specialise in during the second half of the course. These may take the form of traditional business subjects such as marketing, or there may be interesting alternatives; for instance, Globalisation – An Economic Perspective (Business Studies in UL), Sports Marketing (Waterford IT), or Food Management and Marketing (Commerce in UCC).   There are large differences between business programmes. Students must do their research and not assume that they are all the same. Unique attributes may include the opportunity to spend a semester abroad, a work placement, or exemptions from the examinations of professional bodies (e. g. accountancy). Many Business and Commerce programmes are strong on enterprise and innovation – particularly valuable for students who have an ambition to set up their own business. Besides pure Business and Commerce courses, there is also a multitude of programmes that specialise in a particular area – for example, Management, Human Resources, Accounting – and yet more that offer the opportunity to study business in tandem with (and in the context of) other subjects such as Law, Tourism, or Psychology. In other words, there’s something for everyone. There is also a dizzying array of Business Studies courses available in further education, with Level 5 certificates and more advanced diplomas. These offer a great introduction to the workplace as well as affording progression to a higher level course. Among the many specialised programmes are Secretarial, IT, Administration, Languages, Legal Studies, and Start Your Own Business courses. The Work Working in any business role requires a few key attributes, such as the ability to communicate well with others (especially with customers) and a willingness to work as part of a team.   Your characteristics and personal preference will help determine the particular role that is most suitable to you: a head for figures and a good level of concentration are useful for accountancy; an outgoing and warm personality is very useful for sales work, as personal relationships are vital when it comes to dealing with clients; while a willingness to listen to and help others is a good indication of a predisposition for HR, which involves dealing with staff problems and helping employees to improve their performance. Managers must have a grasp of all these tasks and more, which is why a general Business course affords students excellent career prospects. Entrepreneurs have a tough task in that they must usually take responsibility for every aspect of their business until it has grown sufficiently for extra staff to come on board. They must be driven by a desire for their enterprise to succeed, and it is often necessary for them to work unsocial hours, in the early days at least. Did you know? EU member states spend €25 billion per year on pet necessities. €10 billion of this goes on cats and dogs. Further Resources Ø Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year: www. eoy. tv Ø The Sunday Business Post: www. sbpost. ie Ø Enterprise Ireland: www. enterpriseireland. ie 2010-06-22 Career Profile - Hospitality & Bar Management Dara Cruise - General Manager, The Ice House BallinaHaving earned his stripes in a successful family pub business, Dara decided to embark on a career in the Hospitality industry and completed the Diploma in Hotel & Catering Management which has seen him rise to General Management level by the tender age of 28. Dara joined the Burlington Hotel in 1997 as a trainee manager working in a number of back of house roles such as Room Service and Kitchen, before moving to front of house. In 1999, he joined the Fitzwilliam Group at their flagship property in Dublin gaining valuable experience in Procurement and Front Office before being promoted to Assistant Bar Manager where he helped develop and position the bar as the leading cocktail venue in the nation’s capital city.   In 2001 with the opening of Ireland’s first five star luxury hotel group in Ballsbridge, Dublin, Dara joined the Four Seasons Hotel group in the role as Head Bartender. A keen eye for detail, a passion for the business, along with a strong work ethic saw Dara progress quickly up the ranks of the world’s leading luxury hotel provider, and eventually became the manager for the group’s first style bar venture. A regular haunt of the rich and famous, Dara developed ‘Ice’  into a multi-million euro turnover operation and established the bar as the market leader in Ireland through impeccable service, an original cocktail list, and the largest selection of vodkas available in Ireland. In 2007, Dara embraced his biggest challenge to date and opened the Ice House, a unique boutique hotel in the West of Ireland where he is responsible for the daily operation of the hotel, including its 50-strong staff, as well as sales, marketing, and finance. The hotel has since won numerous coveted awards including Best Newcomer and Best Hotel Restaurant, among many others. Dara identifies that to be successful in the industry one must be determined, focused, and work harding. The hours are long but success is only around the corner and can be achieved at a young age with the right attitude. ‘Gain international experience and work at the top level to learn all the tricks of the trade before setting out on your own, the opportunities are endless; and if you enjoy working with people and diversity in you daily life, you will love the hospitality business, ’ says Dara. 2010-06-22 Why Further Education? Further Education Colleges, or PLC Colleges as they used to be known, are a relatively new concept in Ireland, emerging from the traditional post leaving courses in existence for the past twenty years or so.  FE Colleges exist in most of the major towns and cities in the country.  They usually provide one or two year courses of either training or academic study leading to work or to further study in Institutes of Technology or Universities.  It is possible to get a job after leaving certificate but to get your foot on the rung of the ladder leading to a career as opposed to a job some kind of training is necessary.   Employers no longer have the time to train new employees.  They expect them to come 'trained' for work. Why would you think of an FE or PLC course? People come for all sorts of reasons and at all ages.  You might be undecided about a career or about a course of study so you come to 'test the waters' and try work experience, which is compulsory, in every area.  You might have just missed out on points for your preferred area and want to try entry by the alternative, although slightly longer, FE route to your degree course. You might not want just at the moment to take on a 3 or 4-year degree course but you would like some proper form of training and study that will equip you with knowledge and skills to take up worthwhile employment.  Later on you can always dip in and out of the education system at night classes or by distance education if you want to add to your qualifications.  You may have tried study at third level and decided it is not for you at the moment. You may have been made redundant recently or want to change your career path.  Again there are such a variety of courses available in FE Colleges that you are almost spoiled for choice.  If early retirement was an option or imposed then you have the opportunity to re-think your current position. All courses have modules specific to them but there are some mandatory modules (subjects) across the range of courses and these are useful. In Communications, for example, you learn how to conduct business using all types of media, whether electronic or traditional, and you will have also learned how vital positive communication is for an organisation.   By the time you are finished even that important interview you are destined for presents no problems.  Classes are relatively small, and because assessment is based on a mixture of projects, assignments and examinations, anyone who is positive, who works hard and submits assignments on time can do very well.   If you begin falling behind there are support systems in place in all colleges. Early in the year Study Skills Seminars are available to all students. To help you decide what is available to you at the end of your course a Guidance and Counselling Service is available.   Later whether you are submitting an entry to the CAO for third level in Ireland, to UCAS in Britain, or thinking about your career area, a guidance counsellor is available for consultation on a one-to-one basis. All in all, Colleges of Further Education are places of opportunity, are welcoming, supportive and constantly evolving.  They are well known to employers in their respective communities and they are constantly building on relations with third level institutions in Ireland and further afield.  Perhaps they are an opportunity knocking for you. This article was kindly contributed by Teresa Stack - Deputy Principal of Drogheda Institute of Further Education 2010-05-31 Health Informatics - What is it? In no area of life is information more critical than in health. 'Healthcare today is characterized by more to know, more to manage, more to watch, more to do, and more people involved in doing it' (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Errors in health systems are often reported in the media. Many of these are initiated by misinformation, miscommunication, misfiling, mishandling, misplacing, mislabelling, while some others are simply due to inadequate or inappropriate resource allocation. 'There are estimated to be over 1. 2 million doctor-patient interactions in major hospitals in Ireland each year. Statistics from other countries indicate that 10 per cent of patients' experiences of healthcare systems can result in adverse events, with possibly one per cent having fatal consequences' (irishhealth. com, April 2009). There appears 'to be no precise figures for Ireland at present outlining the true incidence of adverse events directly related to treatment. Medication errors increased from 5, 436 to 6, 785 while treatment incidents increased from 3, 808 to 5, 373' and the 'number of reported records/documentation errors increased from 2, 650 to 5, 070 last year' (irishhealth. com, April 2009). 'Our current methods of organizing and delivering care are unable to meet the expectations of patients and their families because the science and technologies involved in health care - the knowledge, skills, care interventions, devices and drugs - have advanced more rapidly than our ability to deliver them safely, effectively, and efficiently' (Institute of Medicine, 2001). There is now widespread international consensus and a growing body of evidence that information and communications technology (ICT) has the real potential to enable the delivery of a high-quality healthcare system where 'the right patient, receives the right treatment, at the right time, for the right reason, in the right location, with the right outcome in real time, at the right price' (http://endingthedocumentgame. gov/report. html). Within the processes of healthcare such as diagnosis, prognosis, patient management, treatment and discharge, computer systems and information systems may be used by healthcare professionals (from allergists to oncologists to surgeons), patients and their families to inform their decision-making. Likewise, systems of this nature are being used by managers and planners who focus on how to improve the delivery of this care within and across healthcare organisations. Digital and mobile technologies are revolutionising healthcare delivery, providing healthcare professionals with access to your integrated healthcare information at the point of need. But health informatics involves more than just the technology - more than just using ICT to provide key stakeholders and allied healthcare professionals (such as health insurance providers, medical device and drug manufacturing companies) with access to accurate, timely and secure information. Health informatics also encompasses:*analysing current activities and processes within healthcare delivery systems*taking a scientific approach to information, which includes how we represent data, information and knowledge within systems, how we communicate this knowledge within the practice of healthcare and how we manage and measure the outcomes*liaising with healthcare professionals to identify their requirements and expressing these requirements in a form that facilities the delivery of solutions that match strategic healthcare needs*designing, developing, testing, and deploying information systems and computer systems to primarily support electronic health record management, patient monitoring, medical imaging, healthcare decision-making, medical diagnostics, telemedicine and telehealth care, performance improvement, billing and scheduling*applying best practices in project management in healthcare settings*evaluating the opportunities and limitations of ICT and of its impact in improving the efficiency and costeffectiveness of healthcare *utilising business intelligence tools where the focus is on finding and extracting useful patterns of information to gain a deeper understanding of healthcare issues and needs; for example, how different types of patients respond best to different treatments. All the while being cognisant of the fact that health informatics is not solely a technical discipline but focuses on the relationship between the technology and its use in real-world settings i. e. solutions are designed in context, taking into account the social, ethical, cultural, legal and regulatory factors and the organisational settings in which ICT will be used in healthcare sectors. . . . but where can I find employment?The health informatics specialist will:·  formulate, plan, and implement healthcare information technology strategy·  engage with a range of stakeholders including healthcare professionals and information technology professionals to identify the need for communication, information, and knowledge systems in a variety of healthcare settings·  express these requirements in a form that facilities the delivery of solutions that match strategic healthcare needs·  develop, deploy and manage health information systems and computer systems·  undertake the acquisition, analysis and management of healthcare data, information, and knowledge using ICT·  conduct training demonstrations, workshops, and researchSince health informatics covers a broad spectrum of applications in the areas of patient care, health education, research, and administration there are many opportunities for graduates to work in different settings within:·  Health informatics and medical software companies e. g. Cerner, dabl, Exodus Software, GE Healthcare, Helix Health, iAppLogic, Intelligent Health Systems, iSoft, Lincor Solutions, Quantum Health, Spacelabs Healthcare·  ICT-based companies that develop health care software applications as part of their activities e. g. Cisco, Google,  HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Philips, SAP·  Hospitals and other healthcare organisations·  Pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies·  Government and non-governmental agencies·  Public health organisations·  Consultancy companies·  Education and researchTypical employment roles include:·  Healthcare IT Project Manager·  Health Systems Developer·  Health/Clinical Information Manager·  Health/Clinical Information Analyst·  Clinical Information Systems Specialist·  Health Information Security Manager·  Human Factors Specialist·  Healthcare Webmaster·  Healthcare IT Strategist·  Health Systems Trainer·  Quality Improvement Coordinator·  Systems Administrator·  Academic/Researcher… and where can I find a course?If you are interested in making a difference to the lives of patients/clients and the healthcare professionals who treat them, enjoy working with others, like problem solving, critical thinking and using computers, then you may wish to consider applying for the BSc in Health Informatics (Course code: LM023). Further information on these programmes can be obtained by contacting:Annette McElligottTel: 061-202724Email: annette. mcelligott@ul. ieor by visiting http://www. csis. ul. ie/course/LM023/ 2010-03-30 Health Informatics in the Real World In a world without Health Informatics. . . 'Imagine Conor could be sitting here now if things didn’t go so horribly wrong. ''Yeah, I still don’t really understand how all this could have happened. ''Look it’s simple really. Conor wanted to see some obscure band on one of the smaller stages at the festival, and none of us were interested in going with him. When he blacked out over there, and the ambulance came, none of us even knew about it. We thought he’d found some of the other lads from school and linked up with them. Because he had no ID on him, the ambulance men couldn’t even get in touch with his parents, so they didn’t know anything about it until it was way too late. 'So they took him off to hospital – what happened then?'Well, when they got him to the hospital, he was still unconscious. Seemingly, when he fell, he hit his head off something sharp and got a bad gash, so they decided to give him some penicillin to make sure he didn’t pick up an infection. 'Oh no, didn’t they know he was allergic to it?'They didn’t even know his name, let alone his allergies… So he ended up in intensive care, hooked up to a whole load of monitors and swollen all over. In fact it took them hours to even figure out that he was allergic to the antibiotic. 'And his parents still thought he was at the festival the whole time?'Yep. And then, to make matters worse, that night the doctor who was in charge of him wrote down the medication to be given to him in the morning but his writing was so bad, that the nurse who came round in the morning misread it and gave him something totally different. 'Lucky he didn’t die. 'Yeah, I guess so, but then who wants to be going in for dialysis twice a week and waiting for a donor for the next few years…'Yeah, I feel sorry for the parents too though. Imagine waking up to see your son’s face on TV and being asked to contact the guards if you know who he is. In a world with Health Informatics. . . Wow Conor, tell us again what happened – go on (even though he had told the story 20 times before Conor was enjoying the limelight and didn’t mind telling it again, especially as Jenny was in the audience!). 'Well, I went off the see "The Plague" on one of the smaller stages at the festival. None of the lads wanted to go, so I headed off by myself. The last thing I remember was feeling dizzy and hitting the ground! I’ve had it before – my GP says it’s to do with "over-heating" when I’m dehydrated. I guess I was going a bit crazy to the music. But it’s easily sorted – every time I get it I just have to get some liquids in me when I come round. ''Next thing I knew, I woke up in a hospital ward with a big gash on my head and Mum and Dad sitting over me. Dad said that, when I got to hospital, a nurse got my health card from my wallet and, when they swiped it, that gave them personal details and access to my unique health number. ''With that, they were able to get my health history from the net. It was just as well because they were going to give me penicillin in case I got an infection from the gash – until they saw that I was allergic to it. Instead they gave me something called erythromycin, which I can take without any bad side effects. ''They were also able to find out the reason for my blackouts, from my GP records. The doctor was able to diagnose the type of hydrating drip he wanted to put me on. In fact it was kinda cool! He typed it into a little handheld computer and it was sent to the nurses’ station immediately. The nurse gave me the drip within 5 minutes. And they were able to get my Mum and Dad’s contact details from my health card. So I woke up to find them beside me. 'Wow, you were lucky. 'Yeah, I’d hate to think what could have happened if they weren’t able to get at my information…' 2010-03-30 UCAS Student Profile: Eamon McConvey Name: Eamon McConveyCourse: Green TechnologyCollege: Scottish Agricultural CollegeEamon McConvey comes from the suburbs of an Irish city, so an agricultural college may seem an unusual destination. He chose to come to study at SAC because it gave him an opportunity to study a subject he was interested in but which wasn’t readily available in Ireland. As well as traditional Agriculture courses, SAC offers a suite of Applied Science and Technology courses and it was on one of these that Eamon sought a place. The course which attracted Eamon across the water was Green Technology. He says that his grades at school were only average but because SAC offer a variety of entry points he was able to gain a place on an HND level course and he is now planning to continue onto the degree when he finishes the HND. Eamon is taking advantage of SAC’s progression opportunities to push his career forward in the growing renewable energy sector. Another attraction for Eamon is what he describes as, the much more hands-on approach where lecturers can, and will, give you help whenever you need it. He says of his course: 'Overall I have enjoyed chemistry aspects and modules on Farm Power Mechanics and Health and Safety. Another highlight has been the class trip to a whiskey distillery which used renewables. I am also looking forward to starting the module on the Renewable Sources of Fuel and Power. ’Longer term Eamon sees himself in a career in Engineering related to renewable sources of fuel. Eamon says that if anyone is thinking of coming from Ireland to study here in Scotland there are a couple of pointers he’d offer:‘It’s not been such an extreme change - the people in Scotland are culturally very similar to those from Ireland, ' and ‘don’t leave essays till the night before they’re due!’ 2009-09-22 Case Study - Planner Name: Stephen CoyneJob: Planner (www. johnspainassociates. com)I returned to full-time education as a mature student in 2003 after a variety of roles both in Dublin and abroad. I had been working since I’d left school in 1991 but hadn’t really found a calling or something that really interested me. After some consideration, I chose a BSc in Spatial Planning at Dublin Institute of Technology. I felt that Spatial Planning offered me a great opportunity for a varied and interesting career which appealed to my interests such as architecture and design and environmental issues. After four years I had my degree and I was lucky enough to start working almost immediately with one of the better-known planning consultancies in Dublin - John Spain Associates. It’s a busy practice and I certainly feel that I have gained a whole range of experience I might not have gotten as quickly elsewhere, such as in the public sector. Our projects are mainly large commercial and retail developments, and the company has worked on many of the high-profile developments around the country in recent years. It’s been a real learning curve. The last ten months have been tough: things have definitely slowed down from even a few years ago. Work is harder to come by and developers are much more restrained in their ambitions. This has had a definite effect on planning consultancies as with architects and other design professionals.   As a career choice it doesn’t seem like the most recession-proof at the moment!  However, the profession is resilient and things will bounce back in time. The planning profession has enjoyed a high profile over the last few years and seen significant growth in Ireland - mainly thanks to its professional institute: The Irish Planning Institute (IPI). At last count there were over 1, 000 planners working in Ireland and the planning schools are busier than ever. The role of the planner keeps changing; taking in as it does social, environmental, and economic concerns, and as the economy improves the job will offer great opportunities to progress. 2009-09-16 Case Study - Annette O'Donnell After 20 years working as a PA to senior executives in the finance industry, I felt ready for a new challenge and the urge to do something completely different.   Working with children has always appealed to me, but without a relevant qualification I knew I would not get very far. Whilst researching various childcare courses, I came across a full-time course in Childcare offered by the College of Progressive Education in Blackrock.   This course attracted my interest because of the emphasis on work placement, which was an integral part of the course.   After meeting the college co-ordinator I decided to enrol in the full-time course in Childcare, and in addition enrol in an evening course on Special Needs also run by the College of Progressive Education. Going back to college, however, was a daunting prospect.   Would I have the discipline to study again, would I be able to cope with the workload, would I even enjoy it? These were some of the concerns at the forefront of my mind. The courses unleashed an appetite for learning I never knew I had.   I found both courses very stimulating covering a broad range of subjects in Childcare and Special Needs.   The enthusiasm that the tutors had for their subjects made the lectures very engaging, and as a result, studying was more enjoyable than I expected.   I now intend to continue my learning and advance my qualifications further. Completing both courses demanded significant commitment, with some evenings and weekends sacrificed so that I could dedicate time to projects.   Meeting deadlines and undertaking research was also challenging, but the huge sense of achievement on completion of the projects made it all worthwhile. There was a good spirit amongst the class where we all faced the challenges together.   We regularly worked in teams on various assignments and I really enjoyed the social side of being a student and made some good friends. Since completing the courses, I have secured a position as a fully qualified Childcare Assistant in the setting where I carried out my work placement.   Overall I feel that I have gained enormously from both courses, the experience has broadened my horizons and enabled me to change my career.   I would encourage anybody who is considering going back to full time education to research their options well and take the plunge - you won‘t regret it. 2009-07-01 Learning at third level The transition from school to college is rather like one of those nature documentaries where an orphaned and bewildered bear or monkey is released from the care of doting zoologists and shooed away into the vast and daunting hinterland to make its own way in life; in other words, your success or failure is completely in your own hands now. While there are plenty of helpful people, such as tutors, lecturers and other students, to provide advice and support during your third level adventure, no one is going to make you put in the work, like your teacher or parents may have done during your school years. Higher education is an independent learning environment and academic success involves a lot more than just attending all your lectures and tutorials; some first year students can find this new situation quite difficult to get used to, but the upside is that it represents an exciting opportunity for you to find things out for yourself and formulate your own beliefs and arguments. For many graduates, going to college was one of the most formative events in their personal development. College life requires good organisation, time management skills and self-discipline. College days can be irregular in terms of how many hours are spent on a given day in the lecture hall, classroom or laboratory, especially with the increase of modularisation and choice of subjects. A large proportion of your time will be spent studying in the library, where you will investigate in depth the topics that your lecturers will have outlined. It makes good sense therefore, to formulate a personal study plan at an early stage so that you can settle into a productive routine. Otherwise, there is a very real danger (trust me!) of hours and days being wasted wandering about campus from one non-academic activity, like purchasing a doughnut, to another, such as playing pool. Independence of thought is what a third level education seeks to instil in students. You are not simply regurgitating information that has been learnt directly from a textbook, as is the case with most of the Leaving Cert curriculum. Students are expected to go beyond that and think critically: making links between theory and practice, applying newfound knowledge to real life situations, evaluating arguments and theories, and formulating their own judgements. It may feel awkward piping up in your very first tutorial, risking the glowers of your ‘too cool for school’ classmates, but fully participating in college life is the only way to get full value from your course. Conversing and debating with your tutors and lecturers is what college is all about and a sure-fire way of getting to the heart of any academic question that is troubling you. Be sure to utilise all available resources to help with any study problems you may have; not much is free once you have graduated so make the most of it! Tutors can give good advice and most colleges run mentoring or workshop programmes for students who are experiencing difficulty with issues such as essay writing or revision techniques.   Above all, college is about getting the mix right. It can be a forgettable experience if too much time is spent on either social or academic pursuits. Try to involve both elements in sensible measures from the start so that when the assignments start flying at you from all directions, it’s not such a mental struggle to hit the books. And as for the examinations, cramming may have a minimal beneficial effect for the Leaving Cert, but you can forget about if for college examinations as they are simply too difficult for a handful of bleary-eyed 24-hour study sessions to get you the required results. If you make full use of the learning opportunities in college there will be few limits to the success of your future career. But aside from the material benefits, a third level education will also help you to develop and mature as a person, and as a critically aware, engaged member of society. 2009-05-08 Funding & Student Support Welcome to the Funding & Student Support section of Gotocollege. ie. Here you will find helpful information on all the resources that will make your transition to college life a little easier. 2008-12-18 Environmental Society If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint and improving your surroundings and would like to meet people with similar views then perhaps you should check out your college’s environmental society. The ultimate aim of these societies is more conscientious than the fickle ones that solely concentrate on grouping people with mutual television preferences. An environmental society will seek to educate and inform its members on the effects of their actions on the world around them and provide advice on tips on how to minimise damage in order to protect our natural resources. An increased level of student support in this area is undoubtedly an important asset for any college; a community of concerned students will mean that waste management areas will be given necessary attention and emphasis will be given to the importance of practices such as recycling. Members of environmental societies are likely to meet on a regular basis with a view to discussing how to change or introduce policy in a beneficial way. A huge amount of waste can be avoided with minimum fuss; utilising library facilities in a more efficient manner is just one way of doing this. Changing the settings on a photocopier to print on both sides of the paper will cut the use of resources in half and lessen the amount of waste around the college. Close links to environmental groups are also available meaning that if you choose to expand your participation beyond your college years you will know where to start. Many institutions have Environmental Officers available to advise you on this or on any other issue you may be concerned with. As well as making a positive difference to your campus you will also meet people with similar beliefs and interests meaning there is great social advantages of signing up. Movie nights, excursions and activities will all be organised in addition to the weekly meetings; the odd trip to the student bar is sure to be on the agenda as well…after all, saving the planet can be thirsty work! 2008-07-29 How to be a Stingy Student College is expensive – FACT. We at Daycourses. com are here to help however and are willing to share our wisdom for free…remember that word; it’s gonna be your favourite one in the coming years and you’ll hear it all too rarely…First tip; make friends with your Student Officer or Events Organiser. They’re the ones who are in charge of the social side of things and more importantly, drinks promotions. If there’s a night where the first 50 students get two pints free you need to know about it. So ignore any hygiene issues he may have/her annoying habit of quoting Sex and the City at every given moment and plant yourself firmly at their side; at least until re-election time…then it’s your chance to cut out the middle man and raise your profile to become chief in command and ditch that buzz-kill; just be wary of the new guy/girl who laughs way to hard at your Simpsons impressions. They’ve probably hatched the same plan; evil geniuses…Now that you’re on the road to freebies heaven you need to know how to avoid other costs. It may be scary and tiring but it’s cheap so suck it up…get on yer bike! No more waiting for the bus or being stuck on a crowded, delayed DART for you as you sail past grumpy commuters with a smug smile…just watch out for rogue bus drivers and taxis…they hate cyclists and are out to obliterate every one of them. Although one and two cents coins might be the most annoying thing since the Crazy Frog ring tone, they add up so make sure to hold on to them. Save them in a big jar in your room and when it fills go to the bank and ruin the tellers morning (if they don’t like counting they shouldn’t be there). Pick up rogue coins on the street; if you’re around someone you want to impress use the whole ‘find a penny pick it up…luck’ thing…it’s cute and will sound much better than ‘yesssss that’s 10 cent so far today!’ (NB being stingy should be a secretive operation in front of members of the opposite sex). Ads showing good looking students relaxing at barbeques with chilled bottles of well known beer are unrealistic. Don’t get taken in by them. Instead head down to your closest supermarket and buy cans of the cheapest beer on offer. Save time on looking at pesky prices by keeping an eye out for the most colourful can with an unpronounceable name…Make friends with noodles, and beans; not together though - that would be disgusting. Potatoes are another great cheap choice, and traditional; it’s important to stick to your roots. If you’re addicted to your morning latte/cappuccino you better break the habit; it’s costing you about €912. 50 a year; imagine how many packs of noodles you could buy! So forget the caffeine fix; if you need to stay awake just pinch yourself continually until your arm turns blue…. it may hurt but it will be cost effective and you’ll probably increase your pain threshold just in case you ever find yourself in a Jack Bauer torture type scenario. Avoid eating out; but if you’re forced (e. g. your best mates 21st, you probably can’t avoid) insist on breaking up people into smaller tables; say it’s more personal that way (you really just want to escape the large group gratuity). Never spend money on your gruaig; find a friend with a steady hand. Or if you have no friends look out for hairdressers that run training programmes; they’re usually free or at least discounted. Go to the cinema before 12; if your object of interest finds it strange that you want to arrange a date for Friday morning then just explain that you’re not a sheep; you’re a wolf. If she/he looks at you strangely then it’s just because they’re intrigued. Bring your student card everywhere and flash it on all available occasions; if the guy in Spar gets annoyed with you asking for a discount on milk just tell him you have a calcium deficiency; confusing people can work wonders. Improve your blagging skills; try and walk past bouncers with an air of importance and a sideways glance of recognition; if they try and stop you smile and say ‘Seriously lads; I’m in here all the time. I’m a friend of Johns’ (everyone knows a John). Be aware that these may not always be taken well; some people may catch on to your meanness and confront you about your Scrooge-like ways. In the likely event that this happens tell them that you’re doing undercover research on how to cut corners as a student in Ireland; not only will they back-off but it will make you appear interesting and mysterious. And remember the best things in life can be free (with a little creativity and effort). 2008-07-11 Go to the Gaeltacht The Gaeltacht refers to the areas in Ireland where the Irish language is still spoken in the community; and where traditional culture and ways are alive and thriving. It spans over seven counties and four provinces; mainly in the West of Ireland although there are parts of Meath and Waterford that are considered to be Gaeltacht areas also. There are countless coláistes scattered all over the country and each one has different rules and regulations. Going to Irish college in these areas in the summer months is fast becoming a popular option for many students in secondary school; around 25, 000 flock to various areas each summer in pursuit of fluency as Gaeilge. These colleges offer an environment where Irish is the language of the community; classes are provided on a daily basis and in all conversation students are required to abstain from speaking as Bearla. It’s not all hard work however; there is plenty of time for fun and relaxation. Past Irish college students will bend your ear off about the craic they had in the céilís and the number of friends they made in their time at the Gaeltacht. In general the courses run for three weeks over the summer months of June, July and August for age-groups from 11 to 18 although this can vary depending on the specific colleges policies. The ultimate aim is to improve students’ abilities and confidence in communicating in Irish; as demand has continually increased over the years there are now courses specially geared towards Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students. Both classes of pupils benefit hugely from the experience; communicating as Gaeilge for this block of time will enhance aural skills; and Leaving Cert students will find themselves better equipped to deal with their oral (just be prepared to describe your time and experiences in the Gaeltacht; a favourite topic in orals!) Most Irish colleges require applicants to attend an interview prior to entry; these are held at convenient locations and in most circumstances a parent or guardian is asked to attend. The purpose of these is to determine the level of competency in Irish in order to organise classes accordingly and also to explain fully the rules of the college. Even those who don’t enjoy Irish as a subject in school find themselves drawn to it during these summer courses. Less emphasis is placed on grammar and is instead put on using Irish in everyday practical situations. Conversing in your national language is very rewarding; learning the language also gives you great insight into Irish heritage, culture and a greater understanding of history. Certain Irish colleges have a reputation for being stricter than others; these are a good choice for those hell-bent on getting value for money and improving their Irish as much as possible; although potential students should be warned that a throwaway comment in English could be enough to get you sent home. Alternatively there are other colleges that are more lenient yet an effort in speaking the language is a rudimentary requirement of them all. Some colleges combine their focus on the language side of things with extra-curricular activities; many have impressive facilities for sports such as Gaelic football, hurling, sailing, rugby, canoeing; very appealing to the sport fanatics! Accommodation obviously depends on what college you pick but generally students either stay in Gaeltacht approved houses with local families or in dorms under supervision. Bear in mind that due to the huge interest in attending these summer schools places can be limited; you are advised to make enquiries as early as November to guarantee a space and avoid disappointment. Information about colleges can be obtained from Comhchoiste na gColáistí Samhraidh (CONCOS), a federation of dozens of Irish Summer Colleges both inside and outside the main Gaeltachtaí. Another option would be to make enquiries in your school; they may be able to advise you in accordance with other students’ experiences. So if you’re going in the hopes of getting a high mark in Irish, to finally watch Ros na Rún without the subtitles, or if you fancy learning how to jig away to The Walls of Limerick; no doubt all your expectations and more will be fulfilled in your Irish college experience…Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!   2008-07-10 Mature Students Society Going back to college is undoubtedly an exciting prospect; but it can also be an intimidating one. Thoughts of taking notes, revising and doing exams might have you throwing the prospectus out  with the junk mail but keep in mind that hundreds of mature students take the plunge every year and not only do they survive; they prosper. Support is available at every corner; most universities will have a Mature Students Officer and colleges will provide an Access Officer who can assist you with any queries you may have. A recent phenomenon is the growth in popularity of Mature Students Societies which are popping up in educational institutions around the country at an impressive speed. Mature Students Societies don’t involve sitting around drinking warm milk with Zimmer frames stacked up by the door; so leave that stereotype behind you when you go to sign up. The aim of these organisations is to support, inform and guide those returning to education through the new and unfamiliar environment of third level education. A wide range of activities are included on the agenda; everything from meetings with guest speakers to social nights out are available to members. Practical advice will be given in the form of revision tips and study groups; the various discussions will provide a welcome forum in which you can voice your opinions or questions; if you’ve been in college for three weeks and can’t work out the library catalogue system you won’t be shunned for seeking help!Aside from the obvious benefits of this support there are considerable social advantages to joining up. It can be difficult to meet people in college; especially people who aren’t in your course so the Mature Students Society will give you this outlet in which you can interact with others; share your experiences, worries and the all important notes; so if you fit the bill keep an eye out during Freshers Week for the Mature Students Society and make your college experience easier and more enjoyable. 2008-07-10 Volunteering Taking time to volunteer; whether it be for a few weeks, a summer or an entire year, is fast becoming a popular option for school leavers. There’s no doubt that it will prove to be a rewarding and memorable experience; one which will allow you to experience a country’s culture as a participant rather than as an observer while also contributing to the wellbeing of a nation. There are an intimidating number of organisations on offer (see our Gap Year Programmes section for some examples) so as usual we at Daycourses. com are here make your decision making process as painless as possible; here’s a few things to keep in mind while browsing what’s on offer…• Research all of your options and talk to people who have already completed the trip that you think you’re interested in. Getting advice and an opinion from a former volunteer will prove invaluable to you; they’ll be able to tell you what isn’t in the pamphlet or on the website. The organisation you choose should be willing to put you in touch with a past ‘survivor’ so make sure to take five minutes to write a quick email or make a speedy phone call; it could make all the difference. • Decide what it is you want out of your trip. The time available to you and the level of skills you have are just two factors that will determine what association will suit you best. Some organisations are more experienced with young age groups for shorter lengths of time (up to three months) while others boast a more diverse team in terms of age with periods spent as long and upwards of a year. Ask yourself what causes are important to you and affiliate yourself with an organisation of similar values; if it is an important cause to you it will make it all the more worthwhile. • Read the documentation you receive very carefully. Ignore the temptation to skim over the fine print; it is absolutely imperative that you are certain about the purpose of the organisation and that you have similar expectations. It would be a disappointment to say the least if you are hoping for a hands-on approach only to arrive in your far-off destination to find there is little contact with the locals and your role is more administrative than community involved. Don’t be afraid of calling and asking questions. • Make sure your project has a mentor and supervisor. All hosting organisations must have this support available but it is important that you clarify this before the project starts; this will save great confusion and trouble in the long run; so don’t assume that there will be someone there, find out the contact details. • Most non-profit organisations are eager to find volunteer help yet they have to be careful when accepting the services you offer. Bear in mind you may be asked to come in for an interview, fill out a volunteer application, or describe your qualifications and your background just as you would at an interview for a paying job. It is in the organisation's interest and more beneficial to the people it serves to make certain you have the skills needed, that you are truly committed to doing the work, and that your interests match those of the organisation. Furthermore, in volunteer work involving children there are legal ramifications to consider, so be patient. • Take your safety seriously. Make sure you have received any necessary shots/injections in time and have the recommended medical supplies with you. It’s likely that you will be going to a destination with very different surroundings and it’s important to be prepared. • Invest in a good guidebook and let it be your Bible in the approach to your trip; this will give you a fair idea of what to expect upon arrival. • Accept that there are sure to be challenges. Volunteering is hugely rewarding; but this fulfilling nature stems from the many obstacles and difficulties that may face you. It is obviously impossible to guess what these may be but in recognising that there are sure to be hard days will somewhat prepare you. The good times will far outweigh any bad!• Keep in touch with the organisation that sends you; a constant level of communication will ensure that you are in a better position should any conflict arise. • Interact with the natives. Volunteering benefits both parties and the best way to get a high level of personal achievement and fulfilment from it is to create and maintain relationships with those who live there. Language may be an initial barrier but you will be amazed by the basic levels of communication that will emerge with a little effort. And remember; a big smile never hurt anyone! 2008-07-08 10 Things you didn’t know about the Leaving Cert English teacher Andrew Deacon explores the myths and secrets of the world’s scariest examination. . . 1.  It’s not the end of anything. Hundreds of students have told me: ‘That’s the last exam I’m ever doing!’ as they head home to make a bonfire of their textbooks and uniform. Five years later, they’re putting in late applications for college, or studying at night for accountancy exams, or preparing for some kind of exam, even if it’s just the driver theory test. 2.  Everyone does it. Well, nearly: in the sixties fewer than 50% of school leavers had a Leaving Cert, now it’s over 90%. Bear this in mind when Grandad tells you not to worry, he left school at 12 and he did ok. 3.  The Leaving is not the be all and end all, but it is important. There’s no point in spending years regretting that you didn’t do yourself justice. Yes, every year the newspapers find celebrities to interview who messed up the LC but still succeeded in life, but the point is that they’re the exceptions. Make a list of your ambitions and ask yourself how many of them can be achieved without a LC. A necessary evil? Maybe, but necessary all right. 4.  Results are improving every year. Does this mean the exams have been ‘dumbed down’ or that students are working harder and taking them more seriously? Well, some of the questions from 20 years ago would cause a bit of head-scratching today, but there’s no doubt that students are better prepared and everybody is more exam-focused now. 5.  The right to examine your marked papers has changed things greatly. Exam markers now want very clear guidelines, because their work is open to scrutiny. Therefore, questions have become very formulaic and answers easier to prepare. Read those interviews with candidates and teachers after the exams: - the highest praise they can give is ‘predictable’. Also, with your anonymity assured and the whole country doing the same papers, it’s probably the fairest school-leaving exam in the world. 6.   Nobody can tell you the details of what’s on the paper. There’s a cottage industry in predicting what’s going to ‘come up’. Students ask me ‘Can I leave out x, y or z? Everybody says it’s not going to come up’. ‘Everybody’ usually turns out to be a teacher in another school, especially if it’s a grind school. The truth is that only a couple of people know what is on the paper and they’re not telling anyone – but of course it’s more fun speculating than actually revising. 7.  Study and revision plans are important – but they’re not a substitute for actual studying or revising. You can spend endless time tidying your desk, colour-coding your notebooks, pinning poetry quotes on your notice board – but preparing to work is not the same as working. It’s what’s called a displacement activity: feels like work, stops you feeling guilty – but achieves nothing. 8.  Your friends will lie to you about how much studying they are doing. The ones who boast about how much they’ve done are in denial; the ones who boast about how little they’ve done are working in secret. Trust nobody: after all, you’re lying to them, too. And perhaps to yourself. 9.  The Leaving Cert celebrations industry has burgeoned in the last ten years. Once it was ‘Thank goodness that’s over – now where can I get a summer job?’ Now it’s graduation ceremony, debs, ‘pre-debs’ to practise for the debs, two-week sun holidays in July, results parties. . . Not to mention the fact that most peoples’ eighteenth birthdays are now during the Leaving Cert year. Maybe it’s worth remembering that celebrations are so much better when they mark an actual achievement. Parents, or whoever’s financing all the parties, will be more impressed if there is something to celebrate. 10.  Everyone wants you to do well. Family, friends, teachers all have an interest in this process and are all on your side. You can use this in so many ways, whether it’s asking a teacher to go over something tricky after school or convincing your mum to deliver your dinner  to your ‘study room’. But don’t push it too far. Yes, the Leaving Cert causes stress and the student deserves support, but it’s not a disease or an excuse for prima donna behaviour. Take it seriously and enjoy it – like all the important things in life. 2008-06-24 FAQs Who qualifies as a mature student?Anyone who is over 23 on January 1st of the year of entry to their chosen course in a recognisable Higher Education Institution (HEI). What are the main reasons behind making the decision to become a mature student?There are different grounds depending on the individual but most people chose to enter the system as a mature student for one of the following;• To complete education and get a degree• To develop an interest or hobby in a certain subject• With a view to improving job prospects• For retraining purposes; either for upskilling or for changing careers• To nurture and advance personal and social skills• For assistance in re-entering the workforceAre there any benefits in being a mature student?Students entering or re-entering the education system as mature students bring with them the considerable advantage of having valuable life experience which will be of great help in academic studies. The high level of sacrifice and commitment made by these students usually means that they also possess a greater force of motivation than their peers. What sort of courses can mature students take?If you are entering third level for the first time you will apply for undergraduate courses at levels of certificate, diploma or degree. If you already have a degree then you have the option of undertaking a postgrad instead. What’s the best way to find out about the courses on offer?Check with the specific HEI; the admissions office will have a list which is updated annually and will outline how many places have been allocated specifically for mature students. How will I know if third level will be right for me?If you are unsure about making a decision it might be worth considering doing a Foundation or Access Course which will ease the transition into college life; contact your nearest HEI for details of these. How do you apply?Most of the courses will require a Central Applications Office (CAO) entry but others will call for a direct application; a small amount will demand both. The successful applicants will then be called for an interview where proof of your capability with the specific subject may be expected. Are there special support channels for mature students?Yes; most HEIs have Mature Student Officers that are solely committed to providing assistance to mature students. All areas like counselling, careers advice and financial support are given. Some officers organise Orientation or Induction Programmes for these students which take place before the course starts in order to make the process as simple and enjoyable as possible. What about financial support?Most mature students will be entitled to avail of the Free Fees Initiative and a Local Authority Grant; click here for more information.     2008-06-23 Case Study-Stephan Stewart I was working as a painter in IT Tallaght when I noticed a poster for an evening course in Community Addiction Studies. I was nervous about not fitting in as a mature student (I was 30 at the time) but I decided to go for it. The course was one year long, one evening a week and I loved it. When it ended I knew I wanted to do more; I had no Leaving Cert and so I had to do a college access course. I enrolled in the Return to Learning course in NUI Maynooth (NUIM). The course was absolutely brilliant; and making the commitment two mornings a week was easy thanks to the class and the great support we gave each other. I looked at is as a sort of Provisional License. I knew I wanted to get a degree to increase my chances of getting a job. I decided on a Media course at NUIM, for which I needed to do an entrance exam and interview. Although I fell at the first fence, I applied through CAO the next year and was successful. The first few days I was pinching myself, thinking I’m here to participate and not to paint, but then the real work began! I finished my last exam two weeks ago and have recently been accepted to a Masters programme in Public Policy & Advocacy Skills in NUI Galway which I’m starting in September. Without the courses there’s no way I’d be here today. I thought education was for other people and these kinds of opportunities would never come to me.   Five years ago I had little self-confidence yet now I believe I can achieve anything. My ultimate aspiration would be to act on behalf of organisations that promote positive change, something like education equality provision or the reduction of fees for adults wishing to return to education; a topic that is dear to my heart! 2008-06-23 Case Study - Mary Larkin My initial career choice was to become a music teacher; I found practising my music enjoyable and easy. I didn’t even consider going to University. I undertook many short courses over the years but avoided any that had an end of year exam! (including interior design by distance learning, a 6 month course in Fine Art, an upholstery course and a series of lectures in child psychology). In 2000, both of my parents passed away and my children were either in college or were working and so in 2002 I opted for the Foundation Certificate for those returning to education at Tipperary Institute, which ran from 9 am -2. 00pm each day, allowing me to continue teaching music in the afternoon. The course modules included computer applications, learning and study skills. I was awarded a class prize for outstanding academic achievement and then offered a place in the BA [Hons] Degree in Rural Development at Tipperary Institute through the CAO, which I graduated from in 2007. At first my only aspiration was to get to the end of that year; when I was awarded a 1st I thought I’d be happy forever. Now, as I approach the last quarter of my graduate placement, I find myself with loads of questions about Development in general; my aspirations continue to evolve!My return to education has reignited my curiosity and inquisitiveness, something I had in abundance as a child but ignored as a busy adult, sometimes even feeling embarrassed about it. I would advise anyone returning to education to contact student access officers in 3rd level institutions. I didn’t for years; which was such a waste of time as they are such an important source of information. Financing myself was tough and I dreaded the thought of being in a class of students the same age as my children, but after the first week this was less threatening.   Technology was a big obstacle at the start, I was a technophobe, and made many frantic phone calls to my offspring begging for help with PowerPoint!On my graduation day I was lucky enough to receive two awards; seeing two of my daughters beaming at me as I walked out of the hall has to be the highlight of my career to date as it certainly was not in my life plan when they were young. The reversal of roles at that point still continues to resonate emotionally with me. I would like to continue my studies with a view to working with rural communities in terms of sustainable development; there’s no turning back now!  Since this article was published Mary completed an M. Soc Sc in UCC and has just started a 4 year structured PhD.   We wish her the best of luck with her studies. 2008-06-23 Summer Internships We at Daycourses. com are all too aware of the brief and erratic nature that summer months in Ireland usually have. We’re not suggesting you swap your social life and Oxegen ticket for a working life of misery; but a summer internship does not have to be as ultimate a sacrifice as you may think. However you should also be advised that there’ll be more involved than prancing about and feeling important in a slick suit…A huge number of companies provide summer internship placements and firms are continually introducing more as the success of those past continues to resonate. The reasons are simple and obvious; the employment is cheap (sometimes free) and it’s a great way to train potential employees. It’s difficult to assess with certainty the length of a summer internship as the duration is dependent on the specific company. Advantages of taking part are plentiful. Acquiring the skills that come with actual work experience is invaluable. Only so much can be learned in a library; time spent with clients and well honed presentation skills can only be developed in an everyday working life; and an ability to perform well in exams may not impress. Showing that you have had hands-on encounters with projects and have benefited from a working communication with a professional in your chosen field is often the clincher of an offer of employment. These are extremely marketable characteristics no matter what sector you wish to become involved in. You will also make contacts that could play an important role in your later career. Personal advantages should also be considered; an internship will give you an essential insight into what your desired profession will really involve on a daily basis and perhaps more importantly; if you are suited to it. Many of today’s business careers call for a huge level of commitment; for example to qualify as an accountant anywhere approximately five years of study and training may be required. Taking part in the KPMG summer internship programme would be a fantastic way of ascertaining how serious you are about becoming an accountant before wasting time and money. Other firms in Ireland such as Matheson Ormsby Solicitors and A & L Goodbody always provide such programmes and find they are rewarded with loyal and capable graduates who wish to become full time staff. The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) Ireland seeks to match potential summer interns with appropriate employers in the realms of Science, Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science; details can be found by going to www. iaeste. ie. International internships are a great way of gaining professional experience while expanding your horizons; AIESEC, the world's largest student organization, is the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential; visit its website at www. aiesec. org for some ideas.   2008-06-17 Learning on the Job The stereotype of the college student, cocooned within the comforting sanctuary of higher education and divorced from the hardships of ‘real’ working life, could not be further from the truth for many students. Work Experience can play a major role in a young person’s preparation for a career. When so many graduates have achieved excellent academic results, the inclusion of valuable and relevant work experience on a CV is often the deal-breaker from an employer’s point of view. For some higher education courses - particularly in the engineering/architecture, business studies, healthcare and hospitality areas – work placement is a compulsory and vital part of the learning process. It offers the student the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations and problems. The unique difficulties of the workplace cannot be replicated in the lecture hall, and only work experience will allow you to evaluate your skills levels in that environment. Work experience is not a one-way street in terms of its benefits; employers stand to gain from it also. It is in their interests to help ensure graduates have the required skill levels to make the transition from education to full-time employment. Moreover, many employers (and students) gain directly from the process by inviting those on work placement to return to work on a full-time basis once they have graduated. So if you end up on a work placement in college, do not feel like you are imposing on the employer. Rather, try to be inquisitive, confident and most important of all, hard-working!There are many different forms of work experience undertaken by college students, and they certainly need not be part of the student’s course to be relevant to his/her career prospects:Vocational – Many FETAC courses provided by the colleges of further education provide vocation-specific training to students. Industrial Placement – Usually carried out in the third year of a degree programme, in a job relevant to the course topic. It is a valuable opportunity to learn subject-specific skills from professionals who are ‘on the front line’ of your area of expertise. Professional Practice – When studying law, healthcare or teaching for example, students are required to learn and demonstrate their ability in a variety of competencies within the profession. The course-provider will often have links with agencies and companies that facilitate work placements for students. International Exchange – Many Irish colleges offer students the opportunity to find a work placement abroad, sometimes during the academic year, as is the case with some Erasmus programmes. Other, more adventurous, programmes involve a summer holiday spent working further abroad in places such as South America or Asia. Part-Time Work – This option is not just about earning a few bob for socialising at the weekend. All the basic skills of the work-place can be learned in a part-time position, no matter how ‘menial’ the work appears to be. Those skills can involve time-keeping, communication skills, problem-solving and understanding how an organisation works. Holiday Work – Rather than sitting around entranced by the extravaganza of monotony that is Wimbledon, why not get a short-term full-time job and earn the cash that will to ease your journey through the next academic year? A position relevant to the course would of course be ideal, but no matter what, the skills you learn will not go to waste. So there you have just a sample of the work experience options available to college students. The practicality and suitability of all options can be investigated by contacting the college careers office on an open day, or by talking to your career guidance teacher in school. Now get to work! 2008-06-16 History Society Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it; I’m not going to tell you who said that, find out for yourself by joining your college History Society. This is a great way to ensure that you can differentiate Strongbow from Superman; the Battle of the Boyne from the Battle of Hastings…plus imagine how helpful your new found expertise will be on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game…College societies have more to them than signing on the dotted line because all your friends are/you fancied the girl or boy with the pen/wanted the mini Refresher bars they were giving out. Picking a society in which you have an interest will automatically introduce you to other like-minded individuals and give you the opportunity to express yourself and expand your knowledge. Debates, discussions and exhibitions will all be part of the agenda for the year with the topics covered as diverse as history is long; meaning that everyone’s special interest is sure to be approached. Aside from these terribly sensible reasons there are even more tempting benefits such as field trips and society nights out. For example the DU History Society (in Trinity) took themselves off to Edinburgh in 2006 under the guise of a ‘historical trip’. Historical pub crawls are also a common feature of these societies which exist in most of the universities and colleges in Ireland; if there is no History society why not set one up yourself; you could make everyone call you Napolean… 2008-06-16 Freshers Week Freshers' week is supposedly there to ease you tenderly into the swing of college life, but it often descends into an orgy of lost wallets, dinners and innocence. Drinking from unusual receptacles - yard glasses, bellybuttons - usually forms a large part of the week. Fun though this may be, it is an idea to make sure that you get through the week without giving your new classmates something to blackmail you with for the next three years. For example, if you are pulled up by campus security for dancing with a fire extinguisher, then you may find yourself jammed into a pair of blue dungarees, weeding the playing fields for the next 6 months. And that's getting off lightly. There have been cases of first-years being asked to leave the hallowed halls permanently. Expulsion puts a dampener on the most promising of college careers and you will also have to pretend to your parents that you transferring your degree to Burger King College. Clubs and societies will be on the look out for new members throughout Freshers' week. You should choose carefully before handing over €7 to that persuasive little Atomic Kitten or Enrique Iglesias. Are you really going to go to the Young Anarchists meetings? Their timetable seems so rigid. Doesn't that Film Society chairperson seem a little too eager to take your money? Are you sure he isn't going to pop to the off-licence? Uncharitable musings, perhaps, but better safe than broke and feeling foolish. However, a good club can be a worthwhile investment. Not only do you learn to draw/whistle/square dance but the friends you make there can prove to be invaluable. For example, you may find that you are stuck in a dud class. In this case, your chosen club will provide you with your only social outlet. Starting college is a time to accumulate freebies. All the major manufacturers will be out in force, giving you goodie bags and trying to get you hooked on pot noodles for the rest of your natural. Banks will also be prostituting themselves for your business, offering you everything from USIT cards to mobile phones. Choose carefully - remember it's no use getting an account with all the extras if the nearest branch is 60 miles away. Alternatively, say yes to all of them and accumulate a stash of goodies. After all, you can never have too many pass cards. If you encounter problems during your time at university, then remember that the student union does more than dodgy deals with the Heineken rep. The unions provide advice on a wide range of welfare and educational issues, such as financial support, housing, childcare and grants. Advice is also available from the big guns - the Union of Students in Ireland. Once you are a third-level student, you will get a huge number of begrudgers telling you that you are on the pig's back, that you don't know you're born and that you are bleeding them dry. But everyone knows what to do with begrudgers. That's right, ignore them. Going to college is your chance to acquire pub anecdotes for many years to come, as well as giving yourself a healthy head start in the jobs market. Be sure you make the most of it. 2008-06-11 Case Study - Repeating the Leaving Cert Olivia Dempsey3rd Level StudentMy main reason for repeating the Leaving Cert was that I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to avoid attending university in the UK or northern Ireland, as I had only put choices down on my CAO application which were above the amount of points which I achieved in August. I didn’t take the CAO half seriously enough and didn’t consider the fact that I wasn’t doing near enough work for the exams. The reality only hit home in August 05.   I didn’t repeat in the same school which I had attended for 6 years previously, I repeated in the Institute of Education on Lesson St. The two main reasons for this were that the Institute is a cramming college which is famous for both good results and for repeat leaving cert students. The other main reason was that the institute is more relaxed then a proper school and I would only have to do the minimum required 6 subjects. I found it rather difficult when all my friends moved on to college especially regarding nights out and general time off which they now had and I still didn’t. But once I settled in it became a bit easier to adapt. I moved out of home into the centre of Dublin which helped.   My family were incredibly supportive and my parents did all they could in order to make things easier. At the beginning I found it difficult to be strict with study as I couldn’t accept  that I was doing it all again but once that realisation kicked in so did my motivation and I became more rigorous with my study timetable! I personally don’t find the points system fair, I think continuous assessment and marks given for project research material would be better. The points system really only benefits those who have a good memory. I got my first choice after I repeated so I would advise anyone to repeat if they really wanted to and were prepared to make a huge effort. The biggest benefit of taking the year was that I got my desired course which I love and there’s no doubt in my mind that it was worth it.   I really matured during my year out and learned to deal with the consequences of my actions!The main disadvantage was that all my school friends went on and it was difficult to be left behind. I really had to motivate myself to work, especially with some of the courses which had changed. Any advice? Think about seriously before you commit yourself, and make sure it’s something you really want to do also go into it with a positive, I can do it attitude   2008-06-11 Registration Week Going to the Registration (or Orientation) Week at your college is the best way of ensuring that you’ll find out all the ins and outs that you need to know straight away. Whether it’s directions to the library or how much a pint of the cheapest beer costs in the student bar you’re sure to find out all the details that are essential to you. This period of induction usually runs the week before the beginning of classes; there are generally allocated days for your specific course. Although many colleges now provide the option of registering online; attending in person is recommended. If you go along you are likely to receive a tour of the campus; giving you an invaluable start to your third level career. Starting college can be a daunting and intimidating time so this is the best opportunity to get your basic queries put to bed. For example, most college libraries can appear maze-like if you’re not aware of the separate sections that the books are allocated into. The catalogue systems can differ from library to library so it is important that you familiarise yourself with yours ASAP to save time and confusion when you’re tearing out your hair in an attempt to find out who said that thing that time for your essay that was meant to be in yesterday…When you register you will receive your student card. This is a very important piece of equipment in your college career; not only because it will contain your student number, ID for exams but also as it will get you discounts at the cinema!Registration week is also the time that you will find out about all of the different services and facilities you are entitled to use. For example some third level institutions have on campus health care, sports facilities and social clubs; knowing when and where they are provided will mean that you will get the best possible experience out of what’s available. So ignore your lazy peers who insist that college isn’t really starting until the next week…take our advice and show up for registration week and then smile condescendingly at them when you find them eating their lunch in the toilet cos they don’t know where the canteen is….     2008-06-11 College Jargon Buster When you begin college you’ll hear a lot of terms and phrases thrown around. People will think you’re strange, simple or slow if you tell them you’re already wearing some if they ask you if  want to come and check out the Socs…but don’t worry; once again we at Daycourses. com are here to save they day, and your dignity…Fresher: You! Freshers are new college students – there’s usually a Freshers’ week near the start of the year with all sorts of social events organised with a view to welcoming (or exposing) you to college life. Also includes academic information like notes on how to reference. SU: Stands for Students Union; it represents the student body and is run by elected students. It consists of various officers that are there to act as an advocate for the students; for example the Welfare Officer will provide you with information on fees and funding while a Disability Liaison Officer or Access Officer will assist disabled students. ENTs Officer: The entertainment officer; usually a handy person to make friends with as they’re the ones that organise the drinks promotions. RAG Week: Stands for Raise and Give; a whole week dedicated to raising money for a chosen charity; is usually packed full of an assorted array of crazy activities like a public waxing for the hairiest guy in college, an ‘Iron Stomach’ competition and other such hilarious monstrosities. Guaranteed to be buckets of fun; plus it’s all for a good cause so if your Mum asks you where you’re going four nights in a row you can say that you’re collecting for charity and ignore that slight twitch of guilt. Accommodation Office: Usually located on campus; this isn’t an office that you can go to live in…it’s the place to go to get help on finding the cheapest, closest and best living options in your college’s vicinity. Dissertation: This is a long report or essay on a chosen subject that sets out the results of research carried out by a student or study of that subject. This is normally produced as part of the degree course (although in some subjects this is optional). At first degree level the dissertation can be anything between 5, 000 and 20, 000 words. Modular: Some courses are divided into modules and students are required to pass a number of these modules to successfully complete their degree programme. Modules can be compulsory or optional. Reading Week: This is a week where there is no formal teaching, often seen by students as another holiday; but it's not! The idea is that students are given a week to concentrate on their studies, a perfect time to catch up with study if they have fallen behind. Undergraduate:  This is what a student is called when they are studying for their first degree. Socs: This isn’t just what you give on the dance floor…these are clubs where people can get together to take part in sport or share a common interest, belief or religion. Some examples would be Athletics, Kickboxing, Sailing, Circus, Rock, Radio, Drama, Asian, Islamic. 2008-06-11 Motivational Quotes We at Daycourses. com know that even the best intentions can fade when faced with the many distractions that hover around. So if your head is drooping and your concentration waning take a few minutes to get some inspiration from some of the greats. . . What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve Napolean HillEven if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!Will RogersNothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not;Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not;Unrewarded genius is almost legendary;Education will not;The world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and Determination alone are omnipotent. President Calvin CoolidgeNever Give UpWinston ChurchillWinners never quit and quitters never winAnonIf you worry about yesterday's failures, then today’s successes will be few. The future depends on what we do in the presentMahatma GandhiWork spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and needVoltaireFirst say to yourself what you would be;and then do what you have to doEpictetus Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day outRobert CollierJust Do It!Nike Running Shoes AdvertismentGo for it now. The future is promised to no oneWayne DyerI can't do it" never yet accomplished anything; "I will try" has performed wondersGeorge P. BurnhamDon't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as you mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieveMary Kay Ash And if they don't do it for you remember - Eighty percent of success is showing upWoody Allen 2008-06-06 Getting Support The Leaving Cert can be a stressful and scary time for many. If you’re finding it hard to cope with the pressure and study demands, it’s important that you share your fears with someone. Here are a few places that you could contact for support…Teen-line Ireland - if you feel alone, worried, or just need someone to talk to; call the Teen-line confidential helpline on 1800 833 634. It’s open on Wednesdays 3pm-6pm, Thursdays, Fridays, on Saturdays 9pm - 12 midnight and on Sundays from 8pm-11pm. Samaritans - Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, are worried about something, feel upset or confused, or just want to talk to someone. You could choose to email at jo@samaritans. org or write to your local branch; the listings of which you can find here. National Parents Council Post Primary – A helpline will begin operating on the day of the Leaving Cert results in the summer of 2008; the number will be 1800 265 165. Visit www. examinations. ie for any additional information. 2008-06-05 Case Study - Tourism Name: Louise CrockerJob: Tourist Accommodation Management Services (TAMS) AdministratorTAMS are contracted by Fáilte Ireland to register and classify tourist accommodation in Ireland such as hotels, guesthouses, self-catering accommodation, hostels, and so on. It is concerned with maintaining quality and awarding star rating, and it has a hugely important role to play in ensuring that tourism in Ireland stays at a high standard. It is my job to update hotel information and act as the middleman for complaints between customers and the accommodation holders. I also oversee the processing of applications for new premises. I’ve always had an interest in the tourist industry as I think it’s a very important part of Ireland’s culture. I was also curious about the registration and classification schemes for tourist accommodation and to learn more about it. I also really enjoy customer service and communication; these are fundamental aspects of my everyday work. I studied tourism for two years in Coláiste Dhúlaigh. I have FETAC Level 5 and 6 awards and a higher diploma in Tourism; qualifications such as these are hugely beneficial as they highlight to prospective employers that you have an understanding of the industry. Someone interested in entering tourism should be friendly; outgoing and enjoy working as part of a team. Due to the size of the sector there are a lot of different careers available, and in larger companies prospects of promotion are good. You also get to meet a lot of new people from around the world. A downside would be that most of the jobs require long hours, shift work and weekends, but for someone who fits the bill this is only a slight disadvantage as there is a lot of enjoyment to be gained on a daily basis. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Journalist Name: Fergus O’SheaJob: Reporter I became involved with the college newspaper in my first year in UCD. In my third year I took a year's sabbatical to edit the newspaper, which cemented my interest in the profession. I have a 2nd-class honours BA degree from UCD; I studied politics and German. Following completion of my undergrad, I moved to Spain where I worked as a freelance football journalist gaining valuable experience. After returning, I decided to enhance my chosen craft and did a Masters in Journalism in DIT. The course did little to help me, but did assist in getting me the job I currently have. I received a 2nd-class honours degree from DIT. To succeed you must be curious and have a nose for news. Writing skills can be learned, but an appetite for uncovering good stories and chasing leads should come naturally. An ability to deal with pressure and deadlines is also a must. Most days I work on something new and different. I learn about diverse subjects on a continuous basis. In other jobs things can become quite repetitive. But being on the edge of breaking news, in a bustling newsroom, brings a definite buzz to work. My work offers me access to the government and various institutions that others could never have. I am constantly under pressure to produce. If you file a good story you are clapped on the back, but then the boss wants to know what you will do next. There is also a definite lack of job security. You are only as good as your last story and that pressure can be draining. Probably the biggest con is having to knock on the doors of people who have suffered a family tragedy and ask them to pay tribute to their lost loved one. And ask them for pictures. As you can imagine, you get all sorts of different responses. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Radio Producer Name: Kevin BraniganJob: Radio ProducerI’m currently working at Spin 1038, Dublin; I’ve always been interested in radio, ever since I was a kid. As a teenager I used to listen to the big ‘pirate’ stations of the 1980s like Radio Nova and Sunshine and was taken by the ‘romance’ of it all – DJs breaking the law to bring music to the people! I became taken by the high standards of the programmes and commercials and I was hooked. I completed a Degree in Communications from DCU (and majored in Radio Broadcasting). Radio is a tough industry, so a good work ethic is essential. You must accept responsibility for your role or you will fail. A dedication to deliver more than is expected is vital for success. The pros are plentiful; it is an exciting, fun industry to work in. It is easy to shine and be noticed if you are talented and diligent. It can be extremely rewarding as you hear your work on air every day. It’s not all plus points, however; there’s no room for mistakes in radio. The pay is not exceptional in smaller stations and it can be tough to get to the top in many of the larger stations. Consistent responsibilities include working on new jingles, ‘promos’, and giveaways. As the ‘hottest’ station in Dublin, we have to keep ahead of the other stations all the time. A potential entrant to the industry should listen to as much radio as possible, listen to stations around the world online and decide what area of broadcasting he or she would like to get into. Do go to college and take the broadest media course you can (preferably a degree). This will help to develop your understanding of media in general; you may not want to work in radio forever, having a broad understanding of the media will develop your ambitions and give you long term options that you may not have even thought of yet.   2008-05-30 Case Study - Naval Services Name: Elizabeth BarrettJob: Sub-Lieutenant I am currently the Gunnery Officer & Fishery Officer on board the Naval Service vessel L. E. Aoife. In 2002, I was working as an accounts executive for a marketing company in Dublin City. I found the job lacked a challenge and a sense of adventure. I was a scout leader at the time and joined the Naval Service Reserve in Cathal Brugha Barracks to develop a sense of purpose and adventure in my life. With this I decided to exchange my business suit for a uniform, a city-centre office for a ship’s bridge, and a 9-5 day for a watch system that keeps a ship operational on a 24/7 basis during 4-week sea patrols. I joined the Navy as a cadet. I have been deployed to the Baltic (Russia, Finland, Norway, Estonia & Denmark) on board the LE Eithne to promote Ireland and the role of the Irish Naval Service abroad. I got commissioned as an Officer in September 2004. Shortly afterwards, I commenced a degree in Nautical science in the NMCI. In the summer of 2006, I was deployed to the Brazilian Navy for two months duration. This deployment gave me the opportunity to learn the roles and training procedures of the Brazilian Navy. I also gained the navigational experience of sailing through the straits of Magellan, across the Equator and visiting many foreign countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and America. The Brazilian Navy do not allow women in their Navy to go to sea; it was a big cultural difference for them to have women on board. It highlighted to the Brazilians that Ireland is a forward-thinking country with equal opportunities for all its citizens. In 2007 I obtained my Naval Watch Keeping Certificate, which qualifies me to take charge of a bridge watch on an Irish Naval Vessel, responsible to the Captain for the safe navigation of the ship and the safety of the crew for 8 hours each day. I have just completed my Gunnery Officers’ course, which allows me to take charge of the firing of the ship’s weapons. So what makes a Naval Officer? It is a combination of the abilities to plan, organise, make decisions, solve problems, work in teams, communicate, lead, motivate, discipline and handle information. Resilience and physical capacity are valuable qualities. One has to be adaptable to changing circumstances and environments. It’s not a Monday to Friday 9-5 desk job. One day you could be out doing routine boardings of fishing vessels, the next day it could be drug interdiction, weapons firing, search & rescue, aid to the civil power or a re-supply mission. One thing is for sure you won’t get bored! 2008-05-30 Case Study - Prison Officer Name: John WardJob: Prison OfficerPeople join for different reasons. Some because a family member, relative, or close friend was, or is, in the Service. The opportunity of job security, financial, and pension entitlements are an influencing additional factor as is the uniqueness of the work and the obvious challenge that it brings with it. Working as part of a team is another plus.   The challenges are far too many to outline here. A prison is unique in that it holds persons of a highly violent nature; many with serious drug dependency problems, and psychiatric/psychological conditions – all of whom are deemed so unruly and unsafe to be left within the general community. The gang culture and organised crime that has so evidently manifested itself in the Ireland of today has to be managed and contained 24 hours a day, every day. The challenge in that is enormous. Working in a prison gives one a unique insight into life that is completely unknown to most others in society. Undoubtedly the main and essential attributes are: common sense; inter-personal skills; observation skills; firm but fair approach to inmates, one’s duties and obligations. A level of physical fitness is also essential. Most officers work from 8am to 8pm. They supervise of all aspects of the daily routine: unlocking of cells; provision of all meals; supervision of the allocation and attendance of inmates to their workplaces; court appearances; hospital or other medical treatment; monitoring of gangs; responding to, and dealing with, the many daily acts of violence; transferring of inmates to and from other prisons; and the supervision of visits. This is to name but a few of the tasks involved. Any inmate has a statutory entitlement to meet with the Governor, Doctor, chaplain, or Probation Service.   In essence our job is to comply with the order of the court: ‘to safely keep the person in custody and to cause the order of the court to be carried out’. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Chemical Process Engineer Name: Ruth ClancyJob: Chemical Process Engineer  (www. dairygold. ie)I’m working in Dairygold Food Ingredients at Castlefarm in Mitchellstown at the moment. I always liked maths and so I wanted to study a course that involved using logic for problem solving on a practical level. The idea of working in a lab never appealed to me as I imagined it would be repetitive and boring.   I envisaged engineering to be much more hands-on and practical, which it is in Dairygold. My career path can be as versatile as I want it to be, and if I want I can combine it with travelling in the future. I completed a B. Eng (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering in Cork Institute of Technology and I’m currently studying for Diploma n Management. My qualification means that job opportunities are very good, because I am not restricted to working in any one location. Process engineers can work in industries such as pharmaceutical, dairy, food and beverage, IT, project management, research and development. This course is only done in three locations in Ireland; therefore graduates are in short supply and demand of graduates is high. The pharmaceutical industry is at a slight downturn at the moment, which means process engineers have to consider other, less lucrative, sources of employment. Dairygold is a fast growing company with excellent project opportunities; some of which I’ve been lucky to be involved in. I am currently working on an effluent plant upgrade, and ensuring adherence to environmental limits with the current set-up. Chemical engineering is demanding and generally competitive. To achieve a good qualification you must be have a practical and logical approach to work and be able to work in a pressurised environment. Employers look very favourably on graduates that are enthusiastic and willing to travel, so that is something to bear in mind. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Statistician Name: Oonagh O’SheaJob: StatisticianI’m working for a pharmaceutical manufacturing company as a statistician. The great thing about statistics and mathematics is they may be applied in everyday work and in a wide range of industries, e. g. financial and pharmaceutical.   Statistics and mathematics are universal and you are not tied to one location or one industry in your career. I hold a BSc Mathematical Sciences and Computing and an MSc by Research and Thesis. In my line of work I think an interest in continuous learning is necessary to build knowledge of the areas in which you are applying statistical and mathematical techniques.   Also, the ability to speak and write in a technical manner is an advantage. Advantages would definitely include the wide range of options open to you within the field of mathematics. Exposure to different disciplines is possible throughout your career; for example, I am currently involved in a process robustness exercise for the introduction of a pipeline product. Rapidly changing priorities, in an industry such as the pharmaceutical industry, means that the ability to forward plan within a specific role may be limited; i. e. it can be difficult to ascertain a future career path in definite terms. To anyone considering this area of education and employment I would say to be open to continuous learning outside of formal education.   Be aware that, in order to progress within an industry, knowledge of the environment in which you are applying mathematical and statistical techniques is a distinct advantage. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Priesthood Fr Jerry CareyPriest (www. killaloediocese. ie)I am a Priest of the Diocese of Killaloe, which covers mainly Co Clare and parts of Tipperary and South Offaly. If I was interested in a title it would be Fr, however it doesn’t rate highly for me.   I work as a Pastor in a busy town called Ennis, a population of roughly 25 thousand people. Most of these would be Catholic, with a good average attending church on a reasonably regular basis. I also work as a Chaplain in a Second Level Girls School. My first interest in following a life as a Priest was way back when I was at school, from there I went to seminary in St Patrick’s College Maynooth where I studied Philosophy and Theology, after which I graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. Since then I have studied in St Patrick’s in Carlow to achieve a diploma in Liturgical Studies. I was ordained a Priest in June of 1984, and since then I have worked in Parish and schools. The characteristics I believe necessary for this life are sensitivity to people as you find them; a willingness to listen and care for their well being; and an interest in journeying with people on a Spiritual/Faith journey, and finding ways for that journey to find expression. From a positive point of view, this life is incredibly rewarding, people place a trust in telling their story without fear of judgement, and this remains a really humbling experience. Being there with people in great moments of celebration and at the same time being welcome to go there with them in darker times. As a balance, there is at times a feeling of aloneness, due to celibacy. This is not the same as loneliness as I know many people who are married become quite lonely. In a way this can be a good thing allowing for a lot more reflection on what is happening. At the moment two things are on the agenda: Easter and the ceremonies in Parish. And secondly, I’m in the middle of organising a yearly trip for 45 young people to Taizé in France. The challenge right now for me as a Priest is to see a way forward through an ever-growing secular culture that is in my opinion fuelled by a booming economy. We must, I believe, find a place within this culture that is credible and stop moaning that it exists. 2008-05-30 Case Study - Social Worker Name: Ita LongJob: Medical Social WorkerMy interest in social work began at a young age. I did voluntary work with elderly people as a teenager.   It gave me an awareness of how important it is to help vulnerable people. When I realised you could make a career out of this, in social work, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I didn’t do a social care degree course. I did a BA and later did the Diploma in Social Policy and subsequently a post qualification course - a Diploma in Social Work. I’m currently employed in a hospital setting. I don’t think that there are particular characteristics needed for social work. However, as in any occupation that involves working with people, it is important to like people, to want to work with people, to communicate, to have self-awareness, to reflect on your interactions with people and to be open to learning. If you like working with people social work provides a great opportunity to do this.   There is the certainty of continuously developing your skills and working in very interesting areas; it is possible to build on your expertise through a variety of avenues such as counselling. It can be a disheartening profession in some ways as our role is not sufficiently understood by other professionals, public service etc.   If you want to be a high-income earner there is limited opportunity in social work. Working with people and the individual is at the heart of social work, and most often it is with people who are the least advantaged and most vulnerable.   It is a wonderful profession with great opportunities for those with an interest in this. 2008-05-30 Zoologist - Case Study Name: Lynda McSweeneyJob: ZoologistI’m the Head of Education at Fota Wildlife Park. I first became interested in zoology as I had a love of animals and a genuine interest in biodiversity conservation. I completed an Honours BSc (Zoology) and a Certificate in Business management. I graduated in 1992 and have loved every moment of my career to date!Excelling in this area calls for a number of factors such as excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to disseminate information to students of all ages and an interest in biodiversity conservation. Unfortunately work availability is extremely limited in Ireland so an interest in travel would be an advantage for those interested in zoology. This type of work affords one the opportunity to combine working outdoors with administration duties.   It’s a perfect career for anyone interested in conservation of flora and fauna.   The job is attractive to individuals wishing to combine zoological knowledge in a business environment. Zoology is an exceptionally rewarding and interesting career path to follow.   It is important to acquire additional skills which may complement a degree in zoology and may further your career prospectsAll of our education programmes at Fota Wildlife Park are updated on a regular basis, with up to-date information being added daily.   Furthermore we are in the process of preparing for our summer activity programme at the moment so it’s a very busy time for the animals and me!     2008-05-30 Case Study - Hydrogeologist Name: Donal DalyJob: Hydrogeologist Geoscientists gather and interpret data about the earth (they are earth science detectives); the soils, subsoils, bedrock that form the solid structure of our planet, and the water, hydrocarbons and gases that fill the pores and cracks. Coming from a farming background, my early interest was in working outdoors, dealing with nature, particularly the physical landscape. In secondary school, my favouruite subject was physical geography. I went to University College Galway to study science (B. Sc. ), and geology in particular, and then to Birmingham University to study hydrogeology (M. Sc. ) (or groundwater, a resource that supplies 25 per cent of Ireland’s drinking water and over 50 per cent of the water in many rivers), as I wanted to work in a practical area with a clear relevance to society’s wellbeing and to the environment. Since I graduated, I have worked with a Water Authority in Britain, the Geological Survey of Ireland and now with the Environmental Protection Agency. Virtually every day of over 30 years working as a hydrogeologist has been enjoyable and challenging: whether drilling wells for water supply; measuring flows in springs; analysing water quality data (chemical and bacteriological); locating landfill sites; giving courses on the proper location septic tank systems for rural houses; producing maps of Ireland’s groundwater resources and vulnerability to pollution; locating and installing groundwater quality monitoring wells; or reporting on Ireland’s groundwater quality.   2008-05-29 Case Study - Librarianship Name: Jane CantwellJob: City LibrarianMy path to librarianship arose from an interest in the organisation and provision of information. It started with administrative and library work in law firms, requiring specialised skills, acquired on the job. For further career development, I needed a professional qualification and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies from UCD. This course provided an insight into the wide range of career options available for qualified librarians and, having looked at a number of options, I chose public libraries.   There are no clearly defined personality traits contributing to the choice of librarianship as a career. Some useful attributes would be an inquisitive mind with the ability to think outside the box; good organisational and team working skills; good communications skills; a positive approach to customer service and an ongoing interest in learning and acquiring new skills. As a city librarian, my working day is similar to many other managers, including meetings, report writing, budget management and HR issues. It is my job to ensure that the Library Service is meeting the needs of all sections of the community and to plan for developments of library infrastructure and services in Waterford City. Public Libraries need public funding and must compete with other services. Librarians need to be aware of the ongoing changes to their services required by changing social circumstances and needs. Why become a public librarian? The most important reason would be that you think it might suit you.   Working in a public library provides a good career path; a wide variety of work; an ability to use information skills across a wide range of services, including online and technical services.   The Library Association of Ireland provides support and an opportunity for ongoing professional development. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Accountant Name: Joyce O’NeillJob: AccountantI currently work as a Tax Trainee. When I first joined the company I worked for a number of months in the Audit and Assurance Department where I gained experience on the process of an audit and also in account preparations. In tax I have a wide exposure to all the different aspects of tax and not just the compliance aspect. Accounting in school was one of my strongest subjects and this was one of the main reasons I decided to pursue this career.  On leaving school I studied Accounting and Finance in DCU. To gain an ACCA qualification you must join a recognized practice for 3. 5 years and pass a number of professional exams. I have completed all exams and have one year left in my contract. In this profession you are meeting people on a daily basis and therefore need good people skill. There are always deadlines on different cases and therefore you need to be able to manage your time well. Pursuing a career in accountancy does take a number of years. However, once you have achieved your qualification, there are many different areas of business that you can get into. Another pro of accountancy is that you can travel all over the world with your qualification. An accounting qualification gives you one step ahead in the business world. Many people would have the perception of the boring old accountant but if you look at many of the successful and wealthy individuals in Ireland today, they all have an accounting qualification of some sort. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Management Consultant Analyst Name: Jenny ReedJob: Management Consultant AnalystI was doing my BA (MOD) Honours in Business Studies and Political Science in Trinity and in my final year we had many different companies visiting in order to present different career opportunities. I knew I was interested in the financial realm of business and I found consulting really interesting. It offers a considerable amount of variety as one could be doing entirely different things from one day to the next. The important thing in consulting is not necessarily the technical knowledge but the skills and approach that you can bring to each specific project; therefore a practical problem-solving nature is almost rudimentary. For consulting you need confidence, an interest in business, an ability to think on your feet, good communication skills and good verbal and presentation skills. Knowledge of current affairs will also be helpful. There are many benefits of working in this field: you get to work with very competent and driven people, and at a close proximity to many CEOs, CFOs, and other top management. You also get good opportunities to travel and work across different industries. Some projects do require you to work outside of Ireland for weeks at a time, which can be disruptive to your personal life, as it makes it difficult to assess where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing in a month's time. 2008-05-29 Career Profile - Agribusiness Name: Pat McEnroeJob: Head of Nutrition and Purchasing Director I was led to my current profession by my early and passionate interest in science and animals; I decided to do a degree in Agricultural Science in college to explore this further which cemented my interest in this sector of the economy. One possible shortcoming of the industry is that the area of animal nutrition is very limited; and therefore difficult to receive employment in. However, a career in purchasing is wide open with much greater opportunities. Those considering a career in agribusiness should bear in mind the need to be occupationally mobile as it is difficult to specialise. Having a variety of knowledge and experience is definitely beneficial. I think an analytical mind combined with openness to new ideas is another invaluable trait to possess in this profession. At this time of the year reformulating summer diets and the purchase of the raw materials for the diets is my main concern and focus. I would advise potential entrants of the industry to keep an open mind and be prepared for change by keeping abreast of changes by attending seminars and training courses. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Photographer Name: Noreen O’CallaghanJob: PhotographerSince I can remember, I have always loved taking photographs, hated being in them.   After seven years in an office job I finally got up the courage to change my life and started what was then a three-year diploma in Photography at the Dublin Institute of Technology (it is now a four-year degree course). I entered the business during a time of great transition; that is, from film to digital, which brought many changes - both good and bad.   Photography is not the most stable of career choices, but saying that I have never been out of work.  Once you are up for a challenge and adaptable there are many different areas to work in.   I’ve worked in the commercial sector as a photographer, in postproduction, as an archivist, and as a teacher. My circumstances have now changed again and I’ve relocated to the country with my family where I am now concentrating on social photography i. e. weddings and portraiture.   I still love taking pictures, although my personal work is totally different from my ‘bread and butter’ work.   Underwater photography…bliss. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Marketing Name: Ciara McCallisterJob: MarketingI’m employed in the marketing department of a large consultancy firm in Dublin. The analytical aspects of marketing initially attracted me. The fundamentals of marketing are centred on the evaluation of consumers (trends, patterns, consumption analysis and related psychological factors), investigation of market conditions, and study of your market offering and its relative position in the wider market place. Ample opportunity to deal extensively with people within event marketing and marketing communications through sponsorship, event management and other below the line activities also attracted me to this particular field of business. I completed a BA in Marketing and Media in DBS, which cemented my interest in the field. In order to be successful in this sector superior communication skills, both written and oral, are needed. You should be organised, proactive rather than reactive, personable, confident and creative. Marketing is a great career path as it will offer exposure to a range of different business principles and procedures and each role will be entirely different depending on what the company’s product or service is. A further benefit is that most marketing roles will entail a certain percentage of client/customer facing time for those who wish to pursue a career with diminished desk time. A negative point is that in certain fields of business, marketing and communications is the area which is liable for cut backs when there is a down turn or shift in budget allocation. It is often (foolishly) the first area to be subject to budget restrictions during this period.   Plenty of research into the intended product/service area is key for anyone pursuing a marketing career. I would advise anyone of this intention to ensure that they are confident in dealing with people, are comfortable in multi-tasking and adhering to tight deadlines. Be certain that you are prepared to be the voice/face of the company, as that will often be the case. 2008-05-29 Combat Stress To Do Your Best Putting years of hard work into a mere few hours spent furiously scribbling in your exam hall is tough and intimidating. However many Leaving Cert survivors will tell you that it’s the run-up to the exams that is the scariest and most stressful time; here are a few things to bear in mind to keep your panicking to a minimum. . . 1) It’s an oldie but a goodie; get some sleep. Eight hours sleep per night is proven to assist health and help keep your concentration levels sky high. Make sure not to study too late at night, and if you do, take a break at least an hour before you go to bed. Use the time to ‘switch–off’. Go for a walk; watch some TV…anything not exam related. Avoid going over equations or quotations when trying to sleep, this will have the complete opposite effect and only help in turning you into a bleary eyed wreck instead of the confident genius you're going for. 2) Eat healthily. Stuffing your face with blueberries may not magically make you a master of mathematical formulas but it will keep you feeling your best, and so performance will improve. Avoid too much caffeine as the effects of it will muddle your train of thoughts and escalate your stress levels rather than reduce them. 3) Get some exercise. Studying for lengthy hours and memorising pages of notes causes an increase in the production of hormones in your body like adrenaline which causes your mind to go blank. Go for walks to break this up. It is a scientific fact that exercise raises energy levels, relaxes your mind and body and makes you all the more equipped in your quest as super nerd. 4) Breathing exercises really are great ways to alleviate pressure…if you don’t believe me, remember you’ve nothing to lose; they’re free, short, simple and can be done anywhere at anytime so… Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Inhale through your nose…count to five. Let the air out from your mouth; count to eight in your head as the air leaves your lungs. Repeat a few times. Make sure to let your abdomen expand outwards and to keep your shoulders down; this is a more relaxed way of breathing and will help relaxation. 5) Get your notes in order; rifling through a forest of notes won’t be of any help; flash cards are a great way to keep all important information in a concise, easy to read fashion. 6) Don’t concentrate on what you think you don’t know; when you are attempting the paper you’ll be surprised at the amount of information that will come back to you. Avoid thinking about the number of points you need; it’s a cliché but doing your best really is all you can do. The Irish Pharmaceutical Union (IPU) have launched a Safe Code for students facing exams; bearing in mind that many students often suffer from headaches, insomnia and stomach upsets due to exam pressures; here are a few of their tips…1) Headaches Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.   Students who wear glasses or contact lenses should make sure to do so when they are studying so as not to strain their eyes.   Study in a well ventilated room and take regular breaks. 2) Dehydration Drink lots of water, avoid too much coffee or stimulant drinks such as Redbull as they can cause dehydration.   Typically the weather is good during exam time.   If studying outdoors make sure to wear high factor suncream, wear a hat and cover up in the sun.   Too much sun can result in lack of concentration. 3) Stomach upsets Avoid spicy foods or foods that you know don’t agree with you.   Eat small amounts regularly.   A glass of milk or peppermint tea can be good for stomach upsets.    If the problem persists you should seek products such as Motillum from your local pharmacy. 4) Diarrhoea or constipation Stress can cause disruption to a student’s digestive system which could result in diarrhoea or constipation.   If a student is constipated they should drink plenty of water and eat fruit and high fibre foods.    For diarrhoea, make sure to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.   There are various products, available from pharmacists, which help to replenish vital vitamins and minerals. 5) Asthma Be extra vigilant in using inhalers correctly.   Your pharmacists can advice you on improving your inhaler technique. Preventative inhalers should be used regularly.   Make sure that you have an ample supply of inhalers and carry an inhaler with you at all times so it can be used during the exam if required. 6) Eczema Stress can cause eczema to flare up.   Keep the skin well moisturised with the cream prescribed by your doctor.   Wear loose fitting clothes that won’t aggravate the condition and cause the skin to itch or flare up further. 7) Cold Sores If you feel you may be getting a cold sore, apply preventative cream such as Zovirox as soon as possible and reapply the cream regularly.   Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the cream to avoid the cold sores spreading. Wear a lip balm which contains sun factor to protect your lips when outdoors. 8) Insomnia Avoid caffeinated products such as Coke, Redbull and tea and coffee. Take some light exercise or other activity such as having a bath or shower in order to relax before bedtime.   Don’t study in bed as the brain will become over stimulated. Set aside a period for relaxing during the study schedule. 9) Muscular and Joint Discomfort Posture is very important in avoiding muscular discomfort.   It is important to have a chair that will provide good back support and that your desk is laid out well.   Avoid crossing legs or slouching over a desk.   Take frequent breaks when studying, walk around for a few moments or perform some light stretches.   For students in severe discomfort lumber supports and wrist rests can be helpful. 10) Hay Fever Those who suffer from hay fever should take steps to ensure that the condition does not flare up during their exams.   Simple steps such as keeping doors and windows closed in mid-morning and early evening when pollen levels peak, avoiding lying on the grass.   Apply a little Vaseline inside the nose to help reduce symptoms. If you need to take antihistamines, make sure that you take ones which don’t cause drowsiness. Above all remember these exams are your opportunity to showcase all your knowledge and hard work; make sure to do yourself proud. . . Good luck! 2008-05-29 Case Study - Chief Operations Officer Name: Eamon Hughes Job: Chief Operations Officer (www. utrack. com) I was one of the first graduates of the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB). I did my Degree (Honours Bachelor of Science in Computing) there and I did my Masters in Trinity. ITB has excellent facilities and is very industry-oriented rather than just academic. That’s standing to me now that I’ve set up my own company. I’ve come full circle in that I’m actually back here again. My business, which I set up with another former graduate, is based in the Learning and Innovation Centre in ITB. Primarily, we’re a software company. We do a lot of contract work but we have our own product, which is for coach operators and chauffeur operators– a web-based package with GPS tracking for fleet management. It generates invoices, has a shared diary - it basically runs the whole company. There’s a lot more to running a business than having a good product. I’d say 20 per cent of my time is spent doing development in my area of expertise and the rest of the time is the actual running of the company. I have a business partner so it’s 50-50. He’s more of a technical guy. He’s here programming while I’m out meeting clients and doing the paperwork and learning about everything that goes with it. The College gave me a good work ethic. There were a lot of assignments: monthly, weekly - you were often under pressure to deliver. It sets you up for business and dealing with the pressures of day-to-day tasks. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Web Designer Name: Billy O’ReillyJob: Web Designer  I did my Leaving Cert in 2000, and completed a PLC course in Graphic Design in 2002. I graduated with an Honours Degree in Visual Communication from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2006. I have always had aspirations towards being a full-time illustrator and artist, but the truth of the matter is that it is very difficult to make any substantial money from it. This is why I choose design as my career path; it seemed to be a good middle ground: it would allow me to be visually creative while also giving me a skill set which is highly valued in today’s economy. I am now working for a software company called Avvio in Limerick as a web designer with a long-term ambition of becoming a self-sufficient freelance designer. Being a web designer is an environment in which the designer is constantly learning. One must be consistently researching and increasing your knowledge base so as to remain competitive in an industry that changes constantly. Another exciting aspect of web design is the endless possibilities that it offers. Creatively solving and integrating a new idea in a successful web site can be hugely satisfying. My average working day is 9. 30–5. 30 within the office and than I would do at least 10 extra hours a week on my own freelance and creative personal work. The websites http://www. watersedgedingle. com/ and http://www. glengarriffpark. com/ are projects that I have worked on previously. I hope in the future to work as a freelance designer/illustrator with ultimate aim of being self sufficient while doing a wide variety of high-end creative work.   2008-05-29 Taxation Taxation In medieval times, Danegeld was a tax raised in England and paid to Vikings in order to dissuade them from invading. It didn’t really have the desired effect, but the Danes certainly became very rich in the process. St Peter the Great of Russia also had form in this area, imposing taxes on beards and souls among other things. Just a couple of facts that might help you overcome the misconceived notion that taxation is an area lacking in colour. Nowadays tax professionals, in their role of providing crucial financial direction to Irish and multinational companies, were at the forefront of Ireland’s boom economy, and they will be necessary to its recovery. Also, in the civil service sector, the tax authorities have played a key role in the battle against organised crime and fraud. Education AITI Chartered Tax Advisers (CTA) have studied business, accounting, finance or law courses, but many graduates from both the arts and sciences have also entered the profession. The Limerick Institute of Technology provides an Honours Degree programme in Law & Taxation (360 points in 2007) where students are taught modules such as Financial Accounting, Public Sector Economics, Constitutional Law, and various tax modules (Income, Corporation, Advanced Planning and International). The University of Limerick is in close partnership with the Revenue Commissioners and its dedicated National Centre for Taxation Studies teaches a core component in a wide range of programmes, such as the Bachelor of Business Studies and the BA (Honours) in Law and Accounting. Non-graduates with a good standard of education can apply to the Revenue Commissioners at the clerical level. A third level graduate is generally qualified in order to become an executive officer, while candidates for the higher position of Administrative Officer in the Revenue Commissioners require a first or second-class honours degree (Level 8). Options after Qualification Graduates are employed in private sector taxation roles by accountancy firms, financial institutions, major legal firms and multinational corporations. These businesses will usually offer sponsorship as you pursue a professional taxation qualification with the AITI (Associateship of the Irish Tax Institute). Competitions for taxation roles in the civil service are organised by the Public Appointments Service, and occasionally by the Revenue Commissioners themselves.   Training and promotion is readily available in all areas of the civil service, and Revenue Commissioners staff can apply for promotion to roles such as customs and excise enforcement, and inspector of taxes. The University of Limerick operates a Diploma and BA (Hons) in Applied Taxation, which have been designed specifically for employees of the Revenue Commissioners. Ongoing training is an important aspect of all taxation roles as it is a sector that is continually shifting due to financial and legal factors. The Work Chartered Tax Advisers help their clients make the best business decisions in light of the latest fiscal changes and development. They monitor and anticipate changes to tax legislation and respond quickly with advice specific to the client’s particular commercial requirements. Other tasks include handling revenue enquiries; developing, selling, and implementing tax planning ideas; managing the tax compliance process for clients; structuring mergers and acquisitions; researching and utilising tax benefits in Ireland and overseas; and assisting clients with tax reporting. The work of a Chartered Tax Adviser is highly variable as it depends a lot on whichever industry the client operates in and is also affected by changes to tax legislation. It is necessary to develop an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the particular issues facing the client and his/her business.  Chartered Tax Advisers therefore never stop learning and developing their knowledge. Public sector roles include customs and excise enforcement officers, who work in Ireland’s ports and airports and visit businesses to ensure that their VAT records are up to date and in order. The inspector of taxes may be assigned a wide range of tasks, including the determination of tax liabilities, assisting in the development of services to taxpayers (individuals and businesses), and investigating suspected tax evaders. Go to the Government section of the Careers Library for more information on the roles of clerical, executive and administrative officers. Personal Qualities & Work Environment It will not shock you that a good grasp of numbers and maths is necessary if you wish to work in tax. The need for higher levels of numerate and verbal analytical ability grows as you move up the salary scale. If you are someone who enjoys researching and analysing problems  (tip: try playing several games of Sudoku without flying into a rage to see if this describes your personality), then taxation could be the career for you. Working in the public sector requires an enthusiasm to serve the community with fairness and equality. A good deal of dogged detective work is necessary in dealing with tax evasion. People who work in taxation, in the public or private sphere,  often work as part of a team with members from different backgrounds, so a gift for communication and working in tandem with others is also valuable. The Money Newly qualified Chartered Tax Advisers earn up to €45, 000 per year, while the average salary of a senior tax manager ranges from €80, 000 to €95, 000. A qualified and experienced inspector of taxes earns between €23, 000 and €44, 000 a year. The Jargon Audit: To examine an organisation or individual’s accountsCAB (Criminal Assets Bureau): A taskforce made up of Garda and Revenue officers that pursues the illegally gained assets of criminalsTax Avoidance: The legal means of lowering one’s tax bill, as opposed to the illegal practice of ‘tax evasion’Job Titles Chartered Tax AdviserTax ManagerVAT ManagerCustoms OfficerInspector of TaxesFurther Resources Irish Tax InstituteSouth Block, Longboat QuayGrand Canal HarbourDublin 2Phone: 01 663 170001 663 1700Email: students@taxireland. ieWeb: www. taxinstitute. ie Public Appointments ServiceChapter House26/30 Abbey Street UpperDublin 1Phone: 1890 449999Email: info@publicjobs. ieWeb: www. publicjobs. ie National Centre for Taxation StudiesUniversity of LimerickLimerickPhone: 061 234 320061 234 320Email: tineke. Leonard@ul. ieWeb: www. ul. ie/taxstudies The Irish Revenue CommissionersWeb: www. revenue. ie Call Send SMS Call from mobile Add to Skype You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype 2008-05-29 Case Study - Architect Name: Michael LambJob: ArchitectI studied architecture in DIT Bolton Street. It was a five-year course and most people would take a year off somewhere along the way to go travelling or gain work experience. Once you have graduated, you go to work in an architectural firm’s office, and after a minimum of two years’ work experience, you can then go and sit your RIAI professional practice exams. Registration just came in very recently; it used to be that you could practice as an architect without being registered – but now you can’t do that. It is a high-pressure job, no doubt about it. In college you have plenty of time to do things and think about your project and so on, but as soon as you graduate you realise the pace at which things need to be done. The time you have to design has gone way down, and the amount of pressure on you is very high. There’s an element of salesmanship to the job as well. Once you have designed a building, you have to sit down and actually sell that concept to a client. They prepare you for this in college. You have things that are called ‘crits’, where you stand up in front of maybe six lecturers, all fully qualified architects who have been working in the industry for many years, and forty or fifty of your classmates, and give a presentation of your design. What are the benefits of the job? Well when you’re up the walls and running around the place, you kind of wonder! One advantage is that you will definitely meet lots of people. You work in teams within the office, but you also work with a team of consultants as well. In that sense it is quite enjoyable, although not all of them are always very nice!It’s also very enjoyable after all the long hours of hard work to actually see the finished building; it is very satisfying in that sense. And also I suppose, some work such as schools and buildings like that, it feels like your contributing to the well being of society in some ways. Different characteristics will fit the different types and styles of architect, but I suppose one thing you have to be is confident, you also need good communication skills, patience (a lot of projects can go on for years and years), creativity of course, and a hard-working attitude as it is a tough industry. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Mechanical Engineer Name: Kathleen HurleyJob: Manufacturing Engineer (www. bostonscientific. ie)I studied mechanical and manufacturing engineering for four years in Cork Institute of Technology. I picked mechanical engineering as I had a keen interest in maths and physics in secondary school; I also knew that this course would give me an abundance of options when I did leave college, and the practical aspect of the course also appealed to me. I certainly found it extremely challenging along the way. Once I got over the primary hurdle of completing first year, I found the course a lot less stressful and I began to enjoy the content of it a lot more. I was lucky enough to get an extremely motivating final year project. I had to design and manufacture a splint for a fractured fifth metacarpal, otherwise know as a ‘boxer’s fracture’. These fractures are usually caused by punching something hard like a wall or another person's head, hence the name ‘boxer’s fracture’! Unbelievably, over 12, 000 of these fractures occur every year in Ireland and the UK and, funnily enough, this figure rises significantly around Christmas time and at weekends. As you can see, this project had a lot of scope for me, and in the end the device that I designed, which was christened 'Fingerfit', proved to be extremely successful (Kathleen won the Siemens Innovative Engineer of the Year Award 2007 for her groundbreaking design). I have only been in the workforce for just over three months now, but so far so good. At the moment I am working for Boston Scientific and there is a lot of opportunity within the company itself. Currently I am working as a manufacturing engineer, but I would hope that in the future I may get the opportunity to work in the design aspectof the corporation. I would most certainly encourage students to consider a career in engineering. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Pre-School Teacher Name: Becca SmythJob: Pre-School TeacherI decided to become a pre-school teacher after I had completed one year of an Arts degree in U. C. D. I felt I had a lot to offer children and saw that there was a lack of provision of childcare in Ireland. I was drawn to the long holidays, along with the thought of working in a changing daily environment. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and felt that a career in childcare would enable me to work with the family and wider community, as well as children. I obtained an Ordinary-level degree in Early Childhood Care and Education in DIT, (there was no honours-level course at the time). I later applied to upgrade the course at night, as I was working full-time at a pre-school. I have completed courses such as Paediatric First Aid, Early Language Literacy, Play Development, Inclusive Play, Diploma in Social science and Irish Sign Language; continuous training is recommended. My average working day is from 8:30 until 4:30. It includes activities such as arts and crafts, book time, outside play and filling out reports when the children go home. Taking work home is difficult to avoid. Being responsible for a group of four year olds isn't a walk in the park either but preparation is key. Patience and an ability to multi-task are paramount. There are many benefits of working with children; seeing a child's behaviour, speech or physical ability evolve over a period of time is, to me, the most rewarding job you could ask for. Working with children allows you to view the world in a different light. Any childcare professional will know you cannot work with children alone, the presence of the surrounding family is vital. Solving problems concerning the children's behaviour with the parents is satisfying and rewarding and provides a great sense of achievement. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Primary Teaching Name: Melody WalshJob: Primary School TeacherI’m a permanent mainstream teacher, I teach the fourth class pupils. I was always really interested in education, the idea of an office job never appealed to me. I did work experience at a local school and loved it; I realised it’s not all about disciplining children but also relating to them and having a bit of fun!I have a B. Ed (ordinary) from the Church of Ireland College of Education and a B. Ed (honours) from Trinity College - in total, four years in college. I think the predominant characteristic needed to be a good teacher is a sense of humour! Other helpful features would be diligence, compassion, friendliness, kindness, enthusiasm, and honesty. There are many pros: first is the sense of achievement, the feeling of helping a child is fantastic. Another benefit is that each day/week/year is so varied, there’s no fear of boredom. A big advantage is definitely the holidays; excellent when you want to travel during the summer, as are the working hours. Career breaks are also brilliant because you can come back to that same school (once you’re permanent). Student teachers also need to do teaching practice with your class for three weeks, which is great as well!There are disadvantages including bad behaviour, unhelpful parents, class size, lack of resources, and the continuous negative press in the media. After Easter is always a busy time because of tests, reports to write, organising school tours, preparing for sports day, speaking to your classes’ new teacher for next year, discussing your new class for September and meeting with learning support teachers. I think teaching is a great job, very satisfying and rewarding. It can also lead into other career paths; for example, lecturing in colleges or psychology. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Nutritionist Name: Paula MeeJob: Nutritionist (www. paulamee. com)I am from Galway and graduated from University College Galway with a BSc in Biochemistry. I then completed my postgraduate qualifications in Dietetics and a Masters in Health Science in Leeds Metropolitan University. I was also recently awarded a Diploma in Allergy from Southampton University and have also completed the British Dietetic Association's Sports Dietitian course. I am a current member and a past president of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute. After working in a hospital as a dietitian, a Nutritionist in the National Dairy Council and as a Nutritional Manager in Superquinn, I set up my own Nutrition Consultancy in 2004. The Consultancy offers organisations and industry an extensive range of services in nutrition, product development, and marketing communications. As part of my working week, I also operate a dietetic and weight management clinic in the Dublin Nutrition Clinic. Due to the varied experiences I have had as a nutritionist, I have been given opportunities to be involved on the board of Consumer Foods in Bord Bia, and be the nutrition presenter of RTE Health Squad TV programme whichran from 2002 to 2006. I also make regular appearances on TV and radio programmes advising on nutrition and health issues, and speaking to a wide variety of public groups and health professionals participating inconferences and seminars around the country. The personal characteristics I feel that can contribute to a successful career in nutrition are good communication skills, a deep interest and belief in nutritional sciences, and a passion to educate and supportindividuals and the wider public in their challenges of healthy eating and living. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Civil Servant Name: Claire BuckleyJob: Third SecretaryMy name is Claire Buckley and I’m a Third Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Third Secretary is the graduate recruitment level for the Irish diplomatic service and you need a first or second class honours degree or be qualified as a solicitor or barrister.   The recruitment process involves a written exam and a number of interviews, including a group exercise. During my first two years in the Department, I was assigned to our EU Division, and it was a really interesting time to work in that Division as we prepared for and worked through Ireland’s 2004 Presidency of the EU.   My work involved the preparation of briefing material for the Minister and senior colleagues on relations between the EU and the countries of the former Soviet Union, in particular Russia. This meant that I attended monthly working groups in Brussels at which EU policy was formulated.   I was also responsible for the organisation of a two-day conference for 180 people. I was then posted to the Embassy of Ireland, Athens for three years where I had a broad range of responsibilities, the most significant of which was assisting Irish citizens either resident or on holiday in Greece. This meant anything from processing a passport application to visiting an Irish prisoner in jail and, with increasing numbers of Irish people travelling to Greece every year, it was never quiet! I was also responsible for the promotion of Irish culture in Greece and really enjoyed organising different cultural events from Irish film to Irish dancing. Now that I am back at HQ, I work in Political Division, where the focus of our work is on increased political cooperation between EU Member States.   My job is always challenging and interesting and if you are the type of person who has an interest in Irish public affairs and in international relations, is able to analyse complex situations and to put forward practical recommendations for action and is a good communicator, able to work independently and deal effectively with people, then this may be the job for you. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Politician Name: M. J. Nolan  Job: Fianna Fáil TD My job title is T. D. /Deputy; this involves me spending three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Dublin (Leinster House) for Dáil sittings and Committee work. Two days a week I work from my Constituency office (Monday/Friday) where I deal with constituency matters. I attended national school in Bagenalstown, (De La Salle) and secondary school in Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Dealing with the public on a daily basis and assisting them in their needs, be it in the form of advice or giving assistance with difficulties they are encountering would account for up to 70 per cent of a public representative’s work. There is a lot of personal satisfaction to be gained in assisting, helping and advising individuals or families when they seek your assistance. The remainder of my work is made up of preparing and dealing with legislation in relation to my work as chairman of the committee for Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. One of the major downsides of the profession is the long hours and the amount of time one has to spend away from home and family, particularly if ones constituency is not within commuting distance of Leinster House. There are no set working hours or indeed working days and a public representative tends to be on-duty and on-call 24/7. As chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs a large part of my work in Leinster House is taken up with dealing with issues related to Art, Sport and Tourism in particular. Over the past fifteen years working conditions, backup support and services have improved significantly for members of the Oireachtas and I believe that the public are getting a better service from their elected representatives as a result of this. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Nursing Name: Emma MurphyJob: NurseI have been nursing since 1992 and I can honestly say it is the career that I have always wanted to do. I have worked in A&E (accident and emergency) since 1996 and 98 per cent of the time I enjoy the job. There is always so much to learn that the more knowledge I obtain, the more I realise I don’t know. I feel with nursing that one is a cog in a big wheel, and in order for it to run smoothly you have to realise the importance of everyone involved; from porters, household staff, nurses and ambulance personnel, to doctors, secretarial staff and consultants. The patient’s journey through the hospital depends on all these people doing their job as a team; so don’t apply if you’re not a team player!A nurse’s education does not end at graduation; in fact to graduate really only provides you with a licence to learn. It is hard work, it takes commitment, and there are days that you wished you worked in Tesco! But the only really negative aspect of nursing that I genuinely find it difficult to deal with now, or probably ever, is having to work Christmas. Each nurse has an area they are more drawn to. During training this may become apparent to each student, but in my case I always knew that I love adult nursing, and in emergency medicine I found my niche.   There are so many opportunities open to you and you can work flexi time and over time. Nursing opens many doors and I wouldn’t do anything else. I really love my job and enjoy going to work. . . . but ask me again at Christmas! 2008-05-29 Case Study - Physiotherapist Name: Shirley JohnsonJob: PhysiotherapistThe main reason that I chose physiotherapy as a career was that it involved working with people, which may sound like a very clichéd answer, but as a physio you tend to spend a lot of time with your patient, as opposed to the other allied health professionals (dieticians, pharmacists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, etc. ). I trained in Cardiff University, in the Cardiff School of Physiotherapy. Another reason was the variety of work that’s involved with physio, and I have worked in quite a few different settings. You can work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, rehab unit, sports team, special school, or in private practice. I’ve worked in public hospitals here and in the UK, but I’ve also worked in private practice and been very involved with sports teams: the senior Kilkenny hurlers, the Welsh national rugby team, and the Irish men’s hockey team. So if you do like sport, physiotherapy can be a great profession. I think one of the main benefits of physiotherapy is the job satisfaction. Physio is all about trying to improve people’s situations, and trying to help them reach their full potential following an injury, pain or disability (which is a big area). It’s great to see the positive results in a patient, regardless of whether it’s a hamstring strain and they’re getting back to playing sport, a broken arm and they’re getting back to work, or they had a stroke or operation and are regaining mobility. Another big benefit is working as part of a team. I was in private practice in Kilkenny for seven years and I moved back into the public setting about four years ago. In hospital there’s a far bigger physio team, and also you have all the other medical staff: doctors, nurses and all the allied health professionals, as opposed to working in private practice where you’re dealing mainly with GPs. Difficult patients would be one of the main challenges of physiotherapy. You can come up against some challenging patients that you have to work at, but that can also be seen as a positive as well when the treatment succeeds. The money has improved, from a financial point of view, but it still wouldn’t be seen as being absolutely brilliant. I work in Outpatients, so I’m in a clinic setting whereby patients come in to see me. From 9. 00 to 4. 30, I have a list of patients that are referred from their GP or a consultant. So patients are individually assessed and you work with them in coming up with a treatment plan that is formulated in line with individual goals and objectives. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Legal Advisor Name: Terry RocsterJob: Legal AdvisorI am employed as in-house Legal Advisor for a large Irish company with extensive European operations. I’ve always been interested in law and I enjoyed studying law at undergraduate level; which obviously helps with the legal side of my job, but I also completed a Masters in Business Studies, which gave me a good understanding of how businesses operate. In my everyday work proofreading documents and letter writing have a large role, so attention to detail and good literacy skills are essential. The legal function also liaises with other departments within the company on a regular basis, so good interpersonal skills are also very important.     The in-house legal role is challenging and you become part of how the business moves forward, which makes the role varied and interesting. However, it can be difficult reconciling the needs of the business with any legal obstacles that may arise.   For anyone interested in combining law and business I think this would be a good career option. Talking to people who have studied law or who work in similar roles is helpful if you possess intent to develop with this. Work experience, if you can get it, is also another great way to get a taste for what it is like. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Solicitor Name: Mark O’KellyJob: SolicitorIn my final year of a Degree in Business Studies in DCU I took the corporate law specialism, which dealt with basic and company law, and law in general. I found the subjects interesting and discovered a certain aptitude for it. This was reflected in my exam results and upon graduation I decided to further my legal education with a view to becoming either a solicitor or a barrister. I researched both options and decided to pursue a career as a solicitor. I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies, which I received from Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street. The DIT course was directly referable to the Law Society of Ireland Final Examination Part 1 and was of great assistance in my obtaining a place in the Professional Practice Course run by the Society. The first and foremost characteristic that is necessary to practice law is a good memory. You can have up to 150 files active at any one time and you need to be able to recall each one as you can be questioned by clients ringing at any time during the day. You also have to be able to advise clients when they attend at your offices and you never know what their particular legal problem will be, so you need to know the basic principles of law by heart.   You need to be inquisitive and be able to view a certain problem in a number of different ways, and bring each option to its logical conclusion. An eye for detail and dedication are also characteristics that are necessary for the job. It's interesting work at times and can have a large impact on people’s lives, especially when dealing with personal injuries and medical negligence. You never know what case your next appointment is going to bring and there is a thrill when you settle or win a case on behalf of a client. A large part of the work, however, is rather mundane and time consuming. The hours can be very long and 12-hour days are not uncommon in the profession. You are constantly struggling to keep up with your various files and to ensure your client is updated and informed. There is a lot of stress as you are constantly being pulled in a number of directions in relation to the amount of files you have to juggle, and time management is an issue. I currently work for a law firm in Derry, and while I can't comment on specifics due to solicitor/client confidentiality, I can say that I am involved more and more in debt collection on behalf of our larger clients who deal in the construction industry, as well as the liquidation of companies in financial trouble. I'm also doing less and less conveyancing (buying and selling land). The profession itself is always a good barometer of how the economy overall is performing. 2008-05-29 Case Study - Event Manager Name: Alan Rafferty Job: Business Development Director (www. hobmanagement. ie)My first appetite for event management came at UCD where I did an Arts degree. Over the four years, I had a number of positions for various Clubs/ Societies such as Year Representative, P. R officer, Vice Chairman of the Student’s Union, and I was involved with every Faculty Day (Arts Day, Comm. Day). I was elected 90th Auditor of the Commerce & Economics (C&E) Society in my final year. As this was a great opportunity, I stayed in college for a further year to fulfil my duties. This involved everything from coordinating the committee, to selling tickets to events, and organising sponsorship and advertising. These events included the Freshers’ Ball, Valentines Ball, Beach Ball and various sporting events. I then went on to complete a Masters in Public Relations in DIT. On leaving college I went to Australia working with Tourism Ireland and worked with a number of PR companies. On my return to Ireland I was given the opportunity to work on the 2006 Ryder Cup as Ryder Cup Coordinator. This entailed liaising with over 300 resort staff in the build up to the event and acting as the communication link between the US PGA and the European Tour with regard to both teams. In spite of the demands and pressures that came with this role it was a most enjoyable experience. It gave me access to a wide range of contacts that resulted in me moving into my current role. Today, I work with Helen O’Brien Management in Dublin. We work on over 25 events a year in Ireland, UK and Europe. We organise a wide variety of events for our clients such as conferences, gala dinners, and product launches. To be successful in event management you need to possess good organisation and social skills. Creative flair and a resourceful nature are also beneficial characteristics, as is an ability to respond well to pressure. There is an expectation of long working hours, and chasing suppliers can be a frustrating task; however, it is an exciting career choice. This field promises to be challenging and interesting. Each job is different and the process of following an event from conception to completion is a rewarding one. Travel is likely to be a part of your role; we have just returned from completing The Cheltenham Race Festival 2008 in the UK and are now currently working on two product launches which will be taking place in Dublin and Cork. 2008-05-29 News Welcome to the Daycourses. com News Section, where you will find all the all the latest stories from second and third level education in Ireland. 2008-05-28 test_day_mult_sub_keyword 2008-05-28 List of College Societies It's a good idea to get a list of all the societies and clubs available in your college or university; find out more about what they offer. One thing that’s for sure is that you will not regret joining a student society – it's the perfect way to sample all that student life has to offer and it will make your college experience all the more extensive and enjoyable. The major benefits are meeting people, gaining – or enhancing – a passion and of course enjoying plenty of socialising! Below is a list of all the societies available in Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology; if you can't find something for you then you're harder to please than Sir Alan Sugar. . . TCD:A. I. E. S. E. CAfro CaribbeanAmnesty InternationalAnarchistArchaeologyAstronomy and SpaceBiochemicalBiologicalBotanyBusiness + Economics SocietyCaledonian (Associative)Cancer Society (Associative)Capoeira SocietyCards SocietyChapel ChoirChessChinese Students and Scholars AssociationChoral SocietyChristian UnionClassicalComedyComputer ScienceCumann GaelachDU PoliticsDanceDentalDigital ArtsDU Photographic Association (DUPA)Early IrishEngineeringEntrepreneurial SocietyEuropaEuropean Law Students AssociationFalun DafaFianna Fáil (Wolfe Tone Cumann)FilmmakersFine GaelFood and Drink SocietyFree Legal Advice CentresGamersGender Equality SocietyGeneticalGeographicalGreensHistoricalHistoryInternational StudentsInternetInvestors SocietyJapaneseJazzJewish SocietyJoly GeologicalJugglingLabourLawLesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender SocietyLiteraryManagement ScienceMathsMature Students SocietyMeditationMetaphysicalMicrobiologyModern LanguagesMusic SocietyMuslim StudentsNursing and Midwifery SocietyOne WorldOrchestralPaintball & SpeedballPharmaceutical Students AssociationPhilosophicalPhysocPlayersPrinting House Festival of New Music (Associative)Progressive DemocratsPsychologicalRock Nostalgia SocietyScience FictionSign LanguageSingersSinn FeinSocialist Party SocietySocialist WorkerStudent to Student NetworkSuasTheological SocietyTherapyTraditional Irish MusicTrinity Arts Festival 2008 (Associative)Trinity Arts WorkshopTrinity FMTrinity Saint Vincent de Paul SocietyTrinity Volunteer Opportunities Forum (Associative)Visual ArtsWerner Chemical SocietyYogaZoologicalUCD:UCD Chamber Choir An Cumann Gaelach Chess Club Arts Postgraduate Students Assoc. Civil Engineering Society Chemical Society Computer Science Society Christian Union Comedy Society DramaSoc Electronic and Electrical Engineering ELSA Engineering Society English Literary Society Film Society French Society Forestry Society Games Society German Society Glasgow Celtic Supporters Club Hellenic Society International Students Society Islamic Society Juggling Society Kevin Barry Cumann (Fianna Fail) Law Society L & H Society LGB Society Mathematical Society Mature Students' Society Mechanical Engineering Society Medical Society NetSoc Newman Society Outreach Society Politics Society Philosophy Society Photographic Society Psychology Society Physiology Society Racing Club Retrospective Society Science Fiction and Fantasy Society Soccer Supporters Society Staff Golf Society St. Vincent de Paul World Aid Society Young Fine Gael UCC:Canoe Club  Drama  Film Society  An Chuallacht  Judo Club  Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered Society  Swimming Club  Mathematics Society  UCC Squash Club  Athletics Club  Paragliding Club  Sub-Aqua Club  Volleyball Club  UCC WarpCon  Surgeon Noonan Society  UCC Men's Hockey Club  UCC Rowing Club  Kung Fu Club  Orienteering Club  UCC Aikido Club  UCC Rugby Football Club  Basketball Club  TaeKwonDo Club  UCC AFC  UCC Photo Soc  Mountaineering Club  UCC Tennis Club  UCC Choral Society  Entrepreneurship Society  UCC Sailing Club  One World Society  Physics Society  International Students Society  Chess Club  Trampolining Club  Irish Traditional Music Society  UCC Badminton Club  UCC Gaelic Football Club  Table Tennis Club  Equestrian Club  Medieval and Renaissance Society  Medical Society  Folklore Ethnology and Celtic Civilisation Society  Ladies Hockey Club  Students' Union  Residence and Student Activities  Office of Student Health and Counselling  Kendo Club  Fencing Club  Cumann Dramaiochta E O Murchu  Science Fiction Society  Societies Guild  St Vincent de Paul Society  Chinese Students and Scholars Association  Kick Boxing Club UCC  Young Fine Gael  Medical Students Group  Ultimate Frisbee Club  Scientific Training by Assignment for Research Students  Genetics Society  Student Counselling and Development  Kitesurfing Club  DJ Society  Paintball Club  French Society  Commerce Society  Handball Club  Nursing Society  University XPress  Karate Club  UCC Greens  Simon Society  Self Help Society  UCC Poker Society  UCC Cycling Club  Postgraduate Society  Historical Society  International Relations Society  Capriccio Society  Psychological Society  SUAS Society  Mature Students Society  Dental Society  Baha'i Cultural Society  Surgical Society  Wushu Club  Law Society  Boxing Club  Classics Society  Students for Life Society  MotorCycle Club  Irish Army Reserve Club  Surfing Club  Science Society  Robert Sung  Juggling and Acrobalance Club  Dance Club  Iona Society  Ogra Fianna FailDCU:Aikido American Football Archery Athletics Badminton Basketball Men Basketball Women Camogie Canoe Caving Cricket Cycling Equestrian Fencing Gaelic Club Women Golf Gymnastics & Trampolining Handball Hockey (Men & Women's) Hurling Judo Karate Kenpo Kick Boxing Kung Fu Martial Arts Olympic Handball Orienteering Pool & Snooker Rock Climbing Rugby (Men) Soccer (Men) Soccer (Women) Squash Sub Aqua Surf 'n' Sail Swimming/Waterpolo Table Tennis Taekwon Do Tennis Ultimate Frisbee VolleyballUL:At present there are 36 Clubs and 27 Societies serving the campus community. Clubs:AikidoarcheryAthleticsAthleticsBadmintonBasketballChessGolfHurlingKarate ShotokanKayakKickboxingLadies RugbyLiathróidLaimheMen's RugbyMountain BikeOutdoor PursuitRowingSailingSkydiveULSoccerSoftballSub AquaTae Kwon DoTrampolineUL VikingsUltimate FrisbevolleyballWater PoloWindsurfingUL Societies:Christian UnionComedyComputerCumann GaelachDebating UnionDJDramaEnvironmentalFree PalestineGreensGSocHistory SocietyIrish PeaceLawMedical SocietyMusic SocÓgraFiannaFáilOut in ULPhotographicPokerSocialist YouthSofASVPTrad MusicYoung Fine GaelNUI Galway Societies:An Cumann Craic An Cumann Drámaíochta An Cumann Éigse agus Seanchais Animal Rights Soc Arch Soc Art Soc Bahai Biochemisty Soc Biotech Soc BizSoc Botany Soc Chemistry Soc Chess Soc Chocolate Society Choral Soc Christian Union Soc Classics Soc Coeliac Society Comedy Soc Complementary Therapy Soc Compsoc Countryside Soc Cumann de Barra Cumann Staire (Historical Studies Soc) Dansoc DJ Soc Dramsoc Ecology Soc Elec Soc Eng Soc Environmental Science FAD Soc FanSci FilmSoc French Soc G - eos Gemmological Society Geography Soc German Soc GiGSoc (Gay In Galway) Goal Soc Green Party Soc Hispanosoc Horse Racing Society Human Rights Soc ISS International Students Society Italian Soc Juggling Soc Karting Soc Labour Youth Law Soc Legion of Mary Life Society Lions Campus Lit & Deb Macra na Feirme Malaysian Society Marine Soc Maths Soc Mature Students Mediasoc Medicine Soc Microsoc Musical Society (GUMS) MusicSoc Muslim Youth Soc North American Student Soc Orchestra Soc Palestine Solidarity Soc People Before Profit Philosophy Soc Photography Soc Physics Soc Poker Political Discussion Soc Postgrad Soc Presidents Award (Gaisce) SocPsychSoc Quiz Soc RadioSoc Roots Music Collective Rotaract Soc Sinn Féin Soc Slainte Soc. Social Action Movement Soc Socialist Soc Socialist Worker Student Soc STAND Society Suas Society Trad Soc Vegie Soc Voluntary Services Abroad Soc Writers Group Soc Young Fine Gael Soc Young Progressive Democrats ZooSoc NUI Maynooth:There are over 70 Clubs & Societies in NUI Maynooth, catering for activities ranging from Fencing to Camogie and Juggling to Debating. All the Clubs and Societies are run by student committees and receive funding of over €200, 000 per year. Societies:Alt. Music Society  Amnesty Society Anthropology Society Astro2 Society Biology Society  Cards Society Chakras Society Chemistry Society  Christian Union  Ancient Classics Composers Society Cuallacht Cholmchille Dance Society  Literary & Debating Society  Deukuma Society Drama Society  Electronica society Ógra Fhianna Fáil Society  Friends of Raphaels Society French Society Games Society  Geography Society  GLB Society Global Awareness Society Gospel Choir  Young Greens Society History Society International Society  Jamming Society Jazz Soc John Paul II Theological Society Juggling Society Labour Youth Society  Maths Society Mature Students Society Media Society  Mikado Society Minds Society  Maynooth Mission Outreach Society MSPCA Society Music Society Omega Society  Philosophy Society Playdo Society  Pro-Life Society Psychology Society  Rosary Society Ógra Shinn Féin Society Socialist Party Society  Sociology Society Suas Society Saint Vincent de Paul SocietyClubs:Aikido Club Archery Club Badminton Club Basketball Club Trampoline Society Boxing Club Camogie Club Cricket Club Equestrian Club Fencing Club Gaelic Football Club Golf Club Hockey Club Hurling Club Judo Club Karate Club Kickboxing Club Kung Fu & Tai Chi Club Ladies' Football Club Ladies' Soccer Club MUCK - Canoe Club  Outdoor Pursuits Club Paintball Club Rowing Club Rugby Club Self-Defence Club Ski Club Snooker Club Soccer Club Surf Club Swimming & Waterpolo Club Tennis Club Volleyball ClubDIT:Artichoke ASA B. A Soc Bookfast Society Business and Entrepreneurship Society Christian Union Clinical Measurement Society CSSA Cumann Gaelach Debating Drama Drama BST Drama MJS DYS EMP Society Engineering soc Environmental health FAKE Soc Freestyle Soccer Society Game Soc Bst Geomatics Hip Hop Soc Intercambio Society Jugglers Leisure Management Logistics Mature Student Mental Planners Music Ensemble NetSoc Nutrition Paintball BST Paintball KST Pirates and wench soc Poker bst PR Reject Muzakel Sinn Fein Societies of DIT SSAT SUAS Society The Over Exposed Society Triple P Urban X Society Young Fine Gael Artflash Arts Appreciation Automative Society Bio Society Break Dance Society Carebear soc CIOBS Comedy Culinary arts Soc Dance DJ Soc Drama AST Drama KST Dramacbs Electrical Service Society EMPTY Society Environment Soc Expo soc Fashion Game Soc Ast Game Soc Kst Greenwash Home Made Soc Islamic Law LGBT Maintenance soc Media Society Movie Soc MuSoc News Society Optics Paintball Cbst Physics Society Poker Ast pokerkst Print Media Production Society Road Trip Society Socialist Workers Societies Office Student Volunteering Society SVP Transportbst TT society WAVES Young Progressive DemocratsAIT:Accountancy Arts Applied Social Studies Apprentices Business Studies Catering Chaplaincy Christian Union Computer Computer Careers Cumann Gaelach Debating Society Electronics Film/Audio Visual Green Society Horse Racing International Society Mature Students Mineral/Mining Mechanical Engineering Plastics/Polymer Poetry Postgraduate Science Software Social Studies St. Vincent de Paul Tourism Society Toxicology Uni-Slim Young Parents GroupIT Sligo:Aikido ClubAlternative Music SocietyArt SocietyAthletics ClubBasketball ClubBio Pharma SocietyChoral SocietyCivil Engineering SocietyCommunity Action/SVPComputer Games SocietyC & S Promotion SocCycling ClubDance ClubDISC 7 a sideDiscover IrelandDrama SocietyEnvironmental SocietyEYIE Epilepsy SocietyFianna Fail SocietyFine Gael SocietyFirst Aid ClubGAA - CamogieGAA - HandballGAA - HurlingGAA - Freshers FootballGAA - Intermediate FootballGAA - Senior FootballGAA - Ladies FootballGolf ClubHealth Science SocietyHill Walking ClubInterior ArchitectureInternational SocietyKarate ClubLabour SocietyMacra Na FeirmeMotor Sport ClubOlympic Handball ClubOrganic SocietyPaintball ClubPhotography Soc Whipper SnappersPoker SocietyPost Graduate SocietyRadio Big Fish SocietyRainbow SocietyRec & Leisure ClubRugby ClubSamba Society-AxéSelf Defence ClubSinn FeinSnooker ClubSoccer Club (Women)Soccer Club (Men)Social StudiesSpanish SocietySub Aqua ClubSurf Club (Board Riders)Swimming & WatersafetyT'ai Chi ClubTourism SocietyTraditional SocietyTriathlon ClubVolleyball Club (Ladies)Volleyball Club (Men's)Water Polo ClubWeekend SocietyWine Appreciation SocIT Blanchardstown:COMPSOC Darts Club Radio Club Poker ClubDrama ClubCIT:African Drumming Society Amnesty International Society Animé Society Architectural Technology Society Automobile Engineering Society Business & Accounting Society Chemical Engineering Society Childcare Society Choral Society Christian Union Society CIT DJ Society CIT Lions Club Society Civil & Structural Society Cork City Supporters Society Crawford New Media Society Crawford Textiles Society Crawford Yoga Society Dance Society Drama Society Electronics Society Entrepreneurial Society FloppySoc Society Graphic Novel Society Guild Society Hot Cats Society Interior Architecture Society International Students Society Juggling Society Marine Society Mature Students Society Mechanical Engineering Society Music Society Music by Degrees Society Photographic Society Poker Society Political Society Rec Leis Society Simon Community Society Simpsons Society SUAS CIT Society  Waterford IT:Accounting Society Architectural Society Art & Design Society Business Society Computer Society Construction Management Society Corporate Administration Engineering Society Hospitality Society Law Society Science Society Social Care Chinese Students society Christian Union Society Irish Traditional Music LGB Society Poetry & Prose Witless Gamers Sinn Fein Young Fianna Fail Young Fine Gael Young Progressive Democrats Labour Youth The Green PartyIT Carlow:Anime MangaArt SocietyBest Buddies SocietyCara SocietyCeltic Supporters SocietyChess SocietyComputer SocietyDJ SocietyDrama SocietyFolk GroupFundraising SocietyGaisce Horse Racing SocietyLGB SocietyMusic SocietyNetworkingPaintball SocietyPoker SocietyPhotography SocietySign Language SocietySong Writing SocietyTravel SocietyDundalk IT:AstroSocChessChinese Student SocietyChristian UnionCommunity Sports LeadershipDebating Society DJ Club Drama Society Environmental SocietyFrench SocietyFilm SocietyGaming Society (Console) Gaming Society (PC)GLBTGo Karting ClubGreen PartyInternational Students SocietyIrish DancingMacra na FeirmeMature Students SocietyMeitheal Society (Electronics)Music SocietyNETSOCOgra Sinn FeinOvercomePhotographic SocietyRadio SocietyRPG Society (Role Play)Traditional Irish Music SocietyIT Tralee:ArtCatering Civil EngineeringCumman GaelachDebatingDramaEnvironmental Film GNTInstitute ChoirInstitute RadioMarketing & BusinessMature StudentsMusicMentoringPolitical Science Young Agricultural EngineersLetterkenny IT:Astronomy Canoe Club Film Club Gaisce Hill-walking Law LGBT Photography Sailing Scuba Club Surf Club Motor Club Young Fine GaelLIT:Outdoor ClubTae Kwon DoGaming and Sci-Fi SocietyIT Tallaght:Adventure Club Aerobics/Circuit Classes Angling Athletic Club Badminton Basketball Boxing Charities Chess Society Computer Society Cumann na Gaeilge Cycling Club Dance Debating Society DJ Society Drama Society Freestyle GAA Club Golf Society Hockey Club Irish/Erasmus Cultural Society Karting KickBoxing Club Kitesurfing Club LGB Society Mature Students Society Paintball Club Pilates Pool and Snooker Club Racing Supporters Society Referees Society Rugby Society Sailing Club Snow Society Soccer Surf Club Swimming & Waterpolo Club Taekwon-Do Society Table Tennis Club Tennis Volleyball ClubIADT:Electronic Music Soccer Cabaret Free Running Film Table Tennis Break-Dance Martial Arts Acting Rambling Mature Students GAA LGBT Hockey Surfing Texas Hold’Em JugglingGMIT: Music Soc Archery club Heritage Soc Rugby Club GAA Club LGB Soc Drama Soc Cricket Club Ladies Soccer Club Colleges evolve and expand their list of societies all the time; if you know of any developments don't keep them to yourself! Let me know by emailing me at nicola@learningireland. ie 2008-04-22 Surf's Up! Each month we feature a type of society for you to daydream about; this April we focus our thoughts on the wonderful world of water. . . Isn’t the surf scene in Ireland like totally cool? Go on admit it; everyone who slagged the ‘wannabe dudes’ in the Denny’s ad secretly dreamed of doing the same; making the commitment to grow your hair into long flowing locks (and that’s just the boys)and point your boards in the direction of  west Clare…College societies have provided for the growing popularity of the sport; DBS and Trinity are just two colleges that boast dedicated surf clubs which plan various trips during the year. Most surf societies consist of both amateur and experienced surfers so your level of inexperience won't be held against you!Surf societies can also encompass other water sports; such as kite-surfing, wind-surfing and canoeing. Joining one can have vast benefits; it’s a great way to get fit, meet people and learn a new skill; the best societies go on at least one surf trip during the academic year that are notorious for the copious amounts of fun that are had by all who go. . .   If all that isn't enough keep in mind the ultra-cool gear; you’ll be able to wear your board shorts with pride this summer! And, for the girls, the possibility of finding your very own Kelly Slater should have you sprinting to the next meeting. . . whatever your reasons; crazy or otherwise,  enjoy! 2008-04-22 Funding for Disabled Students The best things in life may be free but this optimism does not, unfortunately, extend to third level education. The burden of financing a college career is a heavy one and thankfully there are a number of options available to lighten the load…Have a look to see if any can be of assistance to you. . . European Social Fund (ESF) for Students with a DisabilityThis fund is administered by the National Access Office on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. It’s available to both undergraduate and postgraduate disable students. The fund intends to cover educational support expenses such as note-takers or personal assistants, etc; it is not available for spending on medical or book costs. Any equipment provided under the fund remains the property of the 3rd Level Institution. To apply you should contact your Disability/Access Officer in your college. Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)The BTEA is provided by the Department of Social and Family Affairs and is only available to those over the age of 21 who are in receipt of disability benefitIt includes payment of full-time education; as well as higher diploma and a postgraduate diploma in primary education. The current rate given is €94. 20 per week; this amount is subject to budget increases so it can fluctuate; there is also a one-off payment of €254 for books. Disability AllowanceThis is allocated on a weekly basis; and is given on the basis of income being below a certain level. Potential applicants must be between 16 and 66; and be subject to a medical and means test. The maximum rate (also affected by budget increases) is €108. 56. Student Assistance FundThis is delegated by the Department of Education and Science under the HEA; you should contact your Disability/Access Officer to make an application. Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship FundThis scholarship is supplied by the NCI on behalf of Bank of Ireland; and will continue to be given on a yearly basis until 2010. It awards up to 60 scholarships a year to 3rd level students. It’s not solely intended for those with a disability; it’s also administered to those suffering from economic or financial hardship. Awards can be up to €5, 000 and can be used to contribute to education and living expenses. Higher Education Grants for 3rd LevelAgain, these are not specifically for those with disabilities. They are allocated by the local authorities and financed by the Department of Education and Science. They are disposed of through the use of means testing; i. e. it depends on the distance you live from the college in question; the amount given varies if you live within/outside a 15 mile radius. The grant provides for full fees payment and a maintenance allowance in addition to a one-off awards for those who receive under €13, 760 in income support annually. 2008-04-17 College Assistance & Support Entering college is a scary and complicated step for anyone; and if you've got a disability this adds to the daunting world of third level education. We're here to show you how accessible it can be and how continuous developments are improving college environments so that getting the education you deserve is well within your reach. Read on for all the information you need. . . What do I need to find out?1/ If you have a disability you should make contact with the necessary officers in the college as early as possible; Universities have Disability Officers and most other colleges have Access Officers to deal with all your queries. 2/ Doing this will ensure that you will give the institution an acceptable amount of time to make any necessary provisions; such as organising extra examination time for you. 3/ You need to provide the officer with medical evidence of your disability. 4/ Investigate as much as possible with regards to the support available within the specific college; guaranteeing that you will receive the benefits provided for you. 5/ Find out if the college has an alternative admissions system; i. e. not CAO. 6/ The funding support available in the college. 7/ What documentation do you need to avail of funding; e. g. medical evidence. 8/ What kinds of educational support are available in the college; such as tutors or note-takers; etc. 9/ If you have mobile difficulties how is the access in the college; ramps etc.  Are all areas accessible?All these points can be clarified by the Disability or Access Services in the college of your choiceWhat exactly is the Disability/Access Service?1/ It acts as a 'middle-man' between the student and other faculties such as administration or accommodation. 2/ It's role is to ensure disabled students can participate fully in the everyday life of the college; a fully inclusive learning environment is the aim. 3/ Provides information for students on educational support; and also arranges it. 4/ Assists in the applications for funding. 5/ Organises the necessary support for exams. 6/ Is a beacon of on-going training/support. 7/ It focuses on developing college policies and procedures; promoting awareness and training programmes to staff is key. They also employ strong links with external disability organisations. Anything else?1/ Most services require a written confirmation of your disability from a recognised practitioner. 2/ Do so as early as possible to ensure full benefit of services offered. 3/ While you are under no obligation to disclose a disability; not doing so may hinder your development in the college; if you do choose to highlight it on your CAO form then you will receive a greater level of support. 4/ If a student doesn't disclose a disability it makes it difficult or impossible for the college to facilitate properly for them. Standard vs. non-standard entry?Standard entry refers to the scenario when you obtain or expect to obtain the necessary Leaving Certificate points for a course; and qualify for a place in it as a result. Non-standard entry applies when you feel you cannot compete equally in the Leaving Cert due to your disability or specific learning disability. If as a result you don’t fulfil necessary admission criteria or don’t believe you will then the Supplementary Information Form (SIF) provides for this. The SIF is sent to those who highlight their disability on the CAO form; it provides potential students with an opportunity to highlight the support that they may need and apply for a number of Higher Education Institutions that give non-standard entry routes. The criterion considered typically consists of a number of factors including your overall academic achievements and the impact of your disability on your academic performance; which is evaluated by your personal statement and your principal's report. Successful applicants of this non-standard route are notified through the first and second round of the CAO. 2008-04-16 Sports Scholarships The number of sports scholarships is increasing steadily in higher education institutions throughout Ireland. School leavers who excel at sport (avid Sky Sports viewers and tiddlywinks champs not included) and wish to continue training and playing at a serious level during their third level education have many options to consider when making their CAO application. All institutes of technology and universities now provide a form of sports scholarship. Student support services available to scholars vary widely – some institutions provide a bursary (financial support) alone, while other scholarships include supports such as accommodation, travel costs, personal coaching, nutritional advice and physiological assessment, as well as the money. Prospective students are well advised to contact the respective sports departments of the institutions that interest them, and inquire as to what exactly is provided to the student through the scholarship. Application for most scholarships is done after the student has landed a place in the college through the standard CAO process. Increasingly however, in a reflection of the growing regard for sporting success in Irish higher education, in limited cases students are not assessed solely by their CAO points tally alone, but by sporting achievement also in applying for a scholarship. NUI Maynooth, DCU (Elite Sportspersons Entry Scheme), UCD (for the Sports Management Diploma only) and the Waterford Institute of Technology are four institutions that offer limited places in this concessionary manner to the most talented athletes. The Elite Sportsperson’s Entry Scheme in DCU offers a number of scholarships, valued at up to €10, 000 each, to parties who are interested in any DCU undergraduate course. This direct entry programme (i. e. outside the CAO process) is designed to cater for top athletes whose CAO points tally may have suffered due to intense training commitments. Traditionally, the most gifted Irish sportspeople, such as former world champion runner Eamonn Coghlan and Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delaney, had to travel to American colleges to avail of a scholarship. With Irish colleges at last coming round to the idea that investment in sport is a win-win situation – excellent publicity for the institution and greater sports facilities for the student population – Irish athletes need no longer cross the Atlantic in such numbers. They can pursue their sporting dreams and simultaneously attain qualifications for a career (inside or outside the realm of sport and fitness) in an Irish setting.   Case StudyDiarmuid Fitzgerald has been a regular for the Tipperary senior hurling team since 2004. A pupil of gaelscoil Coláiste Phobail Ros Cré, Diarmuid enrolled in a physiotherapy degree in UCD in 2001, and is halfway through a PhD that he began after graduating in 2005. He discovered the sports scholarship option on the UCD website and applied online. Unfortunately Diarmuid failed in the first year of his degree to get in, but was granted a scholarship in second year, and has been a hurling scholar ever since.   The scholarship has been a “great boost” to his hurling career, reflected by the fact he was awarded a Munster All-Star in 2005.   “The standard of training is very good. There are great facilities here and they’re improving the whole time – even at the moment UCD are building a full-size astro pitch (an all-weather synthetic surface) and that will be fantastic for winter training, ” says Diarmuid. Occasionally however, he has found it difficult to fit in both educational and sporting activities. Diarmuid has missed practicals due to playing away matches in places such as Galway, and he and his fellow scholars feel the pressure from their respective dept heads; “Some departments come down fairly firmly on this, in that you can’t miss practicals full-stop, but I think the relationship is starting to improve. ”Ultimately, the intensive training is a boon to the academic work – “the sport and training is great for getting a break from studying the books, it’s brilliant to let off a bit of steam when you’re studying like mad!” Indeed, most sporting scholars tend to more than make up for the odd missed class by succeeding academically also. It is well-known in educational circles that the average athlete’s skillset of self-discipline, strong time management and a hunger to succeed are all very useful when it comes to the course work. Diarmuid’s pursuit of a PhD is a good indicator of this trend. The sports scholarship allows top athletes to maintain a strong commitment to their sport during their stint in higher education. ”Any of the lads - I’d be friendly with them still – the likes of Stephen Lucey in Limerick, Brendan Murphy in Offaly, these guys who have been through the scholarship system are all still playing at a very high level. I’m sure the rugby, football and athletics people are like that as well. The scholarship has allowed us to train as is required I suppose, in that, some people who are not on the scholarship scheme have to get a part-time job, they’re under pressure for time. That’s the big thing the scholarship allows you – all the time to train that you need. ” 2008-02-27 Student Societies Going to college is not just about studying. It is a time to broaden your horizons, meet many new and interesting people, and grow in independence and maturity. One way of doing this is to join a student society or club. There is usually a great deal of choice in the kind of societies and clubs you can belong to – from philosophical and debating societies to comedy, wine-tasting, and jazz societies. So have a look through this section to see what's on offer. . . 2008-02-05 Your Guide To Scholarships Colleges tend to be generous in rewarding ability and achievement; be it on the field or in the classroom. Have a look through the scholarships available in each and then use the email addresses provided to announce that you are their perfect candidate; happy hunting!Trinity College Dublin awards several scholarships to undergraduate students each year, including sporting and departmental scholarships. Sporting scholarships – a number of sporting scholarships are granted to applicants of outstanding sporting ability who wish to represent the university in their chosen sport. Applicants are also required to demonstrate an ability to compete at both national and international level. The scholarship provides successful applicants with a monitory grant as well as fitness training, coaching and expertise. Departmental scholarships/foundation scholarships – these scholarships are usually awarded annually on the basis of an examination held at the end of the second term. Scholars are entitled to free tuition, free accommodation, and free evening meals in term time for up to five years.  For more information email sport@tcd. ieUniversity College Dublin awards a wide range of scholarships every year. Some are based on academic achievement while others acknowledge sporting or artistic talent, and some are also used specifically to encourage students who may not otherwise attend university. Scholarships offered include:UCD Entrance Exhibition is awarded to first-year students who attain at least 540 points in the Leaving Certificate. UCD Entrance Scholarships are awarded to top incoming students for each degree programme across the university. The awards are granted on the basis of points achieved in the Leaving Certificate. The Bank of Ireland/UCD Scholarship Scheme enables members of minority ethnic groups from outside the EU who are now resident in Ireland with the chance of gaining a scholarship valued at up to €5000 per year for the duration of the degree programme. There are a minimum of 4 scholarships being awarded for 2008 entrants. UCD Sports Scholarships are awarded to applicants of outstanding sporting ability. The objective of these scholarships is to help sports scholars to advance their sporting career. Benefits of the scholarship include: training and coaching, sports medicine, free tuition, and financial aid with maintenance, books, equipment, and travel to and from both national and international sports competitions. UCD Scéim Chónaithe Ghaeilge – UCD Irish Language Student Research Scheme awards 16 scholarships to fluent Irish speakers which allows them to live in the Irish-speaking student residences on campus and which pays half the cost of their accommodation. Applicants should have a strong commitment to the active promotion of the Irish language. UCD Choral Scholars – 16 scholarships are awarded at 3 different levels each year to musically-gifted applicants. UCD Symphony Orchestra Scholarship – a number of scholarships are awarded each year to musically-gifted applicants. For more information contact ciaran. crilly@ucd. ie NUI Galway provides a range of scholarships, which include the following:Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students with the highest Leaving Certificate points each year with the exception of medical students. The value of these scholarships is €1, 525. Gaeltacht Scholarships Roinn Oideachais ScholarshipsJames Massey Keegan Scholarships (for competition among Mayo students only)Sports ScholarshipsContact admissions@nuigalway. ie for information. NUI Maynooth offers a number of scholarships, which include the following:Entrance Scholarships of €1, 000 are awarded to each first-year student who achieves a minimum of 500 points in the Leaving Certificate. Michael Osborne Equine Business Scholarships - a number of scholarships are awarded annually which are jointly sponsored by NUI Maynooth and Horse Racing Ireland. The scholarships are tenable for three-year courses and are awarded on the basis of the Leaving Certificate performance (with the exception of one put aside for mature students). Sports Scholarships which include:GAA Sports awards scholarships to talented individuals in Gaelic games. The scholarships are sponsored by MBNA/Bank of America and the Leinster GAA council. Applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of performance in one of the following sports: hurling, Gaelic football, camogie, or ladies’ football. Rugby scholarships are awarded to players of outstanding ability. The scholarships work as a contract signing the successful scholars to Barnhall RFC firsts as well as a commitment to NUI Maynooth for games and training. Swimming scholarships are also awarded to exceptionally talented applicants. Training in the National Aquatic Centre for up to 22 hours weekly will be required as part of the conditions of the scholarship. Golf scholarships offer a structured golf programme. Applicants should hold a handicap of +1 or better for men and 3 or better for women, and should apply to NUI Maynooth through the CAO. NUI Maynooth offers the only snooker scholarship in the world. Co-funded by NUI Maynooth Snooker Club and Republic of Ireland Billiards and Snooker Association (RIBSA), it provides successful candidates with professional coaching and a bursary. In addition, NUI Maynooth also awards one scholarship of €2000 to a disabled person and one undergraduate music scholarship of €2000 annually. Contact admissions@nuim. ie Dublin City University offers a number of sports scholarships under the DCU Elite Athlete Development Programme which awards successful candidates with up to a maximum of €3, 000 in athlete support services. The scholarships are awarded at one of three levels: elite, development I, and development II, depending on the individual’s ability and potential. Contact sport. recreation@dcu. ie University of Limerick provides a number of scholarships:Paddy Dooley Rowing Club Scholarships are awarded to rowers of exceptional ability. Successful candidates are awarded €1, 000 per annum for four years. Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholars Trust has been established to assist both students of exceptional academic ability and students facing difficulty which may interfere with them reaching their full potential. GAA Scholarships – Munster Council of GAA and the University of Limerick award 12 new bursaries each year to students registered for bachelor degrees at UL. They are valued at €500 per year. UL Bohemians Rugby Academy Bursaries – 4 bursaries are awarded each year with a value ranging from €500 to €2, 300 depending on the ability and performance of the individual. AIB Best Student Award – a bursary of €500 is awarded annually to the student with the highest Leaving Cert points entering onto any of the following programmes:LM050 Business StudiesLM052 Business Studies with FrenchLM053 Business Studies with GermanLM055 Business Studies with JapaneseEdith and Leslie Downer Entrance Scholarship – a scholarship, tenable for one year, is awarded to the best student entering one of the following programmes:BSc Nursing (General)BSc Nursing (Mental Health)BSc Nursing (Intellectual Disability)Foley Scholarship – the National Building Agency (NBA) in consultation with the Royal Institute of Architects (RIAI) has extended its Foley scholarship scheme to include UL Architecture students. Students must come from an economically or socially disadvantaged background. SOCs Bursary – female students, registered for a BA in history, politics, sociology, and social studies at UL, are considered for the SOCs bursary on the basis of their Leaving Certificate performance. Two bursaries valued at €1, 500 for one year are awarded annually. Women in Engineering Bursary (WEB) – first-year female students registered for engineering degree programmes at UL are eligible for this bursary. Four bursaries valued at €500 are awarded based on the highest Leaving Certificate points achieved by female students entering onto an engineering degree programme. Contact int. ed@ul. ie Many of the Institutes of Technology also offer scholarships. Some of these are listed below:Galway-Mayo IT provides sports and culture scholarships and entrance scholarships to the students with the highest Leaving Certificate points. Contact teresa. hanley@gmit. ie   Dublin IT provides sports scholarships to candidates demonstrating outstanding sporting ability and who have the potential to combine an academic course with excellence in sport. Contact admissions@dit. ie IT Tralee offers a number of annual scholarship programmes including the following:Sports scholarshipsLee Strand Mens’ Gaelic Football ScholarshipsMunster Council BursaryKennedy Coaches Gaelic Football ScholarshipsIIT Governing Body Scholarships (eligible applicants must submit an outstanding proposed project which is then evaluated by an external panel)Muckross House Bursary (for students of BA (Hons) in Folk Theatre)Tralee Credit Union Ltd Scholarships (sponsors a student of BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care). Contact Patrick. McGarty@ittralee. ie IT Sligo offers sports scholarships to students of outstanding sporting ability. Contact mailto:info@itsligo. ie Waterford IT provides a number of sports scholarships. It is a condition of all scholarships that all recipients play an active role in the WIT sports club for which they receive the scholarship. WIT scholarships are available at 3 levels: gold, silver, and bronze depending on the ability and potential of the individual. The awards vary in value from €3, 000 to €8, 000.  A number of sport-specific scholarships are also offered at WIT:GAA Scholarships – Munster Council part-fund a number of GAA scholarships. Soccer Scholarships – Waterford United and the Football Association of Ireland part-fund a number of soccer scholarships. A condition of this scholarship is that the recipients must play for both Waterford United and Waterford IT. Rugby Scholarships – Waterford Rugby Club part-fund a number of rugby scholarships. A condition of this scholarship is that the recipients must play for both Waterpark and Waterford IT. Contact info@wit. ie IT Blanchardstown offers sports scholarships to students demonstrating outstanding sporting ability and potential.   Contact geraldine. barry@itb. ie for more details.   2008-01-28 Going To College Going to college can be a life-altering experience and in recent years it has become increasingly more common for school-leavers to go on to college or university. As your child gears towards leaving his/her school days behind, s/he will have to decide whether or not to go on to third level education. For those who are fully set on the idea of going to college or university it is essential that they give plenty of thought to the subject and course of study they wish to pursue as well as the college or university they would like to attend. Your job is to go through all the options with them and be there to offer support and encouragement. Firstly, your child will need to decide where to study. There are three main options available for students wishing to undertake a full-time degree in Ireland: they can either study at a university, an Institute of Technology, or at a private college. Universities traditionally sit at the top of the education system. They are third level educational institutions granting academic degrees in a variety of subjects. There are seven Universities in Ireland, three in Dublin and one each in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Maynooth. A university degree is still highly regarded amongst employers with graduates tending to earn higher salaries and having a wider range of career prospects than those without degrees. There are also fourteen Institutes of Technology (ITs) in Ireland which offer qualifications including certificates, ordinary and honours degrees, and the educational component of many apprenticeship and craft programmes. There is a huge range of subjects available at the Institutes of Technology. Traditionally, the IT sector has offered courses in practical subjects such as technology, engineering and science. There is still a definite focus on these areas, but there is also a new concentration on other subjects such as business studies, humanities, languages, media studies, healthcare, art & design, tourism and leisure. Students aspiring for a career in these areas might decide to aim for the more practical focus at ITs over the more academic focus of a university. While the standard of an IT education has improved immensely in recent years, some careers, such as law and medicine, still require the applicant to hold a university degree. Also, less career-focused subjects, such as classics or history of art, may not be available for study at an IT. Generally, however, there has been a convergence between the universities and ITs and in many areas they offer quite similar programmes of study. ITs are spread throughout the country, meaning that there is one within commuting distance of most people’s homes. This can be a huge advantage to students who lack the financial funds to move out, or who prefer to stay at home for other reasons. Irish citizens do not need to pay tuition fees at ITs and universities in Ireland. Private colleges in Ireland differ from universities and ITs in two main ways: the government does not pay for student tuition fees, and not all of the courses are validated by the Irish authorities. Students who choose to attend a private college in Ireland have to pay their own tuition fees which usually cost between €3, 000 and €5, 000 per annum with most courses lasting three years in total. Most of the courses in private colleges in Ireland are accredited by UK universities, professional associations and some are accredited by HETAC. It is a good idea for all students wishing to apply for entry onto a course at a private college to check beforehand that the course is fully accredited and recognised. Entry onto courses at private colleges is generally easier than ITs and universities because they require fewer points and often only a pass at Leaving Cert is needed. It is also possible to gain direct entry onto the courses without going through the CAO (Central Applications Office). Private colleges tend to offer courses specialising in business, law and media studies. 2008-01-17 Transition Year Not everyone decides to go straight onto the Leaving Cert following the completion of the Junior Cert. Some students feel like they need a gap between going from one set of exams straight onto another, while others feel like an extra year between Junior Cert and Leaving Cert is ideal for gaining crucial work experience and learning new skills to help them in their personal and professional lives. Transition year gives students the opportunity to do this. Though it is not a compulsory year, used well it can be of great benefit to students. However, it is an option that should be thought about carefully. You can help your child make an informed decision about whether to take a transition year or not by discussing their reasons for doing it and what they hope to achieve from doing it. Encourage your child to seek advice from teachers and past transition year students. There are pros and cons of doing a transition year and some students are more suited to doing it than others. For example, a child who responds better to practical, hands-on education rather than classroom-based teaching methods may well get a lot more out of doing a transition year than going straight onto the Leaving Cert. As a parent you should talk through the options with your child and try to understand their reasons for opting for or against it. Below you will find information about the purpose of transition year programmes. What is Transition Year?The transition year is designed to help students develop not just on an educational level but also on a personal, social and vocational level. The transition year option has been available since 1992 and was introduced as a means to provide students with an education for maturity – in other words, it was designed to help students develop as individuals and acquire the problem-solving, critical thinking and life skills necessary for adult life. It aims to help develop self-reliant and independent learning skills that can be applied to both study and work. Transition year encourages students to develop personally and socially and grow in independence with more awareness of the world outside of school. Team projects working within the community or carrying out environmental field work, for example, help students to grow in awareness of these issues. Transition year focuses on the practical teaching of subjects to provide students with  transferable and usable skills such as learning a language from the angle of ‘getting by’ in a foreign country or learning about business by actually setting up and running a small business, a project that is frequently undertaken in many transition year programmes. Transition year programmes also focus on personal development and how students relate to and communicate with others. The emphasis is on building healthy relationships and an appreciation of others. A big part of the transition year centres around preparing students for adult life and their careers – from preparing students to write a good CV to developing their skills in teamwork, communication, planning, organisation and time management. Transition Year usually gives students ample opportunity to gain useful and worthwhile work placements too in areas as varied as hospitals, schools, offices, prisons, government offices, radio stations, carpentry, sales, and hairdressing. Many transition year programmes also implement a scheme of community placements which involves helping the disabled, elderly, and disadvantaged in the community. This can be a rewarding, challenging and very insightful experience which enables students to use their people skills to the full. Many schools also operate a system of having visitors come in to talk to transition year students. These people are usually from a diverse range of career backgrounds and they offer advice to students about getting into their career industry. Not only does the transition year help students learn new skills and develop an independent approach to learning, it also provides them with an extra year to think carefully about which leaving cert subjects they want to pursue. 2008-01-17 Leaving Cert Options Choosing which subjects to study for the Leaving Cert can be difficult for students and they will need as much support as possible when making their decisions. Most students take the Leaving Certificate Established and usually study a minimum of six subjects with Irish, maths and English generally being compulsory. It is important for students to think through their subject options very carefully and seek advice from teachers and past students as their choices could mean the difference between getting into college or not. Though it is important for students to choose subjects they like and enjoy, it is also crucial that they choose subjects that they can excel in and which are appropriate for their intended future studies or career. After all, some Leaving Certificate subjects may be a requirement for entering onto third level courses. For example, those wishing to study engineering, technology, IT or another related discipline at university will need a Leaving Certificate in higher level maths. Similarly, most science subject courses at third level require applicants to have studied at least one honours science subject at Leaving Certificate level. More specialised disciplines such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science require candidates to take at least two honours science subjects at Leaving Certificate level. Thus, it is vital that each student chooses the right subjects for them as their choices could affect their future academic and career paths. You can help by researching the available options with them. The following subject options are readily available for the Leaving Cert Established: Applied MathsFrenchGermanSpanishItalianRussianJapaneseArabicLatinAncient GreekClassical StudiesHebrew StudiesHistoryGeographyPhysicsChemistryBiologyPhysics and ChemistryAgricultural ScienceHome EconomicsBusinessAccountingEconomicsArtMusicReligious EducationConstruction StudiesTechnical DrawingAgricultural EconomicsTechnologyDesign and Communication GraphicsStudents can choose to take the Leaving Cert Established at higher or ordinary level. Taking the ordinary level in subjects that they find particularly taxing and difficult can be a good idea but it is important to think this option through carefully as the ordinary level exams are worth less points. The number of points required for third level entry is very competitive and so the more points a student gains the better their position. Some courses also specify the need for higher level honours in certain subjects and it is sometimes a prerequisite for entry onto certain courses so it is vital to check this before it is too late. Students who have great difficulty in Maths and Irish and are struggling to gain a pass even at ordinary level have the added option of taking a foundation paper in these two subjects, although again they are worth fewer points. A breakdown of the points at higher and ordinary level awarded for Leaving Cert grades is outlined below: Grade     Higher Level   Lower LevelA1                  100                   60A2                    90                   50B1                    85                  45B2                    80                  40B3                    75                  35C1                    70                  30C2                    65                  25C3                    60                  20D1                    55                  15D2                    50                  10D3                    45                    5  There are also two Leaving Cert alternative programmes to the Leaving Cert Established: the Leaving Cert Applied and the Leaving Cert Vocational. Both of these programmes focus more on preparing the individual for the workplace but they are still acceptable routes into third level education too so it is well worth investigating this option. Furthermore, if your child has their heart set on a career in a more vocational sector one of these programmes could be of more use and benefit to them than the Leaving Cert Established. The Leaving Cert Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Cert programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life by developing their personal responsibilities and self-knowledge. Courses offered are in three main areas: vocational preparation (includes work experience), general education (includes life skills, the arts, social education, and language), and vocational education. The Leaving Cert Applied is continuously assessed throughout the course and culminates with an examination that covers the following areas: English and communication, 2 vocational specialisms, mathematical applications, language, social education. The certificates awarded are pass, merit and distinction. A pass counts for between 120 and 139 credits; a merit counts for between 140 and 169 credits; and a distinction is the equivalent of between 170 and 200 credits. The Leaving Cert Vocational combines Leaving Cert subjects with a strong vocational aspect which includes three compulsory modules on enterprise education, preparation for work, and work experience. Students are required to take at least five subjects which must include Irish and a continental language or a vocational language module. Universities and colleges recognise the link modules in addition to the Leaving Cert subjects and the modules are awarded a pass, merit or distinction. A pass is worth 30 points; a merit is worth 50 points; and a distinction is worth 70 points. 2008-01-17 Helping Your Child Study There are many ways for parents to help their children with their studies. Firstly, it is important to be aware of what they are studying and how many hours they should be spending per subject on their homework per evening. If you have any concerns about this you can always consult their teachers for advice. You should encourage them to study by providing a quiet and clear study space. Homework, coursework, revision and exam preparation can all be stressful so it is important that you are there to offer support in any way you can – from being a shoulder to lean on to supplying them with regular cups of tea! You should also make sure that they take plenty of breaks away from studying so that they don’t overdo it. Every revision session should be followed by a break away from the books. For example, a two-hour revision session might be rewarded by a 30-minute brisk walk, a power nap, or a tea and chocolate break. 2008-01-17 CAO Application Process When applying for entry onto a third-level course at any of the universities, colleges or ITs students need to do it through the CAO. Applicants can apply on either a written or online form. The CAO application is relatively straightforward but it is important to pay attention to the guidelines and meet the deadlines. As a parent you should maybe take the role of checking over the forms once your child has completed them, just to ‘double-check’ they have filled everything in correctly and done exactly what is required. The most important part of the form is the Course Choices section. Each category has ten spaces for course choices and it is recommended that applicants fill in all ten spaces on each list in order of course preference. The point of this is so that in August, following the release of the Leaving Cert results, students wishing to gain a place at a third-level college, IT or university may be offered a place on a course they want and which they have earned enough points to do.  For those students who do not get enough points in their Leaving Cert to get onto a course they want there are still a few alternative options. Some decide to do a FETAC course which can lead them onto a degree programme at a university, college or IT the following year. Another common option is to repeat the Leaving Cert. More than 3, 000 students repeat the Leaving Cert every year. The majority of these students repeat because they are unhappy with the results they gained the first time around, and feel they can do better. 2008-01-17 Maintenance Grants Although not everybody is eligible for a Higher Education Grant it is advisable that all students apply as they may be entitled to receive some payment. Whether a student is entitled to a full or partial grant depends by and large on your combined annual income as parents. The distance a student lives from the institution is also considered a factor in determining the amount awarded to them. Forms and conditions are available from your local authority. The closing date is August 31st, so students generally submit their form before they are sure of their college place. The form is considerably detailed and asks a lot of questions – including a section for parents to complete asking for details about your income and earnings. 2008-01-17 Going To College - Student Services Moving away from home for the first time can be a daunting prospect for any student but often it is their parents who find it more frightening! It is a rite of passage that many parents dread: waving goodbye to their children and saying hello to fully-fledged adults. Of course, students aren’t as fully-fledged as they would like their parents to believe: they’ll be back as often as possible with an overflowing bag of laundry and in need of a good, wholesome feed not to mention cash handouts!As they leave home and head off to college it is only natural that you will worry about everything from where they’re going to live to whether there’s a doctor’s surgery nearby and how they’re going to manage their finances. Luckily, colleges and universities think about this too and offer numerous services for students to help make the transition from living at home to living away that much easier. Typical services and support offered at most universities, ITs and c