Implications of Subject Choice
Mary O’Callaghan
Guidance Counsellor
Subject Choice
• Important decision for each student
• Concept of a job for life is virtually gone
• Increasing demands on employees for flexibility
and productivity
• Rapidly changing workplace
Which subjects should they
choose?
• Subject choice is not as complicated as
people think
• Not many courses have specific
requirements
• Which subjects will they need?
• Which subjects are they most interested in?
• What is your child good at?
• Encourage discussion
New National Framework of
Qualifications
• Why? – Compare qualifications
internationally/job mobility
• Levels 1 –10
• Leaving Cert = Level 5
Higher Cert = Level 6 (2 years)
Ordinary Degree = Level 7 (3 years)
Honours Degree = Level 8 (3/4 years)
Requirements for college
• General Matriculation Requirements
• Subject requirements
• Points
General Matriculation
Requirements
• Six subjects for Level 8 Degree, 2 or 3 at Honours
level
• Five subjects at Ordinary level for Higher
Certificate Level 6/Ordinary Degree Level 7 to
include Irish OR English AND Maths
NUI Universities
• National University of Ireland (NUI) colleges
University College Dublin
University College Cork
University College Galway
NUI Maynooth
Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin
National College of Art & Design, Dublin
Shannon College of Hotel Management
Milltown Institute of Theology & Philosophy
Institute of Public Administration
St Angela’s College, Sligo
require English, Irish and a third language
Exceptions
• If exempt from Irish or languages in school
• Engineering or Science courses
• Engineering, Agri-Food & Science courses at
UCD
• Nursing
• NCAD - Art accepted in lieu of language
Other Universities
• TCD & UL – Maths, English and Irish or a third
language. DCU – Maths and either English or
Irish
• IMPORTANT– Wide variety of Degree & other
courses available that do not require a third
language as long as you have Maths & English or
Irish
Course specific requirements
• Many Level 8 Engineering/Computer Science
Degrees need Higher Maths
• Language Courses require a specific Honours
grade in your chosen language
• Courses in Science, Medicine (this includes
Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Veterinary, Pharmacy,
etc.), Nursing, Architecture and some Engineering
courses require 1 or 2 sciences
• Honours Chemistry is required for Dietetics &
some Pharmacy & Medicine courses
Specific Subject Requirements
Most other courses have no
specific subject requirements
• Business subjects are not required for any
Business, Commerce or Accountancy courses
• Design & Communication Graphics is not an
essential requirement for Architecture,
Architectural Technician, Engineering or
Construction courses
• Art is not an essential subject for Art College, but
a portfolio is
Points System
• All subjects count equally for entry to Institutes of
Technology or University
• Points are calculated from the student’s six best
results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate,
maximum 600 points
• L.C.V.P. – 70 Distinction, 50 Merit, 30 Pass
• U.L. & D.I.T. award bonus points for Hons. Maths
• Entry given to highest points for competitive
courses
Points System - Grades
Honours Ordinary
A1
A2
B1
B2
B3
C1
C2
C3
D1
D2
D3
100
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
60
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
Summary
• Check any essential subjects on www.
qualifax.ie
• Choose subjects you like and enjoy
• Make a balanced choice e.g.
Irish, English, Maths, Language, Science +
2/3 other subjects
• Keep your options open
Options after leaving school
University
Institute of Technology
College of Further Education (FETAC)
Private College
Apprenticeship
Study overseas
Gap Year
Employment
Universities
• Level 8 Honours Degree – 3/4 years leading to a B.Commerce,
B.Arts., B.Science , B.Engineering
• NUI colleges – University College Dublin, University College Cork
University College Galway, NUI Maynooth, The Royal College of
Surgeons, National College of Art & Design, St. Angela’s Sligo
• University of Limerick
• University of Dublin (Trinity College)
• Dublin City University
• Study overseas
Institutes of Technology
• Offer a wide variety of courses at different levels:
– Higher Certificate Level 6 (2years)
– Ordinary Degree Level 7 (3 years)
– Honours Degree Level 8 (4 years)
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Athlone
Carlow
Dublin
Dun Laoghaire
Letterkenny
Sligo
Tralee
Blanchardstown
Cork
Dundalk
Galway
Limerick
Tallaght
Waterford
Further Education Courses
(FETAC)
• Full time courses - Bray, Dun Laoghaire, Sallynoggin
• Very practical – include work experience
• They have no points requirements and are based mainly on
interview
• Wide range of courses
• They can be:
– A qualification in their own right or for interests sake
– Can be used as a stepping stone to Higher Education (FETAC
LINKS SCHEME)
Apprenticeships
• 5 passes in Junior Certificate BUT much
better prospects with Leaving Certificate
• Need to find an employer/register with FAS
• 4 years phased on the job/college
Study Overseas
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Wider selection of courses
Courses in specialised/high points area
Helps to keep options open
Independence
Experience another culture
Fees
Research now & apply from 1st September
Career Guidance in East
Glendalough
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Opportunity to try out different subjects & gain work experience in 4th year
Aptitude Tests in 4th year – discover your strengths
Information evening on Subject Choice
40 min weekly Career class in 5th / 6th year
Introduction to the world of College and Work
Careers Project
Internet Research & Careers Library
Guest speakers from College & Business
Careers & College videos
College Open days
Applying to College
Interviewing techniques
Career interviews in 5th/6th year
ESRI/FAS Forecast to 2015
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Youth population will decline
Strong demand for higher level skills
Decline in traditional manufacturing
Growth in Information & Communications
Technology & Pharmaceuticals
• Increase in services sector, traded services
It is predicted that………
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A Job for life is gone
Up to 25 jobs in 5 different sectors
Demand for flexibility & productivity
Higher Education will give you better
career prospects
• Lifelong Learning – keep your skills up to
date
Skills Required for the 21st
century workplace
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Communication/Teamwork
Innovative/Entrepreneurial skills
Creative Problem solvers
Ability to acquire new skills quickly
Information Technology skills
Language Skills
Where will the jobs be?
6 out of every 10
jobs will be in Engineering, Science or
Technology related areas
Main Growth Sectors
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Information & Communications Technology
Engineering
Pharmaceuticals
Medical Technologies
Software
International Financial Services
Healthcare
Childcare – Early Childhood Education
Employment Opportunities
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Outsourcing – jobs in Logistics
Backoffice – design, sales & marketing
Ageing population – healthcare & pharmaceuticals
Software Development/ICT
Leisure, tourism & recreational
Built environment – surveying, environment &
auctioneering
• Financial services/Compliance officers
• Childcare
How can parents/guardians help?
• Help your son/daughter to keep all their options
open
• Encourage them to be pro-active in their research
• Plan for and attend college open days
(www.qualifax.ie - career events)
• Encourage discussion about careers among
siblings and friends
Resources
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www.curriculumonline.ie
www.qualifax.ie
www.careersportal.ie
www.cao.ie
www.ucas.com
www.prospects.ac.uk
www.skillsstrategy.ie
The World is Your Oyster!
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East Glendalough School