Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Peter LaComber from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Peter LaComber

Consulting Engineer

CRH plc

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  Peter LaComber
Skills - organisation and attention to detail Interests - all things technical Education - basic engineering foundation course (degree or similar)

The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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College Profile

UCD School of Mathematical Science

UCD School of Mathematical Science

UCD School of Mathematical Science Organisation Profile College Profile

Contact details:
Contact Name:
Main Contact.
University College Dublin
Dublin 4

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What are the different (undergraduate entry) courses run by this department?
The direct entry programmes offered by the school are Actuarial and Financial Studies (DN230), Climate and Earth Science (DN200 MPS) and Mathematical Science (DN200 MPS). We also have a large input into Theoretical Physics (DN200 MPS) and Economics and Finance (DN671). However many of our students enter UCD via an undenominated programme such as Science (DN200) or Arts (DN500), find themselves attracted to the courses we offer, and then go on to major in mathematics, statistics or applied and computational mathematics.

What facilities does the department have to support these courses?
The most important “support facility” for students is the staff within the school- whether a student needs help, advice or a challenge, we're there to provide it. But even our professors can't do some computations as quickly as a computer and within the school we have two computer labs equipped with all the software needed for tasks ranging from typesetting equations to analysing the massive amounts of data generated by a mathematical model of the internet or the atmosphere.

What connections does the department have with Industry?
The four year Actuarial degree has a one-semester work placement scheme. All our other contacts are informal.

How many students do you accept each year on these courses?
It depends. We take about forty first year students each year for Actuarial and Financial Studies, about 10-15 for Mathematical Science and about 40 enter Economics and Finance. In addition, each year around 60 students take first year courses in Mathematical studies and Statistics through the undenominated Science or Arts programmes.

What particular attributes are required by students taking these courses?
The different courses we offer will appeal to different people but if there is one attribute that is common to all successful students in the School of Mathematical Sciences then it is an interest in problem solving. The mathematical sciences are not about learning formulae or filling in numbers by rote, but rather about learning the analytical skills needed to tackle new problems in the real world.

Where did last years graduates go?
The value of a degree in the mathematical sciences is not in the knowledge learned, but in the transferable skills acquired (although there are exceptions to this, such as our degree in actuarial science where specific knowledge is crucial to the profession). These skills include a logical and analytic approach in solving all manner of problems. Thus our graduates have a unique versatility that is much sought after by employers. This is reflected in career paths which cover the full spectrum of business, information technology, finance, research and development, engineering and science.

Why should students choose the School of Mathematical Sciences in UCD?
We offer a wide spectrum of courses with flexibility to choose modules tailored to your individual interest. Additional help for our courses is provided by a well-equipped mathematics support centre. We have an enthusiastic and committed teaching staff with a strong international research reputation.

Why should students choose UCD?
Variety, location, good atmosphere, great social, sporting and cultural facilities. Excellent student on-campus accommodation.

  UCD School of Mathematical Science

CAO Course Details 4
DN230 - Actuarial and Financial Studies
DN200 MPG - Science - (Mathematical, Physical and Geological Sciences)
DN200 NPF - Science
DN500 - Arts - Mathematics