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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Dowling



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  Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Product Design

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Undergraduate awards typically reflect three to five years of study after secondary school and include Ordinary (Level 7) and Honours Bachelor Degrees and Higher Diplomas (Level 8's).

Undergraduate awards may be achieved directly or through a series of progression steps. Learners may choose to progress upwards from a Level 5 to a Level 6, Level 7 and finally a Level 8.

Undergraduate awards are awarded by the HETAC or Higher Education Institutes.

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3rd level Graduates are qualified for a wide range of occupations, and their education prepares them for roles involving specific skills, and for coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

Level on the National Framework of Qualifications
3 Years
Duration of course
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Summary... header image

The curriculum addresses all the stages and activities involved in the creation of a new product – from concept design to manufacture, prototyping to marketing encouraging the student to challenge conventions. 

The programme is delivered primarily within the design studio. Each year-group consistes typically of 30 students.

Coursework, essays and practical design projects are assessed at key points throughout the year. Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year.

Course Details header image


NCAD's Portfolio Brief and Application Guidelines for 2017 entry can be found here

From College Website...
AD212 - Product Design

From Qualifax...
AD212 - Product Design
Qualifax - The National Courses Database
DISCLAIMER: These links are to official sources of information for this course - we accept no responsibility for the information on them.

Entry Requirementsheader image

To view the Leaving Certificate minimum entry requirements for this course, Click Here [Source: Qualifax]

To view Mature Entry requirements, or alternative requirements, please visit Qualifax or the Colleges' website from the links available in the Course Details section above.

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This course will accept any QQI Level 5 or 6 Major Award as an entry requirement. Click on the link below to find PLC courses that also relate to this career sector. Note you can view more courses by adjusting the filters on the list page.

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Essential Module Requirements:
Five Distinctions + Portfolio + LCE Maths OC3 or better

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Details of the QQI scoring system and a points calculator can be found HERE

Career Progression header image

As a consequence of the range of skills acquired, Product Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them.

Designers often focus on a particular area, such as consumer electronics, furniture or medical equipment, but many of the product designer’s skills are transferable between projects and products. Graduates find employment within manufacturers and design consultancies, and have strong entrepreneurial skills which enable them to set up their own design companies, creating and producing products.


Related Coursesheader image

The following course suggestions also prepare for work in this Career Sector, and may suit people with similar Career Interests. They are from colleges in the same region, and might also be worth exploring. You can sort the list by Title or College by clicking on the column headings. You can Tag any of these courses from within the individual course pages.

Course Title College
Visual Merchandising & Display DIT 
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Creative Digital Media IT Tallaght 
Photography DIT 
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Design or Fine Art and Education NCAD 
Product Design NCAD 
Visual Culture NCAD 
Animation Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Photography Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Visual Communication Design Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Art Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Film and Television Production Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Cultural Enterprise Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Architecture UCD (NUI) 
Interior Design Griffith College. Dublin 
Design for Stage and Screen (Production Design) Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Arts - Music UCD (NUI) 
Timber Product Technology DIT 
Photography Griffith College. Dublin 
Interior Design Dublin Institute of Design 
Interior Design Griffith College. Dublin 
Creative Media Technologies Dun Laoghaire IADT 
3D Design, Modelmaking and Digital Arts Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Photographic Media Griffith College. Dublin 
Design for Stage and Screen (Costume Design) Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Design for Stage and Screen (Makeup Design) Dun Laoghaire IADT 
Architecture DIT 
Design Communications Griffith College. Dublin 
Structural Engineering With Architecture UCD (NUI) 
Common Entry into Engineering (Undenominated Entry) DCU 
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Mechatronic Engineering IT Blanchardstown 
Engineering (General Entry) DIT 
Engineering UCD (NUI) 
Automotive Management and Technology DIT 
Electrical and Control Engineering DIT 
Electrical Services Engineering DIT 
Stage Management & Technical Theatre The Lir Academy 
Fashion Design Griffith College. Dublin 
Baking and Pastry Arts Management DIT 
Mechatronic Engineering DCU 
Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering DCU 
Engineering with Management TCD 
Engineering - Common Entry IT Blanchardstown 
Mechanical Engineering IT Tallaght 
Mechanical Engineering IT Tallaght 
Mechanical Engineering IT Tallaght 
Product Design DIT 
Mechanical Engineering DIT 
Multimedia DCU 
Design - Visual Communication DIT 
Arts - History Of Art and Architecture TCD 
Arts - Art History UCD (NUI) 
Biomedical Engineering DCU 

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