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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Course Details

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Arts - Sociological and Political Studies

Ed Zone

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.

Career Opportunities
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 - 4 Years
Duration of course
Druation goes here.....

2016 Points


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Summary... header image

This subject covers a range of issues such as employment, family, gender and ethnicity, food and the environment, development and globalisation, organisations and management, language, and popular culture.

As part of an Arts degree, this subject is one of three subjects you choose in first year. In second and third year you continue with two of the subjects taken in First Arts. It may be possible to take an extra year studying abroad.

Course Details header image

From College Website...
GY101 - Arts - Sociological and Political Studies
NUI Galway

From Qualifax...
GY101 - Arts - Sociological and Political Studies
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.

QQI FET/FETAC Links header image

PLC courses leading to the following QQI Major Awards may be used for entry into this course.

Search for PLC Courses offering these awards
(Click on the Codes)
Old Code New Code Award Title
ECHSX  5M2154  Cultural and Heritage Studies
ELESX  5M2073  Language and European Studies
BITSX  6M5014  International Contact Centre Service
BBSXX  5M2102  Business Studies
BBSAX  5M2468  Business Administration
ELAXX  5M3114  General Studies
DCHSX  5M4468  Community Health Services
EASXX  5M2181  Applied Social Studies

Essential Module Requirements:
5 Distinctions

Points Calculator for QQI Awards
Details of the QQI scoring system and a points calculator can be found HERE

Career Progression header image

This course may lead on to professional social work courses for people who wish to pursue that career, but it is also an excellent route to become a sociologist with special knowledge of the nature of social problems and services, and the policy questions concerning them.

Related Coursesheader image

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