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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.


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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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
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Summary... header image

In the BSc degree students study a broad range of subjects inlcuding Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering Science, Mathematics – and newer disciplines such as Biotechnology, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Multimedia.

In their first few weeks students select their three subject choices (along with Mathematics) and develop increased specialisation over the coming years.

Throughout the course academic learning is balanced with practical laboratory sessions and insights from leading researchers working in the various research institutes on Campus.

Course Details header image

From College Website...
MH201 - Science
Maynooth University

From Qualifax...
MH201 - Science
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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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
CASLT  5M3807  Laboratory Techniques

Essential Module Requirements:
Five Distinctions which must include:
C20139 or 5N1833 or C20174 or C20175 (or OC3/HD3 in LCE Maths)

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

Career Progression header image

Students have the option of taking an Erasmus study year abroad.

The industries and sectors employing science graduates include: Agriculture, Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, Diagnostics, Environmental Consultancy, Manufacturing, Research & Development, Scientific Publishing, and Telecommunications.

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Career Guidance

Career Profiles
Guidance Counsellor
Brian Howard 1
Department of Education and Skills
Brian Howard works as a Guidance Counsellor in Newbridge College in Kildare. He attended secondary school in Patrician Secondary School Newbridge. Following his Leaving Certificate he went on to do a B.Sc in NUI Maynooth. After completing his H-Dip he spent 5 years teaching Maths and Science before embarking on the Higher Diploma in School Guidance and Counselling in NUI Maynooth.
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Career Sectors
This course prepares people for work relating to the following Career Sectors. Click to explore more...

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Space Science and Technology
Earth Science & Environment

Career Suggestions
If you are interested in this course, then these occupations may be of interest. These suggestions are related by Career Sector and Career Interests, and may be worth exploring.

Analytical Chemist
Astronomer / Astrophysicist
Atmospheric Scientist
Biomedical Scientist
Chemistry Laboratory Technician
Cytogenetic Technologist
Engineer - Aeronautical / Aerospace
Engineer - Biomedical
Engineer - Chemical
Engineer - Electrical
Engineer - Production & Process
Engineer - Sterilisation
Engineer - Test / Validation
Environmental Chemist
Flavourist / Food Chemist
Food Scientist
Fragrance Chemist
Gas Engineer
Genetic Engineer
Industrial Chemist
Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Technician
Materials Scientist / Technologist
Medicinal Chemist
Molecular Biologist
QC (Quality Control / Assurance) Analyst
Regulatory Affairs Manager
Regulatory Affairs Officer
Research Scientist
Science Communicator
Solar Physicist