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 Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

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  Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

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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Disability - Further Education Supports
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Further Education Supports

About Third Level

Third-level education in Ireland can be divided into two sections – Further education and training and Higher education and training.

Further Education and Training is education and training that takes place after post-primary level education, and before and higher level education. These courses are called Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses. They are referred to as Level 5 or Level 6 courses on the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ). A huge range of PLC courses can be found at the Colleges of Further Education.

Higher Education and training is mainly provided in Universities and Institutes of Technology (ITs), and in some Further Education Colleges around the country. These courses are at Level 7 or Level 8 on the NFQ, and can go to Level 9 and Level 10.

It is worth keeping in mind that it is possible to take up a place on a PLC course and work your way in to the Institutes of Technology and Universities - many students, including students with disabilities opt for this approach.

Information on the full range of courses in Ireland can be found here

Further Education and Disability

Students must be registered on a full time Post Leaving Certificate Course (PLC) to avail of supports for Further Education.

Funding is available only for courses at FETAC Level 5 and 6. Students
should contact the Disability Support Officer or appointed staff member in the college as early as possible to arrange an appointment to discuss his or her specific support requirements. The Disability Support Officer (DSO) or appointed staff member will carry out an Assessment of Needs with the student in order to identify how best to support the student during their time in college.

The DSO will apply for funding on behalf of the student to the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Appropriate documentation must accompany all funding applications. All students With disabilities who are registered on full time courses in Post Leaving Certificate centres can apply for the funding.

The National Learning Network (NLN) /CDETB Disability Support Service (DSS) offers a wide range of supports to students with disabilities in eight CDETB Colleges of Further Education in Dublin:

  • Ballyfermot College of Further Education
  • Pearse College of Further Education
  • Inchicore College of Further Education
  • Colaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education
  • Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
  • Plunkett College
  • Whitehall College of Further Education
  • Killester College of Further Education

The NLN has a useful study skills guide available here.



Useful Links
National Learning Network 
Non-Government training organisation with centres in almost every county. Each year, 5,000 people, including many who may otherwise find it difficult to gain employment, come to learn and study with us and to develop the skills to move forward with their
Useful Links:
Disability Access Route to Education
Higher Education Access Route
Student Finance