Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
Subject Group: Practical
These subjects are 'hands- on' and involve working with tools and machinery on physical things like wood, metals and plastic. They may involve designing, planning and building things.
Engineering promotes an educational understanding of the materials and a knowledge of the processes associated with mechanical engineering. This is achieved through the development of skills and initiative in the planning, development and realization of technological projects in a safe manner.
You would really have to have done Junior Certificate metalwork to have a good idea as to what is involved in engineering. There is a good mix of theory and practice involved in these subjects. Many students enjoy the practical aspect but are not too happy when it comes to the theory. You will have to present a project as part of the Leaving Certificate examination, so talk to the teacher involved so that you know exactly the balance between the theory and practicals in this subject.
Third Level Entry Requirements This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.
Data Sources: The information on these pages has been compiled from a variety of sources including the NCCA, Newbridge College / Brian Howard, Dept. of Education & Skills, and student interviews. Information in the 'People who took this subject' section reflects the views of those people interviewed on this website and is offered as informal and potentially useful information only.
While CareersPortal.ie attempts to keep this information as up to date and accurate as possible, we do not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of this information or decisions made on the basis of this information. Students should always discuss subject options with parents / guardians / guidance counsellors..
In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.
When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.
I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!
English, Irish, Maths,
As I was quiet good at chemistry and physics I researched some courses in college that included such subjects. I thought about choosing something like chemistry or biochemistry but decided I wanted something more practical and after a bit of research I choose chemical and process engineering. This course had the chemistry and physics but also alot more. Also I enjoyed business in school and the course I choose had several modules in marketing and finance throughout the four years.
These qualifications then lead me to an engineering role in Medite who are part of coillte panel products because they are continually trying to improve and add to their engineering resources.
I always loved biology, chemistry and languages and I was quite good at these subjects. I never really liked maths and physics but I knew that environmental studies and forestry had some technical and engineering elements. That is why I chose these subjects as the main ones during my college years.
For my final exams, which are equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate, I choose Biology and English. At this stage I didn’t even know how important this language would become in my future life and career.
After my Junior Certificate in secondary school, I chose to study Physics, Chemistry and Classical studies for the Leaving Certificate.
Physics gave me a basic understanding of mechanics, which I found very enjoyable and this influenced my decision to choose mechanical engineering.
Chemistry and Classical Studies were subjects that I found very enjoyable but did not really entice me to choose a career in those areas.
Engineering drawing provides a basic understanding in this area and this is a subject that I studied through-out my 5 years in college and use on a regular basis in my job.
I would recommend a student to study physics and engineering drawing and possibly metalwork as these subjects would best support mechanical engineering as a career.
However I believe that it is not imperitive to study these subjects or to excel in these areas to pursue a career in engineering. My first year in college involved learning the basics of many subjects including maths, mechanics and engineering drawing. This allowed those who were weak in those subjects to catch up.
I took honours Engineering, honours Physics, and honours Chemistry. The other subject I had was Technical Drawing.
If I was to do it again, I would do French and Home Economics, and the Engineering because it did help me in this role, and probably Business. I would take more on the finance side if I knew I was taking this route.
The subjects I took in school were: English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Music, Social and Scientific, History and French. Having not realised until late in 5th year that I wanted to study engineering in college, I then took physics as an 8th subject at the minimum required pass level. As I had an interest in engineering and the right mindset, the pass physics course was relatively straight forward. As my wise physics teacher advised me, if I didn't enjoy the physics course I most likely would not enjoy engineering.
In hindsight, I should have chosen a science subject as part of my core subjects - all students should. But sometimes school timetables can simply not facilitate everybody's preferences and choices must be made - the important thing is to choose the subjects that are right for you. It is also important to note that it is not essential to have either science subjects or honours maths to achieve a degree in engineering. There are many routes of entry to suit all levels and skills. However, the important thing is to have an interest and enjoyment of these subjects in order to become a good engineer.
I always knew I wanted some form of a technical or design job so I took the following subjects for leaving cert; (Maths, English, Irish - because you have to) Physics, Engineering, Building Construction & Agricultural Science. I believe these subjects have all helped me throughout my college days as they gave a great basis of what is taught in college.
I chose at an early age to be an Engineer, so I studied, Maths, Physics, Tech Drawing and the sciences and I also studied Geography as an extra subject. This one I did just to try to get more points in the Leaving and for no other reason, and it worked. Now I work in Marketing, but those subjects from school are vital. The amount of use we put things like statistics to is amazing, use it every day. My advice: Don't get too hung up on your subject choice. Pick things you like doing, this gives you the best chance of doing well in your exams. If like me you work in engineering and want to try something different, you can always change later in your career.
In school I was limited by the amount of subjects offered. I went to an all girl's convent school and they had pretty much the stereotypical girl's school subjects then.
For my optional subjects I did Geography, H&E Social and Scientific and Biology. I had all the regular subjects too. English, Irish, Maths and French. I think it's fairly obvious from the above list that my subjects didn't have much of a influence over my third level education choices.
If subjects like physics, engineering etc., had been on offer, I think I would have taken them instead but they were not available to me. I don't believe choices made in school about subjects always have to dictate what you do in college. In my case it just meant I had to work a little harder in the first year of college to catch up.
My school subjects never stopped me. If you know what you like and what you want do, you will always find a way. To be honest it's the knowing what you like that's harder, there are lots of paths to achieve what you want in education today.