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..
Apart from the core subjects such as Maths, English and Irish, I also studied Biology, Geography and German. Nowadays students have access to courses such as environmental science, heritage studies and engineering, which would be of benefit if they decided to study Forestry.
In hindsight I would have loved to have studied more Environmental subjects and attended some management/business style courses.
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.
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.
Physics, History, Geography, and French were my options for my Leaving Cert.
Physics was one of the subjects that I was most interested in school, and this had a lot of influence on my decision to study electronic engineering in college.
The subjects which I had control of choosing and which influenced my career path were:
Secondary School: Technical Graphics, Construction Studies, Engineering, Physics. These were an excellent base for my degree course in Mechanical Engineering in University.
University: Mechanical Engineering - choose fluids stream instead of solids stream half way through my degree course. In my current career, choosing the fluids stream has not had any significant bearing on my ability to perform my job.
If I had the choice in Secondary School, I would have chosen Spanish as a language to study. This allows a lot of extra opportunities to travel globally.
If I had the opportunity to change my choices in University, I would have done a years post grad in buisness studies and accounting after my degree in mechanical engineering. I belive this would have given me a competitive advantage in aspiring to a career in management.
I took Chemistry, Physics, Applied Maths, Technical drawing and French. It then seemed pretty natural to choose engineering in college.
If I could choose again I may have chosen something more business orientated like finance or economics.
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.
Subjects I look were Chemistry, Technical Drawing, Business Studies and German for my Leaving Cert. All of which I have used since and believe it or not business aspects including accounting are an integral part of engineering
I would say that Physics and Applied Maths would have come in very useful as it was tough entering an Engineering Degree without having either of these.
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.