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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.

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Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Points Calculator for QQI awards

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QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Points Calculator - 2016 Entry

Enter the credit scores and results of your modules to automatically calculate your CAO points score.

 

Note: Max points = 400

Credits Vs Points:

In most Further and Higher Education courses, every module you take has a credit value. Short modules have fewer credits than longer modules. Completing a module means you have achieved all the credits for that module. Typically, QQI modules are 15 credits each – so completing 8 modules = 120 credits. 120 Credits are needed to achieve a QQI Major Award.

However, sometimes a module will have as much as 30 credits, so completing one large module (30 Credits) plus 6 more normal modules (6 × 15 = 90) would achieve the 120 credits needed. Some courses also offer additional modules, in which case you use the scores from your best ones to calculate your points, but this makes figuring out your points trickier.

The Calculator above will work for all combinations once you put in the information required.

 

 

Progression Routes

Finding CAO Courses using QQI Progression Routes.

Your QQI Award can be used as an alternative to the Leaving Cert to access Higher Education (CAO) courses. Hundreds of courses are available to holders of any QQI award, while others will require specific awards.

CAO Search with QQI Award

Note: Places for QQI applicants on CAO courses are limited, and your CAO points calculated from your highest QQI qualification will be used as a criteria for acceptance.

Scoring Scheme

This scoring system for QQI awards for entry through CAO to higher education applies from 2013. This scoring system will apply to all relevant QQI level 5 and 6 awards listed on the CAO and higher education institution websites.

Scoring Scheme