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


Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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  Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!


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CAO Late Application facility closes 1st May

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CAO Late Application facility closes 1st May

Thursday, April 28, 2016 

CAO Late Application facility closes 1st May

The Central Applications Office (CAO) application deadline for late applications is Sunday, 1 May at 5:15 pm.

Applicants can submit a late application at an increased fee of €50 for an online application or €80 for a paper application. This facility closes at 5:15pm on 1 May and restrictions apply.

Applicants do not have to enter their course choices at this time as the majority will be able to use the online Change of Mind facility which opens on 5th May at noon.

The CAO website contains a number of guides and supports for applicants which should make the application process easy to navigate, including a ‘Demo Application Facility’ and step-by-step video guides talking applicants through the process of obtaining their CAO application number and editing their CAO account.

"The CAO deadline for late applications is 1st May 2016."

To apply to CAO go to and click on ‘Apply’.

To watch the video guides go to: Obtaining your CAO application number Editing your CAO account

More help and advice available here

Key dates for 2016/17 applicants

  • CAO Normal Application Deadline is 1 February at 5:15pm.
  • CAO Change of Course Choices Facility for registered applicants opens on 5 February and closes on 1 March at 5:15pm – a fee of €10 applies.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants must apply to CAO by 1 February at 5:15pm.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants have until 1 March at 5:15pm to complete their online HEAR or DARE form.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants must submit their supporting documentation to CAO by 1 April at 5:15pm.
  • The CAO Late Application facility closes on 1 May at 5:15pm – restrictions apply.
  • The CAO Change of Mind Facility opens on 5 May and closes at 5:15pm on 1 July. This facility is free of charge – in general, restricted courses cannot be added using this facility and some restricted-category applicants may encounter restrictions when using this facility.
  • A number of video guides are available here

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The CareersPortal Team