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 Marie O'Donovan from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Marie O'Donovan

Environmental Officer

CRH plc

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  Marie O'Donovan

You should possibly consider studying environmental science or environmental engineering in third level.

You would also need to consider if you would like do quite a bit of driving during your day and to be able to oragnise your own work plans as both these things are important.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Studying Medicine

HPAT – is a 2½ hour multiple-choice test developed and used specifically to assist with the selection of medical students at undergraduate level.

The test is divided into 3 sections and is designed to assess logical reasoning and problem solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people.

The test has a strong focus on general skills and personal abilities that have been identified as important for a competent health professional.

HPAT – Ireland is designed to complement academic achievement; it does not test academic knowledge and it does not require special understanding of any academic discipline.

Undergraduate Entry into Medicine for 2016 will be based on the following:

  • Attaining a minimum of 480 CAO points and meeting the minimum entry requirements for the programme
  • Having sat the HPAT-Ireland admissions test within a one year period prior to admission to the undergraduate medical programme. 
"For example, results from HPAT in Ireland 2015 can be used for undergraduate medicine courses beginning in 2016 but NOT 2017. Do not register for HPAT – Ireland 2016 unless you are planning to apply for a course commencing in 2016 AND you meet the eligibility criteria specified in the HPAT"
HPAT Ireland Information Booklet.
  • Entry to medical programmes in Ireland is now based on a combination of CAO points and the HPAT score.

The current entry system essentially diminishes the advantage of having more than 550 points; as students are only awarded one point for very one above 550.

Students must then add their HPAT score to their CAO points in order to gain a place on a medical programme. A student can gain a maximum score of 300 points.

To calculate your total points:

Total points = Leaving Certificate (adjusted) + HPAT score

Up to 550 LC points: no adjustment

More than 550 LC points: 5 points = 1 adjusted point

Maximum LC score of 625 = 565 adjusted points

Example 1: If your LC points are 565, and HPAT score is 190:

Your adjusted LC points are: 553

553+190=743 Total points

Example 2:

LC Points=560, student has done HL maths, HPAT score of 185:

HL Maths gives 25 bonus points.

Total=585 points. Adjusted points= 550+35/5= 557 Total points: 557+185=742

~ The HPAT scores of successful applicants ranges from 160 to 228 ~

In 2015, entrants needed upwards of 723 points to get into medicine:

Minimum entry level points:  -723 points in Galway

Maximum: 730 points in UCD and TCD

To view more information on the HPAT Test and deadlines click here.    

Click image to download HPAT - Ireland 2017 Information Leaflet

The HPAT Ireland test will take place on Saturday 25th February 2017.

Registration for HPAT Ireland 2017 will open in early November 2016 and close on 20th January 2017 at 5.15pm GMT.

Late registrations will be accepted until 1st February 2017 5.15pm GMT on payment of a late fee.

An exceptional late registration is available until 3rd February 2017 at 5.15pm GMT.

The exceptional late registration is available only to candidates who have submitted their application to CAO by 1st February 2017 at 5.15pm GMT.

No applications for registration will be accepted after 3rd February 2017 at 5.15pm GMT under any circumstances.

To view more information on studying medicine at undergraduate level click here          

Studying Medicine in the UK or Europe

Undergraduate medical schools in the UK are accessible through the UCAS application system. As in Ireland, they HPat-type assessments, alongside high academic results, which means that in many ways it is as difficult for Irish students to secure places in UK colleges as in Irish ones.

Popular in recent years has been the option of studying medicine in eastern Europe. Medical schools have had their degrees fully accepted and recognised by the Irish Medical Council under the reciprocal arrangements that operate within the EU. 

Unfortunately, many of the medicine and veterinary programmes in EU universities are more expensive, at about €10,000 (though this can vary from country to country).

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