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 Deirdre Sayers from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Deirdre Sayers

Primary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Deirdre Sayers
Do not go into teaching solely for holidays, and definitely not if you want to be rich! You need to like children be patient, kind and be able to work with many types of people.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Studying Medicine

Studying Medicine in Ireland

Undergraduate entry to medicine in Ireland for 2017 will be based on:

  • Attaining a minimum of 480 CAO points and
  • Having sat the HPAT-Ireland admissions test within a one year period prior to admission to the undergraduate medical programme. 
"Do not register for HPAT – Ireland 2017 unless you are planning to apply for a course commencing in 2017 AND you meet the eligibility criteria specified in the HPAT" HPAT Ireland Information Booklet.

HPAT – Ireland

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 three sections and is designed to assess your 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.

Entry to medical programmes in Ireland is now based on a combination of CAO points and the HPAT score.

The current entry system effectively reduces the advantage of having more than 550 CAO points, as students are only awarded one point for every five 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.    

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.

Click image to download HPAT - Ireland 2017 Information Leaflet

For more information on studying medicine at undergraduate level click here 

There are free HPAT Practice Tools available from sites such as KAPTEST Global.

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).