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!


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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Postgraduate Funding

Finding funding is often the biggest headache for prospective postgraduates. However, grants, scholarships, bursaries and loans are all available, and it's likely that you'll need a combination of these to pay your way through your Master's or Doctorate Programme.

NUI Galway Scholarship

A limited number of Scholarships are available for the purpose of assisting postgraduate students who are proceeding full-time to a postgraduate degree (by research) at NUI, Galway. The Scholarships are tenable for up to four years.

Full details from NUI Galway are available here.

Burren College of Art

Burren College of Art, a private art college affiliated to NUI Galway offers funding opportunities for fine art students. These awards will be made to international (non EU) students enrolled on our PhD, MFA and MA programmes. Each award is valued at €9,200. This consists of €5,000 towards tuition fees for the full academic year 2015/16,  and €4,200 for accommodation in college housing. 

For more information click here

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business Scholarships

Each year, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School offers a range of merit and financial need based scholarships to both domestic and international students. Scholarships are awarded to exceptional students who will be ambassadors for the School during their studies and after graduation.  

For more information click here 


The following links are to the postgraduate scholarship areas of the various universities and colleges:

A comprehensivee list of postgraduate funding, including Research Council Grants and funding for postgraduate work beyond Ireland is available at

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