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 Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

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  Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Students on the programme will cover a broad spectrum of Engineering Technology including, but not limited to, elements of carpentry and joinery, plumbing and electrical trades, common engineering materials and basic manufacturing processes and techniques, giving them a broad range of skills whilst not being specialised in any one area.  


This course provides the technical knowledge and techniques for combining microelectronics technology with computer software in order to produce effective working products. There is a large amount of practical work in modern well equipped workshops and laboratories.


The core of this 3-year programme is focused on Engineering Science and Technology, engineering materials and manufacturing methods. There is also an emphasis, through project work, on applying these scientific principles and technologies to the solution of mechanical engineering design problems, and transferring those design solutions to manufactured articles. 

The course covers a combination of e-learning, practical laboratory based exercises, computer based exercises, case studies, site visits, problem based learning and Research based teaching.
There is also an external placement module in semester four (second year).  


This programme is designed to develop your ability to apply engineering principles and technologies to the solution of problems arising in the investigation, planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of civil engineering works.

The programme considers analysis of transportation systems, regulation of water, pollution control, design, construction and maintenance of civil engineering and building structures and financial and managerial topics. 



This programme is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of the principal functional, technological, economic, social and legal factors which influence the design, construction and use of buildings. 

The programme includes training in the following skills: 

  • Building drawing and detailing (manual- and computer-aided)
  • Materials specification and testing
  • Measurement and costing of building work
  • Building work organization
  • Surveying and setting out
  • Document preparation and interpretation


This course provides training in environmental science, materials science, building structures, economics, buildings and land use, information technology, and management law.

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