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Tuesday 16 September 2014

How to get the chemistry right with your science subject choices

Going to College

Aoife Walsh

Published 26/02/2014 | 02:30

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A course in the area of science or health generally requires students to take and pass at least one science subject at Leaving Certificate. Photo: Getty Images.
A course in the area of science or health generally requires students to take and pass at least one science subject at Leaving Certificate. Photo: Getty Images.

This week, we examine the implications on future college options of taking a science subject.

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There are a number at Leaving Certificate level that could be considered science subjects, however, many schools do not offer them all.

A course in the area of science or health generally requires students to take and pass at least one science subject at Leaving Certificate, however, few courses require specific sciences.

A small number of courses require students to pass two science subjects. These include some pharmacy and dentistry courses. A number of other science courses in Trinity College Dublin also require students to have grades in two sciences at Leaving Certificate.

There are five undergraduate medicine courses on offer in the CAO – in UCD, NUI Galway, UCC, The Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) and TCD.

Both RCSI and NUI Galway offer students two pathways to medicine. If a student has the Leaving Cert requirement in two science subjects, they may enter the five-year programme for medicine. If a student holds the requirements in only one science subject, they may enter the six-year medicine programme, which involves a foundation year.

UCD requires students to have passed one science subject at Leaving certificate, while students must have the given requirements in two science subjects for entry to medicine at TCD and UCC.

Where science subjects are specified by institutions the most common one that appears is chemistry. Many students mistakenly think that biology is most often required. Courses that may require students to present chemistry for entry include some dentistry, pharmacy and dietetics courses.

For students who find themselves in sixth year without the necessary science subjects for entry into their chosen course, it is possible to make use of the FETAC links scheme for many courses.

Indeed, UCD have greatly expanded their number of FETAC places available at PLC level over the last year.

Courses that students should consider include, pre-science and pre-engineering courses offered at PLC colleges all over the country. Students who are considering taking this route should contact the third-level institution they may wish to attend in the future to ensure that they are familiar with the FETAC requirements for that particular institution and course.

As can be seen, science requirements vary from college to college and even within courses therefore, students should begin to look up courses requirements for any course that they may be interested in taking in the future.

This information is easily accessible on qualifax.ie in the CAO section of the course finder. The examples outlined above are intended as examples and should not be considered in any way a comprehensive list of requirements.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Today

Registration / Information Day, Dunboyne College of Further Education

February 27

NUI Galway Information Evening Ennis

Open Training College Open Day

February 28

Abbeyleix Further Education Centre Open Day

LA College of Creative Arts Open Day

Ormonde College of Further Education deadline for applications for interviews

March 1 CAO 2014 — Closing date for amending course choices

CAO 2014 — Closing date for final completion of online HEAR/DARE Forms

HPAT Ireland — Health Professions Admission Test

Killester College of Further Education Open Day/interviews

Plunket College Open Day

March 3

Limerick Institute of Technology Portfolio Assessments LIT/LSAD

March 4

Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa College of Further Education Open Day

St John’s Central College Open Day

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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