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Going to College: Course in Podiatry

Q: I have heard that NUI Galway is offering a new course in podiatry. What is podiatry and what does a podiatrist do?

A: Podiatry is a field of healthcare devoted to the study and treatment of disorders of the foot. A podiatrist is a health professional who treats disorders in this area. Chiropody and chiropodist are the more familiar terms used to cover this area of healthcare practice, although the terms podiatry and podiatrist are becoming more popular. Like many healthcare-related areas, the course of study leading to qualification is more intensive nowadays.

Podiatry is a very important area of healthcare, since foot disorders can have such a debilitating effect on people's mobility and well being.

From 2008, NUI Galway is offering a new four-year honours BSc degree in podiatry - the first such course offered through the CAO.

The course is based on the programme offered by Glasgow Caledonian University. NUI Galway plans to offer about 25 places on the course annually.

The course is not included in the 2008 CAO handbook, although it can be found in the list of "Important changes" to the handbook on CAO's website, www.cao.ie. Applicants may apply for entry for autumn 2008, using the code GY504. Information on the course is available on NUI Galway's prospectus, which is also available online at www.nuigalway.ie

- Meanwhile, November's busy season of open days continues into December, with the following open days in the coming week.

Today, the National College of Ireland, IFSC, Dublin 1 hosts an open day from 10am-3pm.

Also today, Milltown Institute, Dublin 6, hosts its open day with sessions from 11.30am-1pm and from 6-7pm.

Tomorrow, NUI Galway hosts its annual open day. Introductory lectures will be given on all programmes, in arts, law, commerce, engineering, information technology, science, medicine and the health sciences (which covers courses in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy, as well as the new course in podiatry).

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Tomorrow, the Institute of Technology, Sligo, holds its open day. New offerings include an honours degree in architecture. Also hosting its open day tomorrow is St Angela's College, also in Sligo, whose courses include home economics, teacher education, nursing, Food and Consumer Studies, and economic and social studies.

Two of the biggest higher education institutions in the country, UCD and DIT, who cater between them for the higher education of more than 20,000 undergraduate students, hold open days this weekend.

UCD also holds its open days for sixth-year students on November 30, and December 1. Guidance counsellors, parents and mature applicants are also welcome.

On December 1, the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) hosts its open day from 9.30am to 3.30pm. The open day will take place in DIT Aungier Street, but will cover all DIT courses in any location, with sessions dedicated to student support services.

The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 hosts an open day on December 4, from 10am to 3pm. ITB's courses include business, engineering, business and computing/information technology combinations.

The Institute of Technology, Carlow hosts an open evening, particularly for mature applicants, on December 4.

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