Mary Gormley couldn’t decide whether teaching was the career for her, so she picked a third-level course that allows her to keep her options open.
Most would-be second-level teachers do a degree and follow up with the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), but Mary found a way to do it that suits her better.
The 18-year-old from Ramelton, Co Donegal, opted for Science Education in NUI Maynooth, which, unusually, balances the study of science with a teaching qualification.
“I was so sure I wanted to do science and I also had an idea I wanted to be a teacher.
“If I decide after second year that teaching is not for me I can transfer to general science in third year. I think it is one of the most student friendly courses I have ever seen. I absolutely love it; it is so interesting”.
Mary opted for Maynooth over an offer of Pharmacy in the UK and is “100pc sure I made the right decision”.
She says she fell in love with Maynooth after a visit with a friend’s sister and finds its intimate atmosphere suits her.
Her advice to those still considering their options: “It is insane to put down a course as your first choice without going to see the college.
As an added bonus, Mary won an Entrance Scholarship based on her Leaving Cert results, which is worth €1,000 in first year, as well as a guarantee of on-campus accommodation.