It is very, very important that you find out as much as possible about a course before putting it down as a preference on your CAO form. Maybe you already have a clear idea of what you would like to study. On the other hand, perhaps you are finding it difficult to decide. Do your parents want you to study particular subjects? Have your friends told you that one course is better than another? Are you totally confused? It is important to choose the right course for YOU. Continue reading to find out more.
How do I choose a course?
We recommend a 4 step process:
- Search for courses and read the detailed information about each one.
- Check which courses have specific requirements, e.g. particular subjects at Leaving Cert.
- Get advice or an opinion from a student who has studied on that course.
- Go to the Open Day - most Institutes of Technology, colleges, and universities have open days, usually between September and February each year.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What subjects am I good at?
- What can I see myself enjoying for the next four years?
- Is this a course I really want to do, or am I following other students in my year group?
- Is this course relevant to a career I might want to follow in the future?
- Should I be looking at a course which leads to a professional qualification?
- Will I be happy on a very academic course, one with lots of theory to study, essays to write, and examinations?
- Or should I look at courses that involve a lot of practical work, where I am learning skills with a small amount of theory?
Basically, this refers to the order in which you list your courses on the CAO application form. The last date for changing your mind about the courses you have listed, is the 1st July.
It is very important that you list your course preferences in the order in which you genuinely want to receive an offer, and not in the order in which you think you might get an offer based on the number of points you think you might get.
Because if you get more points than you originally thought, you may not receive an offer for the course you really want to do. Watch this CAO presentation for more details:
Advice from Students
If you are unsure about how suitable a course might be, have a look at what our students have to say. They have provided a "rough guide" to a variety of courses to help you make a decision.
Advice from Lecturers
We asked all college tutors, who have students with disabilities as their tutees, for advice on studying in Trinity and for studying a particular course. To read more about Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, click on this link. To read more about Maths, Engineering, Sceince and Health Science, click on this link.