14 popular fields of study


If you are planning to upgrade to the third level, there are many factors that should be considered before deciding which course you want to take. For each field of study available, there are many courses offered, but the first step will be to research your interests. The following is a brief summary of some popular fields of study offered at universities and educational institutions in Ireland.

1. Nursing

Caring, compassionate individuals with an interest in human biology make the ideal nursing student. Students may choose to pursue general nursing or a more specialized subject early on, such as children’s nursing, developmental nursing, or mental health nursing. Irish Nursing courses involve placement early on, as students begin clinical placements in their first year and throughout their degree, with the final year consisting of a 36-week internship.

2. Performing arts

Performing arts degrees tend to be very practical and practical. Photography: iStock

Those with a flair for the performing arts have many options for choosing which studies to pursue at the third level. Dance, theater, music and performance can all be studied at traditional university colleges and universities, or at institutions dedicated solely to these pursuits, such as The Lir, BIMM and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Performing arts degrees tend to be very hands-on and hands-on, including plenty of performances and presentations over the course of the degree, to prepare students for future performances beyond the classroom.

3. Computing

Across Ireland there are many types of Computer Science and Computer Applications Degrees, perfect for those with an interest in technology or who may have studied the subject at Leaving Cert level. Computer science students use logic and reasoning to develop algorithms and write code, to ensure that the technology is capable of solving real world problems. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, students will be at the heart of the action, learning firsthand how to operate in a revolutionary industry and environment. Students gain employment in the computer industry, as software engineers, cybersecurity analysts, data scientists, and more.

4. Languages

A talent for languages ​​is an extremely transferable skill, which not only can enable linguists to pursue a range of different career paths, but which can be studied in a number of different abilities. Languages ​​can be studied as part of an art degree alongside a range of subjects, as part of a joint degree with business, law and IT, etc., or as part of a a linguistics or translation diploma.

Languages ​​can be studied in a number of different abilities.  Photography: iStock

Languages ​​can be studied in a number of different abilities. Photography: iStock

Those studying languages ​​in a third level program will usually need to have achieved a certain mark on the Leaving Cert exam. However, there are also many opportunities to learn a language from scratch, or ab initio, at the third level. Such an opportunity is often available with languages ​​less widely studied at the Leaving Cert level, such as Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Russian, among others.

5. Communication

Charismatic individuals with the ability to think on their feet are well suited to the study of communications. Students will learn about different methods of communication and how to communicate effectively for different purposes and with different audiences. The skills that communication graduates acquire during their studies are extremely transferable, with communication graduates pursuing careers in media, communications, journalism, business, public relations, human resources and beyond.

6. Engineering

Logical people who excelled in math and science in school should consider studying engineering at the third level. Often starting with a very broad degree, there are many opportunities for specialization over the course of the degree, in areas such as mechanical, computer, chemical, civil and biomedical engineering. Many also pursue master’s studies in these specialized fields after their undergraduate degree.

7. Psychology

Curious people interested in human behavior would be well suited to study psychology at the undergraduate level. Psychology classes begin with incredibly broad fundamental psychology concepts, eventually allowing students to specialize in their particular areas of interest in later years. Psychology students can pursue any number of careers after graduation such as business, social work, public relations, law, etc. Those who choose to pursue a career in psychology can pursue further study, to obtain a doctorate in psychology. field, in order to become clinical psychologists.

8. Environmental studies

Coming out of Cop26, it is obvious that the environment has become everyone’s priority, which has given rise to a multitude of opportunities to study the environment and our role in its protection, as well as a wide range of employment opportunities after the study. “Green courses” across the country include environmental management, climate and environmental sustainability, environmental biology, environmental science, and sustainable technology, to name a few.

There are many opportunities to study the environment and our role in protecting it, and a wide range of employment opportunities after the study.  Photography: iStock

There are many opportunities to study the environment and our role in protecting it, and a wide range of employment opportunities after the study. Photography: iStock

9. Architecture

Those who study architecture require the unique combination of digital skills and a flair for design. A range of architecture-related degrees are available to study in Ireland, such as practical bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees in architecture to become accredited architects, and more theoretical studies in the history of architecture, as part of an arts degree. Practical licenses and postgraduate degrees often involve an internship as part of the course, where students gain practical experience working in a professional architectural firm.

10. Culinary arts

For those who are good at cooking, studying the culinary arts could be an ideal solution, leading students to promising careers within the culinary industry. Courses ranging from the broadest to the most specific, such as baking and pastry arts, culinary entrepreneurship, food products and development, etc. Students can learn about the intricacies of catering management for corporate functions or the development of new food products. Culinary arts classes are often very hands-on, with students spending many hours in college kitchens as part of their studies.

11. Geography

Geography is an artistic subject that is extremely transferable at the third level, which allows graduates to embark on a large number of fields. Geography falls into two main paths: human geography, which focuses on the human race and the environments in which they live; and physical geography, the study of the natural world around us. Geography graduates access a wide range of careers including business, tourism, consulting, cartography, education, urban planning and more.

12. Education

Patient and helpful people who enjoy sharing their knowledge make excellent teachers, and across Ireland there are a variety of courses available for those who wish to pursue a career in teaching. Bachelor of Education degrees equip graduates with the skills to become elementary school teachers, while those who wish to become secondary school teachers will typically study an undergraduate degree in the field they wish to teach, before pursuing a professional master’s degree in education or an SME diploma.

13. Physiotherapy

Science enthusiasts with great communication skills and physical awareness should consider studying physiotherapy at the third level. A subject of health sciences, physiotherapy students need to combine their in-depth knowledge of the human body with their interpersonal skills when dealing with patients for several weeks or months, prescribing programs that will help them reduce pain.

14. Art and design

Those who love art and design have a variety of choices when it comes to studying at a higher level and continuing after graduation. Courses in fine arts, fashion design, visual arts, textiles and more are offered across the country at various institutions. Many of these courses will require a portfolio as an entry requirement, with many students choosing to take one year after their Leaving Cert to take a Post Leaving Cert (PLC) course and complete their portfolio, before applying to the third level.


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