Welcome to the ‘Careers Department’ at Drogheda Grammar School

Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the links below where you can find information about what’s happening in Careers in Drogheda Grammar School and what you may need to know about educational opportunities both here and abroad. In addition, I have included useful links to contact resources for Mental Health, Counselling, Educational Psychologists and Occupational Therapists.

Every year I organise a series of talks for all 6th students presented by experienced speakers representing  the NUI and IT colleges.  

There are many careers trips organised for our students. Our 6th, 5th and TY students are given the opportunity to visit the annual Higher Options event in the RDS in September every year.  This event is of great benefit to all students as they can attend information talks on the CAO, UCAS and Eunicas process.  Our students are encouraged   to think ‘globally’ and encouraged to attend the talk on ‘Studying in Europe’ in order to open their minds to the many educational  opportunities  available to them which are  funded by the European Universities.  This is an area of interest whether they choose to do an undergraduate degree or take a year out to get a dual qualification or simply a broader and richer learning experience.  This event has so much to offer and is also open to parents who can familiarise themselves with the up to date information and opportunities available to theirs sons and daughters.

My advice to Parents is to encourage their sons and daughters to attend all talks in the school being provided by the Careers Department. Students are invited to visit the main Library regularly where they will find prospectuses and brochures. I make myself available for one –to-one career sessions with students however they need to book appointments especially around the time of CAO registration in November and December.  I recommend all students register before Christmas even if they have not prioritized their choices.  This is to take the pressure off students coming up to exam times.  Registration is an extremely simple procedure and there should be no reason why any student cannot sign up.  Sitting with choices made is part of the decision process as students will invariably change their minds right up to July.  This is expected and welcomed and therefore is important that students continue to make appointments with me throughout the year.  If it is only to discuss how they are managing their studies and reaching their targets, it is vitally important that they take the responsibility to attend appointments with me.  Often students will come to discuss CAO and discover that they have overlooked other opportunities or that they have limited themselves by underestimating their ability.  All students have access to and are encouraged to see me individually, read the brochures and their own copy of the CAO Handbook and adopt a mindset that everything is possible.

Parents, please engage in the process of reflection and decision making with your son/daughter regarding their career path. We cannot emphasise enough how crucial it is for parents to familiarise themselves with all aspects of the possible career choices of their sons or daughters and to share their own life experiences with their children.  I am also available to parents and welcome you to discuss the progress.

It is important to consistently remind our students that their career choice by no means defines them or determines their life journey.  All of our students are exposed to a wide range of Talks in Drogheda Grammar School which in turn offers a whole new range of options available to them in their future careers.  I impress upon our students to view an undergraduate degree as a starting point to the many wonderful opportunities and career paths which are possible to all. I encourage you to do likewise.

There are a number of online tools to assist your son or daughter with acquiring a good understanding of their interests and aptitudes and which provide very useful guidance to both students and parents.

In Drogheda Grammar School our students will complete numerous Interest Inventory Tests, Personality Profile Tests , Skills Profile Tests and Values Tests  in careers class which will have already suggested jobs to match their profile.  The Careers Portal website www.careersportal.ie and www.qualifax.ie and www.cao.ie will produce a list of courses in their chosen category.

Each Third Level Institution publishes an undergraduate prospectus, which contains information about the institution itself and its courses. It is important that students focus on the content of the course modules as this will explain what is involved in the course and what is expected from them.  It will also inform them about specialising in their second or third year.

The advice to parents from CAO is to encourage your son or daughter to choose courses in Order of preference rather than on point predictions.  They should base their choices on their talents and interests as this is what will sustain them throughout the four years.

The CAO form gives two lists of courses:

  1. Honours Batchelors degree ( Level 8 )
  2. Combined Ordinary Level Batchelors degree (Level 7) and Higher Certificate (Level 6) courses.

A Progression Route:

A student can progress to a Level 7 & Level 8 degree, if they complete a Level 6 qualification in their own institution or by transferring to a different institution. This provides alternative routes to all students.


In Drogheda Grammar school, senior students have the school’s permission to attend Open Days however only with the written consent of a Parent/Guardian .  Students  who take leave from school to visit a college, are expected to catch up on any class work missed due to these visits. All senior  students  receive a handout at the start of the school year  with a list of all the Open days and a CAO handbook which offers advice and important guidelines  to the students.  Notifications and reminders are placed on the school’s  Career’s Notice Boards.

Open Days are hugely beneficial as they give students an opportunity to talk with current third level students, graduates and staff. This experience can give them a real impression of what it will be  like to go to attend a  college, live independently away from home and learn about  financial budgeting and managing their time as well as providing  them with up to date information on  course content and college profile.


Each year Drogheda Grammar School plays host to more than 30 visiting speakers who travel long distances giving their time to talk to our students about courses, student progression, graduate work experience and graduate profile.  Each guest speaker enlightens and inspires students with anecdotes from their own professional experience and college life.  There is always something new to learn from each of them about their unique college and professional experiences. We are sincerely grateful to all of these people who play a vital role in the school’s career programme. part of ours

To select courses students must be fully informed , therefore attendance is key to making correct and informed choices at CAO.



Please see information regarding Minimum Entry Requirements, The Irish Language Requirement and The Third Language Requirement on the CAO website or in the CAO handbook.

QUALIFAX:            This site has a listing of all courses in Ireland.  It provides information to students and parents about third level courses, calculating points, essential subjects, course content and postgraduate progressions.




Grading System 2017

UCAS:   This is another search tool were you can find information on undergraduate courses in the UK.  The Universities and Colleges Admissions service is a UK based organisation which operates the application process for British Universities.


DARE:    Disability Access Route to Education

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.

DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative impact on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.

Please click on the link below for further information www.accesscollege.ie/dare

HEAR:   This is a college scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from some economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Ireland

For further information, please click on the link below


HPAT Ireland: – Health Professions Admission Test selected by the Irish Medical schools for prospective medical students.

It is an aptitude test that measures a candidates logical reasoning and problem solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and or intentions of people. It does not test academic knowledge.  The focus is on general skills.

Students wishing to apply can register at www.hpat-ireland.acer.edu.au/


The state provides financial support to about 40% of third level students. Student grant applications are awarded by SUSI, the state’s grant awarding authority.  All applications for grants must be made through the SUSI website, www.susi.ie.  The website has a useful grant eligibility reckoner.

The website www.studentfinance.ie is a good source of information as is the www.european-funding-guide.eu

  • Eligibility for the grant is dependent on parent’s incomes for the year prior to attending college
  • SUSI was introduced in 2013 to process grant applications
  • Application forms are accessed online on  www.studentfinance.ie and on www.susi.ie
  • Copies of Birth Certificates and proofs of income for the previous year – e.g. P60 and P21 will be required if eligible for a grant.


Please see the timeline of activities at www.cao.ie


Please see a list of annual guidance activities for 2017.  Just click on the link below.

Annual Guidance Activities for 2017