Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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Applied Social Studies

Course Code(s):  5M2181 CI061AS
QQI Award Code:  5M2181 Applied Social Studies
Award:  National Framework of Qualifications level
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Course overview

Course Code 5M2181 CI061AS
QQI Award Code 5M2181 Applied Social Studies
Award National Framework of Qualifications level

Course Description

This course is for people who wish to embark on a programme of study leading to a career in social care. It provides the key knowledge and a practical skills foundation for different areas of social care work.

What will you Study?

Care Support 5N0758
Communications 5N0690
Intercultural Studies 5N0765
Occupational First Aid 5N1207
Psychology 5N0754
Research and Study Skills 5N3113
Social Studies 5N1370
Substance Use Issues in Youth Work 5N2176
Teamworking 5N1367
Word Processing 5N1358
Work Experience 5N1356
Important Colleges may add/remove modules to keep the course updated and to meet demands. Almost all PLC courses have a Work Experience module, which requires students to find their own placement in an area directly related to their course.

Progression to CAO Courses

Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS)

This course leads to a QQI Major Award, and provides progression opportunities to a number of Higher Education courses, including those in the CAO.

To view CAO courses to which any Major Award (including this one) provides a possible Progression route, click below:

CAO with Any QQI Major Award

To view additional CAO courses which this specific course may lead to, click on one of the Award Codes below:

Old FETAC Code New QQI Code
EASSX 5M2181

To calculate Points based on your QQI award results, use the PLC Points Calculator.

Further Research

hidden College Website Course Page

Colleges often have information about the course on their own website, along with other useful information relating to the college. (Note: Not always available)

hidden Qualifax Course Page

Qualifax is the National Learners Database. (Note: Link not always available)

Disclaimer: These links are to web sites outside of CareersPortal and we accept no responsibility for the information on them.


Other courses you may be interested in...

The following courses are related to the course above and are from colleges in the same region. These might be worth exploring further. You can sort the list by Title or College by clicking on the column headings.
Course Title College
Health & Social Care Cavan Institute 
Healthcare Support Cavan Institute 
Health Service Skills - Emergency Care Cavan Institute 
Health Services Supervisory Management Cavan Institute 

Sample Careers


Related Career Sectors

This course prepares people for careers typically found in the sectors below. You can explore information relating to these sectors by clicking on the titles below.
Social & Caring
Community & Voluntary
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National Statistics for this Award (All Ireland)

The following data provides general information about this Award from colleges across Ireland.