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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Early Childhood Care & Education - Special Needs Assistant - Advanced Cert

Course Code(s):  6M2007 ECS4
QQI Award Code:  6M2007 Early Childhood Care and Education
Award:  National Framework of Qualifications level
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Course overview

Course Code 6M2007 ECS4
QQI Award Code 6M2007 Early Childhood Care and Education
Award National Framework of Qualifications level

Course Description

This Advanced Certificate course gives learners all the practical skills and underpinning knowledge required for a career as a Special Needs Assistant (SNA). The course covers different settings to which a Special Needs Assistant maybe be appointed including: an early years setting, special school or mainstream school. It also meets the educational requirements for the ECCE Scheme. Many childcare settings are now seeking Level 6 qualifications for their employees in line with this scheme.

If you already have a childcare qualification or are currently working in the childcare field, this course will enhance your knowledge and skills in the area of Special Needs Assisting. Included in the award is the option of participating in a programme of coaching adapted physical activity to people with disabilities. Work experience within variety of educational setting forms an integral part of the course.

What will you Study?

Child Development 6N1942

Early Childhood Curriculum 6N1944

Early Childhood Literacy & Numeracy 6N1935

Special Needs Assisting 6N1957

Team Leadership 6N1948

Work Experience 6N1946

Creative Studies for Special Needs 6N1972

Childhood Social Legal & Health Studies 6N1945
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
DCXXX 6M2007

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

Further Research

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

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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
Social Studies & Psychology- Applied Monaghan Institute 
Health Service Skills Monaghan Institute 
Community & Social Care Monaghan Institute 
Applied Social Studies & Psychology Monaghan 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
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National Statistics for this Award (All Ireland)

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