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What are your interests?

Realist?

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Subject Choice

Leaving Certificate

Engineering

Career Zone
QQI
NFQ Level
Duration
2 Years

Summary

Working in Engineering - Engineering
Working in Engineering - Engineering

Leaving Certificate Engineering is the study of mechanical engineering. Students develop skills and initiative in the planning, development and realisation of technological projects in a safe manner. There are two main areas of study: workshop processes, and materials and technology.

Why Study Engineering

This practical subject gives students hands-on experience of working with tools and machinery. Students also undertake theoretical and background work for their final examinations which provides useful skills for those considering a career in the sector. 

What kind of Student would Engineering suit

Each student should have an aptitude for and an interest in design and practical work. This subject follows on from Junior Cert metalwork.

This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:

Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2019:

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 4765 students who sat the Higher Level Engineering exam in 2019.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 650 students who sat the Ordinary Level Engineering exam in 2019.

 

Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:

Course Overview

Engineering promotes an educational understanding of the materials and a knowledge of the processes associated with mechanical engineering. This is achieved through the development of skills and initiative in the planning, development and realization of technological projects in a safe manner.

You would need to have done Junior Cycle metalwork to have a clear understanding of what is involved in engineering. There is a good mix of theory and practice involved in the subject matter. Many students enjoy the practical aspect but are not too happy when it comes to the theory. You are required present a project as part of the Leaving Certificate examination, so talk to the teacher involved so that you know exactly the balance between the theory and the practical elements in this subject.

Course Content

  • Health and Safety
  • Benchwork
  • Classification and Origin of Metals
  • Structure of Metals
  • Iron and Steel
  • Non-Ferrous Metals
  • Heat Treatment of Metals
  • Fabrication and Finishing of Metals
  • Corrosion of Metals
  • Plastics Processing
  • Machining
  • Materials and Technology
  • Materials Testing
  • Joining of Materials
  • Metrology
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Technology

Exam Structure

Engineering is assessed at both Ordinary level and Higher level by means of an examination paper, a student project and a practical examination.

Workshop Processes: This section represents all the practical processes which may be applied in the school workshop integral with the related theory. This section carries 300 marks in the exam at both levels - Ordinary & Higher: There will be 150 marks for a practical exam and 150 marks for assessment of workshop/laboratory work and projects.

Materials & Technology: This section represents the wider knowledge and technology as a whole. In the written exam this section will carry 200 marks at Ordinary level and 300 marks at Higher level.

Career Possibilities

Engineering is useful for the following careers: mechanic, panel beater, welder, plumber, electronic and mechanical engineering, architecture, aircraft technician, army/air corps and industrial design. For more information on career pathways: click here.

Career Guidance

Subject Group: Practical

These subjects are 'hands-on' and involve working with tools and machinery on physical things like wood, metals and plastic. They may involve designing, planning and building things.

Required for 3rd Level?

This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.

Interviews

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Maria O'Neill, Civil Engineer

In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.

When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.

I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!

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Peter LaComber, Consulting Engineer

I chose Physics, Chemistry and Technical Drawing as my optional subjects for the Leaving Certificate with a view to choosing an engineering course at third level.

These subjects certainly helped with first year in college as I had a foundation in those subjects to build on.

In hindsight, I would have chosen Applied Maths over Technical Drawing as the engineering course had a significant Applied Maths content.

Overall, I feel my subject choices were appropriate for my career choice.

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Ciaran MacSamhrain, Transport Infrastructure Ireland
Irish, English, French, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Latin (I failed Latin(!) but only concentrated on 6 subjects because, at least at that time, all colleges only counted up to 6 subjects when calculating entry points). I stayed in Honours Maths and choose Physics in order to not rule out opting for engineering. I would not have done anything differently in hindsight.

... View Full Interview

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