“I was always interested in the sciences and had work experience in a lab in transition year. I didn’t think it was for me, and I went on work placeme(...)

Equal status: QQI-accredited courses at private colleges Griffith College (above) or Dublin Business School are equivalent to those at public colleges
Where reputation is everything

Private education colleges – especially those offering English-language course – have come in for a hammering recently. Images of hundreds of devas(...)

Brian Hurley of Cork in the Cadbury’s All Ireland Under 21 Football Championship Semi-Final. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

“I always hoped to go for a degree but my football commitments were an important consideration when choosing what to study. I heard about the BA in sp(...)

Co Wicklow man Derek Palmer went back to education via a PLC  at age 29

“I was born in Bray, Co Wicklow but grew up in Scotland. When I finished school I was offered a place in English and geography at the University of Gl(...)

Horribly real: The cast of Fresh Meat, the Channel 4 comedy set in a student house-share

Is it a good or a bad thing that Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat is pretty much on the money in its depiction of shared student accommodation? While you a(...)

Leaving Certificate students Seán O’Callaghan, Mark Ryan, Manav T Manoj, Clinton Byrne, Lauren Vickers, Orla Yeates and Rory O’Carroll at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Nerves were jangling but by no means shredded in Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, the school which featured this year’s The Irish Times Leaving Cert diarist(...)

“For the whole of sixth year I wanted to do nursing. Then, various people just talked me out of it. They mentioned the long hours, the lack of jobs an(...)

“I’m just about to take my second year out from my studies – I was doing software development in CIT but balancing business with college wasn’t workin(...)

“I was really quite young when I knew I wanted to make films. I was always into English and drawing and I guess those things lend themselves to that a(...)

Lonely it may be, but those deciding whether or not to repeat are not alone. Between 2,000 and 3,000 students repeat the Leaving Cert every year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The days after the CAO offers come out can be a lonely time. While most are bidding a not so fond farewell to the ordeal that was the Leaving Cert and(...)