Niamh Connaughton

Niamh Connaughton, Health and Society

St.Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar

Why you chose to study in DCU?

During my leaving cert year I was very unsure as to what I was going to do next. I decided to go to the DCU open day and I knew from the moment I stepped on campus that this university was for me. The positive atmosphere, the help, guidance and interest portrayed to me made me feel so welcome into the college. I was able to speak to future lecturers and course coordinators of the courses I had an interest in. They were so approachable, honest and informative. I immediately knew with this support team behind me I would excel in DCU.

One unique part about your course that you like

Health and Society students get the opportunity to study a wide range of modules, both practical and theoretical. In our first year, we were given the opportunity to work with people we felt were marginalized in society. I chose to work with an organization that provides after school care and activities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I found this to be eye opening and a real learning experience outside of everyday lectures.

Best thing about DCU experience so far

Without a doubt, the best thing about DCU so far is making lifelong friends from all different places with many different interests. There is such a positive and student friendly atmosphere felt on campus. The facilities and opportunities DCU have to offer are phenomenal. I have been welcomed into many clubs and societies which has helped me to broaden my interests, try new things and meet new people. 

Advice you would give to your younger self thinking of what to do/ where to go 

The advice I would give to my younger self is to stay open minded, attend the open days, career events and ask many questions. I would also tell myself not to be afraid to ask for help, advice or guidance when identifying alternative courses and pathways to future careers. It is also very important to research your course of interest and the modules it entails. I do believe in the saying 'what's for you won't pass you'. 

Plans after DCU 

When the time comes to move on from DCU, I am lucky enough that my degree will give me the opportunity to further excel and complete a postgraduate degree in occupational therapy in which I am very interested in doing. My degree will also give me the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings in which I have also considered. Saying this, I have no doubt I will be guided in the right direction with the support and interest from my lectures and course coordinators in DCU.