Claire Doran – BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science with Ecology

Name: Claire Doran

From: Donegal

School: Magh Ene College, Bundoran

Erasmus+: To Mid-Sweden University in Year 3

After living in Australia for six years and working as a massage therapist, I decided to take a leap of faith and throw myself into something I am really passionate about. I was lucky to be offered a place on the brand new Environmental Science with Ecology degree and started first year in September 2020. Environmental issues and sustainability are an area of huge interest to me. We have an increased strain on resources on the planet. Certain issues have arisen and collectively we all have a duty of responsibility to ensure the environment is protected and sustained for future generations.

The ecology side of the degree is something I am really love studying. I like how the modules interlink with each other and what you learn in one class is relevant in another. The degree is varied too and has a great delivery of both practical and theory. A lot of time is dedicated to practical learning which I love, as it is the best way to learn. I also really enjoy the off campus days where we explore environmental issues with real life examples.

The lecturers on this degree have a wealth of knowledge, not only academically, but within the professional working environment too. They give real life examples of how certain theories are applied in the real world. This is a great way to understand the content of the course.

As I have a really keen interest in the environment, my favourite modules in first year were Earth Science and Introduction to the Environment. As the years progress some of my favourites were Climate Science, Microbiological Monitoring, Environmental Toxicology and Energy & Sustainability. What I also love is that the science is taught from the basics up. You exit first year with a huge amount of knowledge but don’t need a science subject to study this degree.

In third year, I took part in the Erasmus+ exchange programme. This allowed me the opportunity to spend a year in Mid-Sweden University. This was a wonderful experience, studying and learning in the worlds most environmentally friendly country.

There are so many free resources available at ATU Sligo – from Maths Support to the Academic Writing Centre. To any incoming first years, I would say make the most of these! Particularly with science the Academic Writing and Maths Support resources are extremely helpful. Always ask for help if you need it as the supports are there and the staff are amazing.

As I say, the environment is such an important issue. Over the next few years I expect the push for environmental sustainability to accelerate even further. This, of course, will increase employment opportunities both in Ireland and abroad for graduates like myself in this field. At the end of my studies I know my degree from ATU Sligo will give me lots of opportunities.

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