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

Name: Claire Doran

From: Donegal

School: Magh Ene College, Bundoran

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 course is something I am really looking forward to studying over the next few years. I like how the modules interlink with each other and what you learn in one class is relevant in another. The course is varied too and has a great delivery of both practical and theory. Due to Covid this year we were more restricted than usual in terms of fieldwork and labs. However, we still got the opportunity to come to the campus for some practical’s. The labs are really well equipped. A lot of course time is dedicated to practical learning which I love, as it is the best way to learn. I am really looking forward to next semester to get some off campus days to explore environmental issues with real life examples.

The lecturers on this course 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 we will study modules such as Climate Science, Microbiological Monitoring, Environmental Toxicology and Energy & Sustainability. They already sound interesting! What I also love is that the science is taught from the basics up. For example, we had modules in chemistry and biology this year. You exit first year with a huge amount of knowledge but don’t need a science subject to study this degree.

There are so many free resources available at IT 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. For now, I am really looking forward to my next few years of study. At the end I know my degree from IT Sligo will give me lots of opportunities.

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