Wednesday 12 February 2020

Brian Mooney discussing motivation and 3rd level options outside Ireland (

My son has been offered a provisional place by a Dutch university and seems to have slacked off on his Leaving Cert study. He’s no longer worried and says he’s not under pressure to get good grades. Is this really the case ?
It is ironic that your fear is being driven by his loss of anxiety over the need to secure a high CAO points score in his Leaving Cert. I often reflect on why I have never experienced the flashbacks that others recount of reimagining that they are in the exam hall resitting their Leaving Cert.
The answer is simple: I sat the exam in 1971 prior to the surge in third level application numbers which occurred following the introduction of free second level education.
Securing a place on most degree programmes on offer back then required no more than two higher level C3 grades, a not very high bar to achieve for those interested in pursuing an academic route after school. Most young people entered the labour force directly from school in those times.
How times have changed. A majority of school leavers in Ireland now progress to third level. Uniquely in the EU, we are one of the few countries where attending third level is not seen as a right, based on meeting the minimum entry requirements for our preferred course.
Programmes such as physiotherapy and psychology – which require CAO points of 540-plus in Irish universities – can be accessed with two H4/5s across EU universities taught through English.
The fear and anxiety that drives much of what occurs after transition year in Irish education derives mainly from a shortage of enough places in highly sought-after programmes to meet the numbers securing the minimum entry requirements.
We have meekly accepted this reality for over 40 years without question and find it hard to believe that our EU partner countries do not operate their third level systems on this basis.
Where your son may come unstuck in his more relaxed approach to learning is in his perception that having a relatively modest academic target means the hard part is now over.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Dutch and other EU universities are ranked among the best in the world. Attrition rates among first years on many programmes are up to 40 per cent. The academic year is up to 40 weeks long and continuous assessment begins during the first few weeks. Any let-up in study can lead to a quick exit.
Recent history would suggest that Irish students who have taken advantage of the places on offer in EU universities have lower failure rates that domestic students, partly because they really appreciate the opportunity that they have been given.
But learning to be motivated by a real interest in one’s subject matter, rather than gut-wrenching fear of missing out on high CAO points, is in my view a positive development.

Monday 28 January 2019

Traits, qualities & characteristics of a resilient person

Traits, qualities & characteristics of a resilient person

                Viewing change as a challenge or opportunity
                Recognition of limits of control
                Engaging the support of others 
                Close, secure attachment to others
                Personal or collective goals
                Strengthening effects of stress
                Past successes
                Realistic sense of control/having choices
                Sense of humour
                Action-orientated approach
                Tolerance of negative affect
                Adaptability to change

Friday 13 April 2018

6 essential lessons for a productive career (Daniel Pink)

1. There is no plan
    Make decisions for fundamental, not instrumental reasons. 

2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
    What do you do consistently well? What gives you energy rather than drains you? 

3. It's not about you.
    The most successful people improve their own lives by improving others' lives. 

4. Persistence trumps talent.
    There are massive returns to doggedness. 

5. Make excellent mistakes.
    Commit errors from which the benefits of what you've learned exceed the costs of the screw-up.

6. Leave an imprint.
    Recognize that your life isn't infinite and that you should use your limited time here to do      something that matters.  

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Open days

DIT are hosting an open day in their Kevin St & Bolton St campuses from 9am - 12pm on Saturday 14th April.

IADT are also inviting  students to their Kill Ave Campus on Saturday 14th from 10am-2pm.
They are also organising an open day on Sunday 15th from 330pm - 530pm for students interested in Business + Humanities courses.

Friday 23 March 2018

Data science (DCU)

Dublin City University

Data Science in DCU

Data Science involves the study of information—where it comes from and the patterns it forms—and 
how to turn this data into a resource for business, government and social strategies. Data Scientists are investigators, story-tellers and problem-solvers who organise information, find unique ways to communicate its salient points, and think of creative ways to apply it to real world situations.
As a DCU Data Science undergrad, you’ll learn theory in mathematics, statistics, programming, cloud technologies and machine learning. Your qualification will be highly marketable, with global demand across numerous sectors.

Monday 5 March 2018

UCD information evening

UCD will be hosting an information evening for CBC students on Wednesday 7th March at 6-30pm.
The session is open to all 5th & 6th year students. Please email
if you're interested in attending.

Wednesday 21 February 2018


Our Faculty of Enterprise and Humanities is hosting a series of Drop-In Clinics, an ideal chance to visit the college, find out about its courses and speak face to face with lecturers.
6th and 5th year and TY students are welcome.

Dates: 28th February, 21st March, 25th April

Opening times: 3.30pm - 5.30pm

Faculty of Enterprise + Humanities courses:
DL701 - Bachelor of Business in Applied Entrepreneurship
DL823 - Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Entrepreneurship + Management
DL822 - BA (Hons) in Arts Management
DL821 - BA (Hons) in English, Media + Cultural Studies
DL837 - BA (Hons) in New Media Studies