UCC Physics Graduate Profiles

Kieran McCarthy, Head of A-Level Physics and PSHE Coordinator at St James’ Catholic High School

1 Jul 2019

"UCC gave me a great foundation in teaching physics that I have continued to develop through my career."

Current job title:

Head of A-Level Physics and PSHE Coordinator at St James’ Catholic High School

 

What appeals to you most about your current role?

Working with young people in a job which is a purely social enterprise. Having a job where no two days are the same and every day presents new challenges and successes.

 

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation:

Education in Physical Sciences / Physics and Astrophysics, 2013

 

What influenced or helped you decide to study this degree?

Teaching is what I’ve wanted to do since being a young child, so the opportunity to learn to teach during my undergrad (through the Education in Physical Sciences program) was the perfect opportunity for me.

 

Most relevant main or subsidiary topic studied:

The general skills of problem-solving have been transferrable to many different, and sometimes unexpected, dimensions of the job of teaching.

 

Best memory of UCC:

Impossible to pick just one! Making lifelong friends both in and outside of my course. Skydiving with the parachute club was a highlight.

 

What role do you feel UCC played in getting you to where you are today?

UCC gave me a great foundation in teaching physics that I have continued to develop through my career.

 

Brief overview of work history (to highlight the path to where you are now):

After graduating in 2013, I moved to London to initially work as a cover teacher and then got a job as a science teacher in a secondary school through an agency. I have now been at the same school for 5 years. In this school I have progressed from science teacher to head of A-Level Physics, whole-school PSHE coordinator and most recently Assistant Head of Year.

 

What advice would you give to current students that are about to graduate/enter the job market?

Don’t limit yourself by fixating on a particular end-point; be open to hearing out any peripheral opportunities that come your way. I never planned on moving to London but it is the best thing I’ve ever done!

Department of Physics

Roinn na Fisice

Room 213 (Physics Office), 2nd floor, Kane Science Building, University College Cork, Ireland.,

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