GMIT holds Open Evening in Belmullet on two construction courses (25 Feb)

Thursday, February 13, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

BSc in Construction Management in Refurb & Maintenance and BSc in Sustainable Building Technology

An open evening on two construction degree courses in GMIT Mayo, and related funding opportunities, will take place in Belmullet, Co Mayo, on Tuesday 25 February, 7pm, in the town’s Civic Centre.


Open to mature applicants as well as school leavers, the event provides information on the Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management in Refurbishment and Maintenance, and the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Building Technology, both of which are offered by GMIT in its Mayo campus in Castlebar.


Some funding from the Community Gain Investment Fund, administered by Mayo County Council, is available to Erris students, subject to the courses going ahead.


Many of the modules covered in these programmes have a large practical content and are designed to bring students up to date with current developments in the construction industry. There is particular emphasis on surveying, CAD (Computer aided drawing), and renewable energy technologies.


Students can study the latest trends in energy conservation, sustainable building technology, project management, IT, land surveying & building-setting out techniques, and new methods of contracts and procedures for awarding of projects. 


Depending on the level of qualification required, students may exit after two years with a Higher Certificate (Level 6 qualification), choose to continue for a third year and graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Level 7), and/or go on to complete a fourth year and graduate with a honours Bachelor of Science Degree (Level 8).


GMIT lecturer Mairead Ludden says “If you are interested in construction and new technologies emerging in the industry, this is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills, regardless of age or educational background. Over 80 mature students have graduated, or are currently studying on these two construction programmes in the Mayo campus, many of whom left school early, having not done their Leaving Cert.”


“We are now seeking applicants for the 2014 courses and with sufficient numbers we hope to deliver part of the programme in Belmullet. Our students are typically mature, with construction and trades background. With a degree under their belt, doors to middle management positions will open and they’ll also have a global passport. Many of our graduates have moved their young families abroad and enjoy a good lifestyle in places such as New York, Canada and London,” adds Mr Ludden.


PJ Healy from Belmullet is in third year of the Construction Management in Refurbishment and Maintenance course. “I have learnt so much already. I have a trades background and now have a much better overall understanding of construction technology and management. My objective is to get a management position when I graduate, something that would have been almost impossible without a degree’.


Another student, Patrick Campbell from Ballycastle, is in second year of the same programme. “I have a background in plumbing. When I graduate I hope to work in a management position. The class sizes are small which is great because it means all the lecturers know us by name, and it is a friendly atmosphere and easy to ask questions and get advice from the lecturers.”


Graduate Sean Biggins from Castlebar is currently working as Project Manager with one of the largest construction companies in Canada - Clarke Builders, in Calgary. “When I started with them I was one of four Irish lads and we have 40 strong Irish now and still hiring.”


“I had a number of options regarding the type of position available to me within the company when I started due to my degree. At the end of the day money was key - field staff get paid more than office staff due to the pressure of dealing with trade and clients alike, also weather conditions of minus 40 degrees Celsius.  My project is at the stampede stadium, Calgary. We are dealing with flood recovery. There was a big flood here in the summer. We are restoring five of the buildings and grounds on the site and completion date is June 2014. There is a senior Superintendent and myself running the job with over 100 tradesmen and women working on site. On this site I am over the health and safety, directing the trades, manpower, and keeping track of workers hour for pay,” he explains.


Padraig Brogan, Mayo County Council, who is co-ordinating the event with GMIT in the Belmullet Civic Centre, says: “There is a great wealth of construction skills in Erris, and many of these are tradesmen who may be interested in upskilling to keep up with the changing technologies in construction.  All are welcome.”


Staff from GMIT will be on hand to give information and discuss all options in relation to construction related studies at GMIT Mayo. Staff from the Dept of Social Protection are also expected to attend to give information on eligibility, and weekly income support under the Back to Education Programme.


Applicants for these two programmes can apply through the CAO which will re- open for the next round of applications on Wednesday 5 March. CAO then remains open, accepting online applications, until 1 May, 2014. 


If you have any queries in relation to the two GMIT construction programmes, please contact reception at GMIT Mayo, tel. 094 902 5700 or email