Forensic Science and Medical Science Amongst STEM Courses Available at GMIT

One of the key partners and sponsors of the 2017 Galway Science and Technology Festival GMIT has been involved with the Festival since it began 20 years ago. We asked Des Foley, Head of GMIT School of Science, a few questions about GMIT and its involvement with STEM.



All events at the GSTF are free. School events can be booked here and online booking for free tickets to events and shows at the Festival Exhibition Sunday 26th November will open on Saturday 18th November at


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1. Tell us about some of the STEM courses offered at GMIT


We offer a huge range of courses in STEM across science, computing, engineering, and design.


We are very focused on the practical application of STEM and we ensure that there is industry input into the design and review of all of our courses. This makes our graduates very attractive to employers as they acquire a mix of practical skills as well as underpinning theory.


The vast majority of our courses have placement and/or industry related projects and we find this a great way to keep our courses up to date with new trends.

2. Any unique courses that prospective students might not have heard of?


We have a wide range of courses across Science and Engineering, so it’s worth checking out our website but some of the more unique courses include:

  • Our four year honours degree in Forensic Science where students learn about investigating crime scenes, ethical computer hacking, DNA analysis and much more. It is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, an internationally recognised professional body with members in over 60 countries.
  • We have an honours degree in Medical Science which is one of only three of its type in the Republic of Ireland in that it is recognised by the Academy of Medical Laboratory Science as enabling graduates to practice as medical scientists in hospitals.
  • Over the last two years, we have introduced exciting new honours degrees in Sport & Exercise Science and Public Health Nutrition which are proving very popular with Leaving Cert students.
  • A new suite of engineering courses aimed at agriculture and medical technology have also come on stream as well as an exciting degree in design which will develop graduates for both traditional and emerging creative industries.



3. What kinds of companies do your graduates go on to work for?


About 70% of graduates who go to directly to employment after they finish their degree get their first job in the Western region.


The list of employers is extremely varied from large multinationals in medical device and ICT sectors, which are prevalent in Galway, through to small start-up companies and indigenous SMEs. Many fill technical roles in manufacturing, R&D and quality.


GMIT also provides graduates to public sector organisations such as hospitals, research Institutes and some will pursue careers in teaching.


There is a steadily increasing number of graduates seeking to start up their own business and this trend may continue especially if supports continue to develop to assist them.


It is also worth noting the 240 science students were placed in approx. 140 organisations in 2017 as part of their degree programme

4. When are key dates for applying?


If you are applying as a Leaving Cert student, you need to apply through the CAO by their normal closing date of 1st February (or by the late application date of 1st May).


Mature students can apply through the CAO using a previous qualification or the mature students route as a special category, or through successful completion of one of the Access courses run by both NUIG and GMIT. Interviews are held in May each year for applicants who are 23 or over on 1st of January in the year of entry.

5. How can students find out more?


Students can find out all about our courses on our website We also have nearly 200 videos on our YouTube Channel where we interview students and graduates.


Finally, any interested students should also like and follow our social media accounts, as they give an insight into student work, student life, and achievements.



6. Why is Galway Science and Technology Festival important to you?


The Galway Science and Technology Festival is an important shop window for STEM.


It gives GMIT an opportunity to interact with schools and the public and to show the wide range of what we have to offer in the Institute in an everyday and interesting way. It also shows that you can have fun doing science.


GMIT now has the largest number of students studying STEM subjects in the Institute of Technology sector, with the exception of DIT and, no doubt, the festival has had an important role in opening young minds to study science technology and engineering at third level.


7. What events are GMIT hosting as part of this year’s festival ?

Marine litter

Explore latest research on plastics and microplastics – they come from and where they end up, how they degrade
Shore based survey – how to monitor and record.

Test Your Limits

Students will be given the opportunity to take part in fun activities which would form part of the suite of testing procedures used with professional athletes.

Sports drinks uses and how to make your own

· Role of carbohydrates in exercise
· Correct use of sports drinks
· Making your own sports drink for exercise
· Testing sports drinks

Spaghetti Structures

· Investigate the strength of different structures, shapes and materials
· Use observation, curiosity, creative problem solving and teamwork skills
· Recognise how different structures and engineering processes are important throughout our everyday lives
· Identify the different forces that can act on a structure.

Flooding! Impact of urban development and rainfall intensity

· Conduct two experiments to investigate how different rainfall conditions produce different examples of overland flow.
· To design and build a new housing estate in the hydrology bench and investigate the impact that it has on overland flow.
· Suggest ways in which overland flow could be reduced or prevented.
· Consider the impact of a weir in open channel flow.

Go Wild Series – Aquatic Animals

· To discover aquatic animal adaptations for life in rivers
· To find and view aquatic animals and insects living in local rivers

Go Wild Series – Eagle Eyes

· To learn about birds of prey found in Galway
· To experience a close encounter with birds of prey

Go Wild Series– Furry Friends

· To explore the unique features of small mammals found in Galway
· To catch and see small mammals


· Unique scheme where GMIT will provide the services of a scientist to advise a school in designing and running a science or technology project. The scheme allows for 3 school visits.

Ready to be inspired

· This workshop explores different career for women in STEM showcasing a number of successful women and the paths they have taken. It opens up the minds of young women to areas they may not have considered before and encourages them to do some research into what options are available for them

Annual ISTA Quiz

A New 3-D World – virtually

· 3-D visualisations on your Smartphone
· 3-D printing
· 3-D scanners
· How virtual reality works

Technology in design and fashion

· Use of traditional and new materials in design
· New methods of printing in design
· Tour of Centre for Creative Arts and Media

For more information about GMIT log onto their website at, follow them on social media on Facebook – GMIT (Official), Twitter – @GMITOfficial, Instagram – GMIT_Official and YouTube – GMIT Channel.


Galway Science and Technology Festival (13th – 26th November) is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s national Science Week 2017 #believeinscience.