Tara McCabe – From A Levels Uncertainty to PME student

Alumni of Sports Science & PE


Before her parents came across Portobello Institute online, Tara McCabe wasn’t sure she would be able to go on to third level at all.

“So I went to a British curriculum school and so I did A-Levels, which is equivalent to Leaving Cert. I didn’t do so well in my A-Levels which then got me panicking I wouldn’t be able to get into any universities in the UK or Ireland.”

Initially, Tara and her parents found a PLC that didn’t have the strict entry requirements that many sports science or equivalent courses do, with just an interview standing between her and pursuing her dream career.

She spoke to our own Emma McLoughlin.

“When the time came to go to my interview, I was interviewed by Emma McLoughlin and she told me to relax and just be myself.

“She then told me that there was a Level 8 course which was a BSc Sports Science and Physical Education 3 year course which suited me better than a PLC course, in which I accepted and I was accepted on to the course just like that. So all in all the application process was quite good for me as they were only seeing if I had the ambition and the interest to do the course in which I had.”

Among the things Tara says she enjoyed about her time in Portobello was its city centre location and the friends she made while here, whom she is still in contact with today. One point of particular praise she holds for Portobello is our hardworking faculty.

“I couldn’t praise the lecturers more.

“They were the ones who helped me get through the 3 years and without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.

“I earned a 2:1 at the end of my degree which I never imagined I would achieve.”

Tara would then go on to take our Higher Cert for Sports Grads which has now set her on the way to becoming a fully qualified PE teacher.

“I am currently in my final year of the Professional Masters of Education (PME) course in the University of Limerick.

“I’ve just completed my 10-week school placement and I’ll be starting my final semester in which my thesis is due.

“Portobello Institute helped me get a place on the PME course, something I didn’t think would be possible.

“Portobello is a great college for students who have just finished their Leaving Cert and didn’t get the results they hoped for.

“Consider this college and I guarantee it will be the best decision of your life.”

If you are interested in pursuing a path similar to Tara’s you can find out more on our course pages here or get in contact with Jo on our admissions team: jo.shaw@portobelloinstitute.com.

Tara McCabe – From A Levels Uncertainty to PME student Tara McCabe – From A Levels Uncertainty to PME student