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Abstract

This study generated composite emotional competency profiles for Irish first year undergraduate students in four separate subject areas and tested for statistical significance between student groups. A total sample of 307 participants took part in this research as follows; n = 119 social care, n = 108 business, n = 42 computing, n = 38 engineering. Results revealed significant differences between Social Care and all other student groups for the interpersonal skills composite scale and for two of the three sub-scales from which it is computed, empathy and social responsibility. With respect to the third sub-scale from which the interpersonal skills composite scale is computed, interpersonal relationships, social care students had statistically higher scores than computing and engineering students and business students also had statistically higher scores than computing students. Results are discussed with reference to curriculum design, student support services and the design of interventions for at-risk students.

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