CAO points up or static for most courses

Demand up for architecure and construction, science, engineering, agriculture, business and languages

Points are up because there are more students in the system and more students have secured bonus points

Points are up because there are more students in the system and more students have secured bonus points

Mon, Aug 18, 2014, 06:00

Some students hoping that they might just squeeze into their chosen college course will be disappointed this morning. With the exception of art and design and some humanities courses, CAO points have risen or stayed steady for most courses.

The largest rise in points is for architecture and construction-related courses, but increases for science, engineering, agriculture and food science, business and languages all reflect an increasing confidence that these industries offer solid long-term job prospects.

Points have also been pushed up because there are more students in the system and because more students have secured bonus points for honours maths than ever before.

Science, engineering and technology

The rise in demand for science courses has been one of the most remarkable features of third-level education in recent years, with courses that once barely managed to come close to 400 points now exploding in popularity. Students believe these offer the best career prospects, and this has, once again, driven up points.

UCD’s science course – the largest in the State with more than 400 students – is up from 505 to 515 points, while Trinity College’s science course has risen by 5 points to 515. DIT records a jump from 405 to 435, while DCU’s science course is up by 10 points to 460. UCC’s various science courses have also risen, with Chemical Sciences up 5 to 435 and Physics and Astrophysics up 10 to 510.

Points have also risen for the majority of engineering courses, from 475 to 495 at UCD, 465 to 470 at Trinity, 350 to 355 at DIT, and 400 to 405 at UL. Only DCU bucks the trend, with points for common entry engineering down from 390 to 375, while NUI Galway stays steady at 400.


Arts in UCD remains the single biggest course in the country, with 1,225 places, while the next three largest courses are arts at NUIG, NUIM and UCC.

This year, with tentative signs of economic recovery on the horizon, the precipitous fall in demand for arts courses seems to have halted slightly. After a drop from 355 to 340 points last year, UCD’s arts degree remained steady at 340.

At UCC, arts rose by 10 points to 345. NUIG remained at 300. UL’s arts course requires 430 points (down from 440 last year). The points are higher than the colleges with near 1,000 arts places because it has only 73 places. NUIM arts is also down by 10, to 350 points.


Points for business courses fell during the worst years of the recession. In 2014, for the second year running, there is now a trend towards higher points for business courses. Commerce at UCD, one of the most popular business courses in the country, is up 15 points to 490. Commerce in UCC stays at 435; up 5 to 380 at NUIG; up 15 to 455 at DCU and down 5 to 405 at UL.

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