Regional variation in CAO points trends

Architecture, business and engineering among big movers

Mon, Aug 18, 2014, 06:01

Applications for places on teacher-training programmes in the education sector are up 5.2 per cent this year, which is pushing the already-high points requirements of about 460. Primary teaching is up 15 in NUIM, up five in St Pat’s and unchanged in Mary Immaculate and Marino.

In the area of healthcare, demand for courses is up across the board, but down 7.8 per cent for medicine and 5.4 per cent for nursing studies.

The revision of the HPAT test to reduce the percentage of marks awarded for section C from a third of overall marks to 20 per cent (from 33 per cent) has had a dramatic effect in reducing the points requirements for undergraduate medicine this year. In Trinity and RCSI, first-round points are down 15, in NUIG and UCC they are down 18, and in UCD down 14.

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The drop in nursing application numbers of 320 down to 5,572 has had some impact on points. Nursing points remain unchanged in five colleges, are down in seven and up in two.

Occupational therapy

All other health-related programmes show a sharp increase in demand this year. At honours degree level, in areas such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition and health promotion, demand is up 46 per cent. Demand for physiotherapy places has also increased by over 10 per cent. But not all of this has been translated into point increases.

Health and performance science is up 15 points in UCD; human nutrition is up five in UCD; human nutrition and dietetics is up 10 in DIT; occupational therapy is unchanged in UCC and down 10 in NUIG and Trinity. Physiotherapy is up 10 in UCD, RSCI and Trinity but down five in UL. Pharmacy is unchanged UCC, RCSI and Trinity.

Veterinary medicine in UCD traditionally has one the highest points requirements with 629 applicants this year, chasing the 85 available places, some of which are reserved for students from Northern Ireland. First-round offers are being made at 580 points, five points up on last year.

One group of students seeing an easing of points requirements are those seeking art and design places which have seen a drop-off in demand of 7 and 12 per cent respectively at level eight and seven/six. Art and design in LIT, the biggest such course in the country with 170 places, is down 11 points.

As in construction four or five years ago, those students who ignore current market sentiment and apply for programmes which genuinely interest them will reap the benefits of their choices following graduation.

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