Fewer points required for construction courses

Handful of medicine places offered today, plus some psychology, arts and science, as points for business courses also down

Students at Ringsend College after collecting their Leaving Cert results earlier this month. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins

Students at Ringsend College after collecting their Leaving Cert results earlier this month. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins


There is good news this morning for 1,382 CAO applicants at level 8 and 1,818 at level 7/6, who are getting a new, or in some cases their first, offer from the CAO on behalf of the 43 colleges.

This is a drop on last year’s level 8 offers, because of an increase, to 28,409, in the number of applicants who accepted a Level 8 degree offer by the 1st round closing date last Monday.

There were 516 more acceptances than in 2012, which has led to the drop in the number of level 8 places still available this morning. Conversely 9,039 applicants accepted a level 7/6 course in round one, which is 717 fewer than in 2012, which explains the 1,818 places available at this level in this round.

There are no major changes in the points required in round one offers, other than in construction-related courses.

A small number of additional places are offered for an arts level 8 degree in UCC, UL and NUI Maynooth. A spokesperson for NUI Maynooth said the college was “pleased with the response from applicants through the CAO available places route for first year arts in our Kilkenny campus, which is now filled”.

There is good news also this morning for those seeking places in psychology in UCD and Trinity, which have seen a drop in points.

Also down on round one are the points for architecture (down 10) and structural engineering and architecture (down 35) at UCD, civil engineering in NUIG (down 60) and manufacturing and design engineering at DIT (down 85), reflecting a lack of interest from applicants for courses relating to construction.

Following the collapse in the construction of domestic housing following the economic crash in 2008, there has been a severe drop in applications for this sector, with only 211 first- choice applicants opting for building-related courses at level 8 this year.

This absence of applications from students with aptitudes and interests in construction and allied courses, including mechanical and electrical engineering, architecture, construction, surveying etc, may now be endangering future growth of the high tech sector in Ireland.

Core areas of the construction industry such as commercial property and data storage centres for companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Google are still vibrant and require a steady supply of qualified graduates. If we don’t have quality graduates in these disciplines, major projects may be lost to Ireland.

The second round offers also see the release of a handful of places in medicine in RCSI, Trinity and NUIG, along with some science places in NUI Galway. Trinity College is also offering a small number of places in European studies.

A few places in general nursing – in UCC, Trinity, Meath (St James’s), Letterkenny, NUIG – have freed up on this round.

The points for commerce and business courses have tended to hold steady.

Some of those places being offered today are in courses that did not fill initially and have been available to students on the CAO vacant places list over the past few days.

Where there has been particular interest in a vacant places course, and the number of new applicants exceeds the number of places left, the normal CAO rules apply, where those with the highest points secure the offer.

The list of vacant places will continue to be published on the CAO website cao.ie over the coming weeks, for as long as places are on offer. Several hundred offers are also being made to students where data errors, either within the Leaving Cert results or in the information on the students’ own CAO files, have been discovered over the past week.

These candidates include those who did not tell the CAO of a previous Leaving Cert sitting, where they met a minimum entry requirement, which precluded it from offering a place on a course for which the applicant was actually qualified.
l Brian Mooney offers advice s in tomorrow’s College Choice