Leaving Cert helpdesk: will course points go up or down?

The agonising wait for offers is underway: readers ask if it is possible to guess points for courses

Students are left guessing whether points will go up or down

Students are left guessing whether points will go up or down


I got 490 this year and my first choice is midwifery in UCC which was 465 last year. I’m petrified it won’t be enough as there are so few places. Any idea how many applications have been made this year? Do you think I’ll be ok?

We don’t have exact numbers for individual courses. In general nursing course applications are up considerably but how this will impact on individual courses we don’t know. With 25 points to spare over last year you are in a good position and hopefully will get through. You could chance ringing the UCC admissions office to get an idea of numbers.

Is it likely that a B.Ed. will go up in points for this year?

No way of knowing for definite; education applications are up slightly so it could happen but we don’t know in which colleges. Mary I is one of the lower primary points so it could rise, but I stress we have no way of knowing for definite until Monday.

I got 465 points yesterday and am looking to do business studies/international business in DCU (both 465 points last year). Do you think points will increase this year?

These courses have crept up in the last few years from around the 440 mark, so not sure if there is scope for a lot more increases. However as you have probably seen the stats for the administration/business sector applications are showing a significant jump so this could indicate increases in points for business courses, but where and by how much we will have to wait to see. Best of luck.

My son got 515 points. He is going for Commerce in UCD which was 500 last year. Will points rise or decrease for business type courses?

The demand for business courses has seen a rise of 5 per cent. How this will affect points will be known on Monday. Other factors influence points as well. I would be confident for him but again no one will know until Monday.

Hello there, my son got 515 points. He wants to study architecture in UCD (490 last year). He is worried that he will miss out due to the suggested increase in interest for architectural courses. Is it likely that he will lose out?

No way of knowing for definite. Yes architecture is showing a significant increase in applications and this more that likely will see increases in points for these courses but by how many on each course we don’t know. With 20 points more than last year’s cut off in UCD your son hopefully will get through.

Hi there, my son got 540 points. His first choice is DCU Psychology. Last year it was 515, mid student was 525. Only 32 places. Do you think it will rise or does that area show higher demand this year?

There has been a decline in demand for that area among this year’s CAO applicants. I would be confident for him but no one will know for definite until Monday.

My daughter got 290 points but her preference for Marine Biology level 7 in GMIT was 300 points last year. Do you see there being a a rise or fall in that sector of courses?

The science sector in general saw a slight fall in applications so there may be some hope however a note of caution is that this course doesn’t seem to have dropped below 300 in recent times. Hope it goes your daughter’s way.

Hi, my daughter got 465 points. She has midwifery down for UCD and Ag Science. Do you think midwifery will go up and also, due to less demand in Ag Science, could this come down by five points?

You would expect so, all other factors remaining constant. But will all other factors remain constant? The number of places available? Successful candidates points etc.

My son’s first choice is Biomedical Science at NUIG. He has 535 points. Final round offers last year were at 525. Any indication if points are likely to rise for this course? Thanks

There are no specific indications of this. I would think on 535, your son has a good chance. Science courses in general have not seen a great jump in applications so this would go in his favour also, hopefully.

If I got 435 points for law in DCU and the points last year was 435 would I still have a chance of getting the course in either first-round or second-round offers?

You have a good chance, which is the main thing. The only note of caution is the rise in the number of applicants in the area of law by about 6 per cent but we don’t know that will necessarily mean a rise in points for law in DCU. I hope that things go your way.

Results 470 points. First choice is Biology and PE in DCU. Do you think there is any chance points might drop for this course? One of the criteria is a passion for sport and exercise. Would a letter from sports coaches and school help?

I would be very surprised if this course were to drop in points as it remains a very popular course. Entry to the course is purely academic: grades in the Leaving Cert converted to points and those who have met the entry requirements and have the highest points get the places. Unfortunately a letter from coaches will not be taken into consideration.

My course (DCU Communications) required 420 last year, and I scored 450 points. I’ve heard it’s due to go up this year. Do you think a course such as this would go up by 30?

This course fits into the arts/social science area of courses which generally saw a slight drop in numbers of applications this year over last year. How this affects communications exactly we don’t know but I would be very hopeful that you should be safe enough on 450. It’s a wait and see situation. Best of luck.

My daughter got 410 points in her Leaving Cert. It was not enough for her first and second choices in Maynooth but her third-choice honours science degree in Maynooth required 405 points. What’s the chance of this rising or should she get in?

General indications in the science area show a slight decrease in applications. How this will translate for the science course in Maynooth, who knows? But hopefully the fact that your daughter has five extra points to play around with, along with the applicant stats, will be enough to get her her place.

I believe sciences are to increase. My son got five points over last year’s requirement for PE/Biology in DCU. Would this be considered borderline?

This course is considered an education course more than a science course. In the stats for applicants, education is up 1 per cent. As we said in other posts, how this translates into individual courses no one knows until next Monday. It’s very hard to make a call on your son’s case, I would like to think he is safe. However with a 3% increase in level 8 applications it’s just too close to call. I wish him the best of luck on Monday.

My son got 190 points in the Leaving Cert. Is there a remote chance he could be offered a course (Hospitality Studies CIT CR657) requiring 215 points maybe in the second round of offers? He has maths and language requirements.

It comes down to this year’s demand for that particular course and the points that those applicants receive plus the number of places available on the course. Last year’s points can act as a guide. But points do go up and down. No one will know for definite until Monday.

The best of luck.