Maynooth University applications pass 4,000 milestone

Increase in applications seen since introduction of new undergraduate curriculum

 Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University.

Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University.


Maynooth University has received more than 4,000 first preference applications from the CAO for the first time since it was founded in 1997.

A total of 4,037 students applied to the university this year, a 9 per cent increase on first preference applications from last year.

The CAO said on Tuesday it had received 61,500 changes submitted by about 43,000 applicants to their lists of course choices between May 5th and July 1st.

Maynooth University has experienced a “strong upward trend” driven by its new undergraduate curriculum which focuses on preparing students to adapt to the changing world of work.

The curriculum, launched in 2015 and phased in over two years, is designed to provide broader entry routes to college and allows students greater flexibility to specialise immediately or explore options in first year and specialise later.

Students can also combine subjects across the arts and science areas.

Last year, some 800 students enrolled in the university’s new “critical skills”module, which was introduced as an optional subject for first years in all disciplines.

The university said the level of first preference applications the University received this year demonstrates the appeal of the new curriculum.

Total applications to Maynooth University courses have risen 12 per cent since 2016, with increased interest in courses across all major fields, including Arts, Law, Business, Biotechnology and Engineering.

Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University, said the increase in applications past the 4,000 mark represented a “significant milestone” for the the Univeristy which recently marked 20 years since its foundation.

He said the university presented a “unique proposition” to Irish students with the introduction of the new undergraduate curriculum and the increased demand witnessed since then “has served as a resounding endorsement of this decision”.

“Maynooth University has recently marked 20 years since its foundation, and this is another significant milestone in this anniversary year. Maynooth has tremendous momentum as an institution, and our success allows us to continue to attract world-class researchers and highly motivated students to the University,” he said.

“Maynooth University has forged a reputation as an innovator in the Irish third level sector and students have responded to our offering with their first preference applications,” added Prof Nolan.