Paramedical degree courses to fit wide range of points totals


COUNTDOWN TO COLLEGE: Pharmacy:THE PHARMACEUTICAL Society of Ireland oversees the undergraduate education and pre-registration training of pharmacy students in the Irish schools of pharmacy at Trinity College, the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI), and University College Cork.

Some 550 students applied for the 152 places available in 2008. Points were down again, reflecting a trend evident over the past few years, with RCSI offering 30 places to students scoring 540 points or above.

Trinity and UCC, which offered 70 and 60 places respectively, had the highest points requirements, offering places only to those applicants holding more than 545 and 555 respectively.

Athlone, DIT, and Carlow IT, offered Certificates in Pharmacy Technician Studies, for those interested in working in pharmacies, at 225, 210, and 270 points respectively in 2008.


UCD offers pharmacology (DN034). There are 20 places and 435 points were required in 2008 to gain entry. Students of the UCD general Science programme or the Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology degree also have options in the area.


Trinity (TR052) and UCC (CK702) offer courses, with 62 places on offer. In 2008, 275 applicants listed dentistry as their number one choice.

Both universities have dental hospitals attached and students get a chance to treat patients.

After graduating, students join the Irish Dental Association and work either in a practice or for a health board. Trinity also offers programmes in Dental Technology, Hygiene, and Nursing at 320, 425, and 310 respectively. Athlone IT and Coláiste Mhuire, Marino, also offers programmes in Dental Nursing.


There is only one course in the State which qualifies students as Ophthalmic Opticians, and that is at DIT. It accepts 25 students each year and the minimum point score of successful applicants in 2008 was 520 points, an increase of 20 on the previous year.

Occupational Therapy

There are 95 places on offer, 40 in Trinity, 30 in UCG and 25 in UCC. The points required in 2008 were 495, 485 and 520 respectively.

Speech and Language Therapy

There are 81 places available: 30 in UCG, 26 in Trinity, and 25 in UCC. The points required in 2008 were 510 in Trinity, 525 in UCC and 515 in UCG. UL offers a MSC in speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.


There are 141 places available: 56 in UCD, 40 in Trinity, 30 in UL and 15 in RCSI. The number of applicants and consequently the points requirements for Physiotherapy have been dropping for a number of years now, following revelations that many physiotherapy graduates were unable to gain employment in Ireland, resulting from a lack of appointment to posts by the HSE.

Applications were down 12 per cent again in 2008. Points remained unchanged in UL at 555. They dropped in Trinity to 520, in RCSI to 505, and in UCD to 515.

Those interested in careers in physiotherapy scoring 350-420 points might consider the level 7/6 programmes offered by IT Sligo (SG435) (340) and IT Carlow (CW106) (405). Both these programmes are linked to full physiotherapy degree programmes in the UK. The BSc in Health and Performance Science (DN096) from UCD, and the BSc in Sport and Exercise from UL (LM089) also cover topics such as exercise science and injury management.

Radiography and Radiation Therapy

There are 25 Radiation Therapy places on offer in Trinity at 500 points in 2008. UCD offered 40 places in Radiography at 510 points.


UCD offers Neuroscience (DN036), requiring 435 points in 2008.

Biomedical science

Biomedical science honours degrees are offered in UCG, UCC/CIT, the DIT, NUI Maynooth and UCD. These degrees will lead students into biomedical and health research, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, hospital laboratories and sport science, and provide excellent preparation for entry into postgraduate programmes in medicine. Points required in 2008 were 440, 400, 375, 380, and 490 respectively. IT Sligo offers an ordinary degree course at 205 points in 2008.

Other Courses

DIT offers human nutrition and dietetics (20 places), run jointly with Trinity, and clinical measurement (30 places).

Brian Mooney guides you through the college options available to you in this year’s CAO process. This column will continue until the February 1st CAO deadline.

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