CAO points for your course - will they go up or down? banner

CAO points for your course - will they go up or down?



Yesterday the CAO published figures detailing how this year's 6th years filled out their CAO forms.  This report is often a good indicator of whether or not CAO points are likely to rise or fall for your chosen course.  We've summarized the main trends.

#1 More students choosing science and technology

Demand for science degrees has increased by almost 4 per cent this year. This continues a trend in increasing demand for science courses that has seen points rise by over 200 points  for some courses since 2007.  This move to Science and technology seems to be driven by the perception  of a greater chance of employment for science graduates.  Last year saw science courses in some universities break the 500 point mark and it is likely with increased demand that points required for science degrees will continue to inflate. 


#2 Applicants for teaching and nursing drop

Wage cuts, recruitment embargoes and poor working conditions seem to have put students off following a path into teaching and nursing. Both professions have seen significant falls in demand with primary teaching applicant falling by 8 per cent. 


#3 Construction and Architecture hit rock bottom

Unsurprisingly, considering the mess our property market is in, demand for construction and architecture courses is at an all time low. Only 133 students applied for a degree in a construction course while architecture applications plummetting by 12 per cent. It is likely that these courses will see the biggest fall in points when first round offers come out in August. 


#4 Arts, Law & Medicine all fall

Again, probably as a result of poor employment prospects and and a slow down in our economy, demand for Arts and Law have continued to fall meaning it is likely that less points will be required to enter these courses. Applicants for general medical degrees has dropped by 6.6 per cent probably as  a result of long, expensive degrees as well as the prospect of poorer working conditions and lower pay for doctors in the years to come.


#5 Back to our roots!

One of the few growth areas in Ireland's ailing economy is the continued rise in food exports from our farmers.  Applications for agriculture-related courses saw the biggest increase of all with a rise of 6.69 per cent on last year. 


Before you get too stressed about the prospect of rising points in your first preference course, it's important to remember that the overall number of applicants was down on last year which will have the effect of dampening any increases in points requirements. 

Also, despite how you might have done in your mocks remember there is still plenty of time to increase your points. We have seen lots of students increase their result by sometimes as much as two grades between now and June. 

Good luck with the studying!