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Maths and IT courses see biggest surge in CAO points race

Mathematics and Physics at the University of Limerick saw the highest points surge – up by a whopping 145 points.

Robert Downes and Alex Lai of Stratford College in Rathgar were happy with their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday - but many around Ireland may be left disappointed by rising CAO points requirements.
Robert Downes and Alex Lai of Stratford College in Rathgar were happy with their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday - but many around Ireland may be left disappointed by rising CAO points requirements.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

COLLEGE COURSES in the fields of maths and computing have seen the highest overall increase in the entry points requirements in this year’s first round of CAO offers.

The first round points for entry to many mathematical and IT-oriented courses at institutions across the country have surged, with points requirements growing far beyond the 25-point bonus being applied for students with honours Maths.

When courses with portfolio requirements are considered, there has also been a significant rise in the required for several performance art, music and design courses.

In fact, when those courses are considered, DCU’s music composition course – offered at the Royal Irish Academy of Music – shows the highest points surge, having risen from 365 points to 535. This score includes results from an interview and extra music tests, however.

When only points from traditional Leaving Cert examinations are included, the highest points increase was seen in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Limerick, where points rose by 145 – from 390 to 535.

Another UL course, in computer-aided engineering and design, saw the second most severe points jump – by 85, from 410 to 495.

NUI Galway’s course in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry this year requires 495 points for entry – up from 415 last year, an increase of 80, making it the third-highest jump when only Leaving Cert-related entry requirements are considered.

Similar jumps in mathematical and IT courses were seen in Trinity College – where the Management Science and Information System Studies course jumped by 70 points to 455, and Mathematics saw points rise from 500 to 565.

Computer science points surge

Computer Science in Trinity will now require 450 points, up from 385 – mirroring an increase in the same course in UCD, where last year’s requirement of 410 points is well off this year’s barrier of 470.

Another UCD course, in Economics and Finance, saw its points requirement jump by 60 – from 480 points in the first round of offers last year to 540 this year.

Computing in Games Development at Dundalk IT saw its requirements rise by 70 points (to 400), as did Music Education in Trinity College which now stands at 525.

DCU’s undenominated engineering course now requires 370 points, up from 300, while its courses in Computer Applications and Biomedical Engineering both saw points rise by 60 points, to 400 and 380 points respectively.

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in the University of Limerick also saw a 60-point hike, from 400 to 460.

Some courses in otherwise competitive fields have seen anomalous declines, however. UL’s course in Economics and Mathematical Sciences has seen points fall from 510 to 380, despite the extra points awarded for higher-level Maths at Leaving Cert level.

Computer and Communications Engineering at DIT fell from 430 points to 370, while Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Cork IT fell by 60 points.

The points needed for entry to Level 8 (degree) courses can be found here, and for Level 6 and 7 (Diploma) courses here.

Read: CAO offers: the main points

Confused? A beginner’s guide to the CAO Points system

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Gavan Reilly

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