Over 50,000 people offered a place in first CAO round as points rise in health, business, teaching

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This afternoon’s Round One offers is official confirmation of whether students got their preferred course.

THE FIRST ROUND of CAO placements have been published, offering 78,950 places in college, university or another educational institution to 53,815 applicants. 

Students will have until 3pm on 16 September to accept round one offers, with round two offers out from 23 September at 10am. 

The Higher Education Authority today announced that a mechanism was agreed to in recent days which provides flexibility to higher education institutions to expand courses where they were experiencing high demand.

This has resulted in 2,225 additional places being made available for incoming third-level students – a 12% increase in places when compared with last year.

The Government had previously allocated additional funding to make more college places available in certain courses where high demand is expected to minimise disappointment this afternoon amid ongoing concerns about the impact of a 4.4% inflation in Leaving Cert grades this year.

Among those concerned about the anticipated rise in points were students who have carried points forward from previous years. They say they are at a significant disadvantage having to compete with the class of 2020 whose overall results were much higher. 

Of the offers given out today, 47,162 are Level 8 courses and 52% of those (or 24,458) are first preference offers. 80%, or 37,678, are the first, second, or third preference of the students who applied for them.

Of the 31,788 Level 7/6 Round One offers, 90% are first preference courses, and 98% are first, second or third preference offers.

 Individual institutions

Courses across the board have seen an increase in points on last year, most notably among health sciences, medicine and psychology programmes as well as STEM subjects. 

NUI Galway is to admit 3,500 new first year students this year – making an additional 190 offers to CAO applicants. 

Entry points have risen for a number of the Galway University’s degree courses such as:

  • General Nursing (from 442 to 476)
  • Midwifery (from 440 to 495)
  • Mental Health Nursing (from 402 to 440)

At Trinity College Dublin points rose for Engineering (510), Global Business (589) and Computer Science (509), while several rose above the 600 mark – Management Science and Information Systems Studies (613), Law and Business (602) Law and Political Science (602), and Dental Science (613). 

Likewise in University College Dublin, several courses have climbed above 600 – Actuarial and Financial Studies (601) and Economics and Finance (613). 

Demand for similar subjects at Dublin City University was also up, with points rising for Business Studies (488), Science common entry (498) and Psychology (532). 

Points for primary teaching courses also increased, up 26 points in DCU to 488, up 8 to 507 in Maynooth, and up 31 to 484 points at Marino Institute of Education.

However, the biggest jump among teaching programmes was seen on Mary Immaculate College’s Primary Teaching International course – jumping 104 points to 577. 

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris offered his congratulations to students who received their first round CAO offers, recognising the strong competition for places this year.

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“These additional places mean significantly more applicants have received offers of places at this stage this year and more students will be admitted to college in the coming weeks than in any previous year,” Harris said. 

“Today is of course a difficult day for some who will be disappointed. I would encourage those students to take some time, take stock and consider the many options available to them. Education is a lifelong process and there are a variety of learning pathways available to students.”

Harris, at a briefing with reporters this afternoon, revealed that more than 19,000 students have so far accepted CAO offers. 

Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals warned students to remember there are other routes to success and not to feel disheartened if they did not receive the offer they wanted today. 

“While many students will be excited with their first round offers, it is important to note that others may be disappointed to not receive their first choice college course,” he said.

“For those who find themselves in this position, thankfully there are a multitude of routes into further education and I encourage all students and their parents to research and consider these options.  Critically, your education and career prospects will not be defined by this outcome.”

Round One of the CAO offers are in: you can find all the points at each institution on our dedicated CAO site below. 

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