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Posted: 11 July 2012

CAO first preference applications to UCD continue to rise

UCD Change of Mind first preferences up 4.1% since January 2012

Change of mind statistics released by the CAO show a strong upsurge of 346 (4%) in applications to UCD since January building on the 10.8% increase over 2011.  A total of 8,731 applicants selected UCD as their first preference representing 12.5% of all CAO Level 8 applications as UCD retains its position as university of first choice in Ireland.

“We are seeing across the board preference for UCD degrees among applicants.” Deputy President and registrar of UCD, Professor Mark Rogers said.

“There is currently a lot of talk about lack of interest in science, but our first preferences show an increase of over 100 (11%) students applying for science degrees since January.  Our numbers have climbed 24% from 2011 and over 100% since 2004, when we first introduced UCD Horizons, the modular curriculum.”

Other highlights:
First preference applications for Computer Science (DN201) are at an all-time high at 218, which is an increase of 27.5% on 2011.

Engineering (DN150), which requires a C3 Higher Level maths in the Leaving Cert, showed a 9% increase in first preferences since January and a 21% increase over the 2011 level, reflecting the increase of over 4,600 students taking honours maths this year. “There was a concern that the introduction of 25 bonus points for honours maths would impact high point courses such as medicine rather than supporting subjects such as engineering, where honours maths is essential.

These first preference figures are encouraging and it will be interesting to see if they translate into university offers when the Leaving Cert results come out in August.”  Professor Rogers added.

Nationally, first preference applications for Arts & Social Science degrees have fallen over the past few years.

However, Social Science (DN550) at UCD has experienced a 21% increase since 2011 and the BA has attracted 3.8% more students this year, following several years of falling applications.

Graduate entry to medicine (DN401) increased by 18 (4.6%) reflecting the strong interest in this entry route. 

Nursing continues to be popular both at UCD and nationally.  Physiotherapy (DN420) is also up by 6% over 2011.  Radiography (DN410), (which increased by 20% last year) continues to increase its first preference applications.  Other health and sport related degrees remain popular.

Last year, UCD merged various commerce and a language options into a single Commerce International (DN660), which is proving to be highly popular (up 34%).  Among the language choices is Chinese and earlier this year, the university announced plans to open an international campus in Beijing which will attract students from not just China and Ireland but globally.  Economics and Finance (DN671) increased first preferences by 49.  So, although Commerce (DN650) is slightly down, overall, first preferences for business degrees are up by 5%.

Although nationally numbers have fallen from the peak of 2,776 in 2002, first preferences for Law degrees at UCD attract 21% of all law first preferences.  Numbers have grown by over 5% since January and are 11% up on 2011.

Student interest in the suite of subjects offered under Agricultural Science continues unabated.  UCD accounts for over 80% of all CAO first preferences in agriculture and horticulture.  First preferences are up 14% since January and 11% over 2011 with 811 students opting for these programmes.

UCD offers the only veterinary medicine degree (DN300) on the island.  The national increase of almost 100 students giving their first preference to veterinary medicine may, like pharmacy and dentistry, (up by 100 and by 40) reflect the extra number of students taking honours maths with the 25 points bonus.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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