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Posted 14 March 2013

UCD continues to attract the most CAO first preferences for university degrees

CAO applications to UCD up to a new record of 8,509

UCD has experienced an increase of 1.5% in first preferences across 57 entry codes for level 8 degrees.  With a rise of 124 first preferences over 2012, some 8,509 students have placed UCD as their first choice of university at this stage of the application process.  This performance is seen in the face of a fall of 1,099 level 8 applicants to the CAO nationally in 2013.

“UCD continues to increase in popularity. “ Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Mark Rogers says.  “Last year the university broke the 8,000 first preferences level so this year’s figure of 8,509 is a great reflection on the reputation of our degrees.”

Common entry for science and engineering are the biggest climbers as over 1,000 students gave their first preferences to these two degree options.

Over the past number of years, UCD has been gradually reducing the number of entry codes onto degree programmes but, as Professor Rogers explains, this has not reduced in any way the choice of subjects available to students.  “By consolidating entry routes we have in fact given our students greater choice.  Engineering students no longer have to pre-select, for example, electronic over mechanical engineering before they even experience those options.   Commerce International now covers all of the languages we offer at UCD, which means we don’t have different points requirements for different languages based on demand in a particular year. 

This year, we have merged our ‘Law plus another subject’ choices under the single Law entry code (DN600) with options to study history, social justice, philosophy, economics or politics alongside law.”


Science (DN200)

On the back of several years of growth in demand at UCD, applications for science DN200 rose again this year, with an increase in first preferences of almost 23% to 631.  Nationally, demand for science degrees grew by 4%. 


Engineering (DN150)

Similarly, Engineering (DN150) has continued to show a strong increase in demand with first preferences up 14% on 2012.  Denominated entry routes were abolished in 2009 and students now choose to specialise after first or second year. 


Computer Science (DN201)

Against a bumper increase of 44% last year, demand for computer science DN201 fell slightly this year but with 198 first preferences, the number of students giving this degree their first preference is more than three times the number in 2009.
Together, engineering and technology first preference applications at UCD increased by over 5% compared with the national demand, which fell by 2%.



Common entry to agriculture DN250, which covers options to specialise animal science, food and agribusiness, engineering technology, animal and crop production, and agri and environmental sciences, showed another strong year with an increase in first preferences of 10%.  Other denominated agriculture degrees such as dairy business (DN252) and human nutrition (DN262) also experienced sizeable increases in first preference demand.


Veterinary Medicine

A small fall in first preferences for undergraduate entry (DN300) to veterinary medicine was balanced by an increase in graduate applications (DN301).  The numbers of students applying to veterinary far exceeds the number of places available and UCD is the only university offering veterinary medicine on the island of Ireland.


Human Health

Demand for medicine fell nationally by 6%.  At UCD, first preference demand rose by almost 4% with a very strong growth of 40% in the graduate entry to medicine (DN401) compensating for the slight fall in undergraduate medicine (DN400).

Nationally, demand for nursing places remained steady.  At UCD, first preference demand among non-mature applicants grew by 3%.



The BA common entry DN500 remains the largest single entry course in Ireland but students have the option of choosing from 27 subjects.  Taking all BA courses, the number of first preferences remains steady compared with 2012.  Interest in the suites of English degrees incorporating drama and film, are highly popular.

First preference numbers for Psychology (DN519) grew by 17% this year.


Law & Business

This year, UCD consolidated the joint ‘Law plus another subject’ entry under DN600.  This means students wishing to study for a BCL or Law with history, philosophy, economics, politics or social justice apply under a single CAO code (DN600).   Despite dropping five entry codes, numbers remain steady with 225 students giving their first preference to law.
Frist preferences for the Business & Law degree (DN610) increased by 5% and for Economics & Finance (DN671) by 12%.  Actuarial & Financial Studies (DN230), which is offered through the College of Science, increased first preferences by 7% to 104.



Bucking the national trend, which shows a fall of 12%, first preferences for architecture at UCD (DN100) remain steady at 159, up 2% on 2012 and similar to first preference numbers for the past two years.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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