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UCD is Ireland’s university-of-first-choice for 2024 CAO applicants

Posted 11 March, 2024

  • 30.5% of all DARE applicants were to UCD in 2024

University College Dublin is the university-of-first-choice among CAO applicants with 9,380 students in 2024 choosing its Level 8 courses as their first preference.

Some 23,936 students applied to UCD this year, a total that represented 35.7% of all applications submitted to CAO, according to preliminary data.

Of particular significance is the increase in the number of Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) applicants to the University, with the recorded number up 3.5% this year.

In 2024, 30.5% of all DARE applicants through the CAO were made to UCD.

(opens in a new window)Professor Colin Scott, UCD Registrar, Deputy President and Vice President for Academic Affairs said: “It is good to see applicants engaging strongly with the wide range of educational programmes and entry pathways at UCD.”

“UCD keeps all programmes and the wider student experience under review to ensure appropriate educational challenge, alongside supports for learning and wider development, offering an inclusive and holistic student experience.”

UCD’s share of 1st preferences was 14% in 2024, a slight rise on last year’s figure of 13.6%.

The largest percentage increase recorded was in DN760 Education (with Gaeilge & Modern Languages), up 70.8%. This course was introduced last year and is recognised and accredited by The Teaching Council of Ireland.

Successful graduates are eligible to apply for registration as a post-primary school teacher.

Other big increases were recorded in DN610 Business and Law, up 51.3%, DN301 Veterinary Med (Grad Entry) at plus 27.3%, DN670 Economics and Finance up 21.7%, DN410 Radiography and DN451 Children’s and General Nursing up 17.8% and 16% respectively.

First preference interest in the common entry degrees of Engineering and Computer Science are up slightly, while Science showed a modest decrease.

The Arts and Humanities degrees were largely up across the board as are the Commerce and Business & Law degrees.
These figures for UCD are subject to change as they do not represent the total number of expected 2024 CAO applicants as late applications close the beginning of May, and the change of mind facility opens on 7th May until 1st July.

The CAO received 76,899 applications for places on third level courses for next year, a decrease of 1.4% compared to 2023’s figures.

The majority of applications were for level 8 courses, with 66,374 students selecting these courses compared to 27,871 applicants for level 6/7 programmes.

By:David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie