Date Uploaded: 28/07/2014
Demand for construction, engineering and architecture courses has risen sharply in a trend that is due to push up college entry points for this year’s school leavers.
An analysis of CAO first preferences shows points are set to rise across a range of courses linked to the building and construction sector, mirroring shifting confidence in the economy.
The number of candidates listing construction as their first choice has more than doubled from 195 to 460 for level 8 honours programmes, while demand for level 7 and 6 construction courses has jumped from 198 to 482.
These courses cover disciplines such as quantity and building surveying and construction management, in institutes of technology at Carlow, Dublin, Dundalk, Limerick and Waterford.
A return of confidence in traditional economic sectors is also reflected in
demand for architecture (up 13.5 per cent), engineering (up 5.8 per cent), business (up 4.4 per cent), and law (up 5.5 per cent).
Students can expect to see points increase proportionately for all these programmes.
First preferences for both arts/humanities and science honours degree programmes are relatively unchanged.
However, there has been a rise of 8 per cent in those seeking science places at ordinary degree/higher cert level, which will push up points requirement for programmes .
In the area of healthcare, demand for courses is up overall but down 7.8 per cent for medicine and 5.4 per cent for nursing studies.
The decrease to 2,872 in the numbers seeking one of the 483 places in medicine can be attributed to students dropping this option having realised their HPAT test score, received in late June, put them out of the race for a place.
The drop in nursing applications of 320 down to 5,572 will not see any significant decrease in the high points requirements. It is significant that 480 Irish students secured a place to study nursing in Northern Ireland and Britain last year, where securing a place may not require points scores of over 400.
All other health related programmes show a sharp increase in demand – up 159 per cent from 339 to 877.
There are five health-related level 7/6 programmes in the ITs in Letterkenny, Tralee and Waterford. At honours degree level in occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition and health promotion, demand is up 46 per cent. Demand for physiotherapy places has also increased by over 10 per cent.