Business Farming

Saturday 1 October 2016

Only one in 11 applicants gets a place on UCD's agri courses

Ken Whelan

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

Agri courses are in demand at UCD.
Agri courses are in demand at UCD.

UCD is reporting a levelling off in interest for its various agricultural degrees but the college is partly putting this down to an increase in the CAO points required to gain entry its School of Agriculture.

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This year the university accepted 330 new undergraduates from in excess of 3,000 applicants which equates to just under one available place for every 11 applicants.

Overall, there are 1,300 agri-degree undergraduates at the university studying various courses from animal science, crop production, food science, engineering and horticulture to degree levels over four years.

Overall the student cohort is up 37pc on levels which were the norm a decade ago.

"Applications have levelled out over the past year but remain on a high plateau. The interest is in keeping with the interest in agriculture and agri-business generally.

"The fact that the points for agriculture have increased shows that the quality of candidates overall is getting stronger," UCD's Damien Dempsey said.

This year's successful applicants had to achieve 470 points from their Leaving Certificates, an increase from 465 points in 2014.

The university has also noticed that previously unsuccessful candidates for UCD were now successfully re-applying to the university having completed FETAC courses.

The gender profile of UCD's ag students is now 45pc female and 55pc male.

And a recent 'Final Destinations Report' commissioned by the college on how their student cohort got on after leaving UCD showed that 61pc were employed with six to nine months while 32pc opted to continue their studies to masters level with the remainder opting to travel or pursue another career.

The various UCD degree modules include significant 'on the job training' which is supported by the various large agri-businesses in the country. The college also has link-ups to outside research and educational campuses like the Smurfit Business school and the Lyons research farm in west Co Dublin.

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