Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

Ag points set to jump again

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Competition for college places in agriculture is set to be even tougher this year, new figures from the Central Applications Office (CAO) show.

The number of students who listed UCD's degree in agriculture as their first preference at third level jumped by 5.5pc compared to last year, the CAO statistics revealed.

The higher level of demand is likely to hike up the minimum number of Leaving Certificate points required. The minimum points required last year was 445, and represented a 40pc increase in points since 2007.

Other agriculture degrees in UCD, such as dairy business and human nutrition, also recorded sizeable increases.

However, demand for agriculture courses is not confined to third level only.

Teagasc head of education Tony Pettit said demand for the Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture was on a par with last year, which saw a record high.

"Based on the applications and level of interest so far, we will be looking at an intake of 600-650 students for that course in September 2013," he said.

"That's about level pegging with last year," he added.

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Demand for equine courses at Kildalton is slightly higher than last year, while interest in the advanced Level 6 courses in dairy, drystock, tillage and mechanisation is also up on previous years.

Meanwhile, Teagasc is set to expand its Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management in 2013. Mr Pettit said course places could double to 40 students, if interest and staff resources allowed.

Irish Independent

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