Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Demand for agriculture courses doubles in four years

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Demand for agriculture, horticulture and food science courses doubled in the four years from 2008 to 2012, according to statistics from the Central Applications Office (CAO).

First preference votes for Level 8 agriculture-related courses jumped by a massive 97.7pc between 2008 and 2012, while first preference votes for Level 6 and 7 courses increased by 99.3pc.

With such strong demand for agriculture courses, it was inevitable that the points requirements would also increase.

In the past five years, the points requirements for the main agriculture courses, such as Agricultural Science in UCD, have risen by a massive 41pc.


In 2012, the average increase across the 20 Level 8 courses linked with agriculture is just under 10 points.

However, many courses surged by a multiple of this.

The biggest jump was in UCC's Food Science, which jumped by 40 points to 405, but food science courses everywhere saw entry requirements rise significantly, with both Food Science in UCD and Food Science and Business up by 25 points each.

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Interest in the horse sector also resulted in a big increase in the points requirement for the diploma course in equine science, with first round offers only for those with 340 points, compared to 310 in 2011.

Almost all agriculture and veterinary courses in UCD were up, with only Forestry and Horticulture, Landscape and Sportsturf Management falling by 10 points each.

A significant gap has now opened up between these two courses and the rest of the agriculture-related options, with almost 100 points between these and the next lowest, Dairy Business, at 430.

Only students with 585 points or higher secured their places on the first round of offers for Veterinary in UCD, an increase of 20 points on the minimum requirement in 2011.

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