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College places for 2,226 in second round of CAO offers


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More than 2,000 students are celebrating a college offer after the CAO issued its second round.

About two-thirds of the 2,226 who received offers yesterday now have the choice of a course higher up their CAO preference list, while 771 have their first offer of the season.

Among the 1,613 who got an offer for a Level 8 (honours degree) course, 743 received their top CAO choice, while 486 applicants for Level 7/6 (ordinary degree/higher certificate) got their highest preference.

Some CAO applicants will have received offers at both Level 8 and Level 7/6 and now have to decide between them and any previous offer they may have.

Anyone with an offer in this round has until 5.15pm tomorrow to accept. This a shorter window than in previous years due to changes in the CAO process to accommodate the trend to earlier term starts. Most colleges open for registration next week.

Almost one in five honours degree courses have seen points drops in Round 2, including many nursing programmes.

While some points falls were slight, others were more significant, including environmental science and technology at DCU, down 30 to 341 and psychology in Trinity down 10 to 533.

Unusually, students have been offered places on some honours degree programmes at UCD without having to worry about points at all - and even after Round 2, there are still places available.

Empty places on two UCD programmes are being linked to lack of familiarity with more defined pathways for entry to arts, humanities, social sciences and sociology and social policy introduced by UCD this year.

While some of the new routes attracted high demand others saw relatively low demand, as a consequence of which there were significant variations in points. In Round 1, points for UCD arts rose to 381 (down to 370 in Round 2), while the new BA humanities came in at 301 points and the new BSocSc sociology and social policy required 291 points.

When the Round 2 offers were released, places on the humanities and sociology courses were offered to applicants who met the basic entry requirements - the right subjects and grades. Points did not come into play because there were not enough qualified applicants to generate a competition. Greater familiarity with changes is likely to minimise the chances of this happening again.

The two courses are among more than 200 programmes at both Level 8 and Level 7/6 that still have vacancies and which are advertised on the CAO available place facility and open to what are known as AQAs (all qualified applicants).

Both existing CAO applicants and those who have not applied to the CAO may apply for an available place and some additional offers will be issued on a weekly basis until mid-October, when the season ends.

Irish Independent