Tuesday 16 January 2018

Going to college: A selection of what's new on the CAO

Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh
Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh

Aoife Walsh

Every year, courses are introduced to the CAO that may not have been approved at the time the handbook was printed, so students may not be aware of them. The CAO Change of Mind period (until July 1) is a perfect time for applicants to examine new courses, and to make any amendments to their choices. Here is a selection of what's new:

DC123 BSc Data Science DCU

The popularity of similar courses is rising and this year there are two additions. The first, from DCU, is the BSc Data Science, which combines computing, maths and communications. It is aimed at those who wish to work in the area of data analysis and will cover areas such as data management, data processing, modelling, visualisation and communication. This will have an industry focus and aims to equip students to tackle real-life data problems. A higher level B1 in maths is required.

DT302 BSc Business Analytics DIT

Also new in the area of analytics and big data is DIT's Business Analytics. While still very maths-heavy, there is a stronger business focus than its DCU counterpart. This is reflected in the maths requirement, a higher level D2. Areas of study include statistics, algorithms, programming and algebra in addition to marketing, supply-chain management, and business decision-making. Growing demand for such skills means graduates will have opportunities in the health, finance and telecommunication industry.

SG440 BSc Agri-Food Science Sligo IT

This new offering from Sligo IT allows students to explore food production, processing security and traceability and includes areas such as conservation, use of resources and food hygiene. This course has a strong maths and science focus as well as industry placements, which allow students to develop practical skills. It is available at both Level 7 and Level 8 and does not require a science subject for entry.

DT405 BSc Culinary Science DIT

DIT's culinary school has a long-established tradition. This course is aimed at students who may be interested in a career as a concept chef and, unusually, combines the areas of food entrepreneurship, kitchen skills and food science in one course. Students will also have the opportunity to study abroad and a six-month industry placement. Applicants will be required to present an ordinary level C3 in one science subject, maths or home economics.

For more information on these and other new courses, as well as other changes to the CAO handbook, applicants should check out the college-alert list, available through the student resource section on CAO.ie, and course descriptions on qualifax.ie or college websites.

*Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

 Question: If SUSI considers all household income, does this include the income of older siblings?

Answer: The centralised student grants agency, SUSI, assesses income in one of two ways, depending on the category of the applicant

Dependent applicants will be assessed on the basis of their parent’s or guardian’s income, while independent applicants will be assessed on the income of their spouse, civil partner or co-habitant.

In both cases, the income of the applicant themselves will be taken into account. SUSI will not take the income of older siblings into consideration. 

An applicant can exclude a maximum of €4,500 holiday earnings (summer, Christmas or Easter work) from their reckonable income for grant-assessment purposes. This threshold was increased this year, from €3,809.

Reckonable income limits are, however, increased to take into account the number of dependents in the household.

Important dates


Open evening for postgrad/part-time courses — Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Interview date — BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy — PCI College


Open day —  Kennedy College Waterford

Training fair, Kerry ETB — Brandon Hotel Tralee

Family open day — Queen’s University Belfast

Spring open days — University College Cork

MAY 15

Statement of course choices sent to late paper applicants by today — CAO

MAY 16

Second-round interviews (3 days) — Ormonde College of Further Education

MAY 18

Enrolment day — Ballsbridge College of Further Education

MAY 19

Open evening — Monaghan Institute of FE & Training

Open evening — Pulse College, Dublin and Galway

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