20% jump in number of students applying for agricultural degrees

The number of students interested in studying a Level 8, third-level degree in agriculture or horticulture has increased by just over 20% in 2017, compared to the number of applications witnessed last year.

This is according to the latest figures released by the Central Applications Office (CAO), including preferences from late applications.

Students were allowed to alter their CAO applications up until 5:15pm on July 1.

A total of 591 CAO applicants this year had a Level 8 agriculture or horticulture degree as their first preference; this compared to 483 on July 1, 2016.

This equates to a difference of 108, or a jump of 22.36%. Meanwhile, the total number of mentions for agriculture and horticulture degrees on applications witnessed a similar increase of about 20%.

Last year, agriculture and horticulture degrees received a total of 2,328 preferences as part of the CAO application process; this year that figure jumped to 2,798 – an increase of 470.

In relation to Level 8 veterinary medicine degrees, the number of first preferences remained virtually unchanged year-on-year. A total of 549 students placed this type of degree as their first preference; a drop of just six students.

However, the overall mentions for veterinary medicine degrees in 2017 dropped by just over 12%, the latest figures from the CAO show.

In 2016, the CAO received a total of 835 preferences in relation to Level 8 veterinary medicine degrees; this figure dropped by 104, to 731, this year.

Meanwhile, when the figures for Level 6 and Level 7 agriculture and horticulture degrees are examined, it is clear to see that the total number of preferences received for these courses dropped by close to 11%.

But the number of applicants placing these courses as their first preferences remained relatively stable this year, decreasing by just 11.

Applicants can expect to receive their first offers from the CAO on Monday, August 21.

They will be notified by post and e-mail if they have received an offer and they will have until 5:15pm on Monday, August 28, to register an acceptance.

Those who don’t receive a first round offer from the CAO will receive a Statement of Application Record; they must carefully check and notify the CAO of any errors or omissions.

Second round offers are expected to be issued on Thursday, August 31.