CAO: Did points for agricultural courses increase this year?

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has issued Round One offers today (Friday, September 11).

The CAO has issued 78,950 offers to 53,815 applicants. These offers consist of 47,162 Level 8 course offers and 31,788 Level 7/6 offers.

There was an increase in applicants receiving offers this year, as in 2019, there were 51,513 applicants that received an offer.

AgriLand looked at some of the agricultural courses this year, comparing the CAO points in 2020 to those in 2019. A number of courses saw increases in points required for entry.

Level 8 Agricultural Science courses:
  • University College Dublin: 456 (2020); 425 (2019);
  • University College Cork: 496 (2020); 473 (2019);
  • Waterford Institute of Technology: 377 (2020); 378 (2019);
  • Institute of Technology Tralee: 308 (2020); 331 (2019);
  • Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Agriculture): 307 (2020); 300 (2019).

There were also fluctuations in a number of Level 8 courses that are not agricultural science exactly, but are agriculture-related. There were increases in a number of these courses also:

These courses include:
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology (Agriculture): 310 (2020); 303 (2019);
  • Athlone Institute of Technology (Bioveterinary science): 313 (2020); 310 (2019);
  • Institute of Technology Carlow (Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness): 269 (2020); 270 (2019);
  • Cork Institute of Technology (Agri-Biosciences): 397 (2020); 399 (2019);
  • University College Dublin (Dairy Business): 410 (2020); 398 (2019);
  • University College Dublin (Veterinary Medicine): 589 (2020); 567 (2019).

This year, the average marks across all subjects and at all levels in the Leaving Cert have increased on average by 4.4% on last year. It was likely that this may lead to a CAO points increase for some courses.

AgriLand found earlier in the summer that the interest in third-level agriculture-related courses had dropped in 2020 compared to 2019.

One of the most significant differences this year is the 5% decrease in applicants opting for a Level 8 agricultural course as their first preference. There were 24 less applicants in 2020, bringing the figure down from 471 in 2019 to 447 in 2020.

There was a decrease of 2% in applicants mentioning an agricultural course further down their list, with this year’s number standing at 2,344 compared to 2,395 last year.

There was also less interest in Level 7/6 agricultural courses, with a 3% decrease in first preferences and a 5% decrease in total mentions.

Some of the point differences in agriculture-related Level 7/6 courses are:
  • Waterford Institute of Technology (Agriculture): 327 (2020); 356 (2019);
  • Cork Institute of Technology (Agriculture): 321 (2020); 279 (2019);
  • Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Agriculture): 202 (2020); 188 (2019);
  • Institute of Technology Tralee (Agricultural Science): 249 (2020); 271 (2019);
  • Limerick Institute of Technology (Agricultural Mechanisation at Pallaskenry): 200 (2020); 209 (2019);
  • Athlone Institute of Technology (Veterinary Nursing): 400 (2020); 410 (2019);
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology (Veterinary Nursing): 399 (2020); 382 (2019);
  • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Rural Enterprise and Agri-Business): 277 (2020); 270 (2019).

How Was The Leaving Cert Different This Year?

Leaving Cert students received their results through the calculated grades process due to the disruption to the usual examination process by Covid-19.

The overall number of students due to sit the examinations in 2020 was 60,419.

Of those, 57,569 students followed the Leaving Cert (Established) Programme, of which 13,470 followed the Leaving Cert Vocational Programme.

A further 2,850 candidates followed the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.

Students received results for the first time yesterday in the new subjects of computer science and physical education.

CAO Information

CAO applicants can check to see if they have received an offer by logging on to their account online from 2:00pm.

The successful applicants will also receive an offer notification via email and a text message if they have selected this option on their application form. Separate emails and texts will issue in respect of Level 8 and Level 7/6 offers. There will be no postal offer notice.

Applicants have until 3:00pm on Wednesday, September 16, to accept offers.