The CAO points required to study Ag Science at third level could be higher this year, as the total number of college applications have increased.

Figures from the CAO show that an extra 2,000 people had applied for third-level places by January 20, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

While the CAO said the increase in the number of students applying so early could simply be that people are more organised this year, it could also indicate increased numbers applying to go to college this year.

With college course points driven by demand an increase in students applying to go to third level will drive up the points for some courses.

Ag Science courses became hugely popular in recent years with points for Ag in UCD at 470 points.

The points required for entry into the UCD Ag Science course have increased by almost 50% over the past eight years – 315 points in the 2007 Leaving Certificate would have secured you a place, but you’d have needed 470 in 2015.

Even though the number of students who applied for agriculture-based courses dropped by 18% in 2015, the points requirement for the Ag Science course in UCD rose by five.

Increased positively around the entire agricultural sector has been cited as the primary cause for the rise in demand for third-level Ag courses.

Students who have not applied to the CAO by February 1 could face the risk of being classed as a late applicant.

How to fill in your CAO form
  1. Go online at and click on ‘Apply’.
  2. Enter your personal details.
  3. Select the qualifications and assessments section that are relevant to you.
  4. Enter your payment details.
  5. Create a password.
  6. Supply a valid email address.
  7. You must then click on ‘Proceed with application’ to obtain your CAO application number.
  8. Your application details will appear on screen and you will also receive an email containing your CAO application number.

Key dates for CAO applications



Some of the courses available:

Agriculture (BSc) – Cork Institute of Technology

Students who successfully complete Year 2 of this programme and do not wish to progress to Year 3 will receive the Higher Certificate in Science in Agriculture.

Students also have the opportunity to complete a 15-week work placement in second year.

Course details:
  • College: Cork Institute of Technology
  • CAO: CR010
  • Duration: Three years
  • Points required in 2015: 360

Agriculture (Bsc) – Dundalk Institute of Technology

The course is based in Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Co. Cavan and Dundalk Institute of Technology, which allows for both theory and practical learning, it says.

Course details
  • College: Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • CAO: DK882
  • Duration: Four years
  • Points required in 2015: 380

Agricultural Science (BAgrSc) – University College Dublin

Students who are not 100% sure of which area of agriculture they want to specilise have the option to select the ‘No Preference Option’ on the CAO form when applying for the degree programme in UCD.

This allows students to chose from one of UCD’s agricultural disciplines during their first year in college.

The disciplines include Animal and Crop Production, Animal Science, Animal Science – Equine, Engineering Technology or Food and Agribusiness Management.

Course details
  • College: University College Dublin
  • CAO: DN250
  • Duration: Four years
  • Points required in 2015: 470


Agriculture and Environmental management (BSc) – Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

This course covers production agriculture, environmental science, economics, accountancy, communications, computing and information systems in its first year, as well as advanced dairy production and dry stock production in second year.

Course details
  • College: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
  • CAO: GA777
  • Duration: Three years
  • Points required in 2015: 300

Agriculture (BSc) – Waterford Institute of Technology

The three-year course in agriculture at Waterford includes work placement, on a farm or in industry during second year, while students also take nine modules at Teagasc Kildalton.

Course Details
  • College: Waterford Institute of Technology
  • CAO: WD126
  • Duration: Three years
  • Points required in 2015: 380