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Deirdre Kelleghan

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  Deirdre Kelleghan
Being a self-employed artist is probably the most difficult job really. You need to be highly motivated in the tasks you set for yourself. You need to be able to work on your inspirations and be totally focused on your targets. If your painting does not work first time you need to be able to learn from your experience and use what worked in another piece. Your ability to have confidence in your journey exploring your choice of subjects in paint is important. As regards doing workshops, bringing fun into the entire effort is the most important element to achieve. Your audiences will learn in a more sustainable way and produce drawings to be proud of.
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CAO Application Trends 2017

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CAO Application Trends 2017


Thursday, March 09, 2017 




CAO Application Trends 2017

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has today released 2017 application data up to the Change of Course Choices closing date of 1st March. A total of 76,086 applications were received by CAO by the 1st February closing date.

Examined by subject group, the initial Level 8 data shows some significant downward trends:

  • Education courses are always popular, however they show a decrease of 2% over all this year - down 379 from 19,242 in 2016 to 18,863 applications, and down 2% in first preferences. This is despite guaranteed demand in this sector with projected upward population increases, perhaps reflecting the unrest in the sector that students may have seen this year.
  • There is also a sizeable decrease in demand for Level 8 Nursing courses, again despite the ongoing and much publicised shortage of nurses and despite the fact that the 2017 application figures now include mature entrants under the same course codes. First preferences are down 10% (579) with the overall total down from 39,252 in 2016 to 35,896 this year. This follows the huge increase seen last year when the message about nursing shortages seemed to be hitting home. 
  • Despite the emphasis on skills shortages and the need for talent in the areas of Engineering and Technology, it is disappointing to see that courses are showing a 7% decrease overall (down 2,775 from 37,625 in 2016 to 34,850 this year) and a 5% decerease in first preferences. Given that significant skills shortages in these areas are predicted for the years ahead, it is not good news.
  • Arts and Social Science, always the largest category in terms of demand for places with 83,406 applications, its down 239 on the 83,645 applications in last year numbers and just 53 on first preferences.
Level 8

2017

1st Prefs

2016

1st Prefs

Increase

Decrease

%

Change

Arts & Social Science 14,459 14,406 53 0%
Admin/Business 11,021 10,843 178 2%
Science/Applied Sc 8,503 8,213 290 4%
Engineering/Tech 6,838 7,207 -369 -5%
Nursing 5,376 5,955 -579 -10%
Education 4,686 4,839 -153 -3%
Human Medicine 3,273 3,246 27 1%
Law 2,694 2,477 217 9%
Other Health Care 2,369 2,021 348 17%
Art & Design 2,274 2,196 78 4%
Physiotherapy 784 820 -36 -4%
Architecture 756 708 48 7%
Veterinary Medicine 612 560 52 9%
Agri/Hort 532 455 77 17%
Built Environment 473 428 45 11%
Pharmacy 325 353 -28 -8%
Dentistry 319 303 16 5%

Agriculture & Horticulture, Law and Construction are up

  • The biggest percentage increase this year, although small in numbers, is Agriculture & Horticulture showing an 18% increase in demand for Level 8 courses, up from 1,990 in 2016, to 2,355 in 2017.
  • Demand for Level 8 courses in the Built Environment is also up, showing a 17% increase from 2,216 in 2016 to 2,599 in 2017. Architecture too is up by 7% - from 708 first preferences in 2016, reflecting continued confidence in property sector careers. 
  • Total applications for Medicine are up by only 12 (0%) while Pharmacy is down 7% (from 1,942 to 1,812), giving those applicants with sufficient points and meeting the entry requirements a good chance of securing a place this year based on the number of places available.
  • Dentistry is up (from 1,085 to 1,128 overall) and 5% on first preferences. Level 8 Applications to Physiotherapy are down 2% overall from 3,457 in 2016 to 3,371 this year and 4% on first preferences.
  • There is a further increase in application numbers for Science, up from 53,355 last year to 53,787 overall this year, with a 4% increase in first preferences, reflecting a steady stream of success in attracting students into this area.
  • Administration and Business is up yet again from 60,604 applications to 61,273 of which 11,021 are first preferences this year (2%) -  a continued rise year on year.
  • Law applications are also up again this year from 13,622 applications in 2017 to 14,509 in 2017, showing a 9% increase in first preferences.
  • Art and Design courses are up by 206 (2%), from 8,626  to 8,832 - this category includes Media and Television, Animation and Digital Design courses.

Level 6 and 7 applications

Level 6 and 7 application numbers are down across the board with the exception once again of Architecture.

Overall, there are 6,146 (5%) less applicants registering an interest at this early stage for Level 6/7 courses. Given the fantastic FE/QQI Progression routes now available, this is likely to shift by the July CAO Deadline as students continue to modify their CAO applications and become more aware of the available options as they do more course research.

Level 7/6

2017

1st Prefs

2016

1st Prefs

Increase

Decrease

%

Change

Admin/Business 11,025 11,081 -56 -1%
Science/Applied Sc 7,921 7,835 86 1%
Engineering/Tech 6,841 7,310 -469 -6%
Arts & Social Science 4,699 4,789 -90 -2%
Art & Design 759 870 -111 -13%
Dentistry 684 644 40 6%
Other Health Care 584 598 -14 -2%
Built Environment 446 440 6 1%
Agriculture/Hort 434 441 -7 -2%
Law 345 326 19 6%
Pharmacy 251 237 14 6%
Architecture 216 165 51 31%
Education 140 149 -9 -6%

What does it all mean?

Demand is generally a good indicator of whether or not points will increase or fall. Where there is significant growth in applications for particular courses there is greater competition for each available course place, which will in turn translate into higher CAO points.

Where applications for a course drop or remain similar, CAO points will generally remain steady or may even fall. 

Explore the CareersPortal Interactive CAO Application Trends HERE

A total of 76,086 applications were received by CAO by the 1st February closing date, an increase of just five applicants on the previous year - 272 of these applicants were Advanced Entry* applicants. The final figure is likely to be slightly higher with late applications accepted until 1st May.

*From 2015, the CAO processes applications for entry to years 2, 3 and 4 of undergraduate courses in some Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This entry route is known as Advanced Entry. 

The number of applicants applying for places on most courses has increased this year, and is set to continue to increase each year for the next ten years, due to a population increase of approximately 2,000 children every year since the beginning of this century. This increase now being reflected in the numbers sitting the Leaving Cert.

Note: The data provided at this stage is interim data and is subject to change when late applications are taken into account and the ‘Change of Mind’ facility closes on 1 July at 5:15pm.

Overall 2017 CAO data shows:

  • An increase in Level 8 applications (Up 264 from 65,030 in 2016 to 65, 294 in 2017)
  • A decrease in Level 6/7 applications (Down 540 from 34,885 in 2016 to 34,345 in 2017). This may indicate a tendency by CAO applicants to delay filling in their Level 6/7 options until a later stage in the process.

Mature Applicant Numbers are down

There was a total of 9,707 applications from mature applicants (over 23 years of age) – down 573 on 2016. This figure includes 108 mature applicants who applied for Advanced Entry only.

Speaking about the application figures, General Manager of CAO, Joseph O’Grady, commented: “The majority of CAO applicants will be permitted to use the ‘Change of Mind’ facility when it opens on 5th May to add, remove or re-order course choices, which will result in changes to the figures released today”.

Late applications are currently being accepted up to May 1st at 5:15pm - to apply to CAO go to www.cao.ie and click on ‘Apply’.

All CAO applicants will receive a ‘Statement of Application Record’ before the end of May, and CAO advises applicants to read this document carefully. The Statement of Application Record will contain details of important information held on file for the applicant - including course choices and examination details - and any errors or omissions identified in this document must be communicated to CAO immediately.

Applicants are advised to contact CAO using the ‘Contact’ page on the CAO website. 

The CareersPortal Team