The number of CAO points required for first round entry into UCD’s level 8 Agricultural Science course fell by 10, to 460 points, this year.
The points required for entry to the level 8 Agricultural Science courses in the Institute of Technology Tralee and Waterford Institute of Technology also fell, by 25 and 15 points, to 345 and 400, respectively.
Points for Dundalk IT’s recently introduced level 8 agriculture course remained unchanged at 355.
It is the first time since 2007 that the points for UCD’s level 8 Agricultural Science course have fallen.
Points steadily increased from 315 in 2007 to 470 last year.
Points required for entry to the level 7 Agricultural Science course in the Institute of Technology Tralee fell by 10 points to 290, however the points for entry to Waterford IT’s Agriculture course increased by 5 to 385.
The fall in points for agriculture-related courses reflects statistics released by the CAO last month showing a drop of more than 25% in the number of students applying for places on such courses, and a fall in the number of students making agriculture courses their first preference.
Previously, there had been a steady increase in the number of CAO applicants making agriculture-related courses their first preference, rising to 811 applicants in 2014.
Now, uncertainties in the sector have put students off.
However, there has been an increase this year in points for both level 7 and 8 Agricultural Engineering courses at the Institute of Technology Tralee.
Points for the level 7 course increased by 45 to 265, and by 10 for the level 8 course, to 335.
Points for Veterinary Medicine at UCD fell by 5 to 570, while points for level 8 Veterinary Nursing, also at UCD, remained unchanged at 465.
Applicants have until August 29 at 5:15pm to accept round-one offers, with the CAO advising applicants to use the online system to accept offers, stating that it is “easier, safer and faster than returning the paper offer notice”.
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