A1 formula secures college places for classmates

Students applying for science and maths degrees may have needed higher CAO points than last year, but there were no obstacles for incoming University College Cork students Conor Durkan and Paul Ryan.

Paul got seven higher- level A1s in his Leaving Cert at Coláiste Chríost Rí in Turner’s Cross and has accepted a place to study mathematical sciences.

He was joined at UCC yesterday by Conor, a former primary school classmate at Scoil Chríost Rí, who made headlines as one of just three Leaving Cert students with nine higher-level A1s.

Welcoming the pair, head of UCC’s college of science, engineering and food science, Professor Patrick Fitzpatrick, said it was a very exciting time for maths students, with a wide range of careers in IT, engineering, research, and financial services open to them.

Food science was the UCC course that saw the biggest rise in points, up 40 on last year to 405. Two international commerce programmes, with Italian and German, were up 35 points to 385 and 405, respectively. UCC’s arts degree fell by 10 points to 335.

University of Limerick saw a 35-point drop for entry to arts, down to 415, although this was attribu-ted to the opening of more places. Unlike UCC, where points are up for about half the 60 level 8 degrees, most of UL’s degree programmes need fewer points than last year.

The college had been offering 25 bonus points for higher-level Leaving Cer maths for a number of years and had feared a bigger impact on entry requirements, as students who might previously have applied there because of their maths results were thought likely to widen their sights to other colleges.

Paul McCutcheon, vice president and registrar, said: “I expected the points adjustment to be more significant and, in spite of this, many of our existing programmes have shown a points increase.”

Cork Institute of Technology had a wide spread of changes on its courses with a level 8 analytical chemistry degree up 55 points to 345 but 60 points fewer than last year needed to study chemical and biopharmaceutical engineering.

Entry to nursing degrees at most Munster colleges requires about 10 to 20 points more than in 2011.

A 15-point rise for psychiatric nursing at Waterford Institute of Technology to 395 was the biggest jump for courses at the college, where points for most degrees have also fallen.


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