'Explosion' in CAO points could lead to more students taking up PLC courses locally

'Explosion' in CAO points could lead to more students taking up PLC courses locally

There has been a big increase in the points required for a number of courses in Cork this year, with some students requiring up to 100 additional points for their choices on CAO offer day.

A Careers Advisor at UCC believes the ‘explosion’ in points required for a number of courses in Cork this year will lead to more people exploring and taking up offers in PLC colleges locally.

The big increase in points required for a number of courses has led to acute disappointment for many Cork students who received the required number of points but were not offered places, with the allocation being made by random selection.

A number of courses in UCC have increased substantially from last year.

Dentistry at University College Cork (UCC) is one of four courses nationwide to reach the maximum threshold of 625 points. Social science has increased by 22 points. 

English is up by 49 points, government and political science rose by 62 points, sport studies and physical education has increased by 54 points, commerce is up 23 points, while accounting is up by 44.

Genetics has risen by 56 points, biological and chemical sciences have increased by 45 points, while law has jumped up 26 points.

Computer science has increased from 468 points last year to 503 this year. Pharmacy is up 23 points to 613 points this year. General nursing increased by 44 points to 498, while speech and language therapy was up 48 points to 568.

MTU has also experienced a similar increase in a majority of their Level 8 courses.

Montessori Education at Munster Technological University increased by 121 points, with applicants requiring 409 points, while sports and exercise management increased by 80 points to 402.

IT management has increased by 50 points. Computer systems have increased by 33 points, software development is up by 20 points, automotive business management and technology is up 25 points. Creative digital media has increased by 31 points, while business information systems increased by 15 points.

At MTU, the points for engineering (common entry) rose by 64 to 475, while biomedical science went up 25 points to 590.

Mary McCarthy who is a third-level consultant at UCC said the significant increase in points will lead to a lot of ‘disappointment’. 

“There will be a lot of people disappointed. It is heartbreaking for so many high achievers. There is a random selection for some courses. All third-level colleges have been left with this situation and they are doing the best they can,” she said.

Ms McCarthy is hopeful the local Colleges of Further Education will be able to create spaces this year to meet the growing demand for third-level places. 

“I really hope the Colleges of Further Education can extend themselves and create some spaces this year. I expect there will be an  explosion in people looking at PLC courses locally.” 

The careers advisor said it is important that students take stock before making any decision with regard to their future academic careers. 

“I would hope that students have a wide range of options. It is so important that they don’t lose hope because there are so many routes into careers. 

"There are lots of opportunities but the key thing is that students don’t make any rushed decisions."

“If they have been given an offer they need to explore the modules. If they find themselves doing a course that is the wrong match it is both demoralising and expensive,” she added.

Lillian Griffin, the Admissions Officer in the MTU Cork campus said there was an element of ‘shock’ amongst students when the CAO points were released. 

“Many people probably got a shock when they got their offer. We are fielding a lot of queries from disappointed students who missed out by five points. The jump was dramatic this year. We are up in applications also for a lot of our courses and the competition is tough. 

"There were a lot of students who thought they were home and hosed after great results. They had excess points in many cases and it is a big land to get,” she said.

Ms Griffin also encouraged students to take a breath and she reminded students the second round offers are due on Tuesday, September 20. 

“I would urge students to get advice from their guidance counsellor and their parents. They have until 3pm next Monday to make a decision so take a breath.”

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