What's Up And What's Down In This Year's CAO First Round Points

What's Up And What's Down In This Year's CAO First Round Points

Today sees the CAO first round points being revealed and offers being made to the 76,086 applicants . Most level-eight courses have seen a drop in points possibly as a result of the new points system.

The new points system comes as part of the new Leaving Cert grading system which now marks students with a specific 1-8 scale of grades for Higher and Ordinary level exams. As a result points for courses are no longer in increments of five but are specific and include uneven numbers.

Courses in construction, business and law have seen demand for places increase and as a result the points for these courses have also risen. Points for Architecture in DIT and Planning, Geography and the Environment in UCD have both increased by 30 points. Law in Trinity, Law and Soceity in DCU, and Business and Law in UCD require seven, five and nine points more than in 2016 respectively.

Business courses account for over 20% of CAO offers and with an increased demand comes an increase in points. Commerce in UCD has risen by five points while in NUIG it has risen by seven points.

Points requirements for 34 nursing courses have decreased. The number of places available on these courses has increased by hundreds as the Department of Health restored places previously removed. Undergraduate Medicine has risen by two points in Trinity with UCD, RCSI and UCC all seeing a four point increase.


Many teaching courses for primary and secondary have seen a drop in the number of applicants with points also decreasing. Similarly, Arts courses have seen a decrease in points in DCU, UCC, Maynooth and WIT, with UCD bucking this trend.

What might come as a surprise is a drop in points required for science and engineering, but both of these sectors still account for 6,660 and 5,272 places respectively.

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Matthew Colfer

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