The 2009/2010 college year brings its new load of Junior Freshman. With record numbers of CAO applicants this year there has been a shift in points among many courses, up and down as well as the introduction of new courses hoping to cope with the latest demand.
Trinity provided six new courses this year. Each course has limited places so demand has caused many of the points to start high. Law and political science allowed for only 20 places and law and business with 25 places, both courses requiring 555 points. Political science and geography with 20 places required 430 points. Business and computing with 30 places came to 365 points. Ancient and medieval history and culture came to 385 points with random selection with only 15 places available. Human health and disease was another course that resulted in random selection at 515 points and finally Earth science required 470 points.
There have also been significant changes in many areas of the CAO system. Medicine saw a change in its admission structure with dual exams. Admission was through the HPAT (Health Profession Admissions Test) and academic results with a minimum of 480 leaving certificate points. The HPAT is an aptitude test measuring logical reasoning, problem solving and non verbal reasoning. It is designed to test specific skills of a person and how they relate to the health profession with the test having a maximum of 300 points. As a result of this new exam, entry into medicine in Trinity required 729 combined points, which differed from UCD where 720 points were required.
As with every year some courses have seen significant changes in points, some more than others. The ever popular dentistry has risen from 555 to 570 points this year. Science is another course which has seen an increase in points across the country, points for Trinity’s science course rose from 415 in 2008 to 440 in 2009. The huge demand in the number of places shows the draw the course has for students who wish to undertake a more general course. Similarly, points for BESS stayed high with an increase in 10 points between last year and this year with 2009’s points at 480 with random selection. The battle still continues for places in the less specific courses.
One course which went to other way however was engineering. Points for the course in 2008 were at 445, however 2009’s entrance to Trinity engineering was 410 points. The majority of other courses have remained steady even with the extra demand in places.
The high entry level of students into courses across the country has led to research into the top feeder schools to Irish Universities. Recent research data showed the High and Diocesan School in Rathgar, Dublin topping the table followed by the fee-paying St. Andrews College in Blackrock, Dublin and the third being Coláiste Fhlannain in Ennis, Co. Clare.
The list of twenty five schools contained only three outside of Dublin. Points were awarded to a school on the number of its students who went on to attend Trinity College or UCD and consideration was given to areas of high unemployment rates and lower socio economic areas.
2009 statistics on the number of students from particular schools who have entered into Trinity have yet to be released, this data won’t be available until final registration for the 2009/2010 college year is complete.