Category: Central Applications Office

Points for Law on the second round

Central Applications Office animated logo, via their siteThe Central Applications Office (logo left) processes all applications to first year undergraduate courses in the country’s various third level institutions. Offers are made for places on courses based results in the Leaving Certificate. The first round of offers was August 20; and the acceptance deadline was August 27. By then, a record total of 37,645 applicants had accepted offers – more than three-quarters of the 49,862 offers made. This morning, the CAO made a second round of offers to another 1,185 college applicants. Effectively, for a few courses, the points level will have dropped. Very few law courses made second round offers, but the few changes to the points I set out in a previous post are as follows (the round 1 points are listed first; the round 2 points are listed second in bold):

            Points Required for Entry to 2012 Level 8 Courses



University College Cork
CK302 Law and French 515 500
CK304 Law and Irish 530* 530
CK305 Law (Clinical) 535 530
CK306 Law (International) 550* 550

Dublin Business School
DB514 Business and Law 235 195
DB568 Law 275 230

NUI Galway
GY250 Corporate Law 350 340

Points for Law

Central Applications Office animated logo, via their siteThe Central Applications Office (logo left) processes all applications to first year undergraduate courses in the country’s various third level institutions. Those institutions inform the CAO of the number of places in a given course, and the CAO’s computer will allot places on the course on the basis of results in the Leaving Certificate, a state examination at the end of secondary school. The grades of the last-admitted candidate can be regarded as the cut-off for qualification for entry to that course. Those grades are assigned points, and the entry requirement for any given third-level course in any given year can be represented in terms of points. This year, the first round of offers of places in third level institutions was made this morning, and the cut-off points levels for their 44 50 law offerings are below.

            Points Required for Entry to 2012 Level 8 Courses

Athlone IT
AL057 Business and Law 270
AL058 Accounting and Law no points stated

Carlow IT
CW708 Law 305
CW938 Business with Law 315

University College Cork
CK301 Law 475
CK302 Law and French 515
CK304 Law and Irish 530*
CK305 Law (Clinical) 535
CK306 Law (International) 550*

Dublin Business School
DB514 Business and Law 235
DB568 Law 275

Dublin City University
DC230 Economics Politics and Law 390
DC232 Law and Society (BCL) 410

Dublin Institute of Technology
DT321 Business and Law 400
DT532 Law 350

Griffith College Dublin and Griffith College Cork
GC203 Law (Cork) 315
GC403 Law (Dublin) 305
GC404 Business and Law (Dublin) 250

Trinity College Dublin
TR004 Law 525*
TR017 Law and Business 565
TR018 Law and French 565
TR019 Law and German 525
TR020 Law and Political Science 575

University College Dublin
DN009 Law (BCL) 495
DN021 Business and Law 495
DN028 BCL Maîtrise 525
DN029 Law with French Law (BCL) 560
DN060 Law with History 500
DN065 Law with Politics 510
DN066 Law with Philosophy 495
DN067 Law with Economics 515

NUI Galway
GY101 Arts 300 (depending on subject choice and progression rules, this can lead to a BA in Legal Science)
GY250 Corporate Law 350
GY251 Civil Law 405

Limerick IT
LC231 Law and Taxation 305

University of Limerick
LM020 Law and Accounting 415
LM029 Law Plus 405

NUI Maynooth
MH115 Law (BCL) and Arts 460
MH 119 Law 475
MH406 Law and Business 460

Waterford Institute of Technology
WD140 Law 295


            Points Required for Entry to 2012 Level 7/6 Law Courses

Dublin Business School
DB580 Legal Studies 105
DB581 Legal and Business Studies 170
DB582 Legal Studies AQA
DB583 Legal and Business Studies 100

IT Carlow
CW706 Legal Studies 270
CW926 Business with Law 250

Letterkenny IT
LY207 Law 140

Waterford IT
WD013 Legal Studies 225


This list follows the order provided by the CAO. The asterisk * means that not all on this points score were offered places, whilst AQA means all qualified applicants were offered places.

Update: When I first assembled this post, I missed 6 of the 7/6 Legal Studies courses. Thanks to Jennifer Kavanagh (blog | twitter) for giving me the heads up. They are now listed above; and that’s why I amended the number of courses mentioned in my first paragraph above.

Update (30 August 2012): the second round points are here.

Congratulations and good luck to those who accept places on these courses. Enjoy.

Not by higher education alone?

'Not by Bread Alone' book cover, via CoE websiteThe Bible tells Christians that ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). The aphorism is echoed in the title and plot of Vladimir Dudintsev’s anti-Stalist novel Not by Bread Alone. Now it is the main title of a recent book about the importance of higher education in developing modern societies built upon the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law: Sjur Bergan Not by bread alone (Council of Europe higher education series No 17; 2011). Public debate often assumes that the only purpose of higher education is to prepare gradutes for employment, and this view feeds back into third-level entry requirements and second-level curricula. Hence, we see an increasing focus on “training” (rather than educating) graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (with attendant risks to the arts, humanities, and social sciences). This third-level policy brings a concommitant focus at second-level on bonus CAO points for maths generating calls for bonus points for science and a compulsory leaving certificate science course (perhaps to the detriment of the study of foreign languages; and quite how this stands with the Minster for Education’s stated aim of moving away from the CAO points culture is unclear).

To be sure, preparing graduates for employment is indeed an important purpose of higher education; but, as this book emphasises, it is not the only one. As the editor put it in an earlier publication, as man does not live by bread alone, human existence is about more than work, and higher educuation should be directed to every facet of human existence, and in particular to sustaining the values of the kind of society in which we desire to live. This argument is at the heart of Not by bread alone; from the abstract:

Not by bread alone gathers essays on higher education … [which] spell out a view of higher education as a key factor in developing modern societies built on the fundamental Council of Europe values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. …

To fulfil its role, higher education needs to prepare for citizenship as well as for employment, for personal development as well as for the development of a broad knowledge base. … We also need to take a close look at how the public responsibility for higher education and research can best be exercised in a society with many actors, all of which have their own legitimate agendas. In this situation, public authorities have an overall responsibility for coherent education policies.

Contents include essays on

  • Higher education governance and democratic participation: the university and democratic culture
  • Democracy: institutions, laws, culture and the role of higher education
  • Higher education between market and values
  • Safeguarding ethics and values in higher education: a shared responsibility
  • Higher education as a “public good and public responsibility”: what does it mean?
  • Public responsibility and institutional autonomy: where is the balance?
  • Academic freedom and institutional autonomy: impact on international students
  • Institutional autonomy between myth and responsibility
  • Reflections on ranking in Europe.

This books therefore stands as an important corrective to the rather instrumentalist views sweeping european higher education at present.

Futher points of law

Central Applications Office animated logo, via their site

The CAO needs no introduction to the present generation of school-leavers or their parents. Since 1976 it has enabled our institutions of third-level learning to reconcile annually the choices of the hopefuls — more than 60,000 last year — seeking to embark on a chosen career path.

This is how Fennelly J began his judgment for the Supreme Court in Central Applications Office v Minister for Community Rural and Galeltacht Affairs [2010] IESC 32 (13 May 2010). The Court granted a declaration that respondent Minister did not have the power under the Official Languages Act, 2003 (also here) to designate the applicant as a public body subject to obligations imposed by the Act concerning the conduct of its affairs in both official languages. The CAO today publishes its second round of offers of third level places for the forthcoming academic year, and in the inauspicious technical landscape of a Supreme Court appeal, Fennelly J provided an excellent primer on the operations of the Central Applications Office (the CAO; logo, above left):

is a company limited by guarantee and is a non-profit body. It was formed in 1976 and is based in Galway. … The State has no responsibility for its operation. The members of the CAO are the third-level institutions which it serves. Prior to the establishment of the CAO in 1976, there was no centralised system for processing applications from students seeking admission to third level. … The universities … decided to form a single body to process applications. The CAO now has 44 participant Higher Education Institutions …

The process by which the CAO matches applications (from students) and offers (from institutions) is as follows. Each student makes a single application to the CAO early in the year. The student specifies, in order of preference, the preferred colleges and courses of study. Each institution decides on the number of places it will offer in each category and informs the CAO. The CAO relates the student’s application with [that student’s] Leaving Certificate results. It then makes an offer to the student on a form described as “offer notice” which specifies the course being offered and the institution offering it. It invites the student to return a part of the form specifying acceptance. …

This is a far more elegant explanation than the one I essayed in an earlier post, in which I went on to explain that grades of the last-admitted candidate to a course can be regarded as the cut-off for qualification for entry to that course, and that these grades can be expressed as a function of points in a range from 0 to 600. In that earlier post, I set out the points levels for entry into various law courses on the basis of the CAO’s first round of offers.

Each year, not all of the CAO’s offers are accepted, with the result that some courses have vacancies. The third level institutions notify the CAO of the vacancies, and it issues a further round of offers. Where the points of the last-admitted candidate on this round are lower than those of the last-admitted candidate in the first round, the CAO also publishes the revised points cut-off. This year, the second round of offers of places was made today, and the points requirements for some law courses were revised accordingly. (Of course, some of these offers will not be accepted, and the third level institutions and the CAO will continue to make further offers as necessary to fill their courses).

In the table below (after the jump), I set out the final points requirements for law degrees in the various third level institutions. The first number, in bold font, is the final points requirement. Where the points were revised in round 2, the points for round 1 are then set out in regular font, prefaced by “R1:”. Finally, for the sake of completeness, where the course was offered last year, the final points for 2009 are set out in italics in parentheses. (more…)

Making the point

Central Applications Office animated logo, via their siteMany things about Ireland bemuse visitors to our shores. Two of the most difficult to explain are our electoral system and the programme by which third level places are allocated. I’ll leave the former to other election anoraks for the time being, but the latter is much in the news this week, so I’ll try to give a simple account of how it works.

The Central Applications Office (logo, above left) processes all applications to first year undergraduate courses in the country’s various third level institutions. In early summer, students at the end of their secondary (high) school careers sit a state examination, and the results are published in early August. During the course of that final year, most of the students will have filled in a list of their preferred third level courses and returned it to the CAO. In mid-August, the CAO assign university places to students based on their exam results.

Allocation of places is simply a function of demand and supply. A third level institution will inform the CAO of the number of places in a given course, and the CAO’s computer will allot places on the course to the highest qualified applicants who had applied for that course. The grades of the last-admitted candidate can be regarded as the cut-off for qualification for entry to that course.

In the final state exam, each letter grade is assigned a level of points (eg, an A1 is worth 100 points, a C3 is worth 60 points, etc). The CAO takes each candidate’s best 6 grades to calculate the points total of each candidate (eg, a candidate who got six A1s is will have 600 points, a candidate who got six C3s will have 360 points, etc). Hence, the grades of the last-admitted candidate on a course can be represented in terms of these points, and the entry requirement for any given third-level course in any given year can be represented in terms of points.

Scaled up across every applicant for every third-level course, it is clear that the CAO system is a significant undertaking. This year, the first round of offers of places in third level institutions was made yesterday, and the cut-off points levels for their various law degree offerings are below the jump. (Update: I’ve blogged about the second round final points here). (more…)