The first round of this year’s CAO offers saw UCD’s highly rated Economics and Finance course become the first ever to require 625 points, the maximum attainable under the CAO system.  In an extraordinary year for Leaving Cert results, not everyone who obtained 625 received a place in Economics and Finance, a testament to the demand for the course. This kind of outcome would have been unthinkable years ago, but why has it come to this? And why this particular course in UCD? 

With only 50 places available, competition has always been rife for a spot in this course. The smaller allocation of spots in the course has contributed to both inflating the points and also creating a sense of prestige around the course. 

Places were allocated by random lottery to applicants who had received 625 points, meaning some who got 625 points missed out on a place in Economics and Finance. An incredible occurrence in what was a most extraordinary year for CAO points, with countless courses also seeing their points skyrocket.

Three other courses join Economics and Finance on 625 points. Management science in both UCC and Trinity College hit the same heights, as did dental science, also in Trinity. Clearly, the UCD course stands out as the most sought after business degree in the country.

Perhaps what creates such demand for the course is the lucrative career prospects that graduates can expect after completing the three-year course. Career opportunities include stock brokering, fund management, investment banking, corporate finance and economics. Given the fact that these are among some of the highest-paid career options out there, it is clear to see why this course attracts the ambitious and determined.

Also, if a course is to reach the maximum amount of 625, it is not surprising that it was Economics and Finance. Just two years ago, the course was the first ever to break the 600-point mark, a feat repeated by a staggering 22 courses this year. 

It is important to note, however, that it is likely that the points for Economics and Finance, as well as most other courses, will fall in the coming years as the impact of calculated grades and the resulting grade inflation subsides, it is a testament to the popularity of the course that it was the first-ever to hit the maximum point requirements.

Mark O’Rourke – Business Correspondent

Additional Reporting by Conor Paterson – Co-Editor