Changes to UCD’s Arts degree has had little impact on the demand for places in the new courses, according to provisional figures released by the CAO. The traditional DN500 Arts course has been changed into six different entries. DN520, a three-year Arts degree covering two subjects has 469 first preferences, while the four-year DN530 has 136 first preferences. The DN541 Modern language course has 39 first preferences and includes a mandatory year abroad.

The DN700 Social Sciences option, which includes ‘Philosophy, Politics & Economics; Computational Social Science, Landscapes & Society and Economics, Mathematics & Statistics’, received 373 first preferences. It is based on a two-subject choice, featuring four separate pathways. Single course options for Economics and Psychology remain. There are 84 first preferences for DN750, the BSocSci in Social Policy & Sociology.

The reformed Arts course is also an issue in the upcoming UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Sabbatical elections. The two candidates running for Undergraduate Education Officer spoke to the Tribune about its potential issues.

Christine Brown, a final year Archaeology student, thinks the new programme will give students ‘a more rounded education’ and mentioned how Archaeology will feature more field work. Brown thinks ‘the main thing for the Education Officer at that time is to stay in contact with the students about it and be ‘look, it’s a new system, everyone is kinda learning, the lectures in the Department are learning,’ before concluding ‘it’s going to be a bit turbulent but hopefully we’ll deal with it the best we can.’

Stephen Crosby, a final year Politics student, also believes the new system will benefit incoming students. He identified the four-year course with a third year based on internships as one to watch. It will be ‘quite interesting’ once the first-year group get to that stage. Looking at potential education issues for next year, he stated ‘for incoming first years it’s letting them understand the split’ between the new degrees.

UCD received 13.7% of overall first preference choices for level 8 degrees, which consisted of 8,577 out of 62,751 applicants. Overall CAO applications are down from 65,273 in 2017. The CAO’s Change of Mind Deadline closes on the 1st of July after the Leaving Certificate exams. 6,084 applicants have yet to list any preferences. The improving economy has seen increased interest in UCD courses like Architecture, Engineering, Science, Business, and Law.

Cian Carton – Editor