University of Limerick programmes continue to be highly sought after by students with excellent Leaving Certificate results, with 39 courses showing an increase in points.
Commenting on the CAO results, Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick said:
"70% of our existing programmes increased or maintained their entry standards in comparison with last year's points and we now have 27 courses requiring 400 or more points for entry."
"Against a backdrop of a national decrease in points in particular areas, we are particularly pleased with the very strong performance of our Healthcare and Education programmes at UL. A number of our new programmes have been very well received, including Psychology (505), BSc Energy (435) and Health Informatics (340)."
"Our success as a knowledge economy requires larger numbers of students following science, technology and engineering, we have experienced mixed results across our suite of engineering and science courses. UL is committed to supporting learning and stimulating interest in science and mathematics at all levels of the educational systems through our Maths and Science Learning Centres and the newly opened, National Centre Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching & Learning. This will be a key enabler of Ireland's future knowledge economy."
Science & Engineering
Ireland's success as a knowledge economy requires larger numbers of students to follow courses in science, technology, and engineering. For many years, UL has been awarding bonus points for honours mathematics to encourage uptake of the subject for Leaving Certificate. Despite the difficulties in stimulating interest in science and mathematics a number of our engineering courses are continuing to be popular, Electronic Engineering at 410, Biomedical Engineering at 425.
Despite the challenges in the construction industry our Civil Engineering programme is still in demand at 460 points making it one of the most popular courses of its type in the country.
The University of Limerick offers Ireland's first civil engineering programme delivered through Problem Based Learning (PBL). The student's, working in teams, are given real engineering problems and required to develop feasible solutions using the PBL approach.
To meet the International call to 'raise the bar' in engineering education. UL is first to offer students the option to continue their education for a 5th year and obtain a level 9 professional degree. This is the minimum educational requirement for graduates after 2013 as set down by Engineers Ireland for those seeking admission to the practice of civil engineering at professional (chartered) level.
Healthcare - Nursing, Medicine, Physiotherapy
We are particularly pleased with the interest in our wide range of healthcare programmes at UL as Nursing, Graduate Medicine and Physiotherapy have all seen increased points requirements.
Nursing courses are experiencing a surge in demand with our four courses increasing in points requirements and limited availability as not all students reaching the points quota will be guaranteed places. General Nursing 450 (up 25 points), Mental Health Nursing 410 (up 65 points), Intellectual Disability Nursing 390 (up 40 points) and Midwifery 425 (up 20 points).
Cut off points for the University's programme in Physiotherapy increased to 565 points, the highest requirement for any Physiotherapy course in the country.
Education programmes remain strong at UL with points going up for a number of courses. UL's reputation as Ireland's Sporting Campus has encouraged particular increases for our Sports and Physical Education related programmes. Sports and Exercise Science increasing from 410 to 450 points and Physical Education with concurrent Teacher Education from 475 to 500 points.
BSc Sports and Exercise Science course is designed to provide graduates with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key elements of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
The BSc Physical Education is a popular undergraduate programme and designed to qualify graduates as teachers of Physical Education and another subject in Second Level Schools, including English, Gaeilge, Geography, Mathematics and Chemistry.
The outstanding sports facilities at UL have further increased our reputation as Ireland's Sporting Campus. The UL Boathouse, situated along the banks of the River Shannon contains Ireland's only indoor rowing tank. The UL Arena, Ireland's first 50-metre Olympic standard swimming pool, the largest indoor sports hall in the country, cardio-vascular fitness suits and a health fitness clinic.
Arts and Humanities courses still prove to be a popular choice at UL with points rising for courses including English and History and English & New Media.
The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, Ireland's centre for academic and performance excellence in traditional Irish Music & Dance has seen a significant increase in demand for the BA Irish Music & Dance (up 70 points to 370). The BA Irish Music & Dance, the first course of its kind in the world, is an exciting and rewarding four-year degree programme which places performance at its heart - the performance of music, singing and dancing, alongside the performance of research and writing.
Cooperative Education at UL
The University of Limerick was the first Irish university to include a Cooperative Education programme as part of undergraduate courses. This ensures that students gain relevant experience as part of their academic programme. Currently, within the Cooperative Education programme, 2000 students secure work placements across 1700 employers, 30% of which are international, particularly in Germany, France, Luxembourg, Spain and the US, with an overall employer payroll of €20 million per annum. Cooperative Education is one of the most distinctive features of the student experience at UL and gives UL graduates a competitive advantage when applying for graduate employment.
UL Graduates in Employment
Against a challenging economic backdrop, demand for UL graduates is still high. A recent survey of UL graduates showed 65% of graduates entering employment (still significantly above the national average) with another 20% going on to further study.