Dublin City University has received a record number of applications for teacher education according to CAO first preference figures released today. Over 1,300 students have selected one of DCU’s teacher education undergraduate programmes as a first choice in the CAO application process. This figure is up 6% on last year, out-stripping national growth for education programmes in the sector.
This very high number of first preferences reflects the increasing student awareness of DCU’s Institute of Education, the only faculty of education in an Irish university. The overall increase derives mainly from the sharp rise in applications to the Bachelor of Religious Education (up 27%) and to the secondary teaching (up 13%) degree programmes.
Reflecting the national trend towards STEM subjects, interest in engineering and computing at DCU remained steady. A particular feature was the strong interest in DCU’s BSc in Data Science again this year, with first preference applications up 17% on last year. The first of its kind in Ireland, the programme was launched in 2016 to meet industry demand for world-class graduates interested in a career in Big Data, data analytics and related data science roles.
Demand for Nursing degrees at DCU has also seen an increase, with applications up 4% on last year, out-stripping an increase of only 2.2% across the sector. Interest in Intellectual Disability Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing programmes was particularly high, with increases of 18% and 4%, respectively.
While applications to Level 8 Administration and Business programmes have fallen by 4% nationally, the ever-popular Business Studies programme at DCU has seen first preferences increase by 3%. Aviation Management also bucked the trend, with first preference applications up 2.5%.
Commenting on these figures, Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said:
“Following the major transformation of DCU in recent years, it is reassuring that students have already recognized our distinctive strengths especially in the area of teacher education, nursing, STEM disciplines and business. We are conscious that many students continue to wait for the change of mind period to make their final choices and we will continue to engage with them, their guidance counsellors and their schools during that period so that they can make the most informed decision.”