The Leaving Certificate points required to study agricultural courses jumped by as much as 32 points in some third-level colleges.

Students wishing to study the level 8 degree in agricultural science in University College Dublin (UCD) this year needed 454 points to secure a place, down two points since last year. This course has remained steady in points requirement in recent years.

The dairy business degree in UCD was notably higher this year at 454 points, up 44.

Last year, agricultural science (level 8) in University College Cork increased by 23 points and it increased again this year by another 10 points to 506 points.

The biggest jump in points was recorded by Dundalk Institute of Technology, where the requirement leapt from 310 points in 2020 to 342 for the level 8 degree this time round.

Waterford Institute of Technology was steady at 377 points for its level 8 degree.

NUI Galway’s new level 8 degree in agricultural science proved popular with students, with the points required reaching 485.

Galway-Mayo IT’s agriculture and environmental management level 8 degree leapt by 53 points to 340 this year, while UCD’s level 8 agri-environmental sciences level 8 degree was also up, rising from 418 last year to 454 this year.

The increased points requirement for many courses has two drivers; the first being an increase in actual grades achieved by Leaving Certificate students and the second being increased competition for places from students who deferred course offers in 2020.

See for a comprehensive guide to CAO points for all agricultural, veterinary, food science and forestry courses from level 6 to level 8.