Demand for science courses at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) has soared by 30 per cent, with nearly 6,300 mentions recorded through the CAO for science programmes at the institute. The number of applicants for honours degrees at AIT has risen by 20 per cent, to over 4,500.
Five new science degrees have helped drive the demand, with new BSc honours degrees in sports science with exercise physiology (AL837 ), and health science and nutrition (AL836 ) particularly strong. Nearly 700 people have applied for the sports science programme, while over 430 have mentioned the nutrition degree. Similarly, new degrees in forensic (AL733 ) and environmental toxicology (AL732 ), and biotechnology (AL730 ) have a very good first showing. Demand for general nursing (8 per cent increase, AL830 ) and psychiatric nursing (16 per cent increase, AL832 ) programmes continues to be strong, as does veterinary nursing (6 per cent increase, AL731 ).
Engineering programmes at AIT also have a strong showing, with the number of mentions at higher certificate, ordinary degree, and honours degree level up by 7 per cent. Various offerings in computer engineering prove very popular, with the number of mentions doubling for the BSc in Computer Engineering (AL704 ). A degree in computer network management (AL703 ), a qualification that can lead into careers in cloud infrastructure, has also seen an increase of one-fifth in the number of mentions. The BEng in Mechanical Engineering (AL710 ) has seen the number of mentions rise by 25%. While nationally the demand for courses in the area of the built environment continues to decline, a degree in sustainable construction (AL720 ) at AIT actually increased its number of mentions by 10 per cent.
Away from science and engineering, the number of first preference mentions for the higher certificate in culinary arts (AL660 ) increased by 36 per cent. A degree in tourism and guest services management (AL762 ) saw a 200 per cent increase, reflecting a renewed interest in careers in the hospitality industry. Social care continues to be hugely popular, with 1,050 mentions for the higher certificate (AL664 ) and 859 for the honours degree (AL860 ) in this area.
In business at AIT, higher certificate and honours degree qualifications continue to attract hundreds of applicants. Some 450 people mentioned the two-year Level 6 (AL660 ), while the honours degree (AL850 ) attracted 365 mentions.
One-fifth of mentions for AIT’s courses through the CAO came from mature students, that is those over 23 years of age.
Anyone wishing to apply to AIT through the CAO may do so until 1 May, 2012. A late online application fee of €60 applies in such cases, while a paper-based application attracts a charge of €80. Applicants may change their CAO preferences from May 5 until July 1.