Points for degrees in science, technology and engineering have jumped as students flock towards courses with strong job prospects.
Overall, the number of courses commanding in excess of 500 CAO points has climbed to a new high.
One course – UCD’s economic & finance at 601 points – is the first to exceed the 600- point mark.
Popular areas such as arts, nursing, law have, by and large, similar points requirements to last year.
Some of biggest drops in points have been for courses linked to agriculture, a possible impact of Brexit-related uncertainty, and journalism.
In all, just over 50,100 college applicants have been offered places in the CAO’s first found offers, which were issued at 2pm on Thursday.
About half of honours degree (level eight) applicants have received their first preference, while more than three out of four have received an offer from their top-three choices.
All CAO applicants can check online at cao.ie to see if they have received an offer by logging on to their account .
Successful applicants should also have received an offer notification via email and a text message, if they have selected this option on their application form.
Offers must be accepted by 5. 15pm on Friday, August 23rd.
If an applicant has not received an offer, they will receive a “statement of application” email.
Eileen Keleghan, CAO communications officer, has asked applicants to carefully consider any offers received in this round.
“One of the common queries that we receive at the offers stage is around order of preference,” she said.
“Applicants are reminded that if they receive a lower preference offer they can accept this offer and it will not prevent them from receiving an offer of a course higher up on their courses list in a later offer round if a place becomes available and they are deemed eligible.
“Those who have received an offer in this round should consider the current offer as being the only one they may receive.