BEHIND THE HEADLINE entry points data, the an Irish Times Freedom of Information Act result shows "more than 12 per cent of honours degree courses listed by universities and institutes of technology are taking in fewer than 10 students".  Joe Humphreys, the writer of the article, does not speculate why.
The Irish Times reviewed approximately 834 level-8 courses offered through the Central Applications Office by institutions accepting low numbers and found "75 were filled by between five and nine students last September, and 27 were filled by fewer than five students. Just 45 courses had an intake of 100 students or more".
Interestingly, "some of the biggest points movers this year had very low intake, among them energy systems engineering at NUI Galway, which took in just six students in 2014. It was up 75 points to 505".
I'm watching this unfold on the ground on a third level campus. The headline figures show "engineering at UCD, the country’s largest course in the discipline with an intake of more than 250 each September, up 15 points to 510. Five years ago, the entry level was 425 points," according to the Irish Times.
1. Joe Humphreys -- "Number of CAO courses needing 500 points up by 25%" in the News Section of the Irish Times, August 17, 2015.
2. Listen to #edchatie and #heie on Twitter for background information behind the CAO headlines.