The Institute of Technology, Tralee says there’s been a significant increase in the number of students applying for courses in areas such as engineering and agricultural science. The Tralee institute offers 48 courses on the CAO system, half of these are four years honour degree courses while the remainder are three year ordinary degrees. This September, more than 1,520 new students will enrol at IT Tralee. There’s been a significant increase in the number of people seeking to study in such areas as manufacturing engineering, agricultural engineering and agricultural science – according to IT Tralee’s vice-president, academic affairs and registrar; Dr Michael Hall. The BA Honours degree in creative writing has had the biggest surge in demand since last year, it’s up by 40 points to 335. The course with the biggest drop in demand is for the four year honours degree in travel and tourism management; last year 350 points in the Leaving Cert were needed for a first round offer; this year it’s fallen to 265. There are four new honours degrees being offered at IT Tralee in agricultural engineering, manufacturing and mechatronics engineering, agricultural science and pharmaceutical science. Dr Hall says demand for computing related and business related programmes are in line with last year’s applications while the cut-off points for the bachelor of science honours in general nursing remain unchanged at 415. More than 520 students from abroad will study at IT Tralee from this September and the institute will also enrol its first group of students from South Africa .