CAO points for ‘attractive’ theology remain unchanged

CAO points for ‘attractive’ theology remain unchanged Graudates from St Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Ireland’s top theology courses continue to be attractive to students as CAO points drop for the majority of level-8 degrees.

Points for Theology and Arts in St Patrick’s College Maynooth remain much the same, rising by just one point to 301 compared to last year. The course allows students to study Theology along with another subject such as business, economics and anthropology.

In Trinity College, points for Catholic Theological Studies, run by the Loyola Institute, rose by 30 points to 360 compared to last year – the course is only a few years old, and currently has the lowest points requirement in Trinity College tying with Deaf Studies. World Religions and Theology in the college increased by 30 points as well, rising to 380.

An overall decrease in points reflect the change in the CAO points scale this year, but theology courses didn’t follow the trend.


Dean of Theology in St Patrick’s College, Fr Declan Marmion, said the course typically attracts 35-40 students, many of whom would be interested in teaching religion. In recent years there has been more of an emphasis on including Christianity’s relationship with other religions such as Buddhism and Judaism.

“So, while the programme is firmly embedded in the Christian (Catholic) tradition, there is a desire to dialogue with other religious and philosophical worldviews –  all of which is in line with an increasingly pluralist Irish society in which our students will live and work,” Fr Marmion told The Irish Catholic.

Only a small amount of students study pure Theology in the college, with many of them being mature students.

Dr Fáinche Ryan, the Director of the Loyola Institute in Trinity College, said their young students on the undergraduate programme in Catholic Theological Studies are “fantastic”.

“The dream of Loyola, its mission, is to form people who are theologically informed, who will work in journalism, in law, in media, because you have lots of people working in these areas making comments on these matters but they’re not theologically informed,” Dr Ryan said.

She added that the institute are introducing a Master’s programme on the subject this year.