Over 51,000 students have received places in college courses in the first round offers released by the Central Applications Office.

For the first time, a course is more than 600 Leaving Certificate points.

UCD's Economics and Finance course is the most competitive course at 601 points with 50 CAO places. 

Overall points are up in Science and Engineering.

Points for traditionally popular courses such as Arts, Nursing and Law are broadly similar to last year.

Some of the biggest drops have been for courses linked to agriculture, possibly as a result of uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Those unsure whether to accept their first choice offers have a week to make the decision. 

Students who did not receive their first choice offer are advised to examine all available options.

Barry McDermott, who is a guidance counsellor at St Joseph's secondary school in Galway city, said: "PLC courses were a very good alternative pathway into higher-level education."