Just over 73,000 students have applied this year for places on third-level courses through the Central Applications Office.

Data published by the body which manages third-level applications shows a rise in the number of students hoping to study degree courses in areas such as biology and related sciences, and engineering. 

This data is provisional, the CAO is still accepting applications, but it gives an indication of areas proving more popular or less compared to previous years.

There is a 13% rise in first preferences for courses in biology and related areas, an 11% rise in first preferences in Engineering, and 5% increases for ICT and architecture.

Meanwhile, first preferences for arts degrees have fallen by 6%.

The data also shows a changing pattern when it comes to applications from outside the Republic of Ireland.

Fewer Northern Irish and British students are applying to study here, but this year sees a rise in applications from other EU countries.