DCU students more likely to graduate with a first-class honours degree

Students are more likely to graduate with a first-class honours degree from Dublin City University than from any other Irish university, a survey has found.

The news comes as a survey of employers published by Gradireland.com, found that graduating grades are increasingly more important for the jobs market.

Almost 60% of those surveyed by The Irish Times were expecting their applicants to have a 2.1 degree or higher. Two years ago, just 38% of employers carried expectations of similar grades.

The survey of graduating grades handed out by Irish universities since 2005 showed DCU has awarded the highest proportion of first-class honours degrees, with an average of 19% managing to score top marks, 3% higher than the overall average.

However, the rate of firsts has fallen substantially since 2005, when 25% of DCU students graduated with a first-class honours degree.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Cork (UCC) awarded the highest proportion of first-class honours last year with 18% of the graduating classes in those colleges achieving top marks.

NUI Galway and the University of Limerick (UL) awarded the lowest proportion of firsts with just 14% of students awarded the top grade.

The proportions of students graduating with upper second-class honours (2.1) degrees also varied. An average of 56% of TCD graduates left college with a 2.1, while 51% of UCC graduates graduated with a 2.1 degree.

Almost half of UCD graduates achieved second class honours and DCU awarded a similar proportion. The national average of second-class honours was 47%. UL awarded the lowest proportion with just 36%.

Less common were 2.2 degrees, with just over a quarter (26%) of students graduating with the mark while a further 10% of graduates left college with a pass or third class honours degree. The survey only looked at students who graduated.

Sarah Curran

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