The courses that have been longer in existence tend to have the words “science” and “exercise” in the titles. The newer courses are more likely to have the words “coaching”, “management” and “performance”. The word "Business" appears in only one title.
Not only is there an increase in the number of courses on offer since 2010 but the points required for entry to the traditional courses have also been increasing since 2010. The only courses listed for the full 10 year period 2004-13 are Sports Science and Health (Dublin City University), Sports and Exercise Science (University of Limerick), and Sports and Exercise Management (University College Dublin). The CAO points increases for these three courses since 2010 have been +40, +55, +30, respectively.
It is more difficult to map the changes in CAO points into the economic environment. The points for the three longer established courses tended to decline from 2004 to 2008/9 before starting to increase thereafter. Gross National Product (GNP) adjusted for inflation increased from €122bn in 2003 to€148bn in 2007 before declining for two year to €132bn in 2009. It then increased slowly to €133bn in 2012.
It is possible that the sports area is one of the areas that students expect an increased demand for their talents and qualifications over the coming years. It is also possible that individuals are taking these course as part of their lifelong learning journey. Or it could be a version of supply creating its own demand. Regardless, consumers have a wider range of alternatives and this is usually a good thing.