The Central Applications Office (CAO) 1 February deadline saw 73,000 applications, on a level with the 2019 figure, preliminary data shows.
Law applications are up 8% -- a similar figure to architecture and construction disciplines, RTÉ.ie reports.
However, nursing and midwifery-applications figures are down by 8%, with arts degree first-choice applications down 5%.
Almost 4% of the total, or 7,252, have applied under the disability-access scheme, DARE.
Mature-applicant numbers are down 7% to 7,273, with a 6% drop in applications from British-based students, to 715. This is down from 762 last year.
Applicants from the North are up by 48, or 4% on last year – from 1,269 to 1,317.
CAO applicants may amend applications using the ‘change-of-mind' facility, which opens on 5 May.
Late applications are also accepted up until 1 May.