CAO Applications

CAO = Central Applications Office

The purpose of the CAO is to process all applications to undergraduate courses (Higher Certificate, Ordinary Degree and Honours Degree) in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the Republic of Ireland.



Honours Bachelor Degree
Level 8
Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  Level 7
Higher Certificate
Level 6


Courses provided at HEI’s are at one of three levels (according to the National Qualifications Framework):

On the CAO form you can apply for up to ten level 8 courses and up to ten level 7 or level 6 courses


 Level 8                                                                                  Level 6 & 7

 Pref. Course Code Pref. Course Code
1   1  
2   2  
3   3  
4   4  
5   5  
6   6  
7   7  
8   8  
9   9  
10   10  



Where to find course code

  • CAO Handbook


    Take special care not to put your course choices in the wrong list/level. At the offer stage you can receive one offer from each of the lists. You can only accept one offer.


    NB. You must place your course choices on the appropriate list according to the order of your preference. It is very important that preference 1 is the one you would most like to be offered. Preference 2 – your next preference, if you are not offered preference 1, and so on.



Application dates and fees:

All fees are non-refundable FEE Closing Date
Normal application (online or paper) €40 1st Feb 2017 (5.15pm)
Online discounted rate €25 20th Jan 2017 (5.15pm)
Late online application €50 1st May 2017 (5.15pm)
Late paper application €80 1st May 2017 (5.15pm)
Change of Mind Nil 1st July 2017 (5.15pm


Before filling out the CAO form:

(1) Read information on the HEI’s, the courses, entry requirements, course content, restrictions etc.

(2) On if you click on the course code you will be linked to the page for that course on that college website

(3) Read the CAO Handbook carefully

(4) Check out whether fees are payable for the course – not all colleges come under the “Free Fees Scheme”

(5) You are responsible for ensuring that you meet the specified entry requirements and conditions for all courses


CAO form

The CAO form consists of:

  •  Your personal details
  •  Payment Page
  •  Your School & qualification details/  tick Leaving Cert only
  •  Your course choices
  •  DARE & HEAR Application if eligible


How are offers decided?

Eligible applicants (those who satisfy the basic entry requirements) are placed on an order of merit list for each course to which they have applied.

Their position on the order of merit list is decided…

(a) for those presenting Leaving Certificate/FETAC 2017  results only on a points score based on their examination results.


Restricted application courses:

Certain courses e.g. Art, Music, Drama, Medicine have early assessment procedures e.g. aptitude tests, interviews, portfolio assessment etc. you must check with the relevant college to ensure you do not miss the application deadline. Late applications may not be accepted.


If you apply online you must save/print a copy of your receipt of online application which is your evidence of having submitted an online application.


Initial Acknowledgement:

When you submit your online application, your 2017 CAO Application Number will appear on your Receipt of Online Application”. If you supply an email address, an initial acknowledgement will be sent to your by email. You should use your CAO Application Number in any subsequent correspondence.


Statement of Application Record:

1. Before the end of May you will be sent a Statement of Application Record as a final acknowledgement and to enable you to verify that all information has been recorded accurately


2. If you have not received the Statement by 1st June, you must write to CAO immediately.


3. You must ensure that the statement of application record is correct on July 1st the closing date for applications.



Change of Mind in respect of Course Choices (Closing date 5.15pm 1st July, 2017)

After 1st May you may, if you wish, register a change of course choices online at Alternatively, you may do so by using the Change of Mind Form which will be posted to all applicants with the Statement of Application Record in May. (There is no fee for the change of Mind facility).


Leaving Cert Results and offer of places

Mid – August – First round offers

Five working days after Leaving Cert results (approx) CAO offers places on a supply and demand basis – the more applicants for a course with a limited number of places, the higher the points.

August/September – Second round offers

To fill any remaining places. Offers made to all applicants who now have points for courses higher up their list of course preferences

Deferring A Place

On receipt of the offer notice:

1. Do not accept the offer in the manner shown on the Offer Notice.

2. Write immediately to the Admissions Office of the appropriate higher education institution setting out the reason(s) for the request. Mark “DEFERRED ENTRY” clearly on the envelope.

3. The appropriate part of the Offer Notice must be attached to the letter, i.e that part of the notice which shows the offer you wish to be deferred.

4. The letter must arrive in the Admissions Office at least two days before the “Reply Date” shown on the offer notice.

5. The HEI will communicate the decision to the applicant. If the deferral is not granted, you may still accept the offer for the current year.

6. All communications about deferral must go to the Admissions Offices and not to CAO.

In order to take up the deferred place, the applicant must reapply through the CAO in the succeeding year, paying the appropriate application fee, and placing the deferred course as the only preference on the Application Form.

When reapplying the following year you must complete an application fully. In other words, you must include again any documentation, if any were needed, which you provided with the original application.




Facilities & Activites

  • Language Laboratory
  • I.T. Department
  • Science Laboratory
  • Career Guidance
  • Art Room
  • Drama Hall
  • Study Facilities
  • Learning Support Room
  • Sports Pitches
  • Basketball Court
  • Pastoral Care
  • School Chapel