Applying for a Third Level Course

Information

You apply for almost all full-time undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO). The undergraduate courses in the universities and institutes of technology include Higher Certificates – Level 6, Ordinary Bachelor degrees – Level 7 and Honours Bachelor degrees – Level 8. There is no central applications body for Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses. Students must apply directly to the individual colleges.

The CAO provides a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply. The closing date for 2012 applications from Irish and other European Union nationals is 5.15 pm on 1 February 2012. Late applications are allowed up to 5.15 pm on 1 May 2012.

Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out. A detailed schedule of the offer rounds is in the CAO handbook.

Entry requirements

Points

Students who have taken the Leaving Certificate examination are allocated points for the results they get in their 6 best subjects at a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate. The points awarded depend on the level of achievement in the subject. You can use the points calculator on qualifax.ie to work out what points are awarded for any particular set of results.

If you have a disability

You may qualify for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme.

Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

The HEAR admissions scheme allocates a number of third-level places on a reduced points basis to school-leavers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Minimum Entry Requirements

Most higher education institutes have minimum entry requirements e.g. for the National University of Ireland, which includes UCC, the minimum entry requirement is 6 subjects, including English, Irish and a third language. In 2 of these subjects, students must have achieved grade C at Higher Level.

PLC courses

Places on Post-Leaving Certificate courses are not allocated on the basis of points, but applicants must be of Leaving Certificate standard. Most colleges interview candidates to determine their suitability.

The following websites may be useful

CAO: www.cao.ie

Citizen’s Information Service: citizensinformation.ie

The Higher Education Equality Authority:  http://www.hea.ie/en/apply_for_a_course

Education in Ireland: www.educationireland.ie. (particularly for international students)

QualifaX is the Irish national database of all further and higher education courses. QualifaX is the ‘one stop shop’ for information on courses. Included are links to college and other education / training websites in Ireland and abroad. http://www.qualifax.ie/

RT @osullivanstake: The third day of teli2 workshop is looking at the benefits of #LEADER in #arouca #portugal. @LimerickIT @SECADCork @EUE
RT @osullivanstake: #tel12 project is learning about the #rural #geography of #portugal by Joao Carlos Pinho from LAG ADRIMAG #Leader @Li
Check out Cork Harbour Heritage Exhibition in St Peters church, Cork. Opening of Passage West's Maritime Museum to… https://t.co/DmJDtyl66j
Saveur food - free programme to help small food businesses solve #foodwaste issues through training, tracking, moni… https://t.co/SMREzq29cf
Welcome to local food businesses @SECADCork today. Kick off of Saveur Food with @CIT_ie Clean tech @TasteCorkhttps://t.co/vdubXyOAhh
@corkcuisine @TasteCork Tuesday, February 13th @SECADCork offices and February 28th at The Midleton Park Hotel. Vis… https://t.co/j7A8LqEKMT
.@SECADCork Review 2016-2017 now published to share highlights & impacts of work supporting enterprise, employment,… https://t.co/ynVpwDdSHr
'Why are you throwing away so many chips?': How east Cork is tackling its food waste (via @thejournal_ie) https://t.co/0E2Qzvo8Gu
Nice article in @thejournal_ie this morning about ‘Savour Food- East Cork’ a new waste reduction initiative for fo… https://t.co/D88itAzsTj
@RingofCork Customer Service training session Wed, 31st @SECADCork 9.30-1pm for ROC members & other local retail bu… https://t.co/VMoEZVumxY