CAO helpdesk

Contact us here with any CAO questions

Brian Howard, Deirdre Garrett Tue, Aug 18
LIVE: CAO helpdesk

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  • 08:47
    Good morning everyone, what a beautiful day. Our expert guidance counsellors, Brian and Deirdre will be here until 6pm to answer any CAO or Leaving Cert questions you may have. In the meantime, check out to read our analysis of the points, learn about college courses and get great advice on how to handle college life.
  • 08:58
  • 09:32

    I've been accepted for GMIT for GA570. Can I switch to GA270 or GA776 assuming I've enough points (290)?  

    Have you already applied for these courses and, if so, what position on the list are they compared to GA570?

  • 09:40

    Hi there,
    I am looking for some advice for my niece. She got offered nursing in Trinity but her heart was set on DCU. She is now considering not taking the Trinity offer and doing a pre-nursing course and then going into second year in DCU.

    A pre-nursing course would be a good learning curve for her and she would get to experience the theory and work placement. All this would really confirm if a career in nursing is definitely for her. Completion of   a pre-nursing course can only get one into first year on a nursing programme.

    It seems to me that she mixed up her order of preferences on her CAO form? To rectify this she could take a year out. She could earn money and maybe get some work experience in her area of interest. She could then reapply through the CAO  2016. CAO points for nursing at DCU and Trinity may go up or down next year. She would be competing with next year's applicants.

    When doing a nursing degree it is preferable  to attend an institution that is attached to a commutable hospital.

    I would strongly advise her to take it. Points may vary next year.

  • 09:45

    I got into UCD to do arts, not the best degree but I was wondering what I would need to achieve in it to be allowed to do a masters at Smurfit when I'm finished. Any help would be appreciated.  

    Hi James, I tend to disagree with you.  I think an arts degree is an excellent degree if you use it well and approach it with the right frame of mind. There are very many hugely successful people who started with an undergraduate arts degree.  I like to see the arts degree as a stepping-stone degree.  On its own it is unlikely to open up too many opportunities but if you use it as a launching pad into the vast array of postgraduate courses (conversion and otherwise) and training programmes out there then it becomes a very powerful degree.  As you mention in your comment, you must have a good honours degree to access these courses - preferably a 2.1 degree.  From second year you need to start researching options after your BA.

  • 09:46

    Hi, I have a place in UCC for dentistry but was also accepted in Bristol uni. I got 600 points but am unsure if dentistry is right course for me so am taking year out . Can I defer my place in Bristol but add new choices to CAO next year.

    If you are going to defer you must contact admissions in UCC. They will then contact CAO. You must also state your reasoning for wanting to defer. You will then reapply through the CAO next year. Your deferral will only hold if you choose one course and one course only. That course must be Dentistry UCC otherwise you'll lose your deferral and be competing with all other 2016 CAO applicants.

    You must contact admissions in Bristol. Usually deferral is dealt with at the application stage.

  • 09:51
    Thank you for dealing with all my questions so promptly and efficiently. You provide a great service. Well done.

    Thanks Ray
  • 09:57
  • 10:04

    Hi, I missed out on TCD medicine by one point, what are the chances that I will get a second-round offer from them?

    Nobody knows. It will all depend on the number of candidates who defer or decline their offer (from round one). These places are then made available to the candidates next in the queue. Some may have the round-one cut-off points and didn't get an offer due to random selection. If this is not the case then, in order to fill the places, points in round two will fall. Round two offers are out on Thursday, August 27th.

    The very best. I hope that it works out.

  • 10:15
  • 10:15

    Can my daughter apply to Tallaght Institute of Technology - she got an offer from DIT for hospitality management but is now looking to do a business course 305. Is there a PLC route in for business or should she repeat?

    I would advise you to contact admissions in DIT and ask about internal transfer post registration.

    Has she the required points for business in Tallaght (CAO 2015)? Remember that points can vary year  upon year.

    Tallaght do  reserve places for    Etac applicants but in order to offer more advice I would need to know the exact title and level of the programme.

  • 10:19

    My son has a Level 7 engineering related offer from DIT.     He wishes to do a PLC which will give more choice re engineering courses next year. Can he defer if DIT agree and make a decision re the best option in next year's CAO?

    If he defers then he will have to apply through CAO 2016. He must only apply for his deferred course and no other course or else he will lose his deferred place. If he was to enter more course choices than his deferred course he puts himself in the position of competing with other 2016 CAO applicants and runs the risk of points rising.

  • 10:21

    I got my first choice as it dropped by 20 points, yet I was set on my second choice after the results. Is there anyway/backdoor I can use to get into my second choice as I've passed all requirements? Thanks!

    I am afraid not. The closing date for changing your order of preference was July 1st. I would get onto admissions if both courses were in the same college.

  • 10:23

    Ref to GMIT query below, no I haven't applied for either. I was wondering, can I switch course within the same college assuming I have the points?  

    Hi Tim, transfers between courses internally in colleges is handled very differently in different colleges.  What I would suggest you do is to contact admissions in GMIT and ask them what is their policy around course transfers.  If they are in a position to allow some movement between courses, the fact that you have the points for the courses you are trying to move into should be a big plus.  Best of luck.

  • 10:26

    Where can you do a one-year Level 6 Fetac science course to apply to UCD in 2016?

    You will find all this information on

    Here are the PLC codes:

    From 2015 entry, in addition to the courses recognised above for DN200, 5M2768 animal care will be recognised. Applicants must have a minimum of five distinctions, including the mathematics requirements as for the other courses accepted. The modules 5N0750 Animal Anatomy and Physiology, 5N0751 Animal Behaviour will be included in the list of modules, from which two must be selected.

    You need to check to see where the nearest PLC is to you and if they do any of the above courses.

    Get back onto us if needs be. Good luck.

  • 10:29

    Hi, I got accepted into IT Carlow and I'm wondering when they should get in touch, should I have got an email, or should a letter come in the next few days (sorry if you were asked/answered before)


    You should recieve literature from the college over the next few days.

    Well done.


  • 10:33

    Brian & Deirdre
    Thank you so much. Very helpful at this difficult time.


    You're very welcome. Best wishes.

  • 10:44

    My daughter applied for DL827 & 828 in IADT Dun Laoghaire. She obtained 426 points in her   Leaving Cert and 400 marks in her portfolio assessment. Does she get any additional points for the portfolio assessment to bring her up to the required total?


    It seems to me that she has more than the necessary cut-off points. She has a total score of 825#?

    Have you checked to see if she has satisfied the Leaving Cert minimum requirements?

  • 10:44

    My daughter has been offered a place on bio med in NUIG. She accepted yesterday but now feels that she wishes to defer her place for a year. Is this possible?

    Officially for the deferral procedure, applicants are asked not to accept the place and seek the deferral first. But in this instance what you need to do is email admissions in NUIG on and say you have accepted a place already and would now like to defer this place. Quote all the details about yourself and your course in the email. Then go to and follow the deferral procedure on the on the left-hand side of the page. I would do this as a matter of urgency so that your place may possibly be offered to somebody in round two.  

  • 10:46

    Is it possible to apply for a deferral if you get an offer in round two or after and can I add an available course to my present list. Thank you.

    Yes it is possible to request a deferral after round two. Be sure to check your CAO handbook regarding deferral procedure.

    Yes from noon today you can start adding available/vacant places to your CAO list.

  • 10:46
  • 10:48

    Do most colleges tend to leave a small number of available places for students that may apply post rechecks?  

    I would not operate under this assumption.  I have come across instances where colleges cannot cater for applicants who have been upgraded and can only offer a deferred place the following year.  Other colleges find it difficult but do manage to squeeze in upgraded applicants.  It all really depends on the course and the college.

  • 10:49

    I received a D1 in honours English, after receiving Bs and As all year and a B in the mocks. Is this sort of situation common? Do you often see a grade in this situation improve?   I am desperate for a least a C as I am 10 points off my course.

    I would advise you to ask your teacher to review your script with you. Check to see if a calculation error has been made. Review your answers against the marking scheme.    In 2014 one in every five  were successful in the appeals process.

  • 10:52

    I got 395 points and I've accepted my third preference as I did not get my first two. My second preference is 420 but my first is 400. Is there a chance I could get offered my first in the second round?


    Yes there is a chance but you would need the points to drop by five. CAO will make you an offer once you satisfy the minimum entry requirements and the necessary  cut-off points. It is then your choice to accept your new offer or stay with the original one.


    The best of luck.

  • 10:52

    Deirdre & Brian, thanks a mil!!!   I am reading this since yesterday and getting answers I did not know I even had Q's for!! super job, well done!!! Full marks!!! Ooops...


    Thank you. It's a tough time for students and parents!!

  • 10:53

    I got a Level 8 course, but want a Level 7 which I didn't get. If I accept Level 8 could I still be made an offer at Level 7 in second round?  

    If you have not been offered any Level 7 course in round one then you will still remain in the running for an offer in round two if you become entitled to one.  Regardless of whether you accept the Level 8 or not, which you have been offered, you will still remain in the running for other higher choice courses on Level 8 and Level 7 courses and it will be up to you to decide if you want to stay with your current Level 8 or move to one of your new offers.  BUT you may not receive any new offers so I would think carefully about accepting something in round one.  Best of luck.

  • 10:56

    I missed out on course by five points, got offered second choice. If I don't get offered first choice in next round can I be offered second choice again as I would accept it if I cannot get my first choice.


    If you don't accept it then you will not get offered it again. My advice for you would be to accept it. If you get your first choice in round two then the choice is yours. You can accept round two offer or stick with your original offer.

    Round two could only offer you courses that lie above your original offer.


    Good luck.

  • 10:58

    How likely is it that Product Design in DIT (DT001) will drop by 10 points in round two (due to popularity and past years)? I am happy with the offer I was given but I'm just wondering whether there is a chance for me to be offered the DIT?  

    All we can refer to is last year and it seems that this course did not make any second-round offers.  The points in round one were 405 and the final cut off was the same so no new offers were made.  At this stage all the places have been offered and are with the successful applicants. We have no idea if any of them will turn down a place and create the possibility for second round offers.  This will not be known until the reply date on the 24th.

  • 10:58

    I'm going to do arts in UCD and I've been told not to bother buying any books as they are a waste of money and barely ever used, and it operates with hand-outs and notes.
    Should I bother buying books?

    This is more of a personal choice. What works for one may not work for another. Maybe check to see how many copies of each book are held in the college library. You are probably as well holding off until you start in UCD.

    Well done and enjoy.

  • 11:01

    I'm five points off my first choice. Could I be offered that in the second round? Also it's in the same college as my offered course so would I have a chance to transfer through the college if there were space from drop outs? Thanks

    You could be offered it if points go down and you meet the necessary entry requirements.

    I would advise you to speak with admissions in the relevant college. Each college has their own policies on transfers.

  • 11:02

    Hi, I was wondering what time the reapplication for CAO as it's not clear on the website and I can't get through to them on the phone

    Noon today.

  • 11:02

    I cannot find this information anywhere. Are we permitted to bring a calculator into the viewing of the scripts. I realise the process is strict but I think it would be helpful.

    I am sure there would be no problem with this, after all, you are looking for possible mistakes and omissions and the calculator would be essential for this.

  • 11:04

    My daughter failed her honours Irish paper, has she failed her Leaving Cert? She has got no offers for Level 8 courses!

    She has not failed her Leaving Cert. She more than likely hasn't satisfied the minimum entry requirements for her choice of courses.

    She could meet the entry requirements by repeating Irish only in LC 2016 providing that she has the necessary points.


    Get back on if you need more help.


  • 11:29

    Do applications for vacant places have to be in at noon or does it only open at noon today, thanks

    Application for these courses   opens at noon today. After round-one Offers are issued, the Available Place facility operates on a weekly schedule of applications, offers and acceptances. Applications that arrive in CAO before 11am on a Monday will be processed and considered for offers on the following Thursday. An offer posted on a Thursday will be available to view on the CAO website the following day. (Exception: Round-two offers will be available to view on Thursday).

  • 11:32

    If you receive an course offer but you want to add a course with a vacant space, should you accept the course first and then change the course order at 12 o'clock today?

    Yes. That is correct. If you get offered the course that lies in vacant places then you will be faced with a  decision. Do you stick with your original offer or do you go with your new offer ( course on available places).

  • 11:33

    If you don't get a script viewing, can you get a paper remarked anyway by the State Examinations Commission?
    Thanks for all your help.


    Yes. You will have to fill out an appeal application form. Contact your school for this.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:33

    I'm five points off primary teaching at St Pat's and I am so afraid that even if I get upgraded after a recheck that they won't be able to offer me a place until next year :( what do you recommend for students who have to wait until 2016?  

    Hi Amy, there are a variety of options students in this position have taken up including working for the year to earn money for college, completing a PLC course in an area of interest or an area that may be of benefit them when job hunting eg, upskilling in IT, doing voluntary work here or abroad, travelling, etc.  So there is no shortage of things to do, it can almost be a gap year where you could do a combination of these options throughout the year.  Many who have been forced to do this have said they really enjoyed the year and felt very ready heading into their new course.

  • 11:36
  • 11:41
  • 11:42

    I got 400 points in my Leaving. My first choice was psychiatric nursing which I am 5 points short for, if I do a PLC pre-nursing course what are my options of getting into nursing in Ireland next year and where is the best place to do PLC nursing course?

    There is a facility to get into nursing degree courses through a Fetac PLC course.  However from the outset I must stress that the number of places on offer through this route is very small and also that the number of PLC applicants who get the maximum score possible for nursing is far greater than the number of places.  The upshot of this is that a random selection system is used to select the successful candidates from the pool of people who have  achieved the eight distinctions (the maximum grades possible).  There are quite a few pre-nursing courses available around the country.  The best place to look up the various options is on and select PLC courses on the left-hand side on the course search screen.

  • 11:46

    I got a Level 7 offer that I didn't expect (through Dare) and a Level 8 in a private college. The Level 8 course is on the 'CAO available places list'. To give myself more time to decide can I accept the Level 7 and reapply later for the Level 8.

    I haven't come across this before but private colleges don't tend to fill up as quickly. There is a strong chance that what you are suggesting might work.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:49

    Hi I got offered my second Level 7 choice as the points fell by 20 but if I decline will I have a chance of getting offered my third choice in the second round for which I have 20 more points than necessary.

    You will not be offered courses that lie below your original offer on your CAO form. Therefore, you will not be offered your third choice in CAO 2015. You may get offered courses that rank above your original offer but again not below it. The deadline for changing your order of preference was July 1st.


    I hope that it works out.


  • 11:53

    My course [first choice we assume] went up in points this year so I am rechecking a few subjects, can I take my second option but if I get my points for my first option can I still be offered it and accept it?

    Hi, yes. If you get extra points in your appeals then these extra points are backdated to round one offers day and whatever course you would have been entitled to then you must be offered in October and it is your choice whether to acccept the new offer (your first choice) or not.  If they cannot create a place in October they must offer you a deferred place in the following year.

  • 11:58

    Hi I wanted nursing but didn't get enough points, what option is there for me? And what type of courses are coming at 12 today and how do I view them? Thanks

    Many students who don't get enough points for nursing apply for a PLC in nursing studies. Some of these students do well enough to enter into first year on a nursing Level 8 programme. So that is an option for you.

    You can view available/vacant places on Go to available places on the left-hand side.

    Get back to us if you need more help.

  • 12:12

    When do classes usually start? A friend of mine is thinking about appealing a subject and hoping to get the five points she needs but she is kinda happy with the offer she got and accepted yesterday but wants to know how much classes she'd miss?

    Colleges vary on starting dates but it's usually end of August/beginning of September. Your college will be sending you out information over the next few days.

    The results from the appeals process  will be out in mid-October. Your friend will have a choice. If successful she will be invited to join her new offer (providing that there is space available) or stick with her original offer.

    If the new college cannot facilitate her mid-October they will guarantee her a place on this programme of study in September 2016.

  • 12:12

    Where and when do we get the form for re-checks?  

    Your school will have personalised appeal application forms.  They should have them available now so if you contact your school they should be able to supply you with yours.  Remember the completed  form is due back in your school before Tuesday September 1st as the school has to send the forms to the Exams Commission before Wednesday September 2nd.


  • 12:13

    Are vacant places only in private colleges? Or do universities offer places too?

    No, vacant places are not only for private colleges. All institutions can put courses up if they have availability.

  • 12:17

    I have been offered my second choice course . If I turn down this offer can I still be offered my first choice if places become available
    Many thanks

    Hi, yes this is possible. Whether you accept your second choice or not you still remain in the running for a place on your first choice in the next rounds and if you become entitled to a place in rounds two or three you will be offered it and it is up to you whether to accept or not.

  • 12:22
  • 12:24

    Isn't today Tuesday the deadline for return of requests to view scripts to your  school not September 1st  

    Today is the deadline for students who wish to view their scripts and September 1st is the deadline for students to get their forms back to schools to appeal their results.

  • 12:25

    My sister really regrets not putting athletic therapy in DCU on her CAO as she didn't think she would get enough points. Now she has got enough, is there any way she can apply to DCU now or is it too late?

    It's too late. A change of mind had to be in on July 1st.

    She could apply through CAO 2016. Lots of suggestions below on  activities to do while taking a year out.  

    Best of luck. Get back onto us if you need more help.

  • 12:33

    If you want to rethink CAO choices, can you refuse all offers and reapply fresh next year?  Or, if you defer a course, can you change your mind and reapply to CAO with a whole new application next year?  

    If you have a whole new rethink in relation to your CAO there is nothing stopping you from sending in a whole new application next year.  Deferring a course means you must fill in a new CAO form next year and only put down the one course you deferred.  If you put down other courses you lose your deferred place and are then in open competition for all courses again just like this year.

  • 12:45
  • 12:45

    When can you add the available places to your CAO application?  The site seems to be down.  Could more courses show up during the week?  

    From 12 noon today you can log into your application and add courses from the vacant places list.  There may be slight technical issues with the site but I'm sure they will be sorted very quickly.  This list may be added to over the next few weeks so it is worth keeping an eye on it if you are not entirely happy with any offers you may have received to date.  The process is almost identical to a change-of-mind operation where you can only insert vacant courses above any offers already received and you cannot reorder your existing choices.  The important point is that when you have inserted the vacant place course, your new list of courses should reflect your new order of preference with the course at the top being the course you would most like to be offered, and so on, down the list.

    Remember, after round-one Offers are issued, the Available Place facility operates on a weekly schedule of applications, offers and acceptances.  Applications that arrive in CAO before 11am on a Monday will be processed and considered for offers on the following Thursday.  An offer posted on a Thursday will be available to view on the CAO website the following day. (Exception: round-two offers will be available to view on Thursday).

  • 12:55

    Hi, my first question was answered at 11:32 in regards to the available place courses. However, I was wondering if   I do accept my offer but then apply for my preferred available course, when do I find out if I have been offered a place? Thanks.

    You might take a look and the previous question. You will find out  in round-two on Thursday, August 27th.

  • 13:10

    Hi, Can I appeal without viewing the paper? Thank you.  

    Yes you can indeed but to make a more informed decision about whether to appeal or not, and which subjects to appeal, you are strongly advised to view your scripts before appealing subjects.  Remember it is possible to drop grades as well as increase them.

  • 13:16
  • 13:22

    I received 390 points in Leaving Cert and unfortunately got no offer in the first round as all points for science went up. Could you suggest a PLC course I could do that would assist me getting science next year?  

    Hi Katie, sorry to hear this.  Hang in there and something may come your way in round two.  In terms of the PLC courses there is a great facility on the CAO website where  you can enter any CAO course code and it will tell you the PLC courses that are suitable for that CAO course.  You will find this at  From looking at it briefly it seems a course such as Laboratory techniques (CASFX) which is run in a lot of PLC colleges is accepted by a lot of the linked university courses.  For IT science courses they seem to be open to any PLC course!  Have a look at the CAO colleges you may be interested in to go to next year at the site.

  • 14:04

    Hi! Will the number of places the colleges offer and the number of places filled in each course be published to view this week? Thanks  

    This is not generally done but there are strong calls for this to happen in the interests of transparency and openess.  However I wouldn't hold my breath!

  • 14:06

    I have been accepted for Level 8 CK101. My first choice is CK104   for which I'm 15 points short. Can I accept my second choice and change my application to place an Available Places course as my second choice?

    Yes you can accept your second choice. You can then place your course from Available Places above this choice. Then in round two you may be faced with a choice. You might have to choose to move to your new course from the available place or stick with your original offer. The choice will be yours.

  • 14:11

    Some courses which were listed as requiring 240 points and above yesterday are on the available places list today, eg, TA021 European studies.  How can this be?  

    It may be that the last person on the merit list for this course who had met the entry requirements and was offered a place, was on 240 points so the points for the course were 240.  However the college may have more places to offer to candidates who have met the entry requirements and hence have put these places in vacant places.

  • 14:12

     I have been offered biological, Earth and environmental science in UCC but I didn't get my first choice of veterinary in UCD. I don't want to have to repeat for veterinary so could I get into veterinary in Ireland or abroad with a degree in zoology?  

    If you are still interested in Veterinary after your Level 8 then you could apply for postgrads in veterinary medicine  in Ireland, UK and further afield. A biological background should meet minimum entry requirements. I recommend that you contact colleges that offer such postgraduate courses, eg UCD, to discuss requirements. These can be quite costly.

    You could also apply for undergraduate veterinary medicine aboard and through the UCAS system in the UK also.

    Let me know if you need more information.

    Good luck.

  • 14:19

    My son only got 210 points and has received an offer for marketing in Griffith College. If he turns down this offer what is the danger of him not being offered any other of his chosen courses with so few points?


    Your son will not be offered any courses on his CAO  form that lie below  yesterday's offer. They are no longer an option. He could be offered CAO  course choices that rank higher than yesterday's offer. He will only be offered such courses if the points for these courses go down in round two (and maybe other rounds). So it all depends on how many points he is off for courses that rank higher on his CAO form and will these courses drop in points in future rounds.

    Get back on if you need more information.

  • 14:20

    My daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia just before the Leaving Cert began this year but bravely she still sat the exams from hospital. Grades are short on entry requirements, is there a recourse to appeal? Thanks  

    I'm sorry to hear this, she sounds like a brave young girl.  Usually the colleges are quite rigid when it comes to entry requirements but I think it would be worth your while contacting the admissions officers of the colleges your daughter applied to and speaking to them about your daughter's condition.  Obviously, there is the appeal process to see if she could get her grades upgraded with the State Examinations Commission, if she felt this would be worthwhile, but I am not aware of any appeal process in relation to not meeting entry requirements due to a medical condition affecting results.  Best of luck with this.

  • 14:22

    Hi, I got offered both of my first choices (both Level 7 and 8) but am very uncertain of what I want to do.
    If I were to do a PLC nursing studies course, can I still fill out a new CAO application in 2016 and use my points again?

    Well done. Yes, all PLC students reapply through CAO 2016.  Your highest  score will be used,  be it your  PLC results  or 2015 Leaving Cert results.

    I hope that I have answered your question.

  • 14:23

    If I do a PLC course can I still reapply through CAO next year, as if I was taking a year out?

    Please see answer to question @14.22

    Get back on if you need more information.

  • 14:24
  • 14:24
  • 14:26

    When can my daughter apply for nursing as a mature student?


    Normally mature applicants should be 23 years old on or before January 1st 2015 (ie, born on or before January 1st 1992) for admission in autumn 2015 and must apply by February 1st 2015. However, some HEIs may have a different age requirement, different definitions of mature applicants, etc, and some will consider applications received after February 1st 2015 (but not for nursing/midwifery mature course codes and/or mature entry to primary teaching).

    Hope that this answers your question.

  • 14:27

    This might seem stupid, but how do you apply to vacant/available places?  

    Not at all Katie, the vacant place system can be a bit off-putting for some people.  To apply for a vacant place you click on My Application and open your CAO account.  In here you will be given the option to add a Level 8 or 6/7 available place course to your list of courses.  Have a look at the answers below to see how the system works.

  • 14:32

    I've received an offer for 450 points, my third offer. However, as it turns out, I'd prefer my fourth offer, also for 450 points. If I wait for round-two offers, is there a chance I'll be offered my fourth choice?

    I'm afraid not. The deadline for the change of mind facility was July 1st. You will not be offered any CAO course that ranks/lies below yesterday's offer. Hence, once offered, your third choice you will not be offered your 4-10 choice throughout 2015 round offers.

    You can only be offered higher ranked courses in future rounds.

    Contact the college itself if both these courses are in the same college.

    Good luck.

  • 14:34

    Perfect thank you. Such a good system here :)


    You're very welcome.. Best wishes for the future.

  • 15:02

    Could it be possible that dentistry in Trinity points go down to 575* like last year in the second round from 590 in round one? Thanks.

    It could be possible. It depends on two factors: one is the number of 2015 applicants that reject or defer dentistry in TCD.  If a large number of candidates  reject/defer their offer then these places will be given to those next in the queue (round two). The other factor will be the points of the applicants in the queue. The  final successful candidate points will be the cut-off points for this course.

    I wish you the very best of luck.

  • 15:14

    Hi Brian and Deirdre,
     My son only put three courses on his CAO form and has had no offers due to the increase in points.   He has 485 points and had TCD Computer Science, TCD Engineering and TCD Science.   Do you have any advice?

    I would advise him to keep an eye on available/ vacant places on Application for such courses is now available.

    Is he disappointed with any grade in any particular subject? If so has he filled out the form to view his script? One out of five were successful in the appeals process last year resulting in an upgrade and therefore got more points.

    He may get an offer in round two on Thursday, August 27th.

    Would he enjoy taking a gap year and reapplying in 2016 and putting in more course choices?

    Please get back onto me if you need more help.


  • 15:23

    I had hoped to be offered commerce in UCC. Instead I have been offered Business studies in UL and in CIT. I was wondering which is the best option as I would prefer to stay in Cork. Also are there any Fetac courses in Cork which lead to commerce UCC?

    UL has a very good reputation and has a very good employment record. They have an excellent business school.

    I would be inclined to accept this years offer as points vary each year.

    Commerce in UCC was 455. Were you much off it?

  • 15:39

    My son got his first choice, Level 8, happy days all round.   However, he wants to view his scripts and maybe appeal one or two results.   I can see no advantage in this as he's happy with his course.   Any advice?   Thanks.

    It costs nothing to view your scripts. However, you do have to have the request into your school today.

    He may feel that he deserved a higher grade and is interested in seeing where he fell down on the marking scheme. One out of five were successful in their appeals in 2014. One can go down a grade but this isn't as common.

    I hope that I have helped answer your query.

  • 15:58

    Do you know if DCU made second-round offers last year in business or business with French? Only 10 points short.

    No second round offers were made on either courses. Points vary each year. Although we can try to see a trend it may differ from last year.

    Best of luck.

  • 16:01

    Hi there, my son didn't do so
     well but got an offer of a Level 7 in DkIT. He has his heart set on DCU sport course. If he was to do a PLC could he transverse to DCU then?


    Please click on the following link and then enter in the DCU course code. Get back to me if you need more help.

  • 16:04

    I got 435. I never budgeted for accommodation in Limerick and I don't think I'm eligible for grants but is there any other financial assistance that can be sought? Also will it be difficult to find accommodation at this stage? Thanks for your help  

    Hi, the only source of help that may or may not be applicable in your case is a fund that is available in the college student unions from the welfare officer.  This fund is for students who are experiencing hard times financially and could be of assistance to you with accommodation.  A good idea may be to ring the student union of the college concerned and ask to speak to the welfare officer and he/she will give you a definitive answer on this.

    In terms of being too late, an accommodation officer in a Limerick college assures me there is still plenty of private accommodation available still but you would need to get moving fairly fast to secure something.  Again if you ring the accommodation officer of the college you have a place in, they should be able to give you a list of private accommodation possibilities and contact details.  This can be a very useful starting point.

  • 16:08

    My daughter has been offered a place on DC009 humanities in St Pat's, Drumcondra. She is disappointed not to have got into primary teaching. Will she definitely be able to progress to get a primary teaching qualification? She has a C2 in Irish.

    She will be able to progress providing that she gets accepted onto the postgraduate course in primary teaching. One of the entry requirements will be an honour in Leaving Cert honours Irish. I would advise you to contact the admission office of colleges that offer such courses. Many people from various disciplines go on to  do a postgraduate in primary ed.

    The best of luck.

  • 16:15

    Hi Brian, my daughter wanted law in Trinity. She was marginally short. What is the history of law courses coming down in second round? In general, not just Trinity.

    Maybe if we look at some law course from last year, this might give you some idea.  TCD Law - first round 530*, final round 525*, some offers after round one, UCD Law - first round 510, final round 510, no offers after round one, NUIG Law - no further offers, UCC Law - no further offers, DCU law - no further offers.  The general observation seems to be that law does not go to the second round in the majority of cases.  I don't have the information for previous years to hand but I would imagine a similar situation would prevail in previous years also.

  • 16:27

    Re earlier query, 15.39.   Thanks very much.   My only worry is that be just barely got the right points for his course which went up 30 this year.   If a recheck did lead to him going down a grade, could he lose his place?

    CAO will contact the college that he is attending. The college has the right to ask him to leave. I have never heard of this happening though.

    You will probably know more after the viewing of scripts.

  • 16:54

    How can I find out if I qualify for a grant?

    Go onto . There is an eligibility reckoner where you can quickly and easily self-assess whether you may be entitled to a grant.

    Get back on if you experience any difficulties.

  • 17:00

    I missed arts in Maynooth by 40 points however I met all the other entry requirements, do I have any hope of still getting in?

    It's a big drop to hope for. It will all depend on the number of people who reject/defer their offer of this course and the points of other candidates that are in the queue ahead of you. Nobody will know for certain until Thursday, August 27th.

    NUI Maynooth Kilkenny campus is up on available places. Would you think of applying here for arts? You do first year on the Kilkenny campus and then transfer to the Maynooth campus for the second and third year of the degree.

    Let me know if you need more help. We are here until 6pm and back again tomorrow morning.

  • 17:00

    I've accepted computer science in UCD and am very happy with that course; it was my fourth preference. If I do a recheck and my points go down, will I be removed from the course?  

    This would be up to UCD.  Colleges say they reserve the right to remove an applicant from a course who is not entitled to a place, possibly because they have been downgraded and their new points do not entitle them to the place they have on the course.  I personally have not come accross anyone who has had their place taken from them.  The obvious way to avoid all of this, of course, is to view your scripts before sending them for appeal and if they are borderline going down a grade then it may not be a good idea to appeal.

  • 17:09

    Hi my daughter is looking to repeat, does she need to notify CAO now in order to keep her points on file for next year?  

    No. When she is applying through the CAO next year for 2016 entry she will just put down her two exam numbers - this year's and next year's.  The CAO will then have access to both sets of results and use whatever it needs from them.

  • 17:14

    I  didn't get enough points here for medicine and would rather not repeat. I was thinking of applying through Ucas in the UK next year and   doing the UKCat this August. Would I be able to use this year's points or would I have to repeat?

    I would advise you to contact a few of the UK  colleges that offer a medical undergraduate courses as they may differ. Ask to speak with a member from the admissions team.

    You could also study a science/medical related Level 8 course and then apply for graduate medicine both at home and in the UK.

    We are back in the morning. Get in touch if you need more information.

  • 17:23

    I received an offer of a place and want to go to college. My parents' income is over the threshold for grant assistance. Due to debt, they are not in a position to support me financially and we live in rural Ireland. How can I go to college?  

    Hi, I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.  It is very upsetting to hear of someone who is ambitious enough to want to go to third level and get a better education but, because of money issues, is finding it difficult to take up the offer.  Obviously I don't know the full details of your situation but it sounds as if you are very constrained.  One thing that comes to mind is the option of deferring your place and spending the year working yourself  and saving to try to raise funds to get to college next year.  By this time your parents' situation may have improved also and you might be in a better position overall to take up your college place.  The evidence seems to suggest that quite a few students are in this position where they are forced to take a year out to work and save for their education.

  • 17:51

    My daughter missed out on commerce in NUIG by 10 points. What is the best option to for her? Would a PLC course in business be a good place to start? Thanks

    She still may get it in future rounds (if points drop). Has she received any other offer of a college place?

    There are some very good PLCs that operate out of

    PLCs are good for getting a foundation in your subject area.  When finished the PLC  your daughter will  have a better idea as to whether she is keen on investing a further three to four years in the area of business.

    Commerce GY201 - offer 10 places for Fetac applicants. Not all Fetac applicants progress to third level. Certain requirements must be met.

    Requirements for GY201- Holders of Fetac (NCVA) Level 5 qualifications with a pass in BBSXX/5M2102 Business Studies and Distinction (80 per cent or better) in a minimum of five modules in the qualification including a distinction in the module C20139/5N1833 Mathematics or Grade B3 in Mathematics Leaving Certificate Ordinary Level, or better, will be considered for entry to first year Commerce (GY201).

    As the number of places is limited they will be offered on a competitive basis, based on the student’s score.

    Acceptable PLC courses  for GY201 will be found by following this link

    We are here again in the morning. Contact us if you need more help.

  • 17:58

    My son applied for Level 8 courses only, feeling confident. He didn't meet the honour requirements so now must wait for Level 6/7 to become available. Do many come up generally?

    Your son could repeat a subject or two in order to satisfy the entry requirements and use 2015 points. He would need to reapply through 2016 CAO.  This will only work if he has close to, or above, this year's cut-off points for courses that he is interested in.

    Level 6/7 operate on the exact same time frame as Level 8 courses. He will not get any offer if he didn't fill in any courses under the Level 6/7 list.

    He can add available places onto his CAO form. Available places are advertised on These have been available to apply for since noon today.

    PLC courses are also used as a progression route into third level. Has he looked at this option?

    Back again in the morning. Be sure to get onto us if you need more help.

  • 18:02

    Query re Course DN140 in UCD. This seems to be the only engineering course to drop points this year. Wondering why this might be and if it is a good choice. Would it be better to take general engineering degree and specialise later?

    This is quite a specialised degree  - it is a structural engineering degree with strong elements of creativity and design included.  I often wonder do students really know what they are signing up for when they choose such a specialised degree even withe the best research.  Can they be sure that this course is really what they want to do?  Certainly my preference is for courses like DN150 where students have a broad based curriculum in the early years of the course (1 year in this course) and then get to choose their specialism in a truly informed way.  I have experienced watching many students go into these undenominated degrees thinking they were going to specialise in one area, only to discover a passion for a completely different area.  The other reason that might put some off this course is the course structure - 3 year B.Sc. followed by a 2 year masters.  This could have implications for fees, given the final two years will probably not be covered by the free fees initiative.

  • 18:03
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