2017 CAO Helpdesk

Contact us here with any questions you have about your CAO application

Deirdre Garrett, Brian Howard Mon, Aug 21
LIVE: 2017 CAO Helpdesk

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  • 08:48
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to the 2017 CAO Helpdesk. Our expert guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett will be here until 6pm to answer any questions you may have regarding your results, the CAO, or anything else. Just click on the 'Contact Us' button to submit your question. In the meantime check out our special site at irishtimes.com/cao2017 for information about college life, exam results analysis, and more.
  • 09:16

    Is this a private help desk..meaning will my question be shown to everyone?

    All questions and answers are published without identifying those who post to the blog.

  • 09:33

    My son got 498 points. He had hoped but has not been offered Trinity Economics & German or German/history but cannot find what the points have risen to for these courses. He did get an offer for law in Galway. But his preference was Trinity

    In Trinity Arts, the Economics and German combination is 499* and the History and German combination is 520*.   As you can see random selection was used for both of these courses so not everybody on these points was offered a place.

  • 09:48

    My son has 290 points and is applying to do first year for the third time on a different course. The course needed 290 points but he hasn't received any L8 offers. Is there a reason?

    Not quite sure what you mean by applying to do 1st year for the first time but in any case if you are unsure you should contact the admissions office of the college in question and/or send an email to the CAO through their website quoting your CAO number.   One of the basic things to check in this instance are entry requirements - have they all been met for the course in question.


  • 09:55

    I Did my leaving cert my LC in 2015 I got 325 and my choice went up to 326, I only put down one option on my CAO is there any way I can apply for something else seeing as I didn't get offered anything?

    The CAO vacant places also known as available places is a facility where you can apply for courses that remain unfilled. You will find  it on the CAO website. Available places begin after the first round of CAO offers are issued. It operates on a weekly schedule of applications, offers and acceptances.

    PLC (post leaving cert courses) are also worth looking into. Many of these are used as a progression route into higher education.

    Some independent/private third level colleges offer direct entry. Not listsed on the CAO but you apply directly to the college.

    The UK runs an equivalent of the CAO available places process. This is known as 'clearing'.

  • 10:00

    I'm thinking of applying for a course on the available places list of the CAO. should I accept the course I've been offered today as well as applying for the course on the available places list?

    Yes, if you feel that you have an interest in what that course has to offer. Accepting today's offer will have no bearing on being offered courses of higher preference in future rounds.

    The best of luck.

  • 10:07

    My daughter got 455 points and the course she wants in DCU, PE and Maths, is 476. Is that likely to be too big a gap for a 2nd round offer? Thank you

    That would be a very big drop. I wouldn't foresee such a drop as this course is hugely popular. I may be proved wrong. We will have to wait and see. Round 2 offers out Monday week.

    The best of luck.

  • 10:12

    My daughter has 754 points inc HPAT and had applied for Medicine @ TCD. She has a message on her CAO account - "No offer available to you at this time". Cut off was 735 points so not sure whats wrong.

    The cut off for Medicine in TCD is 732* so in theory your daughter should have received an offer on the basis of her points.   So there has to be some other issue.   Has she met all the entry requirements for the course?   Has she met all the HPAT requirements?   Maybe give TCD admissions and seek their advice on the issue.


  • 10:15

    My son has missed his first choice( UCD) because he didn't have the correct maths requirement He is looking at repeating maths. He is in Australia for the year. Do you know if he can sit it ( physically ) in Australia ? Many thanks.

    I don't think so.  However, they  will make this service available if a student is representing their country in a sporting event aboard etc. I would advise you to email entries@examination.ie.

    The best of luck.

  • 10:20

    I received no offers today despite having more than enough points for my first preference. I did not include my 2015 examination number of my CAO application however I included my 2016 repeat number. Is this the problem and is there any way to fix it?

    It seems to me that you are probably lacking one of the basic entry requirements. I suggest that you look this up on www.qualifax.ie.

    If this is still unexplained make contact with CAO office in Galway. Get back on if you need more assistance.

  • 10:24

    A student, has had two conflicting communications/offers from CAO. Online he has been offered a level 8 (his 4th choice) and a level 6/7. His email communication has offered him the level 6/7 only.

    Whatever is online is what you go by so in this instance he has two offers.   Remember a seperate email comes with the level 6/7 offer and the level 8 offer so it may be that the level 8 email has somehow got caught up in traffic or sometimes there can be issues with the conversation style of email layout and emails can get lost in there.   Bottom line - go with what is online, so the here has two offers.


  • 10:28

    Hi, my son got sufficient points for his course, computer science, Maynooth but not the maths O3 required. He has 58 points to spare. Can he repeat maths only (not a points subject ) and use his combined Leaving Cert results to apply next year?

    Yes.   Entry requirements for a course do not have to met in one sitting of the Leaving Cert.   So he can repeat his maths next year and combine his score with this year's points total and hopefully if the points don't climb above the 58 points he will be offered the place next year.

  • 10:28

    I have 307 CAO points which I am very disappointed with. I applied to St Patrick's campus in Thurles for secondary school teaching in Business and Irish. I would like to know if I could do a PLC course anywhere that might help me get this course next year.

    Unfortunately not. There is no PLC progression route onto this course.

    Please get back on if you need more assistance.

  • 10:31

    My daughter Jennie has been approved for the DARE scheme. Will this automatically be taken into consideration when offers are being made? Thank you.

    Yes, once an applicant has been accepted onto the DARE scheme any offers that she is entitled to, including her DARE reduction, will be automatically generated and offered to her in round one.   The student does not have to take any extra action relating to the DARE scheme.

  • 10:31

    Hi there I got offered arts degree in Maynooth but I would like to do childcare or education studies but filled out CAO incorrectly! Do I accept Maynooth and then wait for second options? I would like to do primary teaching but doing it the back way in!

    Accepting today's offer will have no bearing on future offers. You may still get offered higher preference courses in round two.

    I would advise you to familarise yourself with the vacant places facility on the CAO website.  

    The best of luck.

  • 10:37

    If I don't accept my first choice is it possible that I will get offered my second choice in the second round of offers?

    Once you have been offered your first choice, then that's it you will not be offered anything lower in the next rounds.   The reason for this is that the CAO system assumes that you have the course you most want (your first choice) and that you are happy to stick with this.   You can always hope to move up your list of preferences but not down but in your case you can't go any higher so you will not be offered anything else.   So in this case think carefully about not accepting your first round offer.

  • 10:37

    My son received 307 points in the Leaving Cert. He has been offered Level 8 in Sligo - Business and Spanish SG144. Can he do a Masters after this course to do secondary school teaching or should he do a PLC course or try get an Arts Degree on available places

    Yes he can do a Masters in Education. You need to check to see what Leaving Cert subjects this degree would qualify him to teach. You will find this information from the teaching council. They're based in Maynooth. The college's prospectus or the particular department  may contain this information also or on their website. It is a very important issue to address before entering onto the course.

    Get back on if you need additional assistance.

  • 10:40

    My daughter has been offered Intellectual Disability Nursing in DCU. She has the offer of a pre-nursing PLC course. If she deferred her ID Nursing course does she risk not being offered the course next year if the points go up?

    No. However, when applying next year she may only list that one course on her application. If she lists other courses as well as her deferred place, she puts herself back in open competition with next year's applicants, with the chance that points for this course may increase in 2018.

    The best of luck.

  • 10:41

    My Irish son completed the French Bac, and results posted to CAO in July. No offers from CAO and no visibility on what his points are, or even if they have received his results. Can I physically visit the CAO office in Galway to check?

    I'm sure you can however I would certainly reccommend putting your query with all the details into an email to the CAO first and see what response you get.   In fairness to the CAO they are very efficient in getting back to applicant's email queries, so I might try this first and see how you get on.   Then if you feel you need to follow with a visit make the trip.

  • 10:46

    I would like to defer for a year to do further education before University. I want to do a different course to the ones I applied for this year. Do I still have to defer my first round option for a year or can I start completely afresh next year?

    If you defer an offer from this year then you can only take up that place next year by filling out the CAO form again next year and only putting down that course.   If you put any other course down on the form in addition to the deferred course then you lose your deferred place.   So in essence if you don't want to do the deferred course next year then don't bother deferring it, just fill in a whole new application next year.

  • 10:47
    My daughter has been offered her third choice. She has also been offered a PLC course. Could she defer her CAO choice until next year and do a pPLC course this year? Thank you

    She must contact the admission's office of the college in question. She must request to postpone until next year, outlining her reason for seeking a deferral. The college will most likely allow you to defer. Do not delay on this. Please read email below regarding reapplying to CAO 2018 and ensuring that you don't lose your deferred place.

    Get back on if needs be. The best of luck.

  • 10:54

    Hi there, hope you can help with some advice :-) I missed Commerce in Galway by 5 point (points went up) Was offered my next choice which is Corporate Law, Would prefer Commerce, Do I have to take what I am offered or should I wait to see??

    Accepting or allowing today's offer lapse will have no bearing on future offers. Regardless of today, you may be offered Commerce in round 2 if points fall by five.

    I recommend that you speak with someone in their admissions office and enquire about their transfer policy. Some colleges may allow you transfer but usually you need to have required points and available places must exist on this course.

    The best of luck.

  • 10:58

    My son has been offered bus management level 6. Can this be a pathway to BESS or other Business or sociology level 8 And could he transfer after year one?

    This tends to be a pathway into level 8 courses at the same institution. Each instutition has it's own policy on transfers.   I suggest that you contact the instutition in question. Level 6 courses take two years of study. So transfer shouldn't be possible until then.

  • 11:07

    I was 7 points off the first offers for the course I want, is it likely to drop that much in round 2?

    This is impossible to answer as it depends on so many variables and what happens lies to a great extent with those who are now holding offers for the course you want.   If they all accept the place they have been offered then it is unlikely the points will drop and more places offered, but if some do not accept the place more places could be offered at lower points.   It's a waiting game I'm afraid.


  • 11:08

    I got my third choice. I want to defer entry but also want to see if I can get my first choice in a later round. Can I accept the offer and then defer later if I get the offer I want?

    Accepting today's offer will have no bearing on future rounds. If you want to defer your place, you must immediately contact the admissions office of the college making the offer and outline the reasons for a deferral. You must remember to reapply to the CAO next year. Please read below on how to complete your 2018 CAO in order not to lose your deferred place.

  • 11:12

    My son got 554 points in his leaving but needed 565 for Pharmacy in UCC, although both Dublin colleges are much lower. Do you think the second round offers could drop that much given it is only one grade under the new system?

    Please see the previous post as it is relevant here.   I do feel that this would be a big drop for a high demand course like this.   I can see your logic about the one grade but their could be a number of applicants between the last person to be offered a place on 565 and your son on 554.   There is no way really to know how this will unfold.   You could give UCC admissions a ring and discuss it with them, they may be able to give you more information.

  • 11:14

     I have a problem with my offers and I need advice on what I should do, I got offered LIT (my third choice) but I really would much prefer to do the Arts in UL or Mary I (my 4th choice) I never got to change my CAO in time, I got 356 points.

    You will not get offered a lower course preference than today's offer. All courses that lie below your third choice have now become obsolete. You need to keep an eye on vacant places on the CAO website. This is also known as available places. You can apply for any of the courses that appear on this facility providing that you meet the requirements.

    If your preferred course doesn't appear under available places then you will have to reapply to CAO 2018.

    Please get back on if you need more assistance.

  • 11:16

    If my daughter defers her third choice offer and she is offered second choice on second round can she accept the second round offer or will that be deemed to be deferred too? Thank you

    Yes,  she can accept it if this situation arises.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:19

    I have completed one year in UCC but today I was offered a course in Mary I and I am considering dropping out. How much would tuition cost if I was to choose Mary I and would I be paying extra fees for the 4 years?

    Having completed one first year already you have used up one year of your "free" fees from the government.   So if you take up the place in Mary I and do first year again you will have to pay the full tuition fees for this course for first year only and will the revert back to the "free" fees for second year on.   The government will only subsidise one first year, one second year, etc.   If you contact Mary I's fees office they will tell you the fee you will have to pay, probably in the region of €6,000 or €7,000.

  • 11:23

    My sister got 462 points. Her third preference is Sociology and Art History in Trinity. Sociology is down as being 462* and Art History is down as 450*, yet she was offered her fourth choice instead. Why?

    Not all applicants who scored 462 got a place. It looks as if your sister was one of those. Random selection was used. Therefore, she would have received the next course in which she met both the requirements and minimum entry requirements for.

    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 11:27

    My son has an Irish exemption due to dyslexia, and was accepted by the DARE scheme. He was hoping for an offer from UCD, but didn't receive an offer just a statement from CAO, but his Irish exemption is not recorded on the statement. What do I do?

    You should have received documentation from CAO back in May. CAO sent a statement of record and each candidate had to check and alert CAO of any errors or changes. This was the time to ensure that an Irish exemption was received.

    You need to contact admissions in UCD.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:27

    My daughter is exempt from Irish but don't think it was registered. She wasn't offered a place at Nuig even though enough points .. what can she do ?

    Did she apply for an NUI exemption?   Many feel it transfers automatically from second level to third level but it doesn't.   I would contact NUIG admissions immediately and query this.   If the exemption was in place it would have been recorded on the Statement of Application Record your daughter  would have received in May from the CAO.  If you haven't applied for an NUI exemption do so immediately at www.nui.ie and your daughter may be lucky in that they may be able to offer her a place in round two.

  • 11:33

    If I do science level 7 in DIT can I get into Earth science or general science in Trinity as a back door option and if so after how many years of the level 7 can I do this?

    As addressed in earlier posts transfers between colleges and courses are very difficult to advise on as colleges have their own ways of looking after transfers, in fact different departments in the same college can treat transfers differently.   What I would consider doing at this stage is to contact the admissions office and the science office in TCD and seek their advice on this.   They may not be able to give you a definite answer but at least explain the posibilities going forward.   I would imagine you would at least have to complete the level 7 course.


  • 11:40

    Hi, I got an offer from UCD for Science but my first choice was Biomedical Science. Should I take the offer or just wait until the second offers? I'm also confused that if I accept this offer, can I still change when I get a second offer next week?

    Accepting today's offer will have no bearing on your offers in future rounds. So my advice to you would be to accept today's offer. If you get offered Biomedical Science next week then you can change your mind and accept Biomedical Science.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:40

    I didn't get any of the level 8 law courses I wanted,is there any other way of doing law? I got legal studies in DBS but I'm not sure if the fees are affordable,what are my options?

    First of all in relation to the fees in DBS, when you really look at the fees there isn't a huge difference between the fees payable for a "free college place" and those payable for DBS so do look into it.   If you did two years of legal studies in DBS could you transfer to one of the law degrees you wanted?   It's worth ringing the admissions office of these colleges and finding out what the situation is.   Alternatively, you could find out if the law degrees you are interested in have a FETAC pathway to entry.   If they do you could complete an appropriate PLC and apply next year on the basis of your results in your PLC course.

  • 11:44

    Why would my son not have received any Level 8 offer-only level 7? He had 365 points, would have met minimum requirements for GA783, CK101, GY101, DN500, ? Can he expect a round 2 offer on Level 8? Thank you

    Offers are made once a candidate meets the minimum entry requirements and the cut off points. Was there a subject requirement for these particular courses? Is he entitled to a language exemption? It sounds as if entry requirements are the problem here

    Get back on if you need additional assistance.

  • 11:47

    Is Health and Safety available as a post-grad course, or add-on course, after a student completes a degree in Science in GMIT

    Sligo IT offer a very good M.Sc. in Environmental Health and Safety which would include Occupational Health and Satety also.   It is a correspondence course open to science graduates.  If you talk to the science department in Sligo they coudl give you more information about the course.


  • 11:47

    As my sister lost out in random selection, is there a chance she could be offered a place in the second round of offers? Also, what happens if you don't accept a place?


    The hope would be that the college will attempt in round two offers to clear all those on random selection. There is no way of knowing how many candidates are on the same points as you waiting to see if any places become available. Take a look at the random slection in the CAO handbook, at cao.ie.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:48

    Apologies, Level 8 Offer just arrived now!! Thank you, Sharon Hunt

    Fantastic. Celebrate!!

  • 11:51

    If  I take my third round offer will I be offered my high preference later?

    I am assuming you are asking if you accept your third choice in round one will you be offered a higher preference in the next rounds.   The answer is yes you could.   You can always hope  to move up in successive rounds but not down.   Even if you accept your third choice now you will still remain in the running for a higher preference later and will be offered it if you become entitled to it.

  • 11:56

    My daughter got offered her fourth choice but my query is can she be offered her third choice from the second round offers as she's only 8 points away from requirements if places are not filled.

    Yes she can.   If she becomes entitled to a place in her 3rd choice (through some people who have been offered it already not taking the places) she will be offered it in the next round and it is up to her whether to take it or not.   But there is no guarantee of a second offer so seriously consider accepting something in round one safe in the knowledge that it will not affect her chances of being offered a higher preference in successive rounds.

  • 11:57

    Are the points for science in NUIG still at 400

    Yes. Points 2017 Science NUI Galway 400.


  • 12:06

    Can't find min points req for TCD TR332 TSM geo and sociology. Think should have received an offer but didn't.


    463 points for CAO 2017. If you have these points check the entry requirements.

    Please get back on if you need further assistance.

  • 12:07

    Having completed a level 7 science degree in GMIT, can a student apply to do a Masters in Science in various universities. Thanks a lot.

    Not on the basis of a level 7 degree.  You would have to do an additional year to bring the level 7 up to an honours degree at level 8 and then on the basis of this qualification you could apply for  various postgraduate options in different colleges.

  • 12:12

    I have not applied for Radiography however I have received enough points for the course, is there a way I can apply for it now?

    You can check the vacant place (also called available places)  list on the cao website from tomorrow onwards. The UK equivalent of the CAO's available places process, is known as the "clearing". It is highly unlikely that such a popular course will appear under available places.

  • 12:16

    If someone accepts the top offer of a level 6/7 category does that exclude them from any offers in the higher level 8 category if something suitable becomes available?

    No. They are seperate from each other. However, in the event that you receive a level 6/7 and a level 8 offer the position is a little more complex. You can only accept one course, so you must choose between the two offers.

    Accepting a level 6/7 offer will have no effect on your level 8 offers for now and into the future.


    The best of luck.

  • 12:17

    Can he accept and expect higher offers later? He is intending to defer college to next year. If he accepts his third preference and defers it with the University, will this prevent him from receiving subsequent higher offers from CAO

    Deferring his third offer will not prevent him from receiving higher order preferences in future rounds.


    The best of luck.

  • 12:23

    My son got 520 points and got an offer this morning for BESS in Trinity. But he had wanted History&English in Trinity (TR262) and put that down on his CAO application. Do you know what the points for that are&his chances of a 2nd round offer for it?

    The 2017 points  for History and English literature for this course  is 520*. It looks like you missed out on an offer due to random selection. Random selection is outlined in the CAO handbook, at cao.ie. The college will attempt to clear all those on random selection in round 2. There is no way of knowing how many candidates are on the same points as you waiting to see if places become available.

    We will not know until next Monday. The best of luck.

  • 12:24

    My daughter received a level 8 offer but missed her first choice she was hoping for Economics and Spanish at trinity, however we can't find the CAO points required for this Trinity TSM course can you advise

    The 2017 cut off points for Economics and Spanish 499*. Please read below regarding the relevance of an asterix.

  • 12:27

    I have received my second choice but I have also received enough points for my third choice which I thought was unachievable. Is it possible to do my third choice over my second, in the second round of offers?


    I'm afraid not. All course choices below today's offer have now become obsolete. The CAO advises all candidates to put their courses in order of preference based on interest not points.


  • 12:34

    What were the minimum points for TSM at TCD for History of Art and Sociology this year please? Thought I would receive an offer as it was my third choice and I thought I had enough points (462) but was offered my fourth instead.

    Not all applicants with a  score of  462 got a place. Random selection was used. Therefore,  you would have received the next course down in which  you met both the requirements and minimum entry requirements for.

    Random selection is outlined in the CAO handbook, at cao.ie

    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 12:37

    How does the appeal process work? How can you enter a course when the places are all filled up by mid-October?

    No matter what happens with your appeal, you cannot add in new courses as part of that appeal.   The last time you can add new courses to your CAO account is the 1st July.   The only exception to this are courses that appear on the vacant place list on the CAO website.   So if you get an upgrade you will only be assessed based on the courses you have already applied for.

  • 12:50

    I have got my sixth choice on my CAO which is Philosophy at Trinity, but my TSM options of Drama with Classical Civilisation was lower points. I got an acceptance letter for Drama so I am eligible. Should I wait for the second round?

    This depends where the TSM is on your list of preferences.   If it is above your sixth choice you are still in the running for it but if if it is lower then you will not be considered for it anymore.   Drama with Classical Civilisation is 469.

  • 12:57

    My son has been offered a level 7 course that he has now decided he doesn't want. There are a number of courses on the available places list that interest him. Can he apply for one of these tomorrow? If so what does he do with his present offer?

    Vacant / available places will become available tomorrow. He should not accept today's offer if he has no interest in the programme.


    The best of luck.

  • 12:59

    Can I bring a calculator for script viewing? If I get a H2, does that mean I got 88 points?

    Yes, you can bring a calculator into the script viewing but not a mobile phone, so it needs to be a stand alone calculator.   H2 gives 88 points.


  • 12:59

    If I started a course under the Free scheme initiative, and dropped it in favour of a different course, would I still be eligible for the free scheme initiative?

    Yes providing that you do it early on in the year, within the first couple of weeks.

    Speak with the fees office at your college also.

    The best of luck.


  • 13:02

    After a subject is rechecked and the result has improved, can a refund have to be made to the candidate directly or does it have to be made through the school?

    If an applicant gets an upgrade then the appeal fee will be refunded to the bank account the money came from or the credit card.   This would normally be paid by the applicant not the school so it would go back to the student.

  • 13:05

    My son got the required points for engineering in Trinity and DCU but did not meet the maths requirement. He Got H5. Is it possible to sit only the maths exam next year or does he have to repeat the Leaving Cert?

    He can sit just Maths. A sitting of a single subject can be done in order to satisfy minimum entry requirements. He can then combine his 2017 CAO points with his 2018 Maths grade.

    Certain colleges offer special maths exams in the coming days. Unfortunately, I don't think DCU offer this.

    Get back onto us if you need additional assistance.

    The best of luck.

  • 13:08

    I missed Trinity Science by one point, I have an offer for DIT Biomedical Science, but how likely is it for me to get a second round offer?

    It depends on whether many candidates accept, defer or reject their offer today. The number of interested candidates with the same score as you will also play a part in the likelyhood of an offer being made to you. We don't know any of this information. Therefore, we have to wait until round 2 offers come out next Monday.

    The best of luck.

  • 13:10

    Is there any other way to get an application for viewing scripts than the one with your results. My results still have not come in the post and the deadline is tomorrow to return the forms to school.

    In this instance I would contact your school and they may have a spare form.   If they cannot help you then ring the state examinations commission on 0906442700 and seek their advice.

  • 13:13
    My cousin got the points for his 2nd choice (Computer Science in TCD) but didn't get his the H4 in maths. Can he repeat only maths/how does this affect his points? Can he defer the course he was offered while he repeats and keep it as a safety net?

    He can repeat Maths only. He can then use his 2018 grade to satisfy minimum entry requirements along with his 2017 CAO points. In order to keep his deferal he must reapply to CAO in 2018. He can only list that one course on his CAO 2018 application. If he does list other courses he loses his deferral and enters back into  opem competition for  places.
  • 13:14

    I got my second choice of science in Galway, but would like to do science in Trinity. Both are level 8, would I be able to transfer to Trinity next year?

    As we mentioned earlier in other posts, transfers are really up to the colleges and they each have their own regulations around this area.   A lot of factors come into play: available space in the course you want to transfer into, similarity of material covered in first year, etc. so very often the faculty themselves handle transfers as opposed to admissions.   I would suggest giving the science office in TCD a ring and get their advice on this issue.   Best of luck.

  • 14:02

    I did the leaving cert in 2015 and received 421 points. I was also eligible for the DARE scheme again this year when I reapplied to the CAO office. However, I did not receive any of my top 5 courses even though I had sufficient points. Can you help?

    I recommend that you use ww.qualifax.ie and check the minimum entry requirements for those courses. Get back onto me if you feel that you satisfy all requirements and cut off points.

  • 14:03

    Hi, I got offered my third choice which is 290 points although my second choice is 211 points. They have the same basic requirements. How can that be? Thanks.

    The doesn't seem right. Would your second choice have a subject requirement in which you failed to satisfy? Please get back on if that does not solve the issue.

  • 14:07

    If I'm offered my first choice in the second round will I have to take it and so lose my present second choice, or can I keep the second choice if I wish?

    It's your choice, you decide.   You can stay with your second choice from round one or move to the first choice in round two.

  • 14:07

    My son applied for the wrong course and only realised when the offer came in today. Is there any way to rectify this or will he have to reapply next year. Will this go against him in next year's application?


    There is no way of rectifying this. The change of mind facility closed back on July 1st. It will not go against him when reapplying in 2018.

    Unfilled college courses will appear under available spaces on cao.ie from tomorrow. Check to see if any courses are of interest. Anyone who satisfies the requirements can apply.

    Best wishes.

  • 14:10

    My son got his first choice arts degree in Cork but missed the H3 requirement in maths which he needs to study maths. We rang the CAO office and said he won't get anymore offers, is that true

    Unfortunately, this is the case. He can choose to do other Art subjects or reapply to CAO 2018. He would need to repeat maths to help satisfy the minimum requirements for next year.

  • 14:11

    I have accepted a Level 8 offer through FETAC. Today I have been offered my first choice through Leaving Cert results. How do I cancel original offer/acceptance, and secure today's offer?

    Acceptance of today's offer will automatically override previous offers/ acceptances. Well done and the best of luck.

  • 14:12

    Hi our child received 533 in the Leaving Cert. Law in Trinity was her first choice but she got her second in UCD Could she get an offer for her first choice next week? Also she's getting English rechecked, if this increases from H3 to H2 what happens? Thanks

    Yes, she could possibly be offered her first choice next week.   Have a read of some earlier posts where we discuss this.   If her English is upgraded and this results in her becoming entitled to her first preference then she will be offered this in October, if they have space or at the very least they must offer her a deferred place for the following year.   Or if she has already started Law in UCD and is happy there she may decide to stay in UCD, it's her choice.

  • 14:15

    My son's first choice was PPES in TCD 555 points (no asterisk). He got 554. He is going to review three LC scripts and may get recheck. If one subject goes up he will exceed the 555. Would he then automatically get offered the place in PPES?

    Yes, if one subject goes up in October  and he reaches 555 or above then he is entitled to a place on PPES.   He will be offered a place, but it will either be an immediate place starting in October if they can accommodate him or it may be a deferred place the following year if they have no space for more students.

  • 14:19

    Hi, CAO contacted me this morning saying I had received my first choice and I accepted it, they said that the college would be in touch with more details shortly would you have an idea on how long that will take and is my place 100% secured? Thanks.

    This varies from college to college but you can expect to hear from colleges in the next few days if you have already accepted the place.   If you are very anxious about this you could contact the college in question and ask them when they will contact their new students.   If you followed the online procedure to accept a place then it is secure and you don't need to be concerned.

  • 14:24

    Does it seem likely that Trinity Law might drop 10 points on second round offers considering it did last year?

    Unfortunately there is no way of knowing.   This year is completely different to last year and as explained in earlier posts second round offers very much depend on what the current holders of offers do with their places.   Even the colleges can't control this and do not know until the round one reply date what is going to happen.   10 points is a considerable drop.

  • 14:24

    My daughter received two course offers this morning LM002 arts in UL and Applied Social Studies AL765 Level 7. Her first choice was Social Science in UCD, followed by a Masters in Social Work at UCC. She is undecided which course to take. Any advice?

    There are many factors that influence one's decision i.e. course content, work experience, location etc.. It's a personal choice. Social studies would give her hands on experience in the area she's interested in. No experience will be gotten on the Arts programme.

    She needs to look at both courses and their content. She needs to decide which one she thinks she'd be most interested in.  I recommend that she speak with students and staff on both programmes of study.

    I assume that she has carried out quite an extensive work placement in the area of social work. The fact is that she knows that she wants to be a social worker.

    Entry requirements for a masters in social work would involve the  study of Social Policy or Social Policy related subjects to degree level (this may be possible through the study of Sociology if available on the Arts degree).

    Get back on if you need further assistance.

  • 14:28

    My brother sent his A level results, but didn't realise until today that he should have provided a copy of his AS level results as well. Is there a way to send CAO a copy of them now, to be taken into account for round 2, or is it too late? Thanks

    He has nothing to lose by sending details in via the contact us section on their website, cao.ie. It is up to the college as to whether to act on this or not. Definitely worth a try.

  • 14:28

    I  got five points below the offer for my first choice.  I got an offer for my second and if  I accept my second does it mean  I won't get an offer of round two in my first choice if they were to accept my points?

    No.   If you accept your second choice you will still remain in the running for a place on your first choice in the next rounds and if you become entitled to a place on your first choice then you will be offered it and it is your choice whether to take it or not.

  • 14:29

    I have accepted an offer from CAO but I also have an offer from a university abroad, is there any way of declining the offer I previously accepted if I choose to study abroad?

    You can email the admissions office of the institution in question and notify them. This will then help a candidate in round two.

    The best of luck.

  • 14:30

    Am I still able to submit to view my scripts tomorrow?

    Yes you have until tomorrow to submit this form.

  • 14:31

    How can a candidate who has lost their DARE letter check the DARE decision?

    Contact the CAO via their Contact Us section of their site and include your CAO application number.   They will be able to tell you your DARE status.

  • 14:41

    Son is one point short of International Commerce in UCD but has been offered International Commerce in NUIG. His thinking is to accept NUIG and keep his fingers crossed for UCD coming good next round. Sound? Do points naturally fall if places are unfilled?

    Yes, he is perfectly right in his approach.   This way he has NUIG banked and he still remains in the running for a place in UCD if he becomes entitled to it.   It's a long shot on a popular course like this but it does happen that 2nd round offers are made.

  • 14:52

    Hi, our daughter got her second choice but really wanted her first - Law in Trinity. She got 533 in the Leaving Cert. Could she get an offer in round two? Also she's getting English rechecked, if it increases from H3 to H2 what happens?

    She may still get her first choice in round 2 if points fall and she  then meets the cut off points. Candidates can be offered preferences that lie above  today's offer but not courses that lie below today's offer.

    Results of appeals come back in mid October. Colleges will offer you a place subject to availability or they may offer you a deferred place for 2018.

    Please get back in touch if you need further assistance.

  • 15:06

    What happens if I reject a choice?

    This means that that course is gone, but you will still remain in the running for a course higher up in your list of preferences and hence may be offered a new course in the next rounds if you become entitled to a higher place.   If the course was your first preference you will receive no new offers on that list.

  • 15:14

    Hi, I currently have Biotech in DCU but I had science in Trinity as choice number one. I'm 23 points off but getting a few rechecks.Do you think there is any hope for me getting Trinity?

    Science in Trinity is a very popular course. Twenty three points is a big drop for such a wanted course. No one will know for definite until next Monday. I would be surprised though.

    If you are granted an upgrade or two and then have the necessary cut off points then Trinity will have to make you an offer. They could offer for you to join them in 2017 if they're still places available or keep you a place on the course for 2018.

    I hope that I have been clear enough.

  • 15:20

    My daughter got 484 points and missed English Studies in TCD (485) by one point. Have you any idea what the likelihood of an offer is in the second round? If she gets an upgrade in the rechecks, would she automatically be offered a place in 2017?

    A fall of one point can certainly happen. How many of today's candidates accept, defer or reject their offer will determine whether you will see a fall in points for this course. No one will know for definite until next Monday. Please see post below regarding upgrades and college offers in mid-October.

  • 15:21

    If you accept an offer, then do you get another offer in the second round of your first choice if the points go down?

    Yes. Accepting today's offer will have no bearing on your chance of being offered courses of higher preferences in future rounds.

    Best of luck.

  • 15:23

    I am 8 points off Occupational Therapy, is a round 2 offer unlikely?

    Please refer to posts below. Occupational Therapy is a very popular course.

  • 15:41

    Our son scored one point short of TR 056. He was offered his next option that is Engineering in UCD. Is there a chance he can get into Trinity in the second round....? Is there a chance Trinity might consider him then?

    Your son will still be in the competition for courses that lie above today's offer. He will be offered a course of higher preference if the points for those courses  fall. If he meets the minimum requirements and the cut off points then, Trinity must make him an offer.

    The best of luck.

  • 15:41

    I got my fourth choice offer today, if I accept this when the second round of the CAO offers come out, could I still be offered my third, second or first choices? For the second round do I have to meet the course requirements or is it closest to points?

    Yes, by accepting your fourth choice offer today, it means you have that course banked but you will still remain in the running for a HIGHER preference course and will be offered it if you become entitled to it.   You will not be offered any course at any stage unless you have met its entry requirements.

  • 15:45

    I didn't realise that I could have applied for a HEAR grant, isn't it too late for me to apply now through the colleges?

    HEAR is not a financial grant. The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)   is a college and university scheme that offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. The deadline for application is February 1st of the year in question. You indicate this on your CAO application form.

    I hope that I have answered your question.

  • 15:46

    If I get rechecks and it leads to me coming up a point short of the course I want, which is Science at Trinity, can i still get it?

    No. You must get the cut off points. No candidate with points below this will be offered a place.

    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 15:46

    Do you know if there's any way of getting into a nursing course after doing a joint arts honours degree?

    I am not aware of any direct path onto a nursing degree here, e.g. a postgraduate conversion course after an arts degree.   By the time you are finished the Arts degree you  would nearly be of mature student age (23) and could apply to Nursing through the mature applicant system but the Arts degree would not really serve any purpose.   What about applying to the UK?  

  • 15:48

    Are there any ways of moving into pure Mathematics at TCD after a year, eg taking their offer in another course and moving to maths in 2018?

    The general rule of thumb is that you cannot transfer onto any course that you did not have the points for originally. However there may be odd exceptions to this in different colleges so I would ring admissions in TCD and ask them about this.

  • 15:50

    If I do a PLC and retake maths to meet entry requirements in Trinity will I still be able to apply for Trinity next year with my Leaving Cert points? And I am a HEAR candidate so would that stand? My concern is a PLC cancels out my Leaving Cert results.. Thanks

    PLC results do not cancel out Leaving Cert results. CAO will choose the better of the two.

    Get back on if you need more assistance.

  • 16:00

    Can you accept a sixth choice, and turn down your fifth choice if you get an offer in the second round and still be eligible for higher choices in later rounds?

    If you have been offered your fifth choice then all courses that lie below this offer have now become obsolete. You will not get offered these courses  in future rounds. You can only get offered courses that lie above today's offer.

    Is that clear? Get back on if needs be.

  • 16:06

    Is it more than likely that all places on nursing courses will be filled before round 2 or is there any hope for someone who got near 30 points less.

    There is no way of knowing for definite.   I have seen nursing courses that have had second round offers so it does happen.   However, 30 points is a big gap to bridge and I would suggest it may be too big.   As I said earlier, have a look at the UK and clearing.


  • 16:08

    Can I repeat only the subjects I didn't do well in and add the points together for the two years ?

    No you cannot combine two sittings of the Leaving Certificate for the purposes of calculating points.   You can combine Leaving Certs for the purpose of meeting entry requirements but not points.

  • 16:12

    I got 613 points and have been offered Pharmacy in TCD – however, I now realise I would rather study Science at TCD. Is there any way of transferring without registering for Pharmacy and having to wait until October to apply for a transfer?

    This is a question best put to TCD admissions as only they will know exactly how to proceed but I would hazard that you probably have to register for the course you have been offered in the first instance.

  • 16:18

    Can you accept a sixth choice, turn down your fifth choice if you get an offer in second round and still be elligible for higher choices in later rounds?

    Yes you can and you will still be eligible for higher choices in future rounds. Apologies, I misunderstood you.

  • 16:19

    What's the likelihood of points falling for Trinity's two subject moderatorship? Given how specific the combinations are to the person who chose them, is there any real chance in such small courses that people will decline their place?

    It will depend on the individual and their circumstances. The colleges won't know this information at this stage. We will have to wait until Monday.

  • 16:29

    My daughter got her third choice Applied Social Studies in Social Care. She really wants her first choice - BA in Education, Business Studies and Religion. Can she still work her way to first choice if she accepts the offer?

    No. She must meet the minimum entry requirements and the course cut off points in order to get an offer. She could get offered courses of higher preference than her third choice in future rounds (points for these courses would have to fall). Round two offers are out next Monday.

  • 16:30

    Hi, I got enough points for Science in Galway. But do you think I will be able to transfer to Pharmacy in Trinity after first year with my good grades even though I didn't get enough points for pharmacy?

    It's unlikely. However, colleges vary with their transfer policies. I recommend that you contact the institutions themselves. Research graduate Pharmacy also.

    The best of luck.

  • 16:32

    If you're offered a deferred place for 2018 in Trinity but you've done year 1 in UCD, how does that work regarding fees? Also when is round two offered? Is it Monday for Thursday of next week? Thanks

    My understanding here is that if you are offered a place in October by the college and YOU decide to defer it to 2018 and continue in UCD then you may have to pay full fees in 2018.   If you have no choice but to take a deferred place in 2018 and you continue in UCD then you will not have to pay fees for TCD.   To find out definitively for your case you should ring the fees office in TCD.   Round two offers will be available online on Thursday 31st August and reply date is Wednesday 6th, September.

  • 16:40

    Is there a PLC progression route onto Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies in Mary I??

    There is no PLC progression route into this course.

  • 16:53

    My son got 388 and had hoped to do Corporate Law in Galway but points went up to 392 and he has nothing lower on his CAO. Can he repeat just maths and add points to this year's Leaving Cert? Any advice?

    No, as mentioned in a previous post you cannot combine two Leaving Certificate sittings for points purposes so he cannot just repeat one subject and add it to the previous year's points.   He would have to repeat six subjects to accumulate a new points total.   He could give up subjects he doesn't like and take six subjects he likes and will perform best in.


  • 16:54

    This is so helpful thanks for spending the time doing it!

    We're glad to be of help at what can be a stressful time for some.

  • 16:55

    I  have been offered a course on my CAO List. However he now has a preference to do a course which is listed on his CAO application but it is listed below this course. What should he do now ?

    He will never be offered courses that lie below today's offer. If he really wants this course he will have to reapply to CAO 2018. All candidates were given numerous opportunities and time to complete their order of perference. The change of mind facility closed on July 1st.

    Get back on if you need further assistance.

  • 16:57

    My son is one point short of his first choice! He has been offered his second, has he much chance of getting offered his first choice in the second round offers?

    One point is a small drop. No one can tell at this stage as to what courses will drop. Nobody will know for definite until Monday.

  • 16:57

    Do the points usually drop in the second round of offers? I did my Leaving Cert in 2012 and with the new points system I dropped points and missed out on my course by four points.

    Yes, if there are second round offers it means the CAO system is going lower  down  the order of merit list for the course to fill more places and hence the points of these candidates are lower so the new cut off points will be lower.

  • 17:01

    My daughter got her first choice, level 7 Early Childhood Care and Education in Thurles which is being developed into level 8 within the next year. Can this lead to primary school teaching?

    Your daughter can apply for the masters in primary education once she holds a level 8 qualification. Other requirements are as follows:

    Applicants must have the following academic qualifications:
    (a) Minimum H2.2 Honours Bachelor Degree[1] (Major Award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or a major award at Level 9 or a major award at Level 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications, and
    (b) one of the following sets of second level qualifications:
    (i) in the Leaving Certificate Examination[2]

    Minimum Grade (new 2017 Scheme)H5H6 or O6O5  or H6
    % Mark50%-59%40%-49%50%-59% or 40%-49

    I hope that this is clear enough. Get back onto us if needs be. We are here  until 6pm.

  • 17:02

    I will be sitting my LC next June and I am wondering if I apply for a course and get the required points, will I be offered a place for sure? How do they choose what people to offer? Thanks.

    I am putting a link here from the CAO website to a video call Mapping your Future which will describe the process to you as to how places are allocated and how points come about.   If you have any questions comeback to us.

  • 17:04

    Hi. My son got his third choice to do science, but now he would prefer to do the science course he put down as fourth choice (it has lower points). What should he do? Many thanks

    Please see similar posts below. His fourth choice is no longer an option. It becomes void once he receives an offer above it. Basically your son remains in competition for courses higher up on his CAO from todays offer. All courses that lie below today's offer become obsolete.

    The only way of rectifying this is to reapply in 2018 and change your order of preference.

  • 17:05

    My son was offered a course that he did not reach the requirements in terms of points nor required grade in one subject, how was this possible? How do I get this corrected so he receives the correct offer in round two?

    This is very strange.   The best way to remedy this is to contact CAO with all the details and application number and let them look at it and come back to you.   Use the Contact Us section of the CAO website to contact them and they will come back to you fairly quickly.


  • 17:07

    Hi, this is my second question but now wondering is there any way of finding out how many people applied for a course and how many offers were issued?

    You could send an email to both CAO and the admissions office of the college involved and see what they come back with.

  • 17:10

    If I do a level 6 course this year will my entitlement to my level 8 college fees still stand or will my parents be liable? Thanks

    The state will pay tuition fees  for up to five years duration for each individual. Level 6 courses tend to be two years in duration. Students tend to spend three additional years completing a level 8. All five years tuition fees in this case will be covered by the state.

    The student is responsible to pay registration fees of €3,000 per annum. Those who are SUSI eligible may have this cost covered by SUSI.


  • 17:11

    If my son completes either of his offers, level 8 Social Care Work or level 7 Early Childhood Care and Education, can he do an add on in a few year and progress to Speech Therapy in UL?

    The post grad conversion course in Speech Therapy in UL (M.Sc.) requires a level 8 honours degree at grade 2.2 and then you must complete the HPAT.   Places are awarded on the basis of the score in the HPAT.   What the initial degree is in is irrelevant for entry purposes.

  • 17:17

    I have been offered DBS level 8 Business but got no offer DIT level 7/6 Business which I would prefer. Is there any chance of a second round offer for level 7/6 if I meet requirements or does a accepting level 8 course negate the chance of a second offer?

    Accepting your level 8 offer will have no influence on what happens with your level 6/7 list. Courses can and may fall in points. No one will know for definite until round two comes out next Monday.

  • 17:22

    How do I know what Dare points received first round offers in UCD?

    I would imagine if you contact the admissions office in UCD they may be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction to get the information your require.   It may be the disability office but start with admissions.

  • 17:30

    My son missed his preferred choice by a couple of points. If he doesn't accept his current offer, and his paper is re-marked up, allowing him sufficient points for his preferred course, will he still get his preferred course? Even if it is full by then?

    Accepting or rejecting today's offer will have no influence on future offers. Appeal results are issued in mid-October. Colleges will offer places to eligible candidates if places are still available. When courses are full up, new candidates will be offered a deferred place for entry in Sept 2018.

    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 17:37

    I missed my course (Nanoscience in Trinity) by ten points. Is there anyway that I could be offered a place in round two?

    Anything is possible. Colleges wouldn't know this yet. We will all have to wait until Monday.

  • 17:45

    Can I apply for a PLC now?

    Yes, most PLC colleges are still accepting applications and will continue to do so for the next few days.   The advice is certainly if there is a specific PLC you are interested in, make contact early with the college and apply in the next few days.   In some cases courses are filled on a first come first served basis so early contact is advised.

  • 17:50

    I have being offered a level 7 social studies course and intend to accept and do the level 8 one-year add-on afterwards. Are there any options open to me to do occupational therapy afterwards?

    You can apply for a masters in Ireland and the UK. University of Limerick's requirements are as follows:

    Applicants must have attained an award of at least a 2.2 in an undergraduate degree (Level 8 National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or a postgraduate degree (Level 9 National Qualifications Authority of Ireland). The type of previous undergraduate degree awarded is not a limiting factor in terms of eligibility.

    Official confirmation of undergraduate degree results must be available at the time of applying.   For candidates who meet this requirement, the HPAT (Health Professions Admission Test- Ireland) will be used as the sole instrument to select students for this programme.



  • 17:51

    My son has been offered bio-medical science in UCD and wants to do medicine. Is there a way to transfer after first year?

    I think this would be very unlikely as if this were possible it would become a popular way of getting around the essence of the CAO system.   You could give UCD admissions a ring but I don't think you'll have much luck with it.

  • 17:52

    My son is still hopeful of his second choice which he missed by 1 point, however, he is also viewing papers as he is convinced he did better; can he bring a different person into different script reviews?

    Yes he can as long as he only has one person in with him at any one time.   This makes absolute sense.

  • 17:57

    My son got 70 points more than required for his course, science in Maynooth, when he repeated this year. But he didn't put in his last year's results with Irish in the CAO(he didn't re-sit Irish this year)...What can he do?

    You need to contact CAO immediately. CAO sent out correspondence in May. It was the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that all course codes,  choices and details were correct. They should offer him a place in round two providing that there are places available.  

  • 18:04

    If I am accepted for a PLC course in Nursing Studies (SM4349), can I apply for a level 8 Psychiatric Nursing next year even though I didn't have science as a subject in my Leaving Cert.

    Yes, you will be hoping to matriculate on the basis of your PLC course not your LC.   There may be particular modules that are required in the level 8 nursing programme.   Make sure that your nursing PLC provides these modules.   If you look up the FETAC section of the CAO website you will be able to see the required modules.