CAO 2016 Helpdesk

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

Deirdre Garrett and Brian Howard Tue, Aug 23
LIVE: CAO 2016 Helpdesk

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  • 08:44
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to the CAO helpdesk. Our expert guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett will be here until 6pm to answer any questions you may have today regarding the CAO, or anything else.
  • 09:40

    I have accepted a level 8 course, do I just ignore the offer of the level 7 I was given

    Yes, once you accept the level 8 course, the level 7 course will disappear and you don't need to do anything,

  • 09:49

    What happens if I accept my offer but then decide to do PLC course.

    If you accept an offer through the CAO and then decide not to take up the place then I would recommend contacting the CAO college as soon as possible and tell them that you will not be taking up the place.  This place can then hopefully be offered to someone else.  

  • 10:45

    good morning my son is 5 points short for his desired course in the same college he has accepted the course offered yest'day... If he doesn't get 2nd round offer can he still pursue the course via availability laterally. Thank you

    I am presuming you are talking here about transferring from one to another course internally in a college.  All transfers seem to be handled on a case by case basis by colleges.  However, in the case of entry to first year the general rule of thumb is that you can only transfer to a course that you would have had the points for originally.  I would suggest ringing the admissions office of the college you are concerned with and seek their advice on this matter.

  • 10:49

    Hi, If I get a successful recheck and there is no place available this year but I start my offered course and continue it for the year, will I pay extra Tuition fees next year for the deferred course?

    If you are upgraded and there is no place for this year they will offer you a deferred place for next year.  If you have already started a course and you continue on this course then next year when you start the next course, you will have to pay the registration fee for next year but not the tuition fee that the government normally pays.

  • 10:52

    I have accepted a level 8 cao offer which was my second choice as I was short 5 points for my first choice . Is there a possibility that my first choice will come down 5 points in round 2 and does it matter that I've already accepted another ?

    There is a chance that you may become entitled to a place on your first choice course and if you do you will be offered it in round two regardless of whether you have accepted your round one second choice course.

  • 10:52

    My son didn't get the course he wanted. He got maximum points in his portfolio but not enough points in his exams. If the course isn't filled, could he be offered a place?

    He could be offered a place if points go down in future rounds.

    One only gets an offer if they meet the minimum requirements and the cut off points.

    Round 2 offers are out Thursday September 1st.


    The best of luck.

  • 10:56

    My son doesn't have enough points for his courses. He has 230 and wants to do engineering. What are our options? Thanks.

    If he hasn't enough points for his perferred courses he could look at doing a FETAC (PLC) course that offers a progression route into his perferred choices. This is not a definite progression. Certain grades much be achieved to allow this progression. College of Further Education are spread out all over the country.

    An other option to look at would be to do an apprenticeship. This gives one a level 6 qualification. He coud then progress from there to a level 8 in Engineering. A list of all apprenticeships will be on the Solas website.


    Get back on if you need additional guidance.

  • 10:59

    can you tell me when 2nd round offers come out and what are the chances of getting Business in UL, missed out on random selection or is this course full now, with no places for round 2 Thanks for your time

    Round 2 offers will be out at 6am Thursday September 1st.

    How many or if any places on the UL Buisness programme will depend on how many of yesterdays offers are declined. I have no access to this data. No one will know for definite until September 1st.

    The best of luck.

  • 11:01

    I am from NI. CAO is different form UCAS. I was offered Galway which i had put down first but I really wanted my 2nd choice TCD History and Politics. In UCAS you can have 2/3 choices but in CAO Is my 2nd choice lost forever?

    Yes. Your second choice has now been deleted from the system. You will not be offered your second choice in any future rounds. The CAO offer a change of mind facility up until July 1st. Order of perferences cannot be changed after this date.

  • 11:04

    I didn't get my first choice but was offered my 2nd choice. If I don't accept my 2nd choice can I still e offered my first choice if a place become available in the 2nd round. Thanks

    Even if you do accept your second choice   you may still be offered your first choice in future rounds.

    Accepting or rejecting your round 1 offer will play no influence on potential offers that lie above yesterdays offer on your CAO list.


    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 11:05

    I only received an email with recording of my accepted offer and not a text like everyone else. My number was recorded properly also. Any ideas why?


    I suggest that you contact CAO by email via there website.

  • 11:06

    Hi I made an appeal to my susi application but was again denied due to income threshold. What other expenses to present to convince susi to reconsider their decision.


    SUSI grant is based on your income threshold not your expenses. Larger families have a higher income threshold. See all details on


  • 11:10

    My son withwas offered a place in Blanchardstowm It. He didn't accept because he thought it was only a preliminary offer and that he would be offered it again yesterday . He wasn't . He has Aspergers Syndrome and he really had his heart set on this

    When was your son made the offer? Why was he made this?

  • 11:11

    Hello if a course had the same points requirement showing last year for first and second round offers, does that actually mean that no second round offers were made?


    No. Rounds differ each year as do pionts.

  • 11:21

    Hi, missed out on my 1st choice by 5 points but am going to view my scripts. I was offered my 2nd choice. If I take my 2nd choice and then get upgraded to my 1st and if there is no place till next year,would i have to pay tuition fees my

    You will not be charged the tuition fee if the course is full and the college request that you defer. If you yourself wish to defer and continue on in your orginal course then you will be charged tuition fees.

    I hope that this is clear enough.

  • 11:23

    he did an exam at Easter as a mature student and got offered the place inMay but he didn't realise that the offer was final. Neither did I. I am so upset. College says that's it.

    I recommend that you get back onto their admissions office. Maybe you could enquire about the following academic year.


    I hope that things work out.

  • 11:56

    Hi interested in nursing but didnt get enough points im thinking of doing a pre-nursing course in inchicore college.... but how do you then get into a level 8 nuring course after doing the PLC

    During your course next year you will fill in a CAO form as you did this year applying for your nursing courses.  This time around you will fill in details of your FETAC course and examinations in addition to your Leaving Certificate results.  All of these exam results will be taken into consideration next year when CAO are allocating nursing places.

  • 12:02

    My sister wants to do primary teaching, but she doesn't have higher Irish so she applied for arts, which she missed by 10 points. She was offered a level 7 business course. Whats her best course of action to help her eventually get primary teaching?

    Many people go on to study a masters in primary education. Successful candidates have come from a variety of disciplines. I suggest that you research this avenue.

    With regard to now I suggest that your sister should choose the course that she is most interested in.

    Please get back on to us if you need additional guidance.

  • 12:18

    Hi if youre applying to the CAO with a fetac award to do nursing do you need to have the maths leaving cert requirements set by the college as this year i failed maths so would that stop me getting a place next year even if i do a PLC pre nursing co

    Your FETAC qualifications would satisfy the requirements for entry into nursing.

    I would however advise you to repeat Maths. You may in time change your career direction and Maths could be a minimum requirement.

  • 12:25

    Hi if I add a course from the avalible/vacant places and I get an offer and I accept it can I still accept a different course in Round 2

    Yes you can.

  • 12:28

    I think your answer to the question at 10.49 is incorrect - I think you would also have to pay the Tuition fee, based on my discussion with the CAO and one of the colleges, unless you leave the 1st course before end of October.

    Hi there, just checked again and what I said this morning is correct.  The HEA, the DES and SUSI do not see this deferred year as a repeat year and will fund the tuition fees for the second first year.  Individual colleges will decide then what happens with the registration contribution.  Some colleges will charge the registration contribution for the second first year and others will not, but I would suspect that the majority will charge this contribution.

  • 12:33

    My daughter was offered a course in UCD as her 5th choice but now realised what she really wants is her 6th choice- the same course (biomedical science) in NUIG. Is it too late now to do anything? Thanks

    Yes it is too late for  CAO 2016. All course choices that lie below round one offers will have been deleted. Only courses that lie above yesterdays offer on your daughters CAO list may be offered in round 2.

  • 12:36

    My daughter's first choice was Music at UCC which she passed the entrance exam for. Unfortunately she failed 3 subjects getting E grades totally unexpectedly in the LC. It looks like she wont even get in to a PLC now. What are her options?

    Firstly, based on your post I'm not sure what results she actually has but I would not give up on the PLC option.  She is obviously quite talented and would be a great asset to a PLC college and course.

    If she is quite keen to go to college, and from your post I would gather she is, the option of repeating hs to be considered.  I would not jump into this option lightly, I would be having a good discussion about the merits and demerits of this option and trying to ascertain what went wrong this year and could it be rectified next year in a repeat year.

  • 12:36

     have aHC2, OC2,OC3 , 2xHE and an OE from Leaving Cert this year. I realise now that I should have taken the Higher Subjects that I failed at Ordinary level. Will a College accept a Higher E in lieu of an Ordinary D1 for PLC courses?

    I recommend that you contact the College of Further Education. Many of these colleges look for five passes at Leaving Cert level. They do however deal with case by case.

  • 12:42

    Hi, I am from Norway and completely new to CAO. Has there been some delays in delivering offers? Because I didn't get an offer even though my entry points and requirements are in order.

    There has been no delay. Did you complete an Irish exemption form? This form needs to be completed if you are appying to any of the NUI colleges.


    Please get back on if you need additional guidance.

  • 13:03

    Just wondering if I don't get UL Business in 2nd Round and proceed LIT Business (Accounting and Finance level 8 ), could I transfer to UL Business after Year 1 or can I put my name down with UL admissions if a place comes up during Year 1

    No. In order to get a place on the UL programme you must meet the necessary requirements and the cut off points.

  • 13:22

    When do the college's usually get in contact after an offer has been accepted?

    Most begin sending information from two days after the offer. Colleges do vary on this.

  • 14:20

    I'm 10 points off arts in maynooth just wondering the chances of me getting it in the 2nd/3rd round?

    It will depend on how many CAO candidates decline their offer for this Arts programme in round one. I am not privy to this information. No one will know until round 2 offers are made on Thursday September 1st.

  • 14:23

    My son got a place in blanchardstown DIT but wants to defer for the year to do a PLC first as he's only 17. Will he still get the SUSI grant next year as he did this year or will he have to apply next year as an Independent?

    If your son has been successful with SUSI and decides to do a PLC course upon deferring his CAO course, then you need to let SUSI know you are doing a PLC course and the you will get the grant for that course.  When you take up your deferred CAO course next year you will have to submit a new SUSi application as you are starting a totally new course.

  • 14:25

    regarding you answer at 13.03, I do have the necessary points and do meet the criteria, missed place due to random selection, does this make a difference regarding transferring from LIT to UL Business? or would it be better to apply cao 2017

    I'm afraid that it doesn't. CAO points can go up or down. Obviously the points for 2017 is unknown. Of course you can reapply through CAO but nothing is guaranteed.

  • 14:26

    Hi, i'm from Hungary and applied to TCD. I have 585 points and every requirements (dont need the exemption to TCD). No offers, TCD and CAO dont answer my email. Can you tell me whats going on?

    Hello again, I'm afraid you will have to wait for a response from the CAO on this.  They will get back to you but just be patient as they are very busy at the moment.

  • 14:35

    I have accepted the only choice I was offered just in case but does that mean that I won't get more offers from my choices in the second round.

    No, as you see from some of our responses to earlier queries, just because you accept an offer, this doesn't mean you are finished and you are definitely not going to get any other offers, provided you didn't get your two first choice courses on the two lists.  For example if you are offered your 4th level 8 choice and your 2nd level 6/7 choice, and you accept your 4th level 8 course, then you will still remain in the running for your top three level 8 courses and your top level 6/7 course and it is up to you to decide what you want to do if you get a higher offer in subsequent rounds.

  • 14:41
    Regarding 12:25 do you know when I can expect an offer from the vacant/avalible place ?

    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 11:00 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)
  • 14:55

    I haven't the minimum requirements for the course I wanted is there any other options

    If you have the points but not the minimum requirements- you could repeat a subject or two with the hope of achieving a HC3 in order to meet the minimum requirements.

    Does this answer your question?

  • 14:58

    My daughter has the required number of points for course of choice but failed to meet minimum entry -2 honours at higher level-requirements. I presume that's it for her?

    Unfortunately, the entry requirements are the first item to be checked and if a student does not meet the entry requirements for a course then they are deemed not qualified to apply for the course and their application does not go any further.  So for this course, yes it looks like thats it.

  • 15:02

    Hello on the UCD website, where it refers to minimum requirements it talks about O3/H4 . Are these not the new 2017 grades? Can you confirm what O3 is? I am presuming a C grade. thanks

    Yes, these are some of the new grades which will be used for next year, 2017 entry.  O3 means grade 3 on the ordinary level and includes percentages 70 < 80 % and have 37 points awarded.

  • 15:42

    Hi would you know or have any idea by how much some courses would fall by in points because im 15 points of one of the courses I would like to do.

    Unfortunately, this varies hugely from course to course but for the majority of courses it would tend to be by 5, 10 or 15 points.  Some high demand courses don't have any second round at all, so unfortunately it's just a wait and see situation until September 1st.  Best of luck.

  • 15:50

    I accepted a course in the first round of offers But I was only five points off the course I really wanted . Is it possible to get this course in the second round of offers ??

    Once this course choice is above the one you accepted you will still remain in contention for for a place in round two or three.  If the points drop for the course in round two or three, then you will be offered a place.  Round two offers depend very much on how many people who currently have offers turn them down and don't accept them.

  • 16:18
    How do they decide who gets in a course if there's for example 100 people with 600 points but there are only 35 places available?

    In this case random selection is used.  Each applicant is given a randomly generated number and then all candidates are ranked in order of this number.  The top 35 on the list get the places.
  • 16:37

    I know you have answered this before, but just to get clarification - if your points go up following a recheck and you reach the points required for the course above the one you have accepted can you then transfer to this higher course this year? tks

    You can providing that there is still space on this course. If the course is full the college will offer you a place in their September 2017 intake.

    I hope that I have answered the question for you.

  • 17:47

    Can a CAO offer be withdrawn if points drop below the requirement after a recheck of a number of exam scripts?

    The answer to this is yes.  The colleges reserve the right to remove a place from someone if they are no longer entitled to it.  Someone else may now be more entitled to this place.  How often this has actually happened I'm not sure.

  • 17:54

    Hi, I didn't get the points for primary teaching but have been offered Education Studies in Marino, do you think that his would be a good route to take to get into primary teaching. thanks.

    I would imagine so.  Having been through this course I think graduates would be well equiped to take on the postgraduate course to become a primary teacher either here in Ireland or indeed in the UK.  I would imagine many of the graduates of this course will go on to become primary teachers.  While it is a fee paying course, the fees are pretty much in line with the registration contribution most other students have to pay.

  • 18:01

    Do you know if you fail honours maths can you do arts in UCD?

    Yes you can.  Maths is not a general requirement for Arts in UCD.

  • 18:02
    Many thanks to all who submitted questions today. Answers to many of the questions have been grouped together at irishtimes,com/results2016. You can also listen to our CAO podcast at The helpdesk is now closed but will reopen at 9am tomorrow. Go raibh maith agaibh agus slán