For further CAO/Careers information please go to the Career news tab on our website and view the careers portal.


The evening is currently under review.

The CAO System – Summary

  • The institutions in the CAO (handbook)
  • Entry requirements
  • The points system and new grading system
  • Order of preference of courses
  • The application fee
  • Important dates to remember
  • The change of mind process
  • The offers stage
  • Deferring an offer
  • CAO Parent’s Guide – online

CAO Requirements

A student may have to fulfill 3 types of requirements to be eligible for a college course

  1. The College matriculation requirements
  2. The specific course requirement
  3. The points requirement – calculated from a total of the best six Leaving Certificate results

(See for all the above)

Important Dates – 2021

January 2021 
  • Discounted application fee (€30 fee) available up to 20th January at 5:15pm
February 2021
  • Normal closing date for applications (€45 fee) is 1 February at 5:15pm
  • Online Change of Course Choices (free) facility closes 1 February at 5:15pm
  • Online facility to amend course choices becomes available (€10 fee) on 5 February at noon
March 2021
  • Closing date for amending course choices is 1 March at 5:15pm
  • Most tests and interviews for restricted courses are held in March and April
  • Closing date for final completion of online DARE/HEAR forms is 1 March at 5:15pm
  • Closing date for completion of Mature Applicants section of CAO form is 1 March at 5:15pm
  • Late application facility opens on 
  • DARE/HEAR supporting documentation to arrive in CAO before 15 March at 5:15pm
April 2021
  • Most tests and interviews for restricted courses are held in March and April
May 2021
  • Closing date for late applications is 1 May at 5:15pm
  • Online Change of Mind (free) facility becomes available on 5 May at 12:00 noon (expected date)
  • Statement of Application Record sent to all applicants before end of May. Inform CAO if you do not receive it.
June 2021
  • Leaving Certificate examinations
July 2021
  • Change of Mind Closes on 1 July at 5:15pm
  • Round A offers for certain categories of applicant e.g. mature, deferral, etc. are issued in early July
August 2021
  • Round Zero offers for certain categories of applicant in early August
  • Current year Leaving Certificate results issued (date to be confirmed)
  • Round One offers (date to be confirmed)
  • HEIs begin registration
September 2021
  • HEIs begin registration
  • Results of Leaving Certificate appeals released (date to be confirmed)
  • Offer season ends (date to be confirmed)