CAO Application for September 2021

CAO Third Level College Application for September 2021 is now open. The CAO application opened on 5th November 2020. Applicants can apply online for a discounted fee of €30 up to mid-January and from then to 1st February for €45. People applying for restricted application courses (those with early assessments such as interview or portfolio assessment) must list any such course on their CAO application by 1st February 2019. All restricted courses are listed on the CAO handbook. Applicants are fully advised to research the courses they are applying for.

Entry to Third Level college courses is based on Points calculated the Leaving Certificate results. COA points are calculated on one setting of the Leaving Certificate and may go up or down from year to year.

CAO Application Accompanying Conditions:

The six best scores, in recognised subjects, in one Leaving Certificate Examination will be counted for points computation. If you receive a H6 grade or higher in Higher Level Mathematics then you include the additional 25 bonus points first, and then identify your best six scores. The bonus points are included in the overall points calculation only when Mathematics is one of the applicant’s best six subjects following the addition of the bonus.

Only one sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination will be counted for points purposes.

In the case of certain subjects, for example, Home Economics (General), Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish, some HEIs may not award the points shown. If in any doubt, check with the Admissions Office of the appropriate HEIs.

Remember, you must first meet the minimum entry requirements in order to be considered for entry to a course.
As well as needing points for college entry, there are also Minimum entry requirements that are needed to secure a place on a course. Standard entry requirements for most Level 6/7 courses are: a minimum of five O6/ H7 to include F2/O6/H7 in Maths and O6/H7 in English or Irish. Standard entry requirements for most Level 8 Courses are: Minimum of six O6/H7 to include O6/H7 in Maths and O6/H7 in English or Irish and a minimum of two H5 grades.

However, there are some exceptions to these rules. Many courses in the universities also require a ‘3rd language, eg: Spanish, French, German or other. Some specific courses may also require grades in certain subjects, or a combination of subjects. For example, a H4 in Irish is needed for Primary Teaching and Higher Maths for some Engineering degrees.

There are too many variations of entry requirements to list here, so applicants should check these out with the relevant third level colleges.

Calculating Your Points:

Students calculate their points from their six top subject results only. 25 bonus points are awarded for students achieving H6 or above in Higher Level Mathematics. All Third Level Colleges award points for results in LCVP Link Modules in place of a sixth Leaving Certificate subject while the grades achieved for students studying link modules are also different. If you meet the eligibility criteria for the course(s) that you have applied for, the system then calculates a points score using the HEI Common Points Scale*:

CAO HEI Common Point Scale
The Leaving Certificate results COA points are calculated on one setting of the Leaving Certificate and may go up or down from year to year.

If you are finding this overwhelming or if you just need to talk it through with an experienced professional, XRoads Career Guidance is available to discuss your 3rd level courses or choice and entry levels in line with your expected grades. Contact Ann today.