What can students expect from Higher Options 2022?

Annual education expo for secondary students takes place from September 21st to September 23rd

Making an informed decision about your future career choice is key and The Irish Times’ Higher Options expo offers students who wish to engage directly with multiple universities and educational institutions an opportunity to do so under the one roof.

For many years Higher Options has been Ireland’s main information-gathering opportunity for Leaving Cert students as they edge toward selecting a third-level course to apply for.

Attendees can gather information on university admission requirements, course content, study options, graduate career outcomes as well as the full range of further and higher-level study and training opportunities that are available to them on completing their Leaving Cert.

Representatives from all the main Irish universities and further and higher education institutes will be in attendance to answer questions put to them by students. They will be joined by representatives from EU and UK universities and information bodies such as CAO, AHEAD, SUSI, all at once.


When is Higher Options 2022 taking place?

The event will run over three days – Wednesday, September 21st to Friday, September, 23rd. There are two sessions each day. They run from 9am to 12 noon and from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

How can I attend the event?

Higher Options will be held at the RDS Simmonscourt, Hall 8 in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Tickets to attend can be purchased here.

What can students expect from Higher Options 2022?

A very busy three hours will give students the chance to find out about the study options available to them after the Leaving Cert. Irish, European and UK universities and colleges will be represented. Generation Apprenticeship and This is FET [Further Education and Training] will be there alongside further-education colleges to provide information on alternative routes.

Leaving Cert students will be given the opportunity to put questions directly to current third-level students, admissions officers and school liaison staff about what it is like to attend a particular college or study a particular course.

An extensive programme of talks is scheduled for each session to help with information gathering and making decisions on CAO, further education and training opportunities.

Why should I attend?

It will provide the opportunity gathering information and inspiration at the start of your Leaving Cert year. It will enable you to begin making informed decisions when it comes to making choices later in the year.

Why should I attend when I can just contact the university directly?

Many universities will hold open day events and information sessions this year, some online and some in person. It would be wise to dedicate time to attending a number of these.

Higher Options, however, provides a great overview. It is a chance to find out about all the opportunities available for further and higher-level study in Ireland and further afield in one place. It can help you focus your ideas on which open days may be best for you to attend.

You may want tips on filling in your CAO form or you may wish to investigate what a further education route might look like; you may want to know what studying through English in a European university would be like or what options are available in the UK. All of these can be explored at Higher Options.

Will it give me good idea of what college will be like?

There will be plenty of current and recently graduated students taking part to answer questions about their experiences of study and college life. It can be really helpful to put questions directly to them at their booths and to hear their personal experiences and insights in different talks.

How should I prepare?

Prepare a list of questions. It is a good idea to ask the same questions of each representative to get as measured an understanding of each institution as possible.

Tailor your questions to suit your interests and needs. What are the academic requirements, will the course make you more employable? What areas are covered in the course and how is it assessed? How big are lectures/classes and does the course feature one-on-one or group supervision? A key question worth exploring relates to your accommodation options at college: what is on offer? how much does university accommodation cost, how far are rooms from the campus, and how much should students budget for each year?

Of course, college is not just about classes, lectures and exams. It is also where you will spend some of the most memorable years of your life. You should ask about what there is to do on campus when you’re not in class or at the library studying. Ask about sporting facilities, societies, local points of interest.

How do I access Higher Options?

Tickets are available to be purchased here.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí is an Irish Times journalist and editor of the Irish Times Student Hub