CAO 2016 Helpdesk: FAQs

A selection of questions asked of our guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett


I achieved the number of points for my course, however I have only one B2 in higher level and 2 d1 at higher level, the course requires a minimum of 2 c3 at higher. I achieved a pass in lcvp. Do I have any options ?

LCVP can be used for points purposes but not for matriculation.

You need 2HC3 and 4OD3 to meet minimum entry for all level 8 courses.

You could also have received a level 6/7 offer?

You could view your scripts and if you find any discrepancies and apply for recheck.

The second option would be that you repeat one or both of the D1 subjects with a view to raising the grade to a minimum of a C3. You could then combine this new C3 with your 2016 Leaving Cert points. You would need to reapply to CAO next year.

What’s more important; entry requirements or points for a course? I got the entry requirements but not the points. I am down by a lot of points. Will I be in danger of not getting my course even though I have HEAR?

Students who do not meet the minimum requirements are excluded straight away regardless of points.

Every student must meet the minimum entry requirements whether you’re a HEAR or DARE applicant. No offer will me made to any student unless they meet the minimum entry requirements and the necessary cut off points.

I received an offer for my 2nd choice course arts in NUIG and am 10 points short of my 1st choice arts in UCD if I don’t accept NUIG in the hope that I may get UCD in the 2nd does the first offer lapse or can I accept the offer and still get 2ndoffer

Whether you accept todays offer or not wioll have no influence on your potential offers in rounds 2.

If you decline today’s offer and the points for UCD fail to drop in round 2 then you will be left with nothing. You will not be offerd Galway again in future rounds or any course that is of lower preference on your CAO list.

If you accept NUIG then you could still be offered UCD in round 2 providing that you meet entry requirements and cut off points. You would then be given the option to change your mind. You could go to UCD or stick with NUIG. The choice would be yours.

My son has been offered a level 6 course in DIT and also has an offer for a PLC. He really wants a level 8. Which of the DIT course or PLC be best for progression to level 8. How is entry to level 8 from level 6 decided?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer fits all here. It very much depends on the course area. Generally in DIT the progression routes are very good. After a 2 year level 6 course progression tends to be to year 2 of the appropriate level 8 course. There are odd exceptions to this and the marks needed in the level 6 to progress can very from degree to degree. There is a link scheme for progression from FETAC courses to CAO degrees also. This is a complex system to explain here and depends on the CAO college your son is hoping to progress to and the course area - not all CAO courses have progression routes form FETAC courses. My advice is to contact DIT admissions and admissions from any other college he wants to go to and seek their detailed advice.

Are EU students required to present Irish exemption?

Yes. Section A and B need completion along with a copy of your birth certificate. I recommend that you contact NUI head office on 01-4392424.

My daughter did not meet the entry requirements for level 8 course. But she did not put much thought into her level 6 & 7 choices. She has been offered a place in CIT but we live in Dublin and can’t afford for her to move there.

She could repeat a subject or two with the view to getting a higher grade in order to meet the entry requirements. If successful she could use these new grades for matriculation purposes along with her 2016 Leaving Cert points.

She could attend a PLC and use her results from this route to try and progress into third level.

Applied for pharmacy in both UCC and Trinity got 560 so missed out on UCC and even though I had enough for Trinity I didn’t get an offer, is there any chance of getting an offer if I contact the college?

The points for Pharmacy in TCD are 560*. The ’*’ means random selection was used for the last places. There were a number of people on 560 and not enough places for all of them so random selection was used. Everyone in the random selection pool of applicants (on 560) is given a random number and they are listed in order of their random number. Places are filled from the top down. If more places are to be offered they will be filled by going down the list. Whether your son gets a second round offer or not will depend on his random number and its position in the list.

My daughter wanted DCU Comms which was 420 last year and she got 435 however course has gone up by 25 points to 445. Offered Marketing 6/7 but wants to see second round will we not tick the box and wait for second offers or tick the box for marketing.

If she does not accept the marketing course she may not be offered any other courses in subsequent rounds and could be left with no course. Even if she accepts marketing course she will still remain in the runnning for a higher preference course in the next rounds. So I would advise accepting the level 6/7 course and see what happens in the next rounds.

If I accepted my first offer,will a second offer still be sent? And if there are vacancies can I apply instead?

Accepting or rejecting today’s offer has no influence or connection with future offers.

A second offer will be sent in round 2 if points drop and you now meet all the requirements and cut off points.

You can apply to courses that appear on available places from noon tomorrow. Again whether you accept todays offer or not is irrelevant. You can still make use of this facility.