CAO Helpsdesk: Focus on Round 2

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


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.

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, 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.

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 don’t 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.

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?

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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.

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.

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 course.

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.

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.

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

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.

My son is 5 points short for his desired course in the same college he has accepted the course offered yesterday... If he doesn’t get 2nd round offer can he still pursue the course via availability laterally.

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.