CAO Round 2: Increase in offers issued to applicants

Institutions in Dublin and Cork offer highest number of second-round courses

Round two offers are available to view on the CAO website from 6am on Thursday. Photograph: Getty images

Thirty-three of the country’s largest third-level courses have made places available to applicants through the Central Applications Office (CAO) second-round offers process.

Places have been offered to some 3,308 applicants who received new, or in some cases their first, offer from the CAO on behalf of the country’s third-level institutions on Thursday.

A total of 1,991 level-8 offers, and 1,317 level 7/6 offers, were made to 3,087 CAO applicants in this round.

Of the recipients of level 8 offers, 967 received an offer of their first-preference course. Of the recipients of level 7/6 a total of 938 applicants’ first-preference offers were made.


The remaining offers are issued to students who already received a course in the first round but who have now been offered a course placed higher up in their list of preferences.

The largest course in the country – arts in UCD – has seen a four-point drop from 326 to 322. Arts in Cork fell six points to 340 while arts international, also at UCC, fell by 18 points to 466 and English media and cultural studies in IADT fell 12 points to 300.

Commerce in Galway and UCD fell four and six points respectively to 403 and 499 points.

Among the other main business courses, business and law and commerce international at UCD both saw a drop of eight points to 521 and one point to 509* respectively. Accounting in UCC fell by 10 points to 434.

Computer science fell by one point at UCD to 476 and by two in TCD to 465*.

Law in TCD is down by eight points to 534 and in UCC by five to 475.

General nursing

General nursing fell by six points in TCD to 404 and by two points in UCD to 409* while medicine fell by one point in TCD and in NUI Galway to 731* and 724* respectively.

Pharmacy in TCD fell nine points to 544.

Maynooth made no offers in their main campus arts programme but admitted all applicants who met minimum-entry requirements to their arts programme in their Kilkenny campus.

Other popular programmes such as science in UCD and TCD fell by one point to 509* and 498*. Science saw a greater drop of six points in Maynooth to 360 and science fell by six points in UCC (CK404) to 435.

Of the country’s largest third-level courses, social science in Cork dropped by 25 points to 378 while social work in TCD fell by 13 points to 441. At UCD, social science fell by one point to 400.

Primary school teaching fell by one point in Mary Immaculate to 465. Early years and childhood studies fell by two at UCC to 379 points.

Engineering in UCD fell by one point to 498 and, in Trinity, it fell by four points to 466*. The largest drop in points for any engineering course was by 11 points in UCC, where it fell to 443.

Agricultural science fell by one point in UCD to 454 and the country’s sole veterinary medicine degree was down by five points to 559 at UCD.

Food science at UCD fell by three points to 463 while human nutrition dropped 10 points to 499. Radiography at UCD dropped by nine points to 500 while sport and exercise management fell by 12 points to 432 .

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity also made a wide range of offers in round two. Law fell eight points to 534. Clinical speech and language was down nine to 511* points while early and modern Irish fell 50 points to 337.

Of the third-level institutions that offered places in the second-round process, those situated in Dublin and Cork offered places on by far the most courses with 27 programmes offered each by TCD and UCD while 17 courses were offered in Cork. This may well reflect an inability on the part of many applicants offered places in round one by these colleges to secure accommodation to enable them to accept their place.

In contrast with UCD and TCD, DCU offered only one programme (early childhood education) while St Angela’s in Sligo offered places on all seven of their programmes.

Some of those places being offered today are in courses that did not fill prior to first-round offers and have been available to students on the CAO vacant places list in recent days.

The number of places offered in round two is always far lower than that issued in round one – although the number of places offered in 2017 represents a significant increase of 735 on the 2,573 offers made to applicants in the second round in 2016.

CAO website

Round two offers are available to view on the CAO website from 6am on Thursday. Offers will then be issued on a weekly basis up to mid-October for all remaining places.

CAO applicants can check to see if they have received an offer by going online at and logging on to their account using the “My Application” facility from 6am.

Successful applicants will also receive an offer notification via email and SMS text message if they have selected this option on their application form.

Postal offers should be with successful applicants by this Friday.

Applicants have until Wednesday, September 6th, at 5.15pm to accept their offer.

Where there has been particular interest in a vacant places course, and the number of new applicants exceeds the number of places left, the normal CAO rules apply, where those with the highest points secure the offer.

The list of vacant places will continue to be published on the CAO website over the coming weeks or for as long as places are on offer.

The list currently features over 200 places. The facility is available free of charge to existing applicants and is open to new applications for a €40 fee.

The facility will remain open until early October or until all places have been filled.

The Irish Times will provide continuing coverage online covering the offers and featuring news, analysis and expert opinion at

* means random selection

Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney is a guidance counsellor and education columnist. He contributes education articles to The Irish Times