CAO 2017: Still time to apply for some courses beginning next month

CAO’s ‘vacant places’ list shows dozens of courses which may still accept applicants

 Caoimhe Andrews and Evie Byrne, Rathdown students celebrating Leaving Certificate results in Glenageary, Co Dublin. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Caoimhe Andrews and Evie Byrne, Rathdown students celebrating Leaving Certificate results in Glenageary, Co Dublin. Photograph: Jason Clarke


Click here to download a PDF of the CAO’s 2017 Round One offers:

More than 30,000, or 60 per cent, of the students offered places by the CAO on Monday have accepted and are in the process of securing accommodation as they await their registration envelope.

Thousands of other applicants may be happy with the courses offered to them, but are frantically trying to devise a realistic plan to make their third-level hopes come to fruition, before they accept their place.

For some it is the issue of finding suitable and affordable accommodation. For others, the expense of living away from home, estimated to increase the annual cost of being a full-time student from €5,000-€10,000, is a huge factor in deciding whether to start a college course this year.

Applicants in this situation are in a race against time, as their offers will lapse at 5.15pm on Monday, August 28t.

The CAO has now released the list of programmes on which places are still available, to both existing and new applicants.

Griffith College and Dublin Business School, both private colleges, have availability on many of their courses and are hosting open days to assist prospective students clarify what is available.

‘Vacant places’

Under “vacant places”, eight institutes of technology are offering a range of level eight programmes across a wide range of disciplines.

Dundalk has business, computing, surveying, film, TV, and music production. Dublin IT has mathematics, music, continental language with English, and drama (performance). GMIT offers heritage studies, with outdoor education and business in their Mayo campus.

Limerick, Letterkenny, and Sligo IT have some business offerings. Tallaght is offering advertising, marketing and electronic engineering. Waterford Institute of Technology is offering sustainable engineering, physics for modern technology, and the internet of things.

St Angela’s has places on its nutrition, food and business management programme.

Marino is offering places on its “education studies” course leading to careers in adult education and education officers’ roles.

Maynooth University has places on its engineering programme, and on its Kilkenny-based liberal arts degree programme. Successful students of this transfer to the Maynooth campus in second year.

More than 100 similar “vacant places” courses are being offered by the colleges listed above, plus several other institutions at level seven/six.

The process

Applicants who are considering adding a vacant place to their existing applicant record need to be careful in how they execute this process.

The points published by the CAO last Monday should not be taken as an indication of the points required for entry into an available place. They could increase if there is a surge of interest in a particular programme.

To apply for a place currently on the list on the CAO website, log in to your application using “my application” and click on “add level eight available place course” or “add level seven/six available place course” as appropriate and follow instructions.

Available place course codes may only be inserted higher in your list of preferences than any offer which you have received to date.

If you still wish to be considered for any existing courses, you must insert all available place courses below those you wish to retain.

If you have already applied to CAO this year, then an available places application is not separate to your existing application, you are inserting courses into your existing list of course choices, and you may not re-order your original course choices.

You may only have a total of 10 course choices in any list.

Order of preference

If you wish to add an available place course to a list already containing 10 entries, the course code at the bottom of the list will be deleted.

Mature applicants over 23 years of age must contact the appropriate college before applying.

Remember to follow the fundamental rule of the CAO application system and place your course choices in genuine order of preference.

If you put down an available place course as your first preference and you get an offer on this course, then you will not be offered any other course.

Acceptance of an offer of an available place course automatically cancels and supersedes any previous offers and acceptances.

Applications that arrive in the CAO offices before 11am next Monday will be processed and considered for offers on Thursday 31st as part of the second round of offers.