Leaving Cert and CAO Helpdesk: Q&A

A selection of questions put to our helpdesk about the 2018 Leaving Cert results and next week’s CAO first round offers

Guidance counsellor Brian Howard answered queries on Friday relating to this week's Leaving Cert results and the upcoming CAO Round One offers.

If I accept my second choice for Round One on Monday (as I don’t have enough points for my first) when the Round Two offers come out would I be allowed accept my First Choice if they have a place to fill.

Yes, you can always hope to move up your list of preferences in sucessive rounds. So if you are offered your 2nd preference in Round One, then regardless of whether you accept this or not you still remain in the running for your 1st preference course. If a place becomes available on your first preference course (and you are entitled to it) it will be offered to you in Round 2 or 3. It is up to you then whether to accept the new offer or stay with your course from Round One.

I only received 123 points in the Leaving Cert. I wanted to do Arts in NUI Galway. What are my options, would a plc in applied social studies in GTI be recognised for Arts for next year and does Susi cover GTI?


I would suggest applying for a PLC course in a related area which would serve two functions. One would be to see if you would actually like to go on to study a humanities degree and, secondly, if it might provide you with an alternative entry pathway. The social studies course in GTI is linked to Arts in NUI Galway and is an excellent course. This would be a great way to proceed and your Susi grant is applicable here also. I would suggest speaking to GTI and strongly consider making an application.

Is there any way to transfer after year one in a university, and slot into second year in another? Given that the courses I have in mind are both business-related.

Transfers do happen like this. Unfortunately, different colleges have different policies on this and it is hard to make a general comment. In a lot of cases the college you are trying to transfer into will look at what places they have, the 1st year content in your course in relation to the one you are trying to transfer into, etc. I’d suggest ringing the admissions office or business faculty office of the colleges concerned and have a chat with them about transfer options.

I saw online that Sligo and Cork will be holding a repeat maths exam for all OL students I was wondering if anywhere in Dublin will be doing this? I am having it reviewed and rechecked as it was a total shock to myself and my teacher.

My understanding is that the only Dublin college offering a Maths matriculation exam is DIT but it is at higher level. However, this could change with the high failure rate at OL and some other colleges may decide to offer an exam similar to Cork and Sligo. If I were you I would contact the admissions office of the colleges you have applied to and check if there are any plans to offer such an exam. You have nothing to lose by doing this.

Am I too late to return to college as a mature student, I am 50, haven’t picked a college course yet?

It is never too late to return to college as a mature student. In fact, our colleges have a thriving mature student population. If you haven’t done anything about this yet for the upcoming academic year, it might be a bit of a rush. This is something you would need to think about quite a lot and seek guidance on your options. If you have been out of education for a long time it may be worth your while considering doing a back-to-education course first before starting a full higher education course. You could start by having a read of the information on this link and see where you want to go from there. www.citizensinformation.ie/...

My daughter got 399 points, enough for Arts in limerick but did not get a H4 which is the minimum requirement to study French as a subject. NUI Galway has a lower preference requirement (H5) which she has. Can she be offered a place at NUI Galway?

Interesting question. Lets assume UL Arts is preference one and NUI Galway Arts is preference two. My understanding on this if your daughter meets the entry requirements for Arts in UL which are O6/H7 in English and one other language, F6/O6/H7 in Maths and gets a minimum of 2H5 and 4O6/H7 overall, then she will be offered this course. Then, when she starts the course and starts to look at the subjects she would like she will find French requires a H4 . There is no additional requirement for studying French at NUI Galway. So if your daughter meets the basic entry requirements for Arts in UL she will be offered this course and will not be offered the lower NUIG Arts course. I would suggest giving the UL admissions office a call to discuss this.

Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett, both members of the Institute of Guidance Councillors (IGC), will be back on Monday morning to answer questions about Monday’s Round One CAO offers and related matters.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Iriseoir agus Eagarthóir Gaeilge An Irish Times. Éanna Ó Caollaí is The Irish Times' Irish Language Editor, editor of The Irish Times Student Hub, and Education Supplements editor.