As the clock ticks towards the Central Applications Office (CAO) normal closing date, let’s take some time to highlight the critical aspects of your CAO application process. Remember, the final curtain falls on July 1st at 5pm, and there’s no encore, no alteration, and no second chance after this!

  • Target audience

    School leavers, mature applicants, or prospective students eyeing the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) or Disability Access Route to Education (DARE), your future hinges on a timely and correctly completed CAO application. If you’re a parent supporting your child’s CAO application or a Leaving Certificate holder looking to further your studies, this post is equally valuable.

  • CAO Account

    The CAO account provides a secure online facility for your application. The exceptional closing date has passed, but the normal closing date for applications is soon approaching. You should already have your CAO application number, a unique identifier that ties you to your application and the courses you’ve selected.

  • Understanding Restricted Application Courses

    Don’t forget the Restricted Application Courses and other restricted courses. These are courses that require additional procedures such as interviews, portfolio presentations, or the HPAT test (for fields like Graduate Medicine). The CAO Handbook and the CAO website provide further information about these and other course choices and their entry requirements.

  • Important Documents for QQI FET FETAC and HEAR/DARE Applicants

    QQI FET FETAC applicants and those applying through the Higher Education Access Route or Disability Access Route need to ensure that all supporting documentation is attached to the application record before the deadline. The late application facility opens for a short period after the normal applications closing date, but this is only for courses that are not restricted application courses.

  • CAO application

    The CAO application in Ireland is a crucial part of every student’s journey into third-level education. With Round Zero Offers and Round One Offers not too far off, it’s important to get your application right. You may even want to consult your guidance counsellor to confirm key dates and ensure you’ve met all the CAO application requirements.

  • CAO Portal

    Remember, your CAO Login is the portal to your application, and you need to complete your online CAO application with all relevant details before the closing date. The online change of mind facility can be a lifesaver if you’re reconsidering your course choices. It’s open for a limited period, so check the CAO dates to ensure you don’t miss this window.

    Remember, this is your passport to higher education in Ireland. Whether you’re keen to explore undergraduate courses or apply online to specific institutions, the July 1st deadline is the final date. This is your chance to access the qualifications and courses that will shape your future.


Whether it’s your first time applying or you’re applying to CAO for the second time, it’s essential to review your application meticulously. If you’re unsure, consider the wisdom of choosing a broad undergraduate programme that can lead to specialised study later, or a PLC course to get a taste of a subject before diving in.

Don’t forget to check the “2023 CAO” logo when you log in. Be sure to save your CAO application number safely, and don’t hesitate to contact the Central Applications Office if you need any assistance or further information. Click here to access the CAO website.