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CAO Handbook
Page 11 of 23

Please Note: There are particular requirements for Section C of the SIF when applying for alternative admissions schemes in relation to the Medical Consultant/Specialist who must verify your disability, the age limit on reports and the documentation required. Please see for more information about what these requirements are.

You should obtain a certificate of posting and include your CAO application number, the page number and the date on the front of all correspondence. If you wish to receive confirmation from CAO that your documents have been received you must include a self-addressed and stamped postcard. For more information see page 12..

You are not obliged to disclose a disability and/or specific learning difficulty unless you are applying for an alternative admissions scheme (e.g. DARE or another scheme offered by HEIs operating admission schemes for school-leavers with disabilities). If you do not wish to disclose your disability and/or specific learning difficulty on the application form, you may do so at any time on entering a HEI and reasonable accommodation will be made at that stage if possible. Please note that disclosure of a disability and/or specific learning difficulty will not adversely affect your application in any way.

Carrying forward DARE eligibility

If you were deemed eligible for DARE in 2019 it carries forward for one year provided that you apply to CAO by the 1 February 2020 at 5:15pm and indicate that you wish to apply to DARE by 5:15pm on 1 March 2020; disclose your disability by 5:15pm on 1 March 2020 in your CAO application; and fully and correctly complete Section A of the Supplementary Information Form. Indicate that you wish to be considered for the DARE scheme by indicating this on Section A of the fully completed SIF by ticking 'Yes' to Question 1 and enter your correct CAO 2019 application number at Question 1(b) of the SIF by 5:15pm on 1 March 2020. You are still required to complete all relevant sections on Section A of the 2020 SIF form, however you do not need to supply supporting documents as part of your application.


Step 5: Exemption from minimum entry requirements

If you wish to seek exemption from minimum entry requirements (e.g. exemptions from Irish or modern language requirements) then you should contact the Admissions Offices of the HEIs for further details (in the case of NUI institutions see for details). Applicants must make arrangements for exemptions each year they apply. If you have received or will apply for an NUI exemption you must indicate this on your CAO online application - click the "Modify NUI Exemption Status" button and follow the instructions. For more information go to the Student Resources section of


Step 6: Indicate if you wish to be considered for Maintenance Fee/Grant (SUSI)

If you have applied to SUSI for a grant, or if you intend to do so, you may indicate this on your CAO online application. CAO will then provide your identification, contact and offer/acceptance details to the grant authority (SUSI). Ticking this section of the CAO form does not mean that you have applied to SUSI so please make sure to visit or to complete the necessary steps. Other than providing these details to the grant authority, CAO plays no role in processing grant applications.


Step 7: Add your Level 8 and Level 7/6 course choices before 1 February to avoid restrictions

The courses listed in this handbook are classified with reference to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Courses are listed by their NFQ Level of learning achievement, for example, NFQ Level 6, 7 or 8 and by the NFQ Award-Type to which each course leads e.g. Honours Bachelor Degree.