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CAO Handbook
Page 12 of 23

A small number of courses listed in this handbook lead to what are known as non-major awards. Where applicable, these will be listed as Certificates (CT) or Foundation Certificates (FC) at NFQ Level 6 and as Diplomas (DP) at NFQ Level 7.

This table outlines the range of NFQ Levels and Award-Types that are used to classify the courses in this handbook:

Table 1.7 NFQ Levels and Award-Types

NFQ Levels

Major Award-Types

Level 8

Honours Bachelor Degree (HD)

Level 7

Ordinary Bachelor Degree (DG)

Level 6

Higher Certificate (HC)

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet the specified entry requirements and conditions for all courses. The processing of an application at any stage should not be taken as an indication of eligibility for any course.

To add your course choices, log in to the My Application facility and click on Add Level 8 course choices or Add Level 7/6 course choices. You are given the option to introduce 10 course choices on each list, and the choices that you make on one list will not affect the choices on the other list – the only time you have to choose between the lists is if you receive an offer of a course from both lists.

You will have opportunities to make changes to your course choices lists using the Change of Mind facility – restrictions apply (see page 3). For more information on changing course choices go to page 14.

Order of Preference

When entering your course choices it is extremely important that you list your courses based on your genuine order of preference and not on assumptions about examination performance or what you think the points will be for a course.

At the offer stage, you will receive an offer of the course highest up on your course choices list(s) that you are deemed eligible for, if any. For example, if you receive your first preference Level 8 course in Round One you will not receive an offer for a lower Level 8 preference in subsequent rounds. If you receive an offer of your third preference course you may still receive an offer of your second or first preference course in a subsequent round of offers, but you will not receive an offer of your fourth preference course or lower.

For more information about how offers are issued and order of preference watch the CAO video guides in the Student Resources section of the CAO website


When you apply online, instructions about the submission of any additional documentation (if required) will appear on screen. Such documents must arrive in CAO within 10 days of registering online with CAO. DARE and/or HEAR applicants should refer to pages 9, 10 and 11 of this handbook for instructions on the submission of supporting documents to CAO by 15 March at 5:15pm.

When sending supporting documents to CAO please:

1. Number and date the top of each page.

2. Write your CAO application number on the top of each page.

3. Put your documents in an envelope ensuring the envelope contains only your supporting documents for your CAO application.

4. If you wish to receive confirmation from CAO that your documents have been received you must include a self-addressed and stamped postcard in your envelope (you will not require a stamp for the postcard if you live outside of the Republic of Ireland).

5. Seal the envelope and include your return address on the back of the envelope.

6. All documents should be sent to: CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway, Ireland. You should obtain a certificate of posting from the Post Office – if you obtain a certificate of posting you do not need to use registered post.

Do not fax, email or send external storage devices of exam documents to CAO - faxed or scanned documents are not considered sufficient evidence. CAO will not check that the documents supplied meet with the requirements of the institutions.