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CAO Handbook
Page 20 of 23


If you wish to defer an offer of a place, you do not accept your offer. Instead, you must email or write to the Admissions Office of the appropriate HEI immediately. You must give your name as it appears on your CAO application, quote your CAO application number and the course code of the offer you wish to defer, and set out the reason(s) for the request. Applicants must mark “DEFERRED ENTRY” clearly on the envelope or in the subject line of the email. You can also check the website of the relevant HEI to see if they have a deferral policy available online that you can refer to.

The letter or email must arrive in the Admissions Office of the institution at least two days before the reply date shown on the Offer Notice. The HEI will communicate their decision to you directly. If the deferral is not granted, you may then accept the offer for the current year, providing you accept the offer by the reply date.

You must send all communications about deferrals to the appropriate Admissions Office and not to CAO.


In order to take up a deferred place you must:

1. Re-apply through CAO in the succeeding year and pay the appropriate application fee. You must complete the application form in full and follow all of the instructions carefully;

2. Place the deferred course as your first and only preference on the application form;

3. Indicate your deferral by ticking the Deferred Applicant indicator box, in the Course Choices section on your application.

It is important to read the letter granting you the deferred place for further instructions. You will breach the conditions of your deferred place if you enter more than the single deferred course code on your application. In that event, you will forfeit the guaranteed place and enter the competition for places in the normal way.

When reapplying in the succeeding year, you must complete an application fully. In other words you must include again any personal information and documentation, etc., which you provided with the original application (unless instructed otherwise by the institution offering the place).


Available places are places that remain unfilled in particular courses after all offers have been made and waiting lists have been exhausted. When considering applying for Available Places courses, applicants should ignore previously published points in earlier offer rounds. Applicants must, however, check that they meet the normal minimum entry requirements for the course(s) in question.

Available Places courses are advertised on the CAO website for part of July and after Round One offers are issued in August – go to and click on the Available Places tab. This facility is open to new (€45 fee) and existing applicants. For more information on the Available Places facility visit the CAO website


If you have requested to appeal some of your Leaving Certificate examinations, and if your results are changed on appeal, your position on the Order of Merit list will be altered to reflect your new points score.

If you are deemed entitled to a place on a course based on your upgraded Leaving Certificate results, you will receive an offer – if all of the places for that course have already been allocated, you will receive a deferral of the offer for the following academic year. The decision to offer a place is made by the HEI in question and not the CAO.