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About Available Places/Vacant Places

If HEIs have any new courses that open for application after the Change of Mind deadline or if any places remain unfilled in particular courses after all offers have been made and the waiting lists of applicants meeting minimum entry requirements have been exhausted, such vacancies will be advertised.

Click here to watch a short video resource about the Available Places facility.

Where there are Available Places/Vacant Places in specific courses, HEIs will advertise these on the CAO website. Before making an “Available Place/Vacant Place” application, those matching the description “Restricted Categories of Applicant” on Page 4 of the CAO handbook should first consult with the Admissions Office of the HEI concerned.
  • Persons who have not applied already may make an Available Place application on payment of a fee of €40.00.
  • Persons who have applied already (whether placed or not) may apply for an Available Place on-line without payment of a further fee (when available).
  • Applicants for Available Places/Vacant Places must meet the normal minimum entry requirements for the course(s) in question. Previously published points in an earlier round of offers should not be taken as an indication of the points required for entry to Available Places/Vacant Places.
  • After Round One Offers are issued, the Available Place facility operates on a weekly schedule of applications, offers and acceptances. Applications that arrive in CAO before 11:00 on a Monday will be processed and considered for offers on the following Thursday. An offer posted on a Thursday will be available to view on the CAO website the following day. (Exception: Round Two offers will be available to view on Thursday)
  • The Available Places application procedure is similar to the Change of Mind procedure. However, except for courses in which available places have been advertised, you may not re-order your original course choices. Log in to your application using 'My Application' and click on 'Add Level 8 Available Place Course' or 'Add Level 7/6 Available Place Course' as appropriate and follow instructions.
  • Available/Vacant place course codes may only be inserted higher in your list of preferences than any offer which you have received to date.
  • If you still wish to be considered for any existing courses, you must insert all available place courses below those you wish to retain.
  • If you have already applied to CAO this year, then an Available Places application is not separate to your existing application, you are inserting courses into your existing list of course choices.
  • The Available Places application procedure is similar to the Change of Mind procedure. However, except for courses in which available places have been advertised, you may not re-order your original course choices.
  • You may only have a total of 10 course choices in any course list (Level 8 and Level 7/6). If you wish to add an available place course to a list already containing 10 entries, the course code at the bottom of the list (i.e., preference 10) will be deleted.
  • Mature applicants and applicants who have qualifications other than 1985-2018 Irish Leaving Cert and/or 2002-2018 QQI FET/FETAC Level 5/6 are categorised as Non-Standard Applicants. Such applicants must contact the appropriate HEI before completing an application.
  • Remember to follow the fundamental rule of the CAO application system, i.e. place your course choices in genuine order of preference. If you place an Available Place course as your first preference and you get an offer on this course, then you will not be offered any course lower in your order of preference.
  • Acceptance of an offer of an Available Place automatically cancels and supersedes any previous offer(s) and acceptance(s).