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Take note of restrictions if you are applying to CAO

Applicants applying to CAO are advised to take note of the restrictions in advance of the main CAO deadline of 1st February at 5:15pm. 

Interested in applying for a restricted course?
Applicants applying for restricted courses must have applied to CAO by the 1st February deadline and included the course(s) on their application by this date. In general, you cannot introduce a restricted course using the ‘Late Application’ or ‘Change of Mind’ facility so you must apply to CAO and include the restricted course on your application by 1st February at 5:15pm (there are some exceptions – see the CAO Handbook).

If you register on the CAO system by 1st February at 5:15pm, but you forget to list a restricted course on your application, you can introduce the course for a fee of €10 using the ‘Change of Course Choices’ facility which is accessible via the ‘My Application’ section of the CAO website from 5 February to 1 March at 5:15pm.

Are you a restricted-category applicant (e.g. Mature/HEAR/DARE applicants)?
You are considered a restricted-category applicant if you are applying to CAO on the basis of mature years (Mature Applicant) or if you wish to apply for the HEAR or DARE schemes. Such applicants must have applied to CAO by 1st February at 5:15pm. In the case of mature applicants some exceptions apply; in general, institutions will be conducting mature applicant assessments and interviews during spring so applying by 1 February at 5:15pm will be a requirement for many. The majority of applicants applying on the basis of mature years are required to complete mature applicant sections 1-11 of the CAO online application form and must submit supporting documents to CAO within ten days of the 1 February closing date.

Applicants applying for HEAR or DARE schemes must apply to CAO by 1st February at 5:15pm; fully complete the online HEAR or DARE application forms by 1st March at 5:15pm; and submit supporting documents to CAO by 1 April at 5:15pm – for more information on HEAR or DARE and the supporting documents required go to

For more information about restrictions read the CAO Handbook and visit the 'Restrictions' page of the CAO website.

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