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Advice for applicants sending supporting documents to CAO

If you are required to send supporting documents to CAO as part of your application, here are some tips to help you understand what is required: 

Evidence of qualifications listed on your application
In respect of examinations already completed, you must supply to CAO certificates for all qualifications you mention on your application form: Certificates/transcripts should be supplied in their original language and should show dates, subjects and results. They should NOT be originals (except for Graduate Medicine where original transcripts of results for all years are required); they should be certified A4 photocopies – certified typically by a school stamp, a HEI stamp or a Notary’s stamp. (CAO will not return original documents.)

A certified English translation is required in the case of qualifications not issued originally in English or Irish, in addition to the certified A4 photocopies of the documents themselves.

If your documentation is in a different name, e.g. by marriage or deed poll, then a certified copy of your marriage certificate or deed poll must also be provided. CAO cannot check that the documents supplied meet with the requirements of the institutions.

What is a certified photocopy?
Where transcripts/certificates are required to support your application, please do not send the original. You must send certified photocopies as these documents will not be returned to you. In order to obtain a certified photocopy of a document you can bring the original document and a photocopy to a recognised secondary school, the Admissions Office of a CAO-participating Higher Education Institution (HEI), or a Notary to have the photocopy officially stamped.

What is a certified English translation?
If you are submitting documents in languages other than English or Irish, you must also submit a formal, certified translation carried out by a professional translation service – for advice on where to obtain such a service you can contact your relevant Embassy in Ireland (if you are currently living in Ireland) - if you are not living in Ireland you should contact the institution awarding the transcript for a recommendation. The translation document must accompany the certified photocopy of the original document.

What level of English language proficiency is required?
Individual institutions require different levels of English language proficiency – for advice on English language requirements please e-mail the Admissions Office of the institution(s) that you wish to apply to. Contact details for Admissions Offices are available here. An entry requirements criteria document for EU/EFTA Applicants is available here.
Please note: The matriculation and English language requirements contained in the EU/EFTA document are the minimum and will be higher for certain courses and in certain institutions – e-mailing the Admissions Office of the individual institutions is advisable.

Supporting documents for Supplementary Admissions Routes (e.g. HEAR/DARE or Access Programmes) For HEAR or DARE applicants please go to for details of supporting document requirements. For Access programmes other than HEAR or DARE schemes you must contact the Admissions Office of the institutions directly.

What about posting the documents?
When sending supporting documents to CAO please write your CAO application number on the front of each page and obtain a certificate of posting from the post office (free service). If you wish to receive confirmation from CAO that your documents have been received you must include a self-addressed and stamped postcard listing details of all of the documents enclosed in your mailing - you do not need to enclose a stamp if you are residing outside of the Republic of Ireland.

All documents should be sent to: CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway, Ireland.

Are my documents too late?
Documents arriving within ten days of the 1st February closing date will be considered as having arrived on time. Do not delay starting your CAO application due to outstanding issues or missing documentation – make sure to apply by 1st February at 5:15 pm.

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