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CAO Handbook
Page 19 of 23

All HEIs award points for results in Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Link Modules, in place of a sixth Leaving Certificate subject. However, not all HEIs count LCVP as meeting eligibility requirements in regard to passing subjects. Applicants should refer to HEI literature for full details.


For information about how points are calculated for QQI FET/FETAC qualifications, GCE Examinations (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and guideline entry requirements for EU/EFTA, please visit the Student Resources section of the CAO website and go to Applicant Scoring.


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).


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.


An applicant to CAO, having been offered a place and accepted it, only becomes a student of the HEI once they have completed the HEI’s registration process.