Entry to Third level courses typically include school leavers with Leaving Cert (Established) or Leaving Cert Vocational (LCVP), students with a FETAC award from a PLC course, mature students and international students.
Applications for almost all full-time undergraduate courses is through the Central Applications Office(CAO). The CAO provides an applications pack with a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply.
The normal closing date for applications from Irish and other European Union nationals is 1st February at 5.15 pm each year. Late applications are allowed up to 1st May at 5.15 pm of the same year (Note: certain exceptions exist - check with the college for details). You can also submit a Change of Mind form to amend your choice of courses from 1st May until 1st July. Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out.
Students who have taken the Leaving Certificate examination are allocated points for the results they get in their six best subjects, at a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate. The points awarded depend on the level of achievement in the subject. The number of entry-level points needed for any course depends on the number of places and the number of applicants for those places so the entry level varies from year to year. Higher points are awarded for Higher-Level papers than for Ordinary-Level papers.
You can find out what points were required for admission to courses in previous years using this Course Finder . A student must also have the specific academic entry requirements (also called matriculation requirements) for the course he/she wants to take. Details of these requirements are available for each course in the Course Finder facility on CareersPortal.ie. This information can also be found on the different University, Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Education websites.
All colleges have minimum entry requirements for courses offered to first time applicants directly from school. Individual courses may have higher requirements; these must be checked out individually when researching courses.
The entry requirements for mature students, FETAC applicants and foreign students differs from school applicants and should be checked out for each course being considered. Note: This information is readily available within the Qualifax courses database under the ‘FETAC Applicants’ and ‘Mature Applicants’ sections for each course.
Minimum Entry requirements - Institutes of Technology (IOT’s)
Minimum Entry requirements - Colleges of education
Choosing CoursesA step by step wizard to help find undergraduate courses used by the CAO can be found here.