Friday 11 July 2014

Welcome to the CAO 2014 supplement

Katherine Donnelly

Published 06/01/2014|02:30

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Busy students on the Baking and Pastry Arts Management course (DT418) at Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street. The Level 7 course is currently awaiting validation as a Level 8, honours degree programme, which will involve an add-on year. Among the first years on the course are Alison Loftus, a former pupil of St Wolstan’s College, Celbridge, Co Kildare and Jamie Lawlor, a former pupil of Hartstown Community School, Co Dublin, who feature on the front cover. PHOTO: MARK CONDREN

It is a busy time for Leaving Certificate students, and others, contemplating going to college next autumn. Higher education is a step well worth taking, not only to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a future career but also for broadening the mind.

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Many students are very clear about what they want to do, while others may feel uncertain and will be worried about making the right choice.

The advice of experts, as outlined in these pages, is to pursue study in an area of genuine interest and, in case of doubt, to keep options open by delaying specialisation until a year or two into the degree programme. Indeed, the increasing numbers of students going on to post-graduate study find that that is the appropriate time to focus on an area of special interest.

While the CAO deadline of February 1 is concentrating minds today, and in the weeks ahead, many school-leavers may not feel ready to take the step to college in the autumn.

There are many routes to and through higher education, and to a desired career. For some, the starting point will be a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course in a further education college.

PLCs offer a great foundation for third-level study and may also provide a direct route to a college course of choice, so they are well worth exploring.

I hope the information, advice and student stories contained in this supplement will help shine a light.

Good luck!

Katherine Donnelly

Education Editor



  • January 20 Deadline for online CAO applications at reduced fee of €25
  • February 1, 5.15pm Main deadline for CAO and HEAR and DARE applications
  • February 5-March 1 Change of Course facility open
  • March 1, 5.15pm Deadline for completion of online HEAR and DARE forms
  • April 1, 5.15pm Deadline for receipt of supporting documents for HEAR and DARE
  • May 5-July 1 Change of Mind facility open

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