Sunday 20 October 2019

Change of Mind: the big questions

Jill Barrett, Coach and Writer at The Head Coach, answers some questions that you might have about the Change of Mind process

Stock image
Stock image

Change of Mind - What is it?

The CAO's Change of Mind facility, allows you, with some exceptions and restrictions, to add, remove or change the order of the higher education course choices that you made in your CAO application.

I've used the Change of Mind facility already since I put my initial application in, can I use it again?

Yes, you can edit your choices as many times as you like, up to the deadline.

What's the deadline?

The deadline is 17.15 on July 1st. Just like a speed limit however (the emphasis being that it's a limit not a target!), get this process boxed off as soon as your exams are finished and well before the deadline. Reduced stress and better decisions, what's not to love?

How much does it cost?

Using the Change of Mind facility is free of charge.

What do I have to do?

To edit your course choices, log in to your CAO Account via the 'My Application' facility. Click on 'Change Level 8 Course Choices' or 'Change Level 7/6 Course Choices' to amend your choices or the order of them. Before you do this, see the 'Important Changes to CAO Handbook' section within the CAO handbook on This features information on new courses, cancelled courses and courses that have had miscellaneous changes made to them.

You can then use the 'New Courses' list to enter new courses, disregard existing course choices, or re-order your existing course selection. List all of your courses in your order of preference on the new list. Remember that, if you do submit a Change of Mind, it cancels and supersedes all previous course choices in any category in which you have made changes. Remember also that Level 8 and Level 7/6 course categories are considered to be completely separate, so changing your Level 8 choices will not affect your Level 7/6 choices and vice versa.

The CAO website has a straightforward video guide on the site that shows you, step-by-step, how to use this facility.

Can I use Change of Mind to introduce any course to my choices for the first time?

Unfortunately not. You should review the guidelines on for full details of all restrictions and exceptions that may apply but, in summary, you can't introduce any restricted course using the Change of Mind facility unless it shares exactly the same assessment procedures with a course you had applied for by 17.15 on February 1st, 2018. If that is the case, then you may be allowed to introduce it on a Change of Mind but you need to consult with the Higher Education Institution that hosts that restricted course before doing so.

How will I know if my Change of Mind has been received by the CAO?

Check your 'My Application' facility, before 17.15 on July 1st, to make sure that your course choices have been updated. The CAO system should automatically send you an acknowledgement to your email address every time that you make a change. Read it through thoroughly and inform the CAO immediately if there are any inaccuracies. Similarly, contact the CAO without delay if you don't receive that e-mail. If you reach out to them too long after spotting any issues with your choices, it may be too late for them to address them.

Do I really need to use the Change of Mind facility?

Not if you are certain that you have picked the courses that are a best fit for you and that they are placed in order of the ones that you want the most. Do, however, at least take this opportunity to pause and reflect on your choices. In considering changes, it's a good idea to try and chat to any career guidance professional that is qualified to support you in making the best decision for you.

Remember that the team in the CAO also want to help you in having as smooth a journey around all of this as possible. If you are very confused about any aspect of Change of Mind, reach out to them.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News