Thursday 26 April 2018

Course Leaving Cert requirements and late CAO applications

Q. My daughter is seriously concerned that she will fail English in her Leaving Certificate. Would that exclude her from getting a college place?

A. That would depend on the college, and the course. Obviously it is preferable to pass English, as that keeps most options open. However, a pass in English is not an essential language requirement for every college. Most institutes of technology require applicants to pass either English or Irish. In the university sector, Trinity requires applicants to pass English and another language; the University of Limerick requires applicants to pass English and either Irish or another language, while DCU will accept a pass in either English or Irish as one of its minimum entry requirements.

The minimum entry regulations for four constituent universities of the National University of Ireland (NUI) --University College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth -- require applicants to pass English, Irish and usually another language. However, the regulations of NUI state that one grade E on a higher level paper at Leaving Cert will be accepted if the candidate has among his/her other subjects three grade C3 awards on higher course papers or at least one grade B3 and one grade C3 on higher level papers in the Leaving Cert. So under certain circumstances a grade E in Higher Level Leaving Cert English could be acceptable for entry to an NUI college. (Although the NUI is to be dissolved, it is not currently envisaged that these entry requirements will change.)

Q. I thought that you could make a late application to CAO, subject to restrictions, between February 1 and May 1, but now I understand that you cannot make a late application online until early March.

A. You are right on both counts. An application received between February 2 and May 1 is a "late" application. A late applicant may send a paper application anytime between February 2 and May 1, if they so wish. However, the online facility is closed from February 2 to early March, so if a late applicant wishes to apply online (which is the recommended route), he or she must wait until early March to do so.

Existing applicants who applied by February 1 may still add restricted courses to their course choices from February 5 up to March 1 for an additional fee of €10.

Open days this week:

Open day tomorrow, in Colaiste Ide, Finglas, Dublin 11, from 9.30am to 3,30pm; and in Plunket College, Whitehall, Dublin 9, from 1.30pm to 5pm. Open day Friday in Inchicore College of Further Education, Emmett Rd, Dublin 8, from 9.30am-3.00pm. For further information on courses available, telephone (01) 453 5358 or consult the college's website; Colaiste Stiofain Naofa College of Further Education, Tramore Rd, Cork, hosts its open day on next Friday from 10am-3pm. Drogheda Institute of Further Education, Co Louth, open day on Friday; Tuesday next, February 9, Limerick College of Further Education, Mulgrave St, Limerick, hosts an open day from 12 noon to 7pm Other activities next week: Engineers Week 2010 will take place from Monday 8 to Saturday 13 February. Further information can be had from or at

Irish Independent

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