CAO Applications

Information on how to apply for first year entry

If you want to apply to enter the first year of any of the following types of courses, you need to apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO):

  • Higher Certificate (Level 6)
  • Ordinary Degree (Level 7)
  • Honours Degree (Level 8) 

This applies to all different types of applicants;

  • Those presenting with Leaving Certificate results
  • Those presenting with QQI/FETAC Awards
  • Those presenting with European or Non-European Qualifications
  • Mature Students

The following information may help:

1. New Leaving Cert Points Scale

Find out about the new Leaving Certificate Grading Scale and Revised Common Points Scale applicable to students who sit the Leaving Certificate from 2017.

2. CAO Application Process

Read a summary of the major stages of the CAO application process (CAO website).

Key CAO Dates

1st February Normal closing date for applications
1st March Closing date for amending course choices and closing date for final completion of online HEAR/DARE forms
1st May Closing date for late applications
7th May Change of Mind facility becomes available
1st July Change of Mind closes
Early July Round A offers for certain Non-Standard Applicants (e.g. mature)
22nd July Exceptional closing date for those currently registered in HEIs
Mid-August Current year Leaving Certificate results issued
TBC Round 1 offers issued
TBC Round 1 offers acceptance closing date
TBC Round 2 offers issued
TBC CAO offer season ends


3. Mature Students

There are three separate entry routes by which mature students may enter ATU:

  1. Through CAO using a previous qualification: Leaving Certificate, Fetac Level 5 or 6 in competition with all other entrants on points. Place awarded in August.

  2. Through the CAO using the mature students route as a special category: Candidates must be 23 on the 1st of January in the year of entry to the course, applying through the CAO and filling in pages 3 and 4 of the application form. 

  3. Through successful completion of one of the Access courses run by NUIG and ATU, followed by an interview with each Mature Student.

Mature Applicants:

  • Don’t have to meet the Leaving Certificate entry requirements/points.
  • Are considered on an individual basis (previous education, work experience and demonstration of ability and competence to undertake the programme).
  • May be invited for interview which will be used to rank applicants where demand exceeds available places.

Central Applications Office (CAO)
Tower House
Eglinton Street


Tel: +353 (0)91 509800


Admissions Office
Atlantic Technological University (ATU)
Dublin Road

Phone: +353 091-742140