Want to start a full-time undergraduate course? Find out what you need to do and when to increase your chances of getting a course offer you're happy with
1 February is a big date for people applying to full-time undergraduate courses n Ireland through the CAO (Central Applications Office).
Traditional CAO applicants worrying about not having their CAO research ‘homework’ done, can take a deep breath unless their top course choices turn out to be ‘restricted courses’.
The CAO 1 February closing date is a really important date for people who want to do restricted entry courses and impacts some mature applicants.
The bigger date in the CAO calendar for the majority of people is 5.15pm on 1 July, the final deadline for amending course choices and putting them in genuine order of preference. There is breathing space to fill out your application and put your choices in order.
Does that mean you need to do nothing before 1 July? It’s important for Leaving Cert students to give their studies due attention. However leaving all college research to the last week of June will certainly result in pressure then or being unhappy with the courses you are offered later in the summer. So what can you do in the meantime? Or what do you have to do when?
What to do and when
The earlier you apply to the CAO, the cheaper it is. 20 January is the ‘early bird’ deadline for starting your CAO application and is cheaper than between 21 January and 1 February. If you submit a late application it’s even dearer.
Ahead of 1 February check the WIT courses you’re interested in to see if they are restricted entry. For example, at WIT our Music degree is marked restricted. Mature nursing students must also apply by 1 February. Remember, all restricted courses should be added to your list by 1 February.
WIT allows mature applicants to most undergraduate courses to apply for places up to 1 May at 5.15pm. However, this isn’t the case for mature nursing applicants. They must apply by 1 February. Not all institutions take applications from mature students after 1 February.
Whether you’re a school leaver who intended taking a year out, going straight into work, studying abroad, had been considering the apprenticeship route, or are an adult or mature applicant considering college, the best way to give yourself more life choices is to get an application in for courses that really interest you. If the inspiration doesn’t hit you until after 1 February, you can submit a late application between 5 March and 5.15pm on 1 May to WIT (but not all higher education institutions, and not to restricted courses).
How to figure out what you want to study and where
WIT has developed many resources available 24/7 online for school leavers and adult applicants, parents and guardians of applicants, and career guidance teachers.
We are ‘always open’ in this regard, and will respond during office hours. We are here to help with all sorts of queries if you can't find details on our website.
Talk to us
On the run up to the CAO application deadline on Monday, 1 February 2021 you can Ask WIT anything. Take part in our web chat, book a virtual meeting with our team and explore our 70 CAO courses.
Many students face two issues:
1) where to start with what they want to study at all
2) how to decide between similar courses in different institutions. We have developed booklets and worksheets to help school leavers in particular with this difficulty.
- Download our guide to for parents and guardians
- Download our guide for students
Take a virtual tour
This new for November 2020 campus tour is amazing. Take time to explore our campus whenever you want. https://open.wit.ie/virtual-tours/
Hear about the student experience
How can you hear about genuine student experiences, or find out what the modules are like?
Our students have taken time to tell you their college experience. Check out the Stories section on a course page or browse through hundreds of stories.
Taking more time to choose
If you’ve narrowed down your preferred area of study by 1 July but wish you had more time to choose, look at our common entry courses. We now have common entry courses in Business, Engineering, Health Science, Exercise Science, Humanities, Computing and Science giving students an unprecedented level of choice across our portfolio.