CAO issues advice on order of preference as 74,657 round one CAO offers issued

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Eileen Keleghan, CAO Communications Officer and asks applicants to carefully consider any offers received in this round

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has today (Thursday, 15 August) issued 74,657   Round One Offers to 51,513 CAO applicants. These offers consist of 43,851 Level 8 course offers and 30,806 Level 7/6 course offers.

It is possible that applicants may receive two offers at the same time: one from the Level 8 list and one from the Level 7/6 list. Applicants must choose between these lists and can only accept one offer.

A short video guide explaining the CAO Offer and Acceptance process is available to view on the CAO website

Eileen Keleghan, CAO Communications Officer, asks applicants to carefully consider any offers received in this round.

Offers and order of preference

 “One of the common queries that we receive at the offers stage is around order of preference. Applicants are reminded that if they receive a lower preference offer they can accept this offer and it will not prevent them from receiving an offer of a course higher up on their courses list in a later offer round if a place becomes available and they are deemed eligible.

“Those who have received an offer in this round should consider the current offer as being the only one they may receive.

“It is important that applicants notify CAO immediately using the Correspondence Section of their CAO account if there are any errors or omissions in their CAO account. They must make sure to do this well in advance of the next offer round to allow any corrections to be considered in subsequent offer rounds," she said.

Dr Jim Murray, Director of Academic Affairs and Deputy CEO, Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) said: "Research into graduate outcomes published by the Higher Education Authority earlier this year* points to extremely positive outcomes for levels 6 and 7 graduates; progression rates into either employment or further study for level 6 and level 7 graduates is exceptionally high at 96%. Students who are career-focussed and are specifically seeking to enter a higher education programme in order to prepare them for the workplace should seriously consider their level 6 or 7 offers."

“Similarly, honours degree graduates of higher education institutions outside of the main urban centres reported significantly high levels of employment following graduation; 91% of Waterford IT graduates were either engaged in employment or further studies, according to THEA.

“Links with employers and the ability to provide work-ready graduates are some of the cornerstones of the technological higher education institutions’ identity," he added.

How it works

CAO applicants can check to see if they have received an offer by logging on to their account using the ‘My Application’ facility at from 2pm.

Successful applicants will also receive an offer notification via email and a text message if they have selected this option on their application form. There will be no postal offer notice.

Offers must be accepted by 5:15pm on Friday, 23 August.

If an applicant has not received an offer they will receive a ‘Statement of Application’ email.


Applicants with queries over the weekend are asked to submit them to CAO or the relevant HEIs via the available online platforms. All queries will be reviewed and dealt with when HEIs and CAO re-open on Monday. CAO will be monitoring for urgent account access issues over the weekend, and some HEIs may also offer a limited online communications service during this time. "You can contact CAO by sending an email from the Correspondence section of your CAO account” she added. 

To contact CAO during this extremely busy time CAO asks applicants to use the Correspondence Section of their CAO account giving as much information as possible and including the nature of their enquiry in the subject line. CAO will endeavour to respond to queries, usually within one working day.

Round Two

Round Two offers will be available to view on the CAO website from 10am on Wednesday, 28 August. There is no postal offer notice in Round Two. The reply date by which Round Two Offers must be accepted is Friday, 30 August at 5:15pm. Offers are then issued on a weekly basis up to late-September for all remaining places.

Available places

Applicants who do not receive an offer may wish to check the ‘Available Places’ facility which re-opens on CAO website on Tuesday, 20 August at noon. This facility is also available to new applicants on the completion of the online application form and the payment of a €45 fee.

For more information on the CAO Offer and Acceptance Process or the Available Places facility, applicants should go to [url=][/url] or consult the CAO Handbook. Also see

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