Online tools to ease CAO research over Christmas holidays

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Campus tours can be booked online year round and run weekdays in one hour slots 10am-3pm

Campus tours can be booked online year round and run weekdays in one hour slots 10am-3pm

Leaving Cert students have two weeks without study pressures over Christmas to get a head start on their CAO applications and course research

Colleges may be closed over Christmas, but there are plenty of online tools at the disposal of CAO applicants and their families. WIT has developed a number of tools to help anyone considering starting college next September.

“Time at home together over the school break is the perfect time for parents and Leaving Cert students to talk about college choices,” says Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Derek O’Byrne.

Most time available for next six months

There is no need for people to have a last minute rush at the end of January to start their CAO applications before the 1 February deadline or 20 January early bird deadline or to be worrying about careers and course research in the last week of June after their Leaving Cert exams and before the 1 July CAO change of mind deadline.

"In the last week of December and first week of January Leaving Cert students have more free time than they will have in the following six months to research their college choices,” Dr O’Byrne advises. “As part of our right student, right programme ethos, we help CAO applicants figure out their interests and what courses and careers they may be suited to. The most important thing is a student ends up on a course they will enjoy that leads to the type of work that leads to career fulfilment for them.”

Here are four online tools from WIT people researching CAO options can access at anytime.

Worksheets to help with interests and choices

There is the Parent’s Guide to College Choices booklet and the How to research CAO options booklets. Both include worksheets to help people understand their interests as well as compare colleges, courses and costs. These can be found at

Student stories on each course page

Once people know what they want to do they can find out via the CAO website which colleges offer those courses. In the case they discover WIT has a course they’re interested in, each course page is filled with real-life stories. Our student stories section at has hundreds of real-life student stories from across our 70 CAO courses and our postgraduate courses. These are written in graduates and students own words. They also appear on the stories section of each course page. So without leaving the comfort of their homes prospective students and parents/guardians can do through research this Christmas.

Book ahead

For those who would like a more real-life way to discover if a course of study is for them, upcoming ‘Try’ events can be found at Campus tours can be booked online year round at and run weekdays in one hour slots 10am-3pm.

Everything CAO microsite

See for a dedicated CAO resource section updated with everything a person researching CAO options needs to know.

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