Career Guidance Advice for Students and Parents – January 2023

Career Guidance Advice for Students and Parents – January 2023

Key Dates

– Close of date for normal applications is Wednesday 1st Feb with a fee of €45.00. (The discounted fee of €30.00 was available up until 20th January).

– Ensure to tick box for DARE/HEAR application if one intends to apply for such admissions schemes.

– DARE/HEAR can offer places to eligible students on reduced points and extra college support.

– DARE is an admissions scheme to promote equity of access to higher education for school leavers with disabilities or students who have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.

– DARE has expanded its Specific Learning Difficulties this year and has created two new categories – 1. Dyslexia/Significant Literacy Difficulties and 2. Dyscalculia/Significant Numeracy Difficulties.

– Check for further details and a presentation video outlying all changes.

– HEAR is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds.

– Restricted Courses – These courses have an additional assessment procedure. – e.g. Admission Test (HPAT for Medicine), with late applications accepted up to 3rd Feb for extra fee.

– Closing date for portfolios for art courses, auditions for music/drama etc. must be applied for by 1st Feb.

– Mature Applicants should also apply by 1st Feb. They should check with the college they intend to apply to for any extra information re application.

– Online facility to amend course choices becomes available from 3rd Feb to 1st Mar for an additional fee of €10.00. (Generally it is only those who have omitted a restricted course would utilize this facility).

– 1st March is closing date for completion of online DARE/HEAR at 5.00pm (DARE/HEAR supporting documentation to arrive at CAO before 15th Mar at 5.00pm)

– Closing date for late applications is 1st May with an additional fee of €60.00 online.

– Change of Mind Facility opens on 5th May and continues up to 1st July at 5.00pm. This facility allows students to introduce, delete or move the order of courses already selected as much as one likes with no extra fee.

– Change of mind closes on 1st July at 5.00pm.

All details regarding applications are set out in CAO Website, with presentation video. Seek clarification, and if in any doubt about procedure, check with a guidance counsellor or contact CAO.

CAO Course Options

Level 8 Honours Degree
Level 7 Ordinary Degree
Level 6 Higher Certificate

Course Options other than CAO

FETAC/Post Leaving Cert Courses (PLC)
QQI FE/FETAC Level 5/6
– One may also progress from these courses to higher education on a links but competitive basis if one desires. It is important to note that these courses, level 5/6 are very worthwhile in their own right and may be quite sufficient for some students.

– If one intends to apply for QQI FE course, one should make application directly to various colleges. See details on their websites. Early application for these courses is advisable.


– The range of careers in this area is expanding with the possibility of some programmes having a third level qualification, (e.g. Level 8 BA Hons in Insurance Practice 3 years, and Level 8 BA Hons in Recruitment Practice also 3 years.)

– For further information check website –

Colleges outside of Republic of Ireland

– Colleges in Northern Ireland and UK see details on website –
– Colleges in Mainland Europe see details on –

Ensure detailed research on all courses that one intends to apply for is carried out.

Useful Websites – Central Applications Office – National database with course information on National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) – Quality and Qualifications Ireland – Information on HEAR and DARE schemes – Expert Group on Future Skills Needs in Ireland

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