CAO 2021 Timeline: CAO Application Procedure & Hpat

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CAO Application 2021 will be opening November 5th. For those wishing to apply to College in The Republic of Ireland (44 institutions, including our universities, Institutes of Technology and others) must use this central application procedure.

In this Synergy Careers webinar you will get tips on CAO Application 2021 application procedure, dates, costs and an understanding of the importance of ‘Order of Preference’ in your application.

You will be introduced to the relevance of HEAR &DARE schemes in colleges, access applications for students who’s access to college is impacted by either economic and/or disability factors.

Those applying to medicine will also have to apply separately to do the Hpat, an aptitude assessment that is part of requirements needed for entry to medicine in Ireland. This can only be done when you have made your initial application to CAO.

The webinar will take place on Monday November 2nd at 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Register here.

Synergy Careers host a FREE Webinar Career Guidance Series aimed at prospective students (Leaving Certificate, Mature students, Adult Learners), parents/guardians and Guidance Counsellors. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.

The purpose of the Central Applications Office (CAO) is to process centrally applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and to deal with them in an efficient and fair manner. The HEIs retain the function of making decisions on admissions.

This handbook has been prepared to provide information about the CAO application process. By reading this handbook carefully you will find out the information that you need to assist you with your application.

There are many avenues to be explored when you decide to make the journey into higher education; for the majority, that journey will involve a CAO application. It is important to note, however, that there are alternative access routes to higher education, other institutions offering further and higher education, and situations where you may have to apply to an institution directly.

You should allow ample time to research your course choices carefully using the websites and prospectuses of the HEIs, and check for matriculation and minimum entry requirements – you will not receive an offer of a place on your chosen course if you do not meet the minimum entry requirements. You can find out more information from the prospectuses and websites of the institutions, at Open Days, and from your guidance counsellor.

Fees or a student contribution may be payable. You should refer to the HEI website for fees information and go to or for information about finance and grants.

If you have questions for CAO that are not answered in CAO literature or on the CAO website, or if you do not understand any instruction that you receive from CAO, please contact us using the Contact form on the website


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