CAO Normal Closing Date for Applications

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Tomorrow, 1st February is a big date for students applying to third-level undergraduate courses in Ireland through the CAO (Central Applications Office). It is the CAO Normal Closing Date for Applications… and remember to have your application in by 5pm!

Unless you are applying for a restricted course then remember these are not your final selections – you have plenty of time to change your mind / preferences / courses. If you are applying for a restricted course then you must include it on your initial CAO application and it cannot be added after the February 1 closing.

What are Restricted Courses?

Certain courses are Restricted-Application Courses. Typically, they  are courses which require a portfolio, an admissions test or interview.They have early assessment procedures which may start as early as February. You must check the relevant prospectus for details.

In the lists of courses in the CAO Handbook, these courses are identified by the words “(Restricted – see page 3)”. You can also search for restricted courses here by choosing the restricted filter.

Read the CAO handbook

First things first –  if you have not yet started your application yet, it’s important that you take the time to read the CAO handbook. Download it here. Also you’ll find plenty of helpful resources on the CAO website, which can guide you through the application process.

You’ll need to provide identification and contact details, and select the qualifications and assessments sections that are relevant to you and then pay the application fee of €45. You will then receive your CAO application number. With this number, you can now can login to your CAO account via the My Application facility and edit your application, and begin the process of selecting your course choices.

At this stage it’s important that you have researched the courses that you are  interested in applying for and that you are familiar with the minimum entry requirements for each course and any restrictions that apply.

CAO Normal Closing Date for Applications

Remember the choices you make now are not your final choices. The CAO Change of Mind facility opens on the 5th May. This free facility allows you to add, remove or change the order of their courses as many times as you like until 1st July at 5pm.

And remember – list your course choices in genuine order of preference.

To apply to CAO go to and click on ‘Apply’.

Best of luck.

Whatever your course choices why not explore all your options and see what’s out there at the upcoming Career Path Expo.

Career Path Expo is a 2-day, online, careers event for school-leavers in Ireland seeking to make decisions about their CAO and college choices. Register now for free for Career Path Expo taking place on Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th March 2022. 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.



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