CAO Round One Offers – What Do I Do Now?

By Steven Galvin - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email


CAO Round One Offers – What Do I Do Now?

At this stage you should have received your Leaving Cert results (issued on Friday 3rd September) directly through the candidate self-service portal and today (7th September) the CAO issued the first round offer of places. Below we explore the question: CAO Round One Offers – What Do I Do Now?

This year the CAO has issued a record 82,175 offers to 55,221 CAO applicants. Successful students have been sent an e-mail from the CAO with Round One offer(s). If you haven’t received an offer in Round One don’t panic – you could get one in Round Two. You will receive an e-mail from the CAO with a ‘Statement of Application Record’ to confirm the process is working.

All students should again check that all details on this e-mail are accurate to ensure the CAO has not made an administrative error.

Also be sure to log in to your CAO account and check that all the information is correct.

How Do I Accept a Place?

At this stage, You may get two offers – one from your level 6/7 list and one from your level 8 list, if you filled in both. However, you can only accept one. Remember, you have until 13th September to accept Round One offers. 

If you choose to accept an offer, you do it online. You will receive a confirmation email and you can check that your acceptance has been recorded on the CAO website under My Application.

Once you accept a place on a course, you will not be offered a place on any course you listed below it  in future rounds. You may however be offered a place on a course above it.

What If I Don’t get My First Choice?

Stay positive – even if you have accepted your Round One offer,  you can always accept any higher offer in future rounds. Always remember that the course choices offered to you in further rounds goes upwards.

If you do not accept an offer and no higher offer is made to you, you will lose the original offer to another applicant in the next round.

Make sure that any offer you accept is for a course that you really want to do. Don’t accept something that you are not interested in just because you were offered it – you’ll regret it in the long term – either dropping out or doing badly or wasting your  time. Remember that you are about to spend a number of  years studying the course you accept so make sure it is the right one for  you.

How Do I Defer My Place?

If you have planned to defer the place you have been offered, you need to get in touch with the admissions office of the third level college or university directly – this is not done via the CAO. You need to send your name and quote your CAO application number and the course number of the offer you want to defer. You will need to set out the reasons you have for choosing to defer (financial, personal, etc.). Make sure you write ‘Deferred Entry’ on the envelope & keep a copy.

The college will guide you through the process. You really need a genuine reason as to why you want to defer as some colleges may not allow deferrals – if this is the case you can make the decision to attend this year or not at all and accept the offer before the reply date.

If you want to take your place on this course after deferring, you need to re-apply to the CAO and simply enter that one course on your CAO form. 

What are Available Places?

If third level institutions have any new courses that open for application after the Change of Mind deadline, or if any places remain unfilled in particular courses after all offers have been made and the waiting lists of applicants meeting minimum entry requirements have been exhausted, such vacancies will be advertised as Available Places on the CAO website

The available places facility of the CAO website will re-open on Wednesday, 8th September 12pm. These courses can be applied for by any student. Applicants must meet the normal minimum entry requirements for a given course. Available places advertise new courses that have been launched since the CAO deadline and also advertise courses where all places have not been filled on them. 

Can I Appeal My Results?

If you are not happy with your results and didn’t get the course you wanted you can appeal your Leaving Certificate results.. You can apply to appeal your results through the Candidate Self Service Portal from Saturday 11th September 2021 at 9am until Monday 13th September at 12 noon. Late applications will not be accepted.As of yet there’s no information on when  you will hear the outcome of your appeal. There is no appeal fee for the Leaving Certificate 2021 appeal process.

If you appeal your mark in a written exam, your script will be sent to an appeal examiner for re-marking. You can apply on the Candidate Self Service Portal to view your examination script. This allows you to see how your work was marked so you can make an appeal if you think there was a mistake

You can apply to view your examination scripts from 5pm Tuesday, 7th September until 8pm Wednesday, 8th September 2021.

If you appeal an accredited grade, the appeal will only check that your school data was correctly transferred to and processed by the State Examinations Commission. The estimated percentage mark provided by your teacher cannot be reviewed for re-marking.

What Happens if I Don’t Get Any of My CAO Choices?

There are many different paths that will take you where you want to go and many people have taken pursued other options beyond CAO offers. For many students Further Education and Training (FET) is the best route to their chosen career and these can come on the form of  – Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, apprenticeships and traineeships.

PLC’s courses can be used as a springboard to a certificate, diploma or even a degree course. PLC are a great way to  get your foot inside the door and go where you want to go.  Completion of a PLC course leads to an award on the National Framework of Qualifications at NFQ Level 5 or 6, as well as other qualifications, such as City and Guilds provide a great opportunity for progression to third level.

Apprenticeships combine both on- and off-the-job learning. They are proving more and more popular as a post-Leaving Cert option with around 6,000 people taking up an apprenticeship each year. Qualifications now available via apprenticeship range from QQI Level 6 to Masters Level QQI Level 9 right up to a new QQI Level 10 PhD Doctorate, in engineering.

Traineeships are developed and delivered by the ETBs. These are shorter than apprenticeships, typically lasting one or two years, but are also designed to provide strong work experience, so that participants leave with job-ready skills. Some even pay a training allowance.

There are currently more than 40 traineeships available, covering everything from radio broadcasting to beauty therapy, and from medical administration to childcare. All lead to an award at NFQ Levels 4-6, or equivalent.

NPCPP Helpline

The National Parent’s Council (Post-Primary) helpline 1800 265 165 is open from Tuesday, 7th September to Friday 10th September from 11am to provide advice and guidance for candidates and parents. It is staffed by professional guidance counsellors and is supported by the Department of Education.

Virtual Education Expo is an online fair for those seeking course information and overall education and career guidance. The event will take place live, online, on Thursday, 9th September. These events will be the ideal event for anyone considering enrolling on a course in 2021/22.

Register here 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.

Your Future Is Yours To Choose – Life Beyond the CAO




Steven Galvin

Cellular Manufacturing and Therapy Courses
Genomics Courses


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy