The CAO application deadline looms for individuals who wish to begin third level studies in September. CAO offered an early bird application fee of €20 up until 20 January. The normal closing date for applications is 1 February and now commands a fee of €40. Individuals find completing CAO applications daunting, however, it is not a difficult task, as there is plenty of assistance available to students intending on going to third level in September.
Students who know what they want to do usually have no difficulty in pinpointing courses that will eventually qualify them in their chosen field. However, often students do not understand that there are back doors available into most careers and professions and choosing correct CAO courses is key to being able to progress to postgraduate studies in their chosen field.
An example of a backdoor entry route into Occupational Therapy would be to study a degree in Applied Social Care (approximately 320 points) and progress to a two year Masters in Occupational Therapy in University of Limerick.
In theory, you can get into most careers at a later stage with 300-400 CAO points (e.g. teaching, physiotherapy, social work, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology, law etc.) but it is imperative that you choose the correct course to allow you access, such postgraduate studies at a later stage. Therefore, all applicants should seek assistance from a qualified career adviser before completing their CAO application.
Applicants can apply for three types of courses on their CAO application: level 6, 7 and 8 on two separate lists on the one application form. It is important that students understand that level 6 and 7 courses in most cases progress to degree level (level 8), therefore satisfying entry requirements for postgraduate courses. It is essential that students fully understand the application process and ensure that they fully understand what routes they can take into their chosen profession.
Students should not worry too much about CAO applications. Once they get an application form submitted before 1 February, they can change their mind at a later stage. The change of mind facility opens on 5 May until 1 July. However it must be noted that after 1 February applicants cannot apply for restricted entry courses.