Career Guidance

Points of Information – October 2016

CAO Applications

CAO Applications may be made online from 4th November at 12 noon.  Students are encouraged to register as early as possible in order to be familiar with the system.  The courses that you select now can be amended up to 31st January for no extra charge and students who apply online before 5.15pm on 20th January 2017 may avail of the discounted application fee of €25.

Students are reminded that you may download for free the CAO APP which is a very helpful resource.  This is available for free on Apple and Android devices.


Applicants with a disability or specific learning difficulty will be able Section A (Application Information) of the SIF when they apply online.  Applicants who wish to be considered for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme must complete this form and indicate on the form that they wish to be considered for DARE.  DARE applicants must submit the DARE Educational Impact Statement (EIS) and also Evidence of Disability.


Applicants who are socio-economically disadvantaged may complete a special section of the online application form and submit certain documentation to be considered for supplementary entry and post-entry supports.  Supplementary entry means entering a course on lower points than was required in the usual competition for places.  Please see the CAO Handbook for details.  A full guide will be available on the CAO website in November.
From November, applicants and parents with questions about completing the HEAR or SIF/DARE sections of the form can consult the published guides and phone CAO if they cannot find answers to their questions.  Questions on how applicants will be assessed and how offers are to be determined should be directed to the Access and Disability Offices in Higher Education Institutions and not CAO.  The website is also a good source of information.
In Mid-November, you will be able to view the demonstration version of the online application form to see for yourself how the entire 2017 online application form is set out, including the SIF/DARE and HEAR sections.  A number of additional video resources are available on the CAO website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.


Information on the New Common Points Scale is currently available on in the Student Resources and Information for Schools sections on the CAO website.  Additional resources, including a Points Calculator and Converter, will be made available when the 2017 website goes live on the 4th November, 2016.


Any 6th Year student who is eligible for an exemption from either Irish or a third language, or both, who wishes to apply to one of the colleges of NUI, must download an exemption form from, complete it and return it.  Failure to do this may result in a student not receiving their preferred offer on CAO.


Any 6th Year student who is applying for Medicine and is interested in taking a HPAT Preparatory course please speak to Ms Foley or Ms Kelly for details on the variety of courses available.


6th Year students should be aware that colleges are publishing changes to their courses for 2017.  These may indicate new courses to be introduced for next year or courses that will be cancelled.  There may be changes to course titles.  All students should note changes to entry requirements that will be notified for entry in 2017.  This is especially important for students in 4th Year who will be selecting subjects for their Leaving Certificate after Christmas.  These are available on under Alert Lists.


All 6th year students are reminded to research the criteria for any scholarships that may be interested in applying for.   As each institution offers a variety of scholarships, with individual eligibility criteria, application process and dates, early and thorough research is essential.


6th Year students interested in applying to DCU in 2017 are encouraged to enter into their VIP competition.  Prizes include DCU on campus accommodation, food and car park pass, gym membership etc.  To enter students must submit a video or photo collage explaining why they should win the competition.  Entries are to be submitted to by 1st July 2017.  For more information please see


All 5th Years participated in a Study Skills Seminar delivered by Student Enrichment Services Ltd. on the 7th of September.   All 2nd Years students took part in a Study Skills seminar delivered by Study Focus Ltd. on the 4th of October. These initiatives teach students how to set goals, develop good time management skills, how to take notes effectively, enhance memory technique etc.  Students and their parents need to revisit the material given at these courses on a regular basis and put into practice the techniques illustrated.  A Study Skills talk for Parents/Guardians of all students was also delivered by Claire Commins from Study Focus Ltd on Monday 3rd October.


Loreto Secondary School held a Careers Night for all 5th and 6th Year students in the Talbot Hotel on Thursday 6th October from 7-9pm.  76 volunteers from 60 different professions took part.  Students were able to speak one to one with the volunteers learning more about their profession and the career path they may take into this field.   It was a very valuable experience for students and was enjoyed by all.


Students from 4th, 5th and 6th Year are encouraged to attend Open Days of Universities and Colleges that they are interested in on Saturdays where possible.  A full list of dates for these events is available on and each institution’s


Irish Hotels Federation have recently launched their updated tourism careers magazine “Get a Life in Tourism”.  Students who are interested in a career in this industry can view a digital edition of the magazine on  The magazine includes an article on the Tourism Insight Programme, which is a new interactive free online programme, providing videos and interactive tutorials on working in tourism.


  • Engineering-Transition year students who have an interest in pursuing a career in engineering may wish to apply for an Engineering immersion experience in colleges around Ireland. This events aims to allow students to explore engineering at third level, take part in hands-on activities, meet engineers at work and get advice from graduates.  Students who are interested please check in January 2017 for student applications and participating colleges.  The programme runs in April or May.  Please see for further information.
  • Orchestra Project – Work Experience – CIT Cork School of Music offers a special work experience week in April 2017 for those transition year students who wish to gain a real insight into the professional demands and working routine of the orchestral musician. This would be suitable for students in TY who have achieved at least grade five on an orchestral instrument.  There is no charge for the course.  The course runs from 9am to 4pm from Monday 3rd April to Friday 7th  Accommodation, where necessary, can be recommended but will not be coordinated by the college.  Players are accepted on the basis of a video audition.  Closing date for application is 11th November 2016.  Details of application and application form are available online at


All students are reminded to register with or follow them on social media to keep up to date with daily careers related information.