CAO - Leaving Certificate

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Undergraduate courses are available at 3 levels:

  • Level 6, Higher Certificate (2 years).
  • Level 7, Bachelor Degrees ab initio (3 years).
  • Level 8, Bachelor Degrees (Hons) (generally 4 years, though some are 3).

List of Courses

  • To view a full list of all full-time undergraduate degree courses (Level 8) click here.
  • To view a full list of all full-time undergraduate degree courses (Level 6 & 7) click here.

Application Process

Each first year programme has a 5-digit CAO code.  These codes are listed on the course pages of this site.  They are also listed in the CAO Handbook, which is available for download via Please ensure you use the correct programme code when filling the CAO application.

Remember to supply all relevant information, including your date of birth and appropriate details for your Leaving Cert. or of other school leaving exams. (e.g. year taken and exam number).  Provided you have supplied appropriate information regarding the year and exam number,  CAO can get exam results directly from exam boards for Irish Leaving Certificate, QQI FET and current year GCEs.  For all other exam types you must send certified photocopies of the Certificates to CAO in the original language. Where Certification documents are not in English send official translations also. The normal expectation is that educational certificates will arrive with CAO within 10 days of the on-line application.  If your documents are not available within this timeframe and you send them later on,  please alert us.  Failure to supply appropriate evidence of academic achievement with the 10 day period - or failure to notify us if you sent late documents - may result in you not getting an offer.  

Minimum Entry Requirements for First Year

  • Leaving Certificate Applicants for:
    • Level 6 courses must have passed at least 5 subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate, achieving grades 06/H7 or better. 
    • Level 7 courses must have passed at least 5 subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate, achieving grades 06/H7 or better. In addition their total grade score must add up to 160 points or more.
    • Level 8 courses must have passed at least 6 subject sin the Irish Leaving Certificate. At least 2 of the 6 subjects must be at grade H5 or better, the remaining subjects must be at grades O6/H7 or better.
  • Either English or Irish are required subjects for all courses. 
  • Maths is required for most programmes.  A list of the courses where maths is NOT required can be found here
  • There may be additional specific subject and/or grade requirements for some programmes. For example: Science is a required subject for several programmes within the School of Science, including nursing and veterinary nursing, Art is a required subject for some programmes within the Department of Design. 
  • Any specific subject or grade requirements will be listed under the heading Minimum Entry Requirements on individual course pages. 
  • In addition to the above in some instances there may be special requirements for the course e.g. Garda Vetting. Click here for an explanatory note on each of these special requirements.


Maths is required for most programmes at ATU Donegal. For Further information on Maths click here

If you have not passed Maths in the Leaving Certificate, ATU Donegal in conjunction with the Donegal Education and Training Board,has developed the Enabling Maths initiative. The development of this Enabling Mathematics is designed to give young people a second chance to succeed in Mathematics and thus, meet the Maths requirements for a wide range of courses at ATU Donegal. For further information click here

When should I apply?

Students should apply through the CAO system. A list of CAO application deadlines are as follows:

Early Bird Applications (Discounted application fee) 20 January, 5.00 pm
Normal Closing Date 01 February, 5.00 pm
Late Deadline (More costly and some restriction apply) 01 May, 5.00 pm
Change of Mind (Some restrictions apply) 01 July, 5.00 pm
Student currently registered in Third Level  who entered their current course via CAO  22 July, 5.00 pm


Rechecks & Regrading

A candidate who was not initially considered eligible or who matriculated but below the cut-off point,  may become eligible and rise above the cut-off points following re-check/regrading of their LCE or other school-leaving exam.  Where the revised result becomes known early,  i.e. up to CAO round 3,  ATU Donegal will endeavour to accommodate the candidate in taking up the place in the  current year.  However it is possible that some high-demand courses may be  already full and it may not be possible to accommodate regraded candidates.  In such cases ATU Donegal will offer a deferral to the following year. 

Even where a course is not technically full, a late start  (more than 2 weeks into a 13 week  semester)  may not be in the best interest of the candidates . They will have missed important  induction activities and perhaps a significant portion of the course content.  Therefore, once term has started, and  regardless of whether or not the class group is full, ATU Donegal may  offer deferrals in such circumstances.  Where a  candidate wishes  to take up a late offer in the current year they will  need to make up for any deficit by their own efforts.   Please note that no accommodations will be made for late  entrants in terms of course review nor will allowance be made in terms of meeting course requirements or when it comes examinations.