CAO - Other/Non-Standard Applicant

placeholder imageThose presenting:

  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • QQI FET level 5 or
  • UK GCE/GCSE only
    are regarded as standard applicants within the CAO system and are scored centrally. Information on the scoring system for these applicants is available here.

First year applicants who are presenting any other awards, whether instead of or in addition to those listed above, are classified as non-standard applicants in the CAO system. 

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

Non-Standard applicants seeking entry to year 1 and presenting awards from within the EU (e.g. BTEC, Baccalaureate, Arbitur, etc) must apply via CAO and submit appropriate evidence/certificates.

CAO Deadlines

Early Bird Applications (Discounted application fee)     20 January, 5.00 pm. Early Bird Applications (Discounted application fee)    
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


Supporting Evidence

All photocopied certificates must be notarized as true and unaltered copies of the original, presented in the original language and, where this is not English, an official translation must also be included.  (See page 12 of CAO handbook) 

Ideally these supporting documents should be sent as early as possible and, in any case must be available to ATU Donegal by August 10th if they are to be considered for round 1 offers.  

The documents submitted will be scanned by CAO and made available to HEIs for individual assessment.  

In general, the minimum level of award acceptable for year 1 is based on presentation of a recognised award at a specific framework level, for example:

The National Framework of Qualifications for Ireland (NFQ IE) Regulated Qualifications Framework England/ Northern Ireland (RQF) Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW) Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) The National Framework of European Qualifications Framework
5 3 3 6 4

Some guidelines as to what EU exams are generally acceptable and how they are scored is available via the Student Resources section of the CAO website here.  These guidelines are subject or regular review. However each HEI is an independent admitting institution and different HEIs may take differing views re the admittance of Non-Standard applicants. 

Applicants presenting exams from outside the EU as a basis for entry should apply directly to ATU Donegal international office and not via CAO.  The general expectation is that such applicants will have successfully completed the upper level of secondary education (Year 12).