How to Apply to the Central Applications Office in Ireland

The Central Applications Office (CAO) is the office responsible for overseeing undergraduate applications in the Republic of Ireland. All level 7,8 and 9 courses are processed through the CAO. It is currently not possible to apply directly to the College/University/IT.


  1. Image titled
    Go to
  2. Image titled Caoapply
    Click the apply button at the top of the webpage.
    • The application process opens on November 5th.
  3. Image titled Caoinstructions.png
    Read the instructions provided.
    • It is important that you read over your CAO handbook before applying.
    • You may only apply to the CAO once ever year.
  4. Image titled Caoproceed
    When you are ready to move on, click Proceed with Application at the bottom of the webpage.
  5. Image titled Caopersonal
    Fill in your personal details.
  6. Image titled Caoqualifications
    On the Qualifications & Assessment Summary, tick the box's that relate to you.
  7. Image titled Caocreditcard
    Fill in your credit card information, make sure you read the Terms & Conditions.
    • You will need a Credit/Visa Debit card for this.
    • The price for your application will depend on the date you are applying. Refer to your CAO handbook for more information.
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    Create a password, this will be used along with your CAO number to login.
    • Try to make a password you will remember.
    • If you think you will forget your password, write it down.
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    When you are happy with your application, click Proceed at the bottom of the webpage.
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    The final page will display your receipt and login details.
    • Your receipt will be displayed at the top of the webpage.
    • Your login details will be displayed at the bottom of the webpage.
  11. Image titled Caodemo
    If you are not comfortable filling in the application straight away, try the demo application. You can find the demo application at CAO Demo.


  • If you do not have a credit card, ask your school counselor. Many schools will allow you to use the school credit card.


  • Make sure you apply before the deadline. The system may crash because of all the late applications.
  • Do not give your login details to anyone.

Article Info

Categories: Applying for Tertiary Education