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How to Apply

Year 1 entry

You should apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO ) for all courses with a “CR” listing, as well as Architecture – CK606.
You should follow the procedures as laid down in the CAO Handbook. Copies are distributed by CAO to second level schools in Ireland and are also available on request from:

Central Applications Office,
Tower House,
Eglinton Street,
Tel: 091 509800   Fax: 091 562344   W:

Closing Date

The CAO’s normal closing date is 1st February. This applies to Irish, EU and non-EU students. Whether you are applying through the CAO by post or on-line, CIT strongly urges you to get your application to CAO well before the deadline to avoid stress and possible disappointment.

Late Applications

Late Applications are those which are received in the CAO after 1st February. The latest date for receipt in the CAO of such application forms is 1st May. Late applicants are required to pay an additional fee. Late applications can be made for all courses up to 1st May except for the following courses where 1st February is the closing date:

Exceptional Closing Date for current Third Level students: 22nd July 5.15pm

Subject to the usual conditions for late applications, if you are currently a student in any year in any higher education institution, you may make a Late Application, in paper form only, to arrive in CAO not later than 5.15pm on 22nd July. The CAO Form must be stamped on Page 2 by the Admissions Office of the institution where you are a student.

Change of Mind

The CAO system allows changes to be made to applications up to 5.15pm 1st July. A Restricted Application Course cannot be added to your CAO application after 1st February. You may however alter your preference ranking for such courses.

Exceptional Closing Date for Current Third Level Students: 22nd July 5.15 pm

Subject to the usual conditions for Change of Mind, if you are currently a student in any year in any higher education institution, you may submit a Change of Mind, in paper form only, to arrive in CAO not later than 5.15pm on 22nd July. The Change of Mind Form must be stamped by the Admissions Office of the institution where you are a student.

What you need for Entry

For admission to a course, standard applicants must (1) score the necessary CAO points level and (2) must also meet the minimum entry requirements. These requirements may be altered for certain categories of applicant; see Non-Standard Applicants and Further Information for Applicants

The CAO Points System

Standard applicants for first year courses will be awarded points by applying the normal CAO points scale to the results obtained in the Leaving Certificate Examination. Applicants are reminded that the points level varies each year according to supply and demand for places. The SIX best results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate Examination will be used for points calculation. Calculation of points is independent of minimum entry requirements.

Bonus Points for Higher Level Mathematics

A bonus of 25 points will be allocated to students who achieve a grade 7 or above in higher level (HL) mathematics. This means that the maximum cumulative LC points total will increase from 600 to 625 (existing maximum points plus bonus points). For further information please click here

Minimum Entry Requirements

The following is a general guide – requirements for particular courses may vary.

  • For most Honours Degrees on the CAO Level 8 List:
    (but please click on link below)
    Leaving Certificate with two H5 and four O6/H7 grades including Mathematics, and either English or Irish.
  • For most Degrees on the CAO Level 7 List:
    (but please click on link below)
    Leaving Certificate with five O6/H7 grades including Mathematics, and either English or Irish.
  • Minimum entry requirements may be satisfied by the results of more than one Leaving Certificate.
  • The minimum entry requirements may be varied for Non-Standard Applicants and holders of FETAC (now QQI) awards.

Please click here for more information

Full details of minimum entry requirements for courses are outlined in the relevant course information section of the CIT Full-time Handbook Entry. Applicants are advised to check the relevant subjects, tests and dates very carefully. In particular, there are early assessment procedures for some courses.

Garda Vetting

Some programmes require applicants to undergo a Garda Vetting process. This requirement is due to the mandatory external placement element of the programme which will bring the applicant into contact with children or vulnerable adults and in which they will assume positions of trust.

CIT requires applicants on the following designated programmes (the list is subject to review) to be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau (NVB)

BA in Social Care CR031
BA in Early Years Education CR 620
BA in Community Development CR035
BMus Music (Hons) CR121
BA (Hons) in Popular Music CR125 to CR129
BA (Hons) in Theatre & Drama Studies CR700
BBus in Recreation & Leisure Management CR032
Higher Certificate in Arts in Counselling Skills
BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy
MA in Art Therapy

CIT uses the GCVU to help assess the suitability of all applicants on such programmes. Offers of places on these designated programmes will be provisional and contingent on the applicant’s satisfactory completion of CIT’s Garda Vetting Procedure.

Depending upon the outcome of the vetting process, the Institute reserves the following rights:

  • to not register a student
  • to remove an existing registered student
  • to delay the student’s practice placement modules on course

In all circumstances, it is the applicant/student’s responsibility to proactively disclose any convictions/ cases pending. The Institute reserves the right to inform any placement agency of the existence of any convictions/cases pending.

Special Category (Non-Standard) Applicants

Certain applicants may be assessed on a basis different from the CAO Points System. These are called Special Category or Non-Standard Applicants. There are six categories, and these are detailed on Page 3 of the CAO Application Form. If you wish to be considered as a special category applicant you should tick the relevant box on Page 3 of the CAO form.

CIT welcomes applications from Special Category Applicants and those who wish to be considered as such should fill out the appropriate section of the CAO Application Form. In addition, applicants may be invited for interview for some courses. Special Category Applicants are of course entitled to be assessed on the same basis as any other applicant on the basis of points achieved. This means that Special Category applicants will be credited with the Leaving Certificate points that they may have obtained.

Late Applications (Special Category)

CIT recommends that Special Category Applicants apply by 1st February, however applications will be accepted up to 1st May.

The principal non-standard categories are as follows:

Mature Students

To be eligible under this category, applicants must be 23 years old by 1st January of the proposed year of entry. Mature students should fill out the appropriate section of the CAO Application Form. Such applicants may not be required to have the minimum entry requirements. Relevant work experience, skills gained through experiential learning and other qualifications will be considered in the assessment of these applications.

Please note: Late applications are not accepted from Mature Students. If you miss the 1st January deadline, you will be assessed solely on your Leaving Certificate / QQI Points.

International Students

International applicants from both within and from outside the EU are very welcome in CIT. If you are a non-EU student applying from abroad, please click here for how to apply. Please email the CIT International Office with your enquiries and visit the CIT International website for more information.

T: +353 (0)21 433 5300


This category includes GCE A-level and AS level, and GCSE/O-level.

Other School-Leaving Exams
  • FETAC/NCVA qualifications achieved in 1999 or earlier.
  • Students holding for example a National Craft Certificate, Senior Trades or NTCB qualifications may be considered for entry to a course related to the qualification.
  • Post-Leaving Certificate (non FETAC) qualifications may be considered and will be assessed individually.

The CAO form has space for details of such study.

QQI / FETAC Awards

QQI / FETAC operates within the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and its awards have been placed at Level 5 or Level 6 of the framework as appropriate. Holders of FETAC awards at Level 5 of the NFQ should apply through the CAO system. Points will be allocated and will be used to place applicants in order, in the same rounds of CAO offers as Leaving Certificate applicants. Applicants must present a full award totalling 120 credits. This full award may be accumulated over more than one academic year.

A new scoring system has been agreed for all level 5 and 6 QQI/FETAC awards, providing access through CAO to the first year of programmes leading to awards at levels 6, 7 and 8. The new scoring system has been applied from 2013. Please click here for more details.

Applying to CIT with a QQI / FETAC award

If a FETAC applicant also presents a Leaving Certificate, the CAO will use whichever is the better of the Leaving Cert points or the FETAC points. For information on the Minimum Entry Requirements for FETAC award holders please see the FETAC section in the CIT Full-time Handbook or click here . CIT has established a special pilot scheme for the admission of students who successfully complete courses in Further Education Colleges in Cork. Under this scheme a number of courses in CIT are linked to certain courses in the FE colleges. CIT reserves a number of places on its linked courses for applicants achieving specified levels and other requirements in their awards. Ask at your Cork Further Education College for more details.

Information for Applicants
Students with Disabilities or Medical Conditions

CIT is part of the DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) national scheme.

For information about applying to DARE, please check the Access College website

We would encourage all applicants with disabilities/learning difficulties/health conditions who apply through the CAO to indicate and give details of your disability or medical condition. Giving this information will not adversely affect your application in any way. The application will also be considered on the basis of points as with any other applicant.

CIT is committed to helping such students to avail of its courses. It is advised that before choosing a course, applicants should contact the relevant department to discuss the suitability of the course and check any minimum entry requirements such as levels of Maths and number of Honours subjects required and any other requirements of a particular course such as a portfolio or interview (details are available in the prospectus)

  • DARE Application
  • DARE Screening Criteria

For more information please contact the CAO DARE Helpdesk on 091 4509800 or the CIT Disability Support Service on 021 4335107/021 4335137 or by email . 

Please note that due to the high volume of queries at present, email queries are recommended, and a member of staff will respond as soon as possible. 


EU Applicants presenting qualifications from Ireland and UK.

Year 1 Full-time courses:
Applicants must apply via the CAO system  by 1st February, or for late applications, 1st May.

EU Applicants (presenting qualifications outside of Ireland and UK) and non-EU Applicants

Year 1 Full-time courses:
Applicants must apply via the CAO system by 1st February in order to have their foreign qualifications assessed. Those only receiving their qualifications after that date should send them directly to the CAO, and also send a copy to CIT, marking clearly your CAO number.

Advanced Entry (Year 2, 3 or 4)

The Central Applications Office ( processes applications for years 2, 3 and 4 of undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This entry route is known as Advanced Entry. Applicants must have relevant Higher or Further Education or an equivalent to be considered for the Advanced Entry route. Decisions on admission to advanced entry courses at CIT, (years 2, 3 or 4), are made by CIT who instructs CAO to make offers to successful candidates.

Please ensure that you have included all relevant information (once available) that might help CIT to assess your application including:

Copies of QQI L5 and 6 awards;

Copies of BTEC and other awards;

Transcripts from previous Higher Education;

A CV with information about relevant previous experience with references;

A statement of interest.


All supporting documentation must be sent to the CAO . Failure to supply CAO with supporting documentation may result in your application not being successful.

Non-EU applicants paying non-Eu fees: please click here for how to apply. Please email the CIT International Office with your enquiries and visit its website for more information.
Please send queries to Note that there are both academic and residency conditions governing the offer of places to non-Eu applicants. Non-EU students are required to produce a Study Visa from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform for the course for which they have applied. For conditions attached to acquiring this please refer to the following website:



For costs/payment queries please contact
Finance Office
Cork Institute of Technology
T: 00353 21 4335440
W: fees.students​


For Accommodation queries please contact


Admissions Enquiries
Admissions Office
Cork Institute of Technology
T: 00353 21 433 5040

Institutes of Technology Central Evaluation Forum (IOTCEF)

The purpose of the Institutes of Technology Central Evaluation Forum (IOTCEF) is to provide an open and transparent central scoring system for

  • Applicants presenting European school leaving qualifications (outside the Republic of Ireland),
  • Applicants from outside the EU,
  • Applicants from both within and outside the EU whose first language is not English. Details of the IOTCEF are available on the CAO website.

It must be borne in mind that each institute of technology is a separate admitting authority. CIT therefore reserves the right to accept or not accept a recommendation from IOTCEF.

Please note: where courses have specific entry requirements these must be satisfied before an institution will award a place. All foreign applicants who have been offered places will be required to satisfy all the normal legal requirements (as laid down by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Department of Foreign Affairs) to gain access to education in this country, before acceptance and registration requirements can be brought to a conclusion.

Applicants must apply through the CAO system. Complete information is available in the CAO Handbook issued each year and is also on the CAO website at: .

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

Holders of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme apply in the normal way through the CAO. Points are awarded on the same basis as for the Leaving Certificate. The Link Modules are considered as a single unit and are awarded points on the basis of - Pass 30 points, Pass with Merit 50 points, Pass with Distinction 70 points. The link modules ‘subject’ may not be used to meet minimum entry requirements.

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme

The Leaving Certificate Applied subjects do not meet the minimum requirements for entry. Holders of Leaving Certificate Applied may wish to proceed to a FETAC course and in turn to third-level on the basis of a FETAC award.

Foundation Level Mathematics

A pass in Foundation Level Mathematics does not satisfy the general entry requirements in regard to Mathematics. However, a Grade B2 or higher is recognised as a subject for entry to CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, CIT Cork School of Music, Design Communication CR036 and Early Childhood Care and Education CR620.
In such cases, CAO points are awarded as follows: A1 = 20 points; A2 = 15 points; B1 = 10 points; and B2 = 5 points.

Deferring a Place

The Institute will try to facilitate successful applicants who wish to postpone entry. Those Year 1 students granted a Deferral must follow the procedures as outlined on the CAO website

Please note that for CIT Cork School of Music CAO Courses, candidates are not allowed to defer their Entrance Exam results from one year to the next.

ACCS Scheme

The ACCS scheme (Accumulation of Credits and Certification of Subjects) is a specially designed system for part-time students. It allows students to study one or more subjects at a time and obtain credit for each subject passed. Subjects are certified individually and may be accumulated to lead to a full higher certificate, bachelor degree or honours bachelor degree qualification. The Institute offers some evening courses through this system and in addition, accommodates some students on its full-time courses. Further details are available from the Admissions Office.

Fees, Grants and Scholarships
Tuition Fees

Tuition fees at CIT are covered by the terms of a government scheme under which the State pays the tuition fees of full-time, non-repeat undergraduate students (from Ireland and the EU) who are not graduates. Accordingly, no fees are payable, except by certain categories of students such as Non-EU students, students taking a second undergraduate course or those taking a year of a course for the second time. The fees payable for other applicants are available from the Accounts Office, CIT.

Student Services, Registration and Examination Fees

An annual fee* for student services, registration and examinations is payable to the Institute. For students who have been notified that they have been awarded a TLT Grant, Higher Education Grant or VEC Scholarship the fee is paid on their behalf by the grant authority. Other full-time students must pay the fee by a specified date, of which they will be notified. *(The registration fee for 2017/2018 was €3,000)

Registration Academic Year Semester 2 

Full-time and Part-time students must ensure that they are correctly enrolled for all of their Semester 1 modules for the academic year 2017/18  by 5pm 6th October 2017, and for their Semester 2 modules by 5pm 9th February 2018. This applies to all students, including those repeating and/or doing Exams Only, those applying for RPL, as well as post graduate students.

Grants and Scholarships

There are three main student support schemes.

  • The Higher Education Grants Scheme (generally applies to ab-initio Honours Bachelor Degree Courses)
  • Third Level Training Grant (applies to most full-time Higher Certificate and Bachelor Degree courses in Institutes of Technology)
  • The Vocational Education Committees’ Scholarship Scheme (generally applies to add-on courses where students have already pursued Higher Certificate/ Bachelor Degree level courses)

Generally speaking, students who are entering approved courses for the first time are eligible for grants where they satisfy the relevant conditions as to age, residence, means and nationality. Students who are repeating a year at the same level are generally ineligible for a grant for the year of repeat, but may resume their grant on progressing to the following year. Applicants for maintenance grants for an ab-initio honours degrees should apply to their Local Authority. In other cases, the grant application should be made to the local Vocational Education Committee. Please consult your local telephone directory for the appropriate address and phone number. The closing date is generally mid July and early application is advised. The Department of Education & Skills publishes a Guide to Higher Education Support. This is on the Web at: (navigate to “students and trainees” > “financial support schemes”).

If you have any enquiries about CIT’s admission procedures, please contact:

Admissions Office,
Cork Institute of Technology,
Bishopstown, Cork.
Tel: 021  4335040

EU applicants (including persons permanently resident in any EU member-state) should apply in the usual manner through the CAO by 1st February, giving full details of their qualifications on the CAO form. For a full definition of “EU applicant” see the CAO handbook. Higher Education (Universities, Institutes of Technology, Colleges of Education etc.) The CAO form has a section for the description of other school leaving exams, including those obtained outside Ireland.