Billy Ryle: Advice As CAO ‘Change Of Mind’ Deadline Approaches

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Guidance Counsellor Billy Ryle says the Leaving Cert exam is almost over, but there is still an important task to be done by third level aspirants…

Applicants to the Central Applications Office (CAO) should now turn their attention to the ‘Change of Mind’ facility which allows them to register a change of course choices online by 5.15pm on Thursday, July 1.

Not all CAO applications avail of the change of mind facility. Many are happy with the course choices submitted by 1stFebruary.

Many others will have done further course research or may have changed their minds about their earlier choices. Whatever your reason for submitting a change of mind form, make sure you know exactly what you are applying for.

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Don’t list any courses which you haven’t researched. Don’t apply for any course that you won’t accept. Don’t apply for a course in which you have no interest just because your friends are applying for it.

If you decide to submit a change of mind form, work on your choices before going online.

Start from scratch and prepare a new list of courses. Open your CAO account via the ‘My Application’ facility. Click on ‘Change Level 8 Course Choices’ and/or ‘Change Level 7/6 Course Choices.’

Then use the ‘New Courses’ list to enter your new course choices. Every choice is important so fill in all ten choices in each list.

Check the entry requirements for each course you intend putting on the change of mind form.

Don’t list any course which has been cancelled, but you may include any new courses which were announced after the 2021 CAO Handbook was published. All of this information is easily accessible on the CAO website,

Kerry’s CAO applicants will be interested to know that Munster Technological University (MTU) & University College Cork (UCC) recently launched a new five-year course in Home Economics & Business to counteract a critical shortage of home economics teachers.

There will be 32 places in the three-year BA (Hons) in Home Economics & Business at MTU’s Bishopstown Campus.

Graduates of the BA (Hons) course, who achieve a minimum of 2nd Hons. Grade 2, will automatically be offered a place in the-two-year Professional Master of Education (PME) post-primary at UCC.

Graduates of the combined programme (BA, PME) will meet all Teaching Council requirements to teach both Home Economics and Business in Irish second-level schools.

Currently, St Angela’s, Sligo is the only college providing teacher education in Home Economics.

The new MTU degree course will be very attractive to Kerry’s CAO applicants who have listed St. Angela’s on their CAO course choices or who would have liked to do so, but didn’t because of Sligo’s distance from Kerry.

Tourism, hospitality and catering are the life blood of Kerry’s economy so the proximity of this new professional course is a major boost for the region. The new MTU course, CR930, may be included on a CAO ‘Change of Mind’ form by the 1st July.

The two course categories – Level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and Level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees/Higher Certificates) are separate for the purpose of submitting a change of mind form.

You may change one category and leave the second category unchanged or you may change both. On the other hand, you may decide to stick with the choices you submitted by 1st February last.

If you make changes to your course choices online, an acknowledgement will be sent to your email address. Check that your courses have been updated by using the ‘My Application’ facility.

You may change your course choices free of charge as often as you wish up to the closing date. The final change of mind form that you submit is the one that will count for your CAO offers later in the year.

After the 1st July you can make no further changes to your CAO application form. So, avail of the remaining days to ensure that you submit a change of mind form that truly contains your course interests.


✓ 1st July: closing date at 17.15 for submitting a change of mind form
✓ 7th July: Round A offers at 10.00 to certain non-standard categories of applicants
✓ 13th July: Accept Round A offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 22nd July: Exceptional closing date (17.15) for late applications from those in 3rd level
✓ 5th August: Round O offers at 10.00 to certain non-standard categories of applicants
✓ 10th August: Accept Round O offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 3rd September: 2021 Leaving Cert results issued
✓ 7th September: Round 1 offers online at 14.00; also issued by e-mail and SMS text
✓ 8th September: CAO Available Places facility opens at 12.00
✓ 13th September: Accept Round 1 offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 20th September: Round 2 offers online at 10.00
✓ 22nd September: Accept Round 2 offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 28th September: Round 3 offers online at 10.00; also issued by e-mail and SMS text
✓ 30th September: Accept Round 3 offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 5th October: Round 4 offers online at 10.00; also issued by e-mail and SMS text
✓ 7th October: Accept Round 4 offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 12th October: Round 5 offers online at 10.00; also issued by e-mail and SMS text
✓ 14th October: Accept Round 5 offers by 15.00 on this date
✓ 14th October: CAO offer season ends

• Billy Ryle is a Career Guidance Counsellor and Educational Commentator

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