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Your questions answered about the CAO Available Places process

Griffith College Dublin
3 min

With Leaving Cert students getting their CAO offers already- this is a time of big decisions for anyone who is thinking about college. You have five days to decide whether or not you will take up the first round offer if you got one. But many students don't know or even consider the 'Available Places' process. So we've put this handy guide together to guide you through what might be a life-changing opportunity for you!

How does the CAO Available Places process work?

Basically, the Available Places process does what it says on the tin. Every course has a number of places on it and if they weren't filled up via the first round CAO offers - then they are distributed through the Available Places process. Anyone can apply for an available place - points don't matter but you do have to have the 'minimum requirements' for the course you want to study. (Usually this is two H5s and four O6/H7/F2s for a Level 8 or honours degree and 5 O6s/H7s for an Level 6/7 ordinary degree or certificate but each course varies as some course need a O6/H7/F2 in Maths). 

If you've already applied to through the CAO - then all you need to do is log into your account on Then go to the 'Available Places' tab. Then enter the course codes for the course you would like to study. Click submit on your new application. Within two weeks you will have an official offer to study the course you have chosen. These are usually called the 'Round 3' offers and will be out towards the end of August or early September.

 If you have not already applied through the CAO - it's the exact same process except you'll have to register and pay a fee of €45 to begin the process.

What kind of courses can I study through Available Places?

At the time of publishing this piece, Griffith College has Available Places on some highly prestigious courses like Law, Computing, Business and Journalism. These courses are highly-regarded by employers and our graduates are working in some of the biggest companies in the world because a Griffith College degree is so well recognised. The level 8 courses (higher degrees) that are available are listed immediately below and the list of level 7 (ordinary degrees are just below that again!)

What if I don't have the maths requirement to study at Griffith College?

Here at Griffith College we are holding our own internal maths exams on Friday 24th August and Friday 7th September. These are based on the Leaving Cert Ordinary level paper. Once you pass that exam, you will be eligible to study any course that has a maths requirement in Griffith College. To register, all you have to do is email [email protected] or call our team on 01-4150415 and they can get you signed up. There are more details here. Passing this course only entitles you to study on a Griffith College course.

What careers are open to me after a Griffith College degree?

All our degree courses at Griffith College are validated by the QQI. This means that a degree from Griffith College is globally recognised and, as such, is just as effective as a degree from a so-called bigger-name college.

A Griffith College degree is a passport to future success. In law, our graduates are solicitors, barristers and legal advisors in some of the biggest law firms in Ireland and further afield. In accountancy, our graduates are accountants, auditors and financial controllers in businesses large and small. In computing, our graduates are in Google, in Facebook and every other big tech firm as well as a host of exciting start-ups.

In fashion, our students are working with some of the top designers in the world like Gareth Pugh, Philip Treacy and Joanna Hynes to name just three. Our journalism graduates are working in the likes of the BBC, RTE and the Irish Independent. And our business graduates are working in everything from stockbroking firms to data analytics. 

Take a look at what's on offer at Griffith College

If you are interested in studying at Ireland's largest independent third-level college then take a look at some of the great courses we have on offer.