Non-Standard Students

Carlow College, St. Patrick’s welcomes Applications from Non-Standard or Special Category Applicants who wish to be considered for entry to any of the College’s Degree progammes. Applicants who are not of mature years but who wish to have taken into account qualifications and/or achievements additional to, or alternative to, the Leaving Certificate may apply as a Non-Standard or Special Category Applicants through the CAO. Such qualifications may have been gained from other full or part-time study.

There are six categories, which are detailed on Page 3 of the CAO Application Form. Applicants who wish to be considered as a Non-Standard Applicant should tick the relevant box on Page 3 of the CAO form.

Applicants may be invited for interview for some programmes. Non-Standard 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 Non-Standard Applicants will be credited with the Leaving Certificate points that they may have obtained.

In addition, Applicants whose first language is not English must be able to provide evidence that their spoken and written level of English is adequate for the programme for which they have applied. Please see the English Language Requirements for Admissions for further information.

  1. The easiest way to apply to CAO is to use the online facility. Go to and click ‘Apply’. Applicants can also request a paper application by contacting the CAO directly.
  2. It is extremely important that all Non-Standard Applicants have registered with CAO before 1st February at 17:15.
  3. After the 1st February deadline, the Late Applications facility opens on 5th March. Applicants can make a late application, for a higher fee, until 1st May at 17:15.
  4. Applicants will be asked to tick the ‘Qualifications and Assessments’ section that is relevant to them. Non-Stanadard Applicants must tick the Non-Stabdard or Special Category Applicant box.
  5. After completing the online CAO application, including sections 1 – 11 of the Non-Standard Applicant Section, Applicants must post any supporting documentation, within seven days to: CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway.
  6. Applicants may be contacted by the College and called for interview.
  7. Applicants who are successful at interview and/or who satisfy the outlined requirements needed for entry for the programme, may receive an offer in early July (Round A).
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