How To Apply

Application Guide

Standard applicants

CAO Application System

Detailed information on how to apply to the first year of IT Sligo’s full-time programmes through the CAO system is available from the CAO office.

You can get a CAO application pack from your guidance counsellor at school or from the CAO. You can also apply online at or by writing to:

Central Applications Office (CAO)
Tower House
Eglinton Street
T: 091 509 800

The closing date for applications from IRISH CITIZENS AND EUROPEAN UNION CITIZENS IS 1st February.

Late Applicants

The closing date for late applications in the CAO system is 1st May.   The Institute of Technology, Sligo, accepts late applicants.  Please note the late application conditions for non-traditional applicants below.

Mature and other Non-Traditional Applicants

A mature student is someone who is aged 23 or older on January 1st of the calendar year of application to third level education.

Non-traditional applicants are applicants who wish factors other than Leaving Certificate results to be taken into account when being assessed for admission to the Institute. They would include mature applicants, applicants with a special need, applicants who are not Irish Citizens or who have academic qualifications other than the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination.

Applicants applying on a mature years basis are not required to possess the minimum entry requirement and are assessed by interview. Interviews are normally held in early May. The interview process assesses people under such headings as appropriateness and level of education to date, work experience, motivation, knowledge of career choice, relevance of course choice to career objectives and general suitability for third level education. Candidates are notified of the outcome of their interview within two weeks of taking the interview.

The CAO also accepts ‘late applications’ before a May 1st closing date.  A second round of interviews takes place in late summer in IT Sligo, where late mature student applicants are called for interview. These applicants are advised to contact the Admissions Office on +353 (0) 71 9137323 with their CAO Number to ensure they are invited to the first round of mature student interviews.

Please note the Access Officer, Catherine McNelis, can be contacted on 071-9155381 or by e-mail on

Mature Student Summer School – “A good start is half the work”

In order to allay some of the fears and anxieties experienced by many mature students, mature applicants who have been away from formal education for long periods are offered an opportunity to participate in the Mature Student Summer School.  This free two week Summer School is offered as a support to the applicant rather than as a condition of offer and runs for the two weeks immediately prior to the beginning of semester one.  Students receive tuition in Mathematics, Communications Skills and Computer Applications and attend workshops relating to the transition to full-time third level studies.

A free two day summer school is also being offered to mature students who have completed the Leaving Certificate or a FETAC Level 5 or equivalent. These students may already be familiar with full-time education, but this programme will offer them workshops in the areas of study skills, exam techniques, communication skills, financial management and other topics relevant for making this transition.

For further information contact:

Catherine Mc Nelis, Access Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 71 9305381 or


Foundation Certificate Applicants

Applicants with Foundation Certificates from the Institute of Technology, Sligo or other third-level institutions, should contact the admissions office on 071- 9155379 in order to be called for interview as a non-traditional applicant once application has been made to the CAO.

FETAC Graduates

Applicants who have spent at least one year on a recognised PLC course validated by FETAC can be considered for entry. Applications should be made through the CAO. Applicants who have completed a full FETAC award since 2002 or are in the process of completing a full FETAC award in 2012/13 should follow the FETAC instructions on page two of the CAO application form and enter their PPS number in the relevant box. As indicated previously, applicants who have achieved their full award over more than one academic year must apply to FETAC for a full award.

Applicants who completed a full FETAC award before 2002 should tick the NCVA level 2/3 box on page three of the CAO application form and complete further details on page four since these courses cannot be automatically rated by the CAO.

In addition, applicants must forward a copy of these results to the Academic Administration Office before the end of June.

FETAC applicants must compete for course places with other FETAC applicants and Leaving Certificate applicants alike. FETAC quotas and a requirement for an award to be achieved in a single sitting may apply for certain courses.

The CAO will assess your results automatically and make course offers to you if you attain sufficient points for your chosen programme.

The same general entry requirements apply to FETAC students as Leaving Cert students. That means you must get sufficient points and meet the Mathematics requirements of the course you are interested in. Please note that for FETAC applicants, the Mathematics requirement can be met by obtaining a pass in the FETAC level 5 or 6 Maths module or by getting a B2 or higher in Foundation Maths. For Engineering courses, please check with the Admissions Office for any special requirements.

Britain and northern Ireland Applicants

For entry to IT Sligo degree programmes minimum entry requirements and a points system apply.   Applicants must hold GCSE Maths and English at grade C or higher.  The points required for entry to a course are determined by the level of demand on course places.   As a guide, entry to Level 7 will require at least 200 points and entry to Level 8 will require at least 300 points.   Please note that AS subjects are only considered if the subject is not continued to A2.  Applied A Levels (AVCE) are treated in the same was as A Levels.

Points scoring system:

The scoring system for A Levels is as follows:

A Level

CAO Points


AS Level

CAO Points  























 Alternative qualifications for entry to Bachelor Degree Programmes:

IT Sligo accepts BTEC National Award Level 3 and Access Diplomas as alternative qualifications for admission to first year Bachelor Degree (Level 7) programmes.

Find out more about UK applicants here.

Applicants with Disabilities

As with every other student, Institute of Technology Sligo is committed to ensuring that students with a disability or medical condition are supported to achieve their true potential in their studies by providing every reasonable accommodation to meet their specific needs.

Many students with disabilities will gain entry to third level through the standard route.  However, IT Sligo reserves a number of places each year for students with disabilities who cannot compete equally in the Leaving Certificate or FETAC Examinations and who do not achieve the necessary points through the standard route.

All applicants must achieve at least the minimum entry requirements for any course.

Applying to Institute of Technology Sligo as a person with a disability/ medical condition
Institute of Technology Sligo reserves a number of places on each course listed in the CAO handbook for applicants receiving special consideration on the basis of disability or medical condition.

It is the Institute’s policy to shortlist applicants who indicate a disability / medical condition for this special consideration on the basis of information supplied through the CAO.

Applicants may be offered a place on their chosen course(s) on (a) the standard leaving certificate points, (b) 110% of the points achieved or (c) the minimum entry requirements for any particular course.

Information supplied by applicants to the CAO by April 1st is forwarded to Institute of Technology Sligo and short listing follows this. Only applications that include a completed a) Evidence of Disability Form or Educational Psychological Assessment from within the past three years and a Second-level Academic Reference completed by the school are considered for short listing.

Applicants who have already deferred a place or who are processed through the mature applicant applications are also omitted from this short listing. Short-listing is undertaken solely in relation to the disability of the applicant, no consideration is given to the order of preference of an application to Institute of Technology Sligo or the geographical location from which one applies. Shortlisted applicants are invited to interview in early May and informed of the decision of the interview panel within a few weeks. Offers are made through the CAO.

Preparing for entry into Institute of Technology Sligo
All applicants to Institute of Technology Sligo who have indicated a disability or medical condition will receive correspondence from the Access Office in relation to the disability services in the Summer before entry.

Applicants with severe disability will also be invited to a support and information session (usually in July) where the supports that they require on entry to Institute of Technology Sligo will be identified. Applicants with dyslexia or a specific learning difficulty will receive this correspondence in the days following the first round of CAO offers and an information and support session takes place in the week prior to registration.

On entering Institute of Technology Sligo
It is the responsibility of every student with a disability or special need to make contact with the Access Officer at the beginning of each academic year so that their needs can be reviewed. The Institute of Technology Sligo cannot take responsibility for failing to support a student, where that student has not identified their needs to the Access Officer. Supports for students with disabilities are continuously being developed and it is important that students make themselves aware of these developments.

In registering with the Access Officer, student and the Access Officer will agree an individual support plan tailored to the specific requirements of that student with referrals to other members of college staff only as appropriate.

Supports provided by the Access Office to students with disabilities / medical conditions include:

  • Development of an individual support plan in relation to a student’s participation at Institute of Technology Sligo
  • Liaison with members of academic and examination staff
  • Application as appropriate to the Department of Education and Science Fund for Students with Disabilities
  • Ordering and maintenance of appropriate assistive technology equipment
  • Organisation and provision of appropriate personal and additional academic support
  • Dyslexia screening and learning support

For further information contact:-

  • Catherine Mc Nelis, Access Officer, IT Sligo, Telephone:- +353 (0) 71 9305381 or
  • Andrea Rynn, Learning Support Tutor, IT Sligo, Telephone:- +353 (0) 71 9155400 or

Breaking the Mould Access Programme

The Breaking the Mould Access Programme is designed for students who have the academic ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who are under-represented at third level due to a variety of social and economic reasons, including long-term unemployment, low family income or little or no tradition of progression onto higher education.

The opportunity to participate in the Breaking the Mould Access Programme is available to students aged 22 and under, attending a post primary school or educational centre within the BMW region, which encompasses counties  Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

Breaking the Mould

Breaking the Mould will offer eligible students a place in their chosen course if they achieve:

a) minimum entry requirements for that course (eg. mathematics requirement or two honours for a Level 8 programme) and

b) within 10% of the points required for that course.

A bursary will also be offered to eligible students to assist them with the costs associated with making the transition to third level studies. A free Summer School transition programme will be provided immediately prior to registration for participating students to ensure that they benefit fully from higher education. One to one mentoring will also be provided to participating students during their first year.

Who is Eligible to Apply for Breaking the Mould ?

To be eligible for Breaking the Mould, applicants must be:

  • An EU citizen by birth or naturalisation
  • A non EU citizen with permission to remain in Ireland with a letter from the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform, stating this
  • Resident in Ireland or another EU country for three of the last five years
  • Aged 22 years or under on 1st January  of the calendar year of application
  • A first time CAO applicant who is a :

a) First time Leaving Certificate student or

b) FETAC Level 5 student who has previously undertaken the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme or

c) Current FETAC Level 5 student who has never completed the Leaving Certificate.

  • Family income must be dependent on social welfare or on a low income. In cases of addiction, long term illness of a parent or sibling or any other circumstance within the family which reduces the income available or which discourages a student from progressing to third level studies must be confirmed by letter.  This must contain details validating the circumstances of the student and should be written by one of the following persons who must not be a relative: member of clergy, medical professional, practising lawyer, notary public / commissioner for oaths, peace commissioner, a member of the Garda Suíochána or school principal.  Currently, the income ceiling for eligible applicants is a family income of €30,500 for the previous year.


Application for all first year places on courses at Institute of Technology, Sligo is made to the Central Applications Office (CAO), Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway, tel: +353(0) 91 509800,

  • A separate Breaking the Mould Application Form must be completed and returned directly to Institute of Technology, Sligo by 5:00pm, 28th February.
  •  Applicants must submit financial documentation in support of their application by 5:00pm, 1st April.
  • A Referee Report must be completed by the school and returned by 5:00pm,  1st April.
  • IT Sligo is not part of the HEAR programme.
  • Applicants are also asked on the application form to commit to the two week Summer School Transition Programme.

To download an application pack please click on the following:

Step 1: Click here for Information Brochure

Step 2: Click here for Application Form

Step 3: Click here for Referee Report

Step 4: Click here for Guidelines to Complete Application

Entry Requirements

Minimum academic requirements for each course as outlined in the Institute’s prospectus are required byBreaking the Mould applicants. For example, eligible Breaking the Mould applicants must achieve two honours in their Leaving Certificate for entry into a Level 8 programme.


All offers of first year places at Institute of Technology, Sligo are made through the CAO based on the student’s CAO list of course preferences. At the same time that Round One offers are being made through the CAO, the Access Office in Institute of Technology, Sligo will communicate directly with the applicant to let him/her know if an offer of a Breaking the Mould place will be made.  The two week Summer School Transition Programme is expected to commence in the last week of August.

Financial Information

The free tuition fees scheme of the Department of Education entitles EU students and some non EU citizens to free tuition on all full-time undergraduate programmes at Institute of Technology, Sligo. Breaking the Moulddoes not cover tuition fees and applicants must satisfy the Access Office at Institute of Technology, Sligo that they are eligible for free fees.

Breaking the Mould Access students are normally eligible for a Higher Education Grant. Information is available from and  Applications for third level grants can be made online

A registration fee set by the Minister for Education and Skills is payable annually. For 2014/15 academic year, this fee will be €2,750. If deemed eligible for a maintenance grant, the registration fee will also be paid by the local authority.

Final Word

Finally, we would like to offer a word of encouragement to prospective Breaking the Mould applicants as you learn about our Institute and programmes of study. May you find satisfaction in your chosen programme of studies whether in IT Sligo or elsewhere, and may we wish you every success in the future.

For Further Information contact:

Ann McCauley, Breaking the Mould Coordinator

P: +353 (0) 71 9137355


Direct Applications/Add-On and Transfer Applications

The Institute’s Higher Certificate and Ordinary Degree qualifications are designed to be terminal qualifications and to prepare people for employment. However, a significant number of students use these qualifications to transfer to Ordinary Degree or Honours Degree Courses in the Institute of Technology, Sligo and other Institutes of Technology and Universities. Students should be aware that the decision to admit transfers is totally at the discretion of the receiving institution. The V.E.C. Scholarship and Local Authority Higher Education Grant regulations facilitate such transfers within the State. See our Application Guide for further details.

At IT Sligo we offer our undergraduate students a broad choice of programmes across Higher Certificate, Bachelor Degree, and Honours Bachelor Degree Levels.

If you wish, after you graduate you can also study at Master’s and Doctoral level at IT Sligo, depending on your subject area and qualifications.

All of our programmes fit within the National Framework of Qualifications – the official system of qualifications in Ireland.

The Framework describes and links awards and provides clarity to employers, learners and the public on the system of education and training in Ireland. The Framework of qualifications consists of 10 levels and its transparent nature allows you to compare and contrast qualifications, here in Ireland and Internationally. It also assists employers in recognising and understanding the level and standard of qualifications.

The ‘Ladder System’ enables you to progress from one qualification to the next, right up to PhD level depending on your academic achievements.

IT Sligo offers programmes that include each of the levels on the ladder below.

How Does Progression Work?
Whatever level you enter a programme, you can choose to graduate at that level or you can progress to the next level, providing of course you get the required grades.

To illustrate what this means, if you enter at Higher Certificate Level 6 you can choose to either graduate with a Higher Certificate or, you can progress on to Level 7 and beyond. Every student in IT Sligo can progress to at least level 8 (Hons) degree.

Add-on Information Sheet 2014 15

Transfer Applications

Applicants who wish to apply to transfer into any of the following courses should apply directly to the Admissions office by down loading the application form attached below.


Transfer Application Form 1516

Social Studies Applicants

Applicants wishing to transfer into year 2 or 3 of the BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Caremust  download the below transfer Application Form. This also includes a Placement Reference Form.  This  Reference Form must be completed by the college tutor who supervised your placement.  Applications will notbe considered without the Placement reference.

HETAC have drafted standards for Social Care students, see

One of the stipulations is that a total of 800 hours of appropriately supervised social care placement must be successfully passed before a student can graduate. As our students complete 400 hours in each of years 2 and 3, this means that any student who hopes to transfer into year 3 must have already completed at least 400 hours placement in a social care context or otherwise it will not be possible to achieve minimum standards for HETAC.

Social Studies Transfer Application Form 1516

Postgraduate Progression
If you complete an Honours Bachelor Degree at Level 8 you can go on to study at postgraduate study.  More information on our postgraduate programmes at Master’s and Doctoral level are available in our prospectus.

International (Non-EU) Citizens

International applicants (including Erasmus and Socrates should apply directly to the Institute’s International Office (not to the CAO): Ms Eileen Gillen Tel: +353 71 91 37347, Fax: +353 71 91 44500,

Original documentation with translation, where required, should be submitted to the Institute to indicate the level of achievement in academic examinations which are regarded as equivalent to Ireland’s Leaving Certificate. Oral and written proficiency in the English language is essential. Tuition Fees for International (Non-EU) Citizens are €11,500 per annum for Higher Certificate, Ordinary Degree and Honours Degree programmes. This includes the Institute’s registration/exam fee. The annual increase of these fees will be in line with the Department of Education and Science increase in tuition fees for the previous year. A quota of 5% of first year places is allocated to International (Non-EU) students.

For more information, visit our International Section here.

Garda Vetting

A number of programmes in the Institute of Technology, Sligo, especially in the areas of social work and education, require students to undertake placements that will bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults and in which they will assume positions of trust. To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust and confidence, the Institute is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes. The Institute of Technology, Sligo, will use the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) vetting service to assess the suitability of such applicants, and in some cases, may also require applicants to provide an enhanced disclosure by the completion of an affidavit.

Students with Criminal Convictions
A student with a criminal conviction should note that his/her conviction could affect his/her ability to secure placement on relevant courses. A student with a criminal conviction should note that his/her conviction affects his/her ability to secure placement on this course and as a result he/she is strongly advised not to apply for this course as the Institute accepts no responsibility if he/she is unable to complete his/her studies.