Information for Parents/Guardians

Information for Parents/Guardians

Over the past number of months, we are very mindful that leaving cert students and their parents have endured a lot of uncertainty due to COVID 19. As an Institute, we want to reassure you that we will continue to support you throughout this difficult time. Our dedicated staff will be on hand over the coming months to put your mind at ease and help you make the step into third level education. We are all in this together.

The decision making process when it comes to a prospective student selecting their college and course can be stressful but given the current situation we are aware that is extremely difficult. We understand picturing a ‘normal life’ without COVID-19 is difficult right now, but as an institute we want to support student and parents through these difficult times and offer as much guidance as needed.

Parents/Guardians are key influencers when it comes to the future of your son or daughter. We are very much aware of the pressures parents/guardians currently face given the restrictions, therefore we want to remove some of the pressure surrounding third level decisions by offering you a helping hand.  

Typically at this time of year, we would be busy meeting students and their parents for campus tours, accommodation showings, staff meet ups and advice sessions. However, this year we are not in a position to physically meet with you. However, we are in a position to do this virtually. We're also available to answer your questions in relation to all things AIT on any of our social media channels so let us know what we can do to help.

You can email us directly with any questions you may have at:

  • Message from our President | Prof. Ciarán Ó Catháin

    I am delighted that you are considering AIT for this next phase of your studies. This is a particularly exciting time for you to join us, as we prepare to open our doors as Ireland’s newest technological university. 

    Over the course of our 50-year history, we have established ourselves as a centre of academic excellence with an applied, industry-focussed offering, world-class research and development capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities. Becoming a TU will enable us to further build upon that capacity and offer new and exciting opportunities to you, the next generation of innovators, business leaders and creative thinkers.  

    Home to more than 6,000 undergraduate students from 66 nations around the world, AIT is renowned for its warm, friendly and inclusive campus culture which supports students in reaching their full potential. This student-centred ethos is the cornerstone of our success, and our students report the highest levels of satisfaction with their college experience in Ireland. 

    It is this exceptional student experience, along with our focus on applied learning, strong industry partnerships and innovation activities, which led to us being named Ireland’s Institute of Technology of the Year for 2020. This is the second time in just three years that we have secured the prestigious accolade, having previously held the title in 2018. 
    With a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to choose from, AIT has a qualification to suit everyone. We offer more than 60 industry-focussed undergraduate programmes, ranging from higher certificate right through to honours bachelor’s degrees and beyond. We also offer several scholarships to support students in their studies, including our Scholarship of Excellence and Elite Sports Scholarship. Earning a high-quality qualification has never been so accessible. 

    Our programmes have been developed in close partnership with industry and produce graduates that are agile, adaptable and ready to hit the ground running when they enter employment. As a graduate of a TU, you can expect to enjoy excellent employment prospects, both at home and abroad.

    I hope you join us for the next chapter of our journey, as we prepare to become Ireland’s next technological university 

    Wishing you every success, 

    Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin


  • Student Supports | We help you every day through out your journey

    Tutor support

    AIT continually invests in the academic success, progression and retention of our students by employing highly qualified tutors to coach and support studentsthrough their studies on a no-cost basis. Support is provided to all undergraduate students in: maths, programming, software engineering, accounting, finance, marketing, management, economics, chemistry, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, ecotoxicology, analytical toxicology, quality control and experimental design.

    Academic writing centre

    Students can avail of one-to-one and group academic writing workshops to help build their writing skills. The centre is geared towards students of all writing ability. We aim to build students’ confidence and competence in their writing ability and writing skills. Note: Timely study skills seminars are provided throughout the year for all students.

    Disability and learning support service

    AIT is committed to ensuring that all applicants are given access to learning and the relevant supports to help them complete their studies successfully. We have a team of highly qualified educational support staff who are on hand to provide one-to-one support and tuition to students with disabilities and/or specific learning difficulties.

    Disability & assistive technology

    AIT takes great pride in leading the way in the sector with our Assistive Technology Centre for students with disabilities and or specific learning difficulties. Students are encouraged to engage with and use the assistive technology facilities as a way of encouraging independent learning. These technologies are also used for exams giving students greater autonomy.

  • Students Health | Our dedicated team is here to help and support you

    Healthy campus
    The Healthy Campus initiative aims to support students reach their full potential by providing non-judgemental and up-to-date information in order to help them make informed decisions about their health and adapt healthy habits while in college. Looking after your health is important in life and a key part of academic achievement and success. The Healthy Campus initiative is between the HSE and AIT and provides information, support and direction on all aspects of health. A number of programmes and workshops are offered throughout the year and are promoted through the Healthy Campus Office, Students’ Union and social media. We work towards enabling people to engage in healthy habits and improve their overall

    Student health service 

    The student health service provides on-campus medical care to registered students and apprentices in a confidential, professional and courteous manner. Our service is nurse-led and provides both physical and mental health services as well as health promotion and supportive measures to assist you in ways that keep you committed to your studies. Services are available from Monday to Friday throughout the academic year and are provided as an addition to your own GP or specialist medical service.

    Counselling service

    AIT Student Counselling Service offers a professional psychological counselling service free of charge to registered full-time students of AIT. Counselling is provided by a team of professionally qualified counsellors/ psychotherapists and a psychologist. We work in an integrated way with the Students’ Union, Healthy Campus
    project and the Health Centre to promote mental health and student well-being.

    What is counselling?  Counselling provides a safe, supportive and confidential environment in which students can discuss any emotional or psychological difficulties they may be experiencing. The counsellor will use their training and expertise to help you clarify what issues are impacting on you and your life, and then facilitate exploration of how you can find better or different ways to live and different perspectives.

    What issues do counsellors deal with?  The short answer is everything, really! We deal with a wide range of issues including: depression, anxiety/panic attacks, mental health problems, bereavement and loss, interpersonal or relationship problems, family difficulties, self-esteem, sexual trauma/ rape /sexual abuse, academic issues, eating disorders and substance misuse. Whatever your issue, if you are in emotional distress we encourage you to seek help.


    The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors in higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) Code of Ethics and Practice. This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your express permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety, including suicidal intent, risk to a minor, and threats to lives of others.

  • Welfare | Supporting students through challenging times

    Your welfare and well-being is very important to AIT. College life is exciting but it is not without challenges and our students consistently tell us they are treated with the utmost respect and care when they need it most.

    Pastoral care service

    The overall objective of the pastoral care service is to make life in AIT as meaningful and as enjoyable as possible and to create a spirit of cooperation and personal care. AIT is
    a diverse community which brings huge richness to the student experience and which is celebrated by students and staff alike.

    Students are invited to visit the pastoral care residence outside working hours and volunteers to assist with the running of the services are always welcome. An emergency
    service is provided in the event of sudden illness, family or personal problems. Mass is celebrated each weekday in the institute interdenominational space.

    Access office

    The work of the Access Office is centred around encouraging and supporting mature students and people from socioeconomic or educationally disadvantaged groups in progressing to third level in the form of pre-entry and post-entry activities. Pre-entry activities include an Access Course and a number of collaborative projects across the region. In terms of post-entry, this office administers the Student Assistance Fund which may provide financial assistance to qualifying students attending AIT.

  • About Our Programmes

    When you apply to AIT, you will note that many of our programmes are available through two modes of delivery: The Ladder System or the Ab initio route. The Ladder System, also referred to as an Add-On, describes how you can progress from one qualification to a higher level award. For example, if you obtain a higher certificate (level 6), you may progress to an “Add-On” ordinary bachelor’s degree (level 7) and subsequently to an honours bachelor’s degree (level 8). The levels refer to the standing of the award on the National Framework of Qualifications.

    The Ladder System gives you considerable flexibility to take time out between qualifications to work, to move between one institution and another as you climb the ladder, and to choose between different specialisations in your chosen area of study. Progression charts for specific courses within each faculty are provided throughout the prospectus.

    The alternative path toward obtaining a qualification is known as Ab Initio. This is the Latin for ‘from the beginning’. It describes programmes which allow you to progress directly to award stage. For example, if you undertake an Ab initio bachelor’s degree, you receive that qualification on successful completion of the relevant 3 or 4-year programme. Many of the courses at AIT are offered under different learning modes. These include full-time, part-time, ACCS, open learning and distance learning.

    Award titles

    A parallel system of referring to awards is in place: one refers to the level of the award, while the other is for its formal title. The former National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), now Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), established a framework (above) for the development, recognition and award of qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skill or competence acquired by students. The National Framework of Qualifications provides a level for every award made in its jurisdiction, which are as follows:


    • Awarding bodies/course accreditation
    • Modularisation
    • ACCS
    • Industrial/clinical placements (Internships)
    • Quality Assurance

    CAO programmes

    The CAO handbook provides full details on the application procedure. You should read the handbook carefully and follow the directions given. Neither AIT nor the CAO accepts responsibility for any mistakes made, or the consequences of such mistakes, if correct procedures are not followed.

    For most applicants, the procedures outlined in the CAO handbook are sufficient to help ensure the completion of the application process. Further information is available online at
    Application for year 1 of undergraduate programmes must be made to the Central Applications Office, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway.

    Tel: 091 509 800
    Fax: 091 562 344

  • CAO Guide

    Entry dates for CAO applications September 2021

    Closing date: 1 February 2021
    Late closing date: 1 May 2021
    Change of mind date: 1 July 2021
    Exceptional change of mind applicants:
    Closing date 22 July 2021.


    Deferred entry – CAO programmes

    The institute will facilitate successful applicants who wish to postpone entry for a year. The procedure is as follows:

    1. Applicants should not accept the offer through the CAO,
    2. Applicants wishing to defer their offer of a place at AIT should write directly to the institute’s Admissions Office, or email seeking a deferral and setting out the reason for the request. The letter, or email, should arrive not later than two days before the reply date for the offer.


    • Deferred applicants on the BA (Hons) and/or BA in Graphic and Digital Design or the BA (Hons) in Animation and Illustration are not required to re-submit a portfolio of work.
    • Deferred applicants (mature) for the BSc (Hons) in General Nursing and the BSc (Hons) in Psychiatric Nursing are not required to retake the written assessment.
    • Any grant or scholarship offered in the current year may not be available in the year that studies are commenced if regulations governing the award of that grant or scholarship change during the period of deferral.


    Leaving Certificate points system

    Points are calculated on the basis of the six best subject results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate examination. See new Common Points Scale. AIT will award a single standard 25 bonus points for all higher level maths grades H6 and above, irrespective of the grade achieved. There will be no bonus points awarded for grade H7 or H8. Applicants to the CAO will, as previously, count the score from their six best subjects. If higher level maths is not among these six subjects, the bonus points should not be included in the total point score.


    Foundation level subject

    Foundation level Irish at grade F2 meets the minimum language requirement. No points are awarded.

    Foundation level mathematics at minimum grade F2 will be accepted as meeting the minimum mathematics requirements for entry to the following courses:

    AL864 Bachelor of Arts (Hons)in Early Years Care and Education
    AL764 Bachelor of Arts in Early Years Care and Education
    AL765 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Social Care
    AL860 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Social Care Practice
    AL763 Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
    AL861 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Animation & Illustration
    AL863 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Graphic and Digital Design


    Scoring system for foundation level mathematics


    Programme (LCVP)

    The LCVP subject will be considered as a passing subject provided the student achieves at least a pass grade. This will apply to entry for a honours degree (level 8), ordinary degree (level 7) and higher certificate (level 6) courses.


    Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCAP)

    LCAP subjects do not meet minimum entry requirements for admission to academic courses and are not considered as passing subjects. Holders of the LCAP may wish to pursue a QQI level 5 programme in order to meet eligibility for entry to third level courses at AIT.


    New Common Points Scale

    In 2017, a new grade scheme was introduced for the Leaving Certificate. The new grade scheme, and how it aligns with the previous scheme, is set out below.


    Maths bonus points

    25 bonus points will be awarded for higher level mathematics for H6 grades and above. For example, if an applicant receives a H6 grade an additional 25 points will be added to the 46 points already awarded for a H6 grade i.e. higher level mathematics now carries a points score of 71 for this applicant.


    What points are given for the LCVP?


    Are there bonus points for maths?

    25 bonus points will continue to be awarded for higher level mathematics for H6 and above.


    Q: Can I apply through the CAO in 2021 with a Leaving Certificate from 2016 or earlier?


    All students applying through the CAO from 2017 will be awarded points under the new scale, no matter when they sat the Leaving Certificate.

    The points available under the new scale cannot be compared with the points awarded previously.

    Full details of the points awarded to pre-2017 Leaving Certificate students can be found on

    The current equivalence between the points awarded for QQI Further Education and Training will be maintained in line with the new scale. Full details of the revised points for these awards can be found at

    Q: Have basic matriculation requirements also changed?

    Answer: As a result of the new Leaving Certificate grades, revised basic matriculation requirements have also been introduced, as follows:

    Where the requirements called for 2 higher level C3 grades and 4 ordinary level D3 grades, in 2017, these will become 2 H5 and 4 O6/H7 grades.

    Where the requirements called for 5 ordinary level D3 grades, these have become 5 O6/H7 grades.

    Candidates should also note that for high demand courses at AIT, there is a limit to the number of places reserved for QQI applicants. Random selection may apply in certain circumstances.

    For entry to year 1 programmes at AIT, all QQI level 5 and QQI level 6 awards will be scored to deliver a maximum of 390 CAO points.

    A QQI Component Certificate/Record of Achievement is not sufficient to gain entry to courses at AIT; candidates must have achieved a full QQI certificate (major award).

    A major award may be accumulated over more than one academic year. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply to QQI for a major award where courses are taken over more than one year.

    Due to the competitive nature of both General and Psychiatric Nursing, scores will only be calculated when the appropriate award is presented in a single sitting, together with all the required modules and grades.

    For programmes with a specific QQI quota (i.e., General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Heath Science with Nutrition, Sports Science with Exercise Physiology, Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapy, Dental Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Nursing, Early Years Care and Education, Social Care Practice, Applied Social Studies), the QQI results are considered in Round 0 (early August). Your QQI scores will not normally be considered after Round 0 where a quota applies.

    For programmes where no specific quota applies, QQI scores are included in the order of merit list of all applicants presenting school leaving examinations, and initial offers are issued in Round 1. QQI results will not be added to Leaving Certificate results. If you have taken both exams, the exam in which you have achieved the highest points will be used for non-quota places.
    Graduates of QQI Level 6 awards intending to apply for a place at AIT should contact the institute in advance for more information in relation to the exemptions available to award holders.

  • Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

    AIT welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities/specific learning difficulties. Our aim is to ensure that all applicants are offered an opportunity to enter third-level education and to complete their studies successfully.

    Applicants should apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO) and indicate on the application that they have a disability/specific learning difficulty which is the basis for seeking reasonable accommodations or support in either the application process or their college course.

    Applicants applying for DARE must:
    1. Be under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2021.
    2. Apply to CAO by 5.15 p.m. on 1 February 2021.
    3. No later than 5.15 p.m. on 1 March 2021, disclose your disability and/ or specific learning difficulty in your CAO application and fully and correctly complete Section A of the Supplementary Information Form (SIF).
    4. Download Section B of the SIF (Educational Impact Statement), have it completed by your school and returned to CAO to arrive by 5.15 p.m. on 15 March 2021.
    5. Download Section C of the SIF (Evidence of Disability), have it completed by the appropriate medical professional (only if you do not already have a report verifying your disability) and returned to CAO to arrive by 5.15 p.m. on 15 March 2021.

    In place of Section C, applicants with a specific learning difficulty or dyspraxia are asked to provide a full psycho-educational assessment completed by an appropriately qualified psychologist. In addition, applicants with dyspraxia must provide documentation from an occupational therapist, neurologist or physiotherapist.


    DARE has specific requirements for Section C (Evidence of Disability) in relation to the Medical Consultant/ Specialist who must verify your disability, the age limit on reports and the documentation required.

    *If you wish to be considered for the DARE scheme you must answer yes to question 1 on Section A of the fully completed SIF by 5:15pm on 1 March 2021.
    More Information on DARE is available from your school guidance counsellor or AIT’s Disability Support Service Co-ordinator, Bernie Langtry (Telephone + 353 (0)90 646 8142 and email Information can also be found on:, and

  • Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

    HEAR is a college and university admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who have completed the Irish Leaving Certificate. Eligible students compete for a quota of reduced points places in the colleges involved with HEAR. Students who gain a college or university place through HEAR also get a range of personal, academic and social supports while they are studying at third level.

    Eligibility to apply for HEAR
    HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January of year of entry to college who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. HEAR applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support. For more information, please visit the HEAR website: Applications to

    HEAR can only be made online through the CAO before February 1.

    • AIT’s Entry Requirements for a reduced points place:
    • Be eligible for HEAR,
    • Meet AIT’s minimum entry (matriculation) requirements,
    • Meet any specific entry requirements for the course you are applying for,
    • Achieve at least 90% of the Leaving Certificate points required for the course applied for,
    • Being eligible for HEAR does not guarantee you a reduced points place,
    • Admitted students may also be subjected to AIT and, where applicable, professional fitness to practice policies.

    How to apply to HEAR

    Students wishing to apply to HEAR should do so online through the CAO website by 1st February of the year of entry to college.

    The HEAR offer process

    Each college participating in HEAR sets aside a quota of places for HEAR students each year. In AIT, 15% of places are reserved for non-traditional students i.e., socioeconomically disadvantaged, mature students and students with a disability. Therefore, on average HEAR students compete for 5% of reserved places in AIT. Students who are on or above the entry points are deemed to be merit candidates and automatically receive a AIT HEAR offer – this does not affect the quota for reduced points places.


    Prioritisation of applicants eligible for both DARE and HEAR

    In an effort to widen participation of the most under-represented groups, AIT prioritises applicants who are eligible for both DARE and HEAR entry routes and have met all the above criteria.


    Response to your application

    In the last week of June, the CAO will email you directly to let you know if you are eligible for HEAR. There is a Recheck facility if you feel there was an administrative error. You will receive details of the Recheck in late June of the year of your application.
    If your application is successful, the AIT Access Office will be in contact with you by email after you have accepted your CAO offer with details of your compulsory HEAR orientation.


    Supports available to HEAR students

    Along with existing Student Support Services, the Access Office will endeavour to provide academic, personal and social supports to students. In addition, you should apply separately for the Higher Education Maintenance Grant through SUSI at

    Closing dates:

    Completed Application Form: 1 February each academic year as part of your CAO application. Financial Documentation in Support of your Application: 15 March each academic year, to be submitted to the CAO.

    To find out more information about the HEAR scheme, please visit: or contact Theresa Ryan, Access Officer.