The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  

The Disability Access Route (DARE) is an admissions scheme to promote equity of access to higher education for school leavers with a disability.

UCD has a reserved number of places to offer eligible HEAR and DARE students.  UCD allows eligible applicants to compete for places with a reduction of approximately 15% off the published points for the course they wish to enter.   There are approximately 5% of UCD places reserved for HEAR eligible applicants and 5% for DARE eligible applicants.

You must meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for one of the reduced points places. 

For 2016 entry student who are both HEAR and DARE eligible or with a physical or sensory disability will be prioritised when allocating reduced points places. 

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Link to admissions page for further information on how HEAR and DARE places are allocated in UCD.


Places and post-entry support:

As well as being allocated a place on a reduced points basis, students who secure a place through HEAR or DARE are offered a variety of academic, personal and social supports while studying at third level such as:

  • An orientation programme to introduce students to university.
  • Budgeting and goal setting meetings.
  • Academic and exam accommodations.
  • Advice regarding grants and scholarships.
  • Mentoring.
  • Assistive technology.
  • Academic Skills workshops
  • Social gatherings.

Students can apply online at the CAO website from early November 2016. Students wishing to apply to the HEAR and/or DARE Schemes must have done so before the 1st February 2017.

Further information on both schemes can be found on

Information Sessions

13th October in Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town; 7-9pm

9th November in Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford; 7-9pm

23rd Novemeber in Sutherland School of Law (room L024), UCD, Dublin; 7-9pm


One to One Application Clinics

18th January 2017 in Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford; 2-7pm

21st January 2017 - Nationwide