The DARE Scheme

What is the DARE scheme?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third-level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second-level education. It offers reduced points places to such school-leavers.

Detailed information is available on the DARE website.

Who can apply to DARE?

DARE is for school-leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January annually, who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education, but may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of a disability on their second-level education.

Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and other EU qualifications.

How do you apply to DARE?

You can apply to DARE online through the CAO by 1 February annually. Full instructions on how to apply are available on the DARE website.

How does the DARE scheme apply to TU Dublin?

Each DARE member institute or university applies the scheme slightly differently in terms of available places, points reductions and so on. TU Dublin  reserves 5% of places on all full-time undergraduate programmes to offer on a reduced-points basis to DARE-eligible students.

If you enter TU Dublin through the DARE scheme, you should register with the Disability Support Service at your local campus and undergo a needs assessment in order to receive the support you need during your time at the university. 

We cannot provide support to students who do not register with us. See our page for more information on how to register with the DSS.

The DARE Scheme is not available to Mature Students, Postgraduate Students or Part-time Students.

Reduced-points offers

To be considered for a reduced-points offer for TU Dublin programmes through the DARE scheme, you must apply to study at TU Dublin through the CAO, apply for DARE, and meet all of the following criteria:

  • be deemed DARE-eligible
  • meet the minimum entry requirements for your chosen programme of study
  • have gained at least 200 Leaving Certificate points

If you meet all of the above criteria, you may be considered for a reduced-points offer of a place on your chosen programme.

Please Note:

The Access Service in TU Dublin will only make reduced points offers in Round 1 for the below Entry Routes.  If you are eligible for one of these entry routes and receive an offer in a later CAO round, you will be supported by either the Access Service and/or the Disability Support Service.

If you are HEAR and/or Access TU Dublin eligible and receive a CAO offer after round 1, please contact 01 402 7625 to avail of supports from the Access Service.

If you are DARE eligible and receive a CAO offer after round 1, please contact 01 220 5008.

These numbers are for guideline purposes only and may vary from year to year.

The information in the following link is correct as of the 11th May 2022: TU Dublin CAO Codes HEAR DARE Access Places

Points reductions

  • For applicants who meet all of the above criteria, TU Dublin offers an approximate points reduction of 12.5% on the required points for each programme, subject to some rounding. Thus, you must achieve at least 87.5% of the points requirement for your preferred programme.
  • Example: If a programme’s points requirement is 320 points, applicants with 280 points or more may be considered for a reduced-points offer.
  • TU Dublin  prioritises offers to DARE-eligible students who:
    • have visual, hearing or physical disabilities
    • are also eligible for the HEAR scheme (click here for more details)
  • Reduced-points offers are first made to these prior applicants who achieve at least 87.5% of the points requirement and are nearest to the points requirement for their preferred programme.
  • Reduced-points offers are then made to any remaining applicants who achieve at least 87.5% of the points requirement and are nearest to the points requirement for their preferred programme.

Prioritisation – Disabilities

Research has found that students with physical/mobility disabilities, who are blind or visually impaired, or who are deaf or hard of hearing are particularly under-represented in higher education relative to all students with disabilities in Ireland.

To increase the numbers of DARE students with physical and sensory disabilities being admitted to higher education, the DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise these three groups when allocating reduced points places. Eligible applicants with physical and visual/hearing disabilities can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Prioritisation – DARE and HEAR

Research has also found that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face considerable challenges in terms of progressing to higher education in Ireland. To increase the number of students facing the double disadvantage of socio-economic disadvantage and disability, DARE and HEAR colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both DARE and HEAR when allocating reduced points places.

Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Important: Being DARE-eligible does not guarantee you a reduced-points offer.

Re-allocation of unused places

TU Dublin is a member of both the DARE and the HEAR schemes. In cases where reserved places for HEAR applicants have not been filled, these places may be offered to eligible DARE applicants. Similarly, in cases where reserved places for DARE applicants have not been filled, these places may be offered to HEAR applicants.

On-or-above points offers

DARE-eligible applicants who achieve more than or equal to the required points for their chosen programme may receive offers in the same manner as any other student and do not count against the 5% of places allocated for reduced-points offers. Such students must still meet the minimum entry requirements for their chosen programme and are encouraged to register with the DSS in order to receive support during their time at TU Dublin.

Minimum entry requirements & language waivers

All applicants to TU Dublin applying on the basis of their Leaving Certificate, regardless of whether they are DARE-eligible or not, or meet the points requirement or not, must meet the programme-specific minimum entry requirements for their chosen programme of study.

Some programmes in TU Dublin have a modern language as a minimum-entry requirement (e.g. International Business & Languages with French). If you do not meet this minimum-entry requirement, you cannot be considered for a place on such a programme, regardless of whether you’ve been granted a language waiver in the Leaving Certificate.

You’re strongly advised to consult the minimum-entry requirements for your chosen programme before applying through DARE and the CAO. Details of minimum-entry requirements for all programmes are available in the TU Dublin prospectus and the online courses webpage.

DARE Terms & Conditions: 2020 entry

To be considered for DARE, applicants must agree to the DARE terms and conditions below:

  • I have read, understood and will comply with the rules of the application as detailed in the DARE Application Guide.
  • I certify that the information I have supplied in my DARE application is correct. I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure that my application is submitted complete, correct and on time.
  • I understand that only:
    • information provided on my DARE application form by 1 March 2020 and
    • documentation received by the CAO by 1 April 2020 will be considered when determining the outcome of my DARE application.
  • I understand that my application will be assessed on the basis of the information which I supply.
  • Neither the CAO nor the colleges and universities will accept any responsibility for any loss or hardship arising from failure to supply correct and complete information at the appropriate time.
  • I understand that any of the information supplied as part of my DARE application is subject to verification. Where I am found to have given false declaration, I understand that I will be ineligible for DARE.
  • I understand that the colleges and universities participating in DARE reserve the right not to consider my application and cancel any offers of places in cases where requested information has not been provided or where falsifying or misleading information has been supplied.
  • I agree that my supporting documents may be reviewed by independent experts and that they will be treated confidentially.
  • I understand that if I am offered a DARE place, a condition of this offer is that I must register with the Disability Service and agree on a schedule of meetings with the service.
  • I understand that some details of my application will be used for research purposes, but that these details will always be anonymised and none of my personal data will be identified.

Contact Us

Disability Support Services 

Tel: 01 220 5008/5097