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. Details of reserved places for entry in 2023.

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 Disability Support Service (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:

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.  If you are eligible 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 receive an offer after round 1, please contact 01 220 5008 to avail of supports.

Points reductions

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 our courses webpage.

DARE Terms & Conditions:

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

Contact Us

Tel: 01 220 5008/5097