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Disability Access Route to Education Scheme

CIT is part of the DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) national admissions scheme which can allocate reduced points places to eligible school leavers under 23 years old with  learning differences, health conditions and disabilities on first year undergraduate courses.

CIT is also part of the HEAR Scheme (Higher Education Access Route) scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers who have experienced socio-economic disadvantage, and who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. See for more information or email

  • CAO - Please call the CAO helpdesk for information about your application on 091 509800  /
  • For specific CIT DARE/DSS queries, please read the information below on how DARE offers are made in CIT. We would also advise students and parents to attend a DARE application information session which goes through the application process for that year.
  • Email CIT DARE queries to  (please make sure to provide your name, date of birth and CAO number)


HOW DO I Apply for DARE?

  • For information about the process of applying to DARE and HEAR including the deadlines and criteria, please check the Access College website:
  • Please make sure to check the deadlines for each stage of the DARE application process.
  • We would encourage all applicants with learning differences/health conditions/ disabilities who apply through the CAO to indicate details of your learning difference/health condition/ disability on your CAO online application. Giving this information is confidential and will not adversely affect your application in any way.
  • CIT is committed to helping students to avail of its courses. Before choosing a course, applicants should contact the relevant department to discuss the demands of the course and check any minimum entry requirements of each course, such as levels of Maths, number of Honours subjects required, or any other requirements of a particular course such as a portfolio, entrance test or audition. Details are available in the CIT prospectus or at:

  • DARE applicants are informed by email/letter at the end of June if they are eligible or not for the DARE scheme. Full details of the Review and Appeals process is on the DARE website.

  • 2019 Changes to the DARE eligibility criteria  for Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) – (PDF)


Being eligible for DARE does not guarantee you a reduced points offer at CIT. You will be considered for a DARE reduced points place in CIT under certain criteria:

  • To be considered for a DARE reduced points place, eligible applicants must meet the minimum requirements of a course. Please check the individual requirements for each course that you are applying to:
  • Eligible applicants are then considered for places when they are within a 50 point band below the cut off point at the time when the DARE offers are made through the CAO.
  • Students with sensory disabilities (such as visual or hearing impairments) and students with physical disabilities will be prioritised when allocating DARE places.
  • DARE reduced points and merit offers are made through CAO in Round 1, and some reduced points offers are made in Round 2 if there are places still available.
  • Applicants who are eligible for both DARE and HEAR will also be eligible for priority places.

If you get a DARE reduced points offer this will appear as a regular offer online through the CAO. You will then receive an email from the DSS to inform you that you have received a DARE offer, and that if you accept the place you must register fully with the Disability Support Service and attend the DSS Orientation as part of the conditions of the DARE offer.


What DARE places are available in CIT?

CIT has a guideline quota of 5% of reduced points DARE places on all first year full time undergraduate courses. Most DARE students get enough points for the course of their choice each year.

To  see the guideline number of places available on each individual course in CIT, please download this document:

**Please use the above document as a guide for 2019 CIT DARE reduced points places available –  we will update the document by summer 2019.


Can I still get supports in CIT even if I am not eligible for DARE?

  • It is important to note that DARE is an admissions scheme and students may be eligible for supports even if they are not eligible for DARE.
  • We recommend that those students who are eligible for DARE and get enough points for their course should still register with the Disability Support Service (DSS).
  • Students who received a reduced points DARE place must register with CIT DSS as a condition of their offer.
  • Please note if students declare themselves through the CAO that they have a learning difference, health condition or disability, they must still register fully with the DSS in order to get supports if they come to CIT.
  • More information about the DSS support and registering for supports is available here and in our 2018/19 DSS Student Guide (PDF)

DARE ADVICE Clinics 2018/19

Every year the CIT Disability Support Service organises information evenings and advice sessions on the DARE application process:

  • CIT DARE 2018 application advice session - Tuesday 6th November 2018 6.30pm - 8.00pm IT3, Berkeley Building, CIT Bishopstown. Booking is essential -

  • CIT Open Day Friday 16th November 2018 10am - 3pm – CIT DSS will be running sessions on  DARE/DSS supports throughout the day and there will be a DARE/CIT DSS information stand in the CIT Nexus, Student Centre, (

  • CIT DARE application advice session  Wednesday 5th December 2018 6.30pm - 8.00pm  IT3, Berkeley Building, CIT Bishopstown. Booking is essential -

  • CIT DSS staff will be at the Cork DARE/HEAR Application Information Day, Saturday 19th January 2019, 10am- 2pm, @ Devere Hall, Student Centre, UCC.

  • CIT DSS will have short DSS/DARE information sessions at the CAO Information Evening on Thursday 2nd May 2019 6.00-8.00pm in CIT Bishopstown.

Please sign up to our mailing list to be alerted on the CIT DARE Clinics running every year.