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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 DARE Application Information Sessions (online)

Thursday 26 November 2020 and Tuesday 8th December 2020 @6.30pm. Book your place at

DARE talks poster - November/December 2020

  • For specific CIT DARE/DSS queries, please read the information below on how the number of DARE places available on each course and how DARE offers are made in CIT.
  • Email CIT DARE queries to  (please make sure to provide your name, date of birth and CAO number)


What DARE places are available in CIT?

CIT will merge with IT Tralee on 1 January 2021 to form Munster Technological University (MTU)

CAO applicants will apply separately to CIT and IT Tralee courses for 2021. The DARE schemes in each area will be allocated separately in 2021. Please check IT Tralee's DARE webpage for more details on their offers.

There is a guideline quota of 5% of reduced points DARE places and 5% of reduced points HEAR places on all first year full-time Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) undergraduate courses. The 2020 quota document will give you an indication of the places available for 2021 - this will be updated by summer 2021.



CIT has admissions criteria and procedure for making Reduced DARE offers. Below is a summary of the criteria - please read the full criteria document here (PDF) for more information - the 2019 criteria are still valid for 2020 and 2021.

Please note that being eligible for DARE does not mean that you automatically gain points or a reduced points place - you are considered with other DARE eligible applicants for a reduced points place. Most DARE students get enough points for the course of their choice each year.

  • Applicants must be eligible for DARE.
  • Applicants must matriculate – they must meet the minimum entry requirements for each courselisted on each individual course description:
  • Applicants are considered for Reduced DARE reduced points places if they are within a band of 50 points below the cut-off point on the date the DARE offers are made and only the applicant’s Leaving Certificate points will be considered.
  • Applicants must achieve a minimum of 200 CAO points.
  • Eligible DARE applicants under the Physical disability, Hearing impairment and Visual impairment categories will be offered priority Reduced DARE places.
  • Applicants who are eligible for both DARE and HEAR will also be eligible for priority 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.

Conditions of accepting a DARE reduced offer:

  • Applicants who accept a DARE reduced place MUST apply for suppports with the CIT Disability Support Service as a condition of their offer.
  • Applicants who accept a priority HEAR/DARE reduced points place MUST apply for suppports with the CIT Disability Support Service and attend the compulsory HEAR orientation and engage with their HEAR advisor in the CIT Access Service as a condition of their offer.

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 DSS supports even if they are not eligible for DARE.
  • Students who are eligible for DARE and get enough points for their course should still apply for supports with the Disability Support Service (DSS) if they need these.
  • If students declare themselves through the CAO that they have a learning difference, health condition or disability, they must still apply for supports with the DSS if they come to CIT.
  • Information about the CIT DSS and applying for supports is available here and in our DSS Guide to supports

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:

  • DARE 2021 Application Guide (2MB - PDF)
  • Check the deadlines for each stage of the DARE application process.
  • We encourage all applicants to indicate details of your learning difference/health condition/ disability on your CAO online application even if you may not be eligible for DARE. Giving this information is confidential and will not adversely affect your CAO application in any way.
  • Students and parents should attend a DARE application information session (see below).
  • 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 (using the email given in CAO application) and in your online CAO application at the end of June if they are eligible or not for the DARE scheme. Full details of the DARE Review and Appeals process is here:
  • CIT is 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 or the CIT HEAR webpage, for queries please email


CIT DSS provides information and advice on DARE at different events in the year:

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