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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 or 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)
  • 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:

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:

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

What DARE places are available in CIT?

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. 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:


The 2019 CIT admissions criteria for Reduced DARE offers are:

  • Applicants must be eligible for DARE (DARE eligibility does not guarantee an offer of a college place, it means that an applicant is eligible to compete for a reduced points place).
  • Applicants must matriculate – they must meet the minimum entry requirements for each course, including minimum scores in portfolio/entrance tests, etc., maths and/or language requirements, number of subjects, medical examinations, and any other relevant programme requirements that all applicants must meet. These are listed 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.
  • Only the applicant’s Leaving Certificate points will be considered, and not any points calculated for portfolio, auditions, entrance tests, etc. (as these are part of the minimum requirements for a course).
  • 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, if they meet the all the requirements and are nearest to the cut off point for a chosen course. The remaining place(s) will be offered to the remaining DARE eligible applicants with the highest number of points below the cut-off point who meet the above criteria, if they meet the all the requirements and are nearest to the cut off point for a chosen course.
  • Eligible applicants for both the DARE and HEAR schemes will be offered priority HEAR reduced points places.
  • 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.

Re-allocation of Unused DARE/HEAR Reduced Places

In cases where the quota for DARE or HEAR Reduced points places has not been filled, these places may be offered to eligible DARE/HEAR applicants. For example where quota places for DARE applicants have not been filled, these places may be offered to HEAR applicants.

Conditions of accepting a DARE reduced offer

  • 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.
  • Applicants who accept a DARE reduced place MUST register with the CIT Disability Support Service as a condition of their offer.
  • Applicants who accept a priority HEAR/DARE reduced points place MUST register 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 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).
  • 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) *** This information will be updated for 2019/20 by mid August.

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.