DARE- Disability Access Route to Education Scheme

DARE logo

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. DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who, as a result of having a disability, have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education. School leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2025 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland can apply to DARE. 

Munster Technological University (MTU) lists both courses in MTU Cork campus and Kerry campus on the CAO. Please make sure to check the campus associated with the CAO course code when applying, as some courses have similar names/CAO codes.

For information about the process of applying to DARE and/or HEAR including the deadlines and criteria, please check the Access College website.




What DARE places are available in MTU Cork Campus?

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 MTU Cork campus undergraduate courses.

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.


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.

  • 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 so the DSS can contact you around supports. 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.
  • MTU 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. Details are available on the course pages at www.mtu.ie/courses/.
  • DARE applicants are informed of the outcome of their DARE application by the end of June; via email (to the email address given as part of their CAO application) and in their online CAO portal. 
  • Full details of the DARE Review and Appeals process is at https://accesscollege.ie/dare/review-appeals/.


How does MTU make DARE offers?

MTU has admissions criteria and procedure for making offers for Reduced DARE quota places.

Below is a summary of the criteria. You can read the full MTU DARE/HEAR procedure and criteria document (PDF) for more information .

  • Applicants must matriculate, i.e. they must meet the minimum entry requirements for each programme, including minimum scores in portfolio/entrance tests, 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 programme descriptor. See MTU course details here.
  • MTU will consider applicants up to 50 points below the CAO cut-off points for the relevant programme.
  • For a Level 8 programmes the applicant must achieve a minimum of 200 CAO points.
  • For a Level 7/6 programme the applicant must achieve a minimum of 160 CAO points.
  • The CAO points are based on Leaving Certificate results, A Levels and/or other EU qualifications.
  • Eligible DARE applicants under the categories of Blind / Vision Impaired, Deaf / Hard of Hearing, or Physical Disability are considered for priority reduced DARE places, if they meet all the above criteria for a chosen programme.
  • Eligible applicants who applied for both HEAR and DARE are considered for priority reduced HEAR places if they meet all the above criteria for a chosen programme. This will enable them to avail of HEAR supports which includes a bursary, in addition to DARE supports (where relevant).
  • 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:

Can I still get supports in MTU 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 (Disability Support Service) 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 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 MTU Cork campus.
  • Information about the MTU Cork campus DSS and applying for supports is available here and in our DSS Guide.


For any queries please email dareCork@mtu.ie