MTU Cork Campus Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) 



MTU cork and the HEAR Scheme

MTU Cork is a member of the Higher Education Access Route- HEAR. MTU Cork Access Service looks after all HEAR students in MTU Cork.

MTU Cork Access Service is committed to widening particiaption in higher education among students who have experienced socio-economic disadvantage. MTU Cork is also a member of the Disability Access Route to Education- DARE; more information on DARE can be found at www.accesscollege.ie


What is HEAR?

HEAR is an alternative admission route which offers college places on a reduced points basis and extra supports to eligible school leavers who have experienced socio-economic disadvantage, and who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.

HEAR applicants must meet a number of indicators in order to be considered for reduction points and extra college supports; these include financial, social and cultural indicators.

The HEAR handbook 2022 is now available.

Click on the HEAR image below or log on via https://accesscollege.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/HEAR-2022-Handbook-WEB.pdf


HEAR Application information 2022 is now available; https://accesscollege.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/HEAR-2022-Information-4pp-WEB.pdf


A short HEAR information video can be found here; 

HEAR Information Video (MTU Cork Campus Access Service/UCC PLUS+) 


MTU Cork Campus Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) Admissions Criteria 2022

Who can apply for HEAR?

School leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2021 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland can apply to HEAR. Applications to HEAR can only be made online through the Central Applications Office (CAO) at www.cao.ie


How do I apply to HEAR?

  • 1 February 2022: You must apply online to CAO by 1 February 2021 at 17:15.
  • 1 March 2022: You must indicate in your CAO application that you want to apply for the HEAR scheme and fully complete all sections of the online HEAR application form no later than 1 March 2022 at 17:15.
  • 15 March 2022: You must post all requested supporting documentation to CAO no later than 15 March 2022 at 17:15

NB: To complete the HEAR application you must get help from your parents/guardians and use the HEAR handbook when answering all relevant questions on your online HEAR application.

This CAO online guide will assist you when making a HEAR application- www.cao.ie/index.php?page=videodh&l=377515382


Minimum Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet minimum entry requirements in order to be considered for reduced points for a chosen course, this includes where relevant (depending on the course) minimum scores for portfolios, entrance tests, maths, medical examinations and so on. These are listed on each course description and are available at www.mtu.ie/courses/cork


How will I know if I am HEAR eligible?

Students who apply to HEAR online through the CAO application will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of June.


How does the HEAR Scheme work in mtu cork Campus?

Each member institute/university of HEAR operates the HEAR scheme somewhat differently. To be considered for reduced points entry to MTU Cork Campus you must have applied to study in MTU Cork Campus (formerly CIT) through the CAO, have applied to HEAR online through the CAO and meet the following criteria:

  • You must be deemed HEAR eligible,
  • You must meet the minimum entry requirements for a chosen course (see above),
  • You must achieve at least 200 CAO points through the Leaving Certificate.

If you meet all of the above criteria you may be considered for a reduced points place in MTU Cork. 


Points reduction

Once an applicant meets all the above criteria MTU Cork Campus may offer up to a maximum of 50 points reduction on the required points for a chosen course.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE- Being HEAR eligible does not guarentee you a reduced points offer at MTU Cork Campus.


How are reduced points places offered at MTU Cork Campus?

  • Jointly HEAR and DARE eligible students are considered first

Research has shown that students who have a disability and who have also experienced socio-economic disadvantage are negatively impacted in terms of educational attainment and progression to higher education.

MTU Cork Campus prioritises reduced points offers to students who are jointly HEAR eligible and DARE eligible. This is in addition to priority offers to students who are DARE eligible under the categories of physical and sensory disabilities.

Offers are made to jointly HEAR and DARE eligible applicants who meet all requirements and are nearest to the points requirement for a chosen course.

Thereafter, offers are made to any remaining applicants who meet all requirements, on a points merit basis (i.e. students who meet all requirements and are nearest to the points requirement for the chosen course).

  • Quota places

There is a guideline of 5% reduced points HEAR places on all first-year full time under-graduate programmes of study in MTU Cork Campus, including MTU Cork School of Music, MTU Crawford College of Art and Design and National Maritime College of Ireland.

All applicants are required to meet minimum entry requirements for a chosen course. Additional information regarding minimum entry requirements can be found on www.mtu.ie/courses/cork


  • Unused places

Where reserved DARE places have not been filled they may be offered to HEAR eligible students, similarly when reserved HEAR places have not been filled they may be offered to DARE eligible students.

If MTU Cork Campus does not fill its reserved places consideration may be given to candidates on the wait list in order of points merit.

  • On/Above Points Offers (Merit Offers)

HEAR eligible students who meet or exceed the required points for a chosen course will receive an offer through the CAO in the same manner as other CAO applicants and do not count against the 5% quota for reserved places on reduced points. These students are also required to meet minimum entry requirements for a chosen course. Students who are deemed HEAR eligible and who receive a CAO merit offer place in MTU Cork Campus will qualify for post entry supports available from the MTU Cork Campus Access Service including financial, academic and personal supports.


What happens after I receive a MTU Cork offer?

MTU Cork Campus Access Service will be in contact with all HEAR eligible students via email (using your CAO email address) after you receive a MTU Cork Campus offer through the CAO with details of the mandatory induction programme in addition to information on the supports available from the MTU Cork Campus Access Service.


Supports available from MTU Cork Access Service

All HEAR eligible students, once registered in MTU Cork Campus, are entitled to avail of post entry supports (financial, academic and personal) whether they receive a reduced points offer or merit offer through HEAR.

Request for Information from the Department of Social Protection Form



Contact information

MTU Cork Campus Access Service Schools Team

Munster Technological University,



T: 021 433 5138

E: hearcork@mtu.ie