Collaborative work with UCCPLUS+

MTU Acccess Service and UCCPLUS+ Collaborative Projects


MTU Cork Campus Access Service



School Activity 2019/2020 and 2020/2021

Covid 19 and the global health pandemic has turned the world as we knew it pre March 2020, upside down.  Everyday life has changed including the world of education. 

Working in the area of widening access and participation to third level education from socio-economically disadvantaged students, it soon became apparent that the educational gap was widening amongst our target group, DEIS students from our Linked Schools across Cork City and County. 

Collectively, we needed to readdress our supports for DEIS schools while minimizing contact, yet letting schools know we were in the background ready and willing to help. 

Together we wanted to project a positive message to our target group acknowledging that we all have courses designed to attract different students.  We saw the need to work to collaboratively for the benefit of the schools and students we support. We believe our shared inter-institutional working model is a forerunner to how third level institutions can work together, share ideas and produce effective results while showcasing best practice and the way forward to best support educational disadvantage. 

Helen Keller once said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." 


TY Challenge 2021

MTU Cork Access Schools Team, UCC PLUS+ and Access+ have developed a TY group challenge that involves students researching options for further and higher education in a variety of disciplines.

Students are encouraged to use their creativity to present their work on completion, at a showcase event. 

Eight schools reached the semi-finals of the TY Challenge which were held on 20 April 2021 virtually. The level of work in the presentations was outstanding from all students! 

The overall winner of the #TYChallenge 2021 was St Aidan’s TY Challenge Team (St. Aidan’s CC).

The final teams included:

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks (Presentation, Ballyphehane)
  • Coconuts (St. Vincent’s)
  • D’girls (Mayfield CS)

Well done to every team who took part in this year's TY Challenge! 

For additional information log onto or if you have any queries in relation to the TY Challenge please email one of our team members on  or




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.

For additional information log onto 



For printable versions of these resources, please contact your Guidance Counsellor or email or

Alternatively they can be saved as images to your device. 

  • A Students Guide to Learning from Home

  • Study Planner





Episode 1  

Episode 2  

Episode 3 


Joint Linked schools presentations/virtual visits

Representatives from MTU Access and UCC PLUS+ are available to present on HEAR, DARE and progressions routes to Linked Schools. 

Study Skills, Subject Choice and Student Finance presentations are also available on request. 

Please email or for additional information 


TY Challange

UCC PLUS+/Access+ & MTU are continuing to connect to DEIS Linked Schools without adding any extra burden to staff or students.  It was collectively decided to support TY students, a class often forgotten, as schools focused on supporting junior cycle and exam classes during COVID-19.  This TY Challenge was an initiative designed to encourage and motivate DEIS students to investigate different pathways to further education and university after leaving school offering students a license to create a social media campaign.  Students will explore further education and third level opportunities in Cork for this project. 

All DEIS Cork City schools will have representation in the semi-finals and staff from all institutions will be involved in the final.   


Coperate social responsibility

DPS - Better Engineered Solutions 

Aspire2 was established in 2015 as part of the DPS Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.  Their vision is to support second-level students in partner schools to;

  • support students in their personal growth and development
  • motivate and encourage them to complete their second level education successfully
  • help them to achieve leaving certificate results that reflect their true potential
  • provide them with opportunities to progress further through the education system
  • help them to realise their potential and their aspirations.

Aspire2 currently has 6 partner schools, with 3 being in Cork;

  • St. Aidan’s Community College, Dublin Hill
  • St Patrick’s College, Gardiner’s Hill 
  • North Presentation, Farranree

MTU Cork Access Service and UCC PLUS+ closely support DPS along with other third level access partners; UCD, Trinity College & TU Tallaght.

For additional information, please log onto




Johnson & Johnson Access to Education, Bridge to Employment (ATE BTE)

Bridge to Employment (BTE) is a Johnson & Johnson initiative that prepares youth for brighter futures.

BTE engages 14- to 18-year-old students from disadvantaged communities to increase their understanding of health careers and higher education opportunities. Three of our Linked Schools are involved in this programme;

  • Terence McSwiney Community School
  • North Presentation Secondary School
  • Mayfield Community School

Now in its fourth phase and 13th year, the programme has worked with hundreds of second level students and has also provided bursaries to students who progress onto further education and higher education.

The Johnson & Johnson supported programme ‘Access to Education, Bridge to Employment’, aims to encourage and assist students in Cork City to stay in school and progress to further and higher-level education, with a particular focus on STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Phase four of the Access to Education, Bridge to Employment implemented the Mentoring element of the programme. Students met their J&J mentors four times during the academic year.

‘Access to Education, Bridge to Employment’ works with three schools in the City – Terence McSwiney Community College, North Monastery Secondary School and Mayfield Community School. Partners in the programme include Johnson & Johnson’s Cork based companies, Janssen Sciences Ireland UC, Janssen Pharmaceutical Sciences Unlimited Company, DePuy Synthes, and Munster Technological University (formerly CIT), University College Cork, Cork Education and Training Board, Junior Achievement and Business in the Community.

The programme aims to support long-term collaboration and partnership amongst business, educators, community-based organisations and parents to help young people build a better future. While student focused, the programme also recognises the role of teachers and parents in helping students to reach their full potential. The programme also aims to build student confidence and widen horizons through interaction with significant adults who will mentor them, provide them information and support them in carving out a career path.

MTU Access and UCC PLUS+ staff sit on the BTE committee.  















If you have any additional queries in relation to our collaborative projects, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Best Wishes, 

Elaine, Louise, Christine, Maeve, James and Paul. 

MTU Access Service and UCC PLUS+/UCC ACCESS+