DIT Access Service

‌‌Applications Open for Access Foundation Programme Students until July 27th 2018

Application Process

The Access Foundation Programme is currently inviting applications for 2018/19.

The programme is currently inviting applications for September 2018.


Interested applicants should contact David Rickard by email: david.rickard (at) dit.ie

Entry Requirements

There are no standard educational requirements, such as the Leaving Certificate or an aptitude test, but all applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be able to demonstrate a desire to pursue third level programmes and a level of learning ability suitable to do so.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively in English at level suitable to commencing the programme.


In addition, Young Adult applicants are required to satisfy a socio-economic disadvantage assessment as set out by the Entry Routes policy of the Access and Civic Engagement Office. This requires applicants to satisfy three of the following SED indicators. 

  1. Parents have not gone to college (higher education).

  2. Applicant has attended a DEIS school for at least 2 years. 

  3. Family income thresholds as set out by the DIT Access and Civic Engagement Office in line with young adult access entry routes thresholds. 

  4. Be from a socio economic group underrepresented in higher education. 

  5. Live in an area of urban or rural disadvantage. 

  6. Family received a means tested payment from the Department of Social Protection for at least 26 weeks in the tax year two years prior to the year of application. For example, applicants for 2018 must submit financial documentation for 2016.

Special consideration is given to applicants from the Traveller Community and applicants who are/were in the care of the state.  

Am I suitable/ready for the programme? (Academic suitability)

Candidates are assessed for their academic suitability for the programme. The following are considered:

  1. Educational experience and qualifications. Particular emphasis is paid to educational experiences over the last 5 years.  Applicants should detail all relevant educational experiences including secondary school qualifications, experience of further adult education and training, as well informal education or non-certified courses.  A copy of qualifications and certificates must be included.

  2. Work experience. Candidates should detail their work experience.

  3. Volunteering experience. Candidates should detail their volunteering experience.

  4. Essay. Candidates are required to submit a handwritten essay.

  5. Personal Statement outlining candidate’s motivation for going to college.

Other Entry Requirements

  1. Candidates who already hold a higher education qualification, with no evidence of deterioration in academic ability, are deemed ineligible.

  2. Non-EU nationals are required to hold a visa/GNIB stamp permitting full-time study in Ireland. Proof of this must be included in the application.


Fees and Grants

The Access Foundation Programme is free for participants. 
Students on the programme are not eligible for the SUSI grant. Students in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment may be eligible for the Back to Education Allowance.

Application Process

Applicants apply directly to the DIT by way of a paper application form. Applicants are shortlisted for eligibility and suitability. Applicants successful at this stage are called for interview. Interviews will happen in early June, with a second round of applications then opening with interviews in late August. Offers are made to candidates based on the application form and interview. 

Applicants are advised to read through the Candidate Brief before attempting the application form. This will give you advice and guidance on how to apply for the programme. Download the Candidate Brief by clicking the blue link below. 

AFP Candidate Brief 201819

Access Application Form Mature Student 1819 

AFP Young Adult Application Form 201819 


Learn more about the programme: