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Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) Applicants

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. If this describes your own circumstances, find out what you need to apply to DIT under the HEAR scheme.  

HEAR Code of Practice

The HEAR Code of Practice details DIT's admission policy for eligible HEAR applicants, details how the reduced points places are allocated and also lists the minimum number of reduced points places available on each DIT undergraduate programme.

For more information on the HEAR Code of Practice please contact the DIT Access Service at the further information details below.

‌What is it?

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. HEAR has been established by a number of Higher Education Institutions based on clear evidence that socio-economic disadvantage has a negative impact on educational achievement at school and progression to higher education.

School leavers who provide satisfactory evidence relating to their socio-economic circumstances and meet the Irish Leaving Certificate matriculation / minimum entry and subject requirements are eligible to compete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis in DIT. As the minimum entry and subject requirements may be different for each course, applicants should check the requirements of each preference listed on their CAO form.

Who should apply to HEAR?

HEAR is for school leavers (under 23 years old as of 1st January 2018).  Mature and QQI/PLC students have different admission routes. 

How to apply to HEAR?

Step 1

Apply online to CAO by 17:15 on 1st February 2018.  

Step 2


No later than 17:15 on 1st March 2018, you must indicate in your CAO application that you wish to apply for the HEAR scheme and you must fully and correctly complete all elements of the HEAR form (the HEAR form is a part of your CAO application).

Step 3

Submit relevant evidence in support of your application to arrive at CAO no later than 17:15 on 1st April 2018.

HEAR applications can only be made online at

Minimum Entry Requirements and Language Waivers

All applicants to DIT applying on the basis of their Leaving Certificate, regardless of whether they are HEAR-eligible or not, or meet the points requirements or not, must meet the programme-specific minimum entry requirements for their chosen programme of study.

Some programmes in DIT have a modern language as a minimum entry requirement (e.g. DT555 International Business & Languages with French). Applicants who do not meet this minimum entry requirement cannot be considered for a place on such a programme, regardless of whether they have been granted a language waiver in the Leaving Certificate.

Applicants are strongly advised to consult the minimum entry requirements for their chosen programme prior to applying through HEAR and the CAO. Details of minimum entry requirements for all programmes are available in the DIT prospectus and the Admissions pages of the DIT website.

Prioritisation of Applicants Eligible for both DARE and HEAR

Research has identified that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face considerable challenges in terms of their chances of progressing to higher education in Ireland. In order to increase the number of students facing the "double disadvantage" of socio-economic disadvantage and disability, DARE and HEAR colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both DARE and HEAR when allocating reduced points places. Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Condition of a HEAR Offer

Students who receive a HEAR offer must attend an orientation programme before the first semester. 

Students who accept places in DIT through HEAR are offered a variety of academic, personal and social supports while studying at third level. Details of post-admission supports for HEAR entrants can also be found on: and

More information on HEAR is available from your school Guidance Counsellor or, or

Other Access Entry Routes to DIT

In addition to the HEAR scheme, the DIT Access & Civic Engagement Office also has other Access Entry Routes that are aimed at students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who would like to do a full time undergraduate course in DIT. For further information please visit 


Access Service

DIT Access & Civic Engagement Office

Rathdown House

Grangegorman Lower

Dublin 7

Tel: 01 402 7625


Numbers of Reduced-Points Places 2016

The attached table lists the full-time undergraduate programmes at DIT for September 2016 entry, the overall numbers of places available on each programme, and the numbers of HEAR reduced-points places available. These numbers of available places are subject to change, depending on overall numbers of places available on each programme.