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The Higher Education Access Route

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds.

The scheme is run by a number of Higher Education Institutions, and is open to students from all 730 secondary schools in Ireland.

As well as possibly being allocated a place on a reduced points basis, students who secure a place through HEAR, are offered a variety of academic, personal and social supports while studying at third level.

Below is the list of participating Institutions in HEAR...

University of Limerick

Dublin City University

(incorporating St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra & Mater Dei Institute of Education).


Dublin Institute of Technology

NUI, Galway

NUI, Maynooth

Trinity College, Dublin

University College Cork

University College Dublin

Colaiste Mhuire, Marino Institute of Education

Church of Ireland College of Education

Froebel College of Education

Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Mater Dei Institute of Education

National College of Ireland

Pontifical University, Maynooth

St. Angela's College, Sligo

Royal College of Surgeons

Important Application Dates

By 1st February:

Apply online by 17.15.

By 1st March

Complete all sections of online HEAR Application

By 1st April:

Submit photocopies of supporting documentation to the CAO.

More Information: is available on

For a HEAR Application guide and workbook please click on the link below.

Important Notice All applications must be made online at

Pupils can apply for any of the courses offered by these institutions and may be offered places on a reduced points basis.

NOTE: Pupils who accept places at the University of Limerick through HEAR must attend the compulsory, residential Transition to University Course.

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