DARE & Pre-Entry

DARE and Pre Entry Guidance


Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

What is the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.

DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.

UCC allocated up to 5% of first-year places on ALL courses at reduced points entry to students entering through the DARE route. Please refer to the Undergraduate Prospectus for a list of UCC undergraduate degrees and the number of places per course. https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/undergrad/prospectus/


Who can apply to DARE?

DARE is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January in the year of application, who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education, but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of a disability on their second level education. Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and other EU qualifications.


Where can I find out more about DARE?

For more information please visit the AccessCollege.ie 

Colleges and universities that take part in the DARE scheme run a number of information days and open days throughout the year for guidance counsellors and students who are thinking of applying to college.



I am eligible for DARE but how will I know if I will be considered for a reduced points place?

Being eligible for DARE does not guarantee you a reduced points place. University College Cork reserves approximately 5% of School Leaver places for students applying under the DARE Scheme.   

To be considered for a reduced points DARE place you must:

  • Be eligible for DARE
  • Meet minimum entry requirements which are: HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at H or O Level in the Leaving Certificate from Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes
  • Meet any specific course requirements where they exist:  http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/undergrad/entryreqs/
  • Achieve a minimum of 300 points
  • Achieve at least 85% of the Leaving Certificate points required for the course. 

Once these requirements have been met, where applicants can be reasonably accommodated, University College Cork allocates the reduced points places to eligible applicants in order of points merit. If the University does not fill its quota of DARE places with candidates who have achieved at least 85% of the cut-off points, consideration may be given to candidates on the waitlist in order of points merit.

In an effort to widen participation of the most under-represented groups, University College Cork will prioritise applicants who are eligible for both DARE and HEAR entry routes, where all the above criteria are met. DARE eligible applicants who have a physical or sensory disability will also be prioritised when making reduced points offers.  



DARE Videos 


Understanding Exemptions

For more information on exemptions that are available at second level to students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing please read the documents below:

Rules in relation to Exemption from Irish 

Application Form in relation to Exemption from Irish  

Language Exemption Checklist for students who are Deaf HOH

National University of Ireland Entry Requirements

Disability Support Service

Seirbhís Tacaíochta do Dhaoine faoi Mhíchumas

South Lodge, UCC, College Road, Cork