Sanctuary Scholarships

Thank you to all who have engaged with the 2019 UCC Sanctuary Scholarships.  The scheme is now closed for applications.  Results will be made known in mid-August.

Sanctuary Scholarships 2019 Eligibility Criteria

Applicants (1) must be an asylum seeker or a refugee who is not eligible for the state Free Fees scheme (2) Must meet the academic eligibility criteria for their chosen UCC degree course through the CAO route (including the Mature Student Entry route which closed on February 1st 2019) (3) Be living in the Republic of Ireland and (4) Be able to live in commuting distance to Cork during the course of their studies. The scheme is targeted at people who have not had the opportunity to study at (or complete) undergraduate education. More details on academic eligibility are below. Please note the scheme does not include accommodation support. For queries please contact

UCC Sanctuary Scholarships Application Form 2019


There are four aspects to successfully becoming a Sanctuary Scholar to start in UCC in September 2019. All four must be achieved.

(1) You must apply to the Central Applications Office (CAO, for a UCC undergraduate course via either the Leaving Certificate Route (CAO deadline 5.15pm 1st May 2019), FETAC route (CAO deadline 5.15pm 1st May 2019) or the Mature Student Route (CAO deadline closed as of 1st February 2019).
(2) You must complete this online UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Application Form 2019 by 5pm, 1st July 2019. The online form will close after this time and late applications of any kind will not be accepte
(3) You must be offered a UCC undergraduate course via the CAO application process (typically by mid to late-August 2019 – see the CAO website for more details).
(4) You must be ranked amongst the top scholarship application candidates by the UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Committee to be offered a Sanctuary Scholarship.

As noted in part (2) above, the scholarship application process, involves completing the application form below. The 'Your Personal Statements' section is an important part of the application. This part involves writing three personal statements: 400 words (max) on the reason for your top UCC course choice, 400 words (max) on your learner profile, and 400 words (max) on the importance of education and your future plans. Please note that if you are matched with a UCC academic mentor, you should email your mentor with up to two drafts of your personal statements so that they can provide feedback on each statement ahead of the July 1st 2019 closing date.

You will also need to ask a referee to write a reference to accompany your application (more than one reference is acceptable). Referees can be a teacher, a community leader or other person who can confirm your commitment as a student, and your potential for independent study and reflective thinking. The reference(s) should be emailed by referee(s) to before 5pm, July 1st 2019.

Closing date for completion of your scholarship application is 5pm, Jul, 2019. **No applications will be accepted after this time**.

Click here for the UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Application Form 2019


Sample Application Form

UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Sample (Blank) Application Form 2019

Please note:  this is a sample only and the form itself MUST be completed online at the link above.

We are putting this up to that potential applicants can get an idea of the questions to be asked before going into the real version (online) to complete it.

Any other queries about questions on the application form should be directed to

Once again, online applications ONLY will be accepted.

Application Process

Please see the advice below on applying for a Sanctuary Scholarship for study in UCC from September 2019.

General advice for applicants to UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme for September 2019

  1. The Sanctuary Scholarship award requires both a traditional academic application to UCC through the CAO, and a separate scholarship application. The scholarship application form will be made available on this webpage at the end of March 2019, and will close on July 1st 2019 at 5pm. 

  2. If you are interested in applying for the Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme, please attend the Application Support Session in UCC on 27th March 2019 (2-4pm, Western Gateway Building) or in CIT on 10th April 2019 (2-4pm, Student Centre). Please note the Application Support form above is not the Sanctuary Scholarship application. The Application Support form above will help us support your with your CAO application and your Sanctuary Scholarship application.

  3. Applications for scholarships will be open to those applying for undergraduate degree courses through the following CAO routes: Leaving Certificate, QQI FET/FETAC and/or Mature Student entry (note: Mature Student CAO applications closed on Feb 1st 2019). See the entry requirements for UCC undergraduate courses here.

  4. Ensure that you apply to UCC through the CAO route (Leaving Certificate or QQI FE/FETAC) before May 1st 2019. Those wishing to apply for the Mature Student Route should note the CAO deadline has now closed (as of Feb 1st 2019).

  5. Those who have applied using the Mature Student Route have a limited opportunity to change the CAO courses they wish to apply for after February 1st 2019. There are also additional assessments, interviews and costs associated with applying for certain courses. See this information brochure on Mature Student Entry to UCC 2019

  6. Non-Mature Student (under 23 years of age on Jan 1st 2019) applicants making an application through the CAO with a view to obtaining a Sanctuary Scholarship, are advised to tick the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) box, and complete the HEAR application process (which is only available on applications submitted by February 1st 2019). Read more about the HEAR Scheme.

  7. Non-Mature Student applicants can use the CAO change of mind facility until July 1st 2019. See CAO guidance here.

  8. Non-Mature Student applicants should use the CAO Change of Mind facility wisely, as this may help gain a better chance of gaining entry into UCC. We would encourage you to apply for as many UCC courses as possible, depending on your genuine study interests and eligibility. The CAO Change of Mind facility is open until July 1st.

Please note that your separate Sanctuary Scholarship application won't be disadvantaged if the UCC course discussed in your scholarship application is not the UCC course you are offered in the end. Any personal statements about coming to UCC should focus on your first preference UCC course, and not on other UCC courses you have applied for. Application marks will be awarded and checked by members of the UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Committee.

If you are considering attending the 2019 Scholarship Information Session (March 27th 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. UCC), please complete the form at this link.  (NB please scroll up to complete the full form.)

If you have any questions please email

UCC Sanctuary Scholarships December Information Session

A UCC Sanctuary Scholarship information session was held on December 12th 2018. A full recording of the Information Session held on 12th December can be watched here.

UCC Sanctuary Scholarship Application Support Session 27th March 2019 - Livestream

The UCC Sanctuary Scholarship information session on March 27th 2019 can be watched here.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

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