Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
The ACCESS UCC, PLUS Programme office look after HEAR-eligible students who get offered a place at UCC.
You are welcome to attend our live weekly Q&A webchats on Friday mornings in January and February 2022. Click here for more details.
What is the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)?
The Higher Education Access Route to Education (HEAR) is a third level alternative admissions scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college supports to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.
HEAR Applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support.
Who can apply to HEAR?
HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2022 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. Mature and FET (Further Education and Training) students have their own admissions routes and should contact college admissions offices for more information. Applications to HEAR can only be made online through the CAO
I am eligible for HEAR but how will I know if I will be considered for a reduced points place?
Being eligible for HEAR does not guarantee you a reduced points place. University College Cork reserves approximately 5% of School Leaver places for students applying under the HEAR Scheme.
To be considered for a reduced points HEAR place you must:
- Be eligible for HEAR
- Meet minimum entry requirements, since 2020, the minimum entry requirements are two H5 and four O6/H7 grades. See UCC's Admission website for further details. https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/undergrad/entryreqs/leavingcertificate/
- Meet any additional 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, 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 HEAR places with candidates who have achieved at least 85% of the cut-off points, consideration may be given to candidates on the wait list in order of points merit.
Prioritisation of applicants eligible for both HEAR and DARE
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 and have met all the above criteria.
What is the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)?
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) www.accesscollege.ie 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. For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I apply to HEAR?
Students apply to for the HEAR Scheme, online, through the CAO website (www.cao.ie) by the deadline -5pm 1st February 2022. You then must fully complete the online HEAR application form by 5pm March 1st and follow up with your supporting documentation papers posted to the CAO offices in Galway buy 15th March 2022. Please ensure you get a proof of postage and keep copies in the event of an appeal.
When Will I know if I am eligible for HEAR?
The CAO will email your official email address in the last week of June.
What happens after I receive a UCC Offer?
The ACCESS UCC PLUS Programme will be in contact with all HEAR students via email (using your CAO email address) after you receive your UCC offer, with details of the compulsory HEAR orientation programme : Orientation for ACCESS UCC PLUS Programme , and also details of the supports you will receive when you register; click here for more information on the supports available in ACCESS UCC PLUS programme. In recent years due to COVID UCC HEAR Orientation has been online, however, it may switch back to being in person for Autumn 2022 so please keep an eye on our website if you hope to attend UCC as its is mandatory to attend your HEAR orientation to receive your supports.