Find out how you can access higher education in Ireland

What is HEAR?

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a higher education admissions scheme for Leaving Certificate students (under 23) whose economic or social background are underrepresented in higher education.

Find out what HEAR can do for you by reading some of the many benefits of the scheme below.

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Additional Information

Click on one of the links below to find out more about HEAR

What can HEAR do for me?

Benefits of HEAR

Reduced Points

If you apply to HEAR and meet the application criteria (that is, are deemed eligible for HEAR) you may be offered a place even if you do not have enough Leaving Certificate points for your preferred course. Each participating college and university has a reserved number of places to offer eligible HEAR applicants at lower or reduced Leaving Certificate points. An example of a reduced points offer is that the Leaving Certificate points for a particular course is 366 points. An eligible HEAR applicant could be offered a place with a lower points score, e.g. 356 points. This applicant would also, like all other applicants applying to college, need to meet the minimum entry requirements and any specific programme requirements before being considered for a HEAR reduced points offer. The reduction in points for HEAR places can vary every year. The number of points a particular course is reduced by is dependent on a number of factors, such as:

  • The overall number of places on the course.
  • The number of reserved HEAR places on the course.
  • The number of HEAR eligible applicants competing for these reserved places.
  • Information on the number of reduced points places available per course and the method used by colleges for selecting eligible HEAR students for those places is available on some HEI websites and on the page of each of the participating colleges on this website.
College Supports 

College Supports If you get a place through HEAR, you will receive a variety of academic, personal and social supports while at college. College supports may include:

  • An Orientation Programme to introduce you to university/college.
  • Extra tuition if required, study skills and exam preparation.
  • One-to-one meetings with student advisers.
  • Social gatherings/mentoring.
  • Extra financial assistance when available/ advice regarding grants and scholarships.
  • Prioritisation of Applicants Eligible for both DARE & HEAR.
For more information, contact the Access Office in one of the participating colleges

Who is the the HEAR access route for?

How do I apply?