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The Access Service

The Role of the Access Service


The Access Service is responsible for coordinating and developing the Institute’s Access Programme and for implementing policies to ensure that access to third level education becomes a reality for students who are currently under represented at third level. The focus of the Access Service is to provide opportunities to students who traditionally might have found it difficult to access third level education, as well as to promote positive perceptions of the value of, and the enjoyment that can be gained from, education generally.

The Access Service aims to assist:

  • Socio-economically disadvantaged learners
  • Mature/Adult learners
  • Learners with a disability
  • Learners who do not have the usual Leaving Certificate qualifications but who can meet entry requirements in other ways
  • Learners from the travelling community

The Access Officer at TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus is Adrienne Harding. 

Adrienne can be contacted at 01 885 1015 or at

Our Access Service co-ordinates the below programmes:

HEAR and DARE schemes

TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus is part of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) which offers places on reduced points places to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

School Leavers who provide satisfactory evidence relating to their socio-economic circumstances and meet the Irish Leaving Certificate minimum and subject requirements are eligible to complete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis.

Applicants must be under 23 years of age as of 1st January in their year of application .

Applicants must make their CAO application by 1st February but must also apply for the HEAR scheme and fully complete all elements of the HEAR application form (which is part of the CAO application). Full instructions on how to apply to the HEAR scheme are available on the HEAR website at

The REACH programme is an admissions scheme which offers places on courses on reduced points, to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus has a reserved a number of places on its courses for REACH students at reduced leaving certificate points.  This means that if eligible you will be considered for entry on a reduced points basis provided that your points achieved are within 90% of the points required for the course you have listed on your CAO form (i.e. you are eligible to be offered a place where your points awarded fall short by less than 10% of the points required up to a maximum of 30 points) and subject to places being available. 

The places are spread across all our courses and consequently a student may not be offered their first course choice, but might be offered a subsequent choice.  The order of preference on the CAO application form should at all times reflect your genuine preference choice. Applicants must also meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for one of the reduced points places.

REACH is open to school leavers under the age of 23 (on the 1st January 2019) who have completed an Irish Leaving Certificate or a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course.

In addition to meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course, REACH applicants are assessed on their financial, social and cultural status.  The following are considered to assess eligibility:


  • Low family income
  • €45,790 or under (family with 4 children)
  • €50,325 or under (family with 5-7 children)
  • €54,630 or under (family with more than 8 children)
  • Enrolment in a DEIS School
  • Member of the Traveller Community

What is the Application Procedure?

1. Apply to CAO at by 1st February 2019.

2. Complete the REACH application form.

Please click here to download the application form

3. Attach your supporting documents.

We need to access your family income so you will need to do one of the following:

  • Submit a P21 or Self Assessment Letter for 2017
  • Submit a Social Welfare Form for 2017 signed and stamped by a Social Welfare official
  • Submit a RP50 Notification of Redundancy or Retirement Lump Sum Letter for 2017
  • Submit Letter from TUSLA for Children in Care

4. Tick the box on the REACH form confirming you have applied for HEAR and submitted your supporting financial documentation through the CAO.

You do not need to submit documents if you have already submitted to HEAR.

5. Hand your completed form to your Guidance Counsellor who will submit it on your behalf, along with a reference from your school/college

Completed REACH applications should be returned to:

Adrienne Harding

Access Officer,

TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus,

Blanchardstown Road North,


D15 YV78

Closing Date

The closing date to submit an application is Wednesday May 1st 2019 @ 12pm. Late applications will not be accepted.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications are assessed on the following:

  • The completed REACH application form with particular attention being paid to the personal statement
  • Total family income
  • Attendance at a DEIS School
  • The School/College reference
  • Leaving Certificate results, including meeting the minimum entry requirements for the relevant courses, (i.e. required number of passes, individual subject requirements), details of which are published in the institute’s prospectus and on this website.
How do I know if my application has been successful?

Applicants will be notified of whether they are eligible for the REACH Programme in late June 2019  Successful candidates will be offered a place through the CAO in August 2019.


1916 Bursary Fund

For queries regarding the 1916 Bursary Fund, please contact:

Bob O' Mhurcu

Academic Administration & Student Affairs Manager

Tel: 01 8851022  email:

The Technological University for Dublin Alliance are delighted to have been successful in securing 25 bursaries from the 1916 Bursary Fund scheme established by the Department of Education and Skills to support implementation of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019.

The 1916 Bursary Fund will award a €5,000 bursary per year of study to 6 first year students from ITB, 12 students from DIT and 7 students from IT Tallaght. The programme is open for applications from all first year students who meet the following criteria:

All recipients will have to be from under-represented socio-economic groups and must fall in to one or more of the following categories:

• First time, mature student entrants
• Students with a disability
• Irish Travellers
• Further education award holders
• Lone parents
• Ethnic minorities (including programme refugees)

How to Apply

2019/20 Applications are now closed

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the 1916 Bursaries targeted at?

The Bursaries are targeted at students who are from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds (this is compulsory). However, the fund will be prioritised for those who are from both a socio economically disadvantaged background and from one or more of the following:

• First time, mature student entrants;

• Students with a disability - particularly students with a physical/mobility impairment, students who are deaf/hard of hearing and students who are blind or have a visual impairment;

• Irish Travellers;

• Further education award holders;

• Lone parents in receipt of a means tested social welfare payment (at least 20% of the bursaries will be targeted at lone parents);

• Ethnic minorities (including programme refugees);

• Students who are or were in the Care of the State.

What is the value of a 1916 Bursary?

Each student who is awarded the 1916 Bursary will receive a bursary in the amount of €5,000 for each year of their undergraduate programme of study.
The bursary will be paid each year of the programme up to a maximum of four years for full time students and six years for part time students as long as the recipient complies with the bursary guidelines and progresses annually to the next academic year of their course.
For example: Mary is a mature student from an area of socio-economic disadvantage and a lone parent. She is in first year engineering and receiving the Back to education allowance and other state support. Mary is eligible to apply for the 1916 Bursary Fund and if she is successful she will receive €5,000 each year of her 4 year programme (total of €20,000)

Who can apply for a 1916 Bursary?

• Students who are socio-economically disadvantaged and who are from one of the socio economic groups that have low participation in higher education listed above;

• Student's household / family income must be less than €23,500. Applicants must be able to provide evidence of socio-economic disadvantage (i.e. membership of one or more of the categories listed below is not enough in itself).

• Students must be in year 1 of their (undergraduate) programme.

• Students must be attending a full-time or part-time undergraduate course that:
  - takes not less than two years to complete;
  - on the successful completion of which a student is awarded a major higher  education and training award at level 6 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications.

 - Part-time students must be undertaking not less than 30 credits for the 18/19 academic year.

Who cannot apply for a 1916 Bursary?

• Students who meet the criteria but are in receipt of any other bursary, scholarship or award of similar description. Note: students in receipt of a SUSI grant can apply

• Students in 2nd, 3rd or 4th year cannot apply. This bursary is for current First Year students only

• Postgraduate students

• Students who have already received a qualification at the same level at which they are currently studying

• Students on a full-time or part-time undergraduate course in a publicly funded institution that takes less than two years to complete or on the successful completion of which a student is awarded a major higher education and training award at level 5 or below on the National Framework of Qualifications.

• Students whose income is assessed as over the maximum income limit, currently €23,500 gross for the family in 2017.

• Students paying non-EU fees

Can part-time students apply?

Part-time students may apply provided the student is registered on an undergraduate programme of not less than 2 years (undertaking not less than 30 credits for the 18/19 academic year)

How will applications be prioritised?

As it is expected that the number of applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will exceed the number of bursaries available, priority will be given to those applicants who can provide evidence of membership of more than one of the categories listed, the significance and impact of the socio economic disadvantage and the barriers experienced.

How will the decision be made?

A panel of staff members from ITB, DIT and ITT and will be established to review applications.

The decision on the final recipients of the bursaries will be made by the panel and decisions will be reviewed by an external reviewer.

Can I appeal the decision of the panel?

Unsuccessful applicants may appeal the decision of the panel on one or more of the following grounds:

1) You believe an administrative error was made in the assessment of your application – e.g. one or more documents you submitted were not taken into account during the assessment process.

2) You believe that there was a third party error in the content of your documentation - e.g. P21, Social Welfare Statement, etc.

3) You believe that the published assessment criteria and/or scoring system was not applied or terms and conditions were not adhered to.

If I receive the 1916 Bursary, will it affect my SUSI Grant?

No. Students will be entitled to hold the 1916 Bursary and the student grant simultaneously, where they meet the eligibility conditions of the student grant scheme. The 1916 Bursary will not be included in the calculation of 'reckonable income' in the student grant scheme.

How will the data in my application, successful or otherwise be shared?

For the purposes of processing the application and administering the bursary payments, your personal data will be available to the appropriate staff processing the payments which maybe a staff member of DIT, IT Tallaght, IT Blanchardstown, Technological University, Dublin and our appointed external reviewer. All collected data will be subject to appropriate data protection considerations, in keeping with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

What is the Application Deadline?

Applications for 2019/20 are now closed.

How do I make an Application?

Complete the application form and return it, together with any required supporting documentation to :

1916 Bursary Application
Bob O Mhurcu
F-015, Block F
TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus
Blanchardstown Road North, Dublin 15

Note: Applications for 2019/20 are now closed.

What is expected of me if I am awarded a 1916 Bursary?

• You would be expected to keep within the rules and regulations of your institution.
• You would be expected to agree to any assessment set out by your institution for your course.
• You would be expected to provide written confirmation annually confirming that you have passed each year of your course.
• You may be asked to attend or be part of events organised by the institution to increase awareness of the 1916 Bursary.
• You will be required to provide feedback on the 1916 Bursary.
• You will be invited to take up a mentoring role in relation to the bursary, which we would encourage you to accept, but this is not a requirement.

Application Form


Frequently Asked Questions


Schools Programme
  • To help create an awares of TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus with primary & secondary level students
  • To allow students to participate in educational activities in a fun and non threatening environment
  • To inform students generally about the range and content of courses offered at TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus
  • To encourage students to view third level education as a desirable and attainable option
  • To encourage students to opt to continue their education at TU Dublin - Blanchardstown Campus
  1. Robotics Summer School
  2. Science Week
  3. Schools Taster Programme
  4. Languages Access Programme
Schools Taster Programme

The TASTER (Taste And See That Education Rewards) programme targets transition and 5th year students. The programme is designed to give the students an experience of attending a third level institute and expose them to the opportunities available.


Supports for Students with a Disability

The Access Service has a specific remit to promote opportunities at third level for learners with a disability.   Specific supports have been put in place for students with a disability.  Post-entry supports are provided through the Student Services Office.

Special Needs Applicants

In designing our campus, we paid particular attention to access and how best to accommodate students with special needs. We encourage applications from students with special needs, regardless of any physical or sensory disability.

Every attempt is made to facilitate students with special needs and to provide special equipment and supports where budgets allow. The supports available include provision of, and training in, assistive technology, access to the Assistive Technology Centre in the library, mentoring programme and academic support. A dyslexia support specialist is currently available to students.

Special arrangements can be made for students with special needs at examination time, provided sufficient notice is given. These arrangements can include the provision of a separate room to take examinations, the availability of an individual to read examination questions, the provision of additional time in which to complete your examinations, the provision of a scribe, taping your examinations etc.

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