About | Access
From humble beginnings…
DCU’s location is quite unique, servicing radically different neighbourhoods, incorporating some of Ireland’s most affluent communities and some of the country's most disadvantaged.
From its inception as a small technological university DCU has sought to actively engage and provide equal access to all groups within the wider community.
In 1989 as a fledgling University, DCU’s Governing Body voted in favour of implementing a local initiative aimed at addressing the low numbers of students entering third-level from one of its closest neighbourhoods in North Dublin – Ballymun. Through successful partnership with a number of key community groups in the local area, the Ballymun Initiative for Third Level Education (BITE) was founded. In 1990, six students entered DCU through the BITE initiative. Today, over 1,200 Access Scholars, representing every county in Ireland, are studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level across the University.
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DCU Access Impact Report 2018/2019
The DCU Access Impact Report for the academic year 2018/2019 is available for download.
DCU is Home to Ireland’s Largest Higher Education Access Programme.
In partnership with the DCU community, we engage with local schools and communities to raise awareness of higher education opportunities.
Using evidence based best practice, we provide equal access to and support progression through DCU.
The work of the DCU Access Service can be broadly divided into four key areas. These are:
1. DCU Access Outreach Programme
Provides support to DEIS Schools, Communities and Access eligible individuals in North Dublin through the U & University, UniTY, and UFirst programmes. Click here for more information.
2. Entry Routes for Leaving Cert Students
Facilitates three separate Entry Routes through which Leaving Certificate students can apply to study at DCU on an Access Scholarship. These are: Access DCU, HEAR and DCU Accelerator. Click here for more information.
3. Support to Access Scholars in DCU
Provide a host of financial, academic, professional & personal development supports to over 1,000 Access Scholars studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level in DCU. Click here for more information.
4. Conduct / Commission Research
Conduct and commission research which helps inform our work, creates best practice and impacts upon the wider national and international Access Agenda. Click here for more information.
All students under the age of 23 who have completed a Leaving Certificate and are from one of the following target groups:
- Students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds living in Ireland
- 1st generation students with no history of 3rd level education in the family
- Students residing in North Dublin in communities with lowest progression to third level education
- Students experiencing double disadvantage (disability and socio-economic disadvantage)
- Working class boys
- Young people in the care of the State
- Young carers
- Members of the Traveller community.
DCU students and employers explain the importance of Access to the Workplace which provides work experience to Access students.