Access DCU Entry Route (ADER)

Access Students Graduation

The Access DCU Entry Route (ADER) is aimed at students who, due to their socio-economic background and low family income, face additional barriers to gaining entry to or taking up their place in DCU. The eligibility criteria are the same as those for the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR). Students who have applied to HEAR do not need to apply to DCU Access unless they are seeking subsidised accommodation



What are the benefits of the DCU Access Entry Route?

Applications for the Access DCU Entry Route (ADER) are assessed on a number of financial, cultural and social conditions known as Indicators.

You must meet Indicator 1, plus at least two other Indicators, one of which must be from 4 or 5 or 6 to be eligible for ADER.


1: Low income: The total income of your parent(s)/guardian(s)/spouse for the year ending 31st December 2020 must be within the specified income limits


2: Social Welfare Payment: In the year ending 31st December 2020, your parent(s)/guardian(s)/spouse have received a means-tested payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs for at least 26 weeks.


3: You or your parent(s)/guardian(s) have a medical card/GP visit card valid on the 31st December 2021.


4: Socio-Economic Grouping (SEG): You belong to a group that is under-represented in higher education, based on the occupation and employment status of your parent(s)/guardian(s). The grouping includes non-manual, semi-skilled, unskilled manual and agricultural workers. please see here for more information on SEG grouping.


5: Area Profile: You live in an area where there is concentrated disadvantage; in other words an area where, for example, there is high unemployment and poverty. Please click here to look at your area.


6: DEIS School Attendance: You have completed five or more years in a second level school that takes part in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) scheme run by the Department of Education and Skills. Click here for a list of current DEIS post-primary schools.


In addition you must:

  • Be under 23 on the 1st January 2022
  • Have completed an Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Meet DCU’s minimum entry (matriculation) requirements for your course of choice as per the DCU Prospectus 

Students who have deferred a place from the previous year are not eligible to apply for ADER.

There are a limited number of accommodation scholarships available and not all eligible applicants will receive one. In order to be considered for a subsidised accommodation scholarship you must achieve the necessary points for your course choice - i.e. No points reduction will be given.


*Please note all accommodation offers are subject to the university resuming normal business or following DCU reopening for normal campus and academic activities after the Covid-19 closure. 

  • Please submit a statement from the Department of Social Protection for 2020 or you may download and submit this form here and have it completed in your nearest Department of Social Protection/INTREO office. 
  • Submit a P21 or a Statement of Liability if in paid employment or Chapter 4 letter or self-assessment if self-employed for 2020- view a sample here. You will get these documents from the Revenue Commissioners or request them online at
  • If your parents/guardians were made redundant and/or received a lump sum in 2020 you need to submit a copy of an RP50 - view a sample here.
  • All supporting documentation should be uploaded by 6th May 2022 (extended deadline).


Steps for uploading supporting financial documents:

  1. Return to the ADER application form on the DCU website (from the same device you used to complete this form)
  2. View Previous Submission
  3. Click the "edit" button
  4. Scroll down to the "Upload Supporting Financial Documents Here"
  5. You can upload a number of documents 
  6. Where possible, write applicant name and CAO number on documents before uploading