Supplementary Admissions Policy

Policy Owner
Disability Office
Document Type
Document Approval Date

Dublin City University (DCU) is committed to providing equality of opportunity to people with disabilities. As part of this commitment DCU operates a clearly defined supplementary admissions policy and procedure for applicants with disabilities / specific learning difficulties who believe that because of the impact of their disability they will not achieve the required competitive points for the course of their choice.

The purpose of this document is to state the University's policy & procedure in relation to this scheme, and to provide information within the University.

This policy applies to all school-leaves with a disability who are making an application for DCU through the DARE Scheme, operated by the Central Applications Office (CAO).

This procedure has developed in recognition of the difficulties experienced by some students with disabilities in reaching their academic potential in second level education and also to address the under-representation of learners with disabilities in higher education in Ireland.

Several Higher Education Institutions, including Dublin City University, have operated supplementary admission procedures since 2005. In 2009 these routes were nationalised and relaunched as the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE).

DARE is a supplementary admissions scheme for school leavers who because of the impact of their disability may not meet the competitive CAO points for the programme of their choice.

Admissions Criteria
  • Applicants must be deemed eligible for DARE;
  • Applicants must achieve the University’s general entry requirements;
  • Applicants must achieve any relevant specific programme requirements; &
  • Applicants must achieve a minimum of 300 points in addition to the University Minimum Entry Requirements.
Application Process

School leavers who wish to be considered for DARE must apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February, indicating their wish to be considered for DARE. They must submit relevant evidence related to the disability or specific learning difficulty to the CAO by 15th March.

Allocation of Places

DCU has reserved 5% of all programme places (excluding ‘Restricted Entry Programmes’) for DARE Eligible applicants with a maximum point reduction of 75 points

Applicants from the priority groups (physical & sensory) will be offered places above all other DARE eligible applicants. All other places will be filled based on merit.

It should be noted that applicants cannot always be guaranteed entry at this level for programmes in high demand.

Offer of Places

Students applying through the Supplementary Admission Route are offered places on the same date as all other applicants through the CAO.

Anne O’Connor

Head of the Disability & Learning Support Service   


This policy will be reviewed by the Head of the Disability & Learning Support Service every 3 years, or when required.

Document Name

Supplementary Admissions Policy 

Unit Owner

Disability & Learning Support Services

Version Reference

Version 1.0

Approved by

Disability Steering Group

Effective Date

December 10th 2020