The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers with disabilities.  DARE  offers an opportunity to students who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of their disability/specific learning difficulty. 

DARE 2021 Information Leaflet (Link to Download PDF)

Course Code Quota DARE-HEAR 19-20 ( Link to Download PDF)

Temporary changes to the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

Recognising the difficulty applicants and secondary schools are facing due to extended periods of school closure, temporary changes have been made to the 2021 DARE process to help students to make their applications. To ensure supporting documentation reaches CAO in time for the March 15th deadline, schools will now be able to electronically sign off students’ supporting documentation. In addition, students applying with Specific Learning Difficulties can now use literacy or numeracy attainment test scores which are up to three years older than those originally sought (from 2016 instead of 2019).

Allocation of DARE/HEAR Places

NUI Galway has a quota of reduced points places available to eligible DARE/HEAR applicants. See table A. in this LINK for the list of DARE/HEAR places that are available on each course.

If you are deemed eligible for the DARE/ HEAR schemes, you will be considered if

  •  You have a minimum of 300 points &
  •  You meet the matriculation requirements for the course.

For most courses, admissions is competitive as there are more eligible DARE/HEAR applicants than places available. Places are allocated to eligible applicants in order of points merit and the reduction allowed is determined by the points required for the course: the higher the point’s requirement for the course, the greater potential reduction, with a maximum reduction of 18%.
From 2016: priority will be given to applicants with physical and sensory disabilities and those who are both DARE and HEAR eligible. Any places remaining are assigned on points ranking.

For more information please visit

 Useful Information about DARE

DARE Videos


  • Mature Students Guide 21

    Mature Students Guide 21 PDF (16MB)

  • QQI

    QQI PDF (16 MB)