Access Office

AIT Access Office

The Access Office supports students from groups within society who are underrepresented in third level education, such as mature students, people with disabilities, migrants, Travellers and grant assisted students in coming to third level. This office works towards the goals of the AIT access plan which reflects and documents AIT’s continued commitment to widening participation at third level and to providing a supportive, equal opportunity learning environment for all of our students.

Pre-entry and post entry supports:

The Access Course (Special Purpose at Level 6): This course has been available in the institute since 1994. It was formerly called the Foundation Certificate. The course is intended for adult learners who wish to study after a break in their formal educational experience and who may not have benefited fully from, or have access to, previous educational experiences. Scroll to Downloads for the application form.

Saturday Maths Programme The Institute works with 24 schools in the midland region providing a leaving certificate pass maths programme. The programme runs from January to March. 80 students attend this programme each year.

Student Assistance Fund The Access Office administers the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) which provides financial assistance to qualifying fulltime and part-time students of the college. SAF forms can be downloaded from the Your Finances section of this website. Student must be registered with the institute to apply and fapplication froms are available each year from mid Sept. Application forms and supporting documentation should be returned to the Access Office. Information on financail supports for third level students can be found here;

The access office facilitates visits of individuals and groups to the Institute to explore third level education. The access officer visits groups to provide information in relation to accessing third level education. Please contact the office for further information.

Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

HEAR is a college and university admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who have completed the Irish Leaving Certificate.
Eligible students compete for a quota of reduced points places in the colleges involved with HEAR. Students who gain a college or university place through HEAR also get a range of personal, academic and social supports while they are studying at third level.

Eligibility to apply for HEAR: HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January of year of entry to college who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. HEAR applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support. For more information please visit the HEAR website; Applications to HEAR can only be made online through the CAO before February 1.

AIT’s Entry Requirements for a reduced points place:

Be eligible for HEAR.

Meet AIT’s minimum entry (matriculation) requirements.

Meet any specific entry requirements for the course you are applying for.

Achieve at least 90% of the Leaving Certificate points required for the course applied for.

Being eligible for HEAR does not guarantee you a reduced points place.

Admitted students may also be subjected to AIT and, where applicable, professional fitness to practice policies.1

How to apply to HEAR.

Students wishing to apply to HEAR should do so online
through the CAO website by 1st February of the year of entry to

The HEAR Offer Process: Each college participating in HEAR sets aside a quota of places for HEAR students each year. In AIT, 15% of places are reserved for non –traditional students i.e., socioeconomically disadvantaged, mature students and students with a disability. Therefore, on average HEAR students compete for 5% of reserved places in AIT. Students who are on or above the entry points are deemed to be merit candidates and automatically receive a AIT HEAR offer - this does not affect the quota for reduced points places.

Prioritisation of Applicants Eligible for both DARE and HEAR: In an effort to widen participation of the most under-represented groups AIT prioritise applicants who are eligible for both DARE and HEAR entry routes and have met all the above criteria. Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Response to your application: In the last week of June the CAO will email you directly to let you know if you are eligible for HEAR. There is a Recheck facility if you feel there was an administrative error. You will receive details of the Recheck in late June of the year of your application.

If your application is successful the AIT Access Office will be in contact with you by email after you have accepted your CAO offer with details of your compulsory HEAR orientation.

Supports available to HEAR students: Along with existing Student Support Services, the Access Office will endeavour to provide academic, personal and social supports to students. In addition you should apply separately for the Higher Education Maintenance Grant through SUSI,

Closing dates: :Completed Application Form: 1 February each academic year as part of you CAO application.

Financial Documentation in Support of your Application: 15 March each academic year, to be submitted to the CAO.

To find out more information about the HEAR scheme please visit the or contact Theresa Ryan, Access Officer,, +353 (0)90 6468123

HEAR / DARE students coming to college in the academic year 2020/2021.

Welcome to AIT. The Access and Disability Office staff will support you throughout your time with AIT. It may not be the usual academic year and so we want to assure you we are here to support you every step of the way.

Please check your emails! We will be in touch via your personal email within a number of days of you accepting your college offer. This email will introduce to you the person who will be supporting you and also outline a host of supports that can assist you as you enter your first year of college.

Please Note: After this initial email, all other communication will be through your student email account.

HEAR Students

Each HEAR student will have a support staff member appointed to them. This person will be your contact person for the year and will make contact with you by phone during your second week in college. You can let us know how you are getting on; any challenges you may have encountered; what supports you may need and where we can assist. We have a lot of supports we can connect you to that can help you along the way.

DARE Students

Each DARE student is encouraged to link in with us as soon as they have accepted their course so that the process of registering for Disability supports can begin. We conduct individual Needs Assessment with students to determine their support requirements. A member of the support team will phone you during your second week to arrange an appointment if we have not heard from you by then. This person will be your contact person for the academic year if you need further advice or support.

Appointments for the Access Office

Appointments can be made by;

Calling to the Access Office (D07) on the D corridor, around the corner from the main reception, between 9.30am and 1pm.

Tel: 090 646 8125 – leaving your name and mobile number if outside office hours.

Email to

Note: All communication will be to your AIT student email address. It is every students’ responsibility to check their college email for notices or communication.

Theresa Ryan: Access Officer

Room D08

Tel: +353 (0)90646 8123


Mary Bohan: Access Office Administrator

Room D07

Tel: 090 646 8125


The Student Assistance Fund is part of the Third Level Access measure, funded by the Irish Government and part-funded by the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020. Please see for more information.

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