Access Office

TUS Access Office

The TUS 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.

This office works towards the goals of the TUS access plan which reflects and documents our continued commitment to widening participation at third level and to providing a supportive, equal opportunity learning environment for all of our students.

The TUS Access Office also facilitates visits of individuals and groups to explore third-level education.

For more information on TUS Access, email: or Tel: +353 (0)90 6468123.

  • Access Course (NFQ Level 6)

    The Access Course (Special Purpose at Level 6): This 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. 

    This one-year access course equips candidates with the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to progress to third-level education at the Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone. Learners will have the opportunity to sample a broad range of subjects in areas like engineering, business, engineering, hospitality, social studies and science to help them decide which CAO course to choose. 

    Graduates can gain entry to a range of TUS Athlone Campus courses at higher certificate/ordinary degree level for the following academic year on successful completion of all elements of the course, including examinations and in some cases interviews. This access programme is ideal for early school leavers or adult learners looking to return to education.

    This course runs from Monday to Friday from 9AM - 2PM, the application process opens on 1st March and closes on 31st May each year, so why not take the first step in your educational journey today. Click here for more information. 

    Late applications may be considered subject to availability.

    If you have any queries, please call the TUS Access Office at 0906468123 or email

  • KickStart Scholarship Fund 

    Applications for the KickStart Scholarship are now open. Please review the Application Timeline 2022/2023 for information on the key dates. 

    The KickStart Scholarship Fund is a newly established scholarship, established by the Probation Service, and supported by the Irish Prison Service, to support persons with a criminal justice history who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage to access higher education (HE). These scholarships meet a strategic objective of the Working to Change social enterprise and employment strategy 2021-2023 (

    There are two KickStart Scholarships available this year: 

    • One scholarship of €5000 per year of undergraduate study to a maximum of €20,000 over 4 years of a full-time course or 6 years of a part-time course. 
    • One scholarship of €1250 for each year of undergraduate study to a maximum of €5000 over 4 years of a full-time course or 6 years of a part-time course.

    Click here to learn more and to apply. 

  • Student Assistance Fund

    The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for students who are experiencing financial difficulty whilst attending college. The fund provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the SUSI grant.

    Application to the fund is open to full-time and part-time registered students on a course of not less than one year's duration leading to an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. Applicants must meet the application eligibility criteria. Funding is not available under this fund for the cost of tuition or registration fees.

    The purpose of the Student Assistance Fund is to provide support to full-time and part-time registered students of AIT who may be experiencing extreme financial difficulties/ have experienced a major change of circumstances.

    Click here for more information and to apply.

  • 1916 Bursary

    The 1916 Bursary Fund is a targeted funding scheme established by the Department of Education and Skills to support implementation of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015-2019. The National Access Plan is working to increase the numbers of students who are currently under-represented in higher education. 

    The Bursary is being offered to undergraduate students experiencing socio-economic disadvantage who are commencing third level education in September 2022 for the first time - and will fund the entire duration of a student's programme of study.

    Click here to find out more information and to apply. 

  • Laptop on Loan Scheme

    The Laptop on Loan scheme provides long-and short-term loans of laptops to students identified by the assessment procedure as being the most socio-economically disadvantaged of these target groups. The scheme will complement existing student supports and access initiatives within the higher education institutions.

    Click here for more information and to apply

  • Uversity Scholarships for Adult Learners

    Do I qualify?

    Do you want to pursue a first-time bachelor’s degree in any subject but are prevented due to your current financial circumstances? Are you over 23, a citizen of the EU/EEA, Switzerland or the UK or have you permanent leave to remain in the State? Have you been resident on the island of Ireland for 3 out of the last 5 years?

    What is Uversity looking for?

    Your story of how graduating with a bachelor’s degree will transform your life for the better and evidence that you have the motivation and potential to complete a degree programme.

    What does Uversity offer?

    Financial support towards registration fees and living costs. Each award is tailored to fit your personal circumstances. For those in employment, loss of income will be taken into account. For those on social welfare or applying for a SUSI grant, scholarships up to €7,000 can be awarded without affecting reckonable income.

    How do I apply?

    Complete your CAO application before 1 February 2021. Apply for a scholarship to Uversity by 25th March 2022. The application process is simple, easy and free of charge – so you have nothing to lose.

    Find out more and apply at

  • 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 1st at 5 pm.

    TUS'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 (at 5 pm) of the year of entry to

    Please click on the following link to watch the HEAR Application video

    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 (at 5 pm) 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 Jenny Burke, Access Officer,, +353 (0)90 6468123

  • HEAR/DARE Students Coming to College in the Academic Year 2022

    Welcome to TUS. The Access and Disability Office staff will support you throughout your time with us. 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.

    Making an Appointment 

    Calling to the Access Office (D11) 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 student email address. It is every students’ responsibility to check their college email for notices or communication.

    Jenny Burke: Access Officer

    Room D08

    Tel: +353 (0)90646 8123


    Mary Bohan: Access Office Administrator

    Room D11

    Tel: 090 646 8125


  • Saturday Maths Programme

    TUS 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.