Alternative Entry Mechanisms


TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus operates a number of alternative entry schemes, to counter the disadvantages experienced by many in our society. Places are reserved for students as follows:


HEAR Scheme - up to 5% of places on each course
Mature students – up to 20% of places on each course
QQI FET/FETAC graduates with relevant awards – 10% of places on each course
ACE students – three reduced points places per participating school
CHEAP students – three reduced points places per participating school
People with disabilities – two places on each course

FETAC Graduates

TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus operates the Higher Education Links Scheme, which accepts certain FETAC Level 5/6 awards as an alternative to the Leaving Cert. entry requirement. Each Level 6, 7, and 8 course in TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus is linked to certain FETAC awards.

For information on our courses and the linked FETAC awards click here to see the listing on the CAO website (select by Institution: TA is the code for IT Tallaght):

For more information about the Higher Education Links Scheme, and about FETAC awards,  see the FETAC website.


ACE (Accessing College Education)

ACE is a programme for Senior Cycle students in three West Tallaght second-level schools:

  • • Mount Seskin Community College
  • • Killinarden Community School
  • • St. Aidan’s Community School.

ACE was established in 1998, and now has between 40 and 50 students participating each year. Intensive after-school academic activities, weekend language schools, and pre-exam revision classes are funded by the Department of Education and Science. On-campus academic activities are also run by the TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus and by UCD. Familiarisation events in both higher education institutions form an integral part of the pre-entry programme.

There is an active Parents’ Programme, with a number of Educational Home Visitors, information sessions in TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus and parent representatives on the Management Committee.

On average about 75% of participants progress to third level education. The ACE programme presents each student who enters third level with a small bursary. Post-entry, students are supported by the Access Programmes in TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus and UCD; the Tallaght Partnership; and the Tallaght Youth Service. Students receive a wide range of financial, academic and personal supports.

ACE is innovative because it utilises the resources of many different agencies and organisations, at both pre-entry and post-entry stages. The project succeeds in maintaining a high level of co-operation between school personnel, the project Co-ordinator, the Department of Education, TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus and UCD Access Offices, Parents, the Tallaght Partnership, and Tallaght Youth Service.


CHEAP (Clondalkin Higher Education Access Project)

CHEAP is a project to assist pupils in their efforts to gain access to third level education.

Schools in the Project:

  • Collinstown Park Community College
  • Deansrath Community College
  • St. Kevin’s Community College

CHEAP started in January 1997 with funding from Clondalkin Partnership. Some months later the Department of Education and Science came on board and both bodies continue to provide funding. The County Dublin Vocational Education Committee provides organisational backup to the project. 

HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) Scheme

TU Dublin-Tallaght Campus is now part of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) which offers places on reduced points places to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

School Leavers who provide satisfactory evidence relating to their socio-economic circumstances and meet the Irish Leaving Certificate minimum and subject requirements are eligible to complete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis in TU Dublin-Tallaght Campus.
Applicants must be under 23 years of age as of 1st January in their year of application.
Applicants must make their CAO application by 1st February but must also apply for the HEAR scheme and fully complete all elements of the HEAR application form (which is part of the CAO application).

Full instructions on how to apply to the HEAR scheme are available on the HEAR website at

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