Alternative Entry Mechanisms

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

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

IT Tallaght 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 IT Tallaght 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 Institute of Technology Tallaght, 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 ITT, 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 ITT 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, ITT 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. 

Access Programmes in Colleges:

Most colleges have an Access Programme, which supports students who attended particular schools, including the three CHEAP schools. The Access Programme varies from College to College, but can include financial assistance, free books, extra tuition, and laptop computer loan schemes. Participation in these Access Programmes is usually arranged by the school and the College Access Officer, before the student actually starts at College. School Guidance Counsellors have more information about these programmes.

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