HEAR Scheme

The Pontifical University, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth has close links with Maynooth University (the National University of Ireland, Maynooth). The two universities share the same campus and facilities. Maynooth University’s Access Office caters for students of both Universities.

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. HEAR has been established by a number of Higher Education Institutions based on clear evidence that socio-economic disadvantage has a negative impact on educational achievement at school and progression to higher education. School leavers who provide satisfactory evidence relating to their socio-economic circumstances and meet the Irish Leaving Certificate matriculation / minimum entry and subject requirements are eligible to compete for a quota of places allocated to applicants on a reduced points basis in the Pontifical University, Maynooth.

Who should apply to HEAR?

HEAR is for school leavers (under 23 years of age as at 1st January in the year of proposed entry). Mature and FETAC applicants have different admissions routes and you can get further information on these routes from the Admissions Officer, Pontifical University. Tel (01) 7084772. Email admissions@spcm.ie

An application to HEAR is made up of 3 parts:

  1. Apply online to CAO by 17:15 on 1st February at www.cao.ie
  2. No later than 17:15 on 1st March you must indicate in your CAO application that you wish to apply for the HEAR scheme and you must fully and correctly complete all elements of the HEAR form (the HEAR form is a part of your CAO application).
  3. Submit relevent evidence in support of your application to arrive at CAO no later than 17:15 on 1st April.

To complete your HEAR application you must:

Get assistance from your parents or guardians and use the application guide and workbook to help you answer all the relevant question on your online HEAR application.

Condition of a HEAR Offer

Applicants who receive a HEAR offer must attend an orientation programme before the first semester. Students who accept places in the Pontifical University through HEAR are offered a variety of academic, personal and social supports while studying at third level. Details of post-admission supports for HEAR entrants can also be found on: https://www.maynoothuniversity...

More Information:

More information on HEAR is available from your School Guidance Counsellor or from the Maynooth University Access/Disability Office. Information can also be found on: www.accesscollege.ie; https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/access-office.

DARE HEAR promotional video

ELIGIBILITY – Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

  • Eligible applicants must satisfy (i) the HEAR criteria plus (ii) Pontifical University matriculation requirements & any specific course requirements:

1) Grade H5 or higher in 2 Higher Level subjects & Grade O6/H7 or higher in 4 Ordinary or Higher Level Subjects including English, Irish and a third language.

2) Any specific subject requirements for the course (e.g. Music requires a H5.)

3) Applicants must have attained at least 300 points in their best six Leaving Certificate subjects.

The maximum Leaving Certificate concession for eligible applicants is 60 points.

Where demand for places exceeds the number of places available, places will be awarded on the basis of academic merit.

Appropriate orientation programmes for students will be provided and will take place prior to the College’s general orientation programme. Attendance at this orientation (Launchpad) for students who are offered a place through the HEAR scheme is compulsory.

This table provides detail of the minimum number of reduced points places available on each course.

Note that these numbers are for guideline purposes only and may vary from year to year.

Please see our prospectus for course requirements. Higher Education Access Route (HEAR – Quota of places available:

  • 5% of 1st year intake at the Pontifical University, Maynooth will be available to students.
Course YearPoints
MU001 BA Theology & Arts (BATh) 2300
MU002 BA Theology(BTh) 1300


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