Close icon
Close icon

Access & Disability Office

About

Mary Immaculate College is committed to widening participation and achieving equity of access to higher education for students from under-represented groups in third level, including socio-economically disadvantaged students, students with a disability, students from minority backgrounds and mature students.

Overview of Access Services:

  • Pre-Entry: Advice and Information for prospective students on Access issues.
  • Pre-Entry: Applying for a Language Exemption – please click here for further information.
  • Daily Drop-in Support: Personal support for students facilitated by an open door policy. Information, advice and advocacy assistance provided where appropriate. Provision of College-related practical supports.
  • Needs Assessments for Learners with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and long term medical conditions to determine the supports and assistance required to enable student(s) reach their academic potential.
  • Financial assistance: Information on the Student Assistance Fund and other sources of financial assistance available to eligible students to help with costs of attending college.

The Access & Disability Office is located in Room G01, situated on the ground floor of the Foundation Building, and is open from 9.30am-12.30pm and 2-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

 Please email: AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie for assistance with your query.

MIC Thurles

Paula Hourigan, Senior Academic Administrator, is the first point of contact on the Thurles campus, and can be reached by email  Paula.Hourigan@mic.ul.ie. Her office is P122 on the first floor of the main building.

Staff

Shirley Kearney


Access Officer (Acting)
Access & Disability Office
  • Phone: +353 61 204510
  • Email: Shirley.Burns@mic.ul.ie
  • Location: G01

Marian Leonard


Access Office Administrator
Access & Disability Office
  • Phone: +353 866010791
  • Email: Marian.Leonard@mic.ul.ie

Policies

MIC Access Policy

1.1 Mary Immaculate College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education and to ensuring that students have as complete and equitable access to all facets of College life as can reasonably be provided.

In keeping with the College Mission Statement, which 'strives to promote equity in society and to provide an environment where all have freedom a opportunity to achieve their full potential,' the College endeavours to achieve equity of access to higher education for students from under-represented groups in third level, including socio-economically disadvantaged students, students with a disability and mature students.

These initiatives are consistent with the aims of the Higher Education Authority’s National Office for the Equity of Access to Higher Education. The College is committed to increasing its targets for increased participation for all groups and improving access activities is central to the College’s overall institutional strategy and policy

1.2 This policy derives from a philosophy of inclusion, which is dedicated to providing necessary support services wherever possible.

1.3 Responsibility for the implementation of the College’s access policy is communal and will be facilitated by the College’s Access/Disability Officer who will liaise with the appropriate departments, staff and students of the College. It is within the remit of the Access/Disability Officer to provide and arrange for the provision of assistance and guidance to access services.

1.4 In providing for students from under-represented groups in third level, the College will have particular regard for the human dignity, freedom and independence of each individual and the importance of confidentiality.

1.5 The College will seek to publicise its services in targeted disadvantaged areas and increase its involvement in community-based initiatives in such areas. The College’s Prospectuses and course brochures shall contain information on all access routes to the College.

Access Routes to Third Level

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) and the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) are two undergraduate entrance schemes running at Mary Immaculate College.

Please see the MIC Admissions Office for more alternative admission routes.

Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.

See below for Frequently Asked Questions about DARE.

DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.

MIC reserves reduced points’ places for eligible DARE and HEAR applicants on undergraduate courses. A minimum of 5% of first year intake is reserved for students entering Mary Immaculate College.

DARE is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2020, who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education, but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of a disability on their second level education. Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and other EU qualifications.

For information about the process of applying to DARE including the deadlines and criteria, please check the Access College website: www.accesscollege.ie

To be considered for a reduced point DARE place you must:

  • Be eligible for DARE
  • Meet minimum entry requirements. As the minimum entry and subject requirements may be different for each course, applicants should check the prospectus for the requirements of each preference listed on your CAO form
  • Achieve a minimum of 300 points
  • Eligible DARE applicants must come within a differential of 40 CAO points below the standard CAO for the relevant year
  • Eligible DARE applicants must meet specific programme requirements. Once these requirements have been met, MIC normally allocates the reduced point’s places to eligible applicants who come nearest to the full points for their preferred course. Please note that certain categories of DARE students will be prioritised.

Research has identified that students with physical and sensory disabilities are particularly under-represented in higher education relative to all students with disabilities in Ireland. In order to increase the numbers of DARE students with physical and sensory disabilities being admitted to higher education, the DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise these two groups when allocating reduced points places.

Eligible applicants with physical and sensory disabilities can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Research has identified that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face considerable challenges in terms of their chances of progressing to higher education in Ireland. In order to increase the number of students facing the ‘double disadvantage’ of poverty and disability, DARE and HEAR colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both DARE and HEAR when allocating reduced points places. Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Students eligible for DARE and who wish to defer their place should follow the College's deferral procedures. Contact Student Academic Administration (SAA) for more information.

Please visit www.accesscollege.ie

The MIC contact for DARE and HEAR is Maura Moore: Email - AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie 

Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a third level alternative admissions scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college supports to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.

HEAR has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that socio-economic disadvantage can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go to college.

MIC reserves reduced points’ places for eligible DARE and HEAR applicants on all undergraduate courses. . A minimum of 5% of first year intake is reserved for students entering Mary Immaculate College through HEAR and DARE on reduced points.

HEAR is for school leavers under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2020 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 information about the process of applying to HEAR including the deadlines and criteria, please check the Access College website: www.accesscollege.ie

MIC reserves reduced points’ places for eligible HEAR applicants on all undergraduate courses. 

To be considered for a reduced point HEAR place you must

  • Be eligible for HEAR
  • Meet minimum entry requirements. As the minimum entry and subject requirements may be different for each course, applicants should check the prospectus for the requirements of each preference listed on your CAO form
  • Achieve a minimum of 300 points
  • Eligible HEAR applicants must come within a differential of 40 CAO points below the standard CAO for the relevant year
  • Eligible HEAR applicants must meet specific programme requirements. Once these requirements have been met, MIC normally allocates the reduced point’s places to eligible applicants who come nearest to the full points for their preferred course. Please note that students eligible for both HEAR and DARE will be prioritised.

Research has identified that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face considerable challenges in terms of their chances of progressing to higher education in Ireland. In order to increase the number of students facing the ‘double disadvantage’ of poverty and disability, HEAR and DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise applicants eligible for both HEAR and DARE when allocating reduced points places. Applicants eligible for both schemes can only be prioritised where they have met all the admissions criteria for consideration.

Students who receive a HEAR offer must attend an orientation programme on campus.

Students eligible for HEAR and who wish to defer their place should follow the College's deferral procedures. Contact Student Academic Administration (SAA) for more information.

Please visit www.accesscollege.ie

The MIC contact for HEAR and DARE is Maura Moore: Email -  AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie .

Disability Supports

Registering with the Disability Support Service

Students with a disability, specific learning difficulties and significant ongoing conditions can register for a range of post-entry supports, including:

  • Academic Learning support
  • Assistive Technology
  • Exam Accommodations
  • Classroom Accommodations

Registration with the College Disability Support Service is a separate process to registering as a student. All students with a disability, specific learning difficulty, and significant ongoing medical conditions should register with the College Disability Service. You can register with the Disability Service at any stage during your academic programme.

Students will be directed to the Disability Registration Portal.  In order to register, documentary evidence of a disability is required from the relevant Health Professional/Consultant or Educational Psychologist.  Students admitted under  the DARE scheme will not be required to provide these reports as the College can access their documentation from the students DARE CAO Application

In order to complete the registration, Students must attend a Needs Assessment with the Access Officer in order to determine their needs and agree on a support plan.
Please email AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie  to schedule an appointment.

Prospective International Students

Prospective international students are required to register with Disability Support Services in order for us to put academic and exam supports in place. Documentation regarding your disability should be submitted, and a Needs Assessment will take place with Disability Service and reasonable academic accommodations will be agreed upon.

If you have, any other questions about Disability Support Services in Mary Immaculate College please contact: AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie

Fund for Students with Disabilities

The Fund for Students with Disabilities is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

The purpose of the Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is to assist further and higher education institutions in ensuring students with disabilities have the necessary assistance and equipment to enable them to access, fully participate in and successfully complete their chosen course of study. The FSD operates in addition to mainstream resources and services in place in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Application for the first time can be made during any year of study on an approved course at further or higher education level.

Applications to the fund are made on behalf of an eligible student by their college following an assessment of need. Applications cannot be made directly to the Fund by students.The funding is allocated to the college, not the student. The college has full discretion in decision on the allocation of the Fund at local level, and remains responsible for the management of the funding throughout the duration of each year. The college organises the supports in consultation with the applicants.

Supports funded falls into three main categories:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Personal and Academic Support
  • Transport

Further information on the Fund for Students with a Disability can be found at the Higher Education Authority website here.

If you wish to make an enquiry in relation to this fund, please contact AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie

Education Support Workers

An Education Support Worker  provides individual assistance to students with disabilities to support the student’s learning and to help them reach their full potential.  . Examples of the support provided includes: note-taking for students, academic learning support, mobility around the campus etc.

We have a number of ESW paid work opportunities in the Disability Support Service.  You do not necessarily have to be fully trained in a particular area of support in order to apply for a position as an Educational Support Worker. The Access & Disability Office staff will provide you with training.  

If you would like to learn more about these opportunities, please contact AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie

 

For more information, click here.

Exam Supports & Alternative Arrangements

Students with disabilities may avail of alternative exam arrangements if this support is deemed necessary as part of the student's needs assessment.

Alternative arrangements are designed to ensure that equitable examination conditions are provided, to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and competence notwithstanding their disability.

The onus lies on the individual student to ensure that the College is informed of the nature of his or her disability, and to apply for Examination Accommodations. All applications for alternative accommodations must be supported by acceptable medical documentation.

Temporary Condition

If a student requires alternative assessment or examination arrangements due to a temporary disability/medical condition, he or she can request temporary alternative exam arrangements. All requests have to be supported by the relevant corroborative evidence. Ideally, applications should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of exams.

For further information and application, please contact the Access & Disability Office in Room G01; AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie 

Language Exemption

Pre-Entry Applying for a Language Waiver

Presenting with a disability requiring a Language Exemption.

Language exemptions apply to BA programmes MI001,MI002, MI007.

Where students have a language exemption, the language subject can be substituted with another subject  to meet the 6 subject entry requirement.   

NUI Language Waiver is not Applicable for Mary Immaculate College.  The National University of Ireland (NUI) Language Waiver is completely separate.  Even if you have a NUI waiver you still need to apply to Mary Immaculate College for a language waiver and follow the appropriate guidelines below.

Applicants from State Schools are required to complete and return the following

  1. MIC Application form for Students from State Schools
  2. Certificate of Exemption under DES Circular 0053/2019 to be completed by school Principal

Note: Existing exemption from the study of Irish granted under Circular 12/96 and M10/94 and held by students will continue to apply  

Applicants from Non State Schools are required to complete and return the following 

  1. MIC Application Form for Students from Non State Schools
  2. MIC Language Exemption declaration completed by School Principal
  3. Evidence of disability - A copy of the Educational Psychologist Report or Medical evidence of Sensory Disability affecting Language Skills

Additional Application Notes

  • Please Return Completed Documents to AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie
  • Deadline for submission of Language Exemption application: 1 July
  • You will receive an email acknowledgement of your application once submitted
  • Please note that we cannot assess incomplete applications.  It is our practice to destroy documents at the end of the year for unsuccessful applicants

For further information on applying for a language exemption on disability grounds: please contact the Access & Disability Office on   AccessOffice@mic.ul.ie 

Financial Assistance

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DES).  The SAF is allocated to higher education institutions (HEIs).

Student Assistance Fund (SAF) 

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who are experiencing temporary or ongoing financial difficulties while attending college. The Student Assistance Fund is designed to provide a source of financial support in addition to other sources of income such as SUSI grant.

Students on full- or part-time courses leading to a higher education award at level 6 to 10 of the national framework of qualifications are eligible to apply for SAF.   Students will be required to provide financial documentation to support their application.  The Student Assistance fund cannot be used for exam or Colleges fees purposes.

Further detailed information on applying for the fund is on the MIC Student Portal and  Student Union website.

For more information on the SAF, click here.

1916 Bursary

The 1916 Bursary Fund 2021/2022

The closing date for applications for the 2021/22 1916 Bursary Fund is 5.00pm Friday 15th October 2021.

Late applications will not be considered.

Please read through the information below to determine your eligibility to apply.

 

Applicant Information

The application form and FAQs are available for downloading on the MIC webpage.  Please read through the information below to determine your eligibility to apply. 

 

The 1916 Bursary Fund, funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) under strand 2 of PATH (Programme for Access to Higher Education), commemorates the centenary of 1916 as part of an overall series of measures to encourage participation and success by students from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education. The 1916 Bursary Fund provides financial support to students identified by higher education institutions as being the most socio-economically disadvantaged from specified target groups, and it complements existing student supports and access initiatives. 

The 1916 Bursary Fund is open to all applicants who aim to pursue undergraduate (see eligibility conditions below) in higher education in 2021/22 and to postgraduate applicants who were recipients of a 1916 Bursary in the previous year.

Applicants for an undergraduate 1916 Bursary should have made an application for 2021/22 through the CAO to Mary Immaculate College, via one of the admissions pathways below, in order to be considered for the bursary.  Awardees must have been resident in the Irish State for three of the past five years on the date on which the year of study commences.

1. Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)

2. Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) - priority will go to:

  • students with a physical disability
  • students who are deaf/hard of hearing
  • students who are blind/ visual impaired

3. Mature Student entry (first-time entrants only)

4. QQI award entry

5. Part-time Programme entry

 

Applicants who have made an application may also be from one of the following target sub-groups:

  • Lone parents 
  • Member of the Irish Traveller community
  • Ethnic minorities (including Programme Refugee and Family Reunification)

If you were awarded a 1916 Bursary Fund for your undergraduate studies, you are eligible to receive a Postgraduate 1916 Bursary for the 2021-22 Academic Year, for either full-time or part-time postgraduate study, if:

  • You have successfully completed and graduated from your undergraduate course.
  • Your postgraduate course is not less than a year.
  • Your chosen course is provided by an approved higher education institution.
  • You do not hold any other bursary, scholarship or award, irrespective of value.

 

All recipients of the 1916 Bursary must be socio-economically disadvantaged regardless of the target group. Please see eligibility criteria section on application form.

 

The following are the proposed allocation and conditions of the 1916 Bursary Awards for Academic Year 2021/22 in Mary Immaculate College within the target groups and entry pathways:

Three tiers of bursaries will be available:

Tier 1:  6 Bursaries of €5,000 per annum. 

Tier 2:  3 Bursaries of €2,000 per annum.

Tier 3: once- off bursary of €1,500 for academic year 2021-22 only (number TBC)

This applies to both full and part-time students.

Awardees must have been resident in the Irish State for three of the past five years on the date on which the year of study commences.

Bursaries may be approved for study in any discipline offered by the College.

Awardees are not entitled to receive the 1916 Bursary Fund in conjunction with any other bursary or scholarship, regardless of the value of such bursary or scholarship.

Awardees will be entitled to hold the 1916 Bursary and the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) simultaneously, where they meet the eligibility conditions.

The 1916 Bursary will not be included for the purposes of ‘reckonable income’ in Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

A bursary will be awarded for the duration of an undergraduate programme, normally four years, or a postgraduate programme, normally one to two years, subject to continued compliance with the bursary guidelines. (Please note that this condition does not apply for students who receive the once-off Tier 3 bursary of €1,500).

 

Conditional awards of bursaries may be made prior to the awardee’s enrolment in MIC. However, a bursary cannot be conditionally awarded to applicants until they have been formally offered a place at MIC and also until confirmation has been received that they are in receipt of the special rate of SUSI maintenance grant and/or a long term means-tested DEASP payment and also meet other eligibility criteria under this scheme.  Payments of bursaries to successful awardees will not be made until the awardee has formally registered on their course of study in MIC.

Personal data that you submit with the application form in connection with the 1916 Bursary Fund will be used to process your application and will be treated in accordance with MIC’s Data protection policy.  For full detail please see: http://www.mic.ul.ie/adminservices/icrm/Pages/dataprotection.aspx

Mary Immaculate College will review all applications.

 

Please download the application form and FAQs. Applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted by email only to 1916BursaryFund@mic.ul.ie by 5.00pm on Friday 15th October 2021.

Supporting documentation submitted after the closing date will not be accepted.   

Enquiries can be directed to 1916BursaryFund@mic.ul.ie

 

Undergraduate Application Pack: 

 

Postgraduate Application Pack:

  • About
  • Staff
  • Policies
  • Access Routes to Third Level
  • Disability Supports
  • Language Exemption
  • Financial Assistance