NCAD Access Scheme

NCAD operates a supplementary admissions route for applicants with a disability or for those who are from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Details of the NCAD Access Scheme are sent to all applicants who pass the portfolio/interview stage, or in the case of AD215 Visual Culture, information is sent to all applicants.

Applicants who feel they meet the qualifying criteria for the Access Scheme are invited to make an application.  NCAD reserves 5% of places in First Year for Access Students.

To receive an Access offer you must meet the Minimum Entry Requirements and have passed the portfolio/interview stage.

Note: The NCAD Portfolio Submission Brief for AD101 and AD202 is marked out of 1,000, the passing grade is 400.

  • Applicants with disabilities (this concession will not be available to applicants with Specific Learning Difficulties)

  • Applicants from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Applicants with disabilities are asked to ensure to attach appropriate supporting documentation verifying their disability/significant ongong illness.

  • All applicants must apply to the CAO by 1 February 2022.

  • Applicants to AD101 and AD202 must submit their portfolio to NCAD by 11 February 2022.

  • Applicants to the NCAD Access Scheme must complete the NCAD Access Scheme Application Form and return it to NCAD - 31 May 2022.

Applicants from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds must provide evidence of at least three of the following:


The total gross parent(s), guardian(s), candidate(s) income for the year ending 31 December 2020 is within the income thresholds for eligibility for the Irish Higher Education Grants Scheme.

Medical Card

Applicant, parent(s) or guardian(s) has a Medical Card/GP Visit Card valid on 31 December 2021.

Social Welfare Payment

Candidate, parent(s) or guardian(s) are in receipt of a means-tested social assistance payment(s) from the Department of Social & Family Affairs for a minimum of 26 continuous weeks in the year ending 31 December 2020.

Socio-Economic Group

Applicant comes from a socio-economic group, which is under-represented in higher education (ie Non-manual Workers Group; Semi & Unskilled Manual Workers Group; Agricultural Workers Group)


Applicant has completed 5 years of second level education in a school which is part of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) scheme operated by the Department of Education & Science.

All queries on the Access Scheme should be directed to:

Closing Date: Friday 31st May 2022

NCAD Access Scheme Information for Applicants & Application Form downloads

NCAD Access Scheme 2021/22 Infosheet: click here

Access Scheme Application Form

Student Support Services at NCAD  include:

Access Officer Co-ordinates Fund for Students with Disabilities and Student Assistance Fund.
Student Medical Service: A doctor attends College three days per week.
Student Counsellor: Confidential counselling service.
Learning Support Service For students with Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties.
Careers Advisory Service Not currently available

NCAD ACCESS SCHEME - Data Protection Statement

1. Who are the data controllers for the NCAD ACCESS SCHEME:
A. NCAD: Registrar, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

2. Who is the Data Protection Officer:

3. With whom will we share your data?
We may share your data with the following personnel:
Student Services and Admissions and Access Service staff from NCAD.

4.For what purposes will my/my child/ward’s personal data be used and on what basis?
Your/your child/ward’s personal data requested on the Application Form will be used for the purpose of administering the NCAD ACCESS SCHEME. If you fail to provide the information requested, you, your child/ward’s application cannot be processed for consideration for this scheme.

5. Can I withdraw my consent at any time?
You may withdraw your consent at any time to the process by writing to the Data Protection Officer, NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8. If you withdraw your consent, such withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of the processing prior to the withdrawal of your consent.

6. How long will NCAD retain your/your child/ward’s personal data?
If you have consented to us retaining your/your child/ward’s data, we will retain your/your child/ward’s data for a period of study with NCAD and the required time for completion of any official audits required.

7. Right to request access to, rectification, erasure of personal data or restriction of processing or data portability
a. You have the right to access any personal data which we hold about you/your child/ward or to request the rectification of any information that we have about you/your child/ward. If you would like to access or rectify your personal data, please send your request in writing to Data Protection Officer, NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
b. In certain circumstances, you have the right to request that we erase your/your child/ward’s personal data, the right to restrict our use of your/your child/ward’s data and the right to data portability. For further information, please write to Data Protection Officer, NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

8. How do I make a complaint or report a breach?
If you have a complaint in relation to our processing of your/ your child/ward’s information we encourage you to contact with a view to resolving it informally.

Should you wish to make a complaint or report a breach in relation to your personal data, you can do so by emailing the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner using the following email address:

9. Automated Decision Making
We do not process your personal data in connection with automated decision making.

Consent and Data Sharing
I consent that personal and supporting information supplied by me in this application will be used by NCAD to assess my application for eligibility for the NCAD Access Scheme.

Data Holding
I agree to this data being kept for the duration of study and for the time that it may take for any official audits required.

Withdrawing Consent
I understand that I have a right to withdraw my consent at any time.

For information on the NCAD Data Protection Policy please CLICK HERE