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 2018.

  • Applicants to AD101 and AD202 must submit their portfolio to NCAD by 9 February 2018.

  • Applicants to the NCAD Access Scheme must complete the NCAD Access Scheme Application Form and return it to NCAD - 27 April 2018.

Applicants may be short-listed for Access Scheme interviews in May 2018.

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 2016 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 2017.

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 2016.

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.

Completed Application Forms should be returned to:

Finola Mc Ternan, Access Scheme, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street Dublin 8
Closing Date: Friday 27th April 2018

Access Scheme Information for Applicants & Application Form downloads

NCAD Access Scheme 2018/19 Infosheet: click here

NCAD Access Scheme Application Form 2018/19: click here

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 Available four mornings per week during term.