As well as access to third level education an important part of the DCU Access Service is a commitment to support full participation in University life and to help students reach their full potential. In order to achieve this the Access Service provides academic, financial and social supports to students entering DCU.
First Year Orientation Programme
Students who enter DCU through the HEAR or DCU Access schemes must attend one of two orientation programmes taking place on either the DCU Glasnevin or DCU St Patrick's campus running for either one day or three days in September. Students will be assigned to the orientation that best meets their needs. Failure to attend will result in HEAR supports and possibly the HEAR offer being withdrawn. The programme aims to prepare students socially and academically for undergraduate life while familiarising them with the campus. Students will also have the opportunity to get to know the staff in the Access Service, who will support them throughout their time at university.
During the orientation, students are divided into "streams" according to their subject group. The timetable will include sports, sample lectures, workshops such as study and presentation skills, and social events.
Current DCU Access Students act as leaders for the duration of the programme. This is an excellent opportunity for new students to gain valuable insights and advice from students studying similar courses and who have just negotiated first year themselves.
Comments on the Access Orientation Programme from 2015
"It was a great experience and reduced a lot of the anxiety I had about college life."
"I thought this was a really good day, very enjoyable and informative. It wasn't too heavy but was fun and informed and educated you at the same time. I thought it was the perfect balance of both and I'm so glad I attended."
"It was a fantastic experience that prepared me for university and I made load of friends through the orientation programme which were in my course. I feel very happy in college because I had a solid group of friends before starting my course and college life! Thank you for the experience. I had a ball."
- 2015 Participants
Ulster Bank is a long-term supporter of the Access Scholarship Programme at DCU. During the Orientation Ulster Bank provide budgeting and financial advice to Access Students. Sincere thanks to Ulster Bank for their continued support of DCU Access Service and students.
Aristo, also a long-term supporter of the Access Programme, sponsors the presentation skills workshop for the Access Orientation each year. Sincere thanks to Aristo for this invaluable contribution.
First year modules can be quite challenging for students to get to grips with. For this reason, Access provide additional tuition workshops for students who are struggling with specific subjects/modules.
In extenuating circumstances tuition can be provided to students from second, third and fourth year.
For information on how you can avail of this support contact your designated Access Support Officer directly.
Designated Post Entry Support Officer
- All first year students meet their designated Support Officer early in the first semester. At this point students have an opportunity to raise any concerns that they may have and their Support Officer will support them in any way that they can. Further meetings can be arranged by students on a needs basis.
- Second to Fourth year students can request a meeting at any time with their designated Support Officer.
Students will also be contacted throughout the year, particularly around exam periods, to ensure individual supports are being availed of. In the absence of a Support Officer, another member of the Access team will be happy to meet with students as required.
The Peer Mentoring scheme aims to help ease students into college life by introducing them to fellow students who have already completed their first year of college. Peer Mentors are available to provide academic, social and general advice in an informal capacity to first year students. All mentors receive training and ongoing support from the DCU Access Service.
Student Support & Development
The Access Service is part of the DCU Student Support and Development Service which offers a range of supports to students including a Careers Service, Health Centre and Counselling among others that students can avail of. For further information on these supports contact DCU SS&D directly on 01 700 7165 or visit the SS&D website.
Post-Entry Support Officers
For further information on post entry supports please contact:
01 700 8868
Second - Fourth Year
01 700 5530
All Students - St. Pat's
01 884 2169
DCU Access Students are provided with a scholarship administered by the Support Officers. Students may apply for further financial supports based on individual circumstances. See the links below for further information on student finance.
Links for Financial Assistance
- Student Finance - Advice on finance for third level education.
- SUSI - Online application form for higher education maintenance grants.
- DCU Student Assistance Fund - Current DCU students experiencing severe financial hardship may be able to apply for assistance.
- All Ireland Scholarship Scheme - Scholarship scheme for current Leaving Certificate Students.
Funding for current and continuing DCU Access Scholarships is raised by the Educational Trust in DCU through private donors. Access students can get involved by attending donor events and will have the opportunity to meet with current and prospective donors from the business world. Click here to view a video about the Trust.
The DCU Access Service provide a number of professional supports to students including internships, networking opportunities and placement support and guidance.
Some internships / opportunities that Access students can avail of:
- Google, Head Office, Dublin
- Washington Ireland Programme
- Digicel Internship, Jamaica
- Irish Distillers, Dublin
- Kansas University
The Access Service strongly promotes an ethos of volunteering and regularly provides volunteering opportunities including shadowing days, peer mentoring, school visits, University Open days, and opportunities to volunteer abroad.
Students can gain academic credits in their final year based on their volunteering activities. Click here to learn more.