Tackling Educational Disadvantage


At  Maynooth University  you will receive an outstanding university education, the best available in Ireland. An important part of an outstanding university education is a diverse student body and ensuring all students have a fair and equal opportunity to progress to  Maynooth University  is one of the university's strategic goals.  

The Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) provides a number of initiatives to increase the participation rate of those whose social, economic and educational experiences have prevented them from realising their full educational potential.

MAP participates in the Higher Education Access Route and provides a number of places to students on every single  Maynooth University  course who meet the HEAR criteria, but have not met the leaving certificate points. Each year there are over 200 students who enter  Maynooth University  through HEAR.  Find out how you apply to HEAR and the supports available to HEAR students at  Maynooth University. 

MAP has a strong school and community outreach programme which works with young people and families to increase the number of students who complete their second level studies to the best of their ability and proceed to third level education.


Why Maynooth?


Why do 9% of first year students enter Maynooth University through the Higher Education Access Route each year? 

Maynooth University is a leader in the provision of supports for HEAR students. Once you accept your HEAR place, a wide range of supports are available to you including:

  • A comprehensive orientation programme called Launchpad with an information day for your parents 
  • Financial support for the first year of your degree
  • Access to financial advice for the duration of your degree
  • Access to your own designated MAP student advisor
  • ​A strong Access society with fun events planned throughout the year
  • Career planning and employment opportunities

​​These supports are one part of Maynooth University 's strong commitment to widening participation and a reason why the number of students entering Maynooth University through HEAR keep growing!

Schools Outreach


Maynooth University through the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP) has been engaged in school and community outreach for over twenty five years. The focus of our outreach programme is to remove barriers to progression to higher education and create realistic expectations for educational progression among schools, families, adult learners and communities who historically do not access higher education. 

Initiatives are a blend of inreach and outreach and support the University to meet its own, and national, targets for widening participation. The development of the outreach programme has demanded the building of key relationships with education providers and communities as well as with key University partners.  Currently MAP works closely with 18 DEIS second level schools in geographical proximity to MU, FETAC providers, and community partnerships.

MAP collaborates with our regional partners to increase the scope and impact of outreach initiatives, share knowledge and learning and contribute to the growing evidence base that supports outreach as an effective tool to raise aspirations and increase participation at third level.

Aims of MAP Second Level School Programme

  • To increase the number of students who complete their second level studies to the best of their ability and proceed to third level education.
  • To encourage parental involvement in the educational careers of young people attending MAP-linked schools and to increase family awareness of the benefits of completing senior cycle education and continuing to third level education.
  • To promote positive community attitudes toward education and to establish links with community based organisations working to combat educational disadvantage.


HEAR Frequently Asked Questions


As a HEAR student there may be questions that you have or issues that crop up from time to time. Do make sure to contact your MAP Student Advisor if you are having any difficulties or would like any assistance. If your question is not answered here, please send us an email or give us a tweet @MU_MAP



HEAR Student Supports


The Maynooth Access Programme is committed to providing high quality supports to all students who enter through the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR).

The supports are designed to ease the transition from second level to third level and to assist HEAR students in having a top class student experience.   Maynooth University supports over 736 HEAR students.

As a HEAR student, your supports will begin as soon as you receive your Maynooth University CAO offer and continue throughout your degree.


Launchpad is a 3 day orientation programme for incoming MAP students to get to know one another and the University before starting at Maynooth University. The aims of the programme are for you to get an insight into university life, make friends, learn academic and personal skills that will help you at Maynooth University.  

Academic supports 

Academic supports including the MAP Academic AdvisorsStudent Plus and Technology Transition Programme, offered during first semester to help you adjust to the academic demands at Maynooth University. 

Designated MAP Advisor 

There is a designated MAP Student Advisor who is available to all HEAR students who may wish to discuss personal, academic financial or any other issues in confidence at any stage during your degree. If you are a HEAR student, book an appointment to meet an Advisor by emailing access.office@mu.ie.  

Financial Supports

There are financial supports available to HEAR students to help with the costs of going to university in your first year and if you met 5 or more HEAR indicators you will continue to receive financial support from the Maynooth University Access Programme throughout your degree. This assistance is co-funded by the Irish Government and European Union under the European Social Fund Human Capital Investment Programme. 

For all other aspects of your finances, the Student Budgeting Advice Service offers a free, friendly and confidential service to Maynooth University students to provide help, guidance and advice on any money issue. The Student Budgeting Advisor can also work with you on your financial planning for University.