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College Entry Requirements:

Entry to Third level courses typically include school leavers with Leaving Cert (Established) or Leaving Cert Vocational (LCVP), students with a FETAC award from a PLC course, mature students and international students.


Applications for almost all full-time undergraduate courses is through the Central Applications Office(CAO). The CAO provides an applications pack with a handbook that lists all the courses on offer and gives information on how to apply.

The normal closing date for applications from Irish and other European Union nationals is 1st February at 5.15 pm each year. Late applications are allowed up to 1st May at 5.15 pm of the same year (Note: certain exceptions exist - check with the college for details). You can also submit a Change of Mind form to amend your choice of courses from 1st May until 1st July. Decisions on offers of places are normally made in August and September, after the results of the Leaving Certificate have come out.

Leaving Certificate points

Students who have taken the Leaving Certificate examination are allocated points for the results they get in their six best subjects, at a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate. The points awarded depend on the level of achievement in the subject. The number of entry-level points needed for any course depends on the number of places and the number of applicants for those places so the entry level varies from year to year. Higher points are awarded for Higher-Level papers than for Ordinary-Level papers.

You can find out what points were required for admission to courses in previous years using this Course Finder . A student must also have the specific academic entry requirements (also called matriculation requirements) for the course he/she wants to take. Details of these requirements are available for each course in the Course Finder facility on  This information can also be found on the different University, Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Education websites.

All colleges have minimum entry requirements for courses offered to first time applicants directly from school. Individual courses may have higher requirements; these must be checked out individually when researching courses.

The entry requirements for mature studentsFETAC applicants and foreign students differs from school applicants and should be checked out for each course being considered. Note: This information is readily available within the Qualifax courses database under the ‘FETAC Applicants’ and ‘Mature Applicants’ sections for each course.

Minimum Entry requirementsUniversities

National University of Ireland (UCDublin, UCCork, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth):
  • The minimum entry requirement for the universities that are part of the National University of Ireland (NUI) is six subjects, including English, Irish and (possibly) a third language. In two of these subjects, students must have achieved grade H5 and at least a grade H7 or O6 in four other subjects. Many courses also require a third language. There may be additional course requirements, such as maths, or a science subject for specific courses.

University of Limerick (UL), Trinity College Dublin and DCU:
  • The minimum entry requirement for is six subjects. Students must have achieved at least a grade H5 in two of these subjects (in three for TCD and the B.Ed. in DCU). Subjects must include a grade O6 in English, Maths* and a language other than English.
    *Foundation level maths is accepted for some courses.

Minimum Entry requirements - Institutes of Technology (IOT’s)

  • Level 8 (Honours Degree) courses: students generally require a minimum of grade H5 in two subjects and grade O6/H7 in four other subjects, including maths and either Irish or English.

  • Levels 6 and 7 (Higher Certificate and Ordinary Degree): students require five grade O6/H7, including maths and Irish or English

Minimum Entry requirements - Colleges of education

  • Colleges of Education (DCU; Mary Immaculate; The Froebel College at Maynooth University and Coláiste Mhuire Marino) require a minimum of three grade H5, including Irish, and three grade O6/H7. There are also specific minimum grade requirements for maths and English.

Choosing Courses

A step by step wizard to help find undergraduate courses used by the CAO can be found here.
Find out about studying abroad here

Source: Careers Portal