University College Dublin
Ireland's Global University 

International Foundation Year Programme

The International Foundation Year is a three-term programme, specifically designed for international students who do not meet the requirement for entry to UCD bachelor programmes.

If you do not meet direct entry requirements for the degree you want, you can apply for a place on the International Foundation Year.

The International Foundation Year is a three-term programme, specifically designed for international students who do not meet the requirement for entry to UCD bachelor programmes.

The programme combines study skills, English language training and academic study to prepare you for degree-level study.

The course consists of modules. You will study four core subject modules and six subject-specific modules designed to focus on the academic areas most useful for your degree.

  Depending on the degree you want to access, you can choose from two routes:

Please note that this foundation year is for progression through to a selected number of bachelor programmes.

Practical information

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International Foundation Year Programme Entry Requirements

Academic Entry Requirements

You must apply with a minimum of 80% in the Thenawiya/Tawjahiya examination.

English Language Requirements

Teaching in Irish Universities is through the medium of English, therefore all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in English language.

The minimum English Language Requirements in relation to International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is overall band 5.0 (minimum of 5.0 in writing)

The minimum English Language Requirements in relation to Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by Princeton University

  • In the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a minimum score from 510 paper based TOEFL (with a minimum score of 475 in the Test of Written English), 180 computer based TOEFL or 64 internet based TOEFL (iBT)

The minimum English Language Requirements in relation to the Pearson Test of English is 43-45.

How to apply to IFY

You can apply for the International Foundation Programme online.

Visa Information

Do I need a Visa?

Yes – Emirati students require a study visa.

Please see the Embassy of Ireland – United Arab Emirates and the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service for further information.

Should you have any queries on applying for a visa to study in Ireland the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi will provide you with detailed information which will help you.

Embassy of Ireland in the UAE

The contact details for the Embassy are:

Embassy of Ireland
1 and 2 Khalifa Al Suwaidi Development
19th Street (off 32nd Street)
Al Bateen
Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 2 4958200 
Fax: +971 2 6819233
Website
Submit a query to the Embassy here

Making a visa application

It is necessary for applicants to provide the following information when applying for a visa:

  • Ensure passport is valid for 12 months
  • Ensure valid passport number
  • Date, place and mode of arrival in Ireland
  • Provide evidence from UCD that you have been accepted on a full-time course of study
  • Sponsorship letter of support / Letter from University indicating that the fees have been paid in full
  • Sponsorship letter confirming stipend  / Evidence of sufficient funds to cover living and other expenses for the proposed stay
  • Recent passport photographs
  • Visa application fee (non-refundable)
  • Have private health (Please see the UCD International Health Insurance webpage to find information on health insurance providers). Please note that private health insurance is not provided by UCD
  • In some cases proof of English, such as an IELTS or TOEFL certificate is required
  • Any other documents as requested by INIS or the Irish Embassy through which you are applying
  • Make sure you keep copies of all documents submitted

How long will your visa application take?

These documents should be sent to the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, as detailed. Provided that all the required documents have been supplied and are in order, visa applications from GCC citizens will normally be turned around in one working day. 

In other cases, and particularly if you do not have any previous visas, you should apply for your visa well in advance and allow 6-8 weeks for your application to be processed.  Incomplete applications will result in a delay. 

The onus is on the applicant to supply the required documentation and to satisfy the visa officer that a visa may be granted.

Schengen visa or UK D visa

Please note that a Schengen visa or UK D visa is not valid for travel to Ireland.

Further Queries

Should you have any queries on applying for a visa to study in Ireland; the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Dublin will provide you with the necessary information which will help you.

The contact details for the Embassy are:

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Glandore Business Centre, 
Fitzwilliam Hall,
Fitzwilliam Place,
Dublin 2
Tel: + 353 1 669 8588 
Fax: + 353 1 669 8557

Further Information

For further detail and application information on this programme please see the UCD International Study Centre website.

Contact Us

 UCD International

Gerard Manley Hopkins Centre
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Email: internationaladmissions@ucd.ie
Web: www.ucd.ie/international
Tel: +353 1 716 8500