University College Dublin
Ireland's Global University 

UCD English Language Requirements

Minimum 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.

UCD's minimum English Language Requirements are approved by the University Programmes Board and apply to all applicants and all levels of study.

Undergraduate Applicants:

If you are presenting the Irish school Leaving Certificate you are required to have attained a H7/O6 in English.

If you are studying in another education system, you are required to show equivalent competency in English either through your school leaving examination or matriculation examination or by achieving the minimum standard  in a recognised English Language Test, as outlined below.

Graduate Applicants:

The qualifications shown below are minimum entry requirements for graduate taught and graduate research degrees. However, for some graduate courses the requirements may be higher.

In some cases, other evidence may also be taken into account, such as a degree taken through English, in an English-speaking country. Please contact the school to which you are applying if you need further information.

Currency of results:

For all proficiency tests the results must normally have been issued within two years prior to the start of your course.

Recognised English Language Tests

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • An average score of 6.5 over all components and a minimum of 6.0 in each band on the Academic Version.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by Princeton University

  • A minimum score of 600 in the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), with Test of Written English at 475 +.
  • A minimum score of 90 is required in the Internet based TOEFL (iBT) with a score of at least 20 in the each section.

Pearson Test of English - Academic

  • Minimum of 63 and no section less than 59

Cambridge Examinations

English language examinations administered by the University of Cambridge: 180+ on Cambridge English scale (with no less than 175 in each skill and use of English) i.e.

Acceptable Examinations:

  • Proficiency Certificate, Grade C (i.e. CEFR Level C1 or C2).
  • Advanced Certificate, Grade C (i.e. CEFR Level C1 or C2)
  • First Certificate, Grade A (CEFR Level C1)

UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate)

  • English at grade C or above (incorporating the Oxford Examining Body's English as a Foreign Language (Higher Paper))
  • (Malaysia) Cambridge English Language (1119) conducted overseas by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate: B4 or better.

UK Examining Boards/Bodies

  • GCE O-Level English Language at Grade C or above
  • GCSE English Language at Grade C or above
  • GCSE English Literature at Grade C or above

English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP)

  • Grade C1 (i.e. CEFR Level C1 or C2)

Trinity ISE

  • Trinity ISE 3 with at least merit in each skill category.

QQI FETAC ESL

  • Distinction in the module "English as a Second Language"

School Leaving Examinations

Matriculation / school-leaving examinations from most EUropean Countries and many Non-EU countries will meet the requirements where English is presented as a subject at an acceptable level (http://www2.cao.ie/downloads/documents/Guidelines-EU-EFTA.pdf)

For example, in the International Baccalaureate, English A1, A2 or B: 5 at Higher Level (or 4 at Standard Level if presenting the IB through English) will meet the general entry requirements.

Where an English proficiency test which is scored on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is presented as part of a school-leaving qualification, grade must be C1/C2.

An equivalent level of English

Other evidence of proficiency in English may be accepted. For further advice please contact

For EU applicants: UCD Admissions (admissions@ucd.ie)

For Non-EU applicants: UCD International (internationaladmissions@ucd.ie)

FOR VISA REQUIRING APPLICANTS, please note that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service's English Language Requirements can differ from those of University College Dublin. For full details on obtaining a visa for Ireland, please see HERE.


UCD Applied Language Centre

English for Academic Purposes Programmes

The UCD Applied Language Centre provides a range of programmes for students whose first language is not English, who wish to improve their English before commencing an undergraduate or graduate programme in UCD, or another Irish university.  Applications are welcome from students who require an intensive period of English language preparation to meet university entry requirements, or who have already met the conditions of entry but wish to improve their proficiency. Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to check whether or not these courses are deemed acceptable.

For information on these English language courses please see the UCD ALC website.