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 requirements 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 Tawjahiya.

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

Yes – Bahraini students require a study visa.

The Embassy of Ireland in Saudi Arabia represents Bahrain. Please see the Embassy of Ireland - Saudi Arabia 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 Riyadh will provide you with detailed information which will help you.

Embassy of Ireland in Saudi Arabia

The contact details for the Embassy are:

Diplomatic Quarter Riyadh 
Postal address P.O. Box 94349 Riyadh 11693 
Tel: + 966 1 488 2300
Fax: + 966 1 488 0927

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 insurance (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 you visa application take?

These documents should be sent to the Irish Embassy in Riyadh 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

The Bahrain Embassy in the UK can also be contacted should you have further queries;

30 Belgrave SquareLondon
Tel: +44 20 7201 9170
Fax: +44 20 7201 9183

Further Information

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

Contact Us

‌You can contact University College Dublin International Study Centre online.