University College Dublin
Ireland's Global University 



UCD Pre- Masters Pathway (PMP) Programme is designed primarily for international students who meet the academic entry requirements of their chosen UCD graduate taught programme but do not yet meet the English language requirements for direct entry to that programme.

The principal function of the Pre-Masters Programme is to prepare students to undertake their chosen UCD Masters Programme by

(a)  Increasing their English language skills to the level necessary to undertake their UCD Masters programme, and

(b) Allowing the students to become familiar with how their chosen subject area is delivered in UCD while also gaining experience of life as a UCD student before commencing their graduate studies.


The PMP Programme is generally available as a one or two semester programme.

The two semester programme begins in September with the 1 semester programme beginning in January. Both conclude in May after final examinations. Students starting in January are generally required to possess a higher level of English than those starting in September.

The PMP Programme is composed primarily of English language classes delivered by UCD’s Applied Language Centre with students also taking a cultural module (in the 1st semester) and a study skills module (in the 2nd semester).

Students will also attend some undergraduate level modules related to their chosen Masters programme to help with familiarisation of subject delivery in UCD as well as helping students improve their academic English.

Students on the Pre-Masters programme will usually attend one module related to their Masters programme in the first semester and two in the second semester. Some programmes may include more than this.

Once accepted on to the Pre-Masters Pathway Programme students automatically receive a conditional offer for the associated Masters programme for the following academic year.

Students will progress to their masters in the September, following the conclusion of the Pre-Masters Pathway Programme, upon the successful completion of their Pre-Masters studies and subject to meeting any further entry requirements as prescribed by the relevant UCD School or College.

Entry Requirements

Academic requirements

The academic entry requirements for each Pre-Masters Pathway programme is the same as those applying to the associated Masters. The normal requirement for entry to a taught Master’s Degree programme is a second class honours degree in a relevant subject. However intending applicants should check the individual requirements listed on the School website, since some degrees may require a higher standard for entry.

English language requirements

September entry- IELTS 5.5 overall no section lower than 5.0

January entry IELTS 6.0 no section below 5.5

Please note that some Pre-Masters Pathway Programmes in Science, Business and Law require higher English language scores. UCD also accepts other English language testing examinations. 

Progression Requirements

Academic Requirements

In order to successfully complete their Pre-Masters Pathway Programme and progress to their graduate studies students are required to achieve a passing grade in academic modules.

English Language Requirements

First semester:

Pre-Masters Pathways students are required to achieve a passing grade (D-) in their first semester English language modules.

Second semester:

Pre-Masters Pathways students are required to achieve an overall grade of C with no components less than D- in their second semester English language modules.


Please note that all Business related Masters Pathway Programmes, where students progress on to Masters Programmes offered by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, require students to retake an IELTS test, or an equivalent examination recognised by UCD after they complete their Pre-Masters studies. These students are required to obtain an IELTS test score (or equivalent) of 6.5 overall with no component of the test lower than 6.0.

Please contact for further information.

Schools/Colleges also have discretion to admit students to their masters programme should they fail to obtain the progression requirements outlined above.


Two semester Pre-Masters pathway programme starting in September - €11,500

One semester Pre-Masters Pathway programme starting in January - €7,500