Who is eligible to apply?

Irish, EU and EFTA students* are eligible to apply for admission to all undergraduate courses and apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO):

  • For very high demand courses, a numerus clausus for EU applicants applies (i.e. based on the proportion of applicants achieving top grades from the various cohorts).
  • Please visit the appropriate website for details of how Irish Leaving CertificateA-level and other EU qualifications are assessed.

Overseas (i.e. Non-EU)* students are eligible to apply for admission to a limited number of places in all courses, except Nursing. Non-EU applicants apply direct to UCD. Applicants presenting qualifications gained outside the EU are assessed for admission purposes on an individual basis. Guidelines of the assessment method are given on the UCD Global website.

* EU/EFTA or Non-EU status is based on fee assessment criteria. If you are not sure whether you are considered as an EU applicant or a Non EU applicant please check your fee status. Non-EU applicants will not be considered via CAO (with the exception of refugees and asylum seekers). Likewise, those eligible for EU/EFTA fees will not be considered through non-EU application routes.

Are there age limits?

Students must normally be seventeen years of age by 15 January following entry: i.e. for entry in 2023, date of birth must be on or before 15 January 2007. There is no upper limit. In exceptional circumstances the requirement may be appealed.

How are applications assessed?

Admission to all courses is competitive (i.e. there are more applicants than places) and, other than access routes (e.g. mature years or QQI-FET), is based on the Leaving Certificate points system or equivalent.

For CAO applicants, we do not require personal statements (with the exception of Veterinary Medicine which requires evidence of work experience) or interviews. All eligible applicants are scored using a points system based on the Irish Leaving Certificate. There are equivalent scoring systems for A-level and EU Applicants.  In the case of Medicine, the HPAT-Ireland results are taken in combination with the school-leaving results.

 Please note: if you have previously attended third level, you must declare it and some restrictions may apply.

See further information about CAO Selection and Undergraduate Offer and Acceptance Protocols

When must my results be with CAO?

Documents already available should be sent to CAO immediately following application. All remaining documents and exam results you are presenting for assessment for entry to UCD must be with CAO no later than the dates below:

Mature supporting documents 15 February 2023
HEAR/DARE supporting documents 15 March 2023
Irish Leaving Certificate/ A-level TBD mid August 2023
Other School leaving exams
       Examinations already completed
       2023 results

within 10 days of application
1 August 2023
Other applicants please see the relevant website QQI-FET


When will UCD issue offers?

CAO offers are made in a series of rounds:

Round A

Early July

For mature applicants and those who have deferred from the previous year.

Round 0

Early August

QQI-FET, graduate entry and any remaining mature offers

Round 1


All remaining applicants - this includes Irish Leaving Certificate, EU, DARE and HEAR

UCD aims to fill all places in round 1. Any places unfilled will be offered in a series of subsequent rounds during September.

As the Academic Year starts in early September, UCD does not make any offers for the current year after the third week of trimester.

Amended Results

We usually receive two main batches of amended Leaving Certificate results.

In mid-September, following the viewing of scripts, we get amendments arising from clerical errors.
The main batch of amended results arising from full re-checks usually arrives in mid-October.
If your appeal is successful and you now have points sufficient for a higher preference, the CAO will notify us of this.

For early amendments, we endeavour to offer all such applicants a place for the current year but we cannot guarantee that you would be permitted to enter this year. Possible entry this year will depend on when the upgrade is received and if places are available in the programme. If we are unable to offer a deferred place will be given.

However we do not make offers after the third week of trimester. This means that for the amendments received in October or later, eligible applicants can only be given a deferred place for the following year. We have been advised by the Department of Education and Skills that any student who accepts a deferred place in UCD as a result of an upgrade and who has already accepted and begun another university programme is permitted to remain in this programme for the year, without a fees penalty.

Please note that we cannot act on amended results until we receive official notification via CAO.

It is very rare but occasionally results are downgraded. If this means that you no longer qualify for the course you have accepted, your application will have to be reviewed.

Do any courses have health requirements?

If you are admitted to any of the following

  • Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences (DN440),
  • Human Nutrition (DN262),
  • Medicine (DN400 and DN401),
  • Nursing (DN450-453)
  • Physiotherapy (DN420),
  • Radiography (DN410 and DN411)

You will be are required to pass a health screening following admission and from time to time thereafter, in accordance with the health policy of the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences. The screening includes testing for Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis. This will cost you approximately €280.

If you have any concerns about whether your health would affect your ability to complete a course, please contact our Disability Support Service.

Will I have to have my background checked?

If you are admitted to some programmes (currently: Human Nutrition, Medicine, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Nursing and Sports and Exercise Management) you will be required to undergo checks with the National Vetting Bureau. In the event that a relevant offence is disclosed, you may not be permitted to register.

If you have lived outside Ireland for more than 6 months since the age of 18, you must provide Police Certificates for any countries in which you have lived.

Does it matter if I’ve been in third level before?

You must include details of all previous third level attendance when applying. For some courses restrictions apply. Previous third level attendance may have fees implications.

What is my responsibility as an applicant?

As an applicant, it is your responsibility

  • to check entry criteria for the programmes for which you are applying. Please note, criteria can change from year to year.
  • to provide full and accurate information in the application and to notify the University and CAO of any changes or corrections made to the original application. We (UCD) may request verification from the issuing authority of any or all details on documentation presented. If documents are found to have been falsified the awarding body will be notified.
  • by accepting an offer, you agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the University. 

In the light of additional information which was not available at the time of selection, an offer may be amended or, in exceptional circumstances, withdrawn. We also reserve the right to correct errors where they have been made in the communication of decisions and offers.

We (UCD) reserve the right to exclude a candidate who is considered on justifiable grounds to be unsuitable for a place on a particular course according to individual circumstances.

Full conditions of an offer are available here.

What is UCD's responsibility?

UCD's responsibility is to

  • treat all applicants in an equitable and fair way
  • adhere to published policies and procedures
  • manage information in line with data protection best practice
  • manage and retain records in line with the Records Management Policy.
  • respond to applicants queries in a timely manner.

When will I start, if I'm offered a place?

Prospective undergraduate students should note that the University holds induction events for freshers in the week prior to the commencement of lectures. This involves registration, academic advisory, social and orientation meetings. It is anticipated that these meetings will commence during week begining 4 September 2023 and that lectures will commence on 12 September 2023. Further information on academic term dates can be found here.

Will I have to pay fees?

Fees consist of three elements: Tuition Fees, Student Contribution Charge and Student Centre Levy.

Under the terms of the "Free Fees" Initiative, the Irish Exchequer pays tuition fees to the University on behalf of EU students registered for the first time on qualifying, full-time, undergraduate degree programmes. Such programmes must be of a minimum duration of 2 years. 

However, the Student Contribution Charge and Student Centre Levy must still be paid by you.

Please check the website www.ucd.ie/fees for up-to-date information on fee requirements.

How do I know if I am eligible for "free tuition"?

Please also check the website with regard to your fees status, particularly if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Were you born outside the EU?
  • Have you lived outside the EU for 3 of the last 5 years?
  • Are you a non-EU National?
  • Have you previously attended a third–level institution (in Ireland or elsewhere)?

Will there be any other charges or costs?

Yes, for all courses you will need to buy books. Depending on your course, you may also have to pay for health screening, lab coats or other equipment. And, of course, you will need money for accommodation and living expenses.

Terms & Conditions

All offers of a place are subject to UCD's Terms and Conditions of Offer.

General Regulations

All students must comply with the general regulations of the university.