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How to Apply - Undergraduate - EU Applicants


If you are applying to study in Ireland as an EU citizen, you apply for all undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO), unless otherwise stated.  The CAO provides an application pack with a handbook, which lists all the courses on offer and information on how to apply to each one. Applications may be submitted online, which makes the job even easier.

Am I an EU Applicant? 

An EU applicant is a person:

1. who is ordinarily resident in the European Union 
who will have received full-time post primary education 
who has worked full-time in the European Union for three of the five years immediately preceding admission to an Irish college


2. who holds a passport from a European Union state and has received all full-time post primary education in the European Union  
3. who has official refugee status 
has been granted humanitarian leave to remain in the State and who has been ordinarily resident in the European Union for three of the five years immediately before admission to Irish college.

A student’s registered status (EU/non-EU) cannot be changed during a programme for which he/she is registered.

* For students aged under 23, the student's parent(s) must also live (that is - principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in an EU Member State for three of the five years prior to student’s entry to an Irish College;

or EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) or Switzerland.

All other applications are considered to be non-EU applications

Application Dates & Fees

Please try to  submit your application as early as possible. Don't leave it too near the closing date as exceptions will not be allowed.

All fees are Non-refundableFeeClosing Date
Normal application€401 February (5.15pm)
Online discounted rate€3020 January
Online ApplicationFeeClosing Date
Late Online Application€401 February (5.15pm)
Late Paper Application€801 May (5.15pm)
Change of MindNil1 July (5.15pm)

Academic Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for courses may vary from year to year, depending on the number of places available and the number of applicants, so there is a great deal of competition for the more popular programmes.  Irish students compete for entry based on results achieved in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination. Students are graded on their six best subject scores.

The International Bacculaureate (IB) Diploma is also accepted as meeting the minimum entry requirement for higher education programmes, provided due notice is taken of the various grades and combinations of subjects indicated in the current published entry requirements. Specific programme and faculty requirements must be met at all institutions. All applications are assessed individually and the Diploma does not guarantee admission. Individual institutions may stipulate requirements additional to the minimum required.

English Language Requirement

A good grasp of the English language is essential for students whose first language is not English. You need to be able to understand, converse and write English well as it is the language of instruction at all Irish institutions of higher education. 

Students must show a proficiency in English to be accepted for a degree programme.  Good news - many universities and colleges provide English language training courses for students hoping to study with them.  There are also 94 private English language training schools nationwide, which run short and long-term courses.  

The list below indicates the minimum standards in English which should be met. In certain circumstances, results in examinations other than those outlined below may be accepted as proof of ability. However, the results obtained in such other examinations must indicate ability to one of the standards outlined below:  

ExaminationLevel Required
Irish Leaving Certificate in EnglishOrdinary level grade D
GCSE English LanguageGrade C
GCE O-Level English LanguageGrade C
University of CambridgePass in Use of English Examination
IELTSComposite score of 6.0- 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component
Cambridge ProficiencyGrade C
Cambridge AdvancedGrade A
ARELS oral examinationsPass
PTE AcademicMinimum score of 36



If you are interested in applying to study medicine in Ireland, please note that you will have to do the HPAT assessment test, which was introduced for EU students applying for undergraduate medicine in the medical schools in Ireland. The score achieved in the HPAT-Ireland examination will be added to the Leaving Certificate points to create a total points score. Students will be eligible to compete for undergraduate medicine places provided they achieve a minimum of 480* points AND meet the matriculation requirements of the Medical School. 

*subject to change year on year