Postgrad Application System

PAC Practicalities


PAC opening and closing dates

Rounds system, managing acceptances and waiting lists

PAC ratings

How to view applications and assessing application

Decision sheets

Processing interview-based programmes

Deposits for international applicants

How to view student results

Making an equivalence case

Late applications

  • PAC opening and closing dates

We open PAC in the first week of November yearly. Most courses will open on this date. This means prospective students can apply online via PAC for your course from November 1st onward.

Graduate Studies Office closing dates

The last rounds closing date is at the beginning of July. Some courses have one specific closing date. If there is capacity on your course, we are open for applications after the last rounds closing date, until the Friday before the first day of semester one. 

International Office closing date

15th June.

  • Rounds system, managing acceptances and waiting lists

The Graduate Studies Office operates a rounds system for European applicants and sets realistic expectations around the time it will take for those who apply early in a cycle to receive a decision on their application, while maintaining entry standards and the quality of the student intake. The rounds system facilitates speedier decision-making early in the applications season. Earlier decisions result in applicants applying to SUSI earlier and increase the likelihood of receiving funding confirmation well in advance of the commencement of Semester 1 of their programme.

  1. The Rounds System does not preclude coordinators from making offers on receipt of a completed application, i.e. you do not have to wait until the round closing date in order to make an offer.
  2. A completed application, submitted within a round, must be reviewed, considered and a decision must be made about that application before applications in a subsequent round are considered.
  3. For oversubscribed programmes, i.e. where the number of qualified applicants tends to exceed the number of available places, the Graduate Studies Office strongly recommends that coordinators make final decisions on applications after the Round closing date has passed. Only then, do decisions issue from the coordinator to the Graduate Studies Office.
  4. For oversubscribed programmes, the coordinator, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Office and based on previous trends, may decide to place applicants on a waiting list in order to fill places that become available later, i.e. offers that are not accepted or acceptances that are later cancelled. The coordinator will email the waiting list to the Graduate Studies Office.  Waiting lists may be ranked, or not ranked.
  5. If an applicant has been placed on a waiting list and, in a following round a place becomes available on the programme, (e.g. due to a successful candidate refusing an offer), then that applicant must be offered a place before any qualified applicant from a subsequent round is considered and offered a place (applies to international applicants also).
  6. Consideration should be given to closing a programme for any additional applications if the maximum capacity is likely to be reached well in advance of the end of the fourth round closing date. This decision should be taken in close consultation with your College office and with the Graduate Studies Office/International Office (applies to international applicants also).
  7. Consideration should be given to exiting the rounds system if a programme is very competitive and if the coordinator wishes to select the best applicants from the full applicant pool. This can only be done prior to the commencement of a recruitment cycle and not during a recruitment cycle.
  8. By placing an applicant on a waiting list, the coordinator is committing to admit that applicant, should a place become available. If no places become available then the applicant is not admitted.
  9. The waiting list should be exhausted before offers are made to qualified applicants from subsequent rounds.
  10. Programmes in the rounds system, which tend not to reach maximum capacity (the majority of programmes) do not require waiting lists.
  • PAC ratings

The GSO and IO offices use PAC ratings to update applicants’ online PAC application status and the ratings are categorised by their first 3 digits from 111 (initial application or cancellation to 999 indicating applications with final decisions). If you are unsure what a rating means, just click on the rating and an explanation will pop up.
111000 – This is the automatic acknowledgment an applicant receives when they make an online application. This rating indicates that the application has not yet been viewed or processed by the Graduate Studies office/International Office and is not yet ready for assessment by the programme coordinator.
333xxx – If the applicant is missing documentation (usually degree evidence or evidence of an English language qualification) this rating indicates the application is on hold pending the submission of further documentation. The application is not yet ready for assessment. 
444001/444004 – The applicant has submitted the required documentation and at this stage you, as programme coordinator will receive an email notification that an application is complete and ready for review. Some applicants may still be missing their English language exam at this stage but we would still send this on for review as a conditional offer can be made pending receipt of the required English language exam.
999xxx – This indicates that you, as coordinator have made a decision (which may be an offer, refusal, offer conditional on final results, place on waitlist)
  • How to view applications and assessing application

Please see our PAC User Guide for this information.

  • Decision sheets

Graduate Studies Office - decision sheet

International Office - International Office decision sheet

Programme Coordinators fill out a decision sheet for applicant decision. All taught postgraduate application decisions must be recorded on the standard Postgraduate Admissions Decision Sheet. The decision sheet you fill out must state whether the applicant is accepted, put on a waiting list, refused or held pending further information.

Decision sheet process

  1. Programme Coordinators (and/or nominee) receives automated PAC email alerts notifying applications are ready for consideration.
  2. Programme Coordinators (and/or nominee) views and assess applications online via the PAC portal.
  3. Programme Coordinators (and/or nominee) returns completed decision sheet to the Graduate Studies Office (EU applications) by email.
  4. Staff in Graduate Studies Office communicate decisions to applicant via PAC.


Processing interview-based programmes



Read more detail on this process here: Processing interview-based programmes


Deposits for international applicants

Deposits to be paid 21 working days after receipt of offer letter for College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Deposits to be paid 20 working days after receipt of offer letter for College of Medicine and Health, College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, and the College of Business and Law. 

Deposit ratings

999941 – Full offer plus deposit received

999942 – Conditional offer plus deposit received

999943 – Met conditions plus deposit received

999944 – Sponsored

  • How to view student results

For non-UCC graduates, please download scanned documents.

Programme Coordinator Site

For UCC graduates, click on the student number.

Programme Coordinator Site

 Viewing European and International student qualifications

Programme Coordinator Site


  • Making an equivalence case

Each taught postgraduate programme has particular academic entry requirements, which are set at programme approval stage by the programme team.  These are minimum entry requirements and are necessary to assure academic standards and the integrity of the postgraduate portfolio.   

It is advisable that coordinators periodically review programme entry requirements following university curriculum regulations

Equivalency cases should be the exception.  The vast majority of admissions should be because of applicants having met the published entry requirements, i.e. entry requirements that the programme team approved and that the university publishes: the coordinator can make an equivalency case if an applicant presents with skills or experience that compensate for failing to meet the minimum programme entry requirements.

Scenarios could include:

  • Applicants who do not have a degree in the required subject area as detailed in the published entry requirements. In this instance, the application must demonstrated, at a minimum, evidence of cognate studies or further relevant academic learning or relevant experience.    
  • Non-Irish applicants whose degree level or overall degree results cannot be compared exactly to the minimum academic entry requirements e.g. the degree level, the overall degree result etc. Equivalence cases should show evidence of sufficient academic achievement via academic transcript of studies and other official evidence
  • Applicants presenting with cognate but non-degree qualifications. Equivalence cases must demonstrate evidence of relevant academic learning, further academic involvement, and further relevant experience. 

Steps to follow

  1. Please contact your College Graduate School Office for information on how to make an Equivalency case.
  2. On foot of College decision the Graduate Studies Office will update PAC.
  3. The coordinator will keep a record of the number of applicants admitted each cycle via this route and use this data to inform amendments to entry requirements for the following recruitment cycle.
  • Late applications

Graduate Studies Office

Applications after our last rounds closing date are considered late applications. Late applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity. 

International Office

Late applications are the exception and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Practical Admissions Criteria

  • EU and international students

Information on how to determine if you can apply for EU fee status or International/non-EU fee status on this page.

  • English language requirements

English language requirements are available on this page.

  • Visa and Immigration requirements for international students

Information available on this page.

  • Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting information is available on this page.



Post PAC

  • Registration

Once a student has accepted a full offer the next step will be their registration process. In August students receive registration information including

  • Their UCC student number and password
  • Instructions on how to complete registration part 1 online
  • A timetable for on campus registration part 2

Registration part 1 involves an online registration.

Registration part 2 involves students coming into campus, at an allocated timeslot provided by GSO and IO and completing registration. Fees must be paid before students can complete registration part 2 and receive their student card. Fees for EU Students are payable in two equal instalments, first payment when completing registration part 1 in August and the second payment in January. Fees for international students must be paid in full prior to registration.

  • Orientation

The GSO and IO will organise incoming EU and International taught postgraduate student orientations. This usually takes place the week before semester one begins. The topics covered are useful and general, and the goal is to assist incoming students with navigating UCC. Topics: 

  • Guide to UCC Administration
  • Insights, tips and tools
  • Recent graduate perspective
  • Adjusting to postgraduate study
  • Careers and future planning
  • Followed by a social coffee for students to get to know their new peers.

The GSO has an new postgraduate taught student site where EU students can find all the general practical information they need and also sets up a yearly postgraduate taught student facebook group, this is to help with social interaction but also works as support mechanism for students to openly ask questions and meet classmates pre-registration.

The International Office has a postgraduate student support site.

Schools/Departments are encouraged to have their own welcome event. This can be a very small event, involving a tea/coffee session, but is a great way to introduce your new students to their class, your school/department, staff and UCC.

Graduate Studies Office

Oifig na Staidéar Iarchéime

2nd Floor, West Wing, Main Quad, UCC , T12 YN60

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