EU Requirements by Country

EU Entry Requirements by Country

Applicants from non-Irish EU/EEA/Swiss States should see the information contained in this document relevant to their country's exams. For further information, email

EU Non-Irish Entry Requirements Document: click here

English Language Requirements (for Non-Irish EU applicants)

Teaching in UCC is normally through the medium of English; therefore all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of Competence in English Language. Applicants who have not passed English as a subject in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination must provide evidence of equivalent Competence in English Language through their school leaving examination or matriculation examination or by achieving the minimum standard (there may be higher levels for particular programmes) in a recognised English language test, as outlined below:

The appropriate minimum score in the following English Language Examinations

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):  90 Internet-based (no less than 20 in each section); A minimum score of 600 administered by Princeton University, with Test of Written English at 475+. 
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS):  Test Patterns A and B, with an average score of 6.5 overall components and a minimum of 6.00 in each band.
  • University of Cambridge: 180+ on Cambridge English scale with no less than 175 in each skill and use of English, i.e.: 
    • Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
    • Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
    • First Certificate, Grade A (CEFR Level C1)
  • English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP): With grade C1 or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)

UK Examining Boards/Bodies

  • GCE O Level English Language at Grade C or above
  • GCSE English Language at Grade C or above
  • GCSE English Literature at Grade C or above
  • CSE Grade 1 Pass in English

University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES)

With English at grade C or above (incorporating the Oxford Examining Body’s English as a Foreign Language Higher Paper)

EU Countries’ Matriculation Examination

Matriculation Examinations from European Countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved. Where the examination has been taken more than 2 years previously, candidates may be required to take a proficiency test. Where an English proficiency test which is scored on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is presented as part of a school-leaving qualification, grade must be C1/C2. 

Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) 

minimum of 63 (with at least 59 for each item)

Trinity ISE

Trinity ISE 3 with at least merit in each skill category


Distinction in the module 'English as a Second Language or 'Communications' (level 5)

Or an equivalent level of English in a recognised examination. 

Proficiency tests are used to meet entry requirements but do not count towards points scores. For all proficiency tests, the results must normally have issued within two years prior to the start of your course. Where an applicant shows evidence of hearing impairment which meets the requirements for access, the English language requirements can be met without the hearing and speaking components.

Application process

Applicants must apply through the Central Applications System (CAO). Complete information on the CAO system is available in the CAO Handbook and is also available on the CAO website at Each application must be accompanied by appropriate documentation as outlined below.

Documentation to be submitted with CAO Application Form

When submitting an application to the CAO it must be accompanied by the following documentation (or followed by the documentation if applying on-line):

  • Certified true copy of official transcripts of academic results
  • In some cases, the final school report is also required (to show the full range of subjects taken)
  • A certified English translation is required in the case of qualifications not issued originally in English or Irish, in addition to the certified A4 photocopies of the documents themselves.

In the absence of these documents and translations, the application may not be processed. Applicants who are awaiting current year examination results must forward their results as soon as they become available to the CAO For applicants who are successful in their application, the HEI will require that the original documentation be presented at registration for verification. Offers of places are provisional until such time as all Registration formalities have been completed within the University.

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If you have any questions regarding application to UCC, please contact the admissions office directly:  

Admissions Office


1st floor, West Wing, Main Quadrangle, T12 K8AF