A Level/GCE Applicant

UCD welcomes applicants presenting A-Level qualifications for all courses. Each year we have many students from Northern Ireland, Great Britain and further afield who have entered on this basis.

  How do I know if I’m eligible?

Basic eligibility and subject entry requirements

To matriculate on the basis of the A-level/ GCSE, a student must obtain Grade C or better in two subjects at A-level (A/E or B/D is regarded as equivalent to Grade C/C for this purpose) and passes in 4 other recognised subjects at A-level/GCSE.

Subjects must include relevant UCD course entry requirements.


Points entry requirement

Meet the points required to enter a UCD course. CAO Points are only awarded for a maximum of 4 A-Level or AS grades, not GCSE grades.

Minimum points requirements can change from year to year, as they are influenced by demand for, as well as the number of places in, each programme.


Our general regulations, such as age requirements etc, are the same for all applicants.

Which subjects are acceptable?

If you are presenting subjects through a GCE/GCSE examination programme ensure that you refer to the National University of Ireland listing (pdf) of which A-level/GCSE subjects are mutually exclusive for basic eligibility.

Refer to the minimum subject requirements for all UCD undergraduate courses, which also lists the points that were required in 2013.

For programmes which require a laboratory science subject the following subjects will be accepted:




Agricultural Science


Do I need to have studied the Irish language?

No, if you were born outside the Republic of Ireland, you do not
require Irish as a subject for entry to UCD.

Candidates from Northern Ireland and Great Britain presenting GCE/GCSE qualifications will automatically be granted exemption from Irish, and do not need to apply to the NUI for any exemption.

In certain circumstances, those born in the Republic of Ireland
may claim exemption from the requirement to present Irish as
a subject for entry to UCD. Refer to this Irish language exemption
information document and application form for further details.

 How do my A-level grades compare to points?

For entry in 2014, A-level and AS grades are compared with the Irish Leaving Certificate grades based on the indicative points equivalencies below.

































These indicative points are guidelines only. In the case of high demand programmes such as Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, a numerus clausus may operate.

Numerus Clausus: In very high demand courses, such as Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the proportions of eligible applications coming from the Leaving Certificate and A-Level examination systems (or, in some cases, equivalent EU systems), are determined. Places on the course in question are then offered to eligible applicants coming from each respective examination system group on the basis of ranking within their group.

• A maximum of four different recognised subjects, which are not mutually exclusive may
be counted. If you present AS grades they will normally only be accepted from the year
immediately preceding the grades in the A2 subjects. Grades in the same subject in A2
and AS level cannot be combined.

• Grades AE or BD at A-level are regarded as equivalent to two Grade Cs for basic eligibility

• Only A-level grades awarded at the same date can be considered for computation (Summer and Winter results cannot be combined). UCD will
accept A-level subjects presented in the Modular format provided that the results required for admissions issue simultaneously.

• AVCE subjects are not accepted for matriculation or entry purposes. UCD does not currently accept vocational or applied subjects.

• From 2012 for a 4 year period, 25 additional points will be awarded for a grade E or better in Mathematics at A2 level. This will apply to only ONE mathematics subject of Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Pure Maths where that subject is one of the four subjects being counted for points purposes. NB Mathematics and Pure Mathematics cannot be counted separately for points purposes.

 How do I apply?

You should apply for admission to undergraduate courses via the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applications are considered for admission to the first year of full degree courses only. You can apply online at www.cao.ie. Paper forms are also available on request from the CAO from September each year.

If you are applying from outside of the European Union, refer to our non-EU applicants page.

Undergraduate application to Medicine

In 2014, undergraduate entry to Medicine for school leavers will be based on both:

1 Achieving a minimum of 480 Leaving Certificate points or equivalent and meeting the minimum entry requirements for the programme in the same sitting* of the School Leaving Examination; and

2 Completing the required HPAT-Ireland admissions test within the one year period immediately preceding admission to the medicine programme.

* A-level applicants must satisfy matriculation and specific course requirements within three consecutive years, e.g. GCSE (2012), AS (2013), A-levels (2014). Only the score from the sitting which meets these requirements will be considered.

Mature applicants

If you are over 23 by the first of January prior to your proposed year of entry, you may be eligible for consideration on grounds of mature years. Find out more about mature application.

Previously attended college

If you have previously attended a third-level institution, refer to our transfer applicants page for relevant information before applying.


If I get a place, when will I start?

Orientation will take place from Tuesday 2 to Friday 5 September 2014 and lectures will commence on Monday 8 September 2014.