Stage 1: Must meet the minimum National University of Ireland matriculation requirements.
Stage 2: Must meet the specific requirements of the degree course you are applying for.
Stage 3: Are ranked relative to other EU applicants since all EU applicants compete on equivalencies as outlined in the tables below.
The minimum standard in order to be eligible for consideration for admission is specified for Level 8 in each country section (see EU & EFTA Qualifications link above). In all cases proof of English proficiency is required. In addition there are specific subject requirements for most courses (see EU & EFTA Qualifications link above).
Only subjects which are normally recognised for purposes of admission to Irish Higher Education Institutions will be considered. In general, vocational subjects will not be considered for Level 8 courses.
Please note: entry to undergraduate courses in Ireland, and especially Level 8, is competitive and attainment of the minimum eligibility criteria does not guarantee a place. A points scoring system is in operation. It is not possible to forecast how many points will be required for a particular course until the current year’s examination results are known (August each year).
Teaching in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is normally through the medium of English; therefore, all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in English Language.
Applicants presenting Irish Leaving Certificate or A-level are expected to meet English language requirements through those examinations (Leaving Certificate: minimum H7/O6, A level minimum GCSE 4/C). Applicants presenting other examinations, whose first language is not English, 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 matriculation and/or particular programmes in individual institutions) in a recognised English language test, as specified below (note applicants are assessed on the results of a single sitting only):
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- iBT: 90 (no less than 21 in writing and at least 19 in every other section) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Note: In 2022 and 2023 we will accept TOEFL Home Edition . It may not be recognised after that depending on the outcome of a review.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - Academic
- An average score of 6.5 over all components and a minimum of 6.0 in each band. Note: In 2022 and 2023 we will accept IELTS indicator. It may not be recognised after that depending on the outcome of a review.
- Duolingo DET
- A score of 120 is required with at least 110 in each subscore.
- University of Cambridge:
- 176+ on Cambridge English scale with no less than 169 in each skill and use of English i.e.
- Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
- Advanced 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 text (PTE Academic)
- minimum of 63 (with at least 59 for each item in the Communicative Skills section) 4
- Trinity ISE
- Trinity ISE III with at least merit in each skill category
- QQI FET ESL
- Merit in the module “English as a Second Language” or “Communications” (level 5)
- Oxford Test of English
- Minimum score of 140 overall with a minimum score of 125 in each skill.
- Language Cert
- B2 Communicator High Pass with no less than 33 in each skill taken with no more than 3 months between components.
- 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 (i.e., for entry in September 2023, only results attained since 1 February 2021 will be accepted).
Note: 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
Applicants must apply through the Central Applications System (CAO). Complete information on the CAO application process is available in the CAO Handbook or at www.cao.ie. Each application must be accompanied by appropriate documentation as outlined below (documentation to be submitted with CAO application form):
- Certified true copy of official transcripts of academic results.
- In some cases, the final school report is also required.
- Notarised English translations of qualifications not issued in English.
In the absence of these documents and translations the application will 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 those who are successful in their application, original copies of the above documentation will be required at registration.
Offers of places are provisional until such time as all registration formalities have been completed within the University.
EU/EFTA applicants’ results are evaluated on the basis of the results of any one examination taken in a single sitting (insofar as it is possible with the relevant examination system).
The first stage of the evaluation process requires an applicant’s results to meet the minimum entry requirements/matriculation and specific subject requirements of a programme.
The second stage of the evaluation process involves ranking the applicant’s results relative to other EU applicants. All EU applicants will compete on equivalencies as outlined in EU & EFTA Qualifications. It should be noted that where subjects are being presented to meet course or matriculation requirements, then only those subjects which have an appropriate weighting in the relevant examination and are recognised for matriculation, will be considered.
See EU & EFTA Qualifications for details of each European Union country's recognised examinations, matriculation requirements and the method of calculating indicative points score (IPS).
Applying as an A Level Student
You must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) if you are presenting A levels. Click here for more information on applying to the CAO.
Minimum entry requirements
Before CAO points can be calculated for any degree, the student must first satisfy the minimum entry requirements for entry to Maynooth University. These are outlined below:
- Pass in 6 recognised subjects at GCSE at grade A, B or C
- AS Level subjects can also satisfy this requirement at grades A-E
- A minimum of grade C or better in 2 subjects at A Level (grades A and E, or grades B and D, are acceptable in lieu of 2 grade Cs at A level). Students must achieve a minimum of grade C in English at GCSE level.
Since students from outside the Republic of Ireland are automatically entitled to an exemption from Irish, students presenting a grade C in Irish and English at GCSE satisfy the language requirement for entry.
Specific course requirements
In addition to the above, certain degree programmes have certain subject requirements at either GCSE or A Level. For instance, Science degrees will require a pass in a Science subject and Mathematics at a
minimum of GCSE level. Any such extra subject requirement(s) are listed under the individual degrees (visit the Course Finder for more information about extra requirements for individual degrees).
For some degrees, students must achieve a minimum of grade C in another language at GCSE level.
When all of the above has been met, the points are calculated on the basis of:
(i) 4 subjects at A Level
(ii) 3 subjects at A Level plus a fourth subject at AS (or an A Level from the previous year which will be scored as an AS Level)
(iii) 3 subjects at A level
Note one A-level grade from the previous year may be substituted for an AS grade but will only be scored as an AS (if approved locally)
CAO Points System GCE/A Level Examinations
The revised model for converting A-Level grades to Leaving Certificate Points for the purposes of university entry is:
4TH A LEVEL
All subjects carry equal points except for Mathematics*. Points for A Level subjects must be obtained in one exam sitting. AS Level points must be for different subjects to those taken at A Level and may be carried over from a previous sitting. Minimum entry requirements and course requirements may be satisfied by an accumulation of subjects over more than one year.
* An additional 25 points are awarded for one grade E or better in A2 Mathematics - this will apply to one Mathematics subject only and only if the subject is used for scoring purposes.
Codes for “Applied” GCE A Levels.
Please visit www.nui.ie for details/explanation of Applied GCE level codes.