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Undergraduate Admissions - General Information

Important Changes to Entry Requirements for 2017: 

Higher Education Institutes have worked in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills to agree changes to admission criteria for entry 2017. The process of mapping these changes to DCU programmes is complete and all entry requirements are outlined in the 2017 DCU prospectus.For general information about the new grading system, please click here. For frequently asked questions about the new grading system please click hereAll other admission queries should be directed by email to registry@dcu.ie

Admission To DCU

There are many different ways to enter DCU. While candidates are primarily assessed on the basis of their second level examinations, other assessments are in place for mature students, students from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities/specific learning difficulties and transfer students. The university is committed to welcoming students from countries worldwide. To review the list of programmes available at DCU, please click here.   

QUICK REFERENCE - Please click on the links below

Non- EU Qualifications

EU Qualifications


Mature Applicants

Transfer Applicants

University Access Routes

Contact Registry

Information on Garda Vetting for Students


Application Procedures - Undergraduate Programmes 

Non-EU Applicants

  • Applicants presenting Non-EU School Leaving examinations (except for Nursing) should apply directly to DCU and should use this link for further information on how to apply.

Applicants Presenting EU School Leaving Examinations

  • Applicants presenting EU School Leaving examinations should apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by the 1st February. To apply through the CAO click here.
  • Applicants must present General Entry Requirements (GER) and Programme Entry Requirements (PER) to compete for a place on a DCU Programme.
  • General Entry Requirements (GER) for all first year routes to DCU (Leaving Certificate, A Level and FETAC) can be found by clicking on this link. 
  • Programme Entry Requirements (PER) for every programme can be found on the individual programme pages in the prospectus or on the DCU website. They can be reviewed by clicking on this link. For some programmes there are additional assessments, tests and interview processes.  
  • Applicants presenting both general entry requirements and specific programme entry requirements are ranked based on their performance as outlined here
  • For those presenting an EU qualifications from a country outside Ireland or the UK, please use the following guide to review the approved EU qualifications and criteria for assessment of these qualifications. This document should be reviewed in conjunction with the individual programme requirement information detailed on the DCU website. Applicants presenting both general entry and programme entry requirements will be scored based on the information contained in the EU Qualification Guide. They can then compete through the CAO for a place on a DCU programme.

QQI/FE Applicants

  • Applications should be made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by the 1st February. To apply through the CAO click here. Many DCU programmes have an entry route for QQI/FE Level 5 applicants. For programmes with a QQI entry route, approximately 10% of places are retained for QQI applicants. Applicants presenting a minimum of five distinctions in a specified QQI Level 5 award, with specified modules if required, may be eligible to compete for a place. Applicants are ranked based on their performance as outlined here. To review the QQI requirements for DCU programmes, please click here.  
  • To review 2016 QQI (FETAC) statistics, please click here.
  • There have been changes to the codes used for QQI Awards. The DCU prospectus may not have the most current information. Please refer to the CAO website for the most current list of acceptable QQI Awards and modules to compete for a place on a DCU programme. 

Mature Applicants

  • Mature applicants are those aged 23 years, or above, on 1st January in the year of entry. All candidates (presenting with EU/Non EU qualifications) applying on the grounds of mature years should apply ONLY through the Central Applications Office (www.cao.ie) by 1st February. For many DCU programmes, mature application assessment is based on the CAO application and in some instances, an assessment and/or interview. For some programmes, applicants are required to present the entry requirements as outlined in the prospectus. The Faculty of Engineering and Computing requires applicants to meet programme entry requirements such as Mathematics. Please note special mature application procedures outlined below:

Mature Applicant Special Application Procedures:

BSc in Nursing (4 and a Half Year Programme)

  • All candidates applying for the BSc in Nursing (4 year programme) must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February regardless of their status as EU or Non-EU, or their eligibility to be considered as a mature applicant. 
  • Mature Nursing codes are no longer in use, therefore, all applicants use the standard Nursing Codes DC215, DC216, DC217 and DC218.
  • Mature nursing applicants should apply through the CAO by 1st February.  
  • Mature nursing applications are assessed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (An Bord Altranais Agus Cnáimhseachais na hEireann)(NMBI). The Public Appointments Service (PAS) carry out the assessment on behalf of the NMBI. Mature applicants are ranked based on their score in this assessment.
  • Having applied through the CAO before 1st February, nursing applicants must register and apply through the PAS website, www.publicjobs.ie. Registration AND submission of an application form through PAS must be done between 2nd February - 22nd February.  If you have not received a confirmation email from PAS within 24 hours of submitting your application, you should contact them at maturecode17@publicjobs.ie or phone 01 8587730.
  • Please click here to refer to the official website of the Nursing and Midwifery Board for registration and other important information with regard to mature nursing assessments.

Bachelor of Education (Honours Degree) Programmes DC002, DC003 & DC004 (DC004 is restricted, apply by 1st February)

  • Mature applicants must apply to CAO by 1st February.  In March, those meeting the eligibility criteria will receive a supplementary form and instructions for completing and submitting this form.  Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and complete the supplementary form will be invited to attend for a general interview and oral Irish test. For further information about special entry requirements for these programmes, please see this link . 

Bachelor of Religious Education & Music DC012 (Restricted)

  • This is a restricted programme, so applicants must apply by 1st February. Applicants must take Music Aural and Performance Tests. 

BA in Journalism DC132

  • Mature applicants must apply by the 1st February and are asked to submit, along with their other paper documentation, a hard copy of an article of c. 750 words of their own composition, written for a specific publication [published or unpublished]. If the article has been published, state when and in which publication. If the article is unpublished, indicate the newspaper or periodical for which you think your submission would be best suited.

Transfers Applicants

  • Candidates taking higher education studies at another institution who are seeking to transfer onto a programme of study at DCU must apply directly to DCU by the 1st July.  Full documentation, including course syllabus and transcripts, must be included in the application. An interview may be required as part of the application assessment. To download a direct application form click here.  Transfer applications are not accepted to all programmes.  Please see relevant programme pages here. For further information on eligibility for applying as a transfer applicant, please click on this link. 

University Access Routes for Leaving Certificate Students

  • HEAR is a college and university admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February and indicate their wish to be considered for HEAR. By 1st April evidence related to the application must be submitted to the CAO. Eligible students compete for a quota of reduced points places in DCU.  For further information contact the DCU Access Service.
  • DARE School leavers who wish to be considered for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) must apply through the Central Applications Office by the 1st of February and indicate their wish to be considered for DARE. By April 1st relevant evidence related to the disability or specific learning difficulty must be submitted to the CAO. For further information, please see the following link.
  • For further information on the HEAR and DARE access routes, please use this link.
  • ACCESS For further information about the DCU Access Office, please see the following link.
  • Elite Sportsperson Entry Scheme. DCU has put in place for all undergraduate degree programmes an academic entrance scheme for elite sportspersons. A number of places will be reserved for outstanding candidates who have achieved a very high level of sporting performance, and who are committed to continuing to develop their sporting and academic careers. Students must apply through CAO by 1st February and submit an online application form which will be available on this page later in the year. Paper applications will not be accepted. For further information, click here
  • University of Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme. As part of the DCU University of Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme 2017/2018, DCU is offering five undergraduate scholarships for full-time time study at DCU.. There are 5 undergraduate scholarships (one per faculty*) available to students who satisfy the criteria as set out in the application form - click here. Closing date for applications is 1st July.

    Each Scholarship consists of:

    1. Fee waiver for three / four years of UG programme*
    2. Public / Private Transportation allowance – (LEAP or Rail Card or bursary)
    3. Access Scholarship
    4. Meal Plan – 2 tea/coffee and two meals per day

Information for Northern Ireland Applicants

    • McAleese Scholarship for Northern Ireland Students: DCU applicants with a permanent home address in Northern Ireland, presenting 3 A Level results, with a minimum requirement of 2 ‘A’ and 1 ‘B’ grades may be eligible for the McAleese Scholarship.  The scholarship allows successful applicants to gain one of forty reserved places across a number of DCU undergraduate programmes and includes a small cash award. Applicants must meet DCU minimum entry requirements and specific programme entry requirements as outlined on the DCU website here. Applicants should apply through CAO by the normal closing date of 1st February or before the late closing date of 1st May. Applicants must also submit a McAleese Scholarship Application Form directly to DCU. To obtain a copy of the application form, click here.  For further information about this scholarship, call Registry on 01-7005338 or email registry@dcu.ie.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: The McAleese Scholarship will continue for entry 2016 and 2017. As national level enhancements to the transition from second level to third level will be implemented in 2017, this Scholarship will be reviewed at that stage.


Other Important Applicant Information

Occasionally there are changes to application procedures or entry requirements which have been omitted from the DCU prospectus, this information is captured in the DCU Alert list, available here.

The DCU Disability & Learning Support Service co-ordinate a range of supports for students who are registered with the service to ensure they have equity of access to their studies. To contact the Disability Office, please click here.

The self-assessment criteria for categorisation of an applicant as EU or Non EU is outlined here. For any other fees related queries, please click here. Please review this important fees information before making an application.

In the case of both EU and Non-EU applications, all applicants are required to produce evidence of their competence in the English language. The recognised examinations of English Language Competency are outlined here


Information on Garda Vetting for Students 

    Revised 2015 (Under Review)

    DCU offers a number of educational programmes that require students to undertake placements, with external agencies, which will bring them into contact with the public and in which they will assume positions of trust. To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust of confidence, the University is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes.

    DCU uses the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) service to assess the suitability of such applicants and may also require applicants to provide an Enhanced Disclosure by the completion of an affidavit at the time of registration.

    For DCU students undertaking programmes in Nursing, the partner hospitals/Health Service Executive (HSE) completes the Garda Vetting process. These students must satisfy the requirements of the partner hospitals/HSE for Garda Vetting before they can fully complete their registration as DCU students.

    For other relevant programmes (listed below) DCU requires students to be Garda Vetted before they fully complete their registration as a student of the University.

    Undergraduate Programmes
    BSc in Athletic Therapy and Training
    BSc in Education & Training
    BSc in Physical Education with Biology
    BSc in Physical Education with Mathematics
    BSc in Psychology
    BSc in Science Education
    BSc in Sport Science and Health
    Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
    Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching)
    Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) - Gaeltacht Applicants
    Bachelor of Religious Education and English
    Bachelor of Religious Education and History
    Bachelor of Religious Education and Music

    Graduate Programmes
    Professional Master of Education
    MSc in Guidance Counselling
    PhD or other research programme1 (where Garda Vetting is relevant. Garda vetting may be required following completed initial registration)

    Students who accept places in programmes which require Garda Vetting will be sent the necessary forms by DCU. Your rights in relation to this are available on the website of the Garda Síochána (Irish Police Force) www.garda.ie

    Police Certificates 
    An applicant (both EU and non-EU) who has resided outside of Ireland, including Northern Ireland and students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of six months or more (after the age of 18) are required to provide the following supporting documentation when submitting their Garda Vetting Application form:

  • A recent (less than one year old) original Police Certificate from the jurisdiction(s) of previous residence 
  • If the Police Certificate is not issued in English the student must provide a certified translation 
  • There may be costs associated with this. The following are useful links for Police Certificates

    A-Z list of countries and how to get Police Certificates
    UK Police Certificates 
  • These links are for information purposes only. Please use the information which is relevant to you. Dublin City University has no affiliation or connection to any information displayed on these Websites.

    Dublin City University reserves the right to seek a sworn declaration where a satisfactory police/criminal records disclosure is not available

    If you require Garda Vetting records, you will need to make a data protection request under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 and submit it to the DCU FOI Unit. http://dcu.ie/foi/request.shtml

    Garda Vetting Process
    The following sections describe the details of the various stages that are involved in the Garda Vetting process. 
  • Garda Vetting Policy June 2015

    Stage 1:
    Completion of student section of form
    Applicants who have been provisionally offered, and have accepted, a place on the programme are sent a Garda Vetting Form and the instructions for completion of the form. This documentation highlights for students the importance of full disclosure. Where an applicant is under 18 years of age, they must arrange the completion of an additional form ‘Garda Vetting Parent/Guardian Consent Form’. 

    Stage 2:
    Students complete provisional registration during first year registration process. They acknowledge at registration that their registration process is not complete until they have satisfied Garda Vetting requirements for the programme. 

    Stage 3:
    Completion of Authorised Signatory section of form
    Students return their completed confidential form to the Authorised Signatory. Once the Authorised Signatory is satisfied that all sections of the form are duly completed, the form is signed. Then, in line with the requirements of the GCVU, the batch summary form and the forms are forwarded to the GCVU.

    Stage 4:
    Completion of Garda Central Vetting Unit section of the form
    The GCVU responds to the vetting request by ticking and signing one of the relevant sections of the form: 1. No Convictions 2. Convictions or 3.Prosecutions are pending. The form and any attached documentation are returned in confidence to the Authorised Signatory.

    Stage 5:
    Confirmation of GCVU response by Authorised Signatory

    Where the information supplied by the GCVU is inconsistent with the response from the student the Authorised Signatory will contact the student to clarify if the information supplied by the GCVU is correct. If the student does not agree that the information supplied by the GCVU is correct, the Authorised Signatory will request the GCVU to review their information and confirm or change their initial response.

    Stage 6:

    Where disclosures exist, the authorised signatory shall furnish details to the Chairperson of the University Vetting Committee. The Chairperson, having reviewed the disclosure, will determine whether the nature of the disclosure requires consideration by the University Vetting Committee.

    Stage 7:
    University Vetting Committee

    The University Vetting Committee will consider all relevant information in relation to disclosures and make determinations on behalf of the University.

    Stage 8:
    Appeal Process

    A decision of the University Vetting Committee may be appealed by the student within 14 days of the issue of the decision. The appeal should be made in writing to the University Registrar citing one of the three grounds for appeal.

    Stage 9:

    Students who have satisfactorily completed Garda Vetting (and any other requirements of the registration process) will be deemed to be fully registered as students of Dublin City University

    Disclosure of Criminal Convictions
    All applicants who have been convicted of a criminal offence must disclose this to DCU.

    Under Section 26 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 it is an offence for a convicted sex offender to apply for a position, to enter into a contract of employment or to continue to work or study in an area either knowing, or if they ought reasonably to have known, that a necessary and regular part of that work/placement involves unsupervised access to, or contact with children, without informing their employer of their conviction.

    All prospective applicants or registered students must inform DCU of any such conviction at the earliest possible opportunity. If during the course of the application/registration process it transpires that an applicant has a criminal conviction (either by way of Garda Vetting or by applicant disclosure) full details of the conviction will be sought and the Garda Vetting process will commence.

    The provision of false, inaccurate or misleading information will disqualify applicants from the selection process and for existing students may result in disciplinary action (up to and including withdrawal of registration and exit from programme).

    The University Vetting Committee shall take particular note of offences of a sexual, violent, dishonest or drug-related nature

    Further detailed Garda Vetting information can be found here: Garda Vetting Policy