Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

This guide details the entry requirements for students applying to the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) and Pre-Master’s Programme.

The entry requirements for a number of countries and qualifications are given below. Where a qualification does not appear in the list below, or the student is marginally below the stated requirements, please contact us with the student’s details and we will review.

International Foundation Year (IFY)

Applicants must normally be 17 years at the start of the IFY.

Student’s must present a minimum English Language score of 5.0 IELTS overall.

Below are the entry requirements for the most common qualifications recognised by DIFC Ireland for admission to IFY.

Please note: Student’s looking to study Medicine, Dentistry or Nursing must meet the minimum entry requirements set for admission to the IFY Health Science programme. See next section.

CountryQualificationRequired grades for IFY entry
AllGCSE/IGCSEPre-2017 = Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of CCCCC (to normally include Maths and English).

Post-2017 = Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of 4 or above (to normally include Maths and English).

AllAS Level2 E Grades from a UK A-Level board
AllA LevelOne E Grade from a UK A-Level board
AllInternational BaccalaureateSuccessful completion with a minimum of 22 points
BahrainGeneral Secondary Education CertificateSuccessful completion with an average of 60% or more
ChinaYear 12/Gao KaoThe 12 years of school education should include senior middle school year three with passes at acceptable grades (70% and above) in all relevant subjects of the Gao Kao. Passes in Chinese Language and Chinese Politics are not essential for entry to the IFY.
ChinaYear 11Students who have completed 11 years of school education including completion of Year 11 and have achieved an average of 70% or above may enter the IFY. Passes in Chinese Language and Chinese Politics are not essential for entry to the IFY.
IndiaHigher Secondary CertificateSuccessful completion with average of 50% (including at least 50% in Maths)
KuwaitShahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama SSuccessful completion an average grade of 60% or better.
MalaysiaSPMSuccessful completion of 5 modules with grades of CCCCC
MalaysiaUECSuccessful completion with 5 subjects at grade C8 or better (to normally include Maths and English)
NigeriaWest African Senior School CertificateSuccessful completion of 5 modules with grades of C6 or better (to normally include Maths and English)
OmanShahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-AamaSuccessful completion with grades of 80% (B+) or better in all relevant subjects
QatarShahadat AlThanawaya Al-AamaSuccessful completion with an overall average of 50% (with at least 50% in Maths)
Saudi ArabiaGeneral Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyya)Successful completion with an overall average of 80%
South KoreaHigh School DiplomaSuccessful completion with an average ranked grade of 1-6 across all subjects
UkraineCertificate of Complete General Secondary EducationSuccessful completion with grades of 6 or better (on a 12 point scale) in at least 4 subjects
United Arab EmiratesGeneral Secondary Education Certificate ExaminationSuccessful completion with an average mark of 60%
United StatesHigh School DiplomaSuccessful completion, including good passes in Maths for Engineering programmes. This includes students who are studying in a US school system overseas.
VietnamUpper Secondary School Graduation Diploma (Year 12)Successful completion with an overall average of 5.0 or more (with at least 5.0 in Maths and English). Students entering with an average of 5.0 or 6.0 may have limited progression outcomes.

International Foundation Year – Health Science

Applicants must normally be 17 years at the start of the IFY.

Student’s must present a minimum English Language score of 5.5 IELTS overall for September intake or 6.0 overall for January intake.

Below are the entry requirements for students wishing to study Medicine, Dentistry or Nursing via the International Foundation Year – Health Science pathway.

CountryQualificationRequired grades for IFY entry
AllGCSE/IGCSESuccessful completion of 5 modules with grades of AAABB (to include Maths, English, Chemistry and Biology).
AllAS LevelAn average of D across AS Level scores to include Maths, and Science
AllA LevelMust have minimum 3 A Levels passed if looking at European Medical Universities
AllInternational BaccalaureateSuccessful completion with a minimum of 30 points
BahrainGeneral Secondary Education CertificateSuccessful completion with an average of 85% or more
IndiaHigher Secondary CertificateSuccessful completion with average of 70%
KuwaitShahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama SSuccessful completion an average grade of 85% or better.
MalaysiaSPMSuccessful completion of 5 modules with grades of BBBBB
NigeriaWest African Senior School CertificateSuccessful completion of WAEC with minimum B grades
QatarShahadat AlThanawaya Al-AamaSuccessful completion with an overall average of 85% (with at least 50% in Maths)
Saudi ArabiaGeneral Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyya)Successful completion with an overall average of 85%
United Arab EmiratesGeneral Secondary Education Certificate ExaminationSuccessful completion with an average mark of 85%
United StatesHigh School DiplomaSuccessful completion with average grade of 85% and students must present SATs

Pre-Master’s Programme (PMP)

Our Master’s preparation programme is designed for graduates looking to prepare for Master’s degree in Ireland or the UK.

Applicants must normally be 21 years at the start of the PMP.

Student’s must present a minimum English Language score of 5.0 IELTS overall for September intake or 5.5 overall for January intake.

Students should normally have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree at a recognised university, in a subject relevant to their intended progression route.

Work experience is also highly desirable.

Owing to the variation in standard for degrees and diplomas in different countries, all PMP applications should be submitted to DIFC for assessment.

Studying with DIFC

When can I start?

We have two intakes each year; in September and January. Students on both intakes will be ready to progress to their degree courses by the following September.

Where can I study next?

The IFY and PMP offers you the opportunity to progress to one of over 40 University partners located across Ireland, UK, mainland Europe, USA, and Australia. All students who successfully pass the IFY/PMP will achieve a University placement on a relevant degree.

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What exams do I need to take?

The IFY is assessed by 30% coursework and 70% final examination.

Foundation Year Language Preparation (FYLP)

Students who do not meet the minimum 5.0 IELTS score for direct entry to DIFC’s foundation programmes can complete the FYLP course to improve their English language skills.

What are the entry English Language requirements for PFE?

4.0 – 4.5 IELTS overall

What is covered in PFE?

  • General English development including reading, writing, listening, speaking & grammar
  • Exam preparation classes
  • Cultural classes
  • Preparation for Maths, Science & Business in the lead-up to the IFY start dates.

Where can I study FYLP?

Our FYLP programme is delivered by our affiliate English Schools in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

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