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.

Country Qualification Required grades for IFY entry
All GCSE/IGCSE Pre-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).

All AS Level 2 E Grades from a UK A-Level board
All A Level One E Grade from a UK A-Level board
All International Baccalaureate Successful completion with a minimum of 22 points
Bahrain General Secondary Education Certificate Successful completion with an average of 60% or more
China Year 12/Gao Kao The 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.
China Year 11 Students 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.
India Higher Secondary Certificate Successful completion with average of 50% (including at least 50% in Maths)
Kuwait Shahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama S Successful completion an average grade of 60% or better.
Malaysia SPM Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of CCCCC
Malaysia UEC Successful completion with 5 subjects at grade C8 or better (to normally include Maths and English)
Nigeria West African Senior School Certificate Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of C6 or better (to normally include Maths and English)
Oman Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama Successful completion with grades of 80% (B+) or better in all relevant subjects
Qatar Shahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama Successful completion with an overall average of 50% (with at least 50% in Maths)
Saudi Arabia General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyya) Successful completion with an overall average of 80%
South Korea High School Diploma Successful completion with an average ranked grade of 1-6 across all subjects
Ukraine Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education Successful completion with grades of 6 or better (on a 12 point scale) in at least 4 subjects
United Arab Emirates General Secondary Education Certificate Examination Successful completion with an average mark of 60%
United States High School Diploma Successful completion, including good passes in Maths for Engineering programmes. This includes students who are studying in a US school system overseas.
Vietnam Upper 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.

Country Qualification Required grades for IFY entry
All GCSE/IGCSE Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of AAABB (to include Maths, English, Chemistry and Biology).
All AS Level An average of D across AS Level scores to include Maths, and Science
All A Level Must have minimum 3 A Levels passed if looking at European Medical Universities
All International Baccalaureate Successful completion with a minimum of 30 points
Bahrain General Secondary Education Certificate Successful completion with an average of 85% or more
India Higher Secondary Certificate Successful completion with average of 70%
Kuwait Shahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama S Successful completion an average grade of 85% or better.
Malaysia SPM Successful completion of 5 modules with grades of BBBBB
Nigeria West African Senior School Certificate Successful completion of WAEC with minimum B grades
Qatar Shahadat AlThanawaya Al-Aama Successful completion with an overall average of 85% (with at least 50% in Maths)
Saudi Arabia General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyya) Successful completion with an overall average of 85%
United Arab Emirates General Secondary Education Certificate Examination Successful completion with an average mark of 85%
United States High School Diploma Successful 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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