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Undergraduate Admissions - General Information

Important Changes to Entry Requirements: 

In 2017 Higher Education Institutes have worked in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills to agree changes to admission criteria. The process of mapping these changes to DCU programmes is complete and all entry requirements are outlined in the DCU prospectusFor 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

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 2018 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 ( 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, 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 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

Internal Transfers (Transferring Programmes within DCU)

Some students may find that their chosen programme of study is not suitable for them. In some cases, students may be allowed to transfer internally onto another programme in the University.  Please ensure to read the internal transfer form and guidelines in detail, as there are strict application rules and deadlines. The online application form can be found using the following link: Transfer Form. Applications will open 1st May 2019. Please note this form is only for students looking to transfer to year one of another programme. If you are seeking a transfer to a programme other than year one, please complete the following application form, R10 available here

If you are seeking a transfer to any year of the Bachelor of Business Studies programme, please complete the following transfer application form here. Applications will open 1st May 2019.

We would strongly advise you to speak to the Chairperson of your current programme in the first instance, also to the Chairperson of the programme into which you wish to transfer. In some instances, there may be fees implications, in which case, you may want to make contact with the Fees Office.

External Transfer (Applicants outside DCU)

  • 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 (those under the age of 23 as of 1st January in year of entry) 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 DCU Access
  • DARE School leavers (those under the age of 23 as of 1st January in year of entry) 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.
  • DCU Performance Sport - CAO Points Concession DCU has put in place a special academic entry scheme for performance athletes at undergraduate level. A number of academic places offering a CAO points concession are 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. All applicants must present the DCU general entry and programme entry requirements, as outlined in the DCU prospectus. Under this scheme, applicants are not assessed solely on the basis of their academic performance, their sporting achievements are also taken in to consideration. Applicants should apply through CAO by the normal closing date of 1st February or before the late closing date of 1st May and complete a DCU online application form which is available here. The closing date for applications is 1st May. Paper applications will not be accepted. For further information on the scheme, please click here
  • University of Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme. As part of the DCU University of Sanctuary Scholarship Scheme, 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 five 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
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: The McAleese Scholarship will continue for entry 2019/20, this Scholarship will be reviewed for entry September 2020.


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



Revised 2017

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 is required by section 12(4)(d) of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 to operate a system of Garda vetting in respect to those students who will undertake work or activities which involves unsupervised access to children or vulnerable persons as part of their programme of study.

DCU uses the National Vetting Bureau service (NVB) to assess the suitability of such applicants and may also require applicants to provide an enhanced disclosure by the completion of a sworn declaration as part of the student registration process.

For the 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
  • BSc in Nursing (General)
  • BSc in Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BSc In Nursing (Intellectual Disability)
  • BSc in Children’s and General (Integrated) Nursing
  • BSc in Health and Society
  • Higher Diploma in Children’s Nursing
  • Certificate in Peer Support working in Mental Health

Graduate Programmes

  • Graduate Certificate in the Education of Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Learning Support and Special Education
  • Professional Master of Education
  • MSc in Guidance Counselling
  • Master in Special Educational Needs (where Garda Vetting is relevant)
  • MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work
  • Professional MA in Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • MSc in Psychotheraphy
  • MSc in Child & Adolescent Health Care Practice
  • MSc in Child & Adolescent Nursing Practice
  • Msc in General Health Care Practice
  • MSc in General Nursing Practice
  • MSc in Intellectual Disability Health Care Practice
  • MSc in Intellectual Disability Nursing Practice
  • MSc in Mental Health Care Practice
  • MSc in Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Master in Special Education  Needs (where relevant for research only)
  • MSc in Demenetia Nursing Practice
  • MSc in Dementia Helath Care Practice
  • MSc in Psychology
  • MSc in Psychology and Well Being
  • Graduate Certificate in Sexuality and Sexual Health Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Relationships & Sexuality for People with Intellectual Disability
  • Doctorate in Psychotherapy
  • PhD or other research programme[1] (where Garda Vetting is relevant)

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)

Police Certificates

An applicant (both EU and non-EU) who has resided outside of Ireland and students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of time (after the age of 18) are required to provide the following supporting documentation when submitting their Vetting Application form:

  • An original Police Certificate from the jurisdiction(s) of previous residence covering the dates of residency in that jurisdiction
  • 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. 

Where an applicant or student cannot provide a Police Clearance Certificate/disclosure record, supporting documentation will be sought by Dublin City University from the student as to why a Police Clearance certificate cannot be obtained.  Dublin City University reserves the right to seek a statutory declaration where a satisfactory police/criminal records disclosure cannot be obtained.

Please note that the said declaration may be accepted by Dublin City University in the following restricted circumstances only:

a)       where DCU is aware that police clearance is only obtainable by residents of the country concerned;

b)       the applicant resided in the country for a period of less than six months;

c)       the applicant was travelling through the country and had no fixed address;

d)       the applicant resided in the country more than 10 years ago;

e)       the country is at war or experiencing political upheaval; or

f)        the applicant has provided correspondence demonstrating that police clearance cannot be obtained.


Notwithstanding the above, DCU reserves the right to refuse admission or cancel a registration in the absence of a satisfactory police clearance certificate/criminal record disclosure. 

Garda Vetting Process


The following sections describe the details of the various stages that are involved in the Garda Vetting process.


Stage 1:

Completion of Vetting Invitation Form


Applicants who have been provisionally offered, and have accepted a place on the programme are sent a Vetting Invitation Form and the instructions for completion of the form.  In addition, identity and address validations are required as part of the vetting process.  Information on relevant address and identity validations are included in the vetting information pack. 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 the first year registration process. Their registration is conditional until they have completed the vetting process and  satisfied the University of their suitability to be enrolled in the programme.


Stage 3:

Completion of Liaison Person section of form 

Students return their completed Vetting Invitation form to the Liaison Person.  Once the Liaison Person is satisfied that all sections of the form are duly completed, the details on the form are submitted to the National Vetting Bureau system.


Stage 4:

Completion of Vetting Form by Student 

The student will receive an email from the National Vetting Bureau inviting them to complete the vetting form online.  When completed by the student, the online vetting form is reviewed by the Liaison Person and submitted online to the National Vetting Bureau.


Stage 5:


The NVB processes the vetting application and when the process is complete, returns a Disclosure for each student to the Liaison Person.  The Disclosure is reviewed by the Liaison Person and then sent by email to the student. Where disclosures with convictions exist, the Liaison Person shall furnish details to the Chairperson of the University Student Vetting Committee. The Chairperson, having reviewed the disclosure, will determine whether the nature of the disclosure requires consideration by the University Vetting Committee.


Stage 6:

University Student Vetting Committee 

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

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


Stage 7:

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 8:

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 Dublin City University.

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 Dublin City University 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 Student 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 DCU Policy for Student Vetting can be found at

In addition, information on Spent Convictions Scheme for Offences Committed Aged Under 18 can be found at

[1] Garda vetting may be required following completed initial registration.


 Garda Vetting Policy


Document Name : Procedure for Student Vetting

Version Reference 4.0

Dcoument Owner: Registry

Approved By: DCU Executive

Date: November 2017