Educating students to the highest possible standards of excellence is at the heart of the university mission. Equipping students with the education and skills to succeed in their careers and in life is a core objective.
Going to university is a big milestone and there are so many things to look forward to. You may also have lots of questions.
This section provides practical information for students and details of international opportunities for:
- Students currently in Irish universities looking to study or intern abroad
- EU/EFTA students looking to study at an IUA member university
- International students looking to study at an IUA member university
Irish and EU Students Applying for Undergraduate Courses in Ireland
The Central Applications Office (CAO) centrally processes applications for entry to the first year of undergraduate courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Republic of Ireland. It also issues offers to applicants, when instructed to do so by HEIs, and records acceptances.
The CAO processes, on behalf of the HEIs, applications from Irish school-leavers presenting Leaving Certificate qualifications, school-leavers presenting qualifications from other EU/EFTA countries, mature applicants, applicants presenting appropriate further education and training (QQI) awards at Level 5 or Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and applicants presenting previous Higher Education qualifications.
Details regarding the points system used by HEIs to score applicants, the minimum entry requirements to each university and to particular courses, and agreed entry requirements for applicants who present qualifications other than the Irish Leaving Certificate (e.g. QQI awards, UK A-level/GCSE grades, other EU/EFTA school-leaver qualifications) can be found in the CAO Handbook on the CAO website.
Medical entry for Irish and EU Students
In Irish universities, undergraduate entry to medicine for school-leavers is based on both:
- achieving a minimum of 480 points and meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course in the same sitting of the Irish Leaving Certificate (or non-Irish school-leaver qualification equivalent); and
- completing the required admissions test, the HPAT-Ireland (Health Professional Admission Test), in the year of entry to the medicine course.
There is also a graduate entry route to medicine for candidates who hold, or expect to hold by the end of the relevant academic year, a 2:1 (second class honours, grade one, or equivalent) award in their first honours bachelor degree (Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or equivalent and who sit the required admissions test, the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test).
For further details regarding both undergraduate and graduate entry routes to medicine, please consult the CAO website.