Competency in English

International students whose first language is not English are required to have an appropriate score in an approved examination in English language (such as IELTS) before they can register on an academic course.

We can also accept degrees from selected other English-speaking countries as evidence of English proficiency. 

For International students living in Ireland for more than 12 months, we offer the opportunity to undertake an English language assessment. For more details, please email

As a guide, the IELTS English language requirements are as follows:

 Course IELTS Level
 Undergraduate Business  6.0
 Undergraduate Computing  6.0
 Masters Business  6.5
 Masters Computing 6.0 (MSc in Fintech requires 6.5)

 We gladly accept a range of alternatives to IELTS, which you will find in the table below.

 IELTS Equivalents
 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5
IELTS Online Sept 20 & Jan 21 Intake Only 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5
TOEFL Computer  150 173 196 213 232
TOEFL Paper Based  53 64 70 78 86
TOEFL Internet Based  53 64 70 78 86
TOELF Online Sept 20 & Jan 21 Intake Only 53 64 70 78 86
PTE Academic  29 35 42 50 58
Cambridge European Framework  B B1 B2 B2+ C1
Cambridge Exams  PET FCE FCE FCE CAE+CPE
Irish Leaving Certificate  Ordinary Grade D Ordinary Grade D Ordinary Grade D Ordinary Grade D Ordinary Grade C
UK GCSE  Pass Pass Pass Pass n/a


Duolingo English Test -  September 2020 & January 2021

NCI will accept the Duolingo English test for the September 2020 and January 2021 intakes.  Applicants must share their Duolingo Online test score directly with NCI at and complete the NCI declaration form and also email it to  The test can be taken online anywhere in the world, costs US$49 and the result is available within 48 hours.

The following is a guide to the result you will need to achieve: 

Duolingo Score Band NCI Programme(s)
95-100  All 3 and 4 year Undergraduate programmes in the School of Business and School of Computing
Higher Diploma in Science in Computing
MSc in Data Analytics
MSc in Cloud Computing
MSc in Cyber Security
105-110  MSc in Fintech
All Masters in the School of Business


Please note that the Duolingo test will be accepted for entry visa purposes by the Government of Ireland for September 2020 and January 2021 intakes only.  Find out more here -