Competency in English

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.

Applicants who have been taught and examined through the medium of *English for their full degree in countries including Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, are exempt from the Colleges English language admissions requirement. 

For domestic applicants to undergraduate programmes, we can also accept the Irish Leaving Certificate or certain other qualifications delivered entirely through English as evidence of English proficiency.

*Applicants should note that they may still be required to show an English language certificate for visa purposes. 

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)

IELTS Equivalents

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  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   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

NCI will accept the Duolingo English test for the academic year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.  

The test can be taken online anywhere in the world, costs US$49 and the result are available within 48 hours. Applicants must complete the NCI declaration form and share their test scores with our team by emailing

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 Cybersecurity
105-110  MSc in Fintech
All Masters in the School of Business

Please note that IELTS Online and Duolingo tests will be accepted for entry visa purposes by the Government of Ireland for the academic year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 (Includes both the Sept 21 and Jan 22 intakes). View this English Language Requirements for Study Visas document for further information.