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 with the Irish Immigration authorities.

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 international@ncirl.ie

IELTS

The certificate of your English language standard must have been issued within 2 years of the expected start date of your course.  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)
BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care 6.5 with 6.5 in Speaking and no less than 6.0 in any other band

IELTS Equivalents

The certificate of your English language standard must have been issued within 2 years of the expected start date of your course. We gladly accept a range of alternatives to IELTS, which you will find in the table below.

 IELTS Equivalents
IELTS
Academic 
 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 accept the Duolingo English test and it is accepted by the Irish Immigration authorities for visa applications.  The certificate of your English language standard must have been issued within 2 years of the expected start date of your course.

The test can be taken online anywhere in the world, costs US$49 and the result are 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 Cybersecurity
 
105-110  MSc in Fintech
All Masters in the School of Business

BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care (105-110 overall with 105-110 in Speaking and no less than 95 in any other band)