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English language requirements to study in Ireland

What are the English language requirements to study in Ireland?

Except for students coming to study an English language course, non-EEA nationals must meet minimum English language requirements to be eligible for a student immigration permission.

Immigration regulations state that: "you must show that you have the capacity to fully partake in your chosen course through the medium of English and satisfy the Visa Officer in this regard. It is recommended that all applicants, regardless of nationality or educational background, undertake the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) English language test, and provide original certificate with your visa with application." Certain other tests of academic English are also acceptable.

To be accepted by INIS, any certificate must have been issued within 2 years of the expected start date of the course. IMPORTANT: If the English language requirement for a course is higher than the minimum specified for visa purposes, evidence of meeting the college's requirements must be provided.


What are the English language proficiency requirements for third-level study in Ireland?

Colleges and universities have specific language requirements for admission, though these may vary from one course to another. The requirement for a course is not fully clear from the website, you should contact the International Office or Admissions Office at the institution to check this information for the particular course you are interested in.


What English Language exams are recognised?

The most widely recognised language exam in Ireland is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Other commonly recognised exams are:

ยป More information and minimum scores


What if I want to come to Ireland to learn English?

You should ensure that you apply to a course with a quality English language provider - see our guide to choosing a course.


Last updated: May 2017