Admission to first year full-time Undergraduate Degree Courses is competitive and based on the Leaving Certificate points system or a system of equivalent standing. 

Applications for almost all full-time undergraduate degree courses are processed by the CAO. Application for admission to Undergraduate courses must be made in accordance with the regulations and procedures and timetable described in the CAO Handbook. The Handbook is confined to giving information on how to apply for admission. Applicants should not attempt to complete this application form without first referring to the information literature on courses. Please see our Quick Guide to Courses in the 'Download' section below for more details. 

Closing date for EU applicants is the 1st of February of the year of entry to a course. Late closing date at this University (for EU applicants) is the 1st May - see CAO Handbook for restrictions.

Requests for Application forms for admission in September to Undergraduate Degree Courses should be addressed to the CAO. Applications are considered for admission to the First Year of full Degree courses only.

Central Applications Office

Closing date

1 Feb

Late applicants

1 May

Change of mind

1 July

Applications for full-time Undergraduate Degree courses are made via:  The Central Applications Office, Tower House, 
Eglinton Street, Galway, Ireland. Applicants can apply online at

Telephone:   353-(091)-509800 

The CAO Handbook gives details of application dates and procedure. Please refer to CAO Handbook for restrictive closing dates. 

Closing dates for applications to the Central Applications Office:

Irish and EU Applicants

01 February*

Late Applications

01 May**

Change of Mind

01 July  

*NB: The medical programme has the restricted entry final closing date of 1 February
* *Applies to Irish and EU applicants only.


‌Is there a minimum age requirement? 

Students must normally have attained the age of seventeen years by 15 January following entry: e.g. for entry in 2020, date of birth must be on or before 15 January 2004. Where a student below that age seeks to enter the University, special application must be made to the President of the University

What are the basic entry criteria for Admission to Undergraduate Courses? 

All students wishing to enter an Undergraduate Degree courses at NUI Galway must meet the Matriculation requirements of the University.

What does matriculation mean? 

Matriculation refers to the minimum requirements for entry to the University.  Therefore before an applicant can be considered for admission they must meet these minimum standards.

What are the minimum entry requirements? 

For holders of the Irish Leaving Certificate, six subjects for Matriculation purposes are required, with at least two H5 and four O6/H7 Grades.  For further details please see the ICG Directory 2017

Do some courses have additional entry requirements? 

Certain courses have additional requirements and these are specified in course entry requirements in the Undergraduate prospectus and on our website here.

What does the points system mean? 

As fulfilment of the matriculation requirements is not in itself usually sufficient for admittance to courses sought, a Selection Scheme under which applicants are ranked in order of merit of performance at school leaving examinations is operated and this is called the points system.  Each applicant’s score is calculated by allocating points for grades achieved in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate examination.  Only the best six subjects are taken into account for points.

What subjects do you need? 

Information on subject requirements for entry to Undergraduate Degree Courses is available in the Undergraduate Prospectus  and on our website here.

 Can students combine the results of the Leaving Certificate Exam taken in different years for admission? 

An applicant may combine the results of Leaving Certificate examinations obtained in different years for Matriculation purposes. (This concession applies to Matriculation only; it does not apply to point’s calculation). Moreover, it should be noted that students seeking to enter Medicine must satisfy the minimum entry requirements in the same sitting. Students are advised to refer to the College of Medicine here.

Can students repeating Leaving Certificate submit point scores from different Leaving Certificate Years for the purpose of points calculation? 

Entry requirements can be taken from any number of Leaving Certificates but only the best six subjects in any one year can be used for scoring purposes. The exception is Medicine.  Students seeking to enter Medicine must satisfy the minimum entry requirements in the same sitting. Students are advised to refer to The College of Medicine  for information here.

Can subjects presented from LCVP (Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme) be used to satisfy the minimum requirements? 

Link modules of the LCVP are acceptable for points purposes for entry to NUIG. Please note that the LCVP is not an acceptable qualification or subject for matriculation purposes.

Is General Home Economics acceptable as a subject? 

Home Economics – General is not an acceptable matriculation subject for admission to NUI Galway. However Leaving Cert Home Economics – Social and Scientific is an acceptable matriculation subject for admission to NUI Galway.

Are there any invalid Subject Combinations? 

The subject Physics and Chemistry may not be presented with either Physics or Chemistry. Only two of the following subjects may be presented: History, Economic History, Economics. Agricultural Economics may not be presented with Economics. Classical Studies may not be presented with Latin or Greek. 

Is Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish acceptable? 

The subject Mathematics (Leaving Certificate - Foundation Level) will be accepted for matriculation purposes, but not as a substitute for the subject ’Mathematics’ in faculties or courses for which the subject ’Mathematics’ is currently an entry requirement. Entry points will not be awarded for this subject. The Leaving Certificate subject ’Gaeilge - Bonnleibhéal’ (Irish - Foundation Level) will not be accepted for matriculation or points purposes. 

Is the Irish Language required for entry to NUI Galway Degree Programmes?

Generally speaking, Irish is a standard subject requirement for matriculation for applicants with the Irish Leaving Certificate.  However certain applicants may be eligible for an exemption for this requirement (e.g. those born outside the Republic of Ireland).  Detailed information is available on the NUI Website, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (Tel: 01 4392424)

Do I need a third/modern language for NUIG courses?

A third language is required for Arts, Commerce, Law, Medicine, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Podiatry.  It is not required for entry to Nursing or Engineering.  Nor is it required for Science Courses except for Biotechnology.

All applicants whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of English language during their two most recent years  of study, must have advanced level English in Final School Exam or must present one of the recognised English Language qualifications (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL).  For further information please refer to NUI website.

Selection Scheme 

Admission to first year full-time Undergraduate Degree Courses is competitive and is based on the Leaving Certificate points system or a system of equivalent standing. For the purposes of allocating places, applicants who satisfy the minimum matriculation and faculty requirements are ranked in order of merit of performance at school - leaving examinations. Each applicant’s score is calculated on the basis of the allocation of points for grades achieved in the best six subjects taken at one sitting of the Leaving Certificate examination. Details on the new common points scale can be found here.

Maths Bonus Points

In 2012, the Higher Education Institutions introduced a bonus scheme for higher level Leaving Certificate Mathematics. More information on this scheme, including examples of how the system works, is available in the CAO guide which can be found here.

Points awarded:

A bonus of 25 points will be allocated to students who achieve a grade H6 and above in higher level (HL) mathematics.  This means that the maximum cumulative LC points total will increase from 600 to 625 (existing maximum points plus bonus points).


All students presenting H6 or above in HL mathematics will have 25 points added to their score for mathematics.

The six highest subject points scores will then be counted to achieve a cumulative points score, as is normal practice. 

The bonus points will only be relevant in cases where the subject HL mathematics (including bonus points) is scored as one of the candidate’s six best subjects for points purposes. Consequently, if HL mathematics (cumulative points score) is not among these six subjects, the bonus points will not be included in the total points score.


The maximum possible adjusted points score for applicants to Medicine will increase from 560 to 565. The baseline score of 480 points will still apply but can include the bonus points if HL mathematics (cumulative points) is among the best six subjects. For details of how Leaving Certificate points above 550 are moderated click here.

EU other than Irish examinations

All EU students presenting for admission to an Irish university with a clear equivalent to HL Mathematics as one of their EU school leaving subjects will be awarded bonus points. A scoring system for GCE, International Baccalauréat and European Baccalauréat examinations will be prepared as a matter of urgency.


  • Undergraduate Prospectus 2020

    Undergraduate Prospectus 2020 PDF (18.4 MB)

  • Quick Guide to Courses 2020

    Quick Guide to Courses 2020 PDF (2.4 MB)

  • A Level Quick Guide 2020

    A Level Quick Guide 2020 PDF (2 MB)