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How DCU’s foundation programs benefit students

International students from Asia, Europe and the Middle East have extolled the benefits of Dublin City University’s International Foundation Programs (IFPs), pathway programs designed to prepare international students for entry into their bachelor’s or master’s degrees and hone their English proficiency as they interact with the university’s 16,000 students from 109 countries.

Hongtong Liu of China shares that the foundations course has been a good opportunity for her to organise her thoughts, think critically and express her ideas using the English language. She is now preparing for her master’s degree in finance which will start in September.

“Life in Dublin has been very good, within and outside the university campus. The Irish people are very friendly and very helpful. They’re lovely!” she gushed.

Fondly called Lola by her classmates and colleagues at her part-time job, Liu says that she has learned English not only in the classroom but also at work and she likes chatting with the locals for practice.

Her advice to international students: “Don’t be afraid to talk to people to improve your English. Be confident and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” She explains further that even though some international students have no trouble reading, listening and writing in English, speaking the language is still very important.

DCU has partnered with EduCo whose local representatives in key countries worldwide have been assisting international students in their application to the foundation programs (application details below).

The university’s proud tradition of world-class academic excellence, research and innovation has placed them in QS’ Top 50 under 50 has made them International Student Barometer’s #1 university for work experience and careers advice. Students can avail of the world-class facilities and services on campus even while on the IFP. They can get the best of their education as many of the DCU degrees include either a work placement, consultancy or research project with an industry.

Academic entry requirements

Undegraduate (UG) Study IELTS score of 6.5, with no component less than 6.0 12 years of school equivalent to the Irish exam system e.g. A-levels, IB or equivalent

September 2018

Postgraduate (PG) Study

IELTS score of 6.5, with no component less than 6.0

4-year Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university with a score equivalent to 2.1 or 60%

September 2018

Foundation/English language entry requirements

The foundation program is open to UG and PG students who just fall short on the direct entry academic requirements.




One semester IELTS score of 6.0, with no component less than 5.5 or TOEFL score of 60-78 January or May 2019
Two semesters IELTS score of 5.5, with no component less than 5.0 or TOEFL score of 46-59 September 2018 or January 2019

How to apply

1.) Students should specify the bachelor’s or master’s degree program that they wish to study.

2.) They may then submit their application to [email protected] or their local EduCo repsentative and receive advice on the appropriate foundation program for them.

3.) Once their applications are assessed and approved, students will receive an offer to study in both the international foundation program and bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program.

4.) Students who successfully complete the IFP can then proceed to their bachelor’s or master’s degree studies.