Entry Requirements and Points Systems

The grading structure for the Irish Leaving Certificate and the Points Scale changed for 2017 entry. Please click here for details of the revised scheme.

Standard access to first year courses at LYIT is generally based on the Irish Leaving Certificate, or FETAC exams, or on equivalent school–leaving exams taken on completion of upper second level.  The minimum matriculation requirement can vary, depending on the level/type of course for which you apply:

Selection is a two-step process.  The steps are sequential but equally important.

  • You must matriculate or meet certain minimum standards to be eligible for consideration.
  • Once you have matriculated you must compete for places with all other matriculated candidates.

Step 1 Matriculation

Level 6:  Higher Certificate

Level 7:  Bachelor Degree (ab initio)

  • Applicants must present at least 5 different subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate (or in an equivalent, school-leaving examination taken on completion of upper secondary level.)
  • Either Irish or English must also be among the 5 subjects presented
  • Maths must be included in the 5 subjects presented, except in the cases of:
    • LY408 Visual Communication and Graphic Design  
    • LY427 Digital Media Design
    • LY437 Animation
    • LY447 Fashion with Promotion
    • LY406 Photography
    • LY336 Higher Certificate in Arts - Bar & Restaurant Supervision
    • LY346 Higher Certificate in Arts - Culinary Arts.
    • LY317 Culinary Arts
    • LY327 Hotel Restaurant & Resort Management
  • For Level 7 course only applicants must achieve a minimum of 160 points

Level 8: Honours Degree (ab initio)

  • Applicants must present at least 6 subjects in the Irish Leaving Cert, (or in an equivalent school-leaving examination taken on completion of upper secondary level.)
  • Either Irish or English must be among the 6 subjects presented.
  • Maths at grade O6/H7 or better is required.
  • At least two of the 6 subjects must be at grade H5 or better.


  • For all engineering courses and all ab initio level 8 courses the minimum Maths requirement is grade O6/H7, or better, in the Leaving Certificate.
  • For all Level 6/7 courses the requirement can be met via Leaving Cert. Maths at O6/H7 (or higher).
  • For level 6/7 courses other than Engineering the maths requirement can also be met via:
    • Foundation Maths at grade F2 (or higher.)
    • Leaving Cert Maths at grade O6/H7 or higher (HE in 2016 or earlier)
  • LYIT awards 25 bonus points for grade H6 on the higher Maths paper.  Examples 

Other Requirements

Very occasionally, additional specific subject and/or grades may be required for some courses.  For example:

  • A laboratory Science subject is required for all Nursing courses, including  Dental Nursing and Veterinary Nursing and also for Pharmacy Technician.
  • Art (or a portfolio) is required for some courses in the Design Department, including LY437 Animation and LY408 Visual Communication and LY427 Graphic Design.  

Where specific subjects and/or grades are required these will be listed on individual course descriptors.

Garda/Police Vetting

LYIT offers a number of courses in which students will be required to go on placements that may bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults. Applicants for these courses are required to undergo Garda/Police vetting.   Students will be unable to go on placements or complete the course without a satisfactory vetting outcome.  Therefore offers and registration for these courses are provisional until such time as vetting is complete and a satisfactory result is recorded.  A report is required for any country in which the applicant has lived for 6 months or more.  Non EU applicants for courses requiring police vetting will only be considered if we fail to fill the course from the available pool of qualified EU applicants.

Acquisition of Minimum Entry Requirements.

The basic entry requirements for Mathematics, English and Irish may be accumulated from more than one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. 

Step 2. Competitive Entry

Entry is competitive. Where the number of matriculated candidates exceeds the number of places available, it is unlikely that an applicant with only the basic entry requirements could receive an offer.

The Points System.

Due to competition, places are normally awarded on the basis of points.  Points are assigned to each grade attained in the various exams available to second level students: Leaving Certificate, GCSE A-Levels, etc.  Basically, the better your grades the more points you will achieve.  The more points you achieve the higher your ranking and, thus, the better your chance of gaining entry to the course of your choice.  

There are two things to note regarding points:

  • We do not even begin to calculate points unless you first matriculate.  If Maths is a requirement and you have not presented a qualifying grade in Maths you will not matriculate.  In that case, regardless of your grades in other subjects, you will not be awarded any points.
  • Points are calculated on the basis of a single sitting.  If a student sits an exam more than once, points for each sitting are calculated separately.  The sitting yielding the best score will be considered for ranking. 

The points assigned to each grade achieved in the Leaving Certificate are shown in the table below.  Points for individual applicants are calculated as the total of the points from his/her six highest grades  i.e. the maximum number of points available to any Leaving Cert candidate is 625, which they would achieve if they got H1s (A1s in 2016 or earlier) on six (or more) Higher papers, including higher Maths.

For information on calculation of points please consult the Student Resources/Applicant Scoring section of CAO web site here 

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCAP)

  • The LCAP does not met minimum entry requirements.
  • Holders of the LCAP are advise dot follow it up with an appropriate QQJ/FETAC qualification.


Click here for the entry requirements for QQI/FETAC.

U.K./ Northern Ireland Exams

Click here for information relavant to applicants from UK and Northern Ireland

Relevance of previous year's points

In theory, it would be possible to gain entry to a course with as few as 60 points, i.e 5 subjects at grade at O6 (grade D3 in 2016 or earlier).  In practice, the laws of supply and demand mean that you will probably require a lot more.  Colleges have limited space and will select students with the highest qualifications first.  Therefore the actual number of points required may rise or fall from year to year.  If a programme is very much in demand the points will rise.  If demand declines, or the number of places increases, the number of points required may fall.  The CAO website includes an archive of the points required in recent years.  Please note that historic points give only a general indication of trends.  The trend may not necessarily continue into the current year.

Relevance of cut-off points

The cut-off points which are published for each programme are the points achieved by the last person who qualified for that programme in a particular year.  The average entry point may be considerably higher than the cut-off, so the cut-off point does not give any indication of the calibre of students on a programme.  Nor does it tell you anything about the quality of the programme itself.  Programmes in all colleges are positioned on the National Framework of Qualifications and achievement of an award at any level is based on the achievement of specific learning outcomes.  So, though it may be easier to get past the entry hurdle for a particular programme in some years (or in some colleges) than in others, this does not mean that, once in, it will be easier to achieve the required learning outcomes or to qualify.

An archive of the points required in recent years is available via the CAO web site.

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Updated: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:04:02 GMT