The General Entrance Requirements identify the minimum qualifications needed for application to a course at Ulster University. The minimum required for any programmes is a minimum of passes in five subjects, two of which must be at A level (grades A-E) or equivalent and three at GCSE level* (grades A-C/4-9) or equivalent. We may also take into account relevant work experience. You should refer to the online prospectus for specific entry requirements to individual courses.
Ulster are also more than happy to accept different combinations of qualifications, e.g. An A-Level, and two BTECs, or three individual OCR or BTEC qualifications, provided the individual qualifications are accepted and are of the correct size we ask for.
* GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9) may be used as part of the GCSE requirement.
All programmes at Ulster require candidates to have competence in written and spoken English and GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9) or an equivalent qualification such as Essential Skills or Functional Skills in Communication at Level 2.
Many of our programmes also ask for competency in Mathematics and/or Science at GCSE. In some cases we can accept equivalences such as Essential Skills or Functional Skills in Application of Number at Level 2 but please refer to the online prospectus to find out the specific GCSE requirements for your chosen course.
A full list of qualifications we accept as equivalent to GCSE is available here
A-Level and AS-Level
Ulster accepts all A-Levels as the basis for entry to our full and part-time undergraduate courses. The exact grade and subject requirements will be listed on the individual programme pages on the online prospectus. Some programmes may have additional requirements that will also need to be met.
AS-levels may be taken into consideration for certain courses but offers are not based on those qualifications.
Applied General / Tech Level Qualifications (e.g. BTEC, Cambridge Technicals)
Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications at Extended Diploma, Diploma or Extended Certificate/Introductory Diploma level awarded by Pearson, OCR or AQA are normally accepted for entry to Ulster programmes.
Please refer to individual programme pages on the online prospectus for specific grades required as there are different grades depending on whether your qualification is on the older QCF Framework, or the new RQF Framework.
Some courses may also stipulate that only certain subjects are accepted and may also ask for specific units to be taken. We normally require a minimum of a Merit.
We also accept foundation diplomas (equivalent to 1.5 A-Levels) but only count these as one subject so applicants will either need a second foundation diploma or the equivalent of two more A-Levels.
Certificates (equivalent to half an A-Level) are not considered for entry.
BTEC Specialist qualifications, including the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering courses are no longer accepted for entry to Ulster programmes, including validated Foundation Degrees.
Ulster does not currently accept any qualification delivered by OCNNI.
Type of Qualification A-Level Equivalence QCF Qualifications RQF Qualifications National Extended Diploma (1080) AAA D*D*D DDD AAB D*DD DDD ABB D*DD DDM BBB DDD DDM BBC DDD DMM BCC DDM DMM CCC DMM MMM National Diploma (720) AA D*D* DD AB D*D DD BB DD DM BC DM DM CC DM MM National Extended Certificate (360) A* D* D* A D* D B D D C M M
Ulster welcomes candidates presenting with new T-Level qualifications in a subject relevant to their chosen degree course. Our standard offer will ask for an overall grade (Pass, Merit or Distinction) and a specific grade for the core element (A* to C) and our minimum overall requirement is an overall Pass and Grade C or above in the core element. Details on specific pathways will be made available soon. Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish Leaving Certificate
Ulster welcomes applicants presenting with Irish Leaving qualifications. Our minimum requirements are passes at H6 or above in four subjects. All applicants also have to achieve H6 or O4 in English and where Mathematics is a course requirement, H6 or O4 in Mathematics.
For the majority of our courses we will count UCAS tariff points achieved in all subjects passed. For a small number of courses we will only make offers for specific grades. Please refer to individual programme pages on the online prospectus for specific requirements.
A-Level Requirement ILC Equivalent Offer AAA 144 UCAS TARIFF POINTS AAB 136 UCAS TARIFF POINTS ABB 128 UCAS TARIFF POINTS BBB 120 UCAS TARIFF POINTS BBC 112 UCAS TARIFF POINTS BCC 104 UCAS TARIFF POINTS CCC 96 UCAS TARIFF POINTS
*Please note that the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is not accepted for entry to any of our courses and that results from Junior Cert are not considered.
QQI Level 5 (Irish Qualifications)
Ulster welcomes applicants presenting with QQI Level 5 or Level 6 qualifications gained in Ireland. Please check the individual course page and use the table below to identify what you need to gain from your QQI qualification to meet the course specific requirements. If there are any subjects that are required to be studied at A-Level, they will also need to be studied as part of your QQI qualification.
A-Level Requirement QQI Grades Required AAA 8 Distinctions AAB 6 Distinctions; 2 Merits ABB 5 Distinctions; 3 Merits BBB 4 Distinctions; 4 Merits BBC 2 Distinctions; 6 Merits BCC 1 Distinction; 7 Merits CCC 8 Merits
Also, please note that applicants who complete the Mathematics 5N1833 unit as part of a QQI qualification, can use this to satisfy the GCSE/ILC Mathematics requirement, for our courses that ask for Mathematics at GCSE.
Ulster accepts the following two childcare related qualifications as satisfying our general entry requirements:
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Children’s Play, Learning and Development -
- NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care Learning and Development (Northern Ireland) - QAN 603/7477/9
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Children’s Play, Learning and Development -
NVQs / GNVQs
Ulster does not accept candidates presenting with an NVQ or GNVQ as satisfying our entry requirements.
Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
Ulster welcomes applicants presenting with Scottish Highers and/or Advanced Highers. Our minimum requirements for a candidate presenting with Highers is CCCCC and DDD if presenting with Advanced Highers. Please refer to individual programme pages on the online prospectus for specific requirements.
Ulster is delighted to accept applicants presenting with an Access programme. If you are taking an Access course that is validated by Ulster or QUB, your offer will be expressed as a percentage. If you are taking one of the QAA Access to HE Diploma’s, you will be asked to achieve a certain number of distinctions, merits and/or pass grades out of units totalling 45 credits.
A-Level Requirement NI Access Course GB Access to HE Diploma AAA 75% 45 credits at Distinction AAB 73% 39 credits at Distinction; 6 credits at Merit ABB 70% 30 credits at Distinction; 15 credits at Merit BBB 65% 24 credits at Distinction; 21 credits at Merit BBC 63% 15 credits at Distinction; 30 credits at Merit BCC 60% 9 credits at Distinction; 36 credits at Merit CCC 55% 45 credits at Merit
HNC / HND Qualifications
Candidates presenting with HNC or HND qualifications are very welcome to apply to Ulster and for some courses, a HND may provide you with an opportunity to join your chosen programme at Year 2 or Year 4, depending on whether there is a match with what you have studied as part of your HND and what we deliver on our course. In most cases, for entry to final year, you will be expected to undertake “bridging” modules in the summer before your course begins.
Applicants presenting with a HNC must commence in Year 1 of their chosen programme.
A-Level Requirement HNC HND AAA Overall Distinction with distinctions in all L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 105 L5 credits AAB Overall Distinction with distinctions in all L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 90 L5 credits ABB Overall Distinction with distinctions in 105 L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 75 L5 credits BBB Overall Distinction with distinctions in 90 L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 60 L5 credits BBC Overall Distinction with distinctions in 75 L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 45 L5 credits BCC Overall Merit with distinctions in 60 L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 30 L5 credits CCC Overall Merit with distinctions in 45 L4 credits Overall Merit with distinctions in 15 L5 credits
Ulster welcomes candidates presenting with Foundation Degrees validated by either Ulster University or Queens University Belfast. There may be an opportunity to join your chosen programme at Year 2 or Year 4, depending on whether there is a match with what you have studied as part of your Foundation Degree and what we deliver on our course. In most cases, for entry to final year, you will be expected to undertake “bridging” modules in the summer before your course begins.
A-Level Requirement Foundation Degree Score AAA 70% AAB 65% ABB 60% BBB 55% BBC 50% BCC 45% CCC 40%
* Please note that these are Level 5 Foundation Degrees. If you are completing a Foundation Year at Level 3, please check the percentages required for applicants presenting with an NI Access course.
We welcome applicants presenting with the International Baccalaureate with an overall profile to include a minimum of 24 points (12 points at higher level) to include Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language (grade 4 or above) and if Maths is a course requirement you need Higher or Subsidiary level in mathematics (grade 4 or above).
Transfer from other University
Ulster welcomes applicants transferring from other Universities. We normally check your Level 3 (e.g. A-Level) qualifications to ensure you meet the requirements for the course but can also take into account any work completed at University. We can only consider complete years and expect a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4, passed at a level equivalent to the entry requirements for your chosen course. There may be an opportunity to join your chosen programme at Year 2 or Year 4, depending on whether there is a match with what you have studied as part of your original degree and what we deliver on our course. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
Full details of our English Language requirements and qualifications that satsify these requirements can be found on our Global Pages
You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in one of the following countries, or are from one of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
You also do not need to prove your knowledge of English if one of the following applies:
- you’re a national of Canada
- you’re applying to come to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA
- you proved your level of English in a previous visa application
Ulster continues to accept a variety of qualifications that are no longer delivered, but where applicants may have completed these a number of years ago. Examples of older qualifications we continue to accept are BTECs prior to 2010, Ulster Certificate in Foundation Studies....
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Ulster appreciates the work a candidate puts in to achieve an Extended Project Qualification but offers are not based on achieving this and the qualification does not get counted as additional tariff points.
Certificate in Personal Effectiveness Level 3- COPE
Ulster appreciates the work a candidate puts in to achieve a Certificate in Personal Effectiveness but our offers are not based on achieving this and the qualification does not get counted as additional tariff points.
Level 3 Award in Employability & Professional Development
Ulster appreciates the work a candidate puts in to achieve a Level 3 Award in Employability and Professional Development but our offers are not based on achieving this and the qualification does not get counted as additional tariff points.
Ulster will consider applicants presenting with ACCA Level 3 or Level 4 qualifications alongside other accepted A-Level equivalent qualifications.
LIBF/IFS Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Financial Studies
Ulster accepts candidates presenting with the LIBF/IFS Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies as satisfying one of the A-Level equivalent requirements. Equivalences are as follows:
Grade UCAS Tariff A-Level Equivalent A* 56 A* A 48 A B 40 B C 32 C D 24 D E 16 E
The LIBF/IFS Certificate in Financial Studies is equivalent to an AS Level and not normally considered for the purposes of general entry to Ulster programmes, although for courses validated at FE colleges (e.g. Foundation Degrees), we will include tariff points achieved in this qualification.
Check here if the qualifications you have taken at Level 2 satisfy our GCSE requirements.