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Dublin International Foundation College – DIFC

At a glance

Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) was set up in 1999 to deliver specialised foundation courses preparing international students for entrance into partner universities in Ireland and the UK. Both undergraduate and postgraduate level programmes are taught and students who successfully complete these are placed in a wide-variety of Higher Education courses.

Over the past few years, DIFC has placed over 1,500 students onto graduate and postgraduate courses in partner universities and colleges in Ireland and the UK.

Due to our reputation for running quality foundation courses as a pathway to university entrance, DIFC has been appointed by NCUK as its exclusive delivery centre in Ireland for NCUK courses – the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) and NCUK Graduate Diploma (formerly the Pre-Masters programme – PMP).


Students from many countries outside Ireland and the UK need to complete a ‘bridging course’ before they can enter leading universities in the UK or elsewhere. Other students wish to undertake part of their international degree course in their home country. The Northern Consortium (NCUK) is an education organisation created in 1987 by eleven UK universities to help such students. This remains NCUK’s main objective today.

Successful completion of NCUK courses guarantees students a place on a degree course in a wide variety of subjects. NCUK’s ability to guarantee student placements stems from the academic credibility of our programmes and the robust quality assurance procedures which are under the direct scrutiny of our eleven founding university partners. Since its formation NCUK have helped prepare more than 23,500 international students for degree studies in the UK by providing bridging courses of the highest academic quality. Many NCUK graduates have obtained outstanding degree results, and are proof of the rigorous academic standards upon which we have built our reputation.

Originally, NCUK courses prepared students for study at one of the eleven founding university partners. However, as the recognition of the courses and the student numbers on the programmes has grown, NCUK has developed partnerships with other UK universities, as well as universities in Australia and the Republic of Ireland. This allows NCUK to meet the educational needs of a very wide range of international students.

NCUK works in association with education institutions to run our courses. These are our course delivery partners. We run courses in countries ranging from China to Kenya. We are committed to developing new foundation courses and other programmes in a rapidly expanding number of countries worldwide.

NCUK offers two pre-university preparation programmes: a pre-undergraduate course and a pre-postgraduate programme.

Facts & figures

Year of foundation


Type of institution

Foundation College


September & January

Campus locations

Dublin, Ireland & a new centre opening September 2016 in Cork, Ireland

Course offered

NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY): Health & Science (Medicine), Business & Management, Engineering & Technology, Science; NCUK Graduate Diploma; Pre-Foundation English programmes at elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate levels; Academic English programme


95% placement success including medicine (where there are no guarantees) / 11 partners in Ireland / 17 in the UK with 5 of these ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. 6 different medical partners in 7 different countries globally. Graduate visa scheme available for students who complete their degree program in Ireland.



Student union


Why choose Dublin International Foundation College - DIFC

  • DIFC is the largest University Foundation College (Pathway College) in Ireland with approximately 200 non-EU students being prepared for University entry for both Degree and Masters Pr
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