Posted on: 14th Oct 2020 1538 Views

Grading System in Ireland

The common grading system in Ireland’s higher educational system mostly varies. It varies according to the institution and course. Most educational institutes have a unique system of grading.

Grading System in Ireland

The minimum passing percentage out of 100 is 40% in any course in Ireland.

The common grading system at a higher level education institution in Ireland is as follows:-

International Scale and their following description  :

International scale Description Percentage of grade
A
(excellent)
First Class Honours
70% or above
B
(very good, with few errors)
Upper Second Class Honours
69% – 60%
C
(good, with some errors)
Lower Second Class Honours
59% – 50%
D
(satisfactory, with many errors)
Third Class Honours
49% – 45%
E
(sufficient)
Compensating Fail. This is the minimum passing grade
44% – 40%Leaving Certificate Grading

The leaving certificate 

The leaving certificate examination is conducted after the completion of upper secondary studies. It is to be conducted before the application of higher education.

The grading system under this examination are:-

Grade letter Grade point (Higher paper) Grade point (Ordinary paper)
A1
100
60
A2
90
50
B1
85
45
B2
80
40
B3
75
35
C1
70
30
C2
65
25
C3
60
20
D1
55
15
D2
50
10
D3
45
  • The entrance level of college or university is based upon combined grades of 6 leaving certificate subjects. They can combine higher and ordinary papers. The maximum number of grade points that can be achieved is 600 points.
  • All higher education systems have a minimum grading point that varies. That grading point is the cut-off mark that a student needs to attain before giving an entrance exam. The very competitive courses have higher cut-offs in comparison to the ordinary ones.
  •  If a student wants admission in Economics he should have scored well in that particular subject and also must have studied it properly. The grade does not matter in this case.
  • The undergraduate entrance exam score will be converted to a grade point scale.

The Grading system at different levels 

  • School Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)
Scale Grade Description US Grade
85.00 – 100.00 Distinction A
70.00 – 84.00 Merit B
60.00 – 69.00 Pass C
  • Leaving Certificate (2017+)

New Leaving Certificate Grading Scale introduced in 2017

Grade Scale US Grade
H1 90.00 – 100.00 A
H2 80.00 – 89.00 A-
H3 70.00 – 79.00 B
H4 60.00 – 69.00 B-
H5 50.00 – 59.00 C
H6 40.00 – 49.00 D
H7 30.00 – 39.00 F
H8 0.00 – 29.00 F
  • Secondary School
Grade Scale Grade Description US Grade Notes
A 85.00 – 100.00 Excellent A
B 70.00 – 84.99 Very Good A
C 55.00 – 69.99 Good B
D 40.00 – 54.99 Satisfactory C Lowest passing grade
E 25.00 – 39.99 Weak F
F 10.00 – 24.99 Fail F
NG 0.00 – 9.99 No Grade
  • ECTS
Grade Scale US Grade
A 90.00 – 100.00 A
B 80.00 – 89.00 B+
C 70.00 – 79.00 B
D 60.00 – 69.00 C+
E 50.00 – 59.00 C
F 0.00 – 49.00 F
  • ECTS
Grade Grade Description US Grade
A Excellent A
B Very Good B+
C Good B
D Satisfactory C+
E Sufficient C
FX Fail F
F Fail F
  • FETAC Levels 4-6
Scale Grade Description US Grade
80.00 – 100.00 Distinction A
65.00 – 79.00 Merit B
50.00 – 64.00 Pass C
Referred F

Different levels of Education in Ireland

Education is compulsory for all the students from ages 6 to 16 years. It is also compulsory for the students who have completed three years of education at the 2nd level of education.

  • Early Childhood
  • Primary Education
  • Post Primary
  • Further Education and Training
  • Higher Education
  • Qualifications Recognition
  • Educational provision for students with special needs
  • Provision for disadvantaged students.

View of foreign students coming to study in Ireland

A Canadian student Emillie came to study in Europe (Ireland) for pursuing higher education. She could easily differentiate between the education system and the grading of both countries.

Most of the students coming from Canada are from the (medicine, technology, business, and entrepreneurship) field. She does not see much difference in cultures as Ireland is predominantly an English spoken country.

She had a few questions in her mind. That is:-

  • How does the grading system work in Ireland?
  • Will there be any comparative grading system that might affect her scores?
  • Will that decrease her CGPA?

She saw that the Canadian Schools have 50-60% passing marks while in Ireland any grades within first and 2nd class Hons. are highly regarded. That means fewer efforts and more appreciation which is a motivating factor.

Canada has a top-down approach to grading.

It needs 100%perfection and errorless work otherwise your marks are deducted. While in Ireland the highest is 70% for being perfect and errorless. This will still leave room for improvement. Grading in this is subjective.

Ireland’s grading and education system provide opportunities for getting success at work. It creates scope for betterment and improvement. This would create value and a great level of significance.

Not only that your Irish Credits Transfer directly with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System making it easier to transfer grades to any other European Union Member.

Name of Colleges and their grading system 

  • Dublin City University (DCU)
First Class Honours     70% – 100%            Excellent, exemplary, thorough, clear, free of errors.
Second Class Honours Grade 1               60% – 69% Good, well-structured, only minor omissions or errors.
Second Class Honours Grade 2 50% – 59% Fair, satisfactory content, some less developed areas, errors.
Third Class Honours 40% – 49% Adequate, or barely adequate, substantial errors and/or omissions
Fail Less than 40% Insufficient does not meet the minimum expected standards
  • National University of Ireland
GRADES: NUI Galway PERFORMANCE
Honors Percentage Letter Grade
(col 1) (col 2) (col 3) (col 4)
H1 70-100 A Excellent; exceeds expectations
H2.1 60-69 B Very good; meets all expectations
Good; meets most expectations
H2.2 50-59 C Satisfactory; meets some expectations
Pass 40-49 D Poor; meets minimum expectations
Fail 0-39 F Fail; does not meet expectations
  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Degree Classification Grade Percentage Range
First Class Honours I 70-100%
Second Class Honours, First Division II.1 60-69%
Second Class Honours, Second Division II.2 50-59%
Third Class Honours III 40-49%

University College Cork (UCC)

  • 70-100% – 1.1 -First Class Honours
  • 60-69% – 2.1 -Second Class Honours, Grade 1
  • 50-59% – 2.2 -Second Class Honours, Grade 2
  • 45%-49% – 3.1 -Third Class Honours
  • 40%-44% – Pass
  • <40% Fail

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