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.
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|
|First Class Honours
||70% or above
(very good, with few errors)
|Upper Second Class Honours
||69% – 60%
(good, with some errors)
|Lower Second Class Honours
||59% – 50%
(satisfactory, with many errors)
|Third Class Honours
||49% – 45%
|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:-
- 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
|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||–|
|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|
|Grade||Grade Description||US Grade|
- 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|
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|
|(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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