our courses


General English is the most popular course at Castleforbes College. Structured to provide the knowledge to deal with everyday situations. It is based around fun and dynamic lessons that will help you become fluent. Our methodology is founded on practice, conversation and entertainment.

Our General English course will also teach you the idioms and colloquial terms used in everyday Irish culture, improving your communication skills in Ireland. This process will be done using a variety of textbooks, audio and video recordings, and group activities amongst students.

Every student’s programme is overseen by our Director of Studies and teaching staff, from the first day to the last, supporting, answering questions and evaluating their progress as they follow their learning path. The school receives students from all over the world, as General English courses also allow students from outside the EU to learn English in Ireland with a Work-Study Visa.

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  •  Listening
  • Every Monday
  • Morning classes Monday to Friday 9:00 – 12:15
  • Afternoon classes Monday to Friday 13:45- 17:00
  • Maximum 15 students
  • Elementary (A1)
  • Pre-Intermediate (A2)
  • Intermediate (B1)
  • Upper-Intermediate (B2)
  • Advanced (C1)
  • Speak out (BBC Pearson)
  • Life (National Geographic)
  • Global (Macmillan)


If your focus is to learn how to communicate effectively and efficiently, to the point where you can speak like a native, then to book yourself into our conversation classes

Timetable: daily 12:30 – 13:30

one-to-one learning

We offer private one-to-one tuition for all students interested in improving their English more rapidly or looking for particular needs such as interviewing or Business English. Each lesson is specifically tailored to the student’s request and to the subjects they are interested in improving or developing. If your goal is to improve your grammar, enrich vocabulary or further develop your communication skills, this is the perfect course for your needs. let’s talk

FCE - cambridge exam

The Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) represents the third level examination of the “Cambridge in English for Speakers of Other Languages” classification and it is equivalent to a B2 (Upper Intermediate) level from the Common Framework for European languages.

FCE Exam Registration
The FCE exams are held on a monthly basis, and if interested, Castleforbes College will provide you with all the necessary information and preparation for the exam. All FCE exams are arranged in external certified centres located in Dublin.

Official Website: cambridgeenglish.org

Cambridge FCE Structure and Exam Breakdown

The FCE exam tests all English language systems and skills. In regards to the English language, productive skills are speaking and writing, whereas receptive skills are listening and reading. The language systems are vocabulary, phonology, discourse and grammar. There are four papers, each focussing on a particular skill. The reading paper also explicitly tests student knowledge of the grammar of English. The result of each of these papers is combined to provide an overall score.

Reading and Use of English – 1 hour 15 minutes
Shows you can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests your use of English with tasks that show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.

Writing – 1 hour 20 minutes
Requires you to be able to produce two different pieces of writing, such as letters, reports, reviews and essays.

Listening – 40 minutes
Requires you to be able to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news programmes, presentations and everyday conversations.

Speaking – 14 minutes per pair of candidates
Tests your ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face situations. You will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 3 million tests taken per year. As in the FCE exam, the IELTS test consists of 4 parts, testing all your abilities in the English language:

Listening – 40 minutes
The listening test is composed of 4 parts of increasing difficulty. Each part is a short dialogue followed by a set of questions.

Reading and comprehension – 60 minutes
Reading and comprehension are tested through a set of three texts containing around 13-14 questions each, with a total of 40 questions to be answered.

Writing – 60 minutes
The writing is comprised of two tasks. The first one is to describe a given graph, diagram or chart, and to provide analysis. The second one is to write a letter or a short essay.

Speaking – 11-14 minutes
The Speaking test is in three parts. Examinee’s do the test alone.

IELTS exam registration
If interested in taking the IELTS exam, Castleforbes College can offer you preparation, support and registration. The exam is taken in different locations in Dublin on several days each month.

Official Website

student-visa course

Ireland is one of the few countries where you can apply for a working visa as an English student. As a student from outside the EU, to apply for this sort of visa, which lasts for a period of 33 weeks, you need:

  • An English course of 15h per week for 25 weeks booked and paid for before your arrival in Ireland
  • A letter of acceptance from Castleforbes College containing your course details
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months after your course is finished
  • Medical insurance and Learner Protection provided by Castleforbes College for the entire period you’re spending in Ireland studying English
  • Evidence that you can maintain yourself in Dublin during your stay, which you can prove with a bank statement or cash. Usually €3000, this can change depending on your nationality
  • €300 to pay for your visa application, only in debit or credit card, no cash accepted
  • You must agree to do an exit exam for any Visa-approved course

Your application will allow you to stay in Ireland for 25 weeks of an English Course and 8 weeks of holidays. Having obtained your Work-Study Visa valid the next steps are:

  • Apply for a PPS number
  • Prepare your CV and update your LinkedIn
  • Open a bank account in Ireland (most employers ask for an Irish account to pay your wages)
  • Open an account at revenue.ie to manage your taxes

During the course you’re allowed to work for 20 hours/week and it is possible to work for 40 hours a week in the months of June, July, August and September, as well as between the 15th of December and the 15th of January. If you have any questions about any of the steps, ask us!


TIE exam

Our standard end of course test is the TIE exam, which stands for Test of Interactive English. It is a test based on the Council of Europe levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), placing students in one of the six levels according to their results in a one and a half hour exam.
Every student is required to prepare an investigation and a news-story, in addition to having read a book. The test structure is as follows:

  • Speaking – 30 minutes
    • Introductions
    • Investigation Presentation
    • News story or book Presentation
    • Decision making task
  • Writing – 60 minutes
    • Write an article, a letter, a report or a review
    • Write an essay about the chosen news story or book

Your TIE exam is automatically booked when you choose a VISA course, unless you choose one of the other exit exams offered (IELTS, FCE).

Exam dates: offered every Wednesday or Thursday, the exam can only be completed at the end of your course.

Exam location: 45 Leeson Street Lower, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2

Official Website: www.ielt.ie/about-tie

placement test

Students are required to do a placement test before they attend their first day at the college. The function of this test is to begin a personalised learning path for each student. It is important that students complete this test without any help, either online, or from other people, so that they are placed in the correct level.