Study in Ireland


Why Should I Study in Ireland

Located in the north-western side of Europe, Ireland is an island that houses about 6.4 million people. In addition to a vibrant culture, the country has had a significant influence in the fields of literature and education and science.

Ireland is an English-speaking country and houses a number of reputed universities, technological institutes, specialist colleges and other colleges offering regular education. In every academic year, almost 200,000 students from different parts of the world come into Ireland to complete study courses of their choice. This number is seen to be increasing every year. This goes to show that Ireland is home to a great education culture as well as high-quality education. Given below are ten solid reasons why you should choose Ireland as the most referred overseas education destination.

#1: Top-rated Universities

First and foremost, a majority of Irish universities find a place in the top 5% of globally acknowledged top-rated universities. The governments in Ireland have been investing huge amounts of resources into education as well as research for a long time now.  The quality assurance systems for education in Ireland are stringent and demanding and this has shown up in the quality of education that is imparted to students. The form of study allows students to discover and learn for themselves rather than earn subjects in a theoretical fashion.

#2: Investment in Research

Ireland is known to invest large amounts of money annually in their higher-education institutions. So much so, these institutions are known to be involved in high-quality research in more than 19 fields the world over. Many universities are listed in the top 1% of research in terms of the impact f the research. This is reason enough to study in Ireland.

#3: Close links with the UK and US

Ireland is a country with close industrial, political, social links with both the US and the UK. Credit transfer is possible from Ireland’s higher education institutions to those in the UK. You can choose to continue your education in these countries if the need arises.

#4: Work-while-you-study opportunities

Ireland offers ample opportunities in different sectors for students to work and earn in their free time. If you are English-speaking, it is even easier. This allows you to gain industrial exposure in addition to helping you fend for yourself. As a student of a bachelor’s course, you are permitted to work for up to 20 hours a week during the term of the course. During holidays you can work for up to 40 hours in a week. You are also allowed to extend your stay for up to a year after your degree and seek employment. You can also apply for a work permit.

#5: Home to many MNCs

Ireland has attracted many MNCs that have invested their money in the country. In fact, Ireland has purportedly the second-most attractive for FDI after Singapore. Tech giants like Facebook, Google, IBM, Twitter and Apple have all invested in Ireland. Many leading pharmaceutical companies have headquartered their European operations in Ireland. All this means plenty of jobs to look out for after your graduation.

#6: Affordable education

Ireland’s greatest plus point is its value for money proposition. The fees that are charged by many institutions is not the tuition fee alone but includes housing, insurance, educational tours and even some cultural activities. The expenses incurred for the living, tuition and other items are much less when compared to the US and the UK. To top it all, most education programmes are only for one year and this right away reduces the cost to half.

#7: Scholarships aplenty

The government of Ireland has instituted many scholarships for international students. In addition to this, the study programmes also offer financial planning assistance that helps to offset major costs incurred for the education.  A few of the institutions offer direct scholarships that are limited in number and tough to obtain.

#8: Friendly nation

Ireland is a safe country with very friendly people. It has been ranked as the 12th most peaceful nation in the world as per the Global Peace Index. It has received similar compliments from Lonely Planet, the popular travel site, as well. Dublin has been listed as the world’s third best city to visit in your lifetime.

#9: Culture pot

A visit to Ireland is sure to leave enriched culturally. Dublin’s streets are steeped in culture and art. The taverns, museums and art galleries of Ireland will surely allow the culture to seep into you. Countryside festivals dot Dublin and other places in Ireland throughout the year. There is plenty of Irish sports and games that you can indulge in and soak in the rich musical culture of the land.

#10: A perfect blend of the traditional and the modern

The rich Celtic tradition that is all-pervasive blends with the modern aspects in Ireland and the results are breathtakingly beautiful. Whether it is lush green countryside or cobbled pavements, Ireland is the place to be. Ireland also forms the gateway using which you can explore the Uk and Europe over the long weekends.


Top-rated Universities in Ireland

Ireland has some of the finest and most renowned education systems that are available in the world. In Ireland, there are 7 universities, 14 Institutes of technology, and 7 Colleges of Education. These institutions offer degrees in various subjects through 5000 different programmes which are recognized internationally.


  • Dublin City University
  • Maynooth University
  • NUI Galway
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick


Institutes of Technology

  • Athlone Institute of Technology
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
  • Institute of Art Design and Technology
  • Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
  • Institute of Technology, Carlow
  • Institute of Technology, Sligo
  • Institute of Technology, Tallaght
  • Institute of Technology, Tralee
  • Letterkenny Institute of Technology
  • Limerick Institute of Technology
  • Waterford Institute of Technology


Private Institutions

  • CCT College, Dublin
  • Dublin Business School
  • Griffith College
  • Dorset College
  • ICD Business School
  • National College of Ireland
  • Shannon College of Hotel Management


Studies and Degrees in Ireland

There are four bodies in Ireland that award degrees:

  • National University of Ireland
  • Dublin University
  • Dublin City University
  • University of Limerick

Quality and Qualifications, Ireland (QQI) is the official body that awards degrees for those institutions outside the university sector. It also awards various certificates and degrees for further training and education.

Non-University Programs

  • Two-Year Certificate Program
  • Three-Year Diploma Program

University Programs

  1. First Stage
  • Bachelor’s Degree Program
  • Bachelor’s Degree Honours Program
  • BA Special Degree Program
  • Higher Diploma Program


  1. Second Stage
  • Master’s Degree Program
  • Post-graduate Diploma Program


  1. Third Stage
  • Doctorate Program
  1. Fourth Stage
  • Higher Doctorate

Top Courses to Study in Ireland

Some of the subject course that Irish Universities are famous for are:

  • Management
  • Information Technology
  • Arts and Literature
  • Pharmacy
  • Biotechnology
  • History
  • Engineering
  • Hospitality
  • Applied Science

Students can choose programs according to their interest.  Both undergraduate and post-graduate courses offer myriad options to choose from.

Global Issue Programs

These are 1-Year Master’s Programs offered to students. The courses are designed in such a manner that it provides sufficient knowledge and awareness in International Studies and the current issues across the world.


The Global Issues Program Titles

  • Internationalization
  • International Studies
  • International Tourism
  • Gender, Culture & Society
  • Peace and Development
  • Human Rights in Criminal Justice
  • International Commercial Law
  • Women, Gender & Society
  • Political Theory
  • International Political Economy
  • Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
  • Contemporary European Philosophy
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Archaeology
  • European Regional and Minority Cultures
  • Human Rights
  • Environmental Policy
  • Geopolitics & Global Economy
  • Equality Studies
  • Media and International Conflict
  • Development Practice
  • Humanitarian Action
  • International Development
  • International Relations
  • Urban Studies


English Language Courses

The Department of Education and Skills in Ireland offers a variety of English language courses for adults as well as youngsters. English language programs can be combined with sports programs such as tennis, golf or even angling. The programs’ fees include the complete package for the course: tuition fees, accommodation charges and the extra-curricular activities.


English Language Courses in Ireland

  • General English Course
  • IELTS Exam Training Course
  • Cambridge English Course
  • TOEFL Training Course
  • Academic English Course
  • Teacher Development Course
  • Parent-Child English Course
  • One-on-One English Tuition
  • English Course with Work Placement
  • Foundation English Course


How to Apply For your Study in Ireland

If you desire to study in your Ireland, our application would be processed by the Central Applications Office (CAO). They process all the applications for undergraduate courses to the major universities and other institutions of higher education including the institutes of technology. However, it is the individual institution that decides your admission. Applications for postgraduate courses are submitted directly to the universities. Any information about the application process can be obtained directly from the university.


Most courses start in the month of September every year. However, there are some universities that offer admissions in February. It is recommended that students plan for their admissions one year in advance.


Applicants to the Irish universities have to satisfy some basic criteria such as:

Language Requirements

  • A majority of universities require that the students obtain a minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS for undergraduate courses and 6.5 or above for postgraduate courses.
  • The equivalent PTE Academic scores accepted by universities are 51-58 for undergraduate courses and 59-64 for postgraduate courses.
  • Some universities are also known to accept a minimum score of 90 in the Internet-based TOEFL test.

Academic Requirements for Undergraduate Courses

  • Minimum requirement of 2 years of school education
  • Impressive academic credentials
  • Minimum of 65 percent aggregate in the 12th grade
  • Mathematics as an opted subject in Grade 12 for specific science and technology courses
  • Minimum IELTS/PTE Academic scores as specified

Academic Requirements for Postgraduate Courses

  • A Master’s degree in Ireland requires that the student has an equivalent Irish Bachelor’s degree or 16 years of formal education. Some undergraduates from India may have to do one year of study prior to applying for a Master’s in Ireland.
  • The applicant should have first-class qualification in the undergraduate degree examination
  • Mathematics as an opted subject in Grade 12 for specific science and technology courses
  • Minimum IELTS/PTE Academic scores as specified
  • Some universities require prior work experience (for MBA, etc.)

Application procedure for doing a course in Ireland:

  • Recognition of Qualification
  • Select the best course options that suit your personal requirements
  • Obtain the specific student visa that matches the study options
  • Tuition Costs
  • Scholarships
  • Student Fees

Recognition of Qualifications

The official body in Ireland that is responsible for maintaining the quality standards as well as developing and maintaining the NFQ (National Qualifications Framework) is the Quality and Qualifications Ireland, also referred to as the QQI.

It is recommended that student applicants wanting to come to Ireland use the NFQ to identify the qualifications that they are likely to achieve prior to making any decisions. If qualifications are recognized through NFQ, students can rest assured that the course that they choose and the institution have been reviewed recently for their quality.

Using the NFQ helps the student applicant to compare and contrast courses and understand the level of the qualifications offered. This further helps the student to choose the right institution and course.

Application for a Specific Course

The procedure for applying for a course is different for the undergraduate, postgraduate and language courses.

Application for an Undergraduate Course

The method for applying for undergraduate courses depends on whether you an EU or a Non-EU student. The status is declared during the application process and cannot be changed after the first year of registration.

EU Students

For any EU student, all undergraduate courses have to be applied for through the CAO. The student receives a handbook with all courses on offer and method of application. Applications can be submitted online.

The requirements for being an EU student, Application dates and fees, and Academic and English language qualifications have to be met.

Non-EU Students

Requirements – Academic Entry

These requirements may change every year. They depend on the availability of seats, number of applicants, and the courses that are gaining popularity. For Irish students, the six best subject scores obtained in the Irish School Leaving Certificate Examination are considered. The IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma is also accepted. All applications are assessed on an individual basis. It is possible that specific institutions place additional stipulations along with the minimum requirements.

Language Requirements – English

Student applicants for various courses whose first language is not English are expected to have a good command of the English language. The student should be able to converse in, write and understand English.


A degree program will accept any applicant only if they have proficiency in the English language. However, the good news is that colleges provide English learning courses for those students that intend to study with them. There are many English language schools throughout Ireland that will provide training (both long and short-term) for those that need the same.

The certificate for English proficiency must be issued within 2 years of the expected program commencement date. Given below is a list of the minimum English standards that are to be met:

  • Irish Leaving Certificate (English): Grade D
  • GCSE English language: Grade C
  • GCE O-Level: Grade C
  • of Cambridge: Use of English Exam Pass
  • IELTS: Composite score 6.0 – 6.5 (not less than 6.0 in any one section)
  • Cambridge Proficiency: Grade C
  • Advanced Cambridge: Grade A
  • ARELS Oral Exam: Pass
  • ETAPP: Grade C1
  • PTE Academic: Score of 36 (minimum)


For students that want to do a course in Medicine in Ireland, they will have to appear for the HPAT assessment test (introduced for the EU students that want to do undergraduate medicine course in Ireland). The score obtained in this test is added to the Irish Leaving Certificate score to make up a total. This score should be 480 at a minimum. It is also subject to change the next year.

The non-EU students should get in touch with the International Office of the specific institution for instructions.

Application Procedure for Postgraduate Courses

It is very easy for students from anywhere in the world to apply for a postgraduate course in Ireland. Whether EU or Non-EU, l you have to do is to apply to the International Office of the specific institution that you wish to apply to. Some institutions require that the student applies through the Postgraduate Applications Centre. One can easily make an online application for this one.


EU Applicant

To qualify for EU fee structure, the applicant must:

  • Have lived in EU all the time and worked full-time for 3 out of 5 years immediately before admission
  • Should be a passport holder from a EU state and the applicant should have received full-time education in the EU for 3 to 5 years right before admission
  • Be a child of EU government officials residing abroad
  • Be a semi-state official working outside EU on a temporary basis
  • Be a volunteer development worker
  • Be EU officials approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Non-EU Applicant

Students from outside of the EU should provide sufficient evidence to become eligible for the EU fees structure. They are required to submit the necessary documents for the above.

Student’s registered status document that cannot be changed during the course of the program and having undergone full-time education in the EU does not give the applicant the residence status.

Closing dates are different for the various institutions and the institutions are very strict about these dates. The closing dates are usually displayed on the concerned website.

All Non-EU candidates wanting to apply for PG courses at the Irish Higher Education Centres may apply online through the Postgraduate Application Centre website. The student can make a direct application to the college that they are interested in.

English Language Requirements for PG Courses

All PG courses are conducted in English and therefore the applicant must be able to understand, read, write and speak the language fluently.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate (English): Grade D
  • GCSE English language: Grade C
  • GCE O-Level: Grade C
  • of Cambridge: Use of English Exam Pass
  • TOEFL: 220 in the computer-based test, 550 in the paper-based test
  • IELTS: Composite score 6.5 (not less than 6.0 in any one section)
  • Cambridge Proficiency: Grade C
  • Advanced Cambridge: Grade C
  • ARELS Oral Exam: Pass
  • ETAPP: Grade C1
  • PTE Academic: Score of 63 (minimum)

Scores are valid only for a period of two years.

Application for English Language Course

There are different language courses to suit different requirements. The school will be able t recommend the best course for the student applicant. The student can make a direct application to the language school that they are interested in. However, it is important to ensure that the institution is a recognized one.


Ireland Study Visa Requirements

Any student needs a Student Visa if their stay in Ireland is over three months. The requirements that a student has to meet to obtain the Visa are as follows:

  • The student requires a letter of acceptance from the educational institution at Ireland to which he/she has applied for a full-time course for at least 15 hours in a week
  • A duly completed application form signed by the student with 2 passport size photographs. The Visa application fee has to be paid along with this. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Evidence that the fee has been paid/evidence that the student is eligible for a scholarship
  • English Language certificate except in cases where the student is going to attend an English language course
  • Evidence of sufficient funds in the bank account of the student to support their stay and studies in Ireland for at least a year’s time
  • A sum of 7000 Euros in the student’s bank account is required
  • Evidence of sufficient funds for the whole study course, the same amount is required for each year
  • Private medical insurance
  • Valid passport of the student; the passport should be valid for at least 12 months after the date of the student’s arrival at Ireland

Normally, the Visa takes about 8 weeks to get processed. Hence, the student should apply early enough. In case the Visa application is rejected, the decision can be appealed in a period within two months.

If students that have paid the full fees to a college and are afterwards refused a VISA, then the cost of the course will be refunded. The student has to provide evidence that the VISA has been rejected. Any charges, if deducted from the fee amount, should be clearly stated in the refund policy.

Tuition Fees, Scholarships

The course fees vary widely and depend on the institution to which the student has applied and also whether the student is an EU or Non-EU student. It is possible that the fee amount fluctuates over different years. Therefore, it is important for the student to check all of these before putting in the application.

Non-EU Undergraduate Tuition Fees

  • Medicine and related course: 45000 – 54135 Euros
  • Engineering: 9950 – 24958 Euros
  • Science & Technology: 9750 – 24958 Euros
  • Arts & Humanities: 9750 – 22000 Euros
  • Business: 9750 – 20000 Euros

Non-EU Postgraduate Tuition Fees

  • Medicine and related course: 4000 – 48000 Euros
  • Engineering: 9250 – 24000 Euros
  • Science & Technology: 9250 – 45000 Euros
  • Arts & Humanities: 9250 – 22000 Euros
  • Business: 9250 – 35000 Euros

The fees denote values for the 2018/2019 academic year.


There are many scholarships that are made available for foreign students from many sources In Ireland including the government, Irish institutes of higher education and many other organizations. Students are required to contact the institution directly to get more details on the different scholarships that are available. Some of them are listed below:

Irish Aid funded Fellowship Training Programme
DIT Centenary Scholarship Programme
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology scholarships
Claddagh Scholarship Programme (Chinese students)
Opportunities in Ireland for Ontario College Graduates
Fulbright Scholarships
Postgraduate Fellowships: The Walsh Fellowships
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
National College of Ireland Scholarships
NUI Galway International Student Scholarships
DCU International Student Scholarships
Maynooth University Scholarships
UCC Excellence Scholarships
UCD Scholarships
Smurfit Business School scholarships
Undergraduate scholarships
Graduate scholarships
UCD USA scholarships
Trinity College Dublin Scholarships for Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Study Abroad students
UCD Sutherland School of Law
UCD Global Excellence Undergraduate Scholarship- USA
The Maria Helena Kopschitz Scholarship
University of Limerick Scholarships
Waterford Institute of Technology Scholarships