Study In Ireland

Ireland is located at the westernmost edge of Europe. It boasts one of the stable, yet fastest-growing economies in the world. The country is known for its world-class education system, and universities globally collaborate with some of the best study institutions and international companies. This gives students the opportunity to build their careers in different parts of the world after successfully graduating from a university in Ireland. In addition to the education system, the students can enjoy the greenery, fascinating countryside, and travel through vibrant and culturally sophisticated cities like Dublin.

Important Facts About the Ireland

  • Ireland has a rich tradition of research and innovation.
  • The Government of Ireland’s sustained investment in research has inspired Irish and international students over the years and made it one of the highest student participations in the world.
  • Most Irish universities and their courses are internationally recognized. 
  • All courses developed for international students are closely monitored by the Irish educational authorities to ensure their quality.
  • International students can work for 20 hours while studying in Ireland and 40 hours during holidays.  
  • More than 100 MNCs operate from Ireland, bringing plentiful career opportunities.
  • More than 300 leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies across multiple sites in the country. 
  • Irish universities are known to support students develop software and computer-related programs, which is why Ireland has emerged as the second largest exporter of software. 
  • Students wishing to build careers in engineering, financial services, software development and IT, and food and agriculture can find several opportunities in Ireland.
  • Dublin is one of the top 50 cities in the world to start your business.
  • You can take advantage of the unique government programs created to assist entrepreneurs. 
  • Ireland offers unique immigration programs and start-up funds to help start-ups in the country.

Education System in Ireland

In Ireland, the education system is distinguished into three levels: 

  • First Level Education – Primary 
  • Second Level Education – Post-Primary 
  • Third-level Education – Higher Education 

In this, the third-level education comprises universities, institutes of technology, private colleges, and colleges of education. All these educational institutes are funded by the government.

The universities offer degree programs at Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Levels. 

  • The bachelor’s programs or undergraduate programs can be pursued part-time and full-time. Generally, full-time bachelor’s courses last three years. 
  • Irish master programs may take a year to complete, however, some master programs by research may last two years. 
  • Irish doctorate programs may last three or four years. You can enroll for structured and traditional programs. The structured programs are similar to traditional programs, but have an additional element of evaluation and training.

Note: Student exchanges through the Turing Scheme is gaining popularity. This allows students to study abroad and secure overseas placements. However, students can seek advantage of this scheme, only if their university has a formal agreement with any foreign university.

Grading System in Ireland

The grading system in Ireland varies across institutions. Most institutes follow a unique grading system. The minimum score for passing in Ireland is 40%. The following is a common grading system followed by Irish universities. 

Percentage of Grade 

Description  International Scale 
70% or above First Class Honours

A (Excellent)

69% – 60%

Upper Second Class Honours B (very good, with few errors)
59% – 50% Lower Second Class Honours

C (good, with some errors)

49% – 45%

Third Class Honours D (satisfactory, with many errors)
44% – 40% Leaving Certificate Grading Compensating Fail. This is the minimum passing grade

E (sufficient)

The following examples of grading across universities will help you understand it better. 

 

Dublin City University (DCU)

Percentage of Grade

Degree Classification Description 
70% – 100% First Class Honours

Excellent, exemplary, thorough, clear, and free of errors.

60% – 69%

Second Class Honours, First Division Good, well-structured, only minor omissions or errors.
50 – 59% Second Class Honours, Second Division

Fair, satisfactory, content, some less developed areas, errors.

40-49%

Third Class Honours Adequate, or barely adequate, substantial errors and/or omissions
Less than 40% Insufficient does not meet the minimum expected standards

Fail

 

University College Cork (UCC)

Percentage of Grade

Degree Classification Description 
70% – 100% First Class Honours

Excellent, exemplary, thorough, clear, and free of errors.

60% – 69%

Second Class Honours, Grade 1 Good, well-structured, only minor omissions or errors.
50 – 59% Second Class Honours, Grade 2

Fair, satisfactory, content, some less developed areas, errors.

45-49%

Third Class Honours Adequate, or barely adequate, substantial errors and/or omissions
40-44% Poor; meets minimum expectations

Pass

Less than 40%

Insufficient does not meet the minimum expected standards

Fail

 

National University of Ireland 

Percentage of Grade

Description Grade

Honors

70 – 100% Excellent; exceeds expectations A

H1

60 – 69%

Very good; meets all expectations B H2.1
50 – 59% Good; meets most expectations C

H2.2

40 – 49%

Poor; meets minimum expectations D Pass
Less than 40% Fail; does not meet expectations F

Fail

Actualize Your Study In The Ireland Dreams By Booking Your Free Career Counselling
Session With Our Expert Counsellors

Types of Educational Institutes in Ireland

Universities
There are currently seven universities in Ireland, which are self-governing institutions or autonomous. 

Institutes of Technology
These institutes provide training and education in areas such as engineering, science, business, linguistics, and music at diploma, certificate, and degree levels. 

Colleges of Education
There are currently five colleges of education that trains first-level teachers. These colleges of education provide two courses – an eighteenth-month Post Graduate Diploma and a three-year Bachelor of Education Degree.

Top Courses to Study in Ireland

Business Analytics

Data Analytics

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Big Data / Data Science

Artificial Intelligence

Construction

Cyber Security

Cloud Computing

Software Engineering

Investment Banking and Finance

Popular Universities in Ireland

The following universities feature in the list of QS World University Rankings.

Institution

QS Ranking 2023 (Globally) QS Ranking 2022 (Globally)
Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin 98

101

University College Dublin

181 173
National University of Ireland, Galway 270

258

University College Cork

303 298
Dublin City University 471

490

University of Limerick

531-540 501-510
Maynooth University 801-1000

751-800

Technological University Dublin

801-1000

801-1000

Popular Universities in Ireland that Do Not Require IELTS

The following are some popular universities in Ireland that require no IELTS score and allow students to seek admission with alternate exam scores.  

Universities

Alternative Exam Scores Accepted
National University of Ireland, Galway

Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE), Cambridge C2 Advanced (CPE), TOEFL iBT / TOEFL iBT Home Edition, Pearson PTE, Duolingo  

University College Cork

Cambridge C2 Proficiency, C1 Advanced

and B2 First, Duolingo English Test (DET), LanguageCert IESOL, LinguaSkill General, Oxford Test of English, Pearson English Language Tests (PTE), UCC English Language Centre 

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Cambridge CAE & CPE, TOEIC, TOEFL Paper, TOEFL CBT & IBT, Pearson PTE Academic

University College Dublin

Cambridge Examinations – Proficiency Certificate, Grade C (i.e. CEFR Level C1 or C2).

Advanced Certificate, Grade C (i.e. CEFR Level C1 or C2)

First Certificate, Grade A (i.e. CEFR Level C1)

UCLES – English at grade C or above 

 English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP)

Pearson English Language Test (Academic)

Trinity ISE

Duolingo English Test (DET) 

Oxford Test of English

Language Cert ESOL

University of Limerick

LANGUAGE CERT ESOL

Duolingo English Test (DET)

 English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP)

GCE ‘O’ LEVEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE / GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

University Of Cambridge ESOL

Pearson Test of English (Academic) 

Popular Cost-effective Universities in Ireland

Studying in Ireland is cheaper than the US, UK, and many other European countries. The average tuition fees in the country is €10,000 and €35,000 a year for bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs in public universities. However, there are a few affordable universities in Ireland that assure high education standards at low tuition fees and charge anything between €10,000 and €25,000 a year (tuition costs) for bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs. The following is the list of popular affordable universities in Ireland. 

  • Trinity College Dublin or the University of Dublin 
  • The University of Limerick 
  • Dublin City University (DCU) 
  • The National University of Ireland (NUI) comprising University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork, University of Galway, and National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Actualize Your Study In The Ireland Dreams By Booking Your Free Career Counselling
Session With Our Expert Counsellors

Admission Process to Study in Ireland

The admission process in Ireland may differ across universities depending on the type of course chosen, intake season, and so on. However, the standard admission process is the same. 

1. Choose your course wisely.
2. List the universities and colleges offering the course.
3. Carefully compare the course structure and shortlist the courses and universities. 
4. Check the university or college websites to see their eligibility criteria. 
5. Contact the university or institute for information related to admission intake. 
6. Take English proficiency tests like TOEFL, IELTS, or any other alternative test. 
7. Make a registration at the Central Applications Office (CAO). 
8. Apply to the college that matches your criteria. 
9. Attend the video interview conducted by the university or college. 
10. Apply for the student visa after accepting the admission.
11. Book your tickets and get ready for new innings at an Irish university or college!

Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements

The admission requirements to study in Ireland differ across universities. However, the standard requirements for studying in Ireland for: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree: The student must possess a score of 70% or above in high school if they wish to seek admission to bachelor’s courses in engineering, science, and IT. Applications for the bachelor’s programs must be supported by documents such as two academic references, final high school exam results, the statement of purpose, and a recognized certificate of English Language Competency. 
  • Master’s Degree: The student must possess a score of 60% or above in bachelor’s degree for seeking admission to master’s degree programs. Applications for master’s programs must be supported by documents such as two academic references, academic transcripts certified by issuing body, certified copy of degree certificates, a recognized certificate of English Language Competency, and any other qualifications that may be required.

 

Intakes In Ireland

Irish universities follow Spring and Autumn Intakes. Let’s look at the timeline of the intake season. 

Autumn:  The Autumn intake begins in September.

  • January: Shortlist the courses and colleges. 
  • February – March: Take standardized exams like IELTS, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT. 
  • April – May: Start applying to colleges with supporting documentation such as LORs and SOPs. 
  • May – June: You will receive acceptance letters from the university. 
  • June-July: Apply for education loan and visa. 
  • August-September: Make your travel arrangements. Get ready for your new semester in Ireland!

Spring Intake: This intake season begins in February. 

  • August: Shortlist the courses and colleges. 
  • September-October: Take standardized exams like IELTS, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT. 
  • October-November: Start applying to colleges with supporting documentation such as LORs and SOPs. 
  • November-December: You will receive acceptance letters from the university. 
  • December-January: Apply for education loan and visa. 
  • January-February: Make your travel arrangements. Get ready for your new semester in Ireland!

Cost of Education in Ireland

Here we have included the average annual cost of education in EUR (€). Actual values may differ across cities and universities in Ireland.

Types of Expenses (Annual)

EUR (€)
Tuition Fees

EUR€9,850-€55,000 for undergraduate programs;
EUR €9,950- €35,500 for postgraduate and
Ph.D. courses across universities

Accommodation

EUR €200-€300/month for a university hostel;
EUR €400-€900/month for renting an apartment individually;
EUR €450-€550/month for sharing an apartment;
EUR €600-€1000/month for on-campus accommodation

Living Expenses

EUR €550-€1000/month depending on your lifestyle and the city where you live. The living costs include expenses like food and beverage, clothing, household utilities, transport, communication, miscellaneous goods, and services.

Medical Health Insurance

The average cost of medical health insurance for Indian students is EUR €150 – €180

Irish Student Visa

Any international student wishing to study in Ireland must possess any of the following visas:

  • C Type Study Visa: This visa is issued for any program or course that lasts for less than 3 months. 
  • D Type Study Visa: This visa is issued for any program or course that lasts longer than 3 months.  

How to Apply for Irish Student Visa 

1. Apply online by filling an online application form on AVATS.
2. Download the completed application form and print and sign it for physical submission. 
3. If you are a citizen of India, arrange for visa appointment with Visa Facilitation Service (VFS). 
4. Appear for the appointment at the VFS office with all requisite documents. 
5. Pay your visa fee while booking an appointment with the VFS or via a bank draft. 
6. Wait for the visa outcome, which generally takes eight weeks to process.

Documents Required for Irish Student Visa

A Valid Passport

Statement of Purpose

Passport-Sized Photographs

Evidence of Scholarship (if applicable)

Evidence of Your Academic Ability

Evidence of the Paid Course Fees

Evidence of English Language Proficiency

Evidence of Private Medical Insurance

Evidence that the Student has Enough Funds (EUR 7,000)

A Letter of Acceptance From a Recognized School or College or University

Best Student Cities in Ireland

Dublin

Galway

Cork

Limerick

Maynooth

Waterford

Exams to Study in Ireland

Language Proficiency Test Requirements
English is the medium of instruction in Ireland. Students must submit any of the following English proficiency test score to get admitted to bachelor’s and master’s courses in Ireland. 

  • IELTS 
  • ETAPP
  • TOEFL iBT
  • PTE Academic
  • Cambridge Advanced
  • Cambridge Proficiency
  • ARELS Oral Examination
  • GCE O Level English Language
  • GCSE English Language
  • OET

Standardized test requirements
GRE and GMAT is not required to study in Ireland. However, some of the top business schools in the country like Trinity College Dublin may require you to submit the GMAT scores to pursue MBA and other graduate courses. It is always advisable to check the websites of the applying universities to know about their standardized test requirements. 

Undergraduate Applications
In Ireland, the applications for undergraduate courses to be pursued at Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are processed by the Central Applications Office (CAO) (https://www.cao.ie/). The CAOs extend offers to successful candidates based on the information received from HEIs.

Government and Non-government Scholarships to Study in Ireland

The following is a list of popular scholarships available for Indian students to study in Ireland.

Name of Scholarship

Description

The Government of Ireland International Educational Scholarships

Instituted by the Government of Ireland and handled by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), these scholarships are awarded to international students wishing to pursue their bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Ireland. The scholarship amount includes EUR €10,000 stipend for a year of study as well as fully funded tuition and registration costs of a study organization chosen. 

Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship 

Instituted by the Government of Ireland and funded by the Department of Education and Skills, and managed by the Council, these scholarships are awarded to international students wishing to pursue their master’s and Ph.D. programs in Ireland. The scholarship amount includes EUR €16,000 stipend for a year of study, non-EU fees up to EUR €5,750, and direct research expenses of EUR €2,250 for a year.  

The Walsh Fellowship

This scholarship is awarded to students wishing to pursue MSc and PhD programs in Ireland, especially at the Teagasc Research Centre. Every year 30 fellowships are given with a grant of EUR €22,000 per student. 

Central Bank of Ireland Undergraduate Scholarships for International Students

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has introduced a scholarship program for students who want to pursue their career at the bank, as well as complete their education. The CBI will provide a four-year employment contract and three-year part-time study contract to study business, accounting and finance, and business studies from any prestigious university in Ireland. The scholarship amount includes EUR €29,500 annual salary, 24 days of annual leave, educational assistance, and paid leave. 

Note: Many universities in Ireland like NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, and Dublin Institute of Technology also offer scholarships to international students. You can apply for these scholarships in case you are planning to study at these institutions.

Post Study Work Visa

Students from non-EEA/EU countries can take advantage of Third Level Graduate Program to continue living in Ireland after their study visa expires. This scheme allows them to seek employment in the country or to apply for a green card. In order to qualify for this scheme, a graduate must:

  • Have graduated from an Irish university with a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree and can submit proof of the same
  • Possess Stamp 2 student immigration permission 
  • Not exceed the seven-year limit of stay in the state as a non-EEA national student
  • Not access the program on two separate occasions 
  • Comply with the laws of the state and possess good character

The following is the permitted duration of the stay under the program. This duration is decided as per the degree completed by the graduate.

Level of Education

Post Study Work Permit Duration
Level 10 – Doctoral Degree

24 months

Level 9 – PG Diploma/Master’s Degree

24 months
Level 8 – Honors Bachelor’s Degree

12 months

Level 7 – Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree

6 months

Under this scheme, the graduates can work up to 40 hours a week. If a non-EEA/EU graduate wishes to work more than 40 hours then they must seek any of the following relevant work permits. 

  • General Employment Permit: A student can apply for this type of permit on receiving a job offer from an employer registered with the Revenue Commissioners and Companies Registration Office. The job offer must assure an annual remuneration of at least €30,000 – or €27,000 to a graduate who has completed the studies from an Irish third level institution.
    The permit is generally granted for two years, and the graduate can renew it for another three years, totaling five years.  Once the permit expires, an individual can apply for long-term residence in Ireland.  
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit: A student can apply for this type of permit if the role they have been offered features on the Critical Skills Occupations List. Like General Employment Permit, this permit also requires an individual to earn a minimum annual base remuneration of €32,000 for a number of important occupations in the Critical Skills Occupations List and €64,000 for all other occupations except those on the Ineligible Occupations List. To be awarded the permit, the individual must confirm the two-year job. 
  • Research Hosting/Agreement: This allows non-EEA students to work in the country for a minimum period of three months as a researcher. No work permit is needed if the student opts for this agreement. To qualify, the student must be earning €23,181 per annum.

On-campus and off-Campus Jobs in Ireland

Students can take up 20 hours of part-time job in a week while studying at an Irish university. They can work for 40 hours during holidays. Students can take up any of the following on-campus and off-campus jobs. 

On-campus Jobs: The following are a few popular on-campus jobs available for Indian students studying in Ireland. 

  • Peer tutors 
  • Office administrators 
  • Campus tour guides 
  • Library assistants 
  • Barista
  • Research Assistants
  • Teacher Assistants 
  • Academic Note Takers
  • Student Marketers 

Off-campus Jobs: The students can apply for various off-campus jobs through Irish job search portals or online. 

  • Tutors 
  • Cafeteria Workers 
  • Online Tutors 
  • Shop Floor Assistants
  • Sales Assistants 
  • Healthcare Assistants 
  • Community Support Workers
  • Screening Associates
  • Facilitators 
  • Gardeners
  • Parking Agents 
  • Store Assistants 
  • Customer Service Executives

Popular Career Prospects for International Students in Ireland

This section offers insights on in-demand and the highest-paying careers in Ireland along with their annual average salaries.

1. Legal Industry (EUR 48,000-€186,000)
2. Engineering (EUR 40,000- €75,771)
3. Information Technology (EUR 25,000 – 79,000)
4. Healthcare (EUR 29,000- 88,000)
5. Business/ Finance (EUR 46,500 – 75,000)

Your income would depend on your knowledge, skills, and the type of organization you work for. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Studying in Ireland

If you have been planning your higher studies in Ireland, you may have several questions in mind on studying and living there. This section answers some common questions that students may have in mind.

Yes, they do accept 10+2+3 education pattern for master’s programs.

Yes, you can work while studying in Ireland. Most Irish universities allow 20 hours week when an academic session is in progress whereas they can work 40 hours during holidays, especially in May, June, July, and August. After the completion of study, the students can work for 24 months on PSW.

An international student can earn a minimum wage of €10-12 per hour in tier 1 cities such as Cork and Dublin and €8-9 in tier 2 cities such as Limerick.

Yes, you can apply for a PR after living in Ireland for 5 years. As a student, you can work in Ireland for maximum of 24 months on Post Study Work Permit. Your academic credentials and work experience will help you gain easy PR.

Yes, you can apply to an Irish university using a Medium of Instruction (MOI) certificate. However, you can check the university website to learn more about their English proficiency requirements.

Have any questions?