Study in Ireland
As far back as 500 AD, Ireland, and its monks and monasteries, were at the centre of learning in Europe, earning Ireland the title Land of Saints and Scholars. In 1592, Trinity College Dublin received its charter and university status. National University of Ireland Maynooth dates back to 1795, and the universities in Galway and Cork were both founded in 1845.
Ireland's history has engendered a deep appreciation and respect for learning, and, today, educational attainment rates are among the highest in the world. Over 85 per cent of young people complete secondary level education, and over two-thirds of those go on to higher level education. Ireland is ranked first in Europe in terms of graduates per 1,000 inhabitants.
Government investment in world class facilities build on a lengthy tradition of academic excellence. Today, there are seven universities, 14 Institutes of Technology and many other world-leading education and research centres, housed in state-of-the-art facilities on beautiful campuses
Irish research ranks within the top one per cent globally in 18 research fields, and all of the country's universities are in the top 3 per cent worldwide. Students from 160 countries study in Ireland and make up 12 per cent of the student population.
Why Study in Ireland?
- A friendly, safe country And it is not just us saying it! Ireland was voted by Lonely Planet as the world's friendliest country in 2008 and 2010 and was ranked 12th in the 2013 Global Peace Index. Our hospitable nature coupled with an unrivalled sense of fun ensures living in Ireland is an unforgettable experience.
- English-speaking country Ireland, an English-speaking country, has close cultural, economic and educational links with the English-speaking world, especially with the UK - our next door neighbour - and with the USA.
- Internationally recognised qualifications and extensive choice Irish qualifications are recognised for excellence worldwide. Students can choose from an extensive range of programmes to meet their needs in highly respected business schools, centres of scientific and technology excellence as well as renowned language, humanities and arts faculties.
- Supportive learning environments Dedicated international offices work closely with academic, administrative and specialist staff to fully support students throughout their time in Ireland. Through these support structures, students receive direct access to information, facilities, services and staff.
- Innovative and creative culture Ireland is a land rich in cultural heritage with a history of world-leading innovation. From the flamboyance of Oscar Wilde to mould-breaking James Joyce, from the pioneering quantum physics of John Bell to Nobel Laureate Ernest Walton, Ireland's unique innovative and creative culture is an integral part of the Irish experience. Europe's most enterpreneurial country is Ireland!
- Distinguished graduates Ireland's graduates are innovators in their fields, leaders in their communities and ambassadors for excellence all around the world. Qualifications earned and connections made in Ireland deliver a passport to success.
- Leading global companies in Ireland Companies who require a skilled, educated and highly capable workforce to drive their success choose to locate in Ireland. Ireland has welcomed Google, Facebook, Pfizer, Apple, Intel to name just a few - all of whom chose Ireland as their European base.
How to apply
It's important to remember that the method of applying to an Irish higher education institution depends on whether you are an EU student or a non-EU student. Your status is determined by your application and cannot be changed after first year registration.
If you are applying to study in Ireland as an EU citizen, you apply for all undergraduate courses through the Central Applications Office (CAO), unless otherwise stated. All non-EU citizens must apply directly to the higher education institutions in Ireland.
Student Visa Requirements
Ireland requires candidates from many non-EU countries to have a visa to come and study in Ireland. The student immigration process is divided into two categories, based on whether you are applying for a degree programme offered by a higher education institution or you intend to pursue an English-language or non-degree course.
Our climate can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. You can experience all four seasons in the one day, if you're lucky!
Because the island is hugged all year round by the warm influence of the Gulf Stream, Ireland is much warmer than other countries that share its latitude. The Gulf Stream also ensures that the Irish coastline remains ice-free throughout winter.
Extreme winters are rare, and you're more likely to encounter a warm glow than a frosty reception, with average winter temperatures of between 40°F/5°C and 46°F/8°C.
Summer temperatures are generally between 60°F/15°C to 70°F/20°C. One thing that is more than probable is rain - so don?t forget to pack your rain gear!
Under EU/EEA regulations, students from other member states who are attending a course of study are entitled to free hospital services provided they have Form E.109 with them. In order to be eligible you will be required to provide the Irish health authorities with documentation from your home country that validates your entitlement.
You should therefore contact the Health Authority in your home country, well in advance of travelling to Ireland, to fulfil any registration requirements and to obtain the necessary forms that you will need. From 1st June 2004, the E111 and a number of other 'E' forms (i.e. E128) have been replaced by a new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Students from non-EU countries are not covered for any free medical attention off-campus and must therefore have their own private insurance.
Please note that heavy levies are charged for all hospitalisation and it is advised to make provision for adequate medical insurance. Non-EU students are required to show proof of comprehensive medical insurance when registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
Proof of health insurance is also required when applying for a student visa. Students are strongly advised to arrange insurance for private medical care as this ensures choice of hospital, doctor and hospital accommodation in the event of illness.
Working in Ireland
International students engaged in full-time study of at least one year?s duration (on a course leading to a qualification which is recognised by the Irish Department of Education and Skills currently do not need a work permit to work in Ireland.
English language courses in Ireland
One way to meet language requirements for university admission in Ireland is choosing an English language preparation course offered by English language schools worldwide, including those in Ireland.
Preparation courses in Ireland
Some international students may not be able to attend a degree in Ireland because their previous studies do not match the academic system of the country. To be allowed to take an undergraduate or graduate degree in Ireland, they will need to enrol in a one-year pre-Bachelor or pre-Master offered by a local university.
Popular foundation degree studies in Ireland include pre-law degrees, pre-MBA courses, pre-medicine, pre-nursing studies, or other types of international foundation programmes in engineering, economics, finance, social science, science and other types of university pathway programmes. Preparation courses in Ireland include academic English language training to help international students meet university language requirements for future undergraduate or graduate studies.
Foundation degrees in early years in Ireland are perfect for increasing your chances of getting accepted to an Irish university. Pre-university business schools, law schools or med schools make sure international students develop the skills they need to succeed in the Irish academic system. Pre-university education also includes cultural integration classes that help students feel more at home. Some pre-university programmes guarantee enrolment to the institution if students complete the preparation with high grades.
Where can I study a foundation course in Ireland?
Top Irish cities where students can take a foundation year programme include: Dublin, Galway, Cork and more.
Universities in Ireland will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. Irish universities accept these official English exams:
Living in Ireland
Let's take a closer look at the average tuition and living expenses in Ireland:
Tuition fees in Ireland
At Irish universities, tuition fees depend on your nationality, degree type, and the academic discipline.
no tuition (free) for Bachelor's degrees
3,000–30,000 EUR/year for Master's degrees
- 9,850–55,000 EUR/year for Bachelor's degrees
9,950–35,000 EUR/year for Master's degrees
The highest tuition fees are at private universities; these institutions might not make any difference between EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA citizens.
You can also check out scholarships for international students in Ireland.
Living costs in Ireland
Depending on your budget and spending habits, you should be able to live in Ireland with 550–1,000 EUR per month in most towns. Larger cities, like Dublin, cat take your budget to 1,500–1,800 EUR per month.
Here's a breakdown of the average living expenses:
- Accommodation (students halls vs private renting): 200–300 vs 400–900 EUR/month
- Utilities: 90–120 EUR/month
- Food or groceries: 250–350 EUR/month
- Monthly transport pass: 120 EUR
- Books and study materials: 75 EUR/month
- Social activities: 60–100 EUR/month
Ireland was inhabited as early as 8,000 BC. Its early Brehon Law system was highly sophisticated, and when Europe entered the Dark Ages, Ireland's monasteries remained a beacon of culture and learning throughout the continent. However, Ireland was to face its own dark times, first with the Viking and then the Anglo-Norman invasions. Ireland's darkest era, the Great Famine of 1845-49, saw over a million die and another million emigrate, sowing the first seeds of the Irish Diaspora.
The early 1900s saw a doomed uprising in 1916; a war of independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty. This treaty ended British rule in 26 of the 32 counties and established an Irish Free State. In 1937, a new constitution re-established the Irish Free State as Ireland, and in 1949, Ireland was declared a Republic.
In Northern Ireland, the initially peaceful civil rights marches of the 1960s were followed by several decades of violence. However, in 1998, a peace-plan was agreed by all parties; organisations on all sides lay down their arms, and Northern Ireland is now at peace. In 2013, the Global Peace Index ranked the Republic of Ireland the 12th most peaceful nation on earth.
Punching well above its weight on the international stage, Ireland's distinctive historical circumstances combine with its unique position as a European post-colonial state, its neutrality and its trusted partner status in so many conflict zones to ensure a sustained and valuable impact. Today Ireland is recognised as a global leader (both academically and in practice) in the fields of international relations & law, peace and conflict studies, human rights and development.
The Republic of Ireland is also one of the most globalised economies in the world, according to a 2013 index produced by Ernst and Young in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit. Since the 1970s, Ireland has evolved from a largely agrarian society to become a major player in the international software, food, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.
In the wake of a major financial contraction over the period of 2008-10, the Irish government has implemented a series of tough reforms. Having shaken off the excesses of the 'Celtic Tiger' boom-years, the economy returned to growth in 2011, and all indicators are for steady, if modest, growth for the years to come.
Universities, colleges and schools in Ireland
- Burren College of Art (1 PhD)
- University of Galway (2 PhDs)
- Maynooth University (32 PhDs)
Interested in scholarships for Ireland? Check out our scholarship search page.
How to Apply to a Master's in Ireland
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Ireland, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Ireland?
The documents you need to present to apply for an Irish university are straightforward. That's why you can't be surprised you'll need:
- An English proficiency certificate;
- Your past diplomas and certificates;
- Identity proof.
Of course, based on the programme you wish to apply to, you will need additional documents, like:
- Personal essays or writing samples;
- Recommendation letters;
- Your high school grades.
Prove your English skills
The Republic of Ireland is lenient with their students, so, if you are already a native English speaker or you have studied before in English, then you won't need to provide an English certificate.
If you didn't study in English or you are not a native speaker, then you should prepare:
- C1 Advanced or Proficiency.
Additional test scores
Obviously, if the Master's programme asks you for other test scores, you should provide them. This will depend on what degree you want to study, and at which university, so be sure to check out if you don't need BMAT or LNAT.
Application deadlines for Ireland
The Republic of Ireland is probably the country with the longest application period ever! For 9 months, students can apply for their degree, but there's a small catch: even if the application period starts in October and ends in March, whatever places weren't confirmed by other students until the 1st of May are considered vacant. So, the application process starts again from May until the 1st of July. Basically, whenever you want to apply to a university in Ireland, it's fine.