Studying in Ireland
Irish students have long favoured this country because of its serenity, tranquility, culture, and
education; it occupies the 13th spot on the Global Peace Index. In spite of its colonial history,
Ireland supports growth, progress, and is welcoming to diversity. Ireland is a friendly country with a
safe environment, and it was once named the friendliest country on earth due to its friendly citizens.
What are the benefits of studying in Ireland?
Discover what studying in Ireland is really like.
The education system in Ireland is one of the best in the world, and there are many reasons to study
here. Schools and universities are globally connected and graduates of Irish education institutions
have access to opportunities in many different careers all over the world.
Located at the westernmost tip of Europe, Ireland is an island nation. After Great Britain, it is the
continent's second largest island. Moreover, it is known for its beautiful green countryside,
fascinating history, and friendly inhabitants.
Ireland's education standard is among the world's best, with seven top-tier universities and an
emphasis on research and global collaboration.
People and culture
You will be glad to learn about the history, traditions, and culture of Ireland and of the Irish people.
Even though it's a relatively small country (with a population of around five million), more than 70
million people around the world claim to be of Irish descent. If you live in Ireland, you will have
friends in almost every country.
Ireland consistently ranks among the top 20 countries in terms of quality of life, peace, and human
development. With a third of the population under 25, it is also a young country. Join more than
35,000 international students from 161 countries who love living in Ireland.
Studying in Ireland can help your career soar. Education in Ireland is of high quality - it meets the
needs of companies and universities across countries, plus it promotes knowledge transfer to
international companies. It’s also a lot of fun.
The major cities here are smaller and easier to navigate than other large cities around the world, but
they are vibrant and culturally sophisticated.
Top five universities in Ireland
Want to study at one of the best universities in Ireland? Data collected by the Times Higher
Education’s World University Rankings 2019 present the top-five universities in the Republic of
1. Trinity College Dublin
Are you looking for the Irish version of University of Cambridge or University of Oxford? Learn
from world-class academics in the heart of Dublin while pursuing a research-driven curriculum.
2. University College Dublin (UCD)
UCD is ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide. Learn from internationally recognized
experts inside UCD's award-winning student facilities. Study at UCD.
3. Royal College of Surgeons In Ireland
In addition to having Ireland's largest medical school, RCSI also has a number of internationally
4. University College Cork
Our five-star university features a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, clinical
placements, and work-based learning opportunities.
5. National University of Ireland, Galway
NUI Galway, named 'the most charming city' by the New York Times, offers a wide range of
programs from the creative arts to medical technology.
The benefits of studying in Ireland
Education of the highest caliber
There are few educational systems that can compare to Ireland's. Ireland has universities ranked
among the top 3% in the world. Irish graduates are highly sought after by employers worldwide.
Opportunities for research
Irish universities are in the top 1% of research institutions in the world. Some of the world’s biggest
and best companies have key strategic research facilities here and international students can join
research programmes that are driving innovation and changing lives worldwide.
Many leading global companies are located in Ireland and career opportunities are plentiful. It is
especially good for careers in Software Development and IT, Engineering, Financial Services, Food
and Agriculture, Medtech and Pharma.
Ireland's economy is one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone, and the 6th most competitive in the
world. It has global connections and is an entrepreneurial country.
Business and technology are conducted globally in English. Reading and writing English increases
your marketability and gives you a big advantage in job searches in English-speaking countries or
History and culture
It is known for its contributions to art, literature, film, and music, and is full of museums,
cathedrals, parks, and monuments.
Close to Europe
Ireland is close to major European capitals and just a short flight away, so you can easily explore
the rest of Europe while you’re here.
Stay back visas
Bachelor's graduates can stay back in Ireland for a year after completing their studies, and Masters
graduates can stay back for two years after completing their studies. After they complete their
studies, many international students start their careers in Ireland.
● Capital: Dublin
● Currency: EURO
● Language: English
● Time Zone: GMT+1
● Dialling Code: +353
● Population: 4.818 million (based on latest United Nations estimates)
How is studying in Ireland?
In what ways are Irish studies conducted?
Study methods in Ireland are similar to those in the UK. Working independently may be easier than
you think. While it may seem attractive at first, high standards are expected, and you'll quickly
realise that you'll have to work hard to keep up with others.
Before you begin your Irish studies, here are a few things you should know:
• Working on your own is quite common here, and you may not receive as much assistance as
you did in your home country
• You are encouraged to voice your opinions in class
• It is important that you draw your own conclusions from what you are taught, rather than
gathering facts and data
• They want you to be successful and are ready to assist and advise you
• Students are encouraged to use their critical judgement by reading and researching topics
independently and by taking prescribed courses.
• To make sure you are prepared for your exams, you need to take notes at lectures
• Tutorials are a common part of a student's studies. Small groups of students led by their
professor where they discuss study topics
• The teaching language is English. Tutors or international offices on campus may be able to
assist you in case of language difficulties
• In 2018, Ireland ranked 4th in the World Happiness Index
• The population of Ireland is 124th in the world
• Due to its lush greenery and rolling hills, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle
• Muckanaghederdauhaulia in county Galway has the longest place name in Ireland
• When asked a question, Irish people don't say yes or no. They use verbs instead. For
example, if someone asks “Will you come in?” the answer is “I will.”
• The Irish often talk about the ‘craic’. There’s no exact English translation, but it roughly
means ‘fun’ or entertainment. For example “What’s the craic?” means “What’s happening?”
or “How are you?”
• A lot of people in Ireland speak a dialect of English, but many families who have lived here
for generations understand and speak Irish.
Culture and people
• Ireland's patron saint is St Patrick. St Patrick's Day is celebrated by feasting, drinking, and
• Irish people like to get together and play music, sing and dance at home or in the pub
• Tea is a favourite beverage among Irish people. They are the biggest tea drinkers in the
world, sipping an average of 1,184 cups per person per year
• Irish people are very fond of Guinness beer. There are many Irishmen who will tell you that
drinking Guinness keeps them healthy and long-lived
• The Republic of Ireland practices gender equality. A referendum in 2015 famously allowed
Irish citizens to vote for gay marriage, and there are several female presidents.
• In Ireland, there are many people who believe in the existence of small magical characters
called leprechauns and fairies. It is believed that fairies possess magical powers and bring
happiness and luck to families
• A musical instrument is the only national symbol of Ireland. The Irish harp is found on euro
coinage, passports, and government documents
• Throughout history, traditional castles have protected Ireland from invaders. You can still
visit many of them today
Ireland’s higher education system
Not sure if Ireland’s education system is for you? Take a look at the multiple study options
you have as an international student
Education has been prized in Ireland throughout its long and sometimes difficult history. Today
Ireland’s higher education system offers excellent programmes for international students of all ages.
More than one in ten full-time students come from overseas.
Most education institutions receive government funding. This means the standard of education is
very high and international students who graduate here have a competitive advantage worldwide.
Higher education is provided mainly by universities, institutes of technology and colleges of
education. A number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in professions like
medicine and law.
The institution you choose depends on the subject area you’re interested in, and the level of
qualification you’re looking for.
What are the higher education institutions in Ireland?
What are the higher education institutions in Ireland?
There are seven universities in Ireland, all ranked in the top 3% of institutions worldwide.
Undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs are offered across a broad range of study areas.
Irish universities have international offices to help international students adjust to academic life and
join in social activities on campus
Institute of Technology
Ireland has 14 Institutes of Technology which provide education and training study programmes in
areas like business, science, engineering, linguistics and music. Study options are available at
certificate, diploma and degree level, with different courses and entry requirements at each
College of Education
Colleges of Education provide specialised training for students who wish to become school
teachers. This can be achieved via either a three-year Bachelor of Education and an 18-month
postgraduate diploma. For teaching at a post-primary level, students typically complete a primary
degree and then a postgraduate diploma.
Private colleges offer specialist education and training in areas like vocational training, medicine,
law, business studies and agriculture. Students gain qualifications at vocational, certificate or
Irish universities offer international students places on English foundation programmes to help
improve their language skills. Minimum requirements are typically equivalent to IELTS 5.0.
What type of degrees can I study?
You can study a bachelor’s degree in a general field of study and this generally takes around threefour
years full time. In fields like architecture, veterinary science and dentistry, it takes around five
years. Depending your study programme, you may receive a bachelor’s degree as a General Degree,
Honours Degree or BA (Special Degree).
Some students gain postgraduate qualifications, and these may be a postgraduate diploma, masters
diploma or a PhD.
Programs may be teaching or research-based. This type of study is more focused and takes a more
specialist approach to the area of study than undergraduate level study.
• Postgraduate diplomas are often vocationally oriented, and directly linked to specific
• Master’s degrees are usually one to two years in length and usually involve coursework and a
• PhD studies are usually take three years to complete.
What is a third level degree?
A third level degree is a degree gained in college or university, in other words a bachelor’s degree.
Study methods in Ireland.
How will I be assessed?
This relies upon on what you study, however you'll normally entire fewer duties that are longer in
length, as opposed to smaller duties that are constantly assessed. Students in Irish universities
historically take examinations to evaluate their progress, however these days in Ireland, many
modules and guides don't have any examinations and are graded in large part on assignments.
How do I prepare for examinations?
Examinations (exams) usually happen at the end of semesters. This is called ‘sitting’ exams’. You
will need to prepare for exams throughout the year by reading and doing assignments. You will also
need to revise the material you have already covered in the weeks before the exam. It’s a good idea
to ask your tutor or university library for copies of past exams, to give you some practice in
answering the questions.
Exams can be challenging, especially for international students. If you are feeling overly stressed,
you can usually access free counselling through the student counselling service on campus.
What is plagiarism?
It is very important to find out how your department prefers you to reference material when writing
assignments. Referencing work means crediting the source of ideas, sentences and phrases you use
in your assignment. If you don’t do this, it is called plagiarism and this is considered a serious
If you have used a sentence word-for-word from another author in your assignment, you must put
the sentence in quotation marks and reference the author. The same rule applies if you reproduce an
author’s idea, even if you express it in your own words.
You can ask your tutor for guidance if you are unsure.
Costs of studying and living in Ireland
Let’s explore your living costs in Ireland on an international student budget
Are the costs of studying in Ireland expensive? Compared to many other top-level universities
around the world, not really. Dublin, Ireland’s capital city is the most expensive city to live in, but
Irish cities are very cost-effective places to live compared with other popular study destinations,
including the UK.
What are the living costs for students in Ireland?
In Ireland, the cost of living is estimated to be between €7,000 and €12,000 per year for a student.
This includes rent, electricity, food, books, laundry and medicine, as well as travel passes and social
expenses, but excludes tuition fees.
Your living expenses will vary depending on your study point, type of accommodation, and
lifestyle. During the bit, you may want to take a trip to some multinational countries.
You’ll also need to budget for once-only costs, like buying kitchen items, bedding, a mobile phone
and so on.
What are the tuition fees in Ireland?
Undergraduate courses: €9,000 – €45,000 per year.
Postgraduate Master and PhD courses: €9,150 – €37,000 per year.
Fees vary depending on your chosen field of study, program and university.
You’ll also pay around €2,500 per year for student services, such as examination entries and support for clubs and societies.
How much will I pay for everyday items?
One litre of milk
Can of Coca Cola
Cup of coffee
Lunch from a campus cafe
Meal in an inexpensive cafe
Meal at a restaurant
One-minute mobile phone call
Taxi ride for one kilometre
One litre of petrol
One-room apartment in city centre
One-room apartment in suburbs
Ireland student visa
Here is our guide to the Ireland visa application process.
You'll need a few documents before you get on the plane. Non-EU (non-European) citizens are
likely to require a student visa to study in Ireland. You don't need to worry about all the paperwork
since we're here for you!
Student visa Ireland – What you need to know
In order to study in Ireland, you may need a student visa. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration
Service (INIS) can assist you with the visa application process if you need one. If you are in need of
a visa, we recommend you speak with your IDP counsellor.
When should I apply?
As soon as possible, you should apply for your Irish study visa because it normally takes eight
weeks or longer to process. Before you arrive, you can apply up to three months in advance.
How do I submit my visa application?
In order to receive the appropriate visa type, you must submit the appropriate documentation,
passport photograph, and fees. Additionally, you may have to provide biometric information.
Your IDP counsellor should be able to guide you through the process to ensure everything is done
correctly. A student visa might be denied if the documentation isn't what's required.
How do I check on my visa status?
• You can check your Ireland visa application status online, using your Visa Application
Number. to see if your visa has been processed. This list is updated weekly
• If your visa is approved, the Irish Embassy office will attach your visa to your passport
• If your visa is refused, you can appeal the decision if it’s within two months
Can I get a visa for my spouse?
No. Non-EU international students studying in Ireland are not allowed to bring their family with
them. Spouses and children of international students can apply to live in Ireland separately.
What happens if my visa application is refused?
If your visa application is refused, the college will refund the fees, minus a small application fee.
Student visa checklist
• A passport that is valid for 12 months
• A signed letter of application which explains why you require the visa
• A Letter of Acceptance from the Irish university, college or school, confirming you have been
accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education
• Evidence that you have paid your tuition fees in full or, if they are more than €6,000, you
must pay at least this amount to satisfy visa requirements
• Evidence that you have taken out private health insurance that meets the requirements of your
• Evidence of English language proficiency. Most Irish universities and colleges require IELTS
• Evidence that you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and cost of
• Evidence of your scholarship, if you have been granted one
• If you are applying from China, India, Nigeria, Russia, United Arab Emirates or the United
Kingdom, you may need further documentation.
The visa application process involves many steps. A counsellor specialised in IDPs can help you
relieve the pressure. We can help you with your visa application.
What are my chances of getting an internship?
Internships and work placements are common in Irish study programs. It cannot exceed 50% of the
total duration of the program. Two years are allowed for work placement in a four-year program, for
example. The study program must include work placements.
Is it possible to work after finishing my studies?
Potentially. Irish graduates of higher education institutes can apply for a one-year stay visa under
the Third Level Graduate Scheme so that they can search for employment in Ireland. Students
pursuing a postgraduate degree have two years to complete this.
The Green Card Permit is also available to non-EU third level graduates who are legally resident in
Ireland. Employer shortages allow you to work for a specific employer in a profession where skills
are in short supply.
Ireland's healthcare and security for students
In order to ensure that things go smoothly after moving abroad, it is important to have access to
24/7 emergency services and medical care while in another country.
There are several student associations on campus that help protect students' rights, especially
international students. We strongly recommend registering with a local practitioner on campus at
The majority of Irish educational institutions also provide health insurance for their students.
The country does not have a local police force. The Guardians of the Peace (A Garda S*ochána) are
a nationwide force that was established in 1922.
If there is any emergency, please call the "blue light" services - Garda S*ochána, ambulance, fire,
and Irish Coast Guard on the toll-free numbers - 999 or 112.