Alongside its rich Gaelic culture, the English-speaking country will provide a friendly and safe place to live and study. With its vast coastal landscapes, beautiful countryside, and metropolitan cities, Ireland is the perfect choice for students looking for a new adventure in beautiful surroundings.
Education in Ireland
When looking at studying in Ireland, you can see that Ireland has numerous types of higher education institutions:
- Institutes of Technology: these provide education and training in business, science, engineering, music and linguistics. The institutes offer higher certificate awards as well as undergraduate (bachelor’s), postgraduate (master’s), and PhD (doctoral) programs.
- NUI-Recognised Colleges: federal university The National University of Ireland (NUI) recognises five colleges which include the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Institute of Public Administration and the National College of Art and Design.
- Colleges of Education: separated into primary and secondary-level colleges, they consist of teacher training institutions.
- State-aided Institutions: establishments that offer many different degree courses and are given part funding from the state.
- Private Colleges: provide more of a vocational programme for industries, for example, business studies, art, catering and law.
- Universities: these are fully recognised internationally and are compiled from seven universities in Ireland and two from Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, the Irish higher education system and the Irish school system will be undergoing a big reorganisation over the next 20 years based on recommendations by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
What do I need to get into a university in Ireland?
Students should ensure they understand the entry requirements for the institution and course they are applying for. However, generally Irish universities and colleges accept A Levels or the Irish Leaving Certificate for entry.
Some degree courses or universities in Ireland may ask for specific GCSE grades for admission such as, C’s in English and Maths to ensure a standard is met for all students, this information can be found on the subject degree guides, this is very specific if you're looking at the potential of studying Medicine in Ireland or studying in Northern Ireland.
The entry requirements for postgraduate study differ from university to university in Ireland and from course to course. However, most degree courses require an undergraduate degree, usually a minimum of a 2:2, in a related discipline.
Some degree courses may require a 2:1 and this higher grade may increase your chances of gaining entry onto the more popular degree courses. In addition, institutions may prefer applicants to have suitable and valuable work experience.
How much will it cost me to study in Ireland?
EU citizens are entitled to attend university or colleges in Ireland and pay the same tuition Ireland university fees. Postgraduate course fees are set each year and can differ from institution to institution, but costs will be considerably higher for non-EU students as they are considered international students.
Ireland also offers a free fee scheme for undergraduate study for publicly funded degree courses, this means students studying on these degree courses do not have to pay tuition fees. For more information, you can check on the Citizen’s Information website.
Will I get funding to study in Ireland?
As an EU national students are eligible to apply for the same funding as Irish students when looking to study in Ireland. The Irish Student Grant Scheme is made up of two parts including maintenance grants and fee grants. Maintenance grants will aid students’ general living costs and are usually means-tested.
There are also a number of conditions to be eligible including nationality, residence and immigration status. Fee grants have been designed to help students cover their tuition fees, field trips and contributions. There may also be other conditions for EU students to reach eligibility for this funding.
Individual institutions may offer grants, scholarships or bursaries and students can search for this information on the individual university or college’s website.
If you are an EU student but haven’t lived in Ireland before, you can see what assistance you could be entitled to on the Grants for Students in Further and Higher Education section of the Citizen’s Information website or from the Student Finance Ireland website. Non-EU/EEA students are not, unfortunately, eligible for the Student Grant Scheme funding in Ireland.
Will I need a student visa to study in Ireland?
EU citizens are permitted to live in any EU country and are able to study there as long as they are enrolled at an approved university or other education institution. They must have enough income (which could be from savings or part-time work) to support themselves and have health insurance cover (which can include EHIC and/or private health insurance). Non-EU students can find out their visa requirements for studying in Ireland here which are available on the Citizen’s Information website under the Student Visas to Study in Ireland section.
Cost of Living in Ireland
Students who are deciding to live and study abroad need to consider how much it will cost them to live. We have compiled a list of everyday items in Ireland to help you get started on your research.
|Type||Cost in Ireland||UK equivalent cost|
|Dining out per-meal||€15.00||£12.86|
|Bus ticket (one-way)||€2.60||£2.23|
|Bus ticket (monthly)||€100.00||£85.73|
|Internet (60+ mpbs)||€49.61||£42.53|
|Rent (Apartment: 1 bedroom) in City Centre) per-month||€1,177.06||£63.90|
* All prices correct at the time of publication.