Study in Ireland

study abroad blog irland

The educational history of Ireland is not just a very long one, but it is also very rich. A couple of years back in 2019, the UN acknowledged Ireland as the 16th happiest country in the entire world. Due to the thousands of companies that have situated their headquarters in the big cities of Ireland, the country’s economy is growing steadily. Specifically, in terms of competitiveness, the economy in Ireland is ranked 6th among the big countries.

The country takes its education very seriously. Over time, they have a significant amount of money and time bettering the educational infrastructure. They have become extremely well equipped with modern facilities, which is why students from 160+ countries come to Ireland to study. In number, over 35,000 international students benefit from the thorough education system of the country. Be it America or China, India or Malaysia, or even Saudi Arabia, there are students from everywhere. Among all the programs taught in Ireland, health-care-related programs are the top choice.

One of the wonderful parts about going to Ireland is the fact that their government lets international students stay in the country for one or two years post studies to find a job. This time duration is subjective, it is different from different courses. Other than that, Ireland is termed impeccably safe. In fact, generally, it is known as one of the safest countries for international students. Minorities face very few incidents of racial or ethnic violence.

Popular Cities to study in Ireland

While Dublin remains the most densely populated city with a majority of universities, it is also the most expensive one. Other cities with impressive universities are Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Maynooth.

Popular Courses to study in Ireland
    • MS and M.Sc. in Computer Science and Masters in Education.
    • M.Sc. in Big Data Management
    • MBA or MS in Business
    • Courses on Human Resource management.
    • MS and M.Sc. in Data Analytics
    • MEng in Digital and Medical Technologies
Education System in Ireland

Education in Ireland is not particularly simple to grasp. Colleges, Institutes of Technology, Universities together create higher education in the country.

The programs are rated in a scheme called NFQ, which stands for National Framework of Qualification. The quality of the courses is assured by the government of Ireland itself. All the courses under NFQ are professional courses that are internationally accepted and high in quality.

Here are all the types of awards available –
  • NFQ Level 7: UG Degree (3 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 8: Honor’s Bachelor Degree (3-4 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 8: Higher Diploma (1-year duration).
  • NFQ Level 9: PG Diploma (1-year duration).
  • NFQ Level 9: Master’s Degree (1-2 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 10: Doctoral Degree (approximately 4-years duration).
The degree program courses listed below lead to any of the following awards in Ireland –
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Honors Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honor Bachelor Degree)
  • PG Diploma (after completion of an Honor Bachelor Degree)
  • Master’s Degree
  • Doctoral degree

International students in the country are only allowed to go up on the National Framework of Qualification, they can not go lower. If the student decides to change the program, they can either change within the same level (which is very rare) or have to go higher up.

Cost of studying in Ireland

As one would expect, the largest chunk of money is the tuition fee. Depending on the course, whether undergrad, postgrad, or doctorate degree, the tuition fees vary from EUR 10,000 to EUR 35,000.

The other mandatory charges for international students go up to 3,000 EUR. This amount includes some school-related charges and student services. There is another registration charge of EUR 300 which is applicable when the student is planning to study in Ireland for more than 90 days.

It is suggested that students should carry on their own research on the cost of living before moving to Canada. There are many factors that can affect your cost of living in Canada, i.e. city, daily expenses, university costs, tuition fees, and so on. Every country has some institutions or schemes which help international students to save money. Make sure you are aware of such opportunities in Ireland.

Intakes and deadlines

Ireland accepts students in two major intakes. See the table below.

  • Semester 1 (September Intake) – Dead for this is February to July
  • Semester 2 (January Intake)-September to October

To cover the syllabus in Irish institutions use two semesters –

  • Semester 1 duration-September to December
  • Semester 2 duration-January to May

Students who want to study in Ireland generally start their preparation one year before the deadline. Different universities have different deadlines, but largely the admission gets completed by the month of June.

Top 10 Universities in The Ireland

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Top 10 Scholarships in The Ireland

Admission requirements to study in Ireland
  • There are no generalized requirements students need to keep in mind to get admission in Ireland. Different universities have different requirements. Students must check before applying.
  • For different courses, the same university might have different requirements.
  • In specific cases, an international student who wants to study healthcare courses may need to pass the GAMSAT.
  • It is suggested to contact the International Office of your college you want to study at. They have the clearest advice which will make your job a lot easier.

To prove the English proficiency of the student to assess whether they are proficient enough for academic courses, Irish institutions accept the following tests.

  • IELTS 6.5 and above
  • GRE may be required
Ireland Application Process

If you are an Undergrad applicant from EU/EEA, your application will be processed through the Central Application Office (CAO). All the colleges, as well as the courses, can be found at the official website of CAO –

  • Non-EU and non-EEA international students who wish to study in Ireland must apply directly to the universities, as there is no other portal.
  • The UG and PG application processes are not different.
  • However, for postgraduate programs, some institutions offering a variety of courses accept applications through a portal known as the Post-Graduation Application Center PAC.
  • For each application on PAC, the fee is EUR 50.
The following institutions accept applications through PAC –
  • University College Cork, Ireland
  • Dublin City University
  • NUI Galway
  • Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Maynooth University
  • 3U Partnership, Greater Dublin University
  • Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology
  • Institute of Technology, Carlow
  • Cork Institute of Technology
Documentation to study in Ireland

The following documents are mandatory for studying in Ireland for undergraduate admissions –

  • Passport
  • Two or more academic references
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • English Proficiency test

The following documents are mandatory for studying in Ireland for postgraduate admissions

    • Academic references (Two or more)
    • LOR (if you have worked earlier)
    • Academic Resume (in some cases)
    • Portfolio (in some cases)
    • GMAT Passport, GMAT or any other subject-specific exam
    • English Competency test
    • Certified degree certificates
    • Certified academic transcripts
Steps to applying for Ireland Student Visa

It takes a lot of time to apply for the visa, as much as eight weeks. It demands extreme care and attention to every detail –

  • Apply for the student visa three months ahead of your traveling date.
  • The course you will take must be registered with the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI). For more information, go to
  • You can not study in Ireland for over seven years.
  • The visa could be applied through the Irish Embassy situated in India.
  • If the course is longer than three months, you will be required to have a ‘D’ visa.
  • Here is the process for applying for a student visa to study in Ireland.

The student must check out the official Irish website to check out the stepwise process.

  • Fill out the application form
  • Have several passport size photos
  • Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent
  • Provide a passport-sized photo
  • Ensure your passport is valid for 12 months
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pay any additional booking fees, as well as the Visa fee.
  • Submit a signed application that explains why you require the Visa.
  • Pay your visa fee and other charges for booking appointments.
  • Letter of acceptance from the University confirms that you are accepted for the minimum time of 15 hours a week.
  • The letter must contain your name and mention what the course is.
  • I should mention the number of fees for the course and also the amount that has already been paid.
  • If the university has already obtained medical insurance on your behalf, the details should be included in the letter. If the college has not provided, ensure that it is completed on your end.
  • Keep copies of all the documents you submit.

Check out the list of all the documents needed to apply for a Visa

  • GNIB permit
  • Required language proficiency scores
  • To get the visa, it is mandatory to have the result of your last English language proficiency test. The minimum score for admission is mostly different.
  • The minimum requirement for visa issuance is as follows
IELTS Academic: 5.0 minimum score
  • TOEFL: Minimum score of: 173 (Computer-based), 61 (Internet-based), 500 (Paper-based)
  • Visa processing time
  • for Normal Student, Processing takes around 4-6 weeks
  • Through Approval in principle, the processing time is 5-7 weeks.
Visa processing time
  • Normal Student Processing takes around 4-6 weeks
  • Through the Approval in principle scheme, the processing time is 5-7 weeks.

Approval in Principle Scheme

This is the scheme where Indian students who have applied for a study visa and also have been accepted to the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) approved course, are allowed to apply for the visa without having to pay the college fees in advance.

Once you reach Ireland, you need to get the residence permit registration done for the rest of the visa formalities. You are also required to submit a ‘Declaration’ stating that the student will be coming back to India after completing the programme. The fees for a single entry visa from India are worth 60 EUR, while the multiple entry visa after reaching Ireland costs 100 euros.

Checking on the status of Visa

  • You can use your Visa Application Number and check the status of your visa online. The list is updated every week.
  • Once you get the approval, the Embassy where you submitted your documents, will attach a visa to your passport.
  • If the visa is declined, you can appeal the decision within two months.

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Financial aid for international students to study in Ireland
There are many scholarships in Ireland provided by
  • Government of Ireland
  • The Irish higher education institutions
  • Other organizations

Some common scholarships to study in Ireland include:

There are university-specific scholarships available as well. Other examples of scholarships to study in Ireland are mentioned below.

  • EPA-DIT Ph.D. Co-Fund Position for International Applicants in Ireland
  • The School of English Dublin City University Scholarships in Ireland
  • School of Law Doctoral Scholarships
  • University College Cork SEFS Postgraduate Research Scholarships in Food Science
  • Maynooth University John and Pat Hume Doctoral Awards Scheme for International Students
  • International Scholarships at National College of Ireland
  • UCD science scholarships
  • NUI Galway International Student Scholarships

MSc Scholarships for International Students by Trinity College DublinClub MBA Leadership Scholarship.

Life in Ireland, Healthy and Safe
  • The Irish are known to be genuinely helpful towards international students. The students who live in a country with a host family admit to experiencing the best.
  • There are two main languages in Ireland, Irish and English. Though there are many other languages spoken across the country. But English is used throughout Ireland.
  • Ireland has an excellent standard of living. The jobs are lucrative and all the other benefits of living in a nice European country, minus the language problem like anywhere else in Europe.
  • Compared to all the countries sharing terrain with Ireland, it is the warmest country.
  • Extreme winters are rare, and you’re more likely to encounter a warm glow, 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.
  • You’re not likely to experience the extreme cold like in Britain here. The average temperature is 5-8 ‘C in winter. And in summer it is very nice, ranging from 15-20 ‘C.
  • It rains pretty often in Ireland. Make sure you carry your rain gear and a bunch of sweaters.
  • Students prefer to stay on the university campus. It is always high in demand, but not all universities have accommodation.
  • All universities have halls of residence, generally apartments of 4 to 8 students, with a private bedroom and shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
  • Almost every university offers halls of residence to students. It can accommodate from four to eight students. It has a personal bedroom, living room, shared kitchen, and bathroom.
The students have to pay for accommodation in two installments.

Students who want to be independent choose self-catering rented accommodation. Students pay their rent monthly and in advance. At the beginning of a letting period, they pay a deposit of one month’s rent, which will be refunded when they leave (provided they have not caused any damage to the premises). The normal length of a lease is 9 or 12 months.

Some students choose to live with a host family in their home. This way, they have their independence but still have the home comforts (and some rules). Staying with a host family can be a great way for students to find their feet in a new country!

Health insurance is compulsory for an international student in Ireland. It costs around 20,000 EUR per year.

Average Salaries in Ireland

Law is one of the most rewarding fields in Ireland in terms of salary. Generally, starting salaries that fresh graduates get are between 20,000 EUR to 30,000 EUR. According to GradIreland 2019, some top-paying jobs and their starting salaries are mentioned below.

Jobs while studying in Ireland

As a student in Ireland, one does not require a work permit to be employed for working 20 hours/week.
During the course, a student in Ireland can work for 40 hours/week during the vacation period (during June, July, August, and September and from 15th December to 15th January inclusive).

It is best if the student gets employed within Ireland’s university campus.

Working on campus cuts down the cost of traveling and makes more time available to be within the university.
International students enrolled for full-time courses that are recognized by the IDES do not require an additional work permit in Ireland.

If as a student, one has no prior experience, one can seek jobs in restaurants, bars, cafes, bookshops.
Students can also apply to help at entertainment events, call centers, and retail supermarkets. For those with good interpersonal skills, you can also apply for the post of secretary or assistant at corporate organizations.
It is advised to build a strong network with peers and seniors.

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