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Universities in Dublin, Ireland

Picture of buildings lining a river with bridges across it
Dublin is on Ireland's east coast and is littered with historic and beautiful buildings.

Dublin is the capital and largest city in the Republic of Ireland with an urban population of about 1.2 million residents. Dublin has been a major European centre for culture, political history, education and several manufacturing and trade-related industries.

In recent years, Dublin has also expanded as a hub for global technological businesses, and many world-leading companies including Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook have established large-scale headquarters in the city. Dublin is a significantly multicultural city with an immigrant population of 18 percent, and it is also a major student city home to more than 125,000 university students.

Top Universities in Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Established over 400 years ago in 1592, Trinity College Dublin primarily operates on its 47-acre campus in central Dublin. Home to nearly 18,000 enrolled students of which 6,000 are international admits, Trinity College Dublin was ranked as “the world’s 17th most international university” by Times Higher Education Rankings 2020.

Trinity College offers a wide range of degree programmes and opportunities to connect with professional organisations and employers all over Dublin and worldwide through the university’s technical and research-based partnerships.

The university boasts especially strong research facilities and award-winning faculty in the sciences, and operates multiple world-class research institutes including the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) and the Trinity Translational Medical Institute (TTMI). In fact, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s only member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a prestigious group of 23 top European research universities with a shared commitment to world-class research and innovation.

University College Dublin

Established in 1854, University College Dublin (UCD) is home to over 33,000 students from more than 140 countries. The university’s primary campus is a 330-acre facility in downtown Dublin, and the university operates satellite buildings and research centres all over the country.

UCD offers highly-ranked degree programmes in many course areas including specialisations such as sport science and petroleum engineering. The sizable international community at the university means that you will always have the support you require to settle into your new lifestyle as an international student in the Irish city.

Dublin City University

Located on a 94-acre campus north of Dublin in the suburb of Glasnevin, Dublin City University (DCU) has quickly become a world-leading university across multiple disciplines since its recent founding in 1980.

In addition to offering strong academic programmes, DCU also operates multiple Research and Enterprise Hubs where international students can interact with leading company executives, global employers and entrepreneurs. Additionally, the university also organises the USTART start-up accelerator programme which enables international students to receive the funding and resources required to work on their start-up ideas.

Dublin City University is home to over 13,000 enrolled students of which about 1,500 are international admits. The university operates many advanced research centres such as the Advanced Process Technology Research Centre (APT) and the Centre for Astrophysics & Relativity (CfAR).

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

The RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is Ireland’s biggest medical school and is home to Europe’s largest clinical simulation facility. Founded in 1784, today RCSI is a world-leading research and teaching centre for all aspects of healthcare.

RCSI is home to about 2,500 students of which more than 1,500 are international students. The small class sizes allow for greater attention from your award-winning professors and surgeons. The university also provides constant opportunities for medical students to gain valuable practical skills by working in Dublin’s largest hospitals alongside their academics & research.

Located on an urban campus in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green region, RCSI focuses its research on multiple themes including population health and health services, surgical science & practice and vascular biology. RCSI offers an excellent mix of research-based, vocational and academic learning to equip you for professional growth in the world of advanced healthcare and medicine.

Maynooth University

Situated thirty minutes west of downtown Dublin in the nearby town of Maynooth, Maynooth University was originally established as the Royal College of St Patrick in 1795. The university is divided into a South and North campus, with the original North campus housing most of the academic facilities and the newer South campus being home to student residences and other facilities.

Maynooth University today is home to 10,750 students of which about 1,200 are international students. The university is well-known for its top-ranked degree programmes in a variety of disciplines, and ranks in the top 250 universities worldwide for its course offerings in literature and geography, among other subjects. Maynooth also operates a satellite campus in the nearby town of Kilkenny.

Dublin Universities World Ranking 2025

Below are the top-ranked Dublin universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2025 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2025Times Higher Education Ranking 2024
Trinity College Dublin87134
University College Dublin=126201-250
Dublin City University=421401-500
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland251-300
Maynooth University801-850401-500

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Dublin

The high number of top-ranked universities in Dublin creates a high-quality shared educational infrastructure which international students all over Dublin can make use of. This includes large-scale libraries, entrepreneurial spaces and even spots to socialise with fellow academics. 

In addition to the five top-ranked Dublin universities for international students, the city and its nearby regions also offer a variety of specialised institutes offering degree programmes and vocational training in a wide range of subjects. A few of the top-ranked institutes in and around Dublin for international students are:

Tuition and Living Costs in Dublin

Average tuition costs in Ireland for international students can range between 10,000 and 25,000 US Dollars per annum. Degree programmes for undergraduates are slightly less expensive and range upto 22,000 US Dollars, whereas certain specialised postgraduate degree programmes such as Healthcare courses may cost upto 35,000 US Dollars per year. Executive-level MBA courses are usually the most expensive degree programmes and cost between 20,000 and 40,000 US Dollars per annum.

Meanwhile, living costs in Dublin for international students tend to be relatively expensive. According to University College Dublin, international students should budget at least 1,600 US Dollars for living expenses every month. This figure includes 950-1,100 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 275-300 US Dollars for food expenses, 100 US Dollars for utilities, 80-100 US Dollars for public transport and another 100-150 US Dollars for entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

In order to offset living and tuition expenses, many international students in Dublin pursue part-time employment or internships at one of the various companies and offices in the city. Current Irish student visa rules enable you to work part-time up to 20 hours a week during the semester, and up to 40 hours a week during academic breaks. International students can find reliable part-time employment and internship offers from Dublin-based companies on various websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor.

Life in Dublin for International Students

Dublin offers almost 4,000 acres of parks and outdoor areas spread across the city, as well as plenty of historical and cultural landmarks for international travellers to visit. As Dublin is situated on Ireland’s east coast, the city’s international students will also have access to multiple beaches where they can enjoy the sun and sea, especially during the summer months. International students interested in sports will also have an exciting time attending the large number of sporting events taking place in Dublin every week.

Below are a few of the Irish capital’s must-visit destinations for international students:

  • Dublin Castle
  • Phoenix Park
  • Dublin Zoo
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • Malahide Castle & Gardens
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • National Botanic Gardens
  • Chester Beatty
  • Powerscourt House & Gardens
  • Saint Stephen’s Greens
  • National Museum of Ireland
  • Portmarnock Beach
  • Claremont Beach
  • National Maritime Museum of Ireland
  • Corkagh Park
  • Guinness Storehouse

International students can travel directly to Dublin Airport from their home countries, and Ireland’s well-connected public transport network allows you to explore the picture-perfect countryside and Irish coast during weekends and academic breaks. Additionally, popular European cities such as London and Paris are only an hour-long flight away.

Dublin’s well-developed educational infrastructure and urban facilities create a great academic environment for international students, and top-ranked Dublin universities are getting more and more popular by the day.

See all universities in Ireland.

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