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Study in Ireland

An island in the North Atlantic, Ireland is separated from Great Britain by the North Channel. Each year, the Irish government invests €728 million in higher education institutions. This allows Ireland to have one of the best higher education systems in the world. University in Ireland would be a great choice for any international student.

Why Study in Ireland?

With many internationally ranked institutions, Ireland is a popular choice for students from around the world. The country has been consistently acknowledged as a safe and peaceful city in world rankings, which is complemented by the welcoming nature of the Irish people.

Higher education is provided by different types of institutions. These are universities, colleges of education and institutes of technology. All of the Irish universities are public and therefore state-funded. Five of Ireland’s universities are in the 2019 QS World University Rankings top 500. The highest ranked of these is Trinity College Dublin – University of Dublin, which is placed at 104th. The next highest ranked is the University College Dublin, which is placed at 193rd.

The academic year observed in Ireland is similar to other European countries, and generally runs from September through to June/July depending on the examination period. There are courses offered at the traditional levels of study. These include bachelors, masters and doctoral, as well as diplomas and other types.

About Ireland

Located to the west of Great Britain and east of Canada and the USA, Ireland is an island nation with a population of over 6.5 million people. This makes it the second most populous island in Europe. Whilst Ireland is one single piece of land, it is politically divided into two areas. These are the Republic of Ireland (referred to sometimes as just Ireland) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This division came after many disagreements and is still a topic of political conversation today. Despite the scarrings still seen across Ireland, both parts are beautiful and welcoming.

Human presence in Ireland dates back over 12,500 years ago to 10,500 BCE. Since then, there has been a constant battle over who rules the island. Located in Ireland are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Giant’s Causeway. Dublin is the most heavily touristed area and has many attractions, such as Book of Kells and the Guinness Storehouse.

The culture in Ireland is heavily influenced by religion and the Gaelic and Celtic history. Religion has played a significant role in the history of Ireland, and has caused many disagreements. Famously, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have different majority religions; Protestant and Catholic. Since the 20th century, you can find influences of Irish culture worldwide, including Irish pubs and food.

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Cost of Studying and Living in Ireland

Ireland uses the Euro () as its currency.

The tuition fees you will pay in Ireland will vary depending on where you choose to study and where you are from. Ireland operates a Free Fees Initiative for full-time undergraduate study. If you are an EU student studying at a public university, you will not pay tuition fees. If you are an EU student not studying at a public university or studying a postgraduate programme, you will have to pay fees. Even if you are not required to pay tuition fees, you will likely have to pay a registration fee of around €3,000. If you are from anywhere else in the world, you will need to pay fees no matter what level of study you are taking and where you are studying. On average you should expect to pay between €5,000 and €10,000 per year. You may be eligible for a scholarship to help finance your studies, check with your chosen institution for information.

In terms of living costs, Ireland is very similar to other European countries. If you choose to live in a bigger city, you will pay more than smaller cities and towns. On average, it is recommended that you budget for between €500 and €800 per month. This accounts for accommodation, groceries and travel. Another cost that students need to consider is health insurance. If you are an EHIC card holder, you will be able to access any healthcare you require for free. If you are not an EHIC card holder, you will need to ensure you have valid health insurance. If you already have a policy in your home country, you will need to make sure it is valid in Ireland. If you do not have insurance already, you will need to purchase a policy that will cover you for the duration of your studies. If you require guidance about health insurance, contact your institution.

Visas

Depending on where you are from, you may need a student visa to study in Ireland. If you are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you do not need to obtain a visa. There are also a number of other countries whose citizens are exempt from needing a visa, listed on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. When you arrive in Ireland, you need to register with immigration authorities. If you are from a non-EU/EEA country or one that is not listed, you will need to obtain a visa to enter Ireland. This can be applied for online, via the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. To apply for the visa, you will need to provide certain documents. These include a letter of acceptance, evidence of medical insurance or EHIC possession, evidence of sufficient funds (currently a minimum of €7,000 per year), two recent passport photographs, evidence of English proficiency, passport which is valid for six months beyond the end of your course. More information can be found on the Department of Justice and Equality website.

Language

Ireland has two official languages; Irish and English. You will also hear many other different languages spoken all throughout Ireland.

There are courses offered in Irish and English, but all postgraduate courses are taught in English. If you are studying in a non-native language, you will need to provide proficiency of your language skills. If you do not meet the required standards, it is common for institutions to offer English language courses to help you improve.

Despite English being widely spoken across Ireland, learning some Irish language would be a great experience!

Cities

Dublin

The capital city of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is home to over 550,000 people. The city has a turbulent history, but is a major tourist city in the present day. The centre of the city is divided into areas, referred to as Quarters. These include the Medieval Quarter, the Georgian Quarter, the Docklands Quarter, the Cultural Quarter and the Creative Quarter, among others.

Located in the city of Dublin are three public universities, Dublin Institute of Technology and several other higher education institutions. The universities are the University of Dublin, which is the oldest university in Ireland, the National University of Ireland and Dublin City University.

Belfast

The capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast is home to over 340,000 people. Historically, Belfast has been an important port and played a key role in the Industrial Revolution. It was granted city status in 1888, and has developed over time since then. Shipbuilding has always been a major industry in Belfast, with the Harland and Wolff shipyard being the largest shipyard in the world. This shipyard is also where the RMS Titanic was built before its fateful journey.

There are two universities in the city of Belfast. Queen’s University Belfast, founded in 1845, is a member of the Russell Group. Ulster University, founded in 1984, has a specific focus on Art, Design and Architecture. Also located in the city is Belfast Metropolitan College, which is a higher education college founded in 2007.

Institutions in Ireland

Browse higher education providers in Ireland on the map or select from the list to learn more

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