Study in Ireland


Gargi Tomar
Updated on Feb 17, 2022 8:04 PM IST


Ireland is a small nation with only 4.904 million (2019) people. Located on the western-most tip of Europe, the country is a land of creative thinkers, pioneers and thoughtful leaders. The number of international students choosing Ireland for higher studies has significantly grown by 26% in the last three years, climbing to 14,412 in 2019.

Across Ireland, there are a number of top-ranked universities including The University of Dublin; University College Dublin; National College of Ireland; University College Cork; Dublin City University; among others. These top universities boast 73% international students, representing more than 100 countries. Ranked in the top 3% of higher education providers in the world, origins of non-Irish students are primarily Asia, North America and EU (excluding Ireland), as shown in the image.

Some of the popular fields in the country are technology, natural sciences, economics and humanities, getting a Bachelors or Masters degree in which would ensure exposure to hands-on learning and professional development.

As Ireland became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1973, its doors opened to the economic powerhouse of Europe. Several multinational corporations such as Google, Dell, Pfizer, Airbnb and more set up their European headquarters in the country, paving the way for myriad opportunities for both international and domestic students.

Although not cheap, the cost of living in Ireland is not as sky-high as other European countries like Sweden or the UK. The most popular student cities in Ireland include Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. From scenic landscapes to a rich cultural heritage, the Republic of Ireland is an undoubtedly beautiful, safe and exciting country for international students.

Upon graduation from Irish universities, students also get the chance to intern or work full-time with major companies such as Facebook, HP, Google, Intel, Boston Scientific, to name a few. In addition, every international university in Ireland provides dedicated career officers to guide international students through the hiring process.

Also Read: Ireland to Let Internationall Students Return to Campus in Sept 2021

Why Study in Ireland

Ireland can be one of the best options for students interested in pursuing higher education from a foreign country. Some of the top reasons to study in Ireland are:

  • The government of Ireland invests approximately 782 million in their higher education sector to provide the best facilities and infrastructure to students. Due to this, Irish universities are included in the top 1% research-based institutions of the world.

  • Worlds best multinational companies like Google, Apple, Boston Scientific, etc. have their centres and headquarters in Ireland and provide problem-based research projects to students. These projects are well funded by the companies and the students get field experience in their respective areas.

  • English is a commonly used language in Ireland. Therefore, most of the courses are taught in English language. Thus, Ireland turns out to be one the perfect destinations for the majority of international students who are comfortable with English as the medium of instruction.

  • Ireland is a safe country and people are friendly and helpful in nature. In 2013, it was ranked 12th in the global peace index of the world. People of Ireland are welcoming and international students will get a chance to meet some wonderful people while pursuing their course of interest.

  • About 40% of the people in Ireland are under the age of 25, therefore, Ireland has a young vibrant population, which makes it an exciting place for students to pursue education.

  • There are 5000+ programmes offered by the universities of Ireland in the varied disciplines like - medicine, management, STEM, law, languages, history, political science, philosophy, and psychology.

  • Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Despite all the developmental activities, Ireland people and government have managed to keep its beauty intact, which is another reason to pursue higher education.

Education System in Ireland

The education system of Ireland is divided into three levels - primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary and secondary levels of education can be acquired from schools whereas tertiary education comprises university-based education. There are public as well as private universities in Ireland that provide technical, vocational, non-technical and applied courses to students. Generally, international students are interested in pursuing university-based education from Ireland. There are three divisions of the tertiary sector: 

Bachelor Degree Courses

The undergraduate courses offered by the Irish universities are -  ordinary bachelor degree programmes, honours bachelor degree programmes, certificate courses, and vocational programmes. Ordinary bachelor programme is a full-time, 3-year course in which, student has to choose a major according to the area of interest. The curriculum of the course is set by the university according to the international norms and standards of education. Honours bachelor programmes are 4 years long and students need a deeper understanding of their major to get honours. Social science, engineering, and management are the popular major choices of international students as they lead to better employment opportunities. Vocational and certificate courses are short term courses that focus on skill development of the student, for example - language certificate course, accounting certificate course, etc. 

Master Degree Courses 

The postgraduate courses offered by Irish universities are - Masters degree programmes, higher diploma courses, and PG diploma courses. Masters degree programmes are 1-2 years long, and the duration varies according to the choice of subject. Masters students have to submit a thesis to complete their degree. Management, business, and STEM-related courses are popular choices of students. Eligibility criteria and application process differ from university to university. Diploma courses focus on skill development of the student so that the student can perform a particular task more efficiently. Some of the common diploma courses are in the fields of - banking, media, management, health care, and medicine. 

Doctoral or PhD Courses

PhD is the highest educational degree provided by the Irish universities. The duration of PhD ranges from three to five years. Students require bachelors and a masters degree in a relevant field with an excellent academic record to get admission in doctoral courses. Students pursuing a PhD are eligible to teach in universities while pursuing the course. Various other fellowships are provided by the university and government to support such students. 

Equivalent NFQ levels for Ireland degrees are: 



Ordinary Bachelor Degree

Level 7

Honors Bachelor Degree

Level 8

Higher Diploma 

Level 8

Postgraduate Diploma

Level 9

Masters Degree

Level 9 

Doctoral Degree

Level 10 

FAQs on Study in Ireland in 2024

Is Ireland a good place to study computer science?

There are also many universities that offer programs related to computer programming in Ireland. These are in high demand as people look for ways to improve their skills. Some universities also offer specialized computer programs such as cyber forensics, networking, and data analysis.

Where can you study pharmacy in Ireland?

Many of the top universities in Ireland offer Pharmacy courses. Many of them are acknowledged by the world's top universities. With a wide range of options, you can choose which one will suit you best.

Why should I study in Ireland?

The reasons for studying in Ireland are that Irish education system is regarded as one of the best in Europe and is characterized by a wide range of flexible and creative options. It has made Ireland one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Ireland's education system is characterized by its close links to industry and is highly flexible.

How much bank balance is required to study in Ireland?

The bank balance required to study in Ireland can be around 1000 Euro per month. Additionally, to qualify for scholarship money, the student should have enough funds to cover the living expenses for the duration of his or her study in Ireland.

Is it better to study in Ireland or Canada?

If you are looking for a quality university with a global ranking, then Canada is the place for you. With universities having higher global rankings than Ireland, Canada is a great place to study. However, some universities in Ireland also have better opportunities and employment opportunities.

How can I apply to a university in Ireland?

To apply to a university in Ireland, select the best course option, for which you need to take into account your last academic year and area of interest. You can also apply for any Irish university through their website or you can visit a nearby collegedekho admissions office.

Is it easy for international students to get a job in Ireland?

Students who have at least one year of study in Ireland may not need a work permit to enter and work in the country. Students can work up to 20 hours a week in Ireland. It's become a rising hub for information technology which has made Ireland an attractive place for international students to find internships.

What are the best courses to study in Ireland?

Numerous universities in Ireland offer various types of courses for further studies. However, courses in the field of computer of technology can be called the best courses to study in Ireland.

What are the popular jobs for international students in Ireland?

Retail assistants and cashier jobs some of the most popular jobs for international students in Ireland. While there are various career opportunities in aviation and IT, there are also many survival jobs available.

Can students get a PR after studying in Ireland?

If you stay in Ireland for 5 years, then you are eligible to apply for PR after studying. However, academic and experience are very important factors to consider while applying for PR.

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