Admission Procedure To Study in Ireland


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

Intakes to Study in Ireland

Like many other countries, universities in Ireland also offer admissions to students through two intakes or semesters. Similarly to the rest of the world, the admission requirements and processes defined by a university for a specific course will determine which admission intake in Ireland a student will have to apply to.

The two admission intakes, also known as semesters, are scheduled for two different time periods in an academic year. In Ireland, the two admission intakes, Autumn and Spring intakes are scheduled for September and February respectively. However, there is only one main intake, i.e. the September Intake, where most universities enrol students, meanwhile, the Spring intake has been reserved for a few courses at a limited number of universities.

Autumn or Fall Semester in Ireland: The main admission intake for most universities in Ireland, the Autumn or Fall Intake/Semester is the intake that most international students will be applying for. The Autumn or Fall semester in Ireland commences around September each academic year and continues till December of the same year.

Spring Semester in Ireland: The less popular of the two, the number of courses and universities that enrol students during the Spring Intake in Ireland is comparatively lower in number. However, depending on the university and course that a student chooses to apply to, they may be required to apply for the Spring Intake. The Spring semester begins around the end of January in Ireland, each academic year and continues till May the same year.


Application Deadline

Autumn/Fall Intake

January - February

Spring Intake

September - October

Note: The admissions and application deadlines are defined by each specific university. Therefore, you are advised to reach out to your Collegedekho Study Abroad expert.

Admission Process for International Students in Ireland

Whether you are applying for undergraduate or graduate degrees in Ireland, there are certain steps that all aspirants must complete to successfully study at one of the top universities in the world situated in Ireland. From shortlisting universities to submitting the necessary documents and booking your flights to the selected university, a good and planned admission process to study in Ireland will only be beneficial to you.

Here are the steps you need to complete to successfully pursue higher education at a university in Ireland.

Step 1 - Shortlist Courses and Universities

The first step in the application and admission process to study in Ireland is to finalise a university and a course. From your interests, first, select the courses that you are interested in pursuing and building a career on. Depending on the courses you have shortlisted, list down the universities that offer the programmes of your choice, and shortlist those universities that grab your attention the most.

Step 2 - Learn About the Admission Process

The second step in starting your higher education in Ireland is to learn about the admission requirements to enrol in a programme at any given university. Each university will specify unique course eligibility criteria, that all students are required to satisfy. Ranging from academic requirements such as previous academic records to standardised test score requirements to documentation and other requirements, before applying to any university, be aware of all admission requirements. You can either call the university or reach out to Collegedekho’s study abroad experts who will help you through the entire admission process.

Under this step, make sure you clear out all your doubts before you start applying for the course. As stated above, our study abroad experts can help you every step of the way, helping you get the answers to your questions.

Step 3 - Take the Necessary Standardised Tests

Some universities abroad, especially English-speaking countries require their international student applicants to provide them with valid standardised test scores. Some of the standardised tests include GRE and GMAT, while, most of them require international students to submit an English Proficiency Test score such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. Therefore, when reading through the admission requirements for each course at different universities, check out which tests are accepted and what the minimum score requirement is as well. Attempt one or more of the specified tests and await the results.

Step 4 - Structure and Format Your LORs and SOPs

Many universities, depending on the course, programme and degree, require international students to submit Letters of Recommendation (LORs) and/or Statements of Purpose (SOPs). For undergraduate studies, universities commonly require a statement of purpose, meanwhile, for graduate and postgraduate studies, universities require both LORs and SOPs. However, you can confirm what is necessary from your Collegedekho study abroad expert.

Preparing, structuring and formatting a letter of recommendation and statement of purpose is highly necessary as it provides an insight into the candidate’s personality and life, giving the application a face to the admission committee. Therefore, take your time in preparing, structuring and formatting your application form before submitting it to the university. You can seek help from your teachers, study abroad counsellors, your parents or anyone you are comfortable with.

Step 5 - Complete the Application Form

The next step is probably the easiest but the most important task, i.e. completing the application form admission to your shortlisted university. It is advisable to complete admission application forms of multiple universities, to increase your probability of getting accepted by one of the universities. Each university will specify the steps on how to apply for a programme and the documents needed to complete the application form. Be sure of following the guidelines and steps as specified by the university.

During this time, you may also be asked to fill out a separate application for the different scholarship opportunities. However, many universities directly offer scholarships to those eligible based on academic and professional merit.

However, be sure of filling out the application form correctly and completely as any discrepancy in the application form can lead to automatic rejection of the application form, subsequently restricting you from applying again as well, in case the information provided is incorrect.

Step 6 - Await a Response from the University

Once you have submitted your application form and the necessary documents, all you can now do is wait for a response from the universities you applied to. However, in the meantime, you can also check out the Student Visa requirements and ensure all your documents are in check and that you are able to apply for the necessary visa. It should be noted that you do not apply for a visa before receiving a response from the university.

If you receive an affirmation of your selection to complete the admission process further, then follow the steps specified in the Acceptance Letter outlined by the university in the response. In the letter, that will be sent on the registered email ID, you will also receive a deadline for the next admission processes that you need to complete.

You can wait for all the universities to send in their response, however, since there is a deadline for the next steps in the admission processes, you may be required to make a decision and continue with the university that responded first.

Step 7 - Deposit the Non-refundable Admission Fee

Once you have decided which university to go forward with, you will be required to submit the specified fees to continue with the admission process. However, universities will define the admission process that you will need to follow, therefore, follow the steps outlined by them, seek guidance from your Collegedekho study abroad expert.

Step 8 - Apply for an Ireland Study Visa

To enter Ireland, all students are required to apply for an Ireland Study Visa, either a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa or a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa. To learn more about the Irish student visas and the steps associated with applying for one can be found on our Ireland Visa Process page. Students are advised to apply for a student visa once they have received their confirmation letter. Subsequently, students are also advised to book their flights only if their visas have been confirmed and they received the same.

Entrance Tests Accepted in Ireland

As specified above, for the purpose of admission to a university in Ireland, all international students are required to have a valid English proficiency test score and any other standardised test, if applicable. Additionally, for visa and immigration purposes, international students are required to display English or Irish Language proficiency by submitting valid English/Irish proficiency test scores. Here are some of the tests that are accepted and required by universities in Ireland.

English Proficiency Tests Accepted in Ireland

Here are the various English Proficiency Tests accepted by universities across Ireland.

  • IELTS - Composite score ranging between 6.0 - 6.5. Candidates should not have scored less than 6.0 in each of the components.

  • Cambridge Proficiency - Minimum score of grade C

  • Cambridge Advanced - Minimum score of grade A

  • PTE Academic - Minimum score of 36

  • ARELS Oral Examination - Candidates should just pass the test

  • GCE O-Level English Language - Minimum grade C

  • GCSE English Language - Minimum grade C

  • ETAPP - Minimum score of Grade 1

Other Standardised Tests Accepted in Ireland

While the above mentioned English proficiency tests are important to enrol in any one of the undergraduate or graduate studies offered by universities in Ireland, some universities and courses may require additional tests. Some of the other standardised tests accepted by universities in Ireland include:

Note: There can be separate tests conducted by the universities themselves, therefore, be aware of the different admission requirements specified by the universities before completing the application process.

Undergraduate Admission Requirements for International Students in Ireland

While admissions and the course admission requirements are defined by the university offering the programme, there are some general academic and administrative requirements for undergraduate admissions for international students in Ireland. Each specific course, degree or certificate will carry specifically designed course requirements that the international students will have to meet at the university level.

Here are some general guidelines and bachelors degree admission requirements for international students in Ireland.

  • Candidates should have passed the Class 12th or the equivalent before applying for a bachelors programme in the country.

  • Universities in Ireland also offer undergraduate admissions to students with an International Baccalaureate (IB) degree.

  • The minimum score requirement for undergraduate admissions in different disciplines will be specified by individual universities in the country.

  • Additionally, international students will also have to meet the English proficiency requirements as well, through tests like IELTS, TOEFL or other commonly accepted English Proficiency Tests in Ireland.

  • As part of the application process, applicants must also prepare and submit a Statement of Purpose or SOP, which outlines their reason for pursuing a particular course in a particular university.

It should be noted that the admission requirements of Irish Universities may not be much, thus, offering you a higher chance of being enrolled in one of the top universities in the world. However, low admission requirements do not result in low quality of education, as many of the universities in the country have been recognised as the best in the world.

Documents Required for Undergraduate Admissions in Ireland

Any undergraduate admissions in Ireland will require students to submit a set of documents proving their eligibility to the course and university. As an international student, you may be required to provide additional documents to support your claim of eligibility. Here are some of the documents that you may be required to submit.

  • All mark sheets from Class 10th leading to class 12. Provisional certificates in case the exams are yet to be conducted or the results are yet to be released.

  • A copy of your passport. Make sure your passport is valid before applying for a college or university in Ireland.

  • IELTS/TOEFL Test score card.

  • Statement of Purpose.

  • Certificates received for extra-curricular activities if any.

  • Birth Certificate (rarely requested by universities)

Note: The documents listed above are the general documents that are submitted by students to universities in Ireland. Each university, however, will define and list down the document requirements for international students to undergraduate courses.

Graduate/Postgraduate Admission Requirements in Ireland

Similar to undergraduate programmes, admissions to graduate programmes in Ireland are done based on the academic merit of the student. However, a combination of academic merit with valid test scores and other masters admission criteria in Ireland will result in your enrolment at one of the top universities in Ireland. Listed below are a few of the graduate admission requirements in Ireland, that you may have to meet.

  • A valid undergraduate or a bachelors degree, obtained from a recognised degree-conferring institution. The intricate details of the degrees accepted at the university will be specified by the university you are applying to.

  • A minimum score of 50%-60% or higher should be obtained in the final exams of the undergraduate level. However, this requirement will vary between institutions in Ireland and candidates are advised to read through the admission requirements of each university individually.

  • All international students hailing from non-English speaking must attempt a valid English Proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or any other recognised test. English proficiency test scores are also important for an international student’s Irish student visa application.

  • Among the standardised tests accepted at Irish universities, it may be necessary to attempt either a GRE or a GMAT, depending on the course and university requirements. Again, we recommend going through the individual university graduate admission requirements before applying for any admission processes.

  • A properly structured and formatted Statement of Purpose and a Letter of Recommendation will also be required along with the application form. Each university will specify its SOP or LOR requirement, such as its format, content and other parameters.

As stated above, the admission criteria for graduate studies in Ireland will be low, similar to that of undergraduate admissions. The academic merit of the student and their ability to continue their studies in the country will determine if they will be enrolled in the courses offered by Irish universities.

Documents Required for Graduate/Postgraduate Admissions in Ireland

To complete the graduate admission process in Ireland, students will have to submit a list of documents for the university to consider their eligibility for a programme or degree. Here are some of the few general documents that you will need to submit.

  • Academic transcripts from Class 10 to the last semesters of your bachelor or undergraduate study.

  • Degree certificates or provisional certificates can be accepted by universities in the country if you are yet to take the final tests or receive the final certifications. The regulations regarding this will vary between different universities.

  • Students can submit their application forms without their Bachelor or undergraduate transcripts, provided they are able to submit the same at a later date to the university. Academic transcripts are important for a student’s admission to any programme at a university.

  • A minimum of 2 recommendation letters, either from your previous university or place of work may be required by universities in the country. Along with the LORs, students will also have to structure and submit their Statement of Purposes as well.

  • If possible, students should submit a work experience letter along with their application form.

  • Certificates of extra-curricular activities.

  • Birth Certificate (Rarely asked by universities in Ireland but keeping them handy can be beneficial).

Note: The documents listed above are just a few of the necessary documents requested by universities across Ireland. However, each university will specify its own documents required for graduate admissions. Therefore, seek guidance or read through the admission requirements of each individual university before applying.

Mistakes to Avoid While Applying for Admissions in Ireland

A range of instructions, an unfamiliar education system and admission system and a stressful situation can lead to various mistakes that you should avoid while applying for admissions in Ireland. These mistakes can cost you your application and chance at studying at one of the top universities in the world. Here are some of the common mistakes made by students when applying for admissions to universities in Ireland.

  • Not Having Enough Information: It is our first and most important recommendation to any student applying to universities, to always keep themselves well informed and updated with the admission information. They can take advantage of our services to be in the loop of all admission-related information and guidance. However, the lack of information can lead to students either missing out on crucial admission information, thus, even leading to having their application rejected.

  • Completing Everything Quickly: While completing everything quickly can help reduce your time, it can increase your chances of making more mistakes, some that can lead to the rejection of your Admission application. It is important to take your time, go through the instructions posted by the university first, the document and admission requirements as well as other admission guidelines before completing your application form.

  • Being Unorganised: An important factor to the success of an application to a university in Ireland is being organised. This includes keeping all your documents up to date and in hand, scheduling your test dates, application deadlines and document submission deadlines among other things, in check.

  • Not Reviewing Your Application: Before finally submitting your application form and documents such as Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation, not reviewing them may reduce your chances of admission to the university of your choice. Spelling and grammar mistakes, or even adding information that should not be included, can be a step away from success. Review all your documents carefully, especially your application form, statement of purpose and letters of recommendation before submitting them.

  • Not Seeking Help From Our Counsellors: While it is empowering to complete the entire admission process without seeking help from anyone, our study abroad counsellors can reduce the stress and hassles you will face while applying for admissions abroad. Their in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of helping students apply to universities across the globe will help your admission process go smoother and more efficiently.

FAQs on Admission Procedure To Study in Ireland in 2024

What is the tuition fee in the top universities in Ireland for graduate/doctoral international students?

Students wishing to pursue a graduate or doctorate programme in Ireland will be asked to shell out anywhere between EUR 9,000 and EUR 40,000 per year, depending on the type of course and the programme they choose.

How much bank balance is required for an Ireland student visa?

Student visa applicants who want to study in Ireland need to show proof that they have access to at least EUR 20,000 in addition to course fees.

What are the requirements to study masters in Ireland?

To study master's in Ireland, it is usually necessary to have a bachelor's degree in either science, engineering, or information technology to study in universities.

What tests are required for graduate admissions in Ireland?

Depending on the course you have selected, an Irish university may require either a GRE or a GMAT for admission to graduate programs. However, check out the individual university graduate admission requirements or seek guidance from our study abroad experts on the important parameters of an Irish graduate admission process.

What English Proficiency tests are accepted by Ireland Universities?

Universities across Ireland accept a range of English proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Cambridge Advanced, etc, for the purpose of undergraduate or graduate admissions. However, each university will specify the minimum score requirement and which tests are accepted by them.

What documents do I need to submit when applying for higher education in Ireland?

There are several documents that need to be submitted to a university for the purpose of completing your admission process to study in Ireland. Some of these documents include all academic transcripts from Class 10-12 or bachelor (for masters, copy of passport, IELTS/TOEFL test score report, etc. Our counsellors can guide you through the documents that are needed for undergraduate and graduate admissions in Ireland.

How do I apply for master's courses in Ireland?

To apply for master's courses in Ireland, interested candidates must visit the official website of the university of their choice. Students can also choose to avail themselves of our intricate admission services that guide them through your application and admission process in Ireland.

How do I apply for admissions to bachelor's courses in Ireland?

To apply for Bachelor's courses in Ireland, students can either visit the official website of the university offering the course of their choice or avail of our specialised admission services to enroll in one of the top universities in Ireland.

What is the main admission intake in Ireland?

The main or most common admission intake in Ireland is the Fall or Autumn Semester, with universities offering the most courses during this session. Only a limited number of programmes are offered in the Spring Semester.

How many admission intakes are present in Ireland universities?

Universities in Ireland commonly accept applicants through two intakes, i.e. the Autumn/Fall Semester and Spring Semester.

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