Ireland is located in Western Europe and is a neighbour to Northern Ireland (United Kingdom). Ireland is an island country and the capital city is Dublin. Ireland is a member of the European Union since 1973 and uses Euro as currency in contrast to the United Kingdom.
The higher education system in Ireland splits up into 7 universities, 4 colleges, 7 private higher education institutions and 14 technological universities which have a practical orientation. Third level institutions can award degrees but have to be certified by another higher education party or by the state agency 'Quality and Qualifications Ireland' (QQI).
As usual in the European higher education area, the degree-structure is three-tiered for the overwhelming part of the subjects/ programmes: bachelor (undergraduate), master and doctoral degrees (postgraduate).
In Institutes of Technology, you can achieve a National Certificate after two years and a National Diploma after three years. Both degrees aren’t academic degrees, but professional qualifications.
In this section, we highlight the overall performance of Irish universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The table below shows the national breakdown of Irish universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), versus below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture of the Irish strengths and areas for improvement.
It becomes apparent that in general Ireland’s higher education institutions perform particularly well in teaching & learning and regional engagement.
In Ireland, the tuition fees vary depending on the institution, study programme and level of study. Also, there is a difference between European Union (EU) citizens and non-EU citizens. Tuition fees can vary from 9,000 € up to 55,000 € per academic year. EU citizens don’t have to pay tuition fees for undergraduate programmes depending on some requirements. But they have to pay a yearly “Student Contribution Fee” in the amount of 3,000 €.
Reference year(s): 2020/2021
In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Ireland. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.
Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.
In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Ireland. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances. How these terms are defined, are outlined below:
Generally, to be admitted to a Bachelor’s degree in Irish higher education systems you need to possess a high school diploma and a proof of English proficiency.
For doing a Master’s degree in Ireland you have to submit a Bachelor’s diploma from an Irish university or from a university in another country as well as a proof of high-level competence in the English language.
As every university has its own requirements, for example, minimum grades or English competence level, it is the best way to have a look at the specific university you wish to study at.
No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Ireland. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa but you should obtain a residence permit at a local police office or at the Department of Justice and Equality (St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2).
All non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must have a visa for living and studying in Ireland. For a study visa, you have to show proof of full-payment of courses to the higher education system. You also have to demonstrate that you have a minimum of 7.000 € per year for living costs (because estimated living costs per academic year in Ireland are 7.000 €). As a student, you can only stay in Ireland for a maximum of 7 years. You can find more information here.
Here you can find the full Irish country report.