Study in Ireland

Ireland is an increasingly popular destination for students from all over the world. The friendliness and hospitality for which Irish people are renowned, contributes to the simplicity with which overseas students who study in Ireland, adapt to the way of life and in particular, student life. Irish people have a great love of conversation and have a genuine interest in other people. Higher education institutions and universities in Ireland are judged by international standards and has the standard employment market for graduates. Overseas students receive a high quality education in a friendly environment. Ireland is a country with a great tradition and history and with an established reputation for its educational excellence. It has a unique and interesting culture, which retains many features of its ancient Celtic origins while also reflecting the influence of other traditions and trends.

Why are students choosing to study in Ireland?

  • An established culture of higher education
  • The right to work while on a student visa
  • A wide choice of courses available at universities in Ireland
  • Internationally recognised and respected qualifications
  • A multicultural base which makes integration easy
  • A young and vibrant population
  • Superb countryside and beautiful old cities
  • A buzzing musical and literary culture

The Higher Education System

There are seven universities in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland. The University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD), founded in 1592, is the oldest university in Ireland. The National University of Ireland (NUI) is a federal institute consisting of four constituent universities; University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Dublin; University College Cork, National University of Ireland Cork; National University of Ireland Galway and National University of Ireland Maynooth. NUI also has three recognised colleges: National College of Art and Design (NCAD), The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and St. Angela's College of Education. In addition to offering degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels, over a full range of disciplines, the universities and colleges also undertake research in many areas. Undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas are also available and universities are involved in continuing and distance education programmes (aimed mainly at Irish residents). Universities in Ireland offer degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a full range of disciplines. In addition, research is undertaken in many areas and the universities are also involved in continuing and distance education programmes. These factors all contribute towards making Ireland a great place to study. Teaching at undergraduate level is normally by way of a programme of lectures supplemented by tutorials and, where appropriate, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. Masters degrees are usually taken by coursework, research work or a combination of both. Back to top.

The Costs

Fees vary depending on the type of course you study and the university or institution you choose in Ireland. The following is a guideline for the tuition fees for 2003/2004 for undergraduate, non-E.U. students at a university in Ireland:

Course Fee (in Euro)

  • Medicine 25,000
  • Science/Engineering 13,000
  • Business 8,500
  • Music 12,000
  • Arts 10,000
  • Law 10,000

At an Institute of Technology, a non-E.U. student can expect to pay between €8,000- €9,000 per year in tuition fees. However, this may vary between institutions and depends on the type and level of course. At an independent college, a non-EU student can expect to pay between €7,000 and €9,000. Institutions should be contacted directly to obtain details on the cost of individual courses.

The cost of living in Ireland depends very much on the type of lifestyle you want -- where your accommodation is, how much you go out etc. but as a rough guide you should budget for something in the region of one thousand Euros a month to cover everything assuming you are staying in family-based accommodation.


Students who study in Ireland with a full student visa are permitted to work on a casual basis for up to 20 hours a week during course time, and full time during vacations, for the duration of their permitted stay. This earning potential makes it much more affordable for students who need to fund part of their studies through work, and Ireland’s thriving economy means that there are plenty of work possibilities.

Life in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973. It is a small independent nation situated on the West Coast of Europe, with a population of under four million people, with over 40 percent under the age of 25. The economy is currently experiencing an unprecedented boom, particularly in the well-developed manufacturing and international services sectors. For a number of years now the Irish economy has boasted the highest growth rate in the EU but it is for its exuberant people and wonderful culture, especially literary and musical, that it is most well-known and loved. Of course, the Guinness is also rather famous! Back to top.

The Country and Climate

Ireland is sometimes called ‘the Emerald Isle’ and for good reason; it has breathtakingly beautiful and unspoilt countryside, which provides an excellent natural habitat for a flourishing flora and fauna. Ireland's landscape provides a rich environment for the many outdoor leisure pursuits for which it is famous. Water sports, hill walking, rock climbing and caving are just a few of the many activities that can be enjoyed when needing a break from study. The coastline is stunning and the many small villages and towns make wonderful places to base a walk around. Ireland is easily accessible by both air and sea with excellent services to the United Kingdom, continental Europe and North America.

The temperate climate is influenced by the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream, in whose path the island lies. During the winter months temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon. The coldest and wettest months are December, January and February. July and August are the warmest months with mean temperatures of between 14C and 16C, rarely rising above 20C. Dublin enjoys reasonable sunshine, and rain belts reaching the east coast are frequently light and generally clear within a few hours. Back to top.

The Quick Regional Guide


Almost 60 percent of Irish people live in urban areas, with 1.2 million living in or around the capital city Dublin that is located on the east coast of the island. Dublin is a young, vibrant and cosmopolitan city where many nationalities are represented. A large variety of cultural attractions, musical entertainment venues, museums, art galleries, theatres, clubs and restaurants can be enjoyed in Dublin. The great cultural and nightlife scene and a brace of fine universities and colleges make it Ireland's top location for students.


This city is Ireland's most southerly and, many say, prettiest. Always an important seaport, it began on an island in the swampy estuary of the River Lee, and gradually climbed up the steep banks on either side.

Cork people have a very distinctive accent that's a favourite target of Irish comedians. With active markets and some of the country's best pubs, Cork is also a very prosperous business centre. The aged University College Cork has a fine academic reputation.


The City of the Tribes, Galway is a university town with a very young and international population. It's also home to a large Irish-speaking population, being close to the most vibrant Gaelic-speaking areas of the country, Connemara and the Aran Islands. These regions are also perhaps Ireland's prettiest.

Galway has a buzzing café society and culture scene as well as a lucrative high-tech industry - it could be described as Ireland's Seattle. University College Galway is a handsome campus, while the local Institute of Technology is well regarded, particularly for its catering and art programmes.


Scene of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela's Ashes, and a well-proven centre of rugby talent, Limerick developed as a port on the estuary of the River Shannon, Ireland's longest river. Both passenger and freight boats regularly sailed to North America from here, carrying impoverished Irish emigrants such as the author of Angela's Ashes himself, Frank McCourt.

Today, Limerick is enjoying something of a rebirth, leaving its negative image behind in favour of a bid to become European City of Culture in 2005. The University of Limerick is Ireland's newest campus and, along with nearby Shannon international airport, has attracted a lot of high-tech business to the city.

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