Study in Ireland: Everything You Need to Know

4 min read

Education & Career Trends: May 16, 2023
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

  • Excerpts are taken from an article published on

Ireland has over the years become a popular study-abroad destination. The country holds a reputation for providing higher education of the finest quality, one that is built on an unwavering commitment to excellence. Ireland is home to several prestigious universities that offer a range of programmes in natural sciences, technology, economics, and the humanities. Ireland is one of the top choices for studying abroad since the majority of courses are taught in English. This is beneficial news for international students who want to study there.

Getting a Bachelors’s or Master’s in Ireland is a great experience for your professional development, but more expensive than elsewhere in Europe. Of course, how much you ultimately pay will depend on a significant number of factors. 

Ireland, one of the EU’s fastest-growing economies and home to more than 1,500 multinational corporations (MNCs), including, to mention a few, Google, Facebook, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Amazon, offer attractive professional prospects.

Education System in Ireland

The country is broadly divided into Primary Education, Secondary Education and Tertiary Education. Tertiary Education is often referred to as pursuing higher education in Ireland which splits into 10 universities, 10 Institutes of Technology (IOTs) and 7+ private higher education institutions. Ireland follows the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The Irish education and training system uses a 10-level framework called the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) for categorising qualifications. The NFQ illustrates how the 10 levels of the framework are mapped against General Education Awards, Further Education and Training Awards, and Higher Education Awards.

NFQ LevelDurationDegree Programme
NFQ Level 73 yearsOrdinary Bachelor’s Degree
NFQ Level 84 yearsHonours Bachelor’s Degree
NFQ Level 81 yearHigher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
NFQ Level 91 yearPostgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
NFQ Level 91-2 yearsMaster’s Degree
NFQ Level 104 yearsDoctoral Degree

What are the Intakes Available in Ireland?

Semester 1 (September intake)February-July
Semester 2 (January intake)September-October

Why Study in Ireland?

1. Quality Education

Ireland has one of the best educational systems in the world. Irish universities are among the top 3% in the world, and employers across the world offer opportunities to their graduates. 

2. Research Opportunities

Irish universities are in the top 1% of research institutions in the world. Some of the world’s biggest and best companies have key strategic research facilities here and international students can join research programmes that are driving innovation and changing lives worldwide.

3. Career opportunities

Many leading global companies are located in Ireland and career opportunities are plentiful. It is especially good for careers in Software Development and IT, Engineering, Financial Services, Food and Agriculture, Medtech and Pharma.

4. Growing Economy

The Irish economy is one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone and the 6th most competitive in the world. It is an entrepreneurial country with global connections.

5. English language

English is the main language spoken and the global language of business and technology. Knowing how to read and write in English increases your marketability and gives you a big advantage if you’re aiming for a job in a multinational company or an English-speaking country.

Top Universities in Ireland

In this section, we are going to be talking about the top universities in Ireland.

UniversityQS World University Rankings – 2023Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Trinity College Dublin#98#161
University College Dublin#181#201-250
The National University of Ireland Galway#270#301-350
University College Cork#303#301-350
Dublin City University#471#401-500
The University of Limerick#531-540#601-800
Maynooth University#801-1000#401-500
Technological University Dublin#801-1000#1001-1200

Admission Requirements to Study in Irish Universities

Irish universities have one major enrolment season, which is the autumn intake in September. Some universities admit students for January sessions as well. For undergraduate courses, Irish universities accept applications through Central Applications Office (CAO) an online enrolment system. For postgraduate courses, candidates are required to apply directly to the university. The documents required as part of your admission requirements to Irish universities are as follows:

  • Academic Transcripts: Mark Sheets of Standard X, XII, and the bachelor’s degree (if applicable)
  • Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • If you have work experience then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional abilities
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Academic Resume
  • Portfolio (in case of students applying for art and design courses or architecture programs)
  • Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities)
  • Proof of funds
  • Health insurance
  • A copy of your passport

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Benefits of Studying in Australia as an International Student

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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