PhD in Ireland: A Comprehensive Guide to PhD in Ireland for International Students Image
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PhD in Ireland: A Comprehensive Guide to PhD in Ireland for International Students

Yocket Editorial Team
7 mins read

One of the many benefits of studying in Ireland is the academic excellence and stellar research facilities. This makes pursuing a PhD program in Ireland very rewarding and a great learning experience. Many top universities in Ireland offer PhD programs in diverse fields ranging from arts & design to sciences. If you are someone considering pursuing a PhD in Ireland, we have a guide just for you. Read on to find the best universities in Ireland for PhD along with other essential information that can help you get started.


Table of Contents:


  1. Why Study PhD in Ireland?
  2. An Overview of the PhD Program in Ireland
  3. Eligibility & Admission Requirements for PhD in Ireland
  4. Documents Required for PhD in Ireland
  5. Application Process for a PhD in Ireland
  6. Scholarships & Cost of PhD in Ireland
  7. Top Universities in Ireland for PhD
  8. Frequently Asked Questions About PhD in Ireland


Why Study PhD in Ireland?

Studying PhD from a well-recognized university matters as it helps in shaping your career opportunities better. Let’s understand why Ireland is the ideal country to pursue this program:


  • Popular Choice: PhD is one of the most popular programs in Ireland. The reason for its demand is high-quality teaching, excellent research facilites, recognized universities, and affordable education.
  • Structured Programs: The structured PhD programs in Ireland are conducted in partnership with non-academic bodies and enterprise stakeholders. Apart from providing research knowledge, the program offers skill development to practice the research in real-time.
  • Placement Opportunities: Ireland is home to multiple well-established multinational companies. Hence the career opportunity for PhD students remains high.


Now that we know the benefits of completing a PhD from Irelan, let us take a look at the structure of a PhD program in Ireland.


An Overview of the PhD Program in Ireland


The length of a  standard full-time PhD in Ireland takes about 3-4 years. During this time students work under an academic supervisor in their school or research institute. Apart from the main supervisor there may also be a secondary supervisor and  a supporting supervisory panel  that monitors  the research work.


Apart from regular PhD programs, students in Ireland can also pursue structured PhD programmes. These programs allow researchers to engage with a non academic entity such as industry partners. Such programs have a practical outlook for a more professional development.


Here is a quick brief on what PhD in Ireland for international students looks like:


Length of the Program

3-4 years


9,950- 34,500 EUR/year

Mode of Study

Part-time and Full-time

Popular PhD. Study Areas

Studio Art, Governance, Philosophy, Education, Law, Political Science,Psychology, Sociology, etc.

Top Universities


Having understood the structure and pattern of PhD in Ireland, next let us take a look at the admission requirements and eligibility.


Eligibility & Admission Requirements for PhD in Ireland


PhD in Ireland for international students differs with regard to the admission requirements. We have covered the most common requirements that remain standard in almost all universities in Ireland.


The main eligibility requirements  for PhD in Ireland are:

  1. Masters Degree
  2. English Language Proficiency
  3. Work Experience
  4. Visa Requirements


Let us now take a look at each one of them individually:


  1. A Masters Degree


To study PhD in Ireland, students need to complete their Master’s degree. The degree can be pursued in any research area. Apart from this proof of any relevant research skills is also considered. Few universities also accept a 2.1 honors degree from either an Irish or other universities.


  1. English Language Proficiency


Non-EU students are required to take an English language proficiency test to study PhD in Ireland. It is mandatory to meet the below-listed score requirements:



  1. Work Experience


For students looking to pursue PhD programs but have low academic scores, your professional work experience will make you eligible.


  1. Visa Requirements


Students wanting to study PhD in Ireland need to procure a student visa. You should  apply for the visa at least three months in advance before you decide to travel to Ireland.


SUGGESTED: Find out all about procuring an Ireland Student Visa


REMEMBER: Students wanting to pursue full-time PhD in Ireland are initially registered for a Full-time Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree. After completing an assessment in the first year, they are upgraded for a PhD degree.


Now that you know the eligibility requirements, we can take a look at the documents needed for applying to a PhD program.


Documents Required for PhD in Ireland


To make the process of pursuing PhD in Ireland for Indian students easier, the below documents are required:


  • Copies of all academic certifications (Masters and Bachelors)
  • 2 coloured passport size photos
  • Copy of the current and previous passports (if any)
  • Signed application letter stating your contact details and reasons to study PhD in Ireland
  • Acceptance letter from the university you’ve applied to
  • Proof of any educational gaps
  • Proof of fee payments
  • Proof of funds that signifies your financial condition whilst living in Ireland
  • Medical insurance


Once your documents are ready, you can now apply for a PhD Program. We have discussed the stepwise process below:


Application Process for a PhD in Ireland


To apply for a PhD program in Ireland, follow the below-listed admission process:


  1. Find a supervisor: Reach out to the supervisors in your chosen university via email. Introduce yourself and include important details such as your academic achievements, reasons to choose them as your supervisor, and why you wish to pursue a PhD in the selected subject.
  2. Application form: Once your supervisor agrees to work with you, you will be required to fill and submit an online or offline application form.
  3. Create a research proposal: Create a research proposal of about 1500- 2000 words outlining the research topic you are interested in, hypothesis and the aim of the research.
  4. Transcripts: Submit your undergraduate transcripts and graduate transcripts.
  5. References: Students need to submit 2 or more references
  6. Submit Application: Submit all the required documents and research proposal to the university along with the application form.



Every university may have a different set of research proposals or document requirements. Make sure you visit the university website to learn about the application details and deadlines.

Scholarships & Cost of PhD in Ireland


After having discussed the other aspects of admission to PhD in Ireland, let us now take a look at the cost aspect:


Cost of PhD in Ireland


For students pursuing PhD programs in Ireland, the fee structure depends  on two factors:

  • University/ Institution
  • PhD program chosen
  • Mode of study (part-time vs. full-time)


As compared to the students from EU, Non-EU students pay a higher fee for PhD programs which may range from 9,000- 30,000 EUR per year.


The cost of the program also varies among certain fields. For example, pursuing PhD in subjects such as Science, Engineering and Technology can be slightly more expensive than for Arts and Humanities subjects.


SUGGESTED: What is the Cost of Living in Ireland for International Students?


PhD Scholarships List in Ireland


To pursue a PhD program in Ireland, there are multiple scholarship opportunities available for Non- EU students. We’ve listed the top ones below:


  1. IRC – ESO Studentship Programme Irish Research Council: It offers PhD scholarships for postgraduate and research studies. Students can avail an annual  stipend of 25,000 EUR. It also covers an annual research expenses of 4,500 EUR and  contribution to fees of up to 5,750 EUR.
  2. Government of Ireland – International Education Scholarships (GOI-iES): The scholarship is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Students receive an amount of 10,000 EUR for one study year and can be used to cover the cost of studying and living.
  3. Enterprise Partnership Programme: Students are connected to top enterprises who fund their education. The amount offered can be up to  24,000 EUR per year that includes scholarship stipend, research fund and fees.
  4. Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Funding : This scholarship is applicable  to any student across the globe. It offers partial funding for technical subjects.
  5. University Scholarships: Universities in Ireland also offer scholarships for international students. This information is available on their official website.


SUGGESTED: What are the top scholarships in Ireland for International Students?


Top Universities in Ireland for PhD


Now that you have the complete information required to pursue a  PhD program in Ireland, we have covered the top universities in Ireland  that you should consider.


  1. Trinity College Dublin
  2. Technology University Dublin
  3. University College Dublin
  4. University of Limerick
  5. University College Cork


Now, let us take a look at each of these universities individually:


  1. Trinity College Dublin


Trinity College Dublin is one of the top preferences to pursue a PhD program due to its high ranking. They offer multiple PhD programs in subjects such as business, science, arts, and more. TCD is well known for its PhD programs as they help students learn the right researching skills that can benefit them in their careers after this.


QS Rank


Average Annual Tuition Fees

3000- 8800 EUR

Popular Subject Areas

Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Health Science and Technical Subjects


  1. Technology University Dublin


Technology University Dublin’s PhD programs are created to enhance students’ knowledge on the subject better as well as develop skills. The university has a population of 29,000 students across 100 countries. TUD offers three types of doctorate programs, International, PhD bridging, and programs for visiting research students.


QS Rank


Average Annual Tuition Fees

6000- 9000 EUR

Popular Subject Areas

Environment, Energy & Health, Information, Communications & Media Technologies, New Materials & Devices, and Society, Culture & Enterprise


  1. University College Dublin


UCD has been a research-intensive university for the past 160 years. The total number of PhD students associated with UCB is 1,666 and the number continues to grow. To enhance PhD learning in students, UCD helps to develop transferable and research skills via modules, online modules, and workshops.


QS Rank


Average Annual Tuition Fees

6,000 - 31,000  EUR

Popular Subject Areas

Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Governance, Veterinary Medical Specialization


  1. University of Limerick


The University of Limerick currently has 8 fully partial as well as fully funded programs for PhD students. They offer full-time as well as part-time programs that will suit the needs of PhD students. UL offers multiple PhD programs that cater to all specializations such as sociology, economics, medical, and much more.


QS Rank


Average Annual Tuition Fees

11,000 -14,000  EUR

Popular Subject Areas

Accounting, Finance, Economics, Law, Psychology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Arts & Design


  1. University College Cork


UCC is ranked high for its PhD programs. UCC supports research students by awarding them with different research-based titles such as researcher of the year and more. Every PhD program offered by UCC ensures that students are able to grasp theoretical knowledge and apply the same in real-time.


QS Rank


Average Annual Tuition Fees

10,000 -22,000 EUR

Popular Subject Areas

Social Science, Social work, Arts


We hope that you now have all the information you need about pursuing a doctoral degree in Ireland. Before we wrap up this blog, we would like to address a few commonly asked questions about PhD in Ireland:


Frequently Asked Questions About PhD in Ireland


  1. Is it worth doing a PhD in Ireland?

Ans. Yes, it is as PhD is one of the most considered programs in Ireland. Students pursuing PhD have access to quality research facilities and industry exposure.


  1. How long is a PhD in Ireland?

Ans. The PhD program offered in Ireland takes about 3-4 years to complete.


  1. Is PhD free in Ireland?

Ans. PhD is not free in Ireland. Non-EU Students may have to pay anywhere between 9,000- 30,000 EUR per year.


  1. How to fund a PhD in Ireland?

Ans. Students can avail many scholarships and grants for funding their PhD. These scholarships may be provided by the university, government or non government entities.


Pursuing PhD in Ireland for Indian students and other international students can be a great career opportunity. With an affordable fee structure, availability of grants & scholarships and well-ranked universities, studying in Ireland can pave the way for a promising future. With the information provided above, analyze and choose the program and university which fits your requirements the best.

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