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

Yocket Editorial Team

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

Why Study PhD in Ireland?

Studying PhD from 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 facilities, 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 PhD programs Ireland 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.

Read: MBA in Ireland

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

Overview of PhD Program in Ireland

The length of a standard full-time PhD in Ireland is 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 programs. These programs allow researchers to engage with a non-academic entities, such as industry partners. Such programs have a practical outlook for more professional development.

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

Overview of PhD in Ireland

Read: Cost of Living in Ireland

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

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 for PhD that you should consider.

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Technology University Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick
  • University College Cork

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

  • 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 research skills that can benefit them in their careers after this.

QS Rank 2023


Average Annual Tuition Fees

3000 - 8800 EUR/ INR 2,38,809 - 7,00,000

Popular Subject Areas

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

  • 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 2023


Average Annual Tuition Fees

6000 - 9000 EUR/ INR 4,77,618 - 7,16,427

Popular Subject Areas

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

  • University College Dublin (UCD)

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 research skills via modules, online modules, and workshops. So chose this university to pursue PhD in Dublin. 

QS Rank 2023


Average Annual Tuition Fees

6,000 - 31,000 EUR/ INR 4,77,618 - 24,68,000

Popular Subject Areas

Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Governance, Veterinary Medical Specialization

  • 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 specialisations, such as sociology, economics, medicine, and more.

QS Rank 2023


Average Annual Tuition Fees

11,000 -14,000 EUR/ INR 8,75,633 - 11,14,442

Popular Subject Areas

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

  • University College Cork (UCC)

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

QS Rank 2023


Average Annual Tuition Fees

10,000 - 22,000 EUR/ INR 7,96,030 - 17,51,267

Popular Subject Areas

Social Science, Social work, Arts

Read: Ultimate Guide to Ireland Student Visa

Eligibility & Admission Requirements for PhD in Ireland

PhD in Ireland for international students differ 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 PhD requirements Ireland are:

  • Masters Degree
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Work Experience
  • Visa Requirements

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

  • 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 honours degree from either an Irish or other universities.

  • 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:

  • Work Experience

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

  • 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.

Read: Procuring an Ireland Student Visa

REMEMBER: Students wanting to pursue a 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 to 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

Read: Applying for Student Visa Ireland

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

How to apply for 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 for choosing 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, the 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 proposals 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.

Read: Cheap Universities in Ireland

Now you know how to apply for phd courses in Ireland. Next, let’s explore the…

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 the EU, Non-EU students pay a higher fee for PhD programs which may range from 9,000 - 30,000 EUR/ INR 7,16,427 - 23,88,090 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 Arts and Humanities subjects.

Read: Cost of Living in Ireland for International Students

Next, let’s explore…

PhD Scholarships in Ireland

Is it possible to pursue PhD in Ireland for Indian students with scholarships? To pursue a PhD program in Ireland, there are multiple PhD scholarships in Ireland opportunities available for Non- EU students. We’ve listed the top ones below:

  • IRC – ESO Studentship Program Irish Research Council: It offers PhD scholarships for postgraduate and research studies. Students can avail of an annual stipend of 25,000 EUR/ INR 19,90,090. It also covers annual research expenses of 4,500 EUR/ INR 3,58,213 and contributions to fees of up to 5,750 EUR/ INR 4,57,717.
  • 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/ INR 7,96,030 for one study year, which can be used to cover the cost of studying and living.
  • Enterprise Partnership Program: Students are connected to top enterprises that fund their education. The amount offered can be up to 24,000 EUR/ INR 19,10,472 per year, which includes a scholarship stipend, research fund, and fees.
  • Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Funding: This scholarship is applicable to any student across the globe. It offers partial funding for technical subjects.
  • University Scholarships: Universities in Ireland also offer Ireland PhD scholarships for international students. This information is available on their official website.

Read: Top Scholarships in Ireland for International Students

With this, you understand how to pursue PhD in Ireland with scholarship. We hope that you now have all the information you need about pursuing a doctoral degree in Ireland. Next, let’s explore the…

Career Opportunities after Studying PhD in Ireland

With PhD in Ireland, a student gets in-depth knowledge of the research techniques and practical experience. Therefore, there are various job roles in which a student can work after a PhD in Ireland, like process scientist, senior analytical development scientist, research scientist, etc. Besides, all students under the Third Level Graduate Program in Ireland are eligible for jobs. 

Following are the career opportunities after studying PhD in Ireland, along with the estimated salary. 

Job Field

Average Annual Salary

Executive Management and Change

EUR 74,000

Program and Project Management

EUR 56,000

Healthcare and Alternative Medicine

EUR 53,000

Legal Department

EUR 50,000

IT and Software Development

EUR 52,000

Read: Top Universities in Ireland for Masters

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, analyse, and choose the program and university which fits your requirements the best. In the process, if you need end-to-end expert guidance, connect with our counsellors by choosing Yocket premium services. 

Also Read: 

Cost of Studying in Ireland

PhD in Ireland

SOP for Ireland Visa 

Admission and Intakes in Ireland

Engineering in Ireland

Education in Ireland 


Frequently Asked Questions about PhD in Ireland

Is it worth doing a PhD in Ireland?

How long is a PhD in Ireland?

Is PhD free in Ireland?

How to fund a PhD in Ireland?

How many universities are there in Ireland to pursue PhD? 

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