Ireland flag

Study in Ireland


Ireland has a long and rich history attached to its educational institutions and is a European Union member country that has a majorly English speaking population. In 2019, Ireland was ranked #16 as the happiest nation in the world by the United Nations. Growing vastly, the economy of Ireland is ranked 6th with regards to competitiveness, in the world. There are 1000+ companies’ headquarters in Ireland.

The government of Ireland has spent a great deal on the educational facilities in the country, leading to a well-equipped education system. Around 35,000 international students from 160+ countries enjoy the vibrant culture of Ireland. The majority of international students in Ireland are from China, Malaysia, America, Canada, India, and Saudi Arabia. Health-care related courses are a popular choice of these students.

The government of Ireland allows students to stay in the country until a year or two after the students have completed their course to look for employment in the country. Along with many reasons to study in Ireland one is safety. Ireland is generally regarded as a safe country, with almost no instances of violence against international ethnic minorities studying in the country.

Education System

Universities, Institutes of Technology, and Colleges of Education collectively form a form part of higher education institutions in Ireland. Refer to the table below to understand the key points about these.

Universities Colleges Institutes of Technology
8 in number and State-funded Some have links with universities helping accrediting qualifications 11 institutes of technology
Generally autonomous Some also offer Quality and Qualifications Ireland accreditation Engineering, CS, Business, Catering related courses
Offer Ordinary Bachelors and Honours Bachelor’s degree, Masters, Doctoral degrees Offer Professional Vocational training and Business-related courses, Postgraduate diploma

Offer Higher Certificates, Ordinary Bachelors, Honours Bachelors, Postgraduate Diploma,

Few offer Doctoral degrees as well

The courses that are rated under the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) network are all internationally accepted professional courses and they are quality assured by the Irish government.

There are six types of major award available in to study in Ireland . These are mentioned below.

  • NFQ Level 7: Ordinary Bachelor Degree (3 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 8: Honours Bachelor Degree (3-4 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 8: Higher Diploma (1-year duration).
  • NFQ Level 9: Postgraduate Diploma (1-year duration).
  • NFQ Level 9: Masters Degree (1-2 years duration).
  • NFQ Level 10: Doctoral Degree (approximately 4-years duration).

In Ireland, degree program courses that lead to any of the awards are mentioned below.

  • Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  • Honors Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral degree

As an international student in Ireland, one can only go higher on the NFQ network and not lower, so if one wants to change courses, can only do so for higher-level courses and in very rare cases, within the same level.

For eligible non-EEA students, a list of courses (Interim List of Eligible Programmes) has been provided by Ireland higher education to which students can enroll in full time. The list of higher education institutes to study in Ireland can be found here.

Top Courses

Popular Courses to study in Ireland

  • Almost all colleges/universities in Ireland offer degrees in Business administration (MBA or MS in Business) along with courses for Human Resource management.
  • Other popular courses to study in Ireland include MS and M.Sc. in Computer Science and Masters in Education.
  • MS and M.Sc. in Data Analytics
  • M.Sc. in Big Data Management
  • MEng in Digital and Medical Technologies
  • Apart from a Masters in education, all the courses will be extremely useful all over the EU, while the aforementioned course is mostly for setting up an education career in Ireland.

Admission Process

  • The admission requirements to study in Ireland are dependent on individual universities.
  • The same university may have different requirements for different courses.
  • In some cases such as studying graduate courses in Medicine, students may need to pass an entrance examGAMSAT
  • Academic requirements also differ with each university to study a bachelor's course, usually, students are graded on their six best subject scores. The International Bacculaureate (IB) Diploma is also accepted as meeting the minimum entry requirement
  • For undergraduate studies to study Medicine in Ireland, it is advised to contact the International Office of the target college.

For proving English proficiency for academic courses, the following set of exams are accepted by Irish institutions.


Exam Title   Required Results for UG Required marks for PG  
Irish Leaving Certificate in English Ordinary level grade D Ordinary level grade D
GCSE English Language Grade C Grade C
GCE O-Level English Language Grade C Grade C
University of Cambridge Pass in Use of English Examination Pass in Use of English Examination
TOEFL - 220 (computer-based test) 550 (paper-based test)
IELTS A band score of 6.0-6.5 with no less than 6.0 band in any one component A band score of 6.0-6.5 with no less than 6.0 band in any one component
Cambridge Proficiency Grade C Grade C
Cambridge Advanced Grade A Grade C
ARELS oral examinations Pass Pass
ETAPP Grade C1 Grade C1
PTE Academic Minimum score of 36

Minimum score of 63


In general, the following are the requirements to study in Irish institutions:

  • IELTS 6.5 and above
  • GRE may be required

Research proposal for Masters and Ph.D. admissions is required

Cost of Attendance

The major cost of studying in Ireland is due to tuition fee. It depends on the program a student chooses. For non- EU/EEA students, Undergraduate course fees in Ireland range from 10,000 to 25,000 EUR per year. For Masters and Doctorate degrees, it lies between 9,000 to 35,000 EUR per year.

International students in Ireland also need to pay some other charges for student services and other school-related activities. This reaches up to 3,000 EUR per year. Additionally, a student planning to study for more than 90 days in Ireland needs to register for GNIB. The registration charges are EUR 300.

You can read all you need to know about field wise tuition fees in Ireland, university-specific costs, city-wise cost of living, daily expenses, and a few tips about saving some money while studying as an international student in Ireland.

Best student cities

Popular Cities to study in Ireland

Few cities house all the higher education institutes, viz. Dublin, Galway, Cork, Maynooth, and Limerick. Out of all these cities Dublin has the highest density of universities and is also the most expensive city to live in.


Applying for a student visa is quite a time-consuming process as it may take up to 8 weeks in certain cases, requires some meticulous form filling and documents.

  • You can apply for a study visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland.
  • The course that you are going to pursue must be included in the Internationalisation Register administered by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) (Visit for more information) and is a part of Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP).
  • The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland to attend courses at degree level is limited to seven years.
  • Students may apply for a visa to study in Ireland through the Irish Embassy in India.
  • If a student wishes to pursue studies for more than 3 months, he will be requiring a type 'D' visa.

The stepwise process to apply for a visa to study in Ireland is mentioned below:

A student is advised to go through the official link of the Irish Government website to know step by step procedure; right from knowing which visa to apply for to instructions on planning travel to Ireland. The overview of it is mentioned below:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent
  • Provide a passport-sized photo
  • Ensure your passport is valid for 12 months
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pay your visa fee and other charges for booking appointments.
  • Provide a signed letter of application which explains why you require the visa
  • A Letter of Acceptance from the Irish university, college, or school, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education, involving a minimum of 15 hours of organized daytime tuition each week.
    • This letter must name you (the applicant) and verify the title/duration of the course
    • It should also confirm the amount of fees payable for your course, and that this amount has been paid.
    • If the college has taken medical insurance on your behalf, details of this must be present in this letter of acceptance. If it is not arranged by the college, you must organize this yourself and provide evidence with your application.
  • Make sure to keep copies of all documents submitted.
  • Check out the list of all documents needed to apply for a Visa.
  • Additional registeration fees of EUR 3000 is required.
  • Once in Ireland, the student has to register with the GNIB. The GNIB will issues a residence permit/GNIB card. The fee for this card is 300 Euros.

The fees for Irish visas is mentioned in the table below.

Type of entry Fees
Single entry INR 4100
Multi entry INR 6800
Transit Visa INR 1700
VFS Service charges for other nationals INR 1700

Required language proficiency scores

  • The English language proficiency, through these tests, are mandatory visa requirements. However, the lower limits of the scores for visa issuance and admittance into the university will be different most of the time.
  • The minimum requirement for visa issuance is as follows.
  • IELTS Academic: 5.0 minimum score
  • TOEFL: Minimum score of: 173 (Computer-based), 61 (Internet-based), 500 (Paper-based)

Visa processing time

  • Normal Student Processing takes around 4-6 weeks
  • ‌Through Approval in principle scheme the processing time is 5-7 weeks.

Approval in Principle Scheme

Under this scheme, applicants for a study visa from India, who have been accepted to a QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) approved course, can apply for a study visa without having to pay the requisite college fees in advance.

  • On arrival to Ireland, the student needs to do residence permit registration for rest of the visa formalities.
  • He/she needs to submit a ‘Declaration’ stating that the candidate shall be coming back to India after completion of program.
  • Single entry visa from India fees is 60 EUR, Multi entry after reaching Ireland 100 euros has to be paid.

Checking on your visa status

  • You can check online to see if your visa has been processed (using your Visa Application Number). This list is updated weekly.
  • If you get approval for a visa, the Embassy to which you sent your documents will affix a visa to your passport.

If you are refused a visa you may appeal the decision within 2 month

Top Scholarships

Given below is a set of universities, third parties and government institutions that offer scholarship opportunities to international students wanting to pursue their studies abroad.

List of scholarships for Study Abroad for Fall/Spring 2020.

  • GyanDhan Scholarship

Work Opportunities

As being a student in Ireland, you no longer requires a work permit for being employed informally for working 20 hours/week during the course and 40 hours/week during the vacation period (during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15th December to 15th January inclusive).

If possible, it is best if a student gets employed within the university campus, which cuts down the costs for travelling and makes more time available for the student to be within the university and hence, study longer for ones degree.

Working part time with full time course
International students enrolled for full-time courses, that are recognized by the IDES, do not require an additional work permit to work in the country. However, they do need to have the proper documentation to be able to gain employment.

According to Education Ireland's official portal, all international students equipped with a valid immigration stamp 2 are permitted to work 40 hours/week in Ireland, but only between June to September, and from December 15 to January 15 (holidays). During the rest of the year, international students holding the valid work document can work 20 hours/week (college days). All students are allowed to work till the expiration of the Immigration permission Stamp 2.

Students who wish to take up work in Ireland must obtain a Personal Public Services Number (PPS Number). An employer can only pay employees with a PPS number, and funds will usually only be paid to an Irish bank account. Students will also be required to comply with the Universal Social Contribution (USC), Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI), employment laws and taxation requirements.

It is normal to have a trial period before you are permanently hired. Ireland’s minimum wage is €9.15 per hour.

What kind of jobs can international students find?

1. Part-time jobs

As a part time job, you can take up a basic job, like serving at cafe or restaurant, working on campus, etc. The purpose of these jobs is just to earn a little extra money in your free time.

It is very difficult for a student with no experience to get a job even though it’s a part-time job in Ireland. The best way to get a part time job is for someone who was/is working at the establishment to recommend you for the post that you are applying for. Ireland is relatively small with sparse population, making it very difficult to find part time jobs. The best thing a student can do for reducing the economic burden while studying in Ireland, is to tutor for subjects that one is good at. If one is exceptionally good at the subject, the mentor of the course could employ one for teaching assistantships, which pay well and one doesn’t lose touch over the subject because one is constantly learning instead of doing menial jobs.

2. Internships

Students enrolled on courses on the Degree Programme are allowed to undertake an internship where this forms part of their programme. This is subject to the following rules.

The internship or work placement part of the programme cannot exceed 50% of the duration of the programme. In addition, the employment cannot be in a self employed capacity.

Work placements as part of an academic programme must form an integral part of the programme which contributes to the final award.

Educational facilities must also ensure that the placements are suited to the programme being pursued.

3. Working post-completion of the degree

An international student who has finished his/her course is allowed to work in Ireland informally (40 hrs/week) till the time he/she finds formal employment , for a period of one year after the completion of the degree for a NFQ 8 level course and above. The student must have chosen a course with possible relevant experience for a job from the high skills list of jobs for Ireland.

The technology industry is booming in Ireland as a lot of the major companies, like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, etc., have established headquarters in cities like Dublin and Cork. Therefore, for IT related fields, it is relatively easier to get a job due to abundance of available positions and not enough qualified people to fill these positions.

Therefore, Ireland is a good option for students who want to pursue these fields.


1. Do Irish Universities accept the 10+2+3 education system in India?

Yes, the Irish Universities accept the 10+2+3 system for masters programs.

2. Can international students work in Ireland?

The Post-Study Pathways for international student’s scheme allows legally resident Non-EU third level graduates to remain in Ireland and search for employment or apply for a green card work permit. During their approved stay a student can work full time, i.e up to 40 hours per week.

3. Is studying in Ireland expensive?

The tuition fees you pay in Ireland varies depending on which university you study.

4. Can I bring along some family members during my studies in Ireland?

For non-EEA students, there exist no rights to bring their family members along with them during studies. The family members can apply on their own but their association with the studying student is not considered. However, PH.D. students or other students who show proof of enough funds to support their family can be exempted from this rule.

5. Which visa stamp doesn’t let students work in Ireland?

Students with stamp 2A are not allowed to work part-time in Ireland.

6. Can I change my course while studying in Ireland?

You can but only after completing one academic year but it has to belong to either same or higher level.

7. Can I change my course from full-time to part-time while studying in Ireland?

No, you cannot do this in Ireland.

8. What amount of funds are required to enter Ireland?

A student needs to show proof of EUR 7000 to get visa D approval.

9. Which is the minimum level an international student can apply to study in Ireland?

At or above NFQ level 6, non-EEA students can apply for studying in Ireland.

10. Is there a limit on study time in Ireland?

Yes, non-EEA students can study for a maximum time of 7 years in Ireland. Medical students, PH.D. Students or students under special conditions such as illness are exempted from this requirement.

11. What should I do if I am confused about applying during application process to an HEI directly or through CAO?

It is advised to contact the admission office of the HEI. It is best if inquiries are sent well before February 1. Only EE/EU students can apply through CAO.

12. Where can I read about tax reliefs on tuition fees in Ireland?

You can follow the link to know all about tax relief conditions.

13. Do I need a work permit to work as a student in Ireland?

For an Irish Department of Education and Skills recognized courses with length more than a year, a student need not obtain a work permit while studying in Ireland.

14. How many hours can I study and work in Ireland as a student?

If a student has immigration permission stamp 2, he can work 20 hours per week while classes are on. During June, July, August, September and 15th December to 15th January, he can work for 40 hours per week.

15. What is the minimum length of study program during which I can study and work in Ireland?

A student must be enrolled in a program on or above NFQ Level 7 of at least 1-year length recognized by the Minister of Education & Skills.

16. Do I need to register somewhere after I reach Ireland to study?

If you are a non-EU student, and coming to Ireland for studies for more than 90 days you will need to register with GNIB.

17. Is there any registration charge for GNIB?

Yes, 300 EUR is required to register with GNIB. The registration expires each year which needs renewal. It can be renewed for a maximum of 3 years.

18. Do I need a new visa to travel outside Ireland while studying?

Yes. You need to apply for a re-entry visa to enter Ireland once leaving the country for a short time. This can be applied through the post. Your student visa allows you to enter and leave Ireland only once.

19. Is there any range of coursework study hours for applying casual work in Ireland?

Yes, you must be getting tuition between 8 am to 6 pm per week. This applies for a minimum of 25 weeks per annum.

20. What is the minimum wage in Ireland?

It is EUR 9.15 per hour.

21. Do I need to register somewhere before starting to work in Ireland?

Yes, you will need a PPS number. Employers can pay you only if you have the number. You will also have to comply with the Universal Social Contribution (USC), Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI), employment laws, and taxation requirements.

22. Am I allowed to do an internship during studies in Ireland?

Yes, you can do an internship but its duration cannot exceed 50% of total program length. This also has to be part of the academic program and should contribute towards its completion.

23. Is it easy to find a part-time job in Ireland?

It is difficult for a student with no experience to get a job even though it's a part-time job in Ireland. The best way to get it is through someone who was/is working at the establishment to recommend you for the post of interest.

24. What is the best job I can do while studying in Ireland?

The best thing a student can do for reducing the economic burden while studying in Ireland is to tutor for subjects that one is good at.

25. Why is it difficult to find part-time jobs in Ireland?

Ireland is relatively small with a sparse population, making it very difficult to find part-time jobs.

26. Who cannot apply for a post-study work stay in Ireland?

Language programs and non-degree holders in Ireland are not allowed to apply for post-study pathways in Ireland.

27. What is the difference between Stamp 2 and Stamp 2A for Ireland?

One gets Stamp 2 Visa if one is allowed to work while studying in Ireland otherwise a Stamp 2A can be obtained.

28. Can I enrol in a non-degree course in Ireland?

It is not allowed for students who come to Ireland on a Degree Programme course to enroll in a Non Degree or Language Course.

29. What type of Masters can I apply for in Ireland?

There are two types of masters – research and taught.