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    Study in Ireland: Find Universities, Costs, Courses, Visa, Requirements, Scholarships

    Hitaishi Bhatia's profile photo

    Hitaishi Bhatia

    Study Abroad Expert

    One of the predominantly English-speaking European countries, Ireland is the 6th most competitive world economy that is quickly becoming the go-to destination for studying abroad. Currently, more than 44,000 international students from over 160 countries across the globe form the student population at higher education levels in the country (2020). With an enrollment rate of nearly 78%, it is a proud parent to the world's top 3% of universities in Ireland.

    With more than 5,000 courses to choose from, international applicants from diverse corners rush to Ireland to be part of the world's 20th best education system. The country has deservingly made itself recognised in the list of top countries for studying abroad like Canada, UK, USA and Germany. India was among the second largest senders of international students in Ireland after China (3,000).

    Renowned for its innovative research, rich culture and friendly, Ireland is one of the fastest growing economies with a high employment rate of over 90%. As per the recent employment reports, about 2.3 million people were employed in the country in the last quarter of 2019. It’s gradually decreasing unemployment rate is yet another feather to its cap that ensures a great deal of promise for international aspirants seeking to study in Ireland.

    Unemployment Rate Trends in Ireland from 2001 to 2019

    Why Study in Ireland?

    Honored as #16 most happiest countries to live in across the globe, Ireland is a growing economy that welcomes students from over 160 countries for higher education. The reasons for such strong fascination for the nation vary from it being a majority English-speaking European Nation with globally-acknowledged Irish institutes and curriculum to the generally welcoming nature of Irish people that helps one feel at home instantly and whatnot.

    If you are an international applicants seeking to study in the country, some essential points that you might want to take into consideration are as follows:

    1. Home to top 1% of universities renowned for research globally: Ireland ranks globally for research work in the field of Nano-Technology, Chemistry, Material Sciences and Mathematics. Research funding of up to 5 million EUR is offered to researchers globally viz. SFI Research Professorship Program.
    2. Scholarships to Aid your Expenses: Although the country is quite expensive as compared to the rest of Europe, however for a good living, students can obtain a range of government and private scholarships in Ireland which are available to bright students with evident interest in Research and can study in Ireland for free.
    3. 24-Month Stay Back Option: International students of postgraduate level have the option to stay back for 24 months to seek employment. This time allows the aspirants to plan their future prospects and look for their dream jobs in the meantime.
    4. Home to Big international businesses: Headquarter of international businesses such as Microsoft, Google, Apple and Dell are situated in the country who are always on a lookout for fresh talent. Hence, students have plenty of placement opportunities post completion of their degrees.
    5. Work and study in Ireland/Job opportunities: While student visas in many countries come with strict restrictions, visa in Ireland allows international candidates to work for 20 h/week during their course and up to 40 h/week during holidays. High employment rate of over 90% for many institutes is a sign of high post degree options for students.

    Study in Ireland: Top universities for international students

    Since Ireland has some of the most prestigious institutes to its credit offering array of programs at almost every possible level of education, it becomes highly important to ensure you find your perfect university and course match when looking to study abroad.

    To help with the process, we have compiled a list of the top universities in the country along with their corresponding rankings and student population statistics.

    Name of the institute THE World Rankings 2021 THE Ireland Rankings 2021 International Student Population
    Trinity College Dublin =155 1 30%
    RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences 201–250 2 65%
    University College Dublin 251–300 3 29%
    National University of Ireland, Galway 301–350 =4 17%
    University College Cork 301–350 =4 19%
    Maynooth University 401–500 6 12%
    Dublin City University 501–600 =7 10%
    University of Limerick 501–600 =7 19%
    Technological University Dublin 801–1000 9 18%

    Some of the top universities in the country along with their enrollment statistics are depicted in the graph below.

    Student Population across Major Universities in Ireland

    What to study in Ireland?

    The country offers more than 5,000 courses for international students ranging from the field of STEM to humanities and arts. Some of the majority favored programs among candidates across the globe include Data analytics, Business analytics, Data Science, Computer Science, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Mechanical Engineering, Digital Marketing, Public Health, among others.

    Masters in Ireland have a huge fascination especially among Indian applicants seeking to continue their higher education in Ireland.

    Top courses to study in Ireland

    Popular master's degrees and the perfect institute for the program that are highly popular among international students are mentioned as follows:

    Popular Program Best Ireland University for the course
    MS in Finance/Clinical Psychology Trinity College Dublin
    MSc in Computing Dublin City University
    Master’s of Education/Masters (MS) in Computer Science (Software Engineering) Maynooth University
    MS in Data Science & Analytics University College Cork
    MA in History/Masters in Business Administration (MBA) University College Dublin

    The pictorial representation of international students across various fields of education available in the country is as below.

    International Student Population across Different streams in Ireland

    How to study in Ireland: Application Process

    If you have decided to plan your application to enroll in an institute in Ireland, it is highly recommended to plan well and go through the process step-by-step to ensure no detail is missed out. For the ease of planning, an application process for the same is as compiled below.

    1. Explore your options: Since the country is home to hundreds of recognised universities offering more than 5,000 courses, it is important to choose an alternative suited best for your needs and pocket.
    2. Plan your finances: Since Ireland being a European nation can be highly expensive in terms of its tuition and other expenses, the fact that the deserving students can avail up to 100% scholarships in the country make it a worthwhile pursuit.
    3. Work on your application: Since the admission requirements for various institutes and their range of courses may vary, it is essential to take close note of their application process, fees and deadlines. Graduate aspirants are recommended to contact the professors they want to work under via email prior to submission of application.
    4. Submit your application: The country has 3 admission seasons that follow their respective deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to keep a close track of these deadlines and send in their applications at least 4 to 6 months prior to them to allow sufficient time for processing and applying for a visa.
    5. Apply for a study in Ireland visa: The entire process usually takes around 8 months so candidates are recommended to apply for a students visa as soon as their admission is confirmed in an institute. The applicants can apply for the visa at their nearest Iriish embassies 3 months before their arrival date.

    Study in Ireland Requirements

    Basic information regarding the admission process and eligibility requirements are as tabulated below.

    Where to apply At respective portals of the institute (Graduates can apply at common portal PAC for some institutes)
    Application Fee Varies (for PAC: 50 EUR)
    Basic Requirements Transcripts, Standardized Exams like GMAT/ GRE/ GAMSAT (for medical students)
    Additional Requirements Valid Visa, 2 letters of recommendation, Resume, Portfolio, Statement of Purpose
    English Language Requirements IELTS: 6.5 or above (or equivalent)

    When to study in Ireland: Application Cycle

    The University education system of Ireland is divided into 3 semesters that is usually observed by almost all the institutes in the country. The deadlines and process of application might vary for some organizations. The common application cycle along with corresponding details are as mentioned below.

    • Semester 1:
      • Deadline for Non-European students is in late July
      • While European applicants can apply until August.
      • The semester commences in September and ends in January.
    • Semester 2:
      • Deadline for Non-European applicants is in December.
      • For European Students is in January.
      • The semester commences in January and ends in May.
    • Semester 3:
      • Applications from Non-European students are accepted from September May to August.

    Study in Ireland Cost

    When seeking to study abroad, one of the major steps that need major planning and sorting is the expenses that must be met to survive in a foreign land. While an average amount of 11,500 to 25,000 EUR per semester is the estimated cost for living in Ireland, the exact expenses may vary depending on the choice of your program, university and city you live in.

    To help aid the process of financial planning, an estimated budget and distribution of expenses is as compiled below.

    How much does it cost to study abroad in Ireland?

    The major distribution of the fee as per the level of program and type of institute is as follows:

    Level of Education Tuition Fee (in EUR, per year)
    Undergraduate programs 9,850 to 25,500
    Postgraduate programs 9,500 to 34,500
    Doctoral degrees 9,500 to 34,500

    Ireland has a range of prestigious and affordable institutes to its credit. Some of the affordable organizations in the country include University of Limerick, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, St. Patrick’s College, among others. The basic tuition fee for the reputed institutes in the nation are tabulated below.

    Name of the institute Average Tuition Fee (in EUR, per year)
    Trinity College Dublin 9,918 to 19,592
    Maynooth University 7,460 to 7,789
    University College Dublin 5,250 to 9,947
    University College Cork 7,737
    National University of Ireland, Galway 6,000 to 9,000

    Some of the popular streams and their corresponding tuition fee common to most of the universities in Ireland is depicted in the graph below.

    Tuition Fees for Various Streams in Ireland

    Cost of Living

    The expenses comprising this category vary tremendously depending on the student's lifestyle and city one chooses to stay in. However, an average cost that you can expect to incur while studying in the country are as detailed below.

    Type of Expenses Cost (in EUR, per month)
    Accommodation 300 to 1200
    Utilities (like electric/gas/refuse) 30 to 50
    Meals 250 to 350
    Travel expenses (monthly bus ticket expense) 65 to 85
    Book & Supplies 75
    Cell phone 20
    Personal expenses (specifically social & sports) 200 to 300
    Internet 60
    Medical insurance 45

    How to study in Ireland with scholarship?

    Ireland offers a range of awards and scholarships for international students to help fund their education in the country. The awards are provided at all levels of education including graduation, post graduation, masters and research programs to applicants of over 160 countries.

    Some popular awards include DCU International Student Scholarships, NUI Undergraduate merit Scholarships, National College of Ireland Scholarships, among others. Candidates can also avail various university and course-specific studentships like International Scholarships at National College of Ireland and MSc merit-based Scholarships, TCD Global Excellence Postgraduate Scholarships, to name a few.

    Study Abroad in Ireland Scholarships

    To aid funding your education in the country, we have compiled a list of few common scholarships to study in Ireland for international students along with their corresponding details.

    Name of the Scholarship Eligibility Benefits Application Form Deadline
    Centenary Scholarship Program Students from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, USA, among others One-year tuition fee is free Form to be mailed at centenary.scholarship@dit.ie May
    Opportunities in Ireland for Ontario College Graduates Students from Ontario Reduced tuition fee by more than 15% www.thea.ie May 31
    Irish Aid Fellowship Training Program Students from Tanzania enrolled in full-time program at University in Ireland - www.irishaidfellowships.ie January
    Postgraduate Fellowships: The Walsh Fellowships For international students in Ireland pursuing research work 28,760 EUR Made by academic staff in a third-level institution June

    Jobs after studying in Ireland

    Ireland as a country offers endless job opportunities for its graduates which is evident in its low unemployment rate as discussed above. While COVID-19 has greatly impacted the Irisish economy and has increased its unemployment rate to nearly 26%, the fact that the nation has been taking the right measures to sort the issue at hand promises hope for the students across all streams.

    With over 33% of the population under the age of 25 years, Ireland has the youngest population in Europe which reflects great growth rates for the industries in the country in the near future. The population is also expected to increase by almost 1 million people to 5.75 million by the end of 2040.

    Some of the statistics for the last 2 years related to employment opportunities in the country are as mentioned below.

    German Labour 2020 (January-July) 2019 (July to December)
    Employment Rate 75.80% 77%
    Unemployment Rate 5.20% 5.10%
    Employed Persons 2,223 2,372
    Full-time Employment 1,818.30 1,880.10
    Minimum Wages 10.10 (EUR/hour) 9.80 (EUR/hour)
    Wage Growth 6.20% 3.70%
    Productivity 120.60 114.40

    If segregated broadly, the majority of the population in Ireland is engaged under 3 sectors of Agriculture (4.62%), Industries (18.7%) and Services (76.68%). Under the services sector, the streams and graduates ending up with highest salaries included Law, Finance, Management, IT and Engineering. An estimated expected salary of graduates of different streams is picturised as follows:

    Average Salaries for Ranging streams PG from Ireland

    In the conclusion section, Ireland being a majorly English-speaking European economy is a package deal for the international students to study overseas. From 22 globally reputed universities, 5,000 courses, 2-year stay back, PR in just 2 years, hassle-free application process, scenic beauty, warm climate to embracing nature of Irish people, the country has an endless list of merits to its credit.

    The increasing employment opportunities and attraction of big industries towards the country work like a cherry on the top for Ireland which is becoming a huge fascination for international students of Indian and other South Asian countries. Thus, if you are a prospective candidate looking to study abroad, we highly recommend you to add Ireland as the emerging destination for higher education overseas to your list of favorites.