Study in Ireland!  Situated to the west of the UK and south of Northern Ireland (part of the UK), Ireland is the 120th largest country in the world covering 70,280sq km. Ireland, with its combination of culture, history and beautiful scenery, is a popular study destination for international students.

Ireland has over 38 higher education institutes, including the historic Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, as well as several highly regarded younger institutions.

Method to get admission in Irish Universities

Arguably one of the most attractive reasons for choosing to study in Ireland, is the country’s  “Free Fees Initiative”. This means all education in Ireland up to and including tertiary level is free for EU citizens.

Under the “Free Fees Initiative” the Exchequer will pay the tuition fees of students who meet relevant course, nationality and residence requirements as set down under the initiative.

The third-level education is highly competitive in Ireland. Students compete for entry based on results achieved in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination. Students are graded on their six best subjects scores. Entry requirements for courses may vary from year to year, depending on the number of places available and the number of applicants, thus there exists a great deal of competition for the more sought after programs.

Overseas students wishing to study in Ireland have two options:

A. Attend upper secondary school in Ireland and complete the Leaving Certificate Examination with Irish students. This route is chosen by a number of students who commonly take the examination in conjunction with English language tuition.

B. Undertake recognized public examinations in their own countries. This is a more common route and it is essential that every applicant check that the educational qualifications she/he is presenting are adequate to satisfy entry requirements. To have a realistic prospect these results should be very good, e.g. for medicine 3 good ‘A’ Level passes (grades A/B) or the equivalent, in relevant subjects are required. The minimum requirement for most degree level programs is 3 grade ‘C’s at A level or equivalent. If there is any doubt about the acceptability of an applicant’s qualifications, clarification should be sought in good time from the particular third level institution.

As English is the language of instruction at all Irish Institutions of higher education, students must demonstrate a proficiency in English to be accepted for a third level program. Generally, the required minimum score in TOEFL is 550. Many universities and colleges provide English Language training programs for intending students. Furthermore, there are over 150 private English language training schools throughout the country, which run both short and long-term courses.

Before embarking on the application procedure it is essential to gather as much information as possible about the course of study you are planning to take and the institution you are planning to attend. Once you are thoroughly satisfied with your choices you have made, you will need time to gather the necessary paperwork, arrange accommodation, visa, funding etc. It is advisable to begin the application process at least one year in advance of your proposed arrival in Ireland.

Process to obtain Irish Student Visa for international students

International students coming from a state other than the EU should contact the Irish diplomatic mission in their home country. Those who do not have an Irish diplomatic mission in their home country should apply directly for a visa application form, well in advance of their departure, to:

Department of Foreign Affairs
Visa Office Hainault House
69-71 St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 4780822
Fax: +353 1 4751201.

Please select the Irish Diplomatic Representation nearest to you In their application students will be asked to supply the following information:

  1. Valid passport number
  2. Date of issue and expiry of passport
  3. Date, place and mode of arrival in Ireland
  4. Letter from University/College indicating that they have been offered a place in a recognized educational establishment
  5. Letter indicating the source of funding to cover fees and maintenance
  6. Recent passport photographs
  7. Visa application fee.

Standard non-refundable Visa Application Processing Fees are charged at  25.39 for a Single-Journey and  50.78 for Multiple-Journey. Nationals of certain countries are exempt from fees. Check with your nearest Irish Diplomatic Representation for details.

Scholarships and Financial aid available for International Students in Ireland

A limited number of scholarships for overseas students are available from the universities and colleges themselves. These are awarded solely at the discretion of the individual institutions who set down their own criteria for eligibility. Students are advised to contact the institution of their choice directly, to obtain further information.

The Department of Education and Science also has a limited number of scholarships.


Living Cost for International Students in Ireland

The main costs that students can expect to incur while studying in Ireland include fees, accommodation and living expenses. These vary considerably depending on the course, the institution and the lifestyle of the student.

 The figures given below provide a guideline only for budgeting. Costs do not remain static, so it is important to double check fees with the institutions of your choice and to ask their advice on other living costs. Living Expenses vary depending on the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student.

To give some idea of the total cost involved, the following approximate figures for 2001/2002 are given as a guide to overall expenses for one academic year (usually 9 months). All prices are in Euros.

Expenses Euros
Textbooks  € 800-1,000
Accommodation (Including Heat and Light) Self Catering Accommodation  € 3,500-5,400
On Campus Accommodation
Family-based Accommodation
 € 1,700-2,500
€ 3,500-4,600