Advantages of studying in Ireland: how to enter a higher education institution, necessary documents



Advantages of studying in Ireland: how to enter a higher education institution, necessary documents

Ireland is a beautiful emerald country, famous for its legends and traditions. But that's not the only thing Ireland is famous for these days. Ireland is now Europe's largest IT hub. Computing giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Dropbox all have offices in Ireland, while the country itself is a leader in software.

Ireland's education system includes public universities, technical colleges, colleges, and private business schools. Several higher education institutions have integrated universities and colleges. The National University of Ireland (NUI), consisting of four universities and six colleges, is the largest of its kind.

The benefits of studying in Ireland

- European IT Centre

- Study in English

- Careers at Facebook, Google, IBM, Booking, Apple

- Ireland is in the top 10 highest-paid countries in the world

- Tuition fees are 20-25% lower than in the UK

- Official Work Permit

- High quality of life

- Formal employment opportunities for students

How to apply for higher education in Ireland

After 11 years of school life in your home country, you can apply to most institutions of higher education in Ireland. You must have an A-level in English and maths in the last few years. You will also need an IELTS certificate (preferred) or TOEFL. Depending on the university, applicants from outside the EU may be required to undertake a preparatory program in their own country or a year of college study abroad, which is more of an exception.

Applicants from third countries apply to any university in Ireland, so conditions should be checked with the admissions office of each university or college. Policies on the admission of foreigners may differ from one university to another. EU and UK applicants apply through the Central Applications Office.

The education system

The education system at Irish universities is based on the British model:

- Undergraduate programs: at the end of 3 years of study;

- Bachelor's Degree programs: after 3 years of study a graduate receives an Ordinary Bachelors Degree and after 4 years an Honours Bachelor's Degree;

- Master's programs - after 1 to 2 years;

- Doctoral Degree - after 1 to 2 years of research work;

Foundation Studies

Foundation programs for international students are common at Irish universities and colleges. Foundation courses are not compulsory, but university authorities believe that graduates of Foundation courses, like those who have completed an International Baccalaureate degree, have a better chance of entering a prestigious university where competition is particularly high. You may also be accepted into a university or vocational school after completing your course.

Institutions in this country most often expect applicants to have high levels of achievement in mathematics and English. Because of this, foundation courses often focus on core subject knowledge and practicing for the IELTS exam. Basic training lasts from 3 months to 1 semester. The length depends on the entry-level of the student. Irish universities also have summer courses that allow you to take long holidays to improve your English and experience the university from the inside.

Documents needed

- A completed visa application form;

- A passport (valid for 6 months after you finish your studies);

- Old passports (if any);

- 2 colour photos 3.5x4.5 cm;

- Reference from a place of study;

- Reference from the workplace;

- Sponsorship letter, bank statement, certificate of employment, and sponsor's passport (if the applicant is not paying for the trip himself/herself);

- A letter of invitation from an Irish university;

- Acknowledgement of payment of tuition fees;

- A letter of invitation from an Irish university; proof of payment of tuition fees; and proof of accommodation in Ireland;

- Proof of residency in Ireland.


Tuition fees depend on the ranking of the school and the location of the institution. The Foundation Programme costs €7,000-9,000 per year to enter university. Undergraduate courses cost between €9,000-15,000 per year and postgraduate courses cost between €12,000-17,000 per year. Medical education, one of the most expensive courses, costs €25,000-4 million annually.

There are programs in Ireland that offer scholarships and grants to provide free education to international students. The main conditions for admission are high academic performance and academic achievement. Bachelor degree holders can obtain a one-year work visa and Master's degree holders can obtain a two-year work visa.