Ireland’s education system is ranked within the world’s top 20 and is renowned for its high academic standard. Learn about opportunities to further your own education here. For information on your child’s primary and secondary education, see our Guide to Ireland’s Schools System page.
Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology
Ireland boasts 34 Higher Education Institutes, including 7 Universities and 14 Institutes of Technology, with 9 placing in the top 5% internationally, according to the Times World University Rankings 2015. Tuition is free for undergraduate students from Ireland, the EEA (members of the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. These students may also apply for a number of maintenance grants and scholarships. Many institutes do require a Student Contribution fee to cover registration, insurance and exams, which can be up to €3,000 for Universities. For non-EEA students, fees vary by institution. Entrance to most forms of higher education is through the Central Admissions Office (CAO) and is generally based on points earned in the Leaving Certificate state examinations, taken in the final year of secondary school.
If you’re interested in furthering your education in Ireland, there are plenty of opportunities to undertake both taught and research-based Masters and PhD courses. Many postgraduate courses can be completed part-time, meaning you can continue working while you study. For a guide to the courses available, you can view these on the PostGradIreland website.
Fees in Ireland
Fees vary depending on the institution, the course and whether you’re applying as an EEA or non-EEA citizen. For Irish, EU and EEA students, postgraduate tuition fees in technology courses are generally between €5k-10k. For students from outside the EEA, tuition fees are typically between €10k-19k.
If you have been working or studying in Ireland or the EU for three of the five years prior to beginning a course, you may be eligible to apply for funding through the government’s Student Grant Scheme.
Some employers encourage continued education and may even reimburse or contribute to your tuition fees, particularly if the qualification is relevant to your role in the company. You may want to discuss your study plans with your employer and see what opportunities are available.
You can also claim tax relief at a rate of 20% for tuition fees you pay towards postgraduate courses. It’s important to keep receipts for tuition payments.
How to Apply for College and University in Ireland
Applying for postgraduate education at colleges and universities in Ireland is a simple process. Generally, you can contact the International Office of your chosen institute, although a number of institutes prefer that potential students apply through the Postgraduate Applications Centre website. You will usually be asked to provide proof of residency and evidence of previous qualifications, such as a diploma or transcripts.