What to Know Before You Study Abroad in Ireland

Ireland is known for more than just shamrocks, leprechauns and lakes that look like giant pools of beer. The small country also has prestigious universities, such as Trinity College in Dublin and the National University of Ireland.

It’s good grades and not the luck o’ the Irish that will get students into their university of choice! (Oh, and if you’re from a non-English speaking country, you may need certified translations of your transcripts.)

Universities and Classes if You Study Abroad in Ireland

About 60 percent of Irish students pursue some form of higher education. They have several options to choose from, such as universities, technological schools or colleges of education. These are all state-funded. Private colleges are another, albeit more expensive, alternative.

Undergraduate courses include lectures, smaller tutorials and possibly lab work, depending on the course of study. If you study abroad in Ireland, you will find that the academic year is similar to that offered in the US. It runs from September through June with either two or three semesters.

he National University of Ireland, established in 1908, is the country’s largest university. It includes four constituent universities (in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Maynooth) and five colleges, including the Royal College of Surgeons and the National College of Art and Design.

Ireland has seven universities. They include the four institutions that make up the National University of Ireland, the University of Limerick, Dublin City University and the University of Dublin/Trinity College. The country also has dozens of other institutions of higher education.

Enrollment is competitive and is based on the student’s Leaving Certificate, a type of final exam.

Degrees in Ireland

A number of degrees are offered in Ireland.

  • Earning a higher certificate takes two years.
  • An ordinary bachelor’s degree generally takes three years.
  • An honors bachelor’s degree requires three to four years.

Additional degrees include:

  • A graduate diploma for a vocation after a one year course.
  • A master’s degree after one to two years.
  • A doctorate after at least three years of research.

An organization called Quality and Qualifications Ireland sets academic standards and presents degrees and other higher education awards (up to the doctorate level) outside a university setting.

Costs to Study Abroad in Ireland

Undergraduate fees can be high for students from outside of the European Union who choose to study abroad in Ireland. Those studying the arts, humanities, business or a similar discipline at the undergraduate level can expect to pay between US $12,500 and $21,500.

More technological fields such as engineering can run up to $28,000. The cost is steeper for fields like medicine: US $43,000 to $68,000.
Scholarships are available for students who want to study abroad in Ireland.

Ireland’s landscape and literary heritage may draw students to its universities, not to mention the fact that so many people claim Irish ancestry. But the appeal of Irish universities isn’t merely lyrical. If you study abroad in Ireland, you will also benefit from an excellent education!