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Australia vs Ireland- Top Choices for Students

Updated on 02 February, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

Choosing the correct country for higher studies is a significant decision an international student wishes to take admission to. Several nations include Canada, UK, USA, Australia, and Ireland. Which one should you ideally choose, looking at your future academic and employment prospects? Australia or Ireland? What these countries have to offer to international students. Here are some parameters that will help you make this decision with aplomb.

Australia or Ireland- Eligibility Criteria

An essential component of solving the debate between Australia vs Ireland for Indian students is checking out the eligibility criteria. 


  1. Admissions for diploma courses need applicants to score at least 60% in their Class XII exams. 
  2. Bachelor’s degrees require minimum scores of 65% and higher in Class XII. 
  3. Those applying for master’s programs should have three-year Bachelor’s degrees. 
  4. Some institutions may need qualifications at par with Australian Bachelor Honors degrees, which require 16 formal education years, an Honors graduation degree, or a four-year degree like B. Tech. 
  5. You will also need scores of standardized examinations in some cases like GRE and GMAT.
  6. Scores in IELTS/TOEFL are also needed. 


  1. Admissions must be made at the undergraduate level via the Central Applications Office online. 
  2. You will require relevant academic documents along with scores in TOEFL/IELTS. 
  3. You have to submit standardized test scores in some cases. 
  4. Other requirements include personal essays, SOPs, LORs, resumes, and more.
  5. You will need requisite marks in Class XII or at the Bachelor’s level for applying to UG and PG courses, respectively.

Admission Cycle

Here are the admission cycle or intakes for Australia and Ireland


IntakeAdmission cycle
February IntakeOctober – November 
July IntakeApril – May
Semester September – November


IntakeCourseAdmission cycle
Autumn Undergraduate, Postgraduate and degree programsJune – September
SpringUndergraduate, Postgraduate and degree programsSeptember – January

Top Universities

There are many top universities in Australia and Ireland offering quality education in different subjects and fields.  Below is the subject-wise list of top universities as per QS World University Rankings 2022 (QSWUR). 

Arts and Humanities

Universities (Australia)QS WUR by Subject 2022Universities (Ireland)QS WUR by Subject 2022
The University of Melbourne16Trinity College Dublin46
The University of Sydney22University College Dublin92
The Australian National University25National University of Ireland Galway271
Monash University42University College Cork288
The University of New South Wales46Dublin City University338

Engineering and Technology

University (Australia)QSWUR Subject 2022University (Ireland)QSWUR Subject 2022
The University of New South Wales23Trinity College Dublin, 165
The University of Melbourne30University College Dublin206
Monash University39University College Cork289
The University of Sydney45National University of Ireland Galway295
The Australian National University64University of Limerick338

Life Sciences and Medicine

University (Canada)QSWUR Subject 2022University (Ireland)QSWUR Subject 2022
The University of Melbourne17Trinity College Dublin, 106
The University of Sydney19University College Dublin151
The University of Queensland31University College Cork191
Monash University33National University of Ireland Galway297
The University of New South Wales52Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland353

Natural Sciences

University (Australia)QSWUR Subject 2022University (Ireland)QSWUR Subject 2022
The Australian National University27Trinity College Dublin, 201
The University of Melbourne38University College Dublin228
The University of Sydney49National University of Ireland Galway401-450
The University of New South Wales 53University College Cork451-500
Monash University55  

Social Science and Management

University (Australia)QSWUR Subject 2022University (Ireland)QSWUR Subject 2022
The University of Melbourne15Trinity College Dublin, 99
The University of New South Wales22University College Dublin136
The Australian National University24Dublin City University267
The University of Sydney26University College Cork276
Monash University29National University of Ireland Galway290
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Ireland or Australia – Scholarships

Ireland or Australia, which is better in terms of scholarships? Here are some parameters that will help you settle the debate of Australia or Ireland for master’s or undergraduate programs. 

Scholarships in Australia

Australia offers several scholarships for international students. They may cover 50-100% of tuition costs and money covering living expenditures. There are several Government scholarships available as well. Some of the top choices include the Australian Leadership Awards, Australian Development Scholarship, International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, Endeavour Executive Award, Endeavour Postgraduate Award, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Leadership Awards Fellowship and more. 

Scholarships in Ireland

Ireland offers various scholarships and other financial support programs to international students. These may offer 50-100% of tuition costs, and some may also cover a few living costs. Some of the top options include the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship, The Walsh Fellowship, Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, and those offered by individual institutions such as NUI Galway, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Waterford Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, and the University of Limerick

Australia or Ireland – Cost of Living

The cost of living in Ireland vs. Australia is another exciting parameter. Australia is 7.4% more expensive in comparison to Ireland. Education is free in Ireland for Irish nationals and residents of the EU at all levels. Entry begins with the autumn intake in September, while the spring intake starts in February for university admissions. Top programs include nursing, medical courses, business studies, language and literature, social sciences, and more. 

Australia is a leading global educational hub known for its AQF or Australian Quality Training Framework. Popular programs in Australia include healthcare, hotel management, MBA, information technology, and others. Average costs of studying in Australia hover between $14,000-37,000 annually for UG, PG, and doctoral courses. At the same time, studying in Ireland may cost between €10,000-25,000 per year. This may be slightly higher for students at the postgraduate level as well. 

Visa Process- Ireland vs. Australia


You will need documents like the following-

  1. Valid passport. 
  2. Letter of confirmation from the university. 
  3. Passport-sized photographs. 
  4. Proof of payment of fees. 
  5. Valid Scores in English language proficiency tests. 
  6. Medical insurance information. 
  7. Proof of funds. 
  8. Biometric data. 
  9. Statement of committing to leave Ireland after visa expiry. 
  10. You will require proof of your return home in case of the C visa. 
  11. You will have to provide proof of your academic capabilities for pursuing selected courses. 

You may have to go through a personal interview at the Ireland consulate or embassy. You should translate documents into English if they are in any other language. 

More Resources to refer to
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There is the student subclass 500 visa enabling stays in the country for the tenure of the study program (mostly till five years). You should have overseas student health cover and enrollment into a study program in the country before applying. You will need these documents- 

  1. Enrollment proof into the university. 
  2. Valid passport
  3. GTE statement. 
  4. Visa application fee receipt. 
  5. Work experience and academic documents. 
  6. Proof of scores in English language proficiency tests. 
  7. Proof of funds. 
  8. SOP (statement of purpose). 
  9. Passport-sized photographs. 
  10. Health insurance proof. 
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Post Graduate Study Work Permit

Ireland offers a chance to stay back after your course and find employment to gain global experience. You can qualify for the Third Level Graduate Scheme if you have a visa stamp 2. You can apply for the two-year non-renewable extension to find a job and then apply for a green card or work permit later. Australia allows students to apply for work permits. You can apply for a post-study work permit or subclass 485 temporary graduate visas. This has two categories, i.e. the graduate work stream and post-study workstream. The first one is for those completing Australian study requirements and having eligible skills and qualifications corresponding to the SOL (skills occupation list). It is given for 18 months. 

The post-study work stream has varying tenures, depending on the degree. It may be around 2-4 years on average. You will require completing the Australian study requirements and a degree and should have obtained your student visa on or post 5th November 2011.

Employment Opportunities

When it comes to Australia vs Ireland for IT jobs, it is a mixed bag, i.e. both countries have flourishing and thriving economies along with fast-growing technology sectors. However, Australia’s per capita GDP is lower at $50,400 than $73,200 or 54 lakh approx. (2017) for Ireland. The unemployment rate (5.6% in 2017) is slightly lower in Australia than in Ireland (6.7% in 2017). Australia offers exceptional job opportunities in the IT and ITeS sector along with human resources, financial services, management, education, healthcare, automotive and other engineering, marketing, and nursing sectors. Australia offers jobs in various high-demand fields like maintenance, education, the public sector and healthcare. 

Coveted jobs in Ireland include automation engineers, e-commerce managers, web developers, software engineers, data scientists, mortgage underwriters, compliance officers, and more. Ireland is slightly more inclined towards the technology and financial services industries regarding employment opportunities for skilled graduates. At the same time, Australia offers a better-rounded spectrum encompassing manufacturing, construction, engineering, hospitality, management and more.

Permanent Residency Options 

You can start by getting your student visa for Ireland, where you will study a suitable course/program in the country. After that, go for internships to scale up your chances of finding a job. You can then get your residence permit enabling you to stay for up to 12 months and get the Certificate of Registration (renewable). You can finally apply for your work permit as well. The Irish General work permit enables non-EU citizens to stay and work here. The initial duration is two years, and you need a job offer to get the same. The critical skills employment permit is given to those on the highly skilled eligible occupations list. You will be able to fast-track your permanent residency application with this permit. 

You can apply for PR after legally staying in Ireland for five years. However, holders of critical skills employment permits may be eligible after only two years. After five years of your residency in Ireland, you can also apply for citizenship. 

Australia offers its permanent residency or PR visa for immigrants with a validity of five years. After living on your PR visa for three years in Australia, you can apply for citizenship. You will have to get the requisite points for your PR visa. The minimum score should be 65 points. The parameters are age, work experience in and outside Australia, proficiency in English, niche skills, education outside Australia, state sponsorship, skilled spouse, etc. Those with the necessary skills can apply under the subclass 189 visa for living and working permanently anywhere in the country.

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Taxes in both countries

Ireland taxes you up to 20% as the standard rate, and the amount is called the standard rate tax band. The remaining portion of your income will be taxed at 40% if it crosses this threshold. Australia has zero taxes up to a certain income threshold, and this goes up to 19%, 32.5%, and 37% progressively for various slabs.


Ireland and Australia are both countries that offer excellent career and educational prospects for aspirants. However, you need to look at various factors before concluding. Take your time and think it through!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is cheaper to live- Australia or Ireland?

According to many reports, Ireland is cheaper than Australia by around 7.4%. This means that shifting to Ireland will be slightly more cost-effective for international aspirants.

Is it better to immigrate to Ireland or Australia?

There are many pros and cons that you need to consider. Australia is costlier than Ireland, although both countries have globally ranked and reputed universities, thriving economies and coveted business sectors for employment. Ireland is more suitable for those inclined towards technology and related jobs, while Australia is ideal for engineering, mining, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, tourism and more. Both countries have their pathways towards getting permanent residency. Australia offers a better quality of life on several counts, while Ireland has a strategic location near Europe (which means more travelling opportunities).

Is Ireland better than Australia?

It is hard to say which country is better than the other. Australia offers a stable and flourishing economy with a lower unemployment rate but costlier living overall. Ireland offers slightly lower living costs but a somewhat higher rate of unemployment. Both countries have good job prospects and highly-ranked institutions. Both have their travel, tourism and leisure prospects as well. Ireland does have a strategic location, while Australia prides itself on its outdoorsy and vibrant lifestyle. It ultimately depends on the course you are applying for and your availability.

Is Ireland safer than Australia?

As per reports, Ireland is one of the top-50 safest countries globally, with a crime rate of 20.67 (total crimes) for every 1,000 people. At the same time, in Australia, the crime rate was 7.98% for every 100,000 people in 2018. Ireland could be called comparatively safer than Australia on some counts.

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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