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PhD in Ireland for Indian Students – The Complete Guide

Updated on 09 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Is studying PhD in Ireland your dream but you are worried about the whole procedure to land in your dream university? We will take you through every step of how you can achieve your dreams. 

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How is a PhD in Ireland Beneficial?

A PhD is the highest postgraduate degree that helps individuals venture into their respective fields as a professor or a scientist. Ireland has become a top choice for students who want to pursue higher education. Competitiveness Yearbook, the Irish Education System is ranked among the top 20 in Europe. There are many PhD opportunities in Ireland as it is organized under two broad pathways – Universities or Institutes of Technology. Following are the benefits you will get if you study PhD in Ireland. 

  • Universities in Ireland adopt innovative teaching methods. The country has the most developed doctoral training programs and laboratories focusing on providing the best research expertise to the students.
  • Though most doctoral programmes are taught in the universities, the Institutes of Technologies provide high-quality training on vocational subject areas backed by enterprise partnerships. 
  • Unlike many other countries that extend their doctorate to five years, PhD in Ireland is three to four years.
  • The heavily practical and research-oriented education system, which is updated at regular intervals, is one of the best PhD optionsfor Indian students. 
  • The universities in Ireland that offer PhD are some of the highly ranked reputed institutions such as National University of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin (the oldest university in the world), University of Limerick, University College Cork, and University of Limerick many more.
  • Another benefit of pursuing a PhD in Ireland is that you will be able to apply for a post-study work permit after completing your course. This allows international students to stay back for two years and search for a job or gain work experience. 

How to Apply for a PhD in Ireland?

The application procedure to apply for a PhD programme in Ireland involves several steps. Ensure that you have your research proposal, personal statement, and transcript ready. After deciding which university you want to study in, here are the steps that you need to follow to apply for their PhD degree:

  •   Find a supervisor:

After going through the university’s website, you need to choose one or two potential supervisors in your area of study who will guide you throughout your research. Reach out to them through email. However, they receive multiple applications from students on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, to make sure that your application stands out, you need to customize it accordingly. The introductory mail should contain your name, academic qualifications, previous research experiences, why you want to pursue doctoral studies, and how the supervisor’s research area matches your research goals.

  •   Make a research proposal:

Your research proposal is one of the key things for your application procedure for PhD in Ireland. Generally, it is 1500-2000 words which should include the aim of your research and hypothesis and your area of study. 

  •   Prepare a personal statement and get your transcripts ready:

The personal statement should include an overview of why you want to opt for doctoral studies, what aspect of the subject area interests you, and how your previous work experiences have shaped you. 

A transcript is a document that compiles the results of all the subjects you have studied in your previous degree. Many universities do not provide a transcript. In that case, you need to request your university to issue it. 

  •   Search for a person who can refer you:

Some universities in Ireland ask for references from people from your previous institutions to validate your academic abilities. The person who will be referring you can either fill up the referee form available on the school’s site or submit a letter of reference in their own words. 

  •   Complete the paper-based application process:

Your application will be reviewed by the supervisor, college graduate school board, and school graduate committee. After getting their approval, you will go through a paper-based application procedure. You need to provide your contact details, CV, and required documents like research proposal, transcript, personal statement, and references.

English Language Proficiency Test Scores Requirement for PhD in Ireland

After applying for a PhD in Ireland, international students need to prove their capability in the English language as it is the medium of instruction. You need to appear in either of the tests- International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or Pearson English Language Test (PTE). 

These tests assess the candidates based on their writing, speaking, reading, and listening skills. Listed below are

English language proficiency testScore requirement
TOEFL90 in the Internet-based test
PTEMinimum 63 overall and 59 in each of the skills

Tuition Fees for Studying PhD in Ireland

Every higher education institution has a different fee structure as the programmes vary. The parameters based on which your tuition fees can vary are the popularity and ranking of your university, if you will be pursuing PhD opportunities in Ireland for part-time or full-time, your subject, and your nationality. Students belonging to countries from non-European Union and non-European Economic Area have to pay 2-3 times the tuition fees than a domestic student. 

Usually, the annual fees for doctoral degrees are approximately €6,000-€9000 (INR 5,04,051.41 INR-7,55,961.42). However, courses like business studies or medicine charge a substantially higher price costing between €20,000-€30,000 (INR 16,79,914.26 -25,19,878.07) per year. 

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PhD in Ireland with scholarships for Indian Students

There are a lot of students who get worried by the high tuition fees or cost of living. However, there are many universities and government programs that sponsor PhDs in Ireland for Indian students. While some waive 100% tuition fee, others provide a scholarship in which a percentage of tuition fees is waived. Universities that offer PhD in Ireland get funds from charities, research councils, and industry partners. These funds help universities provide scholarships to deserving students, and some even provide stipends.

Here are some of the popular scholarships available in Ireland for PhD students.

Centenary Scholarship Programme100% tuition fee waiver for one year.
NUI Galway International Students Scholarships100% fees waiver and an additional stipend of INR 13,60,257 for research programmes.
The Walsh FellowshipProvides a grant of INR 21,28,595 per year for the 4-year PhD programme.
Fulbright ScholarshipTwo categories under this scholarship provide grants to research students of approx INR 13-15 lakh. 


Scholarships Provided by the Government for PhD in Ireland

The Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship issued by the Higher Education Authority offers around 60 scholarship programmes to meritorious international students. The benefits include a stipend of INR 8,70,000 and fully funded tuition and registration fees. 

Here’s a list of the educational institutions in Ireland which are affiliated with the Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship.

  • University of Limerick
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Maynooth University
  • University College Cork
  • Waterford University of Technology
  • Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • University of College, Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway

Besides, various funding programmes are provided by the Irish Research Council, which offer three funding schemes for PhD in Ireland.

  • The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship – Available for international students seeking to pursue PhD in Ireland and supports academic research in all subject areas.
  • Enterprise Partnership Program – Aims to sponsor meritorious researchers keen on developing their key transferable skills. 
  • Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme – Specific universities partner with various employers and provide this scholarship.

Scope and Career Opportunities Available after PhD in Ireland Post COVID-19

One advantage of pursuing a PhD in Ireland for Indian students is that they encourage advanced research and practical experience. Therefore, you will be able to gain a deeper insight into the subject-specific techniques and develop adequate skills in research work. In turn, these skills help students widen their scope of work as industry researchers.

An Irish university’s curriculum is designed to engage both academic research and the development of a range of skills that would make you a desirable candidate in front of potential employers. Many universities in Ireland tie-up with commercial enterprises and stakeholders who provide input to design the PhD programmes. Therefore, a PhD scholar from Ireland possesses advanced academic subject knowledge and is a professional who is job-ready. 

Disclaimer! All course fees and salaries are approximate amounts subject to change depending on various conditions.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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