Study in Ireland for Indian Students – Education System & More

study in ireland for indian students

Many Indian students choose Ireland as their study abroad destination as the country is one of the premier global educational hubs. The country is a member of the European Union (EU), and it offers great career prospects to skilled professionals. 

Wondering how to make studying in Ireland for Indian students possible? It is not as daunting as one may feel, provided you have all the vital information needed.

Recommended Read: Study Abroad in Ireland

Irish Education System

Education in Ireland is mandatory for children between 6 and 16 years or until they have finished at least three years of education at the second level. The education system comprises primary, second, third, and further levels. 

Public education is available throughout the entire spectrum unless students opt for private schools. Pre-school learning is available through private facilities and institutions. Free early education and childcare are ensured via Ireland’s ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) policy. 

Here’s looking at the educational stages: 

First level– 

Children do not have to go to school until they turn 6. However, they may begin schooling the September from their 4th birthday. The government funds primary schools, although with private ownership in most cases. 

Second level– 

It covers a three-year junior stage and a two to three years senior stage, depending on whether the optional year of transition is chosen after the JCPA (Junior Cycle or Certificate) examination. The junior cycle begins at 12 years, with the examination being taken after three years.

During the final two years, students choose one out of three programs, each of which has its corresponding state examinations. These include the established Leaving Certificate, Leaving certificate applied, or the Leaving certificate vocational program. There are Leaving Certificate Vocational programs as well. 


This is where students go to colleges of education, universities, or independent private colleges. There are self-governing/autonomous universities offering doctorate, master’s, and bachelor courses, while other providers include technological universities, institutes of technology, etc. 

Further and adult education–

The level has programs such as vocational training opportunities schemes, post-leaving certificate courses, Youthreach programs, basic literacy, etc.

Recommended Read: Education System in Ireland | Why study in Ireland

Types of Higher Education Institutions in Ireland 

  • University-Tertiary Education– The country has seven state universities with centers of the National University of Ireland present in Cork, Dublin, Maynooth, and Galway. The University of Dublin has Trinity College, and other institutions include Dublin City University, the University of Limerick, and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. 
  • Recognized Colleges– Under the National University of Ireland, the colleges include the National College of Art and Design, Shannon College of Hotel Management, Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and the Institute of Public Administration. 
  • Institutes of Technology are at Cork, Limerick, Athlone, Sligo, Tralee, Blanchardstown, Galway-Mayo, and many other locations. 
  • There are education colleges for teacher training like Froebel College of Education, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, etc. 
  • Institutions for public service training include the Institute of Public Administration and its Whitaker School of Government & Management. 
  • Other State-funded institutions like the National College of Ireland, Military College, Garda College, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

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Ireland’s Grading Scale

Here’s taking a closer look at the grading system in Ireland: 



Corresponding Grade in the USA

70.00 – 100.00

First Class Honours


65.00 – 69.99

Upper Second Class Honours (2.1) 


60.00 – 64.99

Upper Second Class Honours (2.1) 


50.00 – 59.99

Lower Second Class Honours (2.2) 


45.00 – 49.99

Class 3 Honours or Pass 


40.00 – 44.99

Class 3 Honours or Pass 


0.00 – 39.99



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Advantages of Studying in Ireland

Some of the advantages of studying in Ireland include: 

  • The Free Fees Initiative for EU (European Union) students is a major benefit
  • Multicultural environment with thousands of fellow students from 160+ nations. 
  • English is the primary mode of teaching for many courses
  • Irish universities are globally recognized for research and academics
  • Ireland is home to several MNCs and technology behemoths like Microsoft and Google, indicating lucrative employment prospects
  • High-quality life, with historic cities and historical-cultural attractions galore

Read More: Part-Time Jobs in Ireland

Features of Ireland Universities

Ireland has several highly ranked universities globally for a variety of courses and disciplines. The country’s institutions are known for their research and innovation-based curriculum and methodologies. They are highly rated globally for their high academic standards, quality of learning, infrastructure, and skilled faculty. Ireland’s universities have a diverse range of courses for international aspirants, along with friendly and welcoming campuses. 

Intakes in Ireland

The intakes are the autumn semester (begins early in September, continues till December) and the spring semester (begins late in January, continues until May). 

Admission Cycle

The admission portal for most universities opens in the first week of November and accepts admissions till June 30th. The first priority deadline usually falls in the first week of February. 

Some universities even allow rolling admissions, which means reviewing applications as they arrive. 

How to Apply to a University in Ireland

In order to apply to an Irish university, applicants can choose either of the following ways: 

Through CAO (Central Applications Office):

The body administrates the application for the university before it is reviewed by the institute concerned. Applicants from EU/EEA countries apply via CAO. 

Directly over the university website:

Direct applications require aspirants to pay €60 in application charges. International students apply directly on the university’s website by creating an account and submitting the required documents for review. 

Course Duration

Undergraduate courses usually require three to four years, while postgraduate courses span a year. Several courses come with accompanying internships. 

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Cost of Studying in Ireland for Indian Students 

The approximate cost of studying in Ireland for Indian students is around  £468-852 every month or ₹47,000-85,000 on average if you just account for living expenses.  Ireland universities fees usually hover between €8,600-43,000, depending upon the course, institution, and location. It works out to roughly ₹8.5-43 lakh for Indian students. 


UG Tuition Fee (Annual)

PG Tuition Fee (Annual)

Trinity College Dublin 



University College Dublin



National University of Ireland, Galway



University College Cork 



Dublin City University



University of Limerick 



Maynooth University 



Technological University Dublin



Note: The fee varies depending on the course choice. The table enlists the maximum fee charged under UG and PG courses.

Read More: Cost of Studying in Ireland

Study in Ireland requirements for Indian students- Visa guidelines

A study visa is mandatory for entering the country. Students should have their offer letters from Irish institutions, along with the receipt of the application payment before applying for their visas. Students coming from the European Union (EU) do not require any visas to study. 

Ireland Study Visa Procedure:

To apply for an Ireland study visa online, you need to follow the below-given procedure: 

  • Complete the application form online. The process will make a summary application form for you. 
  • Proceed with the instructions given on your summary application. It will also have information regarding supporting documents.
  • Take a printout of the application, sign it, and submit it with the supporting documents. 

The processing time for your visa application varies depending on the country and the embassy. However, one can expect the decision on the visa application to be communicated within eight weeks from the date of lodging the application. 

Health coverage in Ireland

Ireland has a public healthcare system that offers limited/full eligibility for free health services in the case of those residing in the country for more than a year. Private health insurance is otherwise optional. However, non-EEA (European Economic Area) students will have to purchase private insurance for studying in Ireland. This will ensure coverage for ailments, mishaps, hospitalization and the like. 

Best Places to Study in Ireland

Ireland is home to several student-friendly cities with the best facilities. Some of them include the following: 

  1. Limerick
  2. Dublin
  3. Waterford
  4. Galway
  5. Cork

Best Courses to Study in Ireland

Some of the top picks include: 

  • Data Science
  • Business Analytics
  • MBA
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Investment Banking and Finance
  • Construction 

These study disciplines are currently popular amongst international and domestic students while offering numerous job opportunities at reputed organisations.

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Exams for studying in Ireland

  • IELTS or TOEFL. 
  • PTE Academic is also a popular option. 
  • OET or Occupational English Test for those applying for healthcare courses. 
  • HPAT Ireland for medical applicants. 
  • GAMSAT for admission into veterinary and graduate medicine colleges. 
  • GMAT. 

How Much Study Gap is Acceptable in Ireland? 

Study gaps aren’t really a problem if one wishes to study in Ireland. However, one needs a justifiable reason to rationalize the gap. Acceptable reasons for the study gap may include work, health, preparation for a competitive exam, and others. 

It is vital to mention the study gap in the SOP, and there is a chance that the immigration officer may ask for supporting documents for the same. In that case, it will be important to present the supporting document, which can be a work experience certificate, medical reports, and others.

Read More: Cost of Living in Ireland

Part-time jobs for Indians in Ireland 

Most Indian and other international students prefer working part-time jobs during their courses. Some of the popular options include waiting tables, bartending, working as library or research assistants, online tutors, and cafeteria staff, assisting on the shop floor, babysitting, and more. All non-EEA students can obtain casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours each week during the term. This may go up to 40 hours per week during vacations. 

Top institutions for studying in Ireland

Some of the best universities and colleges in Ireland are: 

  • University College Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin 
  • Dublin City University
  • TU Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • University of Limerick
  • University College, Cork
  • Maynooth University

Job opportunities in Ireland

International graduates can apply for Ireland post-study work visas to stay back and find employment. There are rapidly growing opportunities throughout sectors like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, data science and business analytics, medical technology, and data analytics, among others. Popular job roles include engineering project managers, lawyers, physicians, dentists, quality assurance managers, senior quantity surveyors, product managers, and technology managers. 

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Post-study work visa in Ireland

You can stay back after completing your education as part of the Third Level Graduate plan in Ireland. It allows resident non-EU third-level graduates to find employment or apply for their work permit/green card. They can stay for up to 24 months after the completion of their courses under this scheme. 

Available Scholarships

There are innumerable scholarship options for international students in Ireland. Some of the popular choices include the following: 

  • Global Excellence Graduate Scholarship
  • International Education Scholarship from the Government of Ireland
  • Quercus Taught Masters Academic Scholarship
  • V.V. Giri Global Excellence Scholarship
  • Max Arthur Macauliffe Special Merit Scholarship

Study in Ireland with upGrad Abroad: 

You can choose to study courses such as MSc in Data Analytics and MBS in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Ireland’s Dundalk Institute of Technology. The online and on-campus duration of the two courses is one year each. 

The following benefits can be availed of if one decides to pursue these courses with upGrad Abroad: 

  • In-built IELTS training and study abroad modules to meet Ireland’s study requirements
  • Scholarship of up to 2000 Euros available for upGrad learners
  • Learn from world-class faculty members & industry experts


Studying in Ireland can be a rewarding experience for Indian students. The country is home to globally acclaimed institutions, it also offers lucrative future employment opportunities and excellent scope of research. 

Read More: MS in Data Science in Ireland

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Is Ireland good for Indian students?

A. Ireland is highly recommended for Indian students due to its variety of courses, top-ranked global institutions, and excellent future professional opportunities. Ireland is known as a global technology hub, home to some of the biggest companies like Microsoft and Google.

Q. How much does it cost to study in Ireland?

A. Ireland is comparatively cheaper than many countries and certain educational institutions in the United Kingdom. Ireland offers reasonably lower living costs and tuition fees. Average course costs may hover between ₹8.5 lakh and ₹43 lakh, depending on the type of course, location, and institution.

Q. Do Irish universities offer free courses?

A. Irish institutions majorly offer free undergraduate courses for those coming from EU/EEA nations, Switzerland, and local Ireland residents. Cost coverage is ensured through the HEA or Higher Education Authority. However, not every course will be free of cost. At the same time, courses are not free for international students in Ireland. Of course, you can offset some of your expenses with the right scholarship program.

Q. Is studying in Ireland worth it?

A. Studying in Ireland is definitely worth it on several levels. The country is globally acclaimed for its prowess in education and research. It is home to several top-ranked institutions, houses a flourishing job market with leading corporates, and offers international students a welcoming and friendly ambiance for international students. Irish degrees are recognized throughout the world, while the education system in the country emphasizes holistic learning.

Q. Can an Indian settle in Ireland?

A. Many immigrants, including those from India, have settled in Ireland over the years. Those wishing to settle in the country will first require a visa before arriving here. They can then apply for citizenship only after legally residing in Ireland for a period of five years. This does not include those holding general employment permits. After staying here for two years, those with the critical skills employment permit may be eligible to get permanent residency.

Q. Is Ireland affordable for Indian students?

A. In comparison to the UK, USA, and even Australia, studying in Ireland is costs approximately INR 8.5-43 lakh for entire courses. This factor naturally makes it more affordable for those coming from India. The living costs in Ireland are also lower than in many other countries.

Q. Why study in Ireland for Indian students?

A. Indian students appreciate the vast selection of courses and highly ranked global universities in Ireland. At the same time, other plus points include world-class research facilities, a thriving economy, top companies in the country, and of course, world-class faculty. The costs of education and living are slightly reasonable as compared to the USA or UK, and students can easily find part-time jobs.

Q. How to get a scholarship to study in Ireland?

A. One can get a scholarship to study in Ireland by simply filling out the application or meeting other conditional requirements as set by the organizing body.
To be eligible for a scholarship to study in Ireland as an Indian student, the following are the general criteria:

  • Excellent academic record
  • Volunteering experience
  • Good English language proficiency scores
  • LORs, & others

Q. What are the best courses to study in Ireland?

A. Following are the high-demand courses one can study in Ireland:
Business Analytics

  • Finance
  • Data Science
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Construction

Q. How to study nursing in Ireland?

A. Nursing is a four-and-a-year course in Ireland. To study a bachelor’s program in nursing in Ireland, one needs to meet the following requirements:

-Need to study three compulsory subjects. They are physics, mathematics, and biology
-A secondary school education certificate.

Apart from a degree program, one can also study for a three-year diploma or a one-year postgraduate advanced diploma.

Q. How to study medicine in Ireland?

A. To study medicine in Ireland as an international student, the following requirements need to be met for a bachelor’s program:

  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Personal statement
  • Subject requirements such as physics, biology, and chemistry
  • Health Professions Admission Test score of at least 480 for top-ranked institutes

Q. What are the requirements to study in Ireland?

A. Several requirements need to be fulfilled as a foreign student who wishes to study in Ireland. They are:

  • Academic Transcripts
  • Work experience if applicable
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • SOP
  • Academic Resume
  • Valid passport
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of funds

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