Study in Ireland for Indian students: A guide

study in ireland for indian students

Many Indian students choose Ireland as their study abroad destination as the country is regarded as one of the premier global educational hubs. The educational institutions in Ireland offer high academic standards to international students along with historical and famous cities, beautiful landscapes, and flourishing cultures. Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU), and it offers great career prospects to skilled professionals. Many wonder how to study in Ireland for Indian students? Well, it is not difficult, provided you follow all guidelines mentioned in the article.

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Irish Education System

Education in Ireland is mandatory for kids between 6-16 years of age 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 children opt to go to private schools. Pre-school learning is available through private facilities and institutions. Free early education and childcare are ensured via the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) policy in Ireland. 

Here‚Äôs taking a look 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 birthdays. The State funds primary schools, although with private ownership in most cases.¬†
  • Second level– This covers a three-year junior stage and a 2-3 year 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 of age, with the examination being taken after three years. In the final two years, students choose one out of three programs in final two years, each of which has its corresponding state examinations. These include the established Leaving Certificate, Leaving certificate applied, or the Leaving certificate vocational programme. There are Leaving Certificate Vocational programmes as well.¬†

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  • Third-level– This is where students go to colleges of education, universities, or independent private colleges. There are self-governing/autonomous universities offering doctorate, master and bachelor courses while other providers include technological universities, institutes of technology, etc.¬†
  • Further and adult education– This level has programmes such as vocational training opportunities schemes, post-leaving certificate courses, Youthreach programmes, basic literacy, etc.¬†

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Types of higher education institutions in Ireland 

  • University-Tertiary Education– The country has seven State universities with constituents of the National University of Ireland present at 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‚Äôs 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, and many others.¬†
  • Institutions for public service training like 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‚Äôs College, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.¬†

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Ireland’s Grading Scale

Here‚Äôs 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. 

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Features of Ireland Universities

Ireland has several highly ranked universities globally for a variety of courses and disciplines. The country‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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). 

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 study in Ireland for Indian students costs around ¬£468-852 every month or INR 47-85,000 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. This works out to roughly INR 8.5-43 lakh for Indian students. 

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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. 

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. 

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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


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. 

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Q1. Is Ireland good for Indian students?

A. Ireland is highly recommended for Indian students due to its huge line-up 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.

Q2. Is Ireland cheap to study?

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

Q3. Are Irish Universities for free?

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 programme.

Q4. 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 ambience for international students. Irish degrees are recognized throughout the world, while the education system in the country emphasizes holistic learning.

Q5. 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.

Q6. 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.

Q7. 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.

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