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Top 8 Universities in Ireland for International Students

Updated on 08 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Located on the westernmost edge of Europe, Ireland is a popular destination for international students. Along with high-quality education, internationally ranked universities, and a flourishing economy, Ireland has rich cultural diversity. With a focus on research and worldwide collaboration, the country has ample opportunities for graduates from different fields. 


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Top Universities in Ireland

Ireland is home to eight universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021. Out of these, five are in the global top 500. Below is the list of universities in Ireland that are immensely popular in the world.

UniversityIrish RankGlobal Rank
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)1101
University College Dublin (UCD)2177
National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)3238
University College Cork (UCC)4286
Dublin City University (DCU)5439
University of Limerick (UL)6511-520
Maynooth University7701-750
Technological University of Dublin8801-1000

Ranking of universities in Ireland can help students decide the best course and institute for themselves. Here is some more info on the top universities in Ireland.

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

Widely considered one of Europe’s elite universities, Trinity College Dublin is the only constituent college under the University of Dublin. It houses five major research institutes: Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity Translational Medical Institute and Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute. With the help of these dynamic research centers, the university strives to make a vital impact on society. 

The institute offers undergraduate, postgraduate, short courses and online education. It has 18,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across three main faculties namely, health sciences; arts, humanities, engineering, mathematics and science. It is ranked as the 8th best international university in the world according to the Times Higher Education Rankings 2021 and comprises students and staff from over 120 countries which makes it a truly diverse and international campus. With 24 academic schools, Trinity offers over 600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs. 

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Popular courses at Trinity College

Top courses of Trinity in arts, law, business, science, engineering, health and social sciences are as follows:

BA Honors in Ancient History and Archaeology4 years 
Bachelor in Business Studies4 years
B.A.I. in Computer Engineering4 years 
MBA1 year 
MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences1 year 
MSc in Immunology1 year 

University College Dublin (UCD)

Ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide in the overall 2022 QS World University Rankings, UCD falls under Europe’s rising research-oriented universities. It was founded in 1854 and presently has a student population of around 34,000, with more than 8,500 international students from 130 countries.

 Since its establishment, UCD has played an important role in the formation of modern Ireland by successfully engaging with Irish society at every stage of development. Currently, the university has more than 800 Indian students. It’s quality of education and research are its major attractions. Apart from this, the university provides Ireland’s broad spectrum of globally recognized programs. 

Alumni of UCD hold great positions. The university’s most influential alumni are film director Neil Jordan, rugby player Brian O’ Driscol, Irish novelist Maeve Binchy, and Ireland’s former President Douglas Hyde. As the largest university in Ireland, UCD strives to contribute to the nation’s development through research and innovation.

Popular Courses at University College Dublin

UCD has a wide range of courses in popular streams such as law and business, arts and humanities, science, engineering and health sciences. Some of the courses are mentioned in the table given below:

BSc Cell & Molecular Biology4 years
`BSc Financial Mathematics4 years
BE Engineering4 years
Master of Accounting1 year
MSc Finance1 year
MA Film Studies1 year 

The National University of Ireland Galway, Galway

In 2019, the university was placed at 260th rank by QS, and presently it holds the 238th position. Over the past 175 years, NUI has experienced immense growth in terms of size and reputation. With a student body of 18,000, the university has brilliantly expanded its global reach over the past few decades. NUI provides a nurturing environment for the students coming to the university. The campus has 110 Student Societies, which offer them a chance to interact with new people, network, and make friends.

Popular Courses at the National University of Ireland

NUI is well known for its courses in arts, law, computer science, engineering, history, English language and literature, pharmacy, travel and hospitality and business & management studies.

Law (BCL)4 years 
Bachelor of Science in Business Information System4 years 
Bachelor of Commerce3 years 
MSc (Business Analytics)1 year
MSc (Marketing Management)1 year 
MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice1 year 

University College Cork

Popularly known as the UCC, the university was established in 1845. It falls under Ireland’s most prominent research institutions. The factor that sets it apart from other universities is the fact that it is the first university in the world to be awarded the international green flag for eco-friendliness.

University College Cork officially started as one of the three Queen’s colleges in Belfast, Cork, and Galway for the growth of learning in Ireland. It initially had 23 professors and 181 students in the fields of medicine, arts, and law. After a year, the university became a part of the Queen’s University of Ireland.

Even though UCC was founded in 1845, it started functioning in 1849. The university’s recognition as a well-known research institution in the faculties of Arts and Celtic Studies, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Science and Technology grants it a research funding of over 96 million euros.

Popular Courses at University College Cork

The most popular courses at UCC in different disciplines such as science, engineering, law, teaching and education, medicine & health sciences, accounting & commerce are mentioned below:

BSc (Hons) in Physics4 years 
BSc (Hons) Accounting4 years 
BA (Hons) Applied Psychology3 years 
MSc in International Accounting Practice1 year 

Dublin City University (DCU)

Dublin City University has established its image as one of the top global universities committed to excellence and global engagement. Holding 19th rank globally and first in Ireland in the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, the university has 5 campuses and offers over 200 programs under its five main faculties, which are science and health, humanities and social sciences, engineering and computing, business, and education.

 DCU has been accredited by well-known organizations such as the Association of MBAs and AACSB. The campus is full of student-friendly facilities such as pharmacies, libraries, ATMs, mini-markets, theatres, and clubs. Students also get access to sports activities such as gym, football, swimming pool.

The university offers a wide range of scholarships to students. Some of them are International Merit Scholarships, Sports Scholarships, and many other academic scholarships. DCU aims to create, research, and implement various educational models that can better the lives of students. With a student body of almost 11,500 and 2,000 international students from 116 different countries, the university is known as a centre of academic excellence.

Popular Courses at DCU 

BSc in Psychology and Mathematics4 years 
BSc in Health and Society4 years 
MSc in Management (Business)1 year 
MSc in Human Resource Management1 year

University of Limerick (UL)

The University of Limerick (UL) is an independent university with over 13,000 students, 13% of whom are international students. It provides undergraduate, postgraduate, professional studies courses, executive education, and springboard courses. Founded in 1972 as a small academic institution, the university got its recognition as the University of Limerick in 1989.

With a full staff of 17890, UL has more than 800 research students, 400+ lab facilities, and a student to faculty ratio of 21:1. The university has been awarded a five-star ranking for teaching, engagement, graduate employability, innovation, knowledge transfer, internationalization, and infrastructure by QS accessors.

UL offers more than 70 undergraduate programs in arts, education, humanities and social sciences, health sciences, engineering,  etc. 

Popular Courses at UL

Some popular courses that UL offers in streams such as media and mass communication, social sciences, business, law and management are given below 

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Digital Communication 4 years 
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology4 years 
Bachelor of Business Studies4 years 
LLM in International Commercial Law1 year
MSc in Civil Engineering1 year
Msc in Design for Health and Wellbeing1 year

Maynooth University

Maynooth University is a globally recognized university situated 25 kilometers outside Dublin, Ireland. The university is ranked 49th in the world in The Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, which places the university under the top 50 universities under 50 years old.

MU aims to provide the best experience to the students in terms of academics and social diversity to ensure that students graduate as skilled workers adept in soft and hard skills. Maynooth provides a wide range of undergraduate, master’s and PhD level programs in the humanities, science and engineering, and social sciences, along with business, law, and education.

Currently, the university offers 235 UG and PG level courses through 26 departments in 3 faculties i.e., natural science, social science, humanities. Students of MU are placed in MNCs, Government Departments, Semi-State Bodies, NGOs, etc.

Popular Courses at MU

There are various courses at MU in disciplines like law, science, business, accounting and commerce, mass communication and media,  IT & Software, Business and Management studies etc. 

BA Psychology3 years 
Bachelor of Social Science3 years 
BCL Law and Accounting3 years 
MSc Data Science and Analytics1 year
MSc in Computer Science (Software Engineering)1 year
MA Critical and Creative Media1 year

Technological University of Dublin

The university has 200 UG and PG programs across diverse academic disciplines such as humanities, engineering, business, science, tourism, and law. Ranked among the Top 500 Universities for engineering and technology in the world by QS, TU Dublin is globally recognized for its excellence in education and research.

 The university has a network of over 100,000 graduates who are placed in distinct professions across 70 countries worldwide. Around 93% of TU graduates started working or opted for further studies within 9 months of graduating. Most of the graduates are recruited by the top companies like OSCO, Facebook, Google, Citi, LinkedIn, JP Morgan and Deloitte with an initial salary of 26,000 EUR (23 Lakhs).

Popular Courses at Technological University of Dublin

BA Hons Journalism4 years 
B.Eng (Hons) in Automation Engineering4 years 
B.Eng (Hons) in Biomedical Design4 years 
MSc in Energy Management1 year

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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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