Tons of universities in Ireland rank impressively well at international level, and the country generally is a popular choice for international students. The diversity in the selection of higher education institutions combined with popular cities, beautiful countryside and Ireland’s fantastic culture make the country a highly attractive study abroad destination. If you would like to choose to study on low tuition in Ireland, keep reading to find out more about Irish universities, cities, applications and more.
How to Apply to study in Ireland
Please note that EU students who are applying for undergraduate courses are told to use the Central Applications Office (CAO). Typical deadline for online applications is 20 January, and for paper applications is 1 February. However, ‘late’ online applications can happen until 1 February, and paper applications until 1 May.
You will be charged a small application fee, which ranges from €30 for an early online application, up to €80 for a late submission.
Entry requirements equally vary, but will include submitting proof of proficiency in the English language. For students who need a little extra practice, preparatory English courses are available at many universities, and also at dedicated English tuition schools.
Visas to study in Ireland
Students who hail from within the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not require a visa to study in Ireland. There are also a number of other countries whose citizens do not require a visa – a full list is made available by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Students who come from countries exempt from visas should bring proof of acceptance onto a course when flying the country, and register with immigration authorities if intending to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days.
Those who require a visa, should do so online, using the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. The process requires students to submit the following:
- An acceptance lletter onto a course offered by a recognized institution
- Evidence that tuition have been paid
- Evidence of medical insurance
- Evidence of sufficient cash to cover living expenses – currently set at a minimum of €7,000 (~US$7,900) per year
- Two recent passport-sized photographs
- Evidence of english proficiency
- Passport which is valid for at least six months after the course will end
Fees and funding
All undergraduate students from countries that are within the EU/EEA and Switzerland can benefit from the Free Fees Initiative. What this means is that you’ll only need to pay a ‘registration fee’, of about €3,000.
For students who come from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland, tuition fees vary based on both the institution and the course. Using 2018/19, information the government organization Education in Ireland advises undergraduate students to pay €45,000 – €54,135 (~US$51,000-61,400) for medicine and related subjects, €9,950 – €24,958 (US$11,300-28,300) for engineering, science and technology, and €9,750 – €22,000 (US$11,050-25,000) for business and arts and humanities.
Although you’re expected to show you have a minimum of €7,000 (~US$7,900) per year when applying for a student visa, you’ll actually need much more than this, with the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Cost of Living Guide survey estimating total annual living expenses of €11,829 ~(~US$13,400), although you should plan to spend more cash if you intend to live in Dublin, where rent is higher than the rest of the country.
Student grants are available for EU nationals through the centralized Student Grant Scheme, and scholarships are offered by the government, individual universities, and independent organizations. Check with your university to find out which you may be eligible for.
Trinity College Dublin
Founded sometime in 1592, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s oldest higher education institution and one of the seven “ancient universities” across the territory of the UK and Ireland. It’s the only constituent college of the University of Dublin, and was built after the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Presently, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s most prestigious university, ranked joint 104th in the world. More than 17,000 students are currently enrolled across the university’s three faculties: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences; and Health Sciences.
University College Dublin
Equally based in the lively Irish capital, University College Dublin has its roots in the Catholic University of Ireland, which was established sometime in 1854. Ireland’s second representative in the international rankings, it sits joint 193rd in the QS World University Rankings 2019. Roughly 34,000 students are currently enrolled, and the university has five colleges, 34 schools and 18 research institutes and centers. It is associated with many notable alumni, including the famous Irish writer James Joyce, actor Gabriel Byrne, and Oscar-winning director and producer Neil Jordan.