Basic Information about Ireland
Ireland's worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, cityscapes steeped in history and a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world.
Join the growing number of international students choosing Ireland to fulfil their potential.
Ireland is an English-speaking country with close cultural, economic and educational links with the English-speaking world, especially with the UK - our next door neighbour and with the USA, where Irish Americans form a high proportion of the population. We are European - part of the EU family of nations and cultures and of the increasingly integrated European Education Area. Ireland is Global in outlook - for several centuries Irish people have emigrated to and settled in many countries around the globe and today we welcome people to Ireland from all over the world.
The Higher Education System
The higher education system (third level) in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, education colleges and private, independent colleges. The institutions which fall within the first three groupings are autonomous and self governing, but substantially state-funded. Admission requirements for overseas students are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language aptitude. The academic year typically runs from September to June and is divided into either two or three semesters with holidays in December (Christmas) and April (Easter). The following academic awards can be acquired at Irish third level institutions:
Higher Certificate: two-year full-time course.
Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree: three-year full-time course.
Honours Bachelor’s Degree: normally a three- or four-year course.
Graduate Diploma: designed for graduates seeking vocational reorientation – usually a one-year course.
Master’s Degree: either by research or through a taught programme. Normally one-two year(s) in duration.
Doctorate (PhD): usually takes a minimum of three years of original research.
Some scholarships for overseas students are available from the universities and colleges themselves. Students are advised to directly contact the international office of the institution of their choice to obtain further information.