About the Higher Education System
There are seven universities in Ireland and 14 Institutes of Technology. All of these institutions are able to award full degrees. There are also a number of private universities.
Entry requirements vary from course to course. You will usually need to achieve specific grades in your A levels, IB or other qualifications. Irish universities do not make conditional offers. No one receives an offer from an Irish university until they have received their grades.
If you wish to apply to an Irish university you must do so through the Central Applications Office (www.cao.ie). This performs a similar function to UCAS in that it is a centralised application process. It differs in many respects, however. You can apply for up to 10 courses at Irish universities. You can change your mind about the courses you wish to apply for throughout the year but can never apply to more than 10 courses.
You will not receive conditional offers from Irish universities. Places at university are not awarded until the results of the Leaving Certificate are known. This is usually around the same time as A’ level results are announced in mid August.
Places are awarded at Irish universities according to the results of the leaving certificate. A levels and IB Diplomas are awarded points that correspond to equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. However, these points differ from the UCAS tariff. It is quite possible for popular courses in Ireland to require a points total that is only achievable with 4 excellent A levels.
Please check the CAO website for further details about the application process. Please contact the individual universities for an indication of the grades that are likely to be required for admission to particular courses.
How much does it cost?
There are currently no tuition fees in Ireland. However, there are registration fees which are payable each year. These are currently €2,000 a year and will rise by €250 a year for the next few years. Tuition fees may be reintroduced at some point in the future and they may be significantly higher than the current registration fee.
Private universities in Ireland already charge fees and these are typically around €5,000 per year. The largest private university in Ireland is Griffith College where you can study business, law, journalism, computer science and a range of other subjects.
It is worth pointing out that there is no automatic financial aid or student loan scheme in Ireland, meaning that British students choosing to study there may very well have to finance their education and living costs independently.
How do I get a visa?
No visa is required for EU citizens.
Can I work there as a student?
Universities in Ireland