Comprehensive Guide on how to Study in Ireland: Application Process, Student Visa Application and Tuition Fees

A good number of universities in Ireland rank very high at international level, and the country as a whole is understandably a popular study abroad choice for international students. The varied selection of higher education institutions combines with historic cities, beautiful countryside and Ireland’s unique culture to make the country a highly attractive study destination. If you’re among those choosing to study in Ireland, click on the tabs below to find out more about Irish universities, cities, applications and more.

Application to Study in Ireland

Applicants from the EU students applying for undergraduate courses should use the Central Applications Office (CAO). Be informed that the usual deadline for online applications is 20 January, and for paper applications is 1 February. However, ‘late’ online applications can still be made up and until 1 February, and paper applications until 1 May.

Usually, there is a small application fee ranging from €30 (~US$33) for an early online application, up to €80 (US$87) for a late paper application that will be charged.

Entry requirements vary, but will include showing 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.

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Student Visa to Study in Ireland

Students from within the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not need a visa to study in Ireland. There are also a number of other countries whose citizens do not need a visa – a full list is provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Students from countries exempt from visas should bring proof of acceptance onto a course when entering the country, and register with immigration authorities if intending to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days.

The process requires students to submit:

  • A letter of acceptance onto a course offered by a recognized institution
  • Evidence that fees have been paid
  • Evidence of medical insurance
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover living expenses – currently set at a minimum of €7,000 (~US$7,60) per year
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Evidence of proficiency in English
  • Passport which is valid for at least six months after the course will end

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Undergraduate students from countries within the EU/EEA and Switzerland can benefit from the Free Fees Initiative. This means you’ll only need to pay a ‘registration fee’, of about €3,000 (US$3,255).

For students outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland, tuition fees vary depending on both the institution and the subject. For 2015/16, the government organization Education in Ireland advises undergraduate students to expect to pay €31,000 – €50,000 (~US$33,680 -54,330) for medicine and related subjects, €10,000 – €21,600 (US$10,875 – 23,480) for engineering, science and technology, and €10,000 – €16,500 (US$10,875 – 17,940) for business and arts and humanities.

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.

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