Ireland Education System Wins It All

Thinking of choosing Ireland for abroad studies, then you must be wondering what is different in the Irish Education System. The Irish Education system is well known for its academic excellence, expertise, great infrastructure, and immense employment opportunities. Ireland is ranked at 20th position reflecting the level of sincerity in disseminating knowledge and education to its citizens and international students. Thousands of Indians choose Ireland as the destination for their further studies, keeping in mind the flexibility Irish Education System provides. Apart from the flexibility and academic excellence, the Irish education system has an updated curriculum and modern perspective on contemporary issues. Ireland is home to various top-ranking colleges and universities offering courses that extend students’ skill sets by instilling pragmatism, creativity, and innovative initiation skills.

1. What Type of Education System Does Ireland Have?

Ireland has numerous colleges, universities, and schools that excel in the service of imparting knowledge and education. Various schools, universities, and colleges that are co-ed or single-gendered. Apart from this, what sets Irish Schooling apart from others is that kids below 6 years of age do not need to attend school. Most of the subjects are taught in the English medium, exposing children to globalized learning and outlook from a young age. 

The grading system also differs from other nations. If you have scored less than 40 percent then you will not be considered a pass. In order to be promoted to another semester or class, you need to secure in the range of 40-49 percent and should score more than 70 percent to obtain the first-division grade. This pushes students to do better and challenge themselves and hence typically they score above 60 percent. Ireland's education system is defined within different levels in it like Basic Level of Education (Levels 1 to 3), Diplomas and Certificates (Levels 4 to 7), Bachelors Degrees (Levels 7 and 8) and Masters Degrees (Levels 9 and 10). 

2. Ireland Education System for Pre-Primary Schools

According to the rules, Irish children do not need to attend school until they are six years old. Schemes like Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and National Childcare Scheme (NCS) have provided financial aid and support to schools and parents or guardians for the purpose of private childcare for their children. These pre-primary schools recruit National School trained teachers. The importance of pre-primary schooling for children is for the purpose of their exposure and overall development. The Department of Education sanctions funds for any extra expenses like lights, cleaning, maintenance, utility bills, and salaries of teachers.

3. Eligibility Criteria for Pre-Primary Schools

There are no specific eligibility criteria for pre-primary school admissions other than the age limit. Irish kids can enroll and attend pre-primary schools at the age of 2 years and 8 months. Children continue to remain in pre-primary schools up to the age of 6. Exemptions and exceptions are made for disabled children.

4. Ireland Education System for Post-Primary Schools

Post-primary education is divided into two sections, i.e., the junior and senior segments. 

Junior Segment: Children of age 12 to 15 years are considered to be participants in this segment. After three years of schooling and qualifying for exams, the students are awarded the Junior Certificate or Cycle Profile of Achievement. 

Senior Segment: After successful completion of the Junior cycle, children are promoted to the senior cycle for the next 2-3 years. Usually, a three-year senior Cycle will include a transition period of one year, which will provide students with enough exposure to educational instructions, and work experiences, according to the preference of children. 

While students are in the Senior Cycle, they are asked to choose from one of the following: 

Established Leaving Certificate: on the basis of this certificate, colleges and universities are allotted for further education. 

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme: It gives importance to technical subjects and vocational modules. It is similar to an Established Leaving Certificate.

Leaving Certificate Applied: This allows students to put importance on practical life and work experience. The students who prefer and choose to Leave Certificate Applied are usually not eligible to enroll and admit themselves in third-level courses. 

Usually, most schools cover education costs, and guardians and parents have to pay only for academic costs such as books, uniforms, or examination-related fees. The Irish government has plenty of scholarships and schemes in place for financially worn-out families to encourage them to afford their child’s second-level education. 

5. Pursuing Higher Education in Ireland’s Education System (Third-Level Education)

Irish education system’s third level generally covers three important parts: 

  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Technological Sector

Ireland has seven colleges, seven universities, fifteen private institutes of education, 14 institutes of technology, and some other private institutes where courses are offered in popular fields like management, business studies, law, medical science, etc.

The universities of Ireland are centralized and self-governing in nature. They do not ask for a fee from students who are from Ireland, EU/EEA countries, and Switzerland. Higher education includes both undergraduate degree and non-degree programs as well. Non-degree programs include diplomas which are 1-2 years in duration and Bachelor’s which are of 3 years in general. 

In Ireland, the first semester begins from September to December whereas the second semester begins from January to May. After successful completion of graduation, the Irish government provides you a grace period of two years to stay back and find employment. 

6. Popular January intakes in 2024

When it comes to master’s and bachelor’s in Ireland for International students. There are two most popular intakes in Ireland. We are preparing for the coming January intakes 2024 to complete your masters and bachelors in Ireland. Ireland offers two intakes.


Starting Period

Spring intakes

Late January and lasts until May

Autumn intakes

Early September and end in December 

7. Popular Universities in Ireland’s Education System

There are some most popular universities to complete their higher education. Ireland is one of the best educational systems.

8. Popular Program in Ireland’s Education System

Ireland's education system has a quality index of 5th of the country's higher education system. In Ireland, you can pursue a master’s after completing high school. The length of a master's degree depends on the university you choose for the course. There are some most popular programs. 

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Business Analytics 
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cyber Security 
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Digital Marketing
  • Data Science 
  • Data Analytics 

9. Eligibility Criteria for Higher Education

Eligibility Criteria can sometimes be confusing and difficult to trace and hence we have made a list for you. The eligibility for higher education usually depends on the chosen course, university, and discipline. 

  • The student must not be less than 16 years of age. 
  • To apply for an apprenticeship, the student must have a qualified Junior certificate or equivalent exam with a minimum required percentage.
  • The students must for qualify the English proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) to opt for studying in Ireland.
  • The students should have health insurance. 
  • Proof of funds.
  • 3 Letters
  • Strong detailed Statement of Purpose (SOP).

10. Ireland’s Education System After Graduation

You can apply for programs for additional study and training after graduation under the Irish educational system. These training initiatives, such as Post-Leaving Certificate Courses (PLC), Apprentice, Vocational Training Opportunity Schemes, Springboard+, etc., are managed by the Education and Training Boards.

These training courses emphasize technical and practical knowledge primarily. They advance their profession and open up better employment chances. When discussing apprenticeships, both on-the-job training and off-the-job educational programs are discussed. Numerous fields, including engineering, ICT, banking, software development, hospitality, etc., provide apprenticeship programs.

On the other hand, springboard+ offers unemployed people free, part-time education to advance their careers. Courses offered by Springboard+ cover topics including ICT, biomedicine, cybersecurity, sustainable energy, etc.

10.1. Undergraduate Students Tuition Fees

Ireland is the most preferred country for international students due to its world-class education system with affordable prices. The universities of this country offer courses at affordable prices. Some of the top undergraduate programs with their tuition fees are given below: 

  • Arts and humanities: €10,050 - €16,500
  • Business: €10,000 - €16,100
  • Engineering: €10,082 - €21,500
  • Medicine: €31,110 - €50,070
  • Sciences: €10,0900 - €21,690

10.2. Postgraduate Students Tuitions Fees

The universities of Ireland offer different specialization courses in a variety of fields, with a systematic education system and future job opportunities. Some of the most popular post graduation programs with their tuition fees are given below: 

  • Arts and humanities: €10,500 - €20,010
  • Business: €10,500 - €30,012
  • Engineering: €10,500 - €19,500
  • Medicine: €12,000 - €52,006
  • Sciences: €10,500 - €18,057

10.3. Top Universities for International Students

Ireland has a number of highly-ranked universities that offer prestigious degrees in a variety of fields. If you dream to study abroad in Ireland, here is the list of top universities in Ireland for you: 

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland (Galway)
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • Dublin City University

11. Living Expenses and Cost of Accommodation in Ireland

The cost of studying abroad depends mainly on your living expenses after your tuition fee. You can manage your expenses by regulating your daily life like your accommodation cost, daily routine, standard of living, and many more. Most students think that part-time jobs can fund their monthly expenses in Ireland, no you should not rely on part-time jobs for your expenses. For accommodation you can either live in university-managed accommodation or off-campus, on-campus will cost you 600 euros and off-campus is costly around 1000-1500 euros the rent changes accordingly with cities like Dublin being an expensive city. Food and beverages will cost you around 200 euros along with some miscellaneous expenses of 210 euros every month.

12. Conclusion

From this blog, we can conclude that Ireland is a great destination for schooling as well as for graduation and postgraduation study abroad for international students, as the education system of Ireland consists of classes with English as a medium of instruction.  The division of Ireland's education system into three levels makes it more viable for students to complete their schooling. As an international student you can choose Ireland for your higher studies. The living standard of Ireland is great and the living expenses and accommodation costs are very low in Ireland when compared to other countries in many aspects including these.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ireland is undoubtedly among the top locations for higher education. The nation is committed to offering top-notch education, a wide range of employment options, and a fulfilling lifestyle.

Ireland is inexpensive when compared to other English-speaking nations. The annual tuition at the nation's institutions is between 10,000 and 25,000 euros. Also the living expenses and accommodation cost is low compared to other English-speaking nations. Your monthly expenses would be around 1000 to 1200 euros.

Yes, you require an IELTS band score of 5 to apply for admission in Irish universities, IELTS band may differ from university to university. For the TOEFL computer-based exam you need 173 marks.

Ireland has no upper age restriction for students. But before enrolling in a course of study at an Irish university, students must have finished their 16th year.