How to Study in Ireland for International Students (4 Steps)

Studying in Ireland comes with a lot of benefits. After all, the country is known for its safe environment and colorful culture. Best of all, Irish universities boast of excellent education – delivered in the world’s lingua franca, English.

With cheaper tuition fees compared to neighboring countries, Ireland should be your top choice for higher education. If you are considering the ‘Emerald Isle’ as your next study destination, then here are some helpful tips on studying in Ireland as an international student.

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Steps of Studying in Ireland for International Students

Here are some steps that you should follow to maximize your chances of studying in Ireland:

  1. The most important thing is planning your finances to be able to study in Ireland. You need to have a financial plan to be able to study abroad. This can come in form of attending affordable universities in Ireland, working while studying, and just simply, out of your own pocket.
  2. There are many things that you need to prepare such as language requirements and application requirements. Make sure to know what the requirements are and prepare in advance!
  3. Then, you will need to apply to Irish universities following their application procedure.
  4. After you get accepted, you will need to apply for a student visa.


1. Financing Your Studies in Ireland as International Students

Undergraduate tuition fees usually cost about $11,158 (EUR 9,850) and could go as high as $28,887 (EUR 25,500). Medical courses cost even higher, with fees ranging from $44,747 to $62,306 (EUR 39,500 to 55,000).

Post-graduate courses, on the other hand, start at $11,271 (EUR 9,950). Fees could reach as much as $39,083 (EUR 34,500) annually.

As for the cost of living, you could expect to pay more should you live in the capital. Monthly rent in Dublin ranges from $2,092 (EUR 1,847) to $2,442 (EUR 2,156). Leitrim in the border region offers the cheapest rent at $653 (EUR 577).

Annual utility costs, on the other hand, cost about $1,146 (EUR 1012) for electricity and $862 (EUR 761) for gas. You also need to shell a lot for your daily meals, since Ireland is the fourth-most expensive EU country in terms of food and soft drinks.

2. Knowing the General Application Requirements

To study in Ireland for international students, you need to meet these requirements:

General English Requirements (Undergraduate)

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) recommends the following English proficiency scores for international students:

  • IELTS = band 5
  • TOEFL CBT = 173
  • TOEFL PBT = 500
  • TOEFL iBT = 61
  • ETAPP = B2
  • PTE Academic = 30
  • FCE = Pass
  • Cambridge English, Advanced or Proficiency = Pass
  • BEC Higher or Vantage = Pass

Remember, these are minimums as universities actually require higher scores. For this, you need to check your school’s website for details.

For example, at the University College Dublin, applicants should possess either a band 6.5 in IELTS, 600 in TOEFL PBT, 90 in TOEFL iBT, C1 to C2 for the Cambridge Exam or ETAPP, and a minimum 63 in the PTE.

Marginally lower requirements are put forth by Trinity College Dublin. It accepts a band 6.5 for IELTS, 88 for TOEFL iBT, 570 for TOEFL PBT, and 230 for TOEFL CBT. It also requires the same grade (C1 to C2) for the PTE.

General English Requirements (Graduate)

The same general English proficiency requirements apply to graduate students. However, the preferred scores may vary per university and degree. Take the case of NUI Galway, which requires an IELTS of 7 for its MA Global Media & Communications program.

As such, it is always best to check with your school’s admissions office regarding English proficiency requirements.

Application Requirements (Undergraduate)

To study in an undergraduate program in Ireland as an international student, you need to possess a certificate of secondary education. Since programs are very competitive, most universities will consider your high school grade in weighing your admissability. With that being said, you need to check with your university regarding its GPA preferences.

Take the case of the University College Dublin, which requires a GPA of 3 out of 4. Other requirements may also apply depending on your nationality. Americans, for example, need to have an SAT score of at least 1090 or an ACT of at least 22.

At Trinity College Dublin, you need to meet the minimum matriculation academic requirements for English, Mathematics, and other subjects. You also need to meet the age requirement, as well as the English proficiency scores stated above.

Application Requirements (Graduate) in h3 headings

International students who wish to take post-graduate courses in Ireland can apply in two ways. They can do so directly through the school, or by way of the postgraduate application center. You can check the website for the list of schools that receive applications through the said portal.

The basic requirement for the post-graduate study is a diploma of undergraduate studies, either from a university in Ireland or any other country.

At Trinity College Dublin, a 2.1 honors degree or equivalent is preferred. Graduate applicants also need to submit a copy of their passport and two recommendation letters.

At the University College Dublin, other requirements include a resume and an essay, which should be submitted via the student information portal.

3. How to Apply to Universities in Ireland

As mentioned, Irish universities place high merit on GPAs and what not. To further improve your chances of studying in Ireland as an international student, you need to submit on or before the admission deadlines, which are stated below.


At Trinity College Dublin, the application portal opens on October 1. It accepts applications until June 30. However, it has a priority deadline of February 1. According to the website, submitting on or before this date will give you a better chance for acceptance.

The same early deadline of February 1 is also applied to more competitive courses, such as Drama, Music, Medicine, and Dental Science.

Meanwhile, at NUI Galway, the deadlines depend on your semester for study. For full-year (semester 1) applicants, the deadline is May 31. Semester 2 applicants, on the other hand, need to submit their documents by October 31.

Apart from submitting your requirements, you also need to pay an application fee, which costs anywhere from $56 to $62 (EUR 50 to EUR 55).

Since schools have different intake periods, make sure to check with your respective university regarding its application deadlines.


At Trinity College Dublin, the deadline for most post-graduate courses is on June 30. However, some programs may have earlier cut-offs, so you should refer to the department’s official website for the dates.

At the University College Dublin, post-graduate deadlines are on a rolling basis. They close once the courses are filled, and they fill up rather early because of the influx of students from all around the world. For a better fighting chance, make sure to submit your documents at the earliest possible time.

The same application fees apply. You need to pay anywhere from $56 to $62 (EUR 50 to EUR 55) upon submission of documents.

4. How to Apply for Student Visa

According to the INIS, student visas will be given to individuals who need to study for more than 3 months. You can start the application at least 3 months before your studies start. This is the easiest step of studying in Ireland for international students. The hard part is actually getting accepted.

What’s great about an Irish student visa is that you can complete the application online. But before you start the process, it’s advisable if you have the following documents at hand:

  • Passport/s, including previous ones
  • Details of any Irish visa applications
  • Details of visa refusal/s from other countries, if any
  • Details of any pending charges or previous criminal convictions
  • Contact details of your Irish host/sponsor
  • Itinerary

After finishing the online application procedure, you need to submit a signed summary together with your passport and passport-sized photos. Fees of $67 to $113 (EUR 60 to EUR 100) apply.

When it comes to education, Ireland is one of the best destinations to consider. After all, it is known for its student-friendly environment and impressive curriculums – delivered in English, of course. With these features, studying in Ireland can give you a definite career head start in your home country.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.