Ireland is a wonderful place to live and study. International students who only have the option of free education or cheap universities should consider Ireland as a study destination. This is because the country has many cheap universities that offer tuition-free Master’s degrees and quality education. If you have ever dreamt of studying in Ireland, then this article will guide you on cheap universities in Ireland for international students.
Tuition fees in Irish universities vary according to the course of study, level of study, and school fees. However, it is important to note that some universities offer tuition-free education while others charge affordable fees.
Higher Education in Ireland
For international students, Ireland is a popular study destination. It has a world-class education system, and the cost of studying and living in Ireland is relatively low compared to the rest of Europe, but this will depend on where you come from. The universities in Ireland are well regarded worldwide, with Griffith College Dublin and University College Cork both ranking in the top 2% of universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2017/18). Higher education institutions in Ireland can be split into three groups:
- Universities – Focus on research, with academic staff specializing in a particular subject area.
- Institutes of technology – Teach a range of subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. They may be large or small, urban or rural, and generally provides more practical study than universities.
- Private colleges – Offer a wide range of courses, from English to business studies.
Benefits of Studying in Ireland
Ireland is a beautiful country with a long history of culture, tradition, and education. Many students wish to study in Ireland as it has some cheap universities in Ireland. There are many advantages to studying at low tuition universities in Ireland. Let us first look at the reasons why you should study in Ireland:
- The education system of Ireland offers great quality education;
- Ireland is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Europe;
- The country has many top-ranking universities;
- Studying at these cheap universities in Ireland will offer you dual degree and certification opportunities;
- Ireland is a safe and friendly country, so you will feel comfortable while staying here;
- The cost of living expenses while studying at these low tuition universities in Ireland is relatively affordable;
- As an international student, you can also work part-time while studying to pay your expenses.
Disadvantages of Universities in Ireland
- When you don’t complete a Foundation year, you’ll have trouble getting into college. In general, many Irish universities, including those that accept international students, have a high percentage of applicants accepted.
- Obstacles may arise, however, as a result of citizenship and prior education. Ireland’s standards are much more in line with those of the European Union. Even if some non-EU/EEA certificates formally meet all of the criteria, the admissions committee may have reservations about whether the academic differences will prevent a student who has not completed the prerequisite courses from enrolling.
- Life is costly. On university campuses, dorms typically provide excellent amenities at a high cost. A rented room in the city will be much less expensive, but the housing available is frequently in poor condition, and demand far outnumbers supply. This is particularly true in the case of Dublin.
How Much Does It Cost To Study In Ireland?
If you’re from an EU country or Switzerland, Norway or Iceland, then you can study for free. However, if you’re from anywhere else in the world, you will have to pay tuition fees. Fees vary depending on what course you’re studying and at which university, but they range between €10,000 (~US$ 11,500) and €20,000 (~US$ 23,100) per year. If you’ve ever considered studying abroad in Ireland, but the cost has held you back, you might want to think again. Although UK students can go to Ireland for free, Irish universities have always charged international students.
However, there’s now a growing number of tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students. The cost of studying in Ireland varies depending on your course and institution, but it will cost between €9,000 (£7,500) and €32,500 (£27,000) per year to study an undergraduate degree at a public university. Courses at private colleges and universities tend to be more expensive than those offered by public institutions and can cost up to €33,000 (£27,700) per year.
Postgraduate courses are usually cheaper than undergraduate degrees and will cost between €5,000 (£4,200) and €20,000 (£16,700) per year depending on the course, university, and if you’re a domestic or international student.
How Many Universities Are There in Ireland?
Ireland is considered one of the most beautiful, popular, and friendly countries in the world. The country also has some of the best universities globally, especially when it comes to medicine and engineering. Thousands of international students go to Ireland to study every year because of its high-quality education, friendly people, and beautiful landscapes. Students who want to study in Ireland have many questions on their minds: How much does it cost to study in Ireland? How many universities are there in Ireland? What are the tuition fees for students?
Ireland is a country on an island off the west coast of Britain. It is divided into Northern Ireland (part of Britain) and the Republic of Ireland. The Republic has beautiful landscapes with green meadows and rugged coasts. Due to the economic crisis has become a top-rated destination for international students as universities offer free tuition for European Union (EU) citizens. However, Ireland is home to 69 recognized higher education. Here is the list of Higher Education in Ireland Recognised as Universities under the Universities Act, 1997 as amended:
- Dublin City University
- Munster Technological University
- National University of Ireland
- Maynooth University
- NUI Galway
- University College Cork
- University College Dublin
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- Technological University Dublin
- Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest
- University of Limerick
- University of Dublin
- Trinity College
Institutes of technology
- Institute of Technology, Carlow
- Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology
- Dundalk Institute of Technology
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
- Letterkenny Institute of Technology
- Institute of Technology, Sligo
- Waterford Institute of Technology
- Pontifical University
- St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (also known as Maynooth College or the Pontifical University at Maynooth
Colleges of education
- St Angela’s College of Education, Sligo NUIG
- Marino Institute of Education, DU
- Mary Immaculate College, LimerickUL
- St. Patrick’s College, Thurles UL
Recognized, associated, or constituent colleges of Irish universities
- Institute of Public Administration NUI
- Irish School of Ecumenics DU
- National College of Art and Design UCD
- National Maritime College of Ireland MTU]
- Shannon College of Hotel Management NUIG
- Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
- Garda Síochána College
- Military College, Curragh Camp
- National Ambulance Service College
State-aided and chartered institutions
- Honorable Society of King’s Inns
- National College of Ireland
- Royal Irish Academy of Music
- Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (postgraduate medical qualifications)
- American College Dublin
- Burren College of Art
- Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland, theology programs validated by St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth
- Cavan Institute
- Christian Leadership in Education Office (CLEO), postgraduate education programs validated by the University of Hull
- Church of Ireland Theological Institute (partly in cooperation with Trinity College Dublin)
- City Colleges
- Coláiste na hÉireann
- Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa
- College of Progressive Education
- Cork College of Commerce
- Digital Skills Academy (historically validated by Dublin Institute of Technology and Boston College)
- Dorset College
- Dublin Business School
- Dublin Institute of Design
- Gaiety School of Acting
- Galway Business School
- The Grafton Academy of Fashion Design
- Griffith College Cork
- Griffith College Dublin
- Griffith College Limerick
- Hibernia College
- IBAT College Dublin
- ICD Business School
- Independent College Dublin
- Irish Bible Institute
- Irish Management InstituteUCC
- Kimmage Development Studies Centre (merged into Maynooth University)
- Mallow College of Further Education
- Newman College Ireland
- Pitman Training Ireland
- Portobello Institute
- The Priory Institute (validated by Institute of Technology, Tallaght)
- Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (Masters validated by Waterford Institute of Technology)
- St. John’s Central College, Cork
- St. Nicholas Montessori College
- St. Patrick’s, Carlow College
- Setanta College
- Turning Point
Cheap Universities in Ireland for International Students
Ireland has a strong educational tradition, with its first university dating back to the 16th century. Today almost 40 colleges and institutes of technology are dispersed all over the country. Ireland’s universities may be small and intimate, but they’re no less prestigious than their larger English counterparts. Most Irish institutions have a reputation for producing highly employable graduates who are sought after by companies all over the world.
Most Irish universities are located in and around Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway. However, some higher education institutions are based in more rural locations – offering students a unique opportunity to experience Ireland’s countryside and the cosmopolitan life of its cities. Here are some of the cheapest universities in Ireland:
Trinity College is well-known for many things, including being Ireland’s highest-ranked university. Trinity College is also one of the Cheap Universities in Ireland for international students. Located in Dublin, it is surrounded by beautiful scenery, and this university has produced great people such as Oscar Wilde and Edmund Burke. Because of their emphasis on liberal education, the study environment at Trinity College is interactive and filled with activities with the students and the professor.
- Undergraduate Annual Tuition Fee
6,000 ~ 12,000 Euros (EU)
20,000 ~ 40,000 Euros (Non-EU)
- Postgraduate Annual Tuition Fee
6,000 ~ 20,000 Euros (EU)
10,000 ~ 20,000 Euros (Non-EU)
NUI, the National University of Ireland, is famous for its education and its location. The city of Galway has been nicknamed Ireland’s most charming city and the friendliest city. Many NUI professors have been recognized for their contributions to education, and many students are following in their footsteps.
- Undergraduate Annual Tuition Fee
6,000 ~ 8,000 Euros (EU)
16,000 ~ 25,000 Euros (Non-EU)
- Postgraduate Annual Tuition Fee
5,000 ~ 8,000 Euros (EU)
13,000 ~ 24,000 Euros (Non-EU)
Griffith College is Ireland’s largest third-level institution, offering third-level courses to Irish students. Many international students come to Griffith to finish their studies because they offer internationally accredited courses and programs. Griffith College has campuses in Dublin, Cork, and Limerick due to its size.
- Undergraduate Annual Tuition Fees
4,000 ~ 7,000 Euros (EU)
12,000 Euros (Non-EU)
Postgraduate Annual Tuition Fees
6,000 ~ 8,000 Euros (EU)
12,000 ~ 14,000 Euros (Non-EU)
Even though it is a young university, the University of Limerick boasts of having more than 70 programs, and they offer more than 100 programs in postgraduate degrees. Having more than 2,000 international students, UL offers various work-study positions to international students. For international postgraduate students, the University of Limerick is among the Cheap Universities in Ireland.
- Undergraduate Annual Tuition Fees
3,000 ~ 5,000 Euros (EU)
10,000 ~ 12,500 Euros (Non-EU)
- Master’s Annual Tuition Fees
3,000 ~ 6,000 Euros (EU)
7,000 ~ 13,000 Euros (Non-EU)
Known as the DBS, the Dublin Business School offers many arts, media, social science, humanities, and psychology courses. In addition to offering courses for undergraduate and graduate courses, the Dublin Business School provides third-level courses for people working and who graduated from DBS. Dublin Business School is one of the Cheap Universities in Ireland for an undergraduate degree.
- Undergraduate Annual Tuition Fees
0 ~ 7,000 Euros (EU)
10,000 Euros (Non-EU)
- Master’s Annual Tuition Fees
8,000 ~ 10,000 Euros (EU)
12,500 ~ 13,500 Euros (Non-EU)
What Programs Are Popular in Ireland?
Ireland is not only a place where you can go to find four-leaf clovers, but it is also home to top-notch universities. The country has made it possible for international students to study in Ireland for free. Ireland’s universities offer a wide variety of programs that range from agriculture and environmental science, biomedical sciences, and business and management. Ireland’s higher education system is divided into third-level or university education and higher education.
Suppose you’re interested in studying in Ireland. In that case, you should know that the Irish education system is based on the Bologna Process model — this means that international students can take their credits with them if they decide to transfer or continue their studies elsewhere in Europe. This is because all European nations have agreed to adopt the 3-cycle degree system (bachelor’s-master’s-doctorate), which makes it possible for students to move around quickly within the continent.
Before applying, you should know that there are certain requirements when applying for studying in Ireland:
Proof of English language proficiency. Most of Ireland’s universities require applicants to provide proof of English proficiency by taking an accredited English language test such as IELTS or TOEFL. We will see more of this in the section below. The list of courses includes;
- Advertising / Marketing
- Aeronautical Engineering / Aircraft Maintenance
- Animation and Multimedia
- Biology / Biotechnology
- Chemistry / Chemical Engineering
- Computer Science / Engineering / IT / AI
- Civil Engineering / Architecture / Construction
- Data Science / Analytics / Cyber Security
- Design / Art / Fashion
- Education / Early Childhood learning
- Electric & Electronic Engineering
- English Literature
- Finance / Accounting
- Film Making / Music / Drama Studies
- Food Science / Food Technology
- Geography / History
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Human Resource
- Journalism / Communications
- Mechanical Engineering
- Midwifery & Nursing / Mental Health
- Political Science / International Relations
- Public Health / Medicine and Dentistry
- Social Work / Sociology
- Sports Science / Physiotherapy
- Veterinary Science / Zoology
What Are the Requirements to Study in An Irish University?
A minimum academic score of 60% and above in Standard 7 is required for each course. Students with a 50 percent or higher can enroll in foundations and diploma programs. A student must be at least 18 years old before enrolling in a degree program. It is important to remember that even though entry requirements are lower at Irish universities, the education standard is not. Hence, you should carefully enhance your ability to cope with the high standard of education over the next few years beforehand.
The documents to be submitted are:
- Academic Transcripts: Standard X, XII, and bachelor’s degree mark sheets (if applicable)
- Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS scores
- If you have work experience, then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional abilities.
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Academic Resume
- a portfolio of work (in case of students applying for art and design courses or architecture programs)
- Others (state and national certificates/achievements, as well as extracurricular activities)
- Proof of funds
- Health insurance
- A copy of your passport
Photocopies of these documents should be translated into English and certified by the educational institution or by a notary.
Best University in Ireland for International Students 2022
International students ranked University College Cork, University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the National University of Ireland Galway, some of which make up the top five cheapest universities in Ireland. Here are the Top 10 tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students.
- Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
- University College Dublin (UCD)
- Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI)
- Dublin City University (DCU)
- National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI, Galway) National University of Ireland,
- Maynooth (NUI, Maynooth)
- National University of Ireland,
- Cork (NUIM, Cork)
- Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
- Dublin Business School (DBS) Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).
King’s College London, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Cambridge, and The University of Oxford are also included in the top 50 world rankings.
The number of students coming to Ireland to study is growing at a staggering rate. In 2016 alone, the number of students from overseas increased by 55%. For Indian students, the growth has been phenomenal. In the last few years, the number of students coming from India has almost doubled. However, I believe this article will help you as an international student in choosing cheap universities in Ireland to study in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there free universities in Ireland?
Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degrees are free in Ireland for citizens of Ireland, the EU/EEA, and Switzerland. The Higher Education Authority pays for the expenses (HEA). Keep in mind that not all public university undergraduate courses are free.
After graduation, how long can an international student stay in Ireland?
Those who apply successfully are allowed to stay in Ireland for a period of 12 months after receiving their exam results in order to look for work. Students who complete a postgraduate program may be allowed to stay for a total of 24 months after graduation.
Is it possible for an international student to find work in Ireland?
Yes, of course. This scheme allows non-EU third-level graduates who are legally resident in Ireland to look for work or apply for a green card/work permit. A student can work full-time during their approved stay under the scheme (40 hours a week).
Are Irish universities cheap?
In terms of tuition and cost of living, Ireland is considerably less expensive than other higher education systems, such as in the United Kingdom. In this article, we present a list of universities in Ireland that are the most affordable and offer some of the best education for these prices.
What is the smallest university in Ireland?
Maynooth University. There are over 13,000 students enrolled and over 900 staff members representing over 20 countries. It is Ireland’s smallest yet fastest-growing university. In 2009, Maynooth University was listed as a Top500 university in the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.
Is Ireland less expensive than the United Kingdom for international students?
To give you an idea, Irish tuition fees range from 9.850 to 55.000€ per year, while British tuition fees range from £9.250 to £26,000. In the United Kingdom, tuition fees for medical courses can be significantly higher, reaching £58.600 per year.
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