Study in Ireland

The island of Ireland is situated in Northwest Europe and is approximately 20 kilometres from Great Britain at its nearest point. The total area of the island is 84,421 square kilometres of which Northern Ireland (politically part of the United Kingdom) comprises 14,139 square kilometres, with the remainder constituting an independent parliamentary democracy called Ireland. Ireland has a population of approximately 4.9 million people, with the greatest concentration being on the east and south coasts. The capital of Ireland is Dublin. Its official languages are Irish and English. Business is conducted in English, and the currency is the euro (EUR).

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The basic law of the country is contained in the Constitution of Ireland, which was adopted in 1937 and amended on a number of occasions since then by public referenda. The Constitution sets out the fundamental rights of the citizen, the form of government, and the powers of the government. It also defines the system of courts and regulates the appointment of the judiciary. The national parliament consists of the president and two houses: a house of representatives (Dáil Éireann) and a senate (Seanad Éireann). The President is Head of State only and does not have executive functions. Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and the cabinet, while the power of making laws rests with parliament.

Over the last four decades, Ireland has continually invested and reinvested to meet the requirements of a growing and sophisticated international business sector. Today, Ireland is one of the most favoured locations for investment in Europe. Site Selection ranked Ireland as number one per capita in Western Europe in its 2020 Best to Invest rankings. According to IBM’s 2019 Global Location Trends Annual Report, Ireland is ranked second in the world for ‘estimated jobs per million inhabitants’. Ireland is also ranked third in the world for ‘average job value of investment projects’. These show that companies are looking at structural factors, such as a favourable business environment, skills availability, and cluster/sector strengths, when deciding where to invest rather than cyclical phenomena, such as short-term economic growth prospects or fiscal deficits. This can be seen by the fact that over 1,000 companies from all over the world have chosen Ireland as their base to do business and that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years, despite global economic uncertainty.

Why Study In Ireland?

Ireland has a long history of welcoming international students going back more than a thousand years. In the dark ages of 7th century Europe, Ireland was a beacon of learning, and students from around the continent travelled to study in Irish monasteries. We continue that proud and historic tradition today, and for the past 50 years Ireland has been a location of choice from students around the world, including North America, Europe, the Gulf and Asia.

An education in Ireland is a transformational experience, which adds significant value to the personal development and economic potential of our graduates and binds them to the global Irish family, a network which will continue to be open to them no matter where in the world they travel.

  • a small, safe and friendly country.
  • people are renowned for attributes such as innovation, creativity and collaboration.
  • a member of the European Union, and have extensive global links through our worldwide diaspora.
  • English-speaking country with a unique cultural heritage.
  • education system that has had a long history of international engagement and which is globally respected.

 In the past thirty years, successive Irish Governments have put enormous resources into education and research. The reputation of the Irish education system has grown considerably, and research is now making an international impact.

Leading Global Companies are in Ireland…

Again and again from CEOs of cutting edge companies that the strengths of Irish-educated graduates are crucial to their decision to establish in Ireland. These include companies like Boston Scientific, Apple, Intel, Pfizer, IBM, Citi, Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn as well as: 

  • eight of the world’s top ten ICT companies,
  • eight of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical and life science companies,
  • half of the world’s major financial services companies.

Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, has said their decision to locate in Ireland is everything to do with the … workforce of geographically diverse, speaking multiple languages, creative young people coming out of top Irish Institutions. These companies don’t just focus on our science and technology graduates – their CEOs also highly rate the Irish-educated graduates in the arts and humanities, who they regard as having the creativity, collaboration, flexibility and other core skills necessary for modern business.

What we’re hearing from these major companies is also supported by impartial evidence. IMD, one of the world’s top business schools, based in Switzerland, has ranked Ireland 4th globally for the availability of skilled labour and openness to new ideas in its 2010 world competitiveness survey. A recent Europe-wide report by the European Council of Finance Ministers noted that major companies regard Irish graduates as among the most employable in the world.

Ireland’s graduates are innovators in their fields, leaders in their communities and ambassadors for excellence all around the world.

An innovative and creative culture…

Of course, education is much more than a means simply to secure employment, and studying in Ireland is an immensely enriching experience. The creative spirit imbues an Irish education and we encourage our students to be adaptive, to be critical thinkers and innovators.

Ireland is a land rich in cultural heritage with a history of world-leading innovation. From the flamboyance of Oscar Wilde to mould-breaking James Joyce from the pioneering quantum physics of John Bell to Nobel Laureate Ernest Walton, Ireland’s unique innovative and creative culture is an integral part of the Irish experience.

A friendly, safe country…

Of course, students are not just coming to study, but to live. Ireland offers a remarkable student experience. In terms of quality of life, Ireland ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index. A few years ago, the highly regarded Economist magazine ranked Ireland as the best place in the world to live.

Ireland’s rugged landscape and ancient heritage is stunning. There are activities for every student, regardless of their interests. We have everything a modern western European country offers, but we also have a unique and ancient culture, from our traditional Irish music to native sports such as Gaelic football and hurling, the fastest field sport in the world. We are renowned for our music and dance – from U2 to Riverdance.

But it’s people that make studying in Ireland special. Ireland has the youngest population in Europe, with 35% of our population under 25 and a vibrant social scene to match. The population is increasingly international, with 10% being born outside Ireland, proportions matched in our education system.

We are renowned for our friendliness and the warm welcome we extend to newcomers – in fact, Ireland was voted the friendliest nation in the world by the Lonely Planet in 2008 and 2010.

An English-speaking country in the European Union…

Ireland is an English-speaking country with close cultural, economic and educational links with the English-speaking world, including with the UK – our next-door neighbour – and with the USA.

We are also a member of the European Union and the attractions of the rest of Europe are also close at hand. Ireland is a hub for low-cost airlines, which means that Paris, London and Berlin are at most a couple of hours away, and can often be reached for less than a hundred dollars.

The visa and immigration system has been substantially reformed and is now globally competitive. Turnaround times and approval rates compare favourably to our competitors in all major markets.

Irish Education System – Key Indicators

Higher education comprises universities, colleges, and institutes of technology, most of which are Irish government-funded. Ireland has a total of 7 universities, 7 colleges of education, 15 private higher education institutions and 14 Institutes of Technology (IoT). There are a few additional third-level private institutions in Ireland that offer specialised education in disciplines like business studies, art and design, law, medicine, etc.

Higher education can entail degree and non-degree programs.

Non-degree programs



Level 6

Higher Certificate (mostly offered by IoTs)
Duration: 2 years

Level 7

Higher diploma
Duration: 1 year

Level 8

Graduate diploma
Duration: 1 year

Level 9

Postgraduate diploma
Duration: 1-2 years

Degree programs



Level 7

Bachelor’s degree
Duration: 3 years (medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, and architecture programs maybe for 5-6 years)

Level 8

Honours bachelor’s degree
Duration: 3-4 years

Level 9

Master’s degree
Duration: Mostly 1 year with the exception to certain courses that may extend to 16-24 months

Level 10

Doctoral degree
Duration: 3 years of research followed by the dissertation

Research Excellence and Impact

Ireland ranks within the top 20 nations in the world across all research fields. Ireland moved up from 36th in the world in 2003 in terms of the impact of its research to its current position at 20th in the world.

World Rankings

Many  Irish Universities are featured in the top rankings (QS)

 Ireland in sixth place globally for number of universities in top 200 relative to GDP

Some of Popular Irish Institutions for Indian Students
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin Business School
  • Irish American University/ American College Dublin
  • Maynooth University, County Kildare
  • Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin

Popular Programs for Indian Students in Ireland

Pharmacy is one of the most popular subjects with international students studying in Ireland. There are about 50 postgraduate and undergraduate Pharmacy courses being offered at 19 institutions in Ireland. Some of these fall under the world’s top 100 institutes to study pharmacy. The Irish pharmaceutical industry is big and has grown dynamically over these past 20 years especially.

Other than Pharmaceutical studies Indian students are attracted mostly in
  • Business Management
  • Data analytics
  • Business analytics
  • Data science
  • Big Data
  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Security
  • Cloud Computing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

Post Study Work Permit in Ireland: Once you have finished your studies you may wish to stay back a little longer and consider taking up a job to gain invaluable work experience in your related field of study as part of your post-study work visa plan. Time spent working abroad will only strengthen your CV and help establish your career once you decide to return to your home country.

If you are enrolled as a full-time student, with an Irish accredited degree, and have the Visa Stamp 2 you may qualify for the Third Level Graduate Scheme. The steps to the process are as follows :

  1. Students can apply for a non-renewable extension of up to 2 years after course completion. This extension is granted for the purpose of finding suitable employment.
  2. Later on, you can apply for a green card (renamed Critical Skills Employment Permit) or work permit (renamed General Employment Permit).

The time of extension also depends on what your level is on the National Framework of Qualifications. For those pursuing degrees at the level of 8 or above, the period for Graduate Employment Scheme is 12 months. For those with a degree on level 7, a 6-month extension will be provided.

Individuals with an award at Level 9 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications qualify for the Programme will be granted permission for twenty-four months.