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Know about Irish Universities: Major Courses, Top Universities, Cost and Qualifications

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

In Ireland, students can seek higher education through its 7 universities, 14 Institutes of Technology and 7 Colleges of Education. Besides the above institutions, Ireland has many leading private institutions too.

Some of the major courses offered by the institutions in Ireland are – English, History, Politics and more. Ireland also offer English language courses along with short courses for the interested students.

One can find educational universities which rank extremely well internationally, making this country quite popular amongst the international students.

The education sector of Ireland is growing at a fast pace. It has been seen that there is 5% increase in total strength of international students since 2012-13. Almost 9 out of 10 students involved in research, study in universities.

All the public funded universities in Ireland fall below 800 in QS World Ranking for the current year and 500 in THE Rankings for the year 2019.

UniversityQS World Rank 2018THE Ranking 2019
Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin88120
University College Dublin168201
National University of Ireland Galway=243301
University College Cork=283301
Dublin City University=391401
University of Limerick501-550501
Dublin Institute of Technology651-700801
Maynooth University701-750351
As per the third level institutions, Ireland provides specialized studies in the field of medicine, business, music, art and design and law. Amongst these, enrolment in Business and Law is maximum (18%).

Global Achievements of Irish Universities

  • In 2015, according to QS Stars audit, University of Limerick was awarded 5-Star rating in innovation (patents, spin-off companies and industrial research).
  • In 2016, Dublin City University won ‘QS Top 50 under 50’ and stood at 44th position in the world.
  • It was chosen as ‘University of the Year’ twice by Sunday Times.
  • The subjects, Nursing, English, Classics and Politics which are offered at Trinity College Dublin rank under top 50 subjects in QS World Subject Rankings.

Type of Educational Institutions in Ireland


Universities in Ireland generally provide theoretical knowledge to its students. They provide excellence in both bachelor’s and master’s degree. Also, one can find huge variety of courses in universities unlike other educational institutions.

These universities may or may not have any affiliated colleges.

Technological Institutions

These institutions exclusively offer technical courses such as engineering, sciences and business. They are offered at degree, diploma and degree levels.

English Language Schools

The students who have passed the threshold scores in the technical courses but are left out because of English language requirements are offered foundation programs in English language and get an opportunity to enter the institution directly.

The students are provided with the target modules for intensive learning in this program. The modules are actively monitored by QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) to keep the level of education at the global level.

Private, Independent and Non-Profit Colleges

Well-known private institutions listed in CAO (Central Applications office) are: -

  1. Dublin Business School Aungier St. Dublin 2
  2. Griffith College located in Dublin, Cork and Limerick
  3. The American College, Dublin
  4. Independent Colleges, Dublin
  5. IBAT College, Swords Co Dublin
  6. The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland in Limerick
  7. Grafton College of Management Sciences, Gardiner Row, Dublin 1

Top Irish Universities

Mentioned universities offer various courses which are ranked within 50 courses in the world. This is a significant achievement for a small country with hardly a population of 5 million.

Trinity College

  • Trinity college students are allocated their personal tutors.
  • It has the largest private library in the nation.
  • Trinity has a big name dedicated to international research initiatives.

University College Dublin

  • It is the largest university in Ireland with the student strength of 30,000.
  • UCD offers excellent courses in the field of Engineering, Arts and Business.

University College Cork

  • Known for best medical courses.
  • Best alumni with Jack Lynch being the former prime minister of Ireland.

Major Courses Offered in Irish Universities

Courses which are listed, come under top 50 courses in QS World Ranking. Also, mentioned are the top universities offering these courses.

Course NameInstitution OfferingQS World Subject Ranking 2018
English Language and LiteratureTrinity College Dublin32
PoliticsTrinity College Dublin33
Biological Science at TrinityTrinity College Dublin48
HistoryTrinity College Dublin39
Veterinary ScienceUniversity College Dublin40
Development StudiesUniversity College Dublin45
PharmacyUniversity College Cork=49
Modern LanguageUniversity College Dublin=49

Qualifications Offered in Irish Universities


Major Bachelor Degree

  • B.A. – Bachelor of Arts in History
  • BSN (Hons)  – Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (Honor)
  • BCS – Bachelor of Computer Science
  • BSc(Psych) – Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • BEDSSPE - Bachelor of Education Sports Studies and Physical Education

Major Master Degree

  • PME (Post Primary) - Professional Master’s of Education (Post Primary)
  • MSEng – Master of Software Engineering
  • MFIN - Master of Finance
  • MBA – Master of Business Administration


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing (level 9)
  • Certificate in Risk and Financial Analysis (level 7)
  • Certificate in Marketing with Social Media Skills (level 6)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering (level 7)

Major Certificate Courses

  • Professional Business Course: Financial Management
  • Certificate in Cyber Security Professional (Collection)
  • Higher Certificate in Business in Computer Applications
  • English for Academic Studies
  • English for Academic Studies and IELTS

Tuition Fee Range for Non – EU Students

There is a difference in domestic and international students’ fee in universities of Ireland around the world. Mentioned are the tuition fee ranges for different courses for international students (Outside EU).

Undergraduate courses - 10,443 USD to 52,215 USD per year

Postgraduate Master and PhD courses - 10,620 USD – 42,946 USD per year

Note: Fees vary depending on the students’ chosen field of study, program and university.

Top Courses available in Ireland

  • Management
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Health and Welfare

Short Course Disciplines

Generally, short courses in Ireland may vary from 6 weeks to 24 weeks. Mentioned are the disciplines of short courses offered by various educational institution in Ireland. Every discipline offers fixed number of short courses.

  • Applied Sciences and Professions
  • Art, Design and Architecture
  • Business and Management
  • Education and Training
  • Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Medicine and Health

English Language Courses

Ireland has 95 English Language Teaching Organizations (ELTOS) which are registered with Department of Education and Skills.

In English programs, top foundation programs are available for the students who are good at academics but language is a barrier. It provides intensive language classes to the students along with specialist modules from the students’ selected program.

Some of the top English language courses offered in Ireland are: -

  • Foundation courses
  • TOEFL courses
  • General English Courses for adults and juniors
  • IELTS Exam courses
  • Teacher Development courses
  • Parent and Child English courses
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • One-to-One Tuition
  • Cambridge courses
  • English with work placements

The mentioned English language courses are recognized all over the world. They offer world class facilities and high standard of education to the students.

Online Courses in Ireland

Apart from classroom sessions, students who are unable to attend the rigid class schedule opt for e-learning or online courses. The European Association for Distance Learning (EADL) and the International Council on Correspondence Education (ICCE) are the organizations which keep a quality check. Therefore, one must check before opting for an institution/course.

Institutions such as College of Management and IT (CMIT) provide huge number of online programs to the students. Similarly, ULearning from University of Limerick conduct cutting edge technology and management programs online. NUI Galway is on the same track as that of Ulearning.

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