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The basics
Ireland: Destination Guides

Why study a master’s degree in Ireland?

Want to continue your studies in a new environment? We explore what makes Ireland the perfect study destination for master's students.

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Ireland is famous for its luscious landscapes, friendly people, rich history, and top-quality universities. It is also particularly desirable among international students as programmes are primarily taught in English. As master’s degrees typically take one to two years to complete, you will have enough time to soak up everything Ireland has to offer. So, if you enjoy exploring cobbled cities, strolling through beautiful rolling hills, and learning in a country with a unique culture, Ireland could be the perfect backdrop for your postgraduate course.


Member of the EU


Did you know that Northern Ireland is part of the UK while the Republic of Ireland is not? The Republic of Ireland, most commonly referred to as Ireland, also remains part of the European Union (EU) which means students can benefit from lots of study opportunities such as Erasmus+. This also means that students in Ireland can travel with fewer restrictions to and from other EU member states, which is no longer the case for the UK since Brexit.


Check out the following universities based in Ireland:



Research opportunities


Ireland is also part of the European Research Area which encourages greater innovation and research between EU member countries. This may make choosing Ireland for your masters even more enticing as you can have greater access to a wide pool of research, particularly if you continue to PhD level. Plus, some Irish universities receive funding directly from the EU to improve the learning experience for students.


World-renowned universities


Five universities in Ireland rank within the world’s top 500 (QS World University Rankings 2022). This makes Ireland a top performer when it comes to higher education. This benefits both your learning and your employment prospects when you graduate. Qualifications from Irish universities are globally recognised which means you can work all over the world. Plus, Irish universities offer a diverse range of degree options to choose from.


Top universities in Ireland (QS World University Rankings 2022):



Ranking in Ireland

Global ranking

Trinity College Dublin



University College Dublin



University of Galway



University College Cork



Dublin City University




Leading tech hub


Ireland has gained a reputation for being a hub of IT and technology and is home to the European headquarters of Google, Airbnb, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, eBay and so on. This provides opportunities for Irish universities to create industry links and students can benefit from these close relationships in the form of internships, guest lecturers, careers fairs, graduate schemes, and full-time jobs.



Entry requirements for a masters in Ireland


To begin your masters in Ireland you first need to understand the application process. While entry requirements vary according to the university and course you choose, there are a few basic requirements that you need to meet:


  • Bachelor’s degree (some courses will require a relevant or specific subject)
  • 2:1 (some courses may accept a 2:2 but you will need to check)
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA (US applicants)
  • A letter of recommendation/references
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of English language proficiency such as IELTS (varies per university and course)


Post-study work visa


Once you’ve finished your master’s degree you might want to look for work. You might even want to stay in Ireland to gain some work experience. Luckily, Ireland offers the Third Level Graduate Scheme which allows non-EU/EEA graduates to remain in Ireland to look for work. Under this scheme, graduates can also work up to 40 hours per week and can apply for a work permit/green card. This could be an excellent route to eventually gaining permanent residence in Ireland.


Affordable cost of living


In comparison to other major study destinations such as the UK or USA, Ireland is considered more affordable when it comes to everyday expenses. Outside of Dublin, the cost of living in Irish cities is manageable. As an international student, you should prepare to spend EUR 7,000 – 12,000 per year on rent, groceries, electricity, books, laundry, healthcare, travel, and social costs (IDP). Of course, it will depend on your chosen lifestyle and the city. This also excludes the cost of tuition in Ireland which varies greatly depending on the course and university.


We advise using our course matcher tool to find out the tuition fees for the programmes you are most interested in.


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