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The basics
Ireland: Student Finances

3 Scholarships in Ireland to start you off...

Learn all about three key scholarships for international students in Ireland

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Whilst EU students who do not qualify for the Free Fees scheme will need to pay modest tuition fees when studying abroad in Ireland, costs for non-EU students can be much higher depending on your study area. Thankfully, there are a number of scholarship and funding options available to both EU and non-EU international students, so you needn’t let your finances prevent you from pursuing your study abroad dreams. Let our breakdown of three key scholarships for international students help kick-start your plans to study in Ireland.


If you aren’t eligible for any of the scholarships listed, don’t worry: we’ve included plenty of links and tips to point you in the right direction to find the funding option for you.


Funding bodies

Irish government

The Irish government awards a quota of scholarships to international students each yeah that are either given directly by your host institution or awarded in partnership with another body. These awards are typically granted on academic merit and welcome applications from students across a range of study areas and degree levels.


Host institution

Almost all Irish universities have a number of scholarship options for international and local students enrolled in one of their study programmes. Sometimes these are awarded in relation to another body, such as the Irish government or an organisation that is focused on a specific study area or skill set. Students are advised to first consult their host university for potential funding options as generally they will be better tailored to your needs. You might even find you qualify for a sports or choral scholarship, like those offered by Trinity College Dublin.



You also have the option to search for funding from an external company or funding body. This type of funding is generally more subject-specific.


There are many online scholarship search engines you can use to do so, such as Scholarship Times and Scholarships 4 Development. The  Education in Ireland website also has a comprehensive list of scholarship options from the Irish government, participating universities and other parties. There is also a list of funding options available for students in Development Studies programmes on the Kimmage Development Studies Centre website.


Otherwise, you can search for a company directly and see on their website whether they have funding options for international students in a specific field.



Government of Ireland and Enterprise Partnership Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme

Awarded by the Irish Research Council, this award seeks to encourage innovative Postgraduate research undertaken in Ireland. Full-time Masters and Doctorate research students from any country studying in any discipline, at any Irish higher education institution are eligible.


Application dates and specific information are available online, with deadlines updated annually. The deadline for 2014 applications was January 28. You will need to download the application form from the Irish Research Council website, as well as submit a research proposal as part of your application.


Funding is awarded competitively, and based on the merit of your research proposal. You will also need to hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent that is of the same standard as a UK 1st or UK 2:1. You can find out the UK equivalent of your grades from the UCAS website. You will need to submit your complete application via the council’s e-system, accessible via their website during relevant application dates.


Students are awarded up to €24,000 (US$32,887) per approved year of study, as well as €16,000 (US$21,925) in maintenance fees per year and a €5,750 (US$7,879) contribution towards any university fees. The complete terms and conditions of the award are retrievable online.


Government of Ireland Scholarships

Awarded annually, this scholarship is open to international students from non-EU countries to cover the final year of Bachelor study, or one year of a research-based Masters or Doctorate programme.  Students at any Irish institution are eligible, and may be enrolled in any study field. Funds are awarded based on academic merit. 22 of these scholarships were awarded in 2013/2014. 


Funding will be awarded through your host institution at the value of €10,000(US$13,703) per year in living expenses and student costs, as well as a tuition fee waiver for the year the scholarship has been awarded. You will need to apply directly to your host institution who will then forward your case onto the Irish Higher Education Authority. You should pursue exact application details from your host institution’s website.


This award seeks to bring international perspectives and knowledge to a range of academic and professional sectors in Ireland through increased numbers of international students. 


Ireland Homecoming Study Programme (IHSP)

This programme seeks to encourage students of Irish descent born and living outside the EU to connect with their heritage and complete their higher education in Ireland, and is expected to draw over 500 students in the next three years. Students enrolled at any Irish Institute of Technology completing any Undergraduate or Postgraduate programme in Accounting and Finance, Law, Business, IT, Music, Design, Engineering or Science are eligible, and should apply directly to their host university.


As well as your high school qualification (equivalent of an Irish Leaving Certificate), you will need to either hold an Irish passport or demonstrate that your parents or grandparents are of Irish nationality. You can find out about specific document requirements via the IHSP website.


The scheme does not cover complete tuition fees or living costs, and students are advised to budget a minimum of €7,500 (US$10,277) in living costs for two semesters. Students should pursue specific application and funding details directly with their host institution: for example, students under this scheme at the Cork Institute of Technology will have up to 40% shaved off their tuition fees, paying roughly €5,950 (US$8,153) per annum. The IHSP initiative is set to generate approximately €10 million for the Irish economy in the next three years.


Check if my institution participates in this scheme


Now that you’ve got an idea of how you’ll finance your studies, why not browse courses in Ireland now and start planning your study abroad adventure?


Useful Links

Tuition fees in Ireland

Student living costs in Ireland