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Ireland: Subject Guides - Must read

3 Fields to study in Ireland

Our overview of three key fields to study in Ireland

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There’s no denying that Ireland is a cultural powerhouse. With complex, deep-rooted historical traditions and a rich cultural legacy, studying abroad in Ireland gives students the unique chance to broaden their social perspectives and develop their creativity. Married with the typically bright, cheery disposition of the Irish, there’s hardly a better place to complete your studies. Read our guide to three key fields you should consider studying in Ireland to help kick-start your study abroad planning process.


The 3 fields we’ve chosen to explore here are based on data revealed by the Central Applications Office (CAO).  This report indicates the top subjects that students are pursuing at institutions in Ireland.


Health and medicine

A popular subject for many students around the world, it is perhaps unsurprising that health and medicine is a top course for students looking to study abroad in Ireland. According to the 2019 CAO, 71,000 students applied for health-related courses, making this the most popular degree programme to study in Ireland.


So, why is Ireland such an attractive destination to study medicine? It could be because a medicine degree from an Irish university is globally recognised and considered the equivalent of a UK qualification. This is appealing for many international students who are looking to study a health and medicine course in Europe which will be transferrable to other parts of the world. Top universities include Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).



As medicine courses are longer in duration than most other programmes, you want to make sure that you enjoy not only the course but also the location. Five to six years is a long time, so it’s vital to think about the destination too. Luckily, Ireland has heaps to offer international students. From lush landscapes to cobbled cities, there is plenty to explore in Ireland.


If you’re worried about financing your studies, another major appeal of being an international student in Ireland is that you can work 20 hours during term time and 40 hours during holidays. So once your tuition fees are taken care of, you can then work to support your living costs. No matter what subject you decide to do, it is always valuable to gain work experience.


Business and Administration

A versatile and popular degree, business is a highly valued qualification in many parts of the world. According to the CAO, more than 58,000 students applied for business and administration courses in Ireland. In total, there are also 310 business courses to choose from in Ireland. If this feels overwhelming, you can use our course tool to narrow down your search by browsing business courses across 39 Irish institutions.  


As a business student you will gain skills in economics, accounting, management and statistics. But you can also choose to specialize, appealing directly to your interests. For example, if gaining work experience is important to you, some universities offer an additional year for industry placements. Or, you can also look for a course which incorporates a year abroad, particularly if you want to study a language alongside a business degree. 


If you want to study business and/or administration, you’ll need to understand the different branches of this course. For instance, international business, accounting, business studies, business management and consultancy. You may not know exactly which area you prefer at this stage, but it’s a good idea to start researching so that you have an idea of what you might be interested in.



With impressive scenery, a history of mysticism and a burgeoning art scene, Ireland is a truly inspiring place to study an arts course. It is therefore no surprise that more than 42,000 students applied for art courses in Ireland in 2018/2019. Birthplace of the famous painter, Francis Bacon, Ireland is steeped in culture and creativity. Popular degree programmes include fine art, graphic design, art history, photography and fashion to name a few. Prestigious art courses are offered at the following institutions: National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Trinity College Dublin and National University of Ireland.



As an arts student, you can take advantage of university facilities such as studios, dark rooms and galleries. NCAD for example is a single discipline institution in Dublin, focusing solely on art and design, ensuring students receive an immersive learning experience. Off-campus you can find many galleries to gain inspiration and attend exhibitions. For example, The National Gallery of Ireland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art and The Hugh Lane Gallery which are all free for members of the public.


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