8 Top Ireland Universities for International Students

Looking to study in Europe? Here are the top Ireland universities for international students to pursue a degree program of their choice in one of the safest countries in Europe and in the world.

The Republic of Ireland is a country in Europe that occupies most of the island of Ireland, popular for its beautiful scenery, both of the land and sea. Here, you won’t fail to notice the vibrant cities tucked beside cozy bays and sheer cliffs, it really is a beautiful place to be and among one of the many reasons why over 35,000 students from 161 countries flock there annually to pursue a degree program of interest.

Students from other countries who have come to study at this island get access to high-quality education, career opportunities, enjoy the mix of vibrant city life and nature, discover the Irish culture, and post-study work visa opportunities are available for international students. Another thing that pulls students to this European country is its hospitality and safety.

Ireland is the friendliest country in Europe and also in global rankings, it is excellent at providing excellent service and hospitality, especially to foreigners. Its capital, Dublin, is also the friendliest city in Europe. And talking about safety, Ireland is consistently ranked among the safest places in Europe and in the world. As an aspiring international student, the hospitality and safety of the country you are most likely to go study in should be among the factors that must be put into consideration.

As interesting as it may seem to go study in Ireland, there is a little bit of downside and that is the cost of living. The cost of living in Ireland is quite higher than the average for the European area. Expect to spend between 550 – 1,000 EUR per month. However, in terms of tuition, Ireland is considerably less expensive compared to other higher education systems such as in the UK.


Who is an International Student?

International students are students who left their country for another for the sole purpose of studying. They may decide to undertake all or part of their tertiary education in that country.

Do Ireland Universities Teach International Students in English?

The official languages of Ireland are Irish and English, so yes, the universities in the country teach international students, as well as its domestic students, in English.

Requirements for International Students to Study in Ireland

The following are the requirements for international students to study in Ireland;

  • English is the primary language of instruction in Ireland universities, therefore, international students from non-English speaking countries must satisfy the English language requirement by taking, at least, one of the English language proficiency tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, ETAPP, PTE, Cambridge English, FCE, or BEC.
  • Applicant must be 18 years of age or older to apply
  • Undergraduate applicants must have completed high school or secondary school to apply and possess the certificate. While postgraduate applicants must have completed and earned a bachelor or honors degree with, at least, a 2.1 CGPA or its equivalent.
  • Postgraduate applicants must submit a copy of their passport and two recommendation letters
  • Undergraduate applicants should have an official academic transcript as their high school grades will be used in weighing their admissibility.
  • All applicants must have a student visa
  • Proof of funds, academic resume or CV, health insurance, and statement of purpose are other documents applicants need to prepare.

These requirements usually vary by the university and degree program you want to pursue. Test scores and required CGPA may be higher or lower in some cases, to get the right information simply contact the school’s admissions office.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the main subject matter.

Best Universities in Ireland for International Students

Listed below are the Ireland universities for international students which are discussed further below:

1.      The University of Limerick

The University of Limerick or UL was established in1972 as a public higher education institution in Limerick, Ireland, is further recognized as one of the top Ireland universities for international students. Out of the 11,000 undergraduate full-time students enrolled at the institution, more than 2,400 are from other countries thereby bringing a diverse range of cultures from different places for you to explore.

UL is an internationally focused institution prestigious for its innovation in education, research excellence, and scholarship. There are over 70 undergraduate programs and more than 100 postgraduate programs leading to doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. International students coming for any of the academic programs are offered assistance to guide them through the application process.

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2.      Trinity College Dublin

Founded in 1592 and ranked 101st in the world, Trinity College Dublin is a leading university known for delivering world-class education to international and domestic students. The College is also consistently ranked among the top Ireland universities for international students. It is home to three faculties which are further subdivided into 23 schools, offering academic programs leading to undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Trinity is equally committed to ensuring that all international students have a positive experience during their studies and get the most from college life. There are students from 122 different countries here in Trinity College and if you want to be a part of this diverse student body, the school will provide you with all support, services, information, and advice you need before getting to the school and also help you get settled in Dublin.

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3.      The University College Dublin (UCD)

University College Dublin was founded in 1854 and it is Ireland’s largest and most diverse university with 20% of the total students from 120 countries around the world. The overall school population is so diverse that more than 50% of the research-funded team and 30% of the faculty staff are not Irish. UCD is also one of the prestigious research-intensive institutions in Europe.

This and its state-of-the-art infrastructures make it rank among the top Ireland universities for international students. There are six colleges within the school, the Colleges of Arts & Humanities, Business, Engineering & Architecture, Health & Agricultural Sciences, Science, and Social Sciences & Law. These colleges are further subdivided into more than 40 schools that offer a wide range of academic programs in bachelor, master’s, and doctorate study levels.

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4.      Dublin City University (DCU)

Dublin City University or DCU is a young global university regarded as the Ireland’s University of Enterprise. It was established in 1975 on the northern side of Dublin, Ireland, and is recognized among the top Ireland universities for international students. The institution represents Ireland in terms of accepting international students into its various programs.

Of the total number of students, 22% are international students from 110 different countries enrolled in a wide range of academic programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The international office at DCU is readily available to support and welcomes students from any part of the world.

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5.      Maynooth  University

Maynooth University is one of the best universities in Ireland for international students. The institution offers an outstanding education in a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses led by internationally renowned researchers. It was established in 1997 in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland, it is one of the youngest fastest growing universities in the world.

Three academic faculties are housed within the school: Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy; Science & Engineering; Social Science which is then subdivided into various schools and departments offering a wide range of academic programs tailored to meet students’ academic needs. Since its establishment, it has trained over 12,000 students from 90 different counties, and to date, its doors are still wide open to accept students from all walks of life.

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6.      The University College Cork (UCC)

Founded in 1845 and located at College Road, Cork, Ireland, UCC ranks among the best Ireland universities for international students and has also been consistently named Irish University of the Year by The Sunday Times. It is also the largest of Ireland’s leading research institutes which combines all the best aspects of research, outstanding academic performance, Irish history and culture, student safety and welfare, and vibrant campus life to create an exceptional study abroad experience.

UCC has a total student population of more than 20,000 and out of this number of students, 3,000 are international students from more than 104 countries. There are up to 100 academic programs offered at this institution, ranging from geography and medicine to criminology and chemistry. The programs are vast and cover a wide range of career prospects and students from other countries can enroll in any degree program of interest.

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7.      The National University of Ireland (NIU) Galway

NIU Galway is one of the Ireland universities for international students, it was established in 1845 as a public research university in the city of Galway, Ireland. According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, NIU Galway ranked among the top 1% of universities and has been awarded the full five QS stars of excellence.

NIU Galway is still a prestigious institution and keeps adding innovative academic degree programs to its already existing programs so that students coming from anywhere in the world can find just the right program that meets their academic needs and goals. The four colleges existing within the school have a wide range of academic programs covering different fields and careers which international students will find exciting.

NIU Galway is one of the best Ireland universities for international students where you will truly feel at home and create a vast connection of friends after graduation.

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8.      Technological University Dublin

The Technological University of Dublin or TU Dublin is one of Ireland universities for international students and also one of the youngest universities in Ireland, only established in 2019 but it has a history that dates back to 1887. It is the second-largest third-level tertiary institution in Ireland accommodating a student population of 28,500 which includes a diverse student body from various countries around the world.

Five colleges are within the school which offers more than 200 academic programs covering a wide range of disciplines through their associated schools, multiple state-of-the-art research institutes, and centers. These academic programs invariably lead to bachelor, master’s, or doctoral degrees depending on the study level you choose.

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These are the top Ireland universities for international students that you may want to consider applying to and some of these schools provide scholarships for international students, you should discuss this with the international student admission office they are always available to help.

FAQs on Ireland Universities for International Students

These are the most frequently asked questions that international students seeking to study in Ireland ask and it can be helpful to you as well.

Is education free in Ireland for international students?

Education in Ireland is free for international students who are from EU/EEA countries, students from non-EU/EEA countries must pay the required fees but they have access to scholarship opportunities that they can apply for to offset tuition fees.

How much does it cost to study in Ireland for international students?

The cost of studying as an international student in Ireland varies by institution and the degree program they want to pursue. However, a rough estimate should be between 10,000 to 25,000 EURO per year.

Which course is best in Ireland?

The best five courses in Ireland are; Business Analytics, Investment Banking and Finance, Big Data / Data Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Construction.

Can I stay back in Ireland after study?

Yes, if you graduate from an Irish university as an international student, you are entitled to stay back but it depends. Students who graduated from a master’s program can stay back for two years while students who graduated from a bachelor’s program can stay back for one year.

How much bank balance is required for an Ireland student visa?

The bank balance required for an Ireland student visa is at least 7,000 EUR and shows proof that you have immediate access to the cash.

Can international students work in Ireland?

International students from the EEA are entitled to take up full-time or part-time jobs in Ireland while studying, also, Non-EEA students with Stamp 2 permission to remain are allowed to take up casual employment. Students with Stamp 2A permission are not allowed to work.

How can I get PR in Ireland after my master’s degree?

If you apply for a 2-year master’s program and are granted a work visa through the Two-Year PSW program, you can extend your work permit for an additional year and become eligible for permanent residency (PR). If you obtain the key skills employment permit, however, you can apply for permanent residency after just two years.


Ireland is such a good place to study abroad for a variety of reasons including the standards of teaching and education, the career opportunities, and the enjoyable lifestyle. Young Irish people have the fourth-highest standard of education in the world.