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  Study in Ireland
>> Introduction
>> About Ireland
>> Education System in Ireland
>> Why Ireland
>> Admission procedure
>> Visa Procedure
>> Financial Matters
>> Student life in Ireland
>> Work Prospects in Ireland
>> FAQs on Ireland

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  Study in Ireland:


  Ireland Education System  

Ireland has a long and honourable tradition in education. As a result of a sustained investment in this area Ireland now has one of the highest educational participation rates in the world - 81% of Irish students complete second-level and approx 60% go on to higher education. This dynamic, educated population has made its mark at home and abroad with international companies looking to Ireland again and again when hiring graduates for top class positions.

Responsibility for education lies within the Department of Education and Science.It administers all aspects of education policy including curricula, syllabi and national examinations. Attendance at full time education is compulsory in Ireland from six to fifteen years of age and is free in the majority of schools, and at undergraduate third-level. Education is considered a fundamental right under our constitution.
The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three basis levels:
 Primary (8 years),
 Secondary (5 or 6 years) and
 Higher Education which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate levels, In recent years the focus has expanded to include pre-school education and adult and further education as the concept of lifelong learning becomes reflected in the education opportunities available within the Irish education system.

Further Education and Training in Ireland

The term " Further Education" embraces education and training which occurs after second-level schooling but which is not part of the third level system. Post Leaving Certificate courses (PLCs) are run by a wide range of both public and private colleges and institutions and lead to awards validated by the Irish government's awards agency - Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) , as well as awards validated by a range of Irish, UK and other international awarding bodies. PLC courses take place in schools, colleges and community education centres around the country. The courses are full-time and last for one or two years. Post Leaving Certificate courses adopt an integrated approach, focusing on technical knowledge, core skills and work experience. They are designed as a step towards skilled employment and, as such, are closely linked to industry and its needs. The qualification you receive at the end of your training will depend on the type of course you have chosen.

Post Leaving Certificate Programme 

The Post-Leaving Certificate programme is full time and was introduced in 1985 to provide appropriate vocational training for young people to bridge the gap between school and work.

The Programme has since developed to assist young people who have completed senior cycle education, and require further vocational education and training to enhance their prospects of employment or progression to other studies, and in addition to assisting adults returning to education who may not have completed the senior cycle but are deemed by the provider to have the necessary competencies to undertake the Programme.
The Programme assists people to:
1. enhance their prospects of securing lasting, full-time employment, or
2. progress to other studies.
The courses cover a very extensive range of options e.g.

  • Business and Secretarial Skills,
  • Computer Studies,
  • Computer Animation,
  • Construction,
  • Art Craft and Design,
  • Multi-Media Production,
  • Theatre and Stage Production,
  • Performing Arts,
  • Child-care and Community Care,
  • Sport and Leisure,
  • Tourism and Hotel and Catering,
  • Sport and Leisure,
  • Equestrian Studies,
  • Horticulture,
  • Applied Languages and Information Technology

Higher Education

Higher education in Ireland is judged by international standards and the employment market for graduates is a global one. Overseas students receive a quality education in a friendly environment. They in turn enrich the educational experience of our own students and bring an international dimension to our campuses. Lifelong friendships and networks are formed between Irish and overseas students which later enhance the cultural and trade relationships between our countries.
Higher Education in Ireland consists of the universities (with associated colleges of education), institutes of technology, and a number of private independent colleges. The universities and institutes of technology are autonomous and self-governing, but are substantially state-funded Programmes available at Third Level Institutions are as follows:

  • One-Year Certificate: 1 year full-time course
  • National Certificate : 2 years full-time course
  • National Diploma : 1 year after National Certificate
  • Bachelor's Degree : Normally 3 or 4 year course
  • Graduate Diploma : Usually 1 year
  • Masters Degree: Either by research or through a taught programme-1 or 2 years duration.
  • Doctorate (PhD): Usually takes a minimum of 3 years of original research


Universities offer degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a full range of disciplines. Teaching at undergraduate level is normally by way of a programme of lectures supplemented by tutorials and, where appropriate, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. Masters degrees can be taken by coursework and research or by research alone. Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of research.

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