Ireland is a welcoming island with cosmopolitan cities and a strong history related to literature. The Irish government is committed to supporting students and will invest 11.1 billion EUR in education in 2020. To attract international students, hundreds of scholarship and funding programmes are available.
If you fancy the idea of studying abroad in Ireland, you should first know how much money you’ll need. To make things easier, we’ve done the research for you. Keep on reading as we’ll offer more details about tuition fees and living costs for international students in Ireland.
1. University tuition fees in Ireland
Tuition fees for EU/EEA students
In Ireland, undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degrees are free for citizens from Ireland, EU/EEA countries, and Switzerland. The costs are covered by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
Keep in mind that not all undergraduate courses offered by public universities are free. Always check the official study programme page to see what tuition fees apply to students from your country.
To benefit from the “free fees initiative”, you have to apply for the government funding programme and prove that you are eligible. You are not eligible if:
- You already have an undergraduate degree
- You already have a postgraduate degree
- You are repeating a year of study
Nationality, immigration status, residence and course requirements are other criteria that can qualify you for a tuition-free university degree.
For postgraduate (Master’s and PhD) studies, EU/EEA students should expect to pay tuition fees that range between 3,000 - 30,000 EUR/academic year. Business and Medicine courses are usually the most expensive.
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students
- Undergraduate courses: 9,850 - 55,000 EUR/year
- Postgraduate Master's and PhD courses: 9,950 - 35,000 EUR/year
All international students (both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA citizens) have to pay a student contribution fee of maximum 3,000 EUR/year for student services, like examination entries and support for clubs and societies. The fee varies from one university to another, and it can change every year.
Most affordable universities in Ireland
These Irish universities have some of the most affordable tuition fees:
- University of Limerick
- University College Cork
- Cork Institute of Technology
- St. Patrick’s College
- Dublin Business School
Top-ranked universities in Ireland
The following are some of the top-ranked Irish universities:
- Trinity College Dublin
- University College Dublin
- National University of Ireland, Galway
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Note that at these universities, non-EU/EEA students usually have to pay tuition fees that are twice as high as those for EU/EEA citizens.
2. Student living costs in Ireland
The costs of living in Ireland are a bit higher than the average for the European area; you should expect to spend anywhere between 550 - 1,000 EUR/month.
Average costs of living in Irish cities (including accommodation costs):
- Dublin: 1,100 - 1,800 EUR/month
- Cork: 860 - 1,400 EUR/month
- Galway and other smaller cities: 800 - 1,100 EUR/month
Accommodation costs for students in Ireland
Higher education institutions offer accommodation in student residence halls, which usually costs above the European average of 200 - 300 EUR. It is often difficult to find a place because the number of places is limited, and the demand is high.
Apart from residence halls, you can rent/share an apartment or choose to live with an Irish family.
The average accommodation prices for students in Ireland are:
- Student living alone: 400 - 900 EUR/month
- Student living with partner/colleagues: 450 - 550 EUR/month
- Student living on campus: 300 - 650 EUR/month
Other costs associated with accommodation:
- Utilities: around 30 - 50 EUR/month
- Internet: up to 60 EUR/month
Average monthly food costs are not high. You’ll spend around 250 - 350 EUR/month for grocery shopping. You can find cheaper food products in supermarkets such as Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Dunnes or Superquinn.
You can also dine in a small restaurant and pay 15 EUR or enjoy a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant for 55 EUR.
Students can benefit from discounts for transportation if they use the Student Leap Card or the Bus Éireann services to travel around the country. Around 27% of the students use public transport in Ireland, and a monthly pass with a special discount for students is around 50 – 55 EUR/month.
The most popular mode of transportation is the bicycle, chosen by 38% of the students. You can rent a bicycle to get around the city for around 20 EUR/day.
Other expenses you need to cover during your study:
- Books and other study materials: 75 EUR/month
- Social activities/entertainment: 60 - 100 EUR/month
- Medical insurance: 45 EUR/month
3. Scholarships and financial support in Ireland
There are hundreds of scholarships and funding programmes available to international students in Ireland. Some of them are offered by the Irish governments, others by universities, and some by private organisations.
Each institution is free to establish the criteria for financial aid programmes. That's why some scholarships are only available to students from developing countries, or students with excellent academic results, and so on.
Here are some scholarship examples:
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies in Ireland.
To see the full list of available scholarships, visit the Education in Ireland official website.