Ireland is a welcoming island with cosmopolitan cities and a strong history related to literature. The government is annually investing around 870 million EUR in research in higher education and also encourages international student scholarships. The country has nine prestigious universities and 15 technological institutes that welcome around 35,000 international students from 161 countries.
The impact of research in Ireland is visible in natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The international environment is visible in this English-speaking country that matches the charm of the UK while keeping costs close to European averages.
But do all these great advantages match the cost of living in Ireland and the tuition cost at Irish universities? You can decide for yourself by reading the information provided below.
1. University tuition fees in Ireland
EU/EEA students can study for free
The undergraduate degree courses in Ireland are, usually, free for citizens of Ireland/EU. However, in order to benefit from the “free fees initiative”, you have to apply for the funding governmental programme and prove that you are eligible (e.g. you apply for the first time, and your chosen programme lasts more than two years).
Nationality, immigration status, residence and course requirements are also criteria that can qualify you for a tuition-free university degree.
However, you'll have to pay a student contribution of around 2,500 EUR/year for student services, such as examination entries and support for clubs and societies.
Tuition fees for non-EU students
- Undergraduate courses 9,000 – 45,000 EUR/year for undergraduate degree courses
- Postgraduate Master and PhD courses: 9,150 – 37,000 EUR/year
Fees vary depending on your chosen field of study, programme and university.
Most affordable universities in Ireland
Check the list of Irish universities with the most affordable tuition fees for EU/EEA students:
- University of Limerick – average tuition fees 7,000-8,000 EUR/year
- University College Cork – average tuition fees 6,500 EUR/year
- Cork Institute of Technology – average tuition fees 3,500 EUR/year
- St. Patrick’s College – average tuition fees 4,500 EUR/year
- Dublin Business School – average tuition fees 8,300 EUR/year
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities
Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Irish universities:
- Trinity College Dublin – average tuition fees 7,500 EUR/year
- University College Dublin – average tuition fees 6,700 EUR/year
- National University of Ireland, Galway – average tuition fees 6,000 EUR/year
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – average tuition fees 6,000 - 8,000 EUR/year
Take note that usually, non-EU/EEA students will have to pay double the tuition charged to EU students.
2. Student living costs in Ireland
Ireland is a country where you will enjoy a balanced lifestyle. The costs of living in Ireland are a bit over average for the European area. If you choose to live in Ireland, you can expect to pay between 650 – 1,000 EUR/month.
Average costs of living in Irish cities (including the 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 in Ireland
Accommodation plays a major role when it comes to expenses as a student in Ireland. This means students spend around 38% of their total monthly budget on housing.
Higher education institutions offer accommodation in residence halls, which usually costs above the European average of 200 – 300 EUR. Only 12% of the total international students enjoy accommodation in student halls, according to a European study. However, 72% of them are satisfied with the rooms and services.
Apart from residence halls, you can rent/share an apartment or choose homestay housing.
The main accommodation prices for students in Ireland are:
- Student living alone: 427 EUR/month
- Student living with partner/child: 470 EUR/month
- Student living on campus: 300-600 EUR/month
Other costs associated with accommodation:
- Utilities: around 130 EUR/month
- Internet pass: up to 60 EUR/month
Average monthly food costs are not high, these may cost around 250 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 an average restaurant for 55 EUR.
Students from Ireland can benefit from discounts for transportation especially 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; rates start from 20 EUR/day.
Some other small expenses you may need during your study:
- books, research magazines: 70 EUR/month
- medical insurance: 45 EUR/month
3. Funding & student support
While you study in Ireland you also have the chance to find some possibilities to support yourself financially. Here are some scholarship examples:
- Go Overseas and Education in Ireland– a national organisation that offers 15 undergraduate scholarships (awards are 6,000 EUR/each student) and 11 postgraduate scholarships (awards are 10,000 EUR/each student).
- Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)- national awarding authority for all higher education grants offer financial support meant to cover living costs during nine months over the course of an academic year.
- Graduate scholarships and prizes offered by various international organisations.
After you have all the information packed, get ready for a unique study experience in Ireland!