How to Apply to a University in Ireland in 2021

Why wouldn’t you want to study in The Republic of Ireland? On paper, the Republic of Ireland is perfect. But what's it like when you get down to actually applying to a Master’s degree in Irish universities and colleges?

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Where to apply for a Master’s degree in Ireland?

Ireland has a total of 34 higher education institutions. Out of the 34, 9 of them require you to apply to a Master’s programme on a special, intermediate website, where you have to create an account and slowly go through all the application steps.

Here are some universities from Ireland that are worth applying for:

If you want further help in deciding what university is worth considering, then don’t forget to check out the top-ranked universities in Ireland.

Check out all Bachelors in Ireland

What student scholarships are available in Ireland?

Luckily for non-EU/EEA students — thanks to Ireland's outlined plan for 2016 – 2020, remember, the thing I mentioned above? — Ireland has a lot of scholarships for students, who can prove they can stand out, have a plan for their future, and are just, generally, super nice people.

Some of the major scholarships you should look for are:

  • The Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship: the deadline for March.
  • Full scholarship to Study Abroad in Ireland: this year North American students were offered the possibility of applying, and next year Ireland will pick another nationality. The deadline is usually in late February.
  • Irish Aid funded Fellowship Training Programme: this year Tanzanian students were offered the possibility of applying, and next year Ireland will pick another nationality. The deadline is usually at the start of January.
  • Centenary Scholarship Programme for DIT Master’s Students: this scholarship will reopen on the 1st of March, so be ready to start applying!
  • You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

What documents do you need to apply for a Master’s in Ireland?

First of all, you need to speak English. There’s no bypassing that. They even have on the official website this sentence: "If you have difficulty reading this, then maybe you should rethink your choice of course." — I know, but they’re Irish. They tend to be very straightforward.

In order to prove that you have sufficient language skills to study in Ireland, you have to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Your native language is English
  • Your undergraduate (Bachelor’s) was in English
  • You submit an English language proficiency test

Assuming you need an English test, you should know that some of the certificates they accept are:

Other documents will vary depending on the study programme or university. In general, they surely ask for identity proof and school paperwork.

Some examples are:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma OR French Baccalaureate OR a combination of high-school grades and standardised test scores
  • Written materials, like personal essays, writing samples, or even both
  • Recommendations letters: 2 for each course for which you are applying
Study abroad in Ireland

What is the deadline for applying to a Master’s degree in Ireland?

Ireland has the same academic format used by most universities:

  • two semesters
  • mid-term breaks in fall and spring
  • winter and summer vacations

With school beginning in late August or early September, and finishing in May, the deadline for applying can start in February, but most of them are around 31st of March. And, with the risk of saying the same phrase again and again, you should know that IT VARIES DEPENDING ON THE UNIVERSITY.

You can start applying from the beginning of October for the end of March deadline. If some students don’t confirm they will be enrolling until the start of May, the available spots will be out for grabs again until the start of July. And, for some universities, even longer!

So, just a quick recap of the most important university application deadlines:

  • beginning of October: application opens
  • start of February – end of March: application deadlines
  • start of May: confirm you will be enrolling
  • start of July: Second wave application deadline

Next steps after you are admitted to a Master’s degree in Ireland

You will need to research and get a student visa for Ireland. Long story short, and very simplified:

  • EU/EEA students: you don’t need a visa, but you will have to register for a residence permit in Ireland, after your arrival. Also, you can work during and after your studies without special provisions. Just make sure you don’t work more than 20 hours per week (during your studies) and 40 (after your studies).
  • Non-EU/EEA students: you need to apply for a student visa online, write and sign a letter explaining why you need this visa, and have the letter of acceptance from the university in Ireland where you’re about to study. There are also a lot of fees and fund proof you need to submit, but please search for them yourself, because there are so many special provisions that writing them would make this bullet point longer than the whole article. The same goes for searching the work permit requirements.

Check out Masters in Ireland

Now that you know everything there is to know about applying in Ireland, we can only wish you good luck and enjoy your study experience!

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