Ireland is a highly progressive and modern nation as evidenced by its top-ranking universities. The country has seven top-tier universities that propel itself to the top 3% of universities and top 1% of research institutions worldwide. With a third of its population below 25 years of age, its youth makes the country a forerunner in the newest scientific developments, particularly in the fields of IT, Engineering, Finance, Agriculture, and Pharmaceuticals.

Global collaboration is a key priority of the education sector. As a predominantly English-speaking country in an exotic location, it’s easy to see why Ireland attracts more than 35,000 international students each year.

But beyond education, Ireland is an island nation rich in history and character. Uniquely dubbed the Emerald Isle, the country is a colorful dichotomy between its lush mountains and rugged coastlines against its quirky culture and bustling nightlife. The Irish enjoy a society that is safe and balanced – the country consistently ranks in the top 20 countries for quality of life and enjoys low crime rates.

In Ireland, students are assured not only of high-quality education but also a cultural immersion they can never forget. Check out the guide below on how to study for a bachelor’s degree in Ireland.

Bachelor’s Degree Admission Requirements

To gain admission in competitive programs, students applying for a bachelor’s degree in Ireland must be ready with their high school diploma or equivalent, with their corresponding transcripts. As Ireland bases performance on the GPA system, it would be best for students to consult their desired universities on their minimum GPA requirements. Some course-specific requirements for science or mathematics courses must be attained as well. Information on these is available through each university’s website.

For Trinity College Dublin, proof of educational attainment includes the IB diploma or A-level scores. Other national exam scores such as the Indian Standard 12, Malaysian UEC, ATAR, and others are also considered. Other requirements include two academic references, a short 500-word statement of purpose, and English proficiency test scores.

Meanwhile, the University of Dublin lays out a tandem of academic and English proficiency requirements per type of major international diploma eligible for admission. For ​​International A Level diploma holders, they must have a minimum of three distinct subjects at A level Grade C or better, and at least three remaining subjects with at least Grade C GCSE level. Their English proficiency requirements must be Grade C at GCSE level as well. For International Baccalaureate holders, they must attain at least 24 points with an English language score of A1, A2, or B. French Baccalaureate holders must obtain an overall score of 10 for at least 6 acceptable subjects, with English language scores of 12 at coefficient 5 or higher. Lastly, US diploma holders must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Should students have standardized test scores as proof of educational attainment, an ACT overall score of at least 22 or an SAT score of at least 1090 must be obtained to be considered. However, AP, SAT II, and IB Subject scores will also be considered. Specific country requirements are found on their website.

The next step for admission to Ireland is a student visa. Foreign students who wish to study for their undergraduate degree in Ireland must prepare the necessary documents – including all passports (current and previous ones), history of visa applications from both Irish and abroad, details of the Irish host, proof of self-funding in both tuition fees and living expenses, as well as lodging and study plans.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Undergraduate Studies

Courses in Ireland are taught in English. As such, students applying for an undergraduate degree in Ireland who do not use English as their primary language may be asked for proof of English proficiency upon admission. The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) accepts standardized English proficiency test results from IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Cambridge English, Advanced or Proficiency, among others. Students must generally reach an IELTS band of 6 to 6.5, without any component going below 6.0. For TOEFL, students must reach a score of 570 for online tests or 90 for paper-based tests. PTE Academic test takers must attain a minimum score of 36, while Cambridge English, Advanced, or Proficiency takers have to pass the exam. However, since these are only minimums, it would be best to consult the specific universities on their target proficiency scores.

For example, Trinity College Dublin requires international students to reach a certain grade of IELTS, depending on their course. Standard courses expect a minimum of 6.5 with no individual band below 6, while medical courses are more rigorous with a score of at least 7 with no individual band below 7. TOEFL scores are per standard at 570 and 90 for online and offline versions respectively, while PTE Academic scores must leap to at least 63 to be considered, with no section below 59. Cambridge English takers must attain a grade of at least C. Other international credentials such as a European Baccalaureate, a C based on the US High School Curriculum in the student’s final year, or a GCSE score of at least C in English would also suffice.

Bachelor’s Degree Application Process

Step 1. Apply for the Course

Students who want to study for a bachelor’s degree in Ireland must send applications to each university’s respective websites. For Trinity College Dublin, students may fill up their profile through the Non-EU application link found under each course description. This can be returned on their own time but must be submitted in full to be considered. A non-refundable processing fee of 55 EUR will have to be paid to the college. Similarly, prospective students of the University of Dublin are asked to apply online. Results will also be communicated through these platforms.

Step 2. Apply for the Student Visa

Applications must be done online in coordination with the INIS. This can be started up to three months before flying to Ireland. Once done, applicants must print their filled-up applications and submit these to the embassy along with their passport. Application fees ranging from 60-100 EUR will apply.

Note that this process applies to Irish visas only. To be able to travel to neighboring Schengen countries, a separate application for multiple-entry Schengen visas must be filled out.


Hopefully, this article on how you can study for a bachelor’s degree in Ireland was helpful. Check out the Available Programs for International Students for information on studying in Europe.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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