Schools in Ireland Ranked: Top 10 Universities and Colleges

Ireland is known for its high standards of education. The best universities in Ireland provide educational opportunities for international students. According to this OECD report, 9 percent of international students were enrolled in tertiary education in 2019. This is 3 percent higher than the OECD average. These data indicate that Ireland is one of the countries to consider when looking to study abroad.

Numerous Irish schools are in the Times Higher Education world ranking and the education system in this historically significant country has a lot to offer. This article will give you a comprehensive list of the best schools in Ireland. You will also learn about some of the programs offered by the best universities in Ireland that accept students from different countries.

What attracts students to universities in Ireland?

Ireland has become an attractive destination for students due to its high level of education and career opportunities. Students will also appreciate the city’s rich history and culture, which provides a beautiful environment to study art, technology, and social sciences. Some of the best universities in Ireland offer affordable tuition and scholarships for eligible international students.

Schools in Ireland Ranked: An Overview

Ireland Rank World ranking on Times Higher Education World ranking on American news Institution
1 146th 222 Trinity College Dublin
2 201-250th 244 University College Dublin
3 201-250th 1045 Royal College of Surgeons – Ireland (RCSI)
4 251-300th 392 University College Cork
5 351-400e 548 National University of Ireland, Galway
6 501-600th 861 Dublin City University
7 501-600th 1198 Maynooth University
8 601-800e 861 University of Limerick
9 801-1000th N/A Waterford Institute of Technology
10 1001-1200th N/A Dublin University of Technology

The Best Universities in Ireland Explained

Several Irish universities are among the top universities in the world.

In the next section, we will go through the universities in the table above in detail, based on information gathered from the official websites of the universities. Read on to find out why these colleges are a top choice for international students looking to study in Europe.

1. Trinity College Dublin

  • Campus location: Dublin 2
  • Acceptance rate: 34%
  • Graduation rate: 81%
  • US News Country Rank: #222

Trinity College Dublin was founded in March 1592 and is an elite European university. International students studying at this university also have the chance to participate in cultural events and be part of the international community. Trinity offers various scholarships for foreign and European students. This school has 50 sports clubs for athletes and 120 associations where students get involved in art, culture and politics.

2. University College Dublin

  • Campus location: Dublin 4
  • Acceptance rate: 25%
  • Graduation rate: N/A
  • US News Country Rank: #244

University College Dublin, or UCD, is a prestigious university in Ireland. It is a public research university and is considered Ireland’s largest university, with 35,286 students, including approximately 8,000 international students.

This school offers a wide variety of academic programs in various fields such as engineering, business, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. UCD also offers several international scholarships to make its programs more accessible to students from abroad.

3. Royal College of Surgeons – Ireland (RCSI)

  • Campus location: Dublin 2
  • Acceptance rate: 46%
  • Graduation rate: N/A
  • US News Country Rank: #1045

Founded in February 1800, RCSI is a private university in Ireland. It has more than 4,000 students and 60 percent of them come from more than 90 countries around the world. It offers a wide range of health and science courses. RCSI provides world-class medical education and training for healthcare professionals.

4. University College Cork

  • Campus location: Cork
  • Acceptance rate: 41%
  • Graduation rate: 88.99% for Bachelor’s degree programmes, 80.61% for Master’s degree programmes
  • US News Country Rank: #392

University College Cork, or UCC, is a popular university in Ireland, offering numerous university courses and research facilities in areas such as food and nutrition, sustainability, finance and health. UCC also allows international students to participate in the various activities and organizations such as the student organization, whose 3,000 members are international students. UCC has international students from over 100 countries around the world.

5. National University of Ireland, Galway

  • Campus location: Galway
  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Graduation rate: 96%
  • US News Country Ranking: #548

NUI Galway is a public university founded in 1845. It offers various undergraduate and graduate programs for students from abroad. It has several exchange programs for international students and organizes online and in-person events for them. Visiting students are allowed to study in the school for a semester or an entire academic year.

6. Dublin City University

  • Campus location: Dublin 9
  • Acceptance rate: 44%
  • Graduation rate: 92.66% for Bachelor’s degree programmes, 91.14% for Master’s degree programmes
  • US News Country Ranking: #861

Founded in 1975, Dublin City University is a public university in Ireland with a student population of 17,000. This educational institution offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses for both Irish and international students. DCU accepts students from all over the world. Students from Europe must have a European health insurance card, while non-EU students must take out private insurance before leaving their country.

7. Maynooth University

  • Campus location: Maynooth
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Graduation rate: N/A
  • US News Country Rank: #1198

Also known as the National University of Ireland, Maynooth University was founded in 1997. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, certifications and short courses. Maynooth University also provides financial aid to prospective students from the US. In addition, it features the CampusConnect mobile app that allows the international student population to connect with their peers.

8. University of Limerick

  • Campus location: Limerick
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Graduation rate: 97.11% for Bachelor’s degree programmes, 93.96% for Master’s degree programmes
  • US News Country Rank: #861

At the University of Limerick (UL), you can enroll in postgraduate, graduate and undergraduate courses in various fields such as education, engineering, science, humanities, arts and more. This educational institution also provides village communities for students from all over the world where they can meet other international and Irish students. Summer programs are also available to the student community at UL.

9. Waterford Institute of Technology

  • Campus location: Waterford
  • Acceptance rate: 48%
  • Graduation rate: 85.85% for Bachelor’s degree programmes, 48.13% for Master’s degree programmes
  • US News Country Ranking: N/A

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) offers various degree programs in engineering, humanities, computer science and business administration. WIT accepts exchange students from its 100 partner universities. It also offers scholarships for eligible international students who meet the standard average grade and other requirements.

10. Dublin University of Technology

  • Campus location: Dublin 7
  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Graduation rate: 90.72% for master’s degree programs
  • US News Country Ranking: N/A

TU Dublin is the first technology university in Ireland to have more than five campuses in Dublin. It was established in January 2019 and offers various programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Non-EU students must pay international fees, including tuition, exam and registration fees.

How we made our list of the best schools in Ireland

To compile our list, we followed the Times Higher Education 2022 World University Rankings. This ranking was created by evaluating education, research, citations, international prospects and industry results from more than 1,600 institutions from around the world. Additional information was retrieved from the US News Best National University Rankings.

Is a Top University in Ireland Right for You?

A top university in Ireland is the right choice for you if you want to learn more about Ireland’s heritage, history and work in a European country. Studying at one of the best universities in Ireland gives you an excellent opportunity to experience Irish culture and the country’s outstanding education system. You will socialize with other European students, expand your language skills and become familiar with Irish customs.

However, if you have no interest in foreign educational institutions, you can enroll in affordable universities in your country. If you’re looking to get into the tech industry, coding bootcamps are a great way to gain in-demand tech skills in a short amount of time through hands-on experiences and extensive training.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Universities in Ireland

What is the average cost of living in Ireland for international students?

The average cost of living in Ireland for international students for one academic year is €7,000 to €12,000 (approximately $7,700-$13,200). This includes accommodation, food and transport. Most Irish schools provide an estimated cost of living for international applicants.

What are the requirements for international students to study in Ireland?

You need a student visa to study in Ireland. You may also be required to provide English proficiency test scores and a certificate of secondary education for undergraduate programs. In addition, most schools require a GPA of at least 3.0 and a degree from undergraduate studies if you want to earn a postgraduate degree.

Which University in Ireland is Best for Engineering and Technology Education?

University College Dublin is the best university for engineering and technology according to the US News & World Report. The next best engineering and technical education schools are NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin.

What are the cheapest universities in Ireland for international students?

Some of the cheapest universities in Ireland for international students include Trinity College Dublin, the University of Limerick, Dublin Business School and the Cork Institute of Technology. You can also apply for scholarships and financial aid offered by many universities in Ireland.

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