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About Ireland

Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the northwest of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. To the east of Ireland is Great Britain, separated from it by the Irish Sea. The island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers just under five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is approximately 6.2 million people. Just under 4.5 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just under 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

Why Study In Ireland

Ireland's worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, cityscapes steeped in history and a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world. Join the growing number of international students choosing Ireland to fulfil their potential

Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain epitomize Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 17th century. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.

Living in Ireland

The friendliness and hospitality for which the Irish people are renowned contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and in particular, student life in Ireland. The individual sections below cover a number of topics that you should be familiar with before you decide to come to Ireland, when you arrive and while you are here

Working in Ireland

Non-EU/EEA students who meet the above criteria are entitled to work 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during the university holidays. The entitlement to take up employment ceases once your student visa runs out. Following completion of your studies, if you wish to continue in employment, you will need to switch to the ‘Graduate Scheme’ and then obtain a work permit.

Although you may be entitled to work up to 20 hours per week you should not rely on having to work while you are here. Pursuing a course of study is very demanding and part-time work might affect your studies. You are also required by the Garda National Immigration Bureau to show that you have enough money when entering Ireland to fund yourself for the academic year.

Student Health

It is a requirement of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services ( ) that non-EU students obtain private health insurance in Ireland, see Health Insurance page . UCD does not arrange health insurance for students.

However please note that non-EU students who will be resident in Ireland for a minimum of one year are eligible for public hospital treatment under the same conditions as an Irish citizen. Under this scheme, students pay €100 for a visit to accident and emergency and, if admitted to hospital, €75 per day up to a maximum of €750 for the first ten days. No further charges are imposed if a student is in hospital longer than 10 days. Students will not be covered if travelling to Northern Ireland or other EU countries. For more information non-EU students should contact their local HSE (Health Service Executive) or visit Non-EU students staying less than one year are not covered under this scheme.

Understanding the Education System

Secondary Education in Ireland

Completed at a secondary school, vocational school, community college, comprehensive school or community school.

Secondary education is divided into two stages called cycles:

• The first cycle is called the Junior Cycle, which lasts from year 1 to 3 and is for students, typically from the age of 12 to 16. To successfully complete the Junior Cycle students must take a Junior Certificate Examination.
• Year 4 is a transitional year in which students can take a one-year informal course.
• The second cycle is called the Senior Cycle, which lasts from year 5 to 6 and is for students, typically from the age of 16 to 18.
• A Leaving Certificate Examination taken at the end of the Senior Cycle with three program options: Leaving Certificate Program, Leaving Certificate Vocational Program and Leaving Certificate Applied.

Higher Education in Ireland

Technical/Vocational Post-Secondary Study
Technical and vocational programs are available in the applied fields of Business Studies, Science and Engineering & Technology. The awarded qualifications are internationally recognised by professional, academic, craft and trade bodies. The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) monitors and makes awards in the non-university sector.

• Offered at Institutes of Technology and specialised colleges.
• A two-year program to receive a Higher Certificate.
• A one-year course to receive a Graduate Diploma.

Bachelor’s Degree
A variety of Bachelor’s degree programs are offered in Ireland.

•  During the admissions process universities evaluate students’ Leaving Certificate Examination results, among other criteria.
• A Bachelor’s degree is a three to four-year program at a university or independent college.
• Degree options include Ordinary or Honors Bachelor’s degree.

Master’s Degree
Master’s programs in Ireland are offered in a wide range of fields. In a master’s program, students usually take course work, research work or a combination of the two

• Requires successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree or Graduate Diploma.
• A Master’s degree is a one to three-year program at a university.

Doctoral Degree
• A PhD is awarded on the basis of original research.
• Lasts for a minimum of three years at a university.

International students
International students who wish to study in the Republic of Ireland must prove their English language aptitude. Students should contact the admissions office at each school to find out which tests are accepted.

The following tests may be accepted:
• International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
• Cambridge English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL)
• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

In addition to proving English proficiency, international students must also check that their qualifications satisfy the school’s entry requirements.

The Kaplan International Colleges English school in Dublin offers preparation courses for the IELTS and Cambridge exams. Our preparation courses provide international students with the skills, test taking techniques and encouragements needed to succeed at achieving a higher test score and opening doors to more Irish universities.

If it is your aim to get a degree from an Irish university, the Kaplan International Colleges University Placement Service (UPS) will help you gain entry. Student using this service will benefit from our extensive network of partner institutions and our long experience of guiding students through the admission process.

Academic Calendar

The primary school year runs from the beginning of September until the end of June. There are breaks for Christmas and Easter and two mid-term breaks at the end of October and mid-February. Secondary schools run from September to the end of May, but due to the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate exams, 3rd and 6th years respectively break at the end of June for summer holidays upon completion of the exams which end in the 3rd week of June. The academic year for state schools lasts for a minimum of 167 teaching days in secondary schools and 183 days in primary schools.[10] Third-level institutions run a much shorter calendar, generally from mid to late September, sometimes early October, to December for their first semester. The second semester usually runs from January to mid- or late May with a break for Easter of up to a month.

Useful Links

Higher Education

Department of Educations and Skill

Government of Ireland

Education In Ireland
Region Northern Europe
Currency Euro (EUR)
Surface Area

Sq. Km.

Population 4515000
Population Density 64.3 / square kilometre
Capital City Dublin
GDP (million current US$) 221778
GDP per capita (current US$) 49115.5
CPI: Consumer Price Index 129
Temperature °C (min/max) 6.3/12.8
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