Study in Ireland

Education in Ireland

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Ireland has the most number of educated workforces in the world. Moreover, the survey shows that there are around one million people in full-time education in Ireland. Particularly, engaged in the different levels of education from primary to higher studies.

Education in Ireland – Education system

Education is compulsory for children from the ages of 6 to 16, i.e., from primary to secondary levels. Although, kids below the age of 6 attend pre-primary or kindergarten. Moreover, this is optional and it comes outside the formal education system.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs administers pre-schools. However, few of them have privately funded childcare facilities. And, the Department of Education and Skills supports those pre-schools which are focused on children at risk.

The Irish education system builds up into three stages:

  • Primary
  • Second
  • Third-level and further studies.

Education that is funded by the state is available at all levels unless you choose to send your child to a private school. Moreover, religious communities privately own primary schools but are usually state-funded.

Education in Ireland – Primary (first-level) education

Children start the first level at the age of six, where the necessary foundation starts.

There are different levels of primary school:

  • Junior Infants (Naíonáin Shóisearacha) –For children aged 4-5/5-6
  • Senior Infants (Naíonáin Shinsearacha) – For children aged 5-6/6-7
  • First Class (Rang a hAon) – For children aged 6-7/7-8
  • Second Class (Rang a Dó) – For children aged 7-8/8-9
  • Third Class (Rang a Trí) – For children aged 8-9/9-10
  • Fourth Class (Rang a Ceathar)– For children aged 9-10/10-11
  • Fifth Class (Rang a Cúig) – For children aged 10-11/11-12
  • Sixth Class (Rang a Sé) – For children aged 11-12/12-13

Education in Ireland – Language

The medium of instruction in Irish schools is English. And, for Irish language schools such as Gaelscoileanna, Irish is the primary medium of instruction.

Types of Primary Schools

  • National schools
  • Gaelscoileanna
  • Multidenominational schools
  • Preparatory schools
Education in Ireland - Primary kids in Ireland
Education in Ireland – Primary kids in Ireland

Education in Ireland – Second-level education

Most students enter secondary school at the age of 12–13 years. Generally, the transition happens upon completing the Junior Cycle (JCPA) or the Junior Certificate examination. Besides, the secondary level education consists of a three-year junior cycle followed by two to three years of senior period.

As a result, students experience a wide range of educational inputs, including work experience and co-scholastic activities.

Above all, upon reaching the final two years in the senior cycle, students take up either of the three State examinations i.e.

Established Leaving Certificate

It is the primary basis of allotment to students to find places in universities or institutes of technology or colleges of education.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

It is the primary basis of allotment to students to find in universities or institutes of technology or colleges of education.

  • Basically, there are Vocational Training Institutes that provides education, based training
  • In the first year, students attend the general and a few technical subjects
  • Moreover, the students in Vocational High Schools are given options of nine sectors in the second grade
  • And, while in the third year they have a choice of specialties. 

Leaving Certificate Applied

This certificate enables students to take Post-Leaving Certificate courses. Moreover, it is the preparation of participants for adult and working life through relevant learning experiences. Particularly, it aims to develop the following areas of human endeavor:

  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Aesthetic
  • Physical

Second-level education has different types of post-primary schools:

  • Voluntary secondary schools
  • Vocational schools
  • Comprehensive schools or community schools
  • Gaelcholáiste’s or Gaelcholáistí
  • Grind Schools
Education in Ireland - High school
Education in Ireland – High school

Education in Ireland – Third-level education

Third-level education has many sectors:

  • Firstly, the university sector
  • Second, the technological sector
  • Third, the colleges of education
  • Finally, Independent private colleges

The university sector

There are many universities which are self-governing and autonomous, and they offer degree programs at three different levels:

  • Bachelor
  • Masters
  • Doctorate

The technological sector

The technological sector includes technological universities and institutes of technology. Generally, it provides training and programs of education in different sectors at certificate, diploma and degree levels:

  • Business
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Linguistics
  • Music

Education in Ireland – The colleges of education

The colleges of education mainly focus on the specialization in training primary school teachers. Moreover, many third-level institutions provide training for post-primary teachers.

The colleges of education also specialize in the preparation of:

  • Home economics teachers
  • Teachers of religion
  • Physical education teachers
Education in Ireland - Internation students
Education in Ireland – Internation students

Further studies and Adult education

Further education takes place after second-level schooling, but it is not a part of the third-level system.

Programs include:

  • Post-Leaving Certificate courses
  • The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (It is a second-chance education given for the unemployed)
  • Programs in Youth reach for early school-leavers
  • Other literacy and basic education
  • Self-funded evening adult programs

Special needs education for students with disabilities

Training is provided for students with special educational needs. Generally, it ranges from additional support in mainstream schools and to specialist support in special schools.

Disabled students can enroll in:

  • Mainstream class with additional support
  • A special course in a mainstream school or
  • A special school designed to cater to the student with his or her category of disability

Here’s a highlight on few top Universities in Ireland

Top Universities in Ireland

  1. Trinity College Dublin
  2. University College Dublin
  3. National University of Ireland, Galway
  4. University College Cork
  5. Dublin City University

Grading System

  • A: Excellent – 70% or above
  • B: Very good – 69% – 60%
  • C: Good – 59% – 50%
  • D: Satisfactory – 49% – 45%
  • E: Fail – 44% – 40%

Part-time Jobs

  • Firstly, work while the study option is available in Ireland under certain conditions. 
  • Next, students will work through agencies or Student services
  • On the side, If you wish to make some extra cash, then you will need a special permit. 
  • However, the license will be valid for the time you study. 
  • And, you will be allowed to work only in the locality.
  • Lastly, some percent of the tax will be reduced.

Job Opportunities

  • The unemployment rate is falling due to the rise of many companies in Ireland. 
  • Moreover, the locals are highly preferred for jobs. 
  • Nevertheless, non-EU candidates with high scores are likely to get employment. 
  • Engineers are in high demand.
  • Besides, Universities provide job opportunities to their students.
  • Additionally, skill development tools are designed for students
  • Lastly, the student network works well.


  • The education system of Ireland has six years in primary school and three in junior secondary school.
  • However, kids less than 5 years attend three years of kindergarten
  • Generally, there are nine years of free education
  • Students wear school uniforms.
  • So, students give exams to go to the higher classes
  • And, there are various programs in higher studies
  • Also, get ready to learn a new language
  • The job market is stable
  • Ireland is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies
  • Moreover, it is home to some of the most top universities.
  • Therefore, it makes a perfect place for international students to study
  • Particularly, programs are taught in English
  • Tuition at public universities is very low
  • The calendar year at most universities has two semesters
  • Besides, Universities in Ireland offer two types of degrees- Bachelor and Masters
  • In addition, few colleges offer Ph.D. degrees
  • Many students come to Ph.D.
  • You will get to know the place
  • Moreover, teachers are well trained
  • By the way, Classrooms are up to date
  • And, make friends for life
  • Lastly, the country is loved by all
All the best
All the best

So, we hope that the information provided will be helpful to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to move up in your career. All the Best!!

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