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Study In Ireland vs UK for International Students 2024

Study In Ireland vs UK for International Students 2024

Edited By Sareena Kaur Sethi | Updated on Jul 10, 2024 04:35 PM IST

Both Ireland and UK are among the top choices for study-abroad aspirants. Ireland and UK universities are ranked among the top world universities by many global ranking organisations like QS, THE, and more. However, deciding which country is better for you is a very challenging task for international students.

Study In Ireland vs UK for International Students 2024
Study In Ireland vs UK for International Students 2024

Education in Ireland vs UK for international students offers valuable career opportunities for studying business, engineering, computer science, and other popular fields. UK offers a high-quality education, research facilities, and a quality lifestyle for international students.

However, students who wish to seek an affordable education in abroad countries can apply to Ireland universities considering their low tuition fees and living expenses.

In this article, we tried to cover the major difference between study in UK vs study in Ireland. Students who are planning to study abroad 2024 are advised to read the complete article to learn more about the education system, lifestyle differences, visa processing, and other significant differences between Ireland and UK.

Country Guide: UK | Ireland | Australia | Canada

Ireland vs UK for Masters


Study in Ireland

Study in UK

Cost of Living

Rs. 1,16,680 - 2,79,940

Rs. 1,43,000 - 1,79,00

Top Universities

  • University College, Cork
  • Dublin City University
  • Maynooth University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
  • University of Limerick
  • Staffordshire University.
  • Teesside University.
  • Leeds Trinity University.
  • University of Cumbria.
  • London Metropolitan University.
  • University of Bolton.
  • University of Buckingham.
  • Coventry University.

Language of Instruction

English, Irish


Cost of undergraduate programnme

EUR 9,000 – 45,000 per year

EUR 11,400 - 38,000

Cost of postgraduate programme

EUR 9,150 – 37,000 per year

EUR 9,000 - 30,000

Courses Offered

  • Computer Science and I.T.
  • Engineering
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Business and Finance
  • Medicine and Life Sciences
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering

Educational System in Ireland vs UK 2024

A common question that arises among international students is "UK or Ireland which is better for masters ?". Both UK and Ireland offer quality education among the international students that are recognised globally. Here’s a breakdown of the higher educational system in UK and Ireland:

Education System in UK

The UK is a popular destination for international students, offering a well-respected education system and internationally recognized qualifications. Types of degrees offered by the UK for international students:

  • Undergraduate: The duration of an undergraduate degree in UK is 3 years. These degrees award qualifications like Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), or Bachelor of Engineering (BEng). However, the duration for the MBBS and other medical degrees may take a longer period of time.

  • Masters: Master's degrees typically last for 1-2 years for international students. These degrees award qualifications like Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), or Master of Business Administration (MBA).

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Additionally, UK is also popular for offering various foundation courses, pre-master programmes, and language courses for overseas candidates.

Education System in Ireland

Ireland offers a welcoming and internationally recognised higher education system for international students. Types of degrees in Ireland include:

  • Undergraduate: An undergraduate degree in Ireland typically lasts for three or four years. The duration may vary for different medical courses.

  • Masters: Master's degrees typically last for one to two years. Students completing a Master's programme in Ireland are awarded a Master's degree to pursue further higher education.

Ireland also offers PhD degrees for overseas learners which approximately lasts for three to four years.

Cost of Studying in Ireland vs UK 2024

The UK offers a high-quality education for international students recognised globally. Similarly, Ireland is also popular for offering a top-notch educational experience for international students. However, education in the UK is considerably more expensive than that in Ireland for Indian students. Whereas, Ireland is well-known for its low-cost higher education worldwide.

The average UK 2024 fees for an undergraduate programme is around EUR 11,400 - 38,000 and around EUR 9,000 - 30,000 for master’s degree students. Whereas, average Ireland fees for international students are approximately EUR 9,000 – 45,000 per year for undergraduate courses and EUR 9,150 – 37,000 per year for masters and doctoral programmes.

Ireland vs UK for Masters: Cost of Living 2024


Expenses in Ireland

Expenses in UK

Accommodation (Off-Campus/On-campus)

EUR 800 - 1000

EUR 1,050


EUR 200 - 400

EUR 250-500


EUR 100 - 150

EUR 300-500

Mobile and wifi

EUR 60 (approx.)

EUR 30-60


EUR 60 - 90 (public transportation)

EUR 70-100

Utilities (Electricity, Gas, water)

EUR 28 (approx.)

EUR 150-200


EUR 60

EUR 30-80

Scholarships in UK vs Ireland

International students pursuing full-time studies in the UK or Ireland can choose from a wide variety of scholarships and financial aid programmes offered by the governments and universities of each of these nations. Students can find more information on the official websites of these nations as well as the websites of the universities they are interested in.

Ireland vs UK for International Students: Scholarships

Scholarships in UK

Scholarships in Ireland

Chevening Scholarship UK

Government of Ireland Scholarships

Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Scholarship

Irish Research Council Scholarships

GREAT Scholarships

National College of Ireland

A.S Hornby Educational Trust Scholarship

Trinity College Dublin Scholarships

Felix Scholarships

University College Cork

Centenary Scholarship program

Rhodes Scholarship

Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Also read:

Study in Ireland or UK: Top Universities 2024

Both UK and Ireland boost high-quality education and top-notch research opportunities for international students. UK and Ireland universities are ranked among the top universities in the world in 2024.

However, choosing the best educational institution between the two countries is very challenging for international students. Here, we have provided a few top-ranked universities in UK and Ireland for Indian students 2024 as per the QS ranking.

Top Universities in UK for Indian Students

Some of the UK universities are ranked among the top 10 world universities by QS Ranking Report 2025. These universities offer a high-quality education with multifold career opportunities.

Best Universities in UK for Masters

Top Universities in Ireland for Indian Students

Ireland universities are well-known for their quality of education and affordable fee structure. The best universities in Ireland, according to the QS rankings 2025, are given below:

Best Universities in Ireland for Masters

Career Opportunities and Post-Study Work Options

Both Ireland vs UK job market offer exciting career and post-study work prospects for international students studying there. A break down of the potential career opportunities and post-study work options for international students in UK and Ireland are as follows:

Employment Prospects in UK for International Students

The most popular employment sectors in the UK are:

  • Engineering

  • Information Technology

  • Business, Finance, and Consulting

  • Healthcare

The UK offers a post-study work visa called the Graduate Route for international students. This visa allows international students to stay in the UK for up to two years after completion of their undergraduate or master's degree. During this duration, students can stay and work, or look for work, at any skill level. The duration of stay for PhD graduates is up to three years.

Employment Prospects in Ireland for International Students

The most sought-after job sectors in Ireland are

  • Engineering and Technology

  • Business & Finance

  • Sales and Marketing

  • Healthcare and Medical

  • Hospitality and Tourism

Ireland offers a post-study work permit for international students who have completed a minimum of two years of full-time study at an accredited Irish university. This permit allows students to stay and work in Ireland for up to two years after completion of their studies. The duration for PhD graduates is three years.

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Ireland vs UK for International Students: Student visa

A UK vs Ireland Tier 4 (general) student visa is required for applicants who want to study in the UK. For this visa, the candidate must be at least 16 years old. Students who plan to enroll in full-time courses only—not short-term language courses—are granted this visa. You must apply for a Tier 4 visa before six months beginning the course you plan to pursue,

In contrast, if you intend to travel to Ireland to undertake a 3-month, less than 3-month, or longer course, you must apply for an Ireland Study Visa. The visa fee for a single entry is EUR 60. Additionally, you require a letter of acceptance from the university and you must demonstrate that you have at least EUR 7,000 in your bank account at the time you apply for a study visa.

This sum covers an international student's living expenses for one academic year in Ireland. In addition to the course fee, you must demonstrate that you or your parents/sponsor will be able to pay at least EUR 7000 for each year of your study.

International students are eligible to work up to 20 hours a week during the term time and in June, July, August, and September, and between 15 December and 15 January, they can work up to 40 hours per week.

Ireland vs UK for Masters: Permanent Residency

Students can live and work permanently in the UK if they have a Permanent Residency, often known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). If you have been a resident of the UK for five years or more, hold a valid work visa, or are a relative of a British national or permanent resident, you may be able to apply for ILR.

On the other hand, candidates who have lived in Ireland with a work permit for five years can apply for the Ireland Permanent Residence Permit.

Foreign applicants who are granted permanent residency in Ireland will receive a Stamp 4 on their passport, which is renewed after five years. The foreign national may also request a "Without Condition As To Time" endorsement after eight years of lawful residence, which, as the name implies, has no set expiration date.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is it cheaper to study in Ireland than in the UK?

The cost of going to school in the UK can be rather costly in contrast to other European countries. For international students, there is little price difference between studying in the UK and Ireland.

2. Can I work in the UK after studying in Ireland?

After you graduate, you might be able to continue living and working in Ireland, but there are some limitations. If you are a non-EU graduate who wants to gain work experience, you can apply for a study visa extension for up to six months (up to 12 months in the UK) after you receive your exam results.

3. Is getting a PR in Ireland easy?

Ireland has gained popularity as a destination for immigrants in recent decades. There has never been a better time to apply for immigration to Ireland because the immigration procedure is simple and favors highly educated immigrants, the economy is strong, and the country is thriving.

4. Can I get PR in the UK after completing my studies?

After completing your education, you ought to find a full-time position. You can apply for the "indefinite permission to remain" ILR Visa, which grants you the status of "permanent resident," after five years of employment. Additionally, you'll need to pass a recognised English language test as well as the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.

5. What is the best university for international students in Northern Ireland?

Queens University of Belfast, Ulster University and Stranmillis University College are few of the best universities for international students in Northern Ireland.


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