Since 500 AD, Ireland has been the centre of learning in Europe, gaining it the title of ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’. One of the oldest institutions, the Trinity College Dublin received its charter and university status in 1592. On the other hand, institutions like the National University of Ireland in Maynooth was founded in 1795 and Universities in Galway and Cork started their practice since the 1840s.
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Why study in Ireland?
With a history of deep appreciation and encouragement to gain knowledge, a recent study by Global Information Technology showed the literacy rate (for adults 15 years and above) in Ireland has been a constant 99% since 2008. Government-funded universities have the best of facilities, research centres and housed in state-of-the-art facilities located on beautiful campuses. With a low fee structure, Ireland sees over 85% of students completing their secondary education. Famous for its research facilities and opportunities, Irish research ranks among the top one percent internationally in 18 research fields. Students hailing from 160 different countries internationally make up 12% of the Irish students’ population.
Why pursue MBA in Ireland?
Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Ireland offers a sweet haven for students searching to differentiate themselves through a European experience within a strict budget. Also, as the rules and regulations in the US tighten, candidates are seeking more options in the European Union. Thereby, Ireland presents itself as one of the best options to pursue an MBA. Not only an MBA degree from Ireland is internationally recognised, but it also offers several specialisations apart from the usual HRM, Finance, Marketing, and Sales. It has options ranging from Healthcare, Public Administration, to Project Management. According to a recent European study, students with an Irish MBA degree see an increase in their annual pay by 50-60%. Owing to its affordable fee structure, Irish business schools are receiving an increasing number of applications from international students each year. Ranked as 12th in the Global Peace Index 2013, Ireland attracts students due to its post-study work opportunities and facilities provided by their universities.
Top Irish Colleges offering different MBA programmes
Irish universities offer three kinds of MBA Programmes which you can opt for according to your requirements and availability of time, such as full-time MBA, part-time MBA, and executive MBA. Some of the colleges might only offer a certain type of programme while others might offer a range of programmes as mentioned previously. Here is a list of few top colleges and the types of MBA programmes offered by them:
- University of Dublin - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland: Full-Time MBA and Part-Time Executive MBA
- University College Dublin (UCD) - Michael Smurfit School of Business, Dublin, Ireland: Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA
- University College Cork, Cork, Ireland: Executive MBA
- University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School, Limerick, Ireland: Executive MBA
- Dublin City University Business School, Dublin, Ireland: Executive MBA
- National University of Ireland, Galway - Cairnes Graduate School, Galway, Ireland: Executive MBA
- Technological University Dublin, Dublin - College of Business: Part-time MBA and Executive MBA
- Maynooth University, Maynooth - School of Business: Full-time and Part-time MSc in Business Management
- Cork Institute of Technology, Bishopstown - School of Business: Part-time MBA
- Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford - School of Business: Full-time and Part-time MBA and Executive MBA
University Accreditation affecting Tuition fees of Irish Universities
Like Swedish universities, tuition fees in Ireland are free for its citizens, European and EEA (European Economic Area) students. To be eligible for this benefit, the EU/EEA student needs to apply for this governmental programme and qualify in the criteria of immigration status, residence, nationality, course requirements, and residence and so on. The applicant would still need to pay a one-time fee of around 2,500 Euros per annum for student expenses such as examination fees and fees contributed towards supporting students’ clubs and societies.
For international students not belonging to the EU/EEA region, fees depend on the field of study, programme, and university chosen. On average, undergraduate courses’ fees range anywhere between 9,000–45,000 Euros per annum and 9,150–37,000 Euros per annum for postgraduate courses. As compared to other international universities, MBA in Irish Universities is relatively cheaper and affordable with an average tuition cost of 8,000–30,000 Euros per annum.
University accreditation also affects the tuition fee of different universities. Internationally, there are three main accreditation bodies:
- In the US, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits business schools in America
- In Europe, the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
- The Association of MBAs (AMBA) in London accredits MBA programs in the UK
Certain universities enjoy triple-accreditation and thus, are highly-priced as compared to single accredited B-schools. Here is a list of universities serving different MBA programmes and their tuition fees per annum (approx):
Programme Type /
Tuition Cost/ p.a
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate
Dundalk Institute of Technology
MBA in International Business
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
MBA in Business
Business Administration MBA
Day-to-day student expenses in Ireland
As tuition fee differs from university to university, living expense in Ireland differs depending on the area you put-up in. As an international student, you can expect an average monthly expense of 650–1000 Euros as your living expense. To give you an idea, here is a list of cities with the average living cost (including accommodation) for international students:
- Dublin: 1,100–1,800 Euros/month
- Cork: 860–1,400 Euros/month
- Galway and other smaller cities: 800–1,100 Euros/month
Universities provide the option of residence halls which are provided on a first come first served basis and usually cost around 200–300 Euros. Also, you can divide and share expenses if you plan on finding accommodation on sharing basis or choose homestay housing. Here is an average estimation of accommodation costs according to the type of accommodation:
- Student living on campus: 300-600 Euros/month
- Student living alone: 427 Euros/month
- Student living with partner/child: 470 Euros/month
Other related and miscellaneous expenses include (approx):
- Utilities–130 Euros/month
- Internet pass– up to 60 Euros/month
- Food costs– 250 Euros/month, while shopping in supermarkets might get you to save more on this
- Transportation costs– 50-55 Euros/month and 20 Euros/per day to hire a bicycle (students discounts are available through Student Leap Card or the Bus Éireann services)
- Books and research magazines– 70 Euros/month
- Medical insurance– 45 Euros/month
Student Scholarships and funding provided by Irish universities
For students looking for funding and scholarships, Irish universities and few organisations offer a number of scholarships to both undergraduate and postgraduate students depending on certain criteria. ‘Go Overseas and Education’ (a national organisation) is one such institution that offers 15 undergraduate scholarships where it awards 6,000 Euros to each student. It also offers 11 postgraduate scholarships with 10,000 Euros awarded to each student. Another recognised institution- Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) - offers financial support that covers all living costs for nine months over the course of an academic year for all higher education degree programmes.
Apart from these, here is a list of scholarships that the Irish universities offer to international students:
- Achiever MBA Scholarship: Offered to both Irish and international students by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. It covers only tuition fees for the MBA programme in Business.
- Forte Fellows Program: Offered by the Forte Foundation for international students where students of all nationalities are eligible. It is a partial-funding program that can be availed at Forte sponsor schools.
- The Mwangi MBA Scholarship: Open to female citizens of Kenya, this scholarship of is a full-funding programme offered by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
- Séamus McDermott MBA Scholarship: offered by Trinity College Dublin, this scholarship helps with partial funding of tuition fees for students and citizens of Ireland.
To know about more scholarships available, click here
Admission procedure and eligibility criteria for MBA Program
Although each university has its own eligibility requirements, here is a list of eligibility criteria and documents usually required by any international university for an MBA programme:
- A minimum of three years (with an undergraduate degree) or five years (with a professional qualification) worth of work experience (mandatory requirement)
- The university degree should be from a recognized university, a professional qualification obtained with exams, or a substantial track of business achievement without a degree or qualification
- Qualify the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) with an acceptable score. Generally, a minimum score of 550 is required by top universities.
- Scores of any English Language Proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Depending on the university, this test may be exempted for candidates who have done their formal education in English.
- Official verified and translated transcripts of undergraduate (or postgraduate) degrees.
- An up-to-date resume with all the necessary details of work experience, academic background, and achievements.
- Personal Essays, Goals Essays or SOP, as directed by the university
- Two letters of recommendations, preferably from a professional background
- Two photographs and identity supporting documents
- Financial and loan documents along visa papers
Here is a quick preview of the online application procedure:
- Each of the universities will have an online application form which needs to be filled and submitted online and/or downloaded if you are sending a hard copy of the documents
- Along with the online application form, attach the necessary documents and admissions drafts (Essays, CV, LORs and so on)
- For online application, once you are done with the process, you will be required to pay the application fee
- For offline application, you need to send the fee along with the documentation
- The application fee differs from university to university
Foundation courses for international students in Ireland
Certain universities provide Foundation Courses for international students whose academic background fails to make a student eligible for the course he aspires to join. This basically happens as the student’s qualification does not match the academic system of the country. In such situations, the students are given an opportunity to enroll in a one-year duration pre-bachelor or pre-master course through a local university.
The main aim of these pre-university programmes is to prepare the aspirants for the course they have opted for and develop necessary skills related to it. It also includes cultural integration in classes that allow students to gel with similar students like them belonging to different nationalities and cultures. Some of the programmes also guarantee enrolment if the students fare well in the year-end exams.
Some of the popular foundation degree courses are offered by pre-law institutes, pre-MBA B-schools, pre-nursing schools and pre-med schools. There are also international programmes for other professional courses such as engineering, economics, finance, and similar pathway programmes. You can check out these courses on their university websites.
Post-study work opportunities and work-visa
International students need to apply for a work permit if they plan on working post-work along with their studies. For working part-time, you do not require a permit as long as you have a Stamp 2 Permission on your student visa. Students with Stamp 2A on their visa would not be allowed to work as a student. However, international students who are studying in Ireland full-time (at least a one-year course) do not need to apply for a work permit as long as the course leads to a qualification recognised by the Irish Department of Education and Skills.
Indians students get a variety of options to choose from while looking for a work permit in Ireland after studies:
- Residence Permit: Post the completion of your studies, you can apply for a residence permit if you plan on working in Ireland for a few years. This permit will get you two years’ worth of work permit.
- General Employment Permit: It is a renewable permit that allows you to continue your professional practice for two years.
- Critical Skills Employment Permit: With a validity of two years, you would need a Stamp 4 on it once it expires after the validity. Stamp 4 permit provides you the opportunity to stay and work in Ireland without worrying about renewing it every other year.
As Ireland welcomes more businesses to make their base here, it is fast becoming a happening place for business aspirants and entrepreneurs to learn and work up their skills. As companies like Google, Facebook, Pfizer, Intel, and Apple continue to expand their market in Europe, there is a rise in job opportunities. In the past few years, Irish Universities have reported that students from reputed Irish B-schools have found their dream job within three months of graduating. As Ireland emerges as the new hot-spot for booming businesses, more and more candidates are opting for this country for higher studies. For expert insight into admissions and related processes, please visit here.
Candidates looking to pursue MBA in Ireland can check out our frequently asked questions (FAQs) about pursuing Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Ireland.
Q. Is Ireland a good destination for MBA?
A. Yes Ireland has over the years become one of the top destinations for international students to pursue their higher education. This highly developed country with a modern economy is also home to the top universities in the world offering global recognisition.
Q. How much does pursuing an MBA cost in Ireland?
A. Well, the cost of education would entirely depend on your preferred university and your living expenses. However, MBA in Irish Universities is relatively cheaper and affordable with an average tuition cost of 8,000–30,000 Euros per annum when compared to the USA and Canada.
Q. Does pursuing an MBA in Ireland require work experience?
A. Yes. Most well-renowned universities in Ireland would require candidates to have some work experience either full-time or part as part of the admission criteria. Candidates should note that they should check this with their concerned universities and go ahead with the admission process,
Q. How can I get admission for MBA in Ireland?
A. Candidates wanting to pursue MBA in Ireland would be required to follow the admission process pertaining to the university. Candidates can check the admission requirements of popular universities in Ireland and plan their next move. A university degree, a valid GMAT score, English proficiency scores, and proof of work experience are some of the top admission requirements for admission to MBA universities in Ireland.
Q. Is Dublin good for MBA?
A. Dublin is one of the most prominent cities and the capital of Ireland. The city has been often ranked among the top cities for students in the world by leading ranking organisations. Dublin is also home to top universities and global companies, thus making it a hub for opportunities for deserving students.
Q. Is Ireland good for Indian students?
A. As informed earlier and in the article, Ireland has become one of the top destinations for international students wanting to pursue higher education. The country is a highly developed country and a perfect destination for anyone who is looking for a world-class education. in a progressive and innovative country with a promising carer option.
Q. Do Indian students get jobs in Ireland?
A. Yes. The country offers graduate students the opportunity to stay on and work in Ireland for 12 months (undergraduate students) and 24 months for masters/graduate students. The country also releases a list of Critical Skill Emoylemt List - which implies they have abundant jobs in areas where they have a lack of resources and can be pursued by students.
Q. Where do most Indians live in Ireland?
A. Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Waterford are the major cities that are populated y Indian students.
Q. Is it expensive to live in Ireland?
A. As tuition fee differs from university to university, living expense in Ireland differs depending on the area you put-up in. As an international student, you can expect an average monthly expense of 650–1000 Euros as your living expense.
Q. Can Indians settle in Ireland?
A. Every country has rules and regulations established for international students looking to settle down in Ireland. Candidates are required to adhere to the same to be eligible for a Permanent Residency (PR) in Ireland.
Q. What is a good salary in Ireland for International students?
A. There is nothing such as a good salary or a not-so-good salary. However, candidates looking to apply for permanent residency in Ireland should aim to receive a salary of €48,000 per annum.