Ireland Education System

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All About the Ireland Education System-03 (1)

Ireland is known for providing quality education to students in top universities. The Department of Education and Skills is responsible for the framework of educational policies and regulations for universities and students in Ireland. Education is mandatory in Ireland for children of ages 6 to 16 or at least for three years at the secondary level. If you want to know more about the education system, top universities in Ireland, then keep reading!

About the Ireland Education System

The education system in Ireland has four levels unless someone pursues studies at private institutions. The education in Ireland comprises primary or first-level, second-level education, third-level education, and higher education. The government has sponsored all of these levels in Ireland. 

Also Read: MIM in Ireland


Primary education in Ireland is available for children older than 6 years, but they may start school after their fourth birthday. Preschool education in Ireland is usually provided by private institutions. Primary education or early childhood care is also available for free by The Early Childhood Care and Education scheme provided by the state government. The primary school in Ireland has a child-centred curriculum. The international students who are residing in Ireland may be exempted from learning Irish in school. Moreover, these primary schools are usually owned by religious communities but are funded by the state government for Irish and other EU nationals.

Also Read: Ireland Work Permit


The second level of education in Ireland is usually provided by various types of post-primary schools. This secondary level of education lasts 5-6 years and comprises a 3-year junior cycle and a 2-3 year senior cycle. This 5-6 year duration depends on the optional Transition Year and the Junior Certificate or Junior Cycle (JCPA) examination that is taken after 3 years. This transition year is free from formal examinations and is for students to experience a broad spectrum of educational inputs and, most importantly, work experiences. Moreover, during the final cycle of 2 years in secondary education, students are supposed to take one of 3 programs – the established Key leaving Certificate, the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, or the Leaving Certificate Applied, each leading to a State examination

Also Read: Intakes in Ireland

Third-level education

Third-level education is made up of several sectors, including the university sector, the technological sector, and the colleges of education. All these sectors are substantially funded by the State government. Furthermore, there are various independent private colleges. These universities offer various courses at the bachelor, master’s, and doctorate levels. The technological sector includes Technological Universities (TUs) and Institutes of Technology (ITs), which provide programs of education and training in areas such as business, science, engineering, linguistics, and music in various certificates, diplomas, and degrees level courses. 

Also Read: 10 Reasons to Study in Ireland

Higher Education

Higher education in Ireland includes education and training that is after completion of second-level schooling but which is not part of the third-level system. It comprises programs such as Post-Leaving Certificate courses, the programs in Youthreach for early school-leavers, other literacy and basic education, Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (second-chance education for the unemployed) and self-funded evening adult programs in second-level schools.

Best Universities in Ireland

Many universities in Ireland are known for their quality of education, amazing infrastructure, enrollment, and much more. Some of the best universities in Ireland are:

Name of the Universities Location 
Trinity College Dublin College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
RCSI Institute of Leadership Ballymoss Rd, Sandyford, Dublin, Ireland
University College Dublin University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
University College Cork College Rd, University College, Cork, Ireland
National University of Ireland, Galway University Rd, Galway, Ireland
Dublin City University Dublin City University, Collins Ave Ext, Whitehall, Dublin 9, Ireland
Maynooth University Mariavilla, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
University of Limerick west coast of Ireland along with the picturesque River Shannon
Technological University Dublin Park House, 191 N Circular Rd, Cabra East, Grangegorman, Co. Dublin, D07 EWV4, Ireland
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 YN77, Ireland

Also Read: Ireland Student Visa

Do you know? 

  • One of the amazing facts about Ireland is that the first potato was planted here. It is known that sir Walter Raleigh is the one who brought potato crop from America to Ireland many years ago.
  • Have you ever wondered where Halloween originated? The answer is Ireland, The festival of Halloween originated in ancient Ireland.
  • Another amazing fact about Ireland is that this place is known for no snakes. Yes, indeed, there were never any snakes in Ireland. 
  • The oldest lighthouse in the world is located in Wexford, Ireland. It is known that this lighthouse had been there for the last 848 years.
  • Puck Fair is the longest-running festival in Ireland. The amazing fact about this festival is that in August every year a goat is caught from the Kerry mountains and is caged in the village of Killorglin. Then the goat is crowned as a king for three days. However, after three days the goat is safely sent back to the mountain.


Is the education system in Ireland good?

Yes, the education in Ireland is absolutely good as it ranks above average in OECD and EU. 

Is education really free in Ireland?

All children living in Ireland have a basic right to education. Education in Ireland is made free for all children in preschool, primary and secondary levels. 

Where is Ireland ranked in education?

Ireland has ranked 4th out of 38 countries in a study and Ireland is the most educated European country. 

If you want to get into a good university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need a flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute profile consultation.

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