Higher education in Ireland

Institutions of higher education

The higher education system in Ireland consists of the university sector, institutes of technology and private independent colleges.  

  • 7 Universities
  • 4 Colleges
  • 14 Institutes of technology
  • 7 Private colleges

University sector

Universities in Ireland are state-funded, but they are generally autonomous. There are 7 universities in Ireland:

Technological sector

The technological sector includes institutes of technology which provide programmes of education and training in areas such as business, science, engineering, linguistics and music to certificate, diploma and degree levels. There are 14 institutes of technology located around the country. In the Dublin area they are Dublin, Tallaght, Blanchardstown and Dun Laoghaire. Outside Dublin they are Cork, Waterford, Tralee, Dundalk, Athlone, Galway and Mayo, Sligo, Letterkenny, Limerick, and Carlow.

The Technological Universities Act 2018 allows institutes of technology to apply to become a new type of higher education institution with technological university status.

Colleges of education

Several colleges of education in Ireland provide specialised training for primary school teachers. They offer a 3-year Bachelor of Education degree and an 18-month postgraduate diploma. Post-primary teachers generally do a primary degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma. You can find more information in our document on teacher qualifications.

Other colleges

In addition to state-funded colleges, a number of fee-paying third-level educational institutions offer courses, mainly in professional vocational training and business. Some of these colleges are linked to universities or professional associations and their qualifications may be accredited accordingly.

Most popular cities in Ireland

81 Luxembourg residents were studying in 2018/ 2019 in Dublin.

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