Fees & Costs
Ireland International Tuition Fees Guide 2017
International students studying in Ireland will be required to pay either EU or non-EU fees. This can be determined by both residence as well as nationality, so non-EU nationals may qualify for the EU rate in some circumstances. Some EU students may also be eligible for the 'undergraduate free fees' programme.
Are you an EU or non-EU student?
According to the Irish Department of Justice, Equality and Law reform, a student will be regarded as an EU student if you fulfil one of the criteria listed below:
- You are a national of an EU member state and have received all of your post-primary education within an EU member state
- You are a national of an EU member state and have been residing in an EU member state for three of the five years prior to the start of your course
- You have been in full-time employment in an EU member state for three of the last five years prior to the start of the first year of your course (please note, this only applies to students aged over 23)
- You have ordinarily been a resident in an EU member state for three of the five years prior to the commencement of the programme and your parents have been in full-time employment in an EU member state for three of the five years prior to the start of your course (please note, this only applies to students under the age 23)
Click here for the full list of EU member states
Free fees programme
Ireland currently operates a system of free undergraduate fees for EU nationals who meet certain criteria - the Free Fees programme. Those with official refugee status and EEA/Swiss nationals with long-term residency in the EU may also qualify. The free fees scheme does not apply to any postgraduate courses. Courses in private colleges are also excluded.
The free fees programme means eligible undergraduate students will have their tuition fees paid by the government. In order to qualify for the free fees programme you must:
• Be a citizen of an EEA country or Switzerland
• Have refugee status or official leave to remain
• be studying an undergraduate course of at least two years duration
• not already have an undergraduate degree or failed a previous course
• have lived in an EEA country or Switzerland for three of the five years prior to starting your course
There are certain exceptions to the course requirements for students studying at an Institute of Technology. Students who are eligible for free fees will still have to pay any Student Service Charges to the institution. If you are not eligible for free fees, you may still be eligible for EU fees. Otherwise, all other students must pay non-EU fees.
For more information, please see the Citizens Information website.
Non-EU tuition fees
Tuition fees in Ireland vary considerably between different institutions and courses. You should contact the institutions you are interested in to check their fees, as they can change frequently. As a guideline, here are some average fees for undergraduate non-EU students (based on 2016/2017 fees):
- Medicine and related: €45,000-52,000
- Engineering: €9,750-23,000
- Science and technology: €9,750-22,000
- Arts and humanities: €9,750-20,000
- Business: €9,750-18,000
Figures from Education in Ireland.
- Medicine and related: €4,000-31,000
- Engineering: €9,250-24,000
- Science and technology: €9,250-45,000
- Arts and humanities: €9,250-22,000
- Business: €9,250-34,500
Figures from Education in Ireland.
EU tuition fees
EU tuition fees vary, though are likely to be less than non-EU tuition fees. Students are often required to pay a Student Services Charge (also known as a Registration Fee) in addition to tuition fees. This covers costs for student services and examinations and will be a maximum of $3,000 (as of 2016).
English language courses
English language fees vary considerably and the costs will depend on what is included in the course, where it is and the content. Be wary of courses that seem very cheap, as they may not be accredited and therefore may not offer a quality course.
Financial help and scholarships
Some EU students who do not qualify for the free fees programme may still be able to benefit from various other schemes and grants, such as the Student Grant which can help towards costs of higher education, along with a number of scholarships from specific institutions. Some EU students may also qualify for a maintenance grant to help with living costs.
There are limited opportunities for financial aid or scholarships for other non-Irish students studying in Ireland. Some individual institutions in Ireland offer scholarships - contact them directly to ask about this or see the Education Ireland website. You may also be able to access financial help from the government or organisations within your own country.
You can also find more information about fees, grants and scholarships on Student Finance - Ireland.