Study in Ireland

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Ireland is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture. The Irish are known for being very friendly and having a certain “wit”.
There are a number of options open to anyone who wants to study in Ireland. For those of you interested in Higher Education, the Irish system is broken down into four main areas. These are Universities, Colleges, Institutes of Technology and Higher Education run by private institutions. It is best to approach each institution first, individually, Visa Emperor can help you with this. Do some research on the web, see what places you like, then look at their individual requirements.

There are Irish national requirements. Ireland operates a final leaving certificate examination, at the end of Senior High School or Senior level. This can be up to the age of 19. There is a broad curriculum and the Irish Education has a high rank in the OECD (Organization for Economic C0-Operation and Development) and the EU (European Union). You will also need to show a good competency in English.

National Qualification Framework (NQF).
This is an Irish system that helps an international student assess the level they have reached. This can then be used to see if they have the correct qualifications for an Irish Education Institution. It covers 10 steps from basic to advanced across all areas of study. This can be studied online to see if your current qualification match up with the Irish requirements. Again, Visa Emperor are more than happy to help you with this.

English Level Requirements
In general, you will have to satisfy an Irish Visa Officer, part of the Irish Naturalization, that you have the required standard of English necessary in order to undertake a course. This means obtaining a current certificate stating the score you have achieved. The recommended course is the International English Language Testing System (Academic) (IELTS). The IELTS minimum level is set at 5.0. A number of other examinations can also be used. These include Test of English as a Foreign Language, (TOEFL), English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP, Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE), and Cambridge English Language Assessments (CELA). Each of these will have a minimum pass score you will have to achieve.
Please also note, individual Colleges and Universities may also set their own English Language requirements.

Applying for Courses
There are three types of general courses available. These are undergraduate, post graduate and English language.

There are two different categories of students, those in the EU (European Union) and those outside of the EU.

EU Citizens: Academic Requirements
As an EU citizen, you can apply for any undergraduate course by using the Central Applications Office (CAO). There are a set of different charges for this application depending if you use an online service or not. Visa Emperor can happily help you with this. These charges vary from 40 euros, for a standard non web application to a free application, if you apply on time.
Further English language requirements. You may need to pass the Irish Leaving Certificate in English at ordinary level grade D. Alternatively an GCSE/ “O” Level English Language pass at grade C (English standard educational examinations).

Health Professions Admissions Test
The Irish HPAT test is a separate testing system for students wanting to undertake a medical degree or related subject. This is not a test of academic knowledge but of reasoning, the thoughts and reactions of people and non verbal reasoning and problem solving. This is organized online. Again, Visa Emperor will gladly help you set this up if you need to take this test.

Non EU Citizens: Academic Requirements
There is a lot of competition to gain a place at a good University or College in Ireland. This is from Irish students and EU nationals. Therefore, there will be a limited number of places available in the Irish system. However, it is not impossible to find a place in an Irish College or University. Visa Emperor will be there to help you. Under the Irish Leaving Certificate you are graded on your best subject grades from six different subjects.
A good route to take is to use the International Baccalaureate IB. This uses a broader range of subjects, than the English ‘A’ level, with its three main subjects. It has steadily been growing in popularity. It is based on the French Baccalaureate model. Each education institution will have their own requirements. It is important that you aim to meet these.

English Language Requirements.
Many Irish Institutions of Higher Education do provide intensive English language courses for prospective students who want to improve their English. Plus, there are hundreds of English language private schools in Ireland as well. The general requirements stay the same, but be aware some English as a Second Language tests may expect a higher pass rate. The pass rate for IELTS is set at 6.0 or 6.5, not 5.0 for the general visa requirement.
Again for medical subjects, you would have to pass a HPAT test with a minimum points score of 480 minimum score plus meet whatever requirements are needed for each Medical School or University.
Visa Requirements for Non EU Students.
The Irish operate an online visa system. Visa Emperor can help you with this. You will need full documentation and a passport photograph, along with the correct fee.
You will need to complete the following:

  • The application form has to be completed on line
    Check with your Irish Embassy where you will have to send your application.
  • You must have a passport sized photograph
  • Your passport needs to be valid for a period of 12 months.
  • The application fee has to be paid.
  • You will need a letter of application, which explains why you need this visa.
  • You will need a letter of acceptance from an Irish University, College or School. There must be a minimum of 15 hours tuition a week.

Financial Requirements
These are between you and the individual education establishment. If there are problems with your visa application these can be refunded minus administrative charges. If your course fee is less than 6000 Euros, this must be paid in full. More than 6000 Euros, then the 6000 Euros must be paid in full.
Overall you will need 7000 Euros for each financial year to cover your costs in Ireland. For more details on this please contact Visa Emperor. It would also be a good idea to look into the possibility of scholarships to cover your costs.

olice Checks
There will be the need for police check documentation from your home country. This seems to apply to both EU and non EU citizens. This is part of the visa application.

If you have any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Visa Emperor.

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