Application Timeline and Intakes to Study in Ireland: A Complete Guide

Discover the application timeline and intakes for studying in Ireland. Learn about the Autumn and Spring intakes, application deadlines, and the application process for master's programs.

Application Timeline and Intakes to Study in Ireland: A Complete Guide
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Apr 26, 2023 01:40 AM
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Ireland is a reputed international destination for higher studies, ranked in the top 10 countries globally for quality of education. It is also ranked as one of the most beautiful and picturesque places to live in the world. Top universities, world-class education, student-friendly environment, a diverse range of degree programs, affordable cost of studies, etc., are some of the perks that attract thousands of international students to this country. International students have options of two intakes to study in Ireland – Autumn Intake and Spring intake. Generally, the application timeline and intakes for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs are the same; however, the timeline can differ from one university to another.
In this blog, we will discuss in detail the application timeline and intakes to study in Ireland.

Intakes to Study in Ireland: Autumn/Fall & Spring

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Source : JOOINN
Autumn/Fall Intake - Semester 1
September to December
Spring Intake - Semester 2
January to May

Autumn/Fall Intake (September) - Semester 1:

Autumn or Fall Intake is considered as the first semester and the main intake at the Irish Universities. This intake starts in September and runs through December, depending on the university. A wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate programs are offered for Autumn intake. By and large, a majority of international students choose to apply for this popular intake as

Spring Intake (January) - Semester 2:

Spring intake is the second semester at Irish universities and is mostly regarded as a second option if the students miss out on applying for the first semester. This intake starts in January and runs through May. There are fewer courses on offer for Spring intake compared to the main semester. However, if you do not want to waste an entire year, you can apply for Spring programs.

Application Deadlines for Autumn and Spring Intakes to Study in Ireland

September Intake (Autumn/Fall)
February to July
January Intake (Spring)
September to October

Application Deadline for September Intake (Autumn/Fall)

Many universities open their application portals by January/February for undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered for the September semester. You can send your duly filled-in application forms along with the supporting documents as soon as the university portal opens. Some universities allow you to apply for Autumn intake as late as June/July, but you should apply for the programs as soon as they start accepting the applications. Your chances of securing an admission are high if you apply early on and do not wait up until the deadline approaches.

Application Deadline for January Intake (Spring)

For January intake, also known as Spring intake, the deadline for applications lies between September and October, depending on the university. The portals for Spring intake open up in September, and you can send your applications as soon as the university starts accepting the documents. The timeline to apply for Spring intake is 2 to 3 months, as the semester will begin in January. Here again, take advantage of the ”first come/first serve” rule, as the preference is given for early applicants.

Application Process for Master's Programs in Ireland

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Now that we know about the application deadlines for both intakes to study in Ireland, let us go in-depth into the application process for master’s programs. Typically, the whole process can take 8 to 10 months before the semester commences, or 6-8 months if planned strategically. Below is a checklist of activities for international students to complete as part of the application process.
  • Apply for a Passport
  • Take English Proficiency Test (TOEFL/IELTS)
  • Take GMAT/GRE Tests
  • Shortlist Universities/Program List
  • Arrange for Academic Documents (degree transcripts/graduate degree marks sheets and certificates)
  • Get your Work Experience Letter/Certificate (if applicable)
  • Prepare your supporting documents – CV, Statement of Purpose (SOP), LORs
  • Duly fill in the application/Organise your documents
  • Apply for Universities
  • Review Responses and Select the University
  • Apply for Student Visa
  • Look for Accommodation
  • Apply for Education Loan/Health Insurance/Travel Insurance/Travel Card
  • Book your tickets
  • Prepare for your travel
Visit the page below for a detailed description of each step of the application process for master’s programs in Ireland.

Application Timeline for Autumn/Spring Intakes to Study in Ireland

We have explained the timeline of activities in detail below, for the September semester. The steps outlined pretty much remain the same for Spring intake, and the timeline for Spring intake will start a year early, i.e., from October 2021 onwards.

Autumn/Fall Intake Application Timeline for Master's Programs: Upcoming September 2022 Intake

For September intake, start preparing for the entire process 10 to 12 months before the semester starts (previous year). You can follow the below timeline for all the essential steps. The list of activities/timelines can be modified as per your requirements based on the program/university you are applying for.
  • Immediate: Apply for a Passport. As you are aware, the passport is your official government-issued identity required to fly out of any country. Get it as soon as possible!
  • July to December 2021: Prepare for English proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS. A good score from such a test is a mandatory requirement to study in Ireland if you come from a non-native English speaking country. Also, prepare for GMAT and GRE, if they are listed as your program prerequisites. Complete your exams before December 2021 so that you get the exam results before January. The test scores have to be submitted along with your application forms.
  • July to September 2021: Research and shortlist at least 8 to 10 Irish universities that offer master’s programs of your domain and interest area. Go through the university websites for information on pre-requisites to apply, timelines and deadlines. Make a note of all the important dates and study requirements and plan accordingly.
  • July to December 2021: Get all your academic/professional documents in order. Apply for your graduate degree transcripts, procure your degree certificates and mark sheets. If you are working, make arrangements for your professional experience letter.
  • July to December 2021: Prepare your supporting documents. The most crucial document is the Curriculum Vitae (CV). Write a clear, informative and concise CV according to Irish CV format. Prepare an appealing Statement of Purpose (SOP), which again is an important document that re-establishes your motivation for the study program you are applying for. Arrange for Letters of Recommendation (LORs) from your university and one professional LOR if you have work experience. Start working on these documents early on as you cannot compromise on the quality of these documents.
  • January to June 2022: Start working on your university applications. Keep a look-out on the university websites, download the application forms, duly fill in the forms, assemble your supporting documents and apply as soon as the portal opens. Do not wait for the deadline to approach; get things done way before the deadline. The mode of application can be either hard or soft copies, which again depends on the university.
  • March to July 2022: You will receive responses from the universities that you applied to. Review the university admission acceptance responses; finalize the university/degree program you are most interested in pursuing. Once you have decided on the program, you would be required to send an e-mail to acknowledge admission acceptance to the university.
  • March to August 2022: After you have accepted the admit and the university has acknowledged the same, a series of activities must be taken care of. You will have to apply for Ireland Student Visa, arrange for accommodation, education loan, health insurance, travel insurance, travel card, and finally book air tickets and prepare to fly.
For more information, check this detailed blog on the application process to study master’s in Ireland:

Top 8 Universities of Ireland that offer Master's Programs

Given below is the list of top Irish universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs in multiple disciplines. You can visit their websites for information on intakes, deadlines and programs that are on offer.

QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top Universities in Ireland


Ireland is an excellent choice for international students to pursue master’s programs. As an international student, you must do thorough research to learn about the intakes, application timeline and deadlines. There are two intakes to study in Ireland – September intake (Autumn/Fall) and January intake (Spring). In this blog, we have provided all the relevant information, w.r.t. the intakes, application deadlines and explanation of the application process and the timeline for each step in detail. We hope you find this informative article helpful.

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