General Criteria for Admission to a Master’s Program in Ireland

Discover the general criteria for admission to a Master's program in Ireland, including language proficiency, standardized test requirements, academic scores, and more

General Criteria for Admission to a Master’s Program in Ireland
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Apr 26, 2023 01:40 AM
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With higher education becoming expensive over the years, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to afford a master’s education abroad. However, that does not mean that you have to give up your dreams of getting an international degree. Countries like Ireland, which are the new hubs for higher education, offer quality education with an affordable tuition fee. Additionally, doing a master’s program in Ireland is advantageous because of the low cost of living.
Irish universities offer world-class amenities and infrastructure to help students to gain a better understanding of the field that they want to pursue their master’s degree in. Knowing the general criteria for admission to a master’s program in Ireland, before you start your application could be of great help.
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An overview of Master's program in Ireland

Though Ireland is a part of the European Higher education Area, it encourages its students to study something different from their mother discipline, i.e., the discipline in which you have done your graduation. Therefore, you need to think thoroughly before choosing the course that you want to study, as you do not have the liberty of changing the course after a semester.
Master’s in disciplines such as Humanities, Computer sciences, IT, management, and Medical are the most sought after courses in Ireland. They have international recognition and are in demand, both in Ireland and Europe.
Each year comprises of two semesters, similar to the educational system in Britain. Knowing the different admission semesters will help you decide which intake to choose as this forms an integral part of the general criteria for admission in Ireland. The first semester runs from September to December, and the second semester runs from January to July.

What are the pre-requisites for pursuing a Master's program in Ireland?

English language Proficiency

  • TOEFL : The TOEFL test is a widely accepted English proficiency test by ETS. The minimum score requirement for this test is 88 (online); however, the cutoff may vary depending on the university and program.
  • IELTS : The IELTS test is a standardized English proficiency test conducted by British Council, IDP, or Cambridge Assessment English. The minimum score requirement is 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each section.
  • PTE Academic : The Pearson English Language Test or PTE is a computer-based academic English language test designed for students from non- English speaking nations. The minimum score requirement is 6.3.
  • Duolingo English Test : Unlike the TOEFL and IELTS test, the Duolingo English Test can be taken at home from your laptop or computer. The minimum score requirement is 95.
  • CPE : The Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or CPE is a English language test taken by students who wish to pursue a master's in research, academic or professional programs. The minimum score requirement for this test is Grade C (CEFR Level C1 or C2).

Standardized Test Requirements

The following are details of the standardized test accepted in Irish universities:
  • GRE : GRE is not mandatory for MS admissions in Ireland, however having a good GRE score will boost your profile value.
  • GMAT : Students planning to do master's in business related fields such as MBA in Irish universities will need to submit GMAT scores, unless exempted by the university. The minimum required GMAT score is 550.
  • GAMSAT : Students who wish to study graduate medical programs in Ireland must quality the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admission Test) with a minimum score of 58.

Academic scores

Most graduate schools in Ireland need at least 60% or 6.0 CGPA for admissions. Higher the CGPA, better are your chances of securing an admission.

Are the Letter of Recommendation and Statement of Purpose documents important for admissions?

Well-written LORs (Letters of Recommendation) and SOP (Statement of Purpose) play a very important role for master’s admissions in Ireland.

Letters of Recommendation

The Letter of Recommendation or LOR is an official document submitted by the applicant. In this document, the referee vouches for the skills and capabilities of the applicant based on their personal experience and analysis. The two general types of LOR that graduate applicants submit with their applications are academic and professional LORs. Academic LORs are usually written by Professors or any other teaching faculties, whereas your superiors or peers from your current or previous company write the professional LORs.
If you are looking for assistance in writing impressive LORs, visit this link for help in this regard:

Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose or admissions essay is a document written by the student expressing his or her motivation for applying to a particular course in the specific university. An SOP can be considered as the summary of interests, motivations, academic achievements, work experience, and the reason for choosing a particular institute. It can be considered as a document conveying your passion for the program and institute to the admissions committee, which in turn increases your chance in securing admission to your preferred master’s program in Ireland.
If you are looking for assistance in writing a gripping SOP, visit this link for help in this regard:

What are the other requirements for admissions to a Master's program in Ireland?

Health Insurance

While international students from EU/EAA member states have access to free hospital services in Ireland, all students from non-EU/EAA states are required to have health insurance to help pay for unforeseen health problems. It is compulsory to have private coverage, and you need to carry the documents at all times.


It is not mandatory to have work experience for a master’s in science degree in Ireland; however, having work-experience will boost up your resume. On the contrary, a minimum of 3 years of work experience is needed for applicants planning to pursue a master’s degree in business-related fields such as MBA or other management courses.

Additional Information

How to apply for the courses

There are about 34 universities offering master’s program in Ireland; most of them have portals through which you can register online on the Postgraduate Applications Centre. You will first have to register in the PAC portal using your email address and choose the correct details of the program and the university of your choice.

Submitting your application

Postgraduate Applications Centre is an online portal through which you can apply to most of the universities in Ireland. It provides you with detailed information about the university and its various programs. Besides, it also provides you with a broader perspective on the subjects and fields you can choose.
You are required to pay 50 Euros as registration fees. This amount is non-refundable and is used to process your application to various universities.
The deadline for applying to most of the courses is March 31, but it can be different for some universities. Thus, it is better to check the deadline well in advance so that there are no lapses in sending out the applications.
Visit this link for details on Application process for a master’s program in Ireland:

Cost of education For Non-European Union candidates

  • Cost for studying a medical degree ranges from 4,000 to 31,000 Euros.
  • Cost for studying an engineering degree ranges from 9,250 to 24,000 Euros.
  • Cost for studying a humanities degree ranges from 9,250 to 22,000 Euros.
  • Cost for studying a management degree ranges from 9,250 to 34,500 Euros.

Cost of living

Generally, the cost of living in Ireland is around 6,000 Euros per annum, but it may differ depending upon the area where your college or university is located.

Scholarship Programmes :

Ireland encourages students to come to Ireland by giving various incentives, such as a scholarship. There are numerous programs in which you can register and avail scholarships. You need to apply at the earliest as the number of possible beneficiaries for these scholarships is limited. Given below are some of the scholarship schemes available in Ireland:
  • The Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship : It is a government-run program that aims to support international students financially in order to attract more international students to Ireland.
  • Centenary Scholarship Programme for DIT Master's Students It financially supports students who wish to do their masters in Ireland.

Applying for Visa

You can apply for a visa to study in the Republic of Ireland through the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service. It entails the following documents as a part of the general criteria for admission in Ireland.
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of enrolment (Irish University)
  • Proof of health insurance
International students planning to do their master’s program in Ireland can apply for visa through the following agencies:
  • The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), for living in Dublin
  • The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), for living outside Dublin
You are required to pay a sum of 3000 Euros to complete the application and get an Irish Residency Permit (IPR).

Conclusion :

Knowing the general criteria for admission in Ireland will give the students a basic idea of the pre-requisites for studying a master’s program in Ireland. There are requirements in terms of education, English language proficiency, and official documents to study in Ireland. It is imperative to meet all the criteria mentioned above to pursue a Master’s program in Ireland. In this article, we have comprehensively covered the general criteria for admission in Ireland, which will help the aspiring students to make an informed choice.

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