November 20, 2017

Ireland Education System

Ireland’s long and honorable tradition in educational excellence is recognized the world over. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Ireland held the position of one of the principal education to the western world.


The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three basic levels: Primary (8 years); Secondary (5 or 6 years) and Third level which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-Secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate level.


The primary education system emphasizes a child-centered approach and is founded on the belief that high quality education enables children to realize their potential as individual and to live their lives to the fullest capacity appropriate to their particular stage of development.


The second-level education sector in Ireland comprises secondary, Vocational, Community and Comprehensive Schools. The types of schools mainly differ on the basis of administration and sources funding.


Third Level Education System in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, the college of education and private, independent colleges. The first three grouping which comprise 34 institutions are autonomous and self governing, but are substantially state funded.

Programs available at Third Level Institutions are as follows:

  • One-Year Certificate: 1 year full-time course
  • National Certificate : 2 years full-time course
  • National Diploma : 1 year after National Certificate
  • Bachelor’s Degree : Normally 3 or 4 year course
  • Graduate Diploma : Usually 1 year
  • Masters Degree: Either by research or through a taught programme-1 or 2 years duration.
  • Doctorate (PhD): Usually takes a minimum of 3 years of original research


Universities offer degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a full range of disciplines. Teaching at undergraduate level is normally by way of a programme of lectures supplemented by tutorials and, where appropriate, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. Masters degrees can be taken by coursework and research or by research alone. Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of research.