Education System

Best under Ireland
The quality and standard of all Irish educational awards made by authorized institutions and HETAC are fully recognized globally. The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three levels – primary secondary and Higher Education but in recent years they have expanded to include pre-school education and adult and further education with the concept of lifelong learning being reflected within the Irish education system. There are wide range of opportunities from post-secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate levels. The higher education system in Ireland encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, the colleges of education and private independent colleges of which the first three groupings are autonomous and self governing, but substantially state funded. Entrance to third level education for Irish students is competitive and based upon their performance in the final secondary school examination, the Leaving Certificate. Admission requirements for overseas students are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language aptitude. The Universities, the Dublin Institute of Technology and a growing number of the Institutes of Technology are authorised to confer their own awards. The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) is authorised to make awards in the non-university sector. HETAC makes awards and sets and monitors standards at all levels of higher education and training up to doctorate level.  The qualifications system in Ireland has been modernized with the introduction of the National Framework of Qualifications. Students are encouraged to use the National Framework Qualifications to identify the qualification they will achieve before making decisions.   Irish higher education institutions offer 2 years Higher certificate, 3 years bachelor’s and 3 to 4 years Bachelor with honours degree. Graduate program consist of 1 year Graduate diploma, 1-2 years Master degree by research or taught program and Doctorate (PhD) that usually takes a minimum of three years of original research. Doctorates are usually awarded pass or fail, with distinctions in rare cases. The academic year typically runs from September to June and is divided into either two or three semesters with holidays in December (Christmas) and April (Easter).