Graduate Studies Trinity College Ireland
Choose Ireland - as well as being a great place to live, it is also a great place to study. The Irish economy is currently the fastest growing in Europe. This economic growth has been paralleled by increasing numbers of students undertaking Third Level education.
Over the past ten years the number of students in Third Level at university has almost doubled from its level of around 34, 000 in 1986. Partly this increase reflects demographic factors - just under 50% of the Irish population is under 30 - a demographic pattern unique in Europe. This 'young-face profile' is obvious the minute you walk down any Irish street. Life, as reflected in the dynamism and vibrancy of its population, is quite unlike that of most European countries.
There are a variety of types of third level institutions in Ireland; state technical colleges; private third level institutes and state funded universities: the most important for international post-graduate students, i.e. those from overseas, are the universities.
Universities in Ireland are varied in character, age, size and speciality. For example, the oldest, Trinity College Dublin, dates from the late 16th Century, whilst' the most modern, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick were founded in the last 10 years.. No Irish University reaches the size of the largest European or American Universities; the largest university, University College Dublin has approximately 16, 000 students, whilst the smallest, St Patrick's College Maynooth, has just over 4, 000. Irish Universities are very broad in coverage, though, obviously the smaller may not offer the range of specialities offered by the larger. All, irrespective of other factors, have substantial numbers of post-graduate students, many of these come from overseas. In fact 20% (ca 13, 000) of the student body are postgraduates at either Doctoral, Masters or Diploma level. Most Doctoral level candidates in Irish Universities follow the UK pattern. By this I mean that the students are pursuing a research-based programme with either no or only a small taught component. By contrast, all Irish Universities allow candidates to undertake Masters level work through either a taught or a research option. Diplomas are usually obtained through a taught programme.
To get a clearer flavour of the international postgraduate student body in Irish Universities I'd like to look, briefly, at my own university. Looking more closely at that 20% in my own university reveals that non-Irish postgraduate students are beginning to form a significant component of the total postgraduate student body. Mostly these students come from Europe, America and Asia. We aim to increase the number of students and wish to concentrate on raising the numbers studying here who come from outside the European Union (EU). Our target in this regard is to raise the numbers so that, in the near future, 10% of our postgraduate student body are not from the EU. As with all Irish Universities we have developed policies to ensure that we meet this target.
In conclusion, Ireland is an ideal location to undertake postgraduate study with good cheap connections available to most European capitals and links in place to virtually all important European academic centres. Ireland's universities are truly pleasant places to pursue postgraduate study, with many modern buildings crafted into existing facilities, good libraries, laboratories and high teaching standards. In all Irish universities English is the primary language of instruction and examination. Therefore students, whose first language is not English will normally be required to display competency in English through the standard TOEFL test. Another attractive feature is that fees in Irish universities may be lower than those for corresponding courses in UK universities.
Bernie Carroll Administrative Officer, Graduate Studies Trinity College Dublin
Office of International Student Affairs,
Tel: +353-1-608 3150
Fax: +353-1-677 1698