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Ireland


Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition


INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

University

College

Institute of Technology

School

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Leaving Certificate (Ardteistmeireacht)

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

National Certificate

National Diploma

Diploma

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's Degree (Honours)

Graduate Diploma

Master's Degree

Master's Degree (Honours)

Doctor's Degree

 

 

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 4

Age of exit: 16

Structure of school system:

Primary

Type of school providing this education: Primary School

Length of program in years: 8

Age level from: 4 to: 12

Junior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Junior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 12 to: 15

Certificate/diploma awarded: Junior Certificate (Teastas Sóisearach)

Senior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Senior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 15 to: 17

Certificate/diploma awarded: Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

Senior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Senior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 15 to: 17

Certificate/diploma awarded: Leaving Certificate (Ardteistiméireacht)

Vocational

Type of school providing this education: Vocational Secondary School

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 16 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Leaving Certificate Applied

School education:

Primary education lasts for eight years. Secondary school lasts for five to six years. It is divided into a three- to four-year junior secondary cycle, followed by a two-year senior secondary school cycle leading to the award of the Leaving Certificate. Vocational secondary schools offer two-year courses leading to the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and the Leaving Certificate Applied.

Higher education:

Higher education in Ireland is offered by universities and institutes of specialized higher education. Universities are financed for the most part by the State in the form of annual grants-in-aid and non-recurrent grants for capital expenditure, in a proportion of the order of 90%, as well as by student fees, endowments, and private donations. Each college has its own governing body and exercises full control over its finances. Colleges are composed of faculties and departments.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Qualifications Act Year: 1999

Concerns: University

Decree: Universities Act Year: 1997

Concerns: Universities

Academic year:

Classes from: Oct to: Jun

Languages of instruction: English, Irish

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Higher technical and vocational education is offered by Institutes of Technology (formerly Regional Technical Colleges) and specialized colleges. They offer two-year Certificate, three-year Diploma and four-year Degree programmes in the applied fields of Engineering, Science and Business Studies, as well as some postgraduate courses.

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Bachelor's Degree:

The main stage of higher education leads to a Bachelor's Degree, which may, in certain cases, also be a professional qualification (Professional Degree). The length of study generally varies between three and four years. The Bachelor's Degree may be awarded as a General Degree, an Honours Degree and a BA (Special) Degree. In Veterinary Medicine, Architecture and Dentistry studies last for five years. Medicine takes six years.

University level second stage: Master's Degree:

The second stage of higher education consists of more advanced (graduate) studies and leads to the Master's Degree. These studies last for a minimum of one year after the award of the Bachelor's Degree. Candidates who attend a course of study and/or present a thesis based on research are awarded a Master's Degree.

University level third stage: Doctorate:

A further two years' study after the Master's Degree are normally required for the PhD Degree.

University level fourth stage: Higher Doctorate:

A Higher Doctorate may be awarded, after a minimum of five years (usually longer), following the award of the first Doctorate, for original work already published.

 

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Primary school teachers are trained at five colleges of education where they follow a three-year course leading to the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.). Each college of education works in partnership with a university which awards the degree.

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary school teachers take a one-year university course culminating in the Higher Diploma in Education. Training for teachers of specialized subjects is available at the University of Limerick where candidates follow a four-year degree programme. Teachers of Home Economics take a four-year Bachelor of Education (Home Economics) and art teachers take a degree or diploma course at a recognized college followed by a one-year Post-Diploma/Degree course.

 

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

Oscail -The National Distance Education Centre - is located on the campus of Dublin City University and offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional education programmes.

Lifelong higher education

Short and sandwich courses are provided in the Institutes of Technology and the colleges of technology for people at the "apprentice" stage in certain careers (for instance, medical laboratory technicians and trainees in technological employment).

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Department of Education and Science (An Roinn Oideachais & Eolaíochta)

Head: Mary Hanafin, Minister

Administrative officer: John Dennehy, Secretary-General

International relations: , International Relations Officer

Tyrone House, Marlborough Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 873 4700/ 889 6400

Fax: +353(1) 872 9553

EMail: keith_mcmullen@education.gov.ie

WWW: http://www.irlgov.ie/educ

 

 

Higher Education Authority (HEA) (An tÚdarás Um Ard-Oideachas)

Head: Don Thornhill, Chairman

Administrative officer: John L. Hayden, Secretary/Chief Executive

Marine House, Third Floor, Clanwilliam Court
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 661-2748

Fax: +353(1) 661-0492

EMail: info@hea.ie

WWW: http://www.hea.ie

 

Role of governing body: Responsible for the founding of universities and tertiary level institutions and their development to meet the needs of the community.

 

Conference of Heads of Irish Universities (CHIU)

Head: Michael McGrath, Director

Administrative officer: W. J. Smyth, Chairman

10 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 676-4948

Fax: +353(1) 662-2815

EMail: chiu-info@chiu.ie

WWW: http://www.chiu.ie

 

 

The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (Comhairle na nDámhachtainí Ardoideachais agus Oiliúna)

Head: Séamus Puirséil, Chief Executive

Administrative officer: Liam Ryan, Director Academic Affairs

International relations: Tadhg Ó hÉalaithe, Director Corporate Affairs

26/27 Denzille Lane
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 631-4567

Fax: +353(1) 631-4577

EMail: info@hetac.ie

WWW: http://www.hetac.ie

 

Role of governing body: HETAC is the qualifications awarding body for third-level education and training institutions outside the university sector.

 

 

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Leaving Certificate (Ardteistmeireacht)

Minimum score/requirement: Grade C3 in 2 Higher (or Common) Level papers, together with Grade  D3 in 4 other subjects of the Leaving Certificate. Examinations include a language and often Mathematics.

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Leaving Certificate (Ardteistmeireacht)

For entry to: All higher education institutions.

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Places are allocated in order of merit depending on the Leaving Certificate grades, on the basis of points score.

Other admission requirements: Applicants for postgraduate courses must make direct applications to the college of their choice.

Foreign students admission

Admission requirements: Foreign students must have, as a minimum, qualifications equivalent to GCE with at least 2 subjects at Advanced level with high grades (at least Grade C) plus 4 other subjects at Ordinary level.

Entry regulations: Entry and residence regulations in Ireland vary according to the person's country of origin. Students who are nationals of another EU Member State and who enter the Republic from any place (other than the UK) must present themselves to the Immigration Officer at the port or airport of entry with the following documents: valid passport; evidence of acceptance as a student at a college or higher education institution; evidence of the ability to meet their needs for the period of study.

Health requirements: Health visa required

Application procedures:

Apply to national body for entry to: Undergraduate degree or Diploma courses at all university colleges and colleges.

Apply to:

Central Applications Office

Tower House, Eglinton Street
Galway
Ireland

EMail: help@cao.ie

WWW: http://www.cao.ie

 

Application closing dates:

For university level studies: 1 Feb

For advanced/doctoral studies: 1 Feb

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): The Higher Education and Training Awards Council  validates courses in non-university higher education institutions and grants and confers awards on those who successfully take approved courses.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

NARIC, National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (Údarás Náisiúnta Cáilíochtaí na hÉireann)

Head: Richard Langford, Chairperson

5th Floor
Jervis House
Jervis Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 887 1500

Fax: +353(1) 887 1595

EMail: info@nqai.ie

WWW: http://www.nqai.ie/

 

Services provided & students dealt with: The Centre has three principal objects: the establishment and maintenance of a framework of qualifications for the development, recognition and award of qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skill or competence to be acquired by learners; the establishment and promotion of the maintenance and improvement of the standards of awards of the further and higher education and training sector, other than in the existing universities; the promotion and facilitation of access, transfer and progression throughout the span of education and training provision.

 

Other information sources on recognition of foreign studies: A guide for overseas students by the Irish Council for Overseas StudentsHETAC Directory of approved courses in higher education by HETAC, Dublin

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: A Guide for Overseas Students

Author: Irish Council for Overseas Students

Title: NCEA Directory of Approved Courses in Higher Education

Author: NCEA, Dublin

 

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

Department of Education and Science

Marlborough St.
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 873-4700

Fax: +353(1) 872-9553

WWW: http://www.irlgov.ie/educ

 

Category of services provided: Special services/Centre for foreign students

 

Irish Council for Overseas Students

41 Morehampton Road
Dublin 4
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 660-5233

Fax: +353(1) 668-2320

EMail: office@icosirl.ie

WWW: http://www.icosirl.ie

 

Category of services provided: Academic and career counselling services; Special services/Centre for foreign students

 

National student associations and unions

Union of Students in Ireland






Ceann Aras na Mac Leinn
Grattaen Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1)435-3400

WWW: http://www.usi.ie

 

Union of Students in Ireland Travel (USIT)

19-21 Aston Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 602-1600

WWW: http://www.usit.ie

 

Health/social provisions

Social security for home students: Yes

Cost/fee (per year): 0 (Euro)

Foreign student social security provisions: A student  from an EC country who is covered by social insurance in his home country may have full eligibility under the Irish General Medical Services. Free hospital care is available to all students within the provision laid down by the Irish Department of Health.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

By air: Yes

Available to foreign students: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Student costs:

Average living costs: 7480 (Euro)

Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 0 (Euro)

Foreign students tuition fees: Minimum: 7600 (Euro)

Maximum: 17900 (Euro)

Bodies providing information on student financial aid:

Department of Education and Science

Student Support Unit
Tuallamore, Co. Offaly
Ireland

Tel: +353(56) 21363

 

Deals with: Grants

Category of students: Students from other EU countries.

Irish Council for Overseas Students

41 Morehampton Road
Dublin 4
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 660-5233

Fax: +353(1) 668-2320

EMail: office@icosirl.ie

WWW: http://www.icosirl.ie

 

Category of students: Students from Africa and Asia mostly.

National Agency (SOCRATES/ERASMUS), Higher Education Authority

Third Floor, Marine House, Clanwilliam Court
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 661-2748

 

Deals with: Grants

Category of students: Nationals students.

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: Study Abroad 2004-2005, 32nd Edition

Author: UNESCO

Publisher: UNESCO Publishing

Year of publication: 2003

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

International Section, Department of Education and Science

Head: Noel Dempsey, Minister

Administrative officer: John Dennehy, Secretary-General

International relations: , International Relations Officer

Marlborough Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 873-4700

Fax: +353(1) 679-1315

EMail: keith_mcmullen@education.gov.ie

WWW: http://www.irlgov.ie/educ

 

Irish Council for Overseas Students

41, Morehampton Rd.
Dublin 4
Ireland

Tel: +353(1) 610-5233

 

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: A1-A2: 85-100%; B1 to B3: 70-84%; C1 to C3: 55-69%; D1 to D3: 40-54%; E: 25-39; F:10-24; No grade: 0-9%.

Highest on scale: A

Lowest on scale: F

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: A: excellent/outstanding; B: above average; C: average; D: below average; E: failing.

Highest on scale: A

Pass/fail level: D/E

Lowest on scale: F

 

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

 

 

Data for academic year: 2004-2005

Source: National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, 2004

Note on Higher Education Institutions: Also The Military College (URL: http://www.military.ie) and The Garda College (URL: http://www.garda.ie)



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