Your one stop shop for everything student related


Q: I’ve finished college and I want to travel. How do I go about this?

A: There are a number of websites and agencies that specialise in student travel and graduate travel opportunities. This website offers an excellent section on this very topic. For more information visit the section Your Future.

International Students

Q: I am living outside of Ireland, how do I apply for an Irish college?

A: For entry to all Irish colleges (with the exception of Northern Ireland) applications need to be made to the Central Applications Office or Postgraduate Application Centre. All applications depend on whether you are an EU or Non-EU citizen. EU citizens apply for all courses in the same way as Irish citizen. Non-EU citizens need to contact your nearest Irish embassy to see if you need a visa to apply to study in Ireland.

Q: What level of English do I need to study in Ireland?

A: In all applications a good level of English is required for any course. Below is a table indicating the minimum level required.

Examination Level Required
Irish Leaving Cert in English Ordinary level Grade D
GCSE English Language Grade C
GCE O-level English Language Grade C
University of Cambridge Pass in use of English Language
TOEFL 220(Computer test) 550 (Paper test)
IELTS Composite score of 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component
Cambridge Proficiency Grade C
Cambridge Advanced Grade A
ARELS oral examinations Pass
ETAPP Grade C1


Q: I need help with my grant application, who can help me?

A: Each third-level institution has an appointed Access Officer as part of their student services. The staff will be experts on all issues related to student funding and grants applications.

Are childcare costs subsidised?

A: Some institutions offer childcare supports. However, there is no specific funding programme for childcare costs. Childcare is an eligible expense when applying for the Student Assistance Fund in some institutions.

Q: Is there a minimum age limit for student grant eligibility?

A: Yes. For the PLC scheme, you must be aged at least 16 years at the time of entry to an approved course. For the higher education schemes, you must be aged at least 17 years of age on 1st January 2011.

Q: If my application for a student grant has been refused, can I appeal the decision?

A: Yes, if you feel your application for a student grant has been unjustly turned down you can appeal to the relevant local authority or VEC. If after this appeal procedure has ended you still feel that the grant-awarding agency has not interpreted the scheme regulations correctly, you can submit your reason for why you are of this view to the Minister for Education. The determination by the Minister is then final.

Q: Can I submit an application for a student grant after the advertised closing date?

A: Yes, however it is highly recommended to submit a fully completed application form as soon as possible after the applications process opens and not later than the August deadline, which is 31st August 2011 for the 2011-12 application process. Applications submitted after this deadline is generally processed by the grant-awarding agencies; however this is at their absolute discretion. The grant-awarding agencies are entitled to deem an application late and only award the grant from the following academic year.


Q: I have been approved for a student grant. A compulsory part of my higher education course will involve a field trip. Is there any assistance available towards the cost of the field trip under the maintenance grant schemes?

A: Yes, compulsory field trips may be funded for eligible grant-holders provided the combined cost of the tuition fee, the student services charge and the cost of the field trip does not exceed the maximum fee limit (€6,270 for the 2010-11 academic year).

Q: Can I apply for a student grant online?

A: Online application facilities are expected to be made available for a limited number of grant-awarding authorities by 20th August 2010.

Q: What is a mature student?

A: A mature student is generally a person who is at least 23 years old on the 1st of January of the year you enter the course who wants to participate on a full time day programme. Third level colleges reserve a small number of places for mature students so competition for places is greater.

Q: How do you apply as a mature student?

A: To apply to a third level course as a mature student you first must contact the college directly and send them an up to date curriculum vitae (CV). Some colleges require you to apply through the Central Applications Office and applications need to be made before the 1st of February of the year you wish to apply.

Upon applying you will be competing with other mature students for places. Include as much detail as possible with regard to work and education history. If successful you will be called to interview and asked to present any relevant work related to the course you are applying for or you may be asked to take an aptitude test.


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