STEM Courses in Ireland: An Analysis

    Updated on: 16 Jan 2023


    What makes Ireland a great destination for higher studies in STEM?

    • Quality of Education: According to the QS World University Ranking for 2020, the University of Edinburgh is the 20th best university in Europe for studying engineering and medicine. Graduate and post-graduate programs of study are very well connected to the industries in Ireland.
    • Highly Ranked in Scientific Research Quality: Ireland ranks 10th in the world in overall scientific research quality. It is also ranked among the top 5 in disciplines such as Nanotechnology (1st), Animal and Dairy Science (2nd), Chemistry, Immunology, Materials Science, Agricultural Sciences (3rd in all) and Mathematics (4th) according to Nature Index.
    • IT and Pharmaceuticals Hub: Ireland is fast emerging as an IT and pharmaceuticals hub. European headquarters or major operational bases of leading companies like Google, HP, IBM, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pfizer, Genzyme, and GSK, etc. are located in Ireland. 24 out of the world's top 25 pharma companies and 18 top global MedTech companies are present in Ireland.
    • Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission: Students who have completed their bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degrees can stay back in Ireland for up to 24 months from the date of their final examination result to search for employment, provided that they seek permission. Students that are holding a valid immigration stamp 2 will be permitted to work for 40 hours per week only during the months of June, July, August, and September and from 15th December to 15th January. At all other times, students holding Immigration permission Stamp 2 will be limited to working 20 hours per week during their study period.
    • Peaceful and Friendly: Ireland’s capital Dublin is one of the most liveable cities in the world, besides being one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas. It is also the 37th best city in the world for students. Ireland is also one of the safest countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index.
    • No Language Barrier: Ireland has the maximum percentage of English speakers in Europe. Not only is the native language of people English, but the instruction in universities happens in English too. Unlike Germany, Spain or Italy, you would hardly have to catch-up in everyday life because of a minimal language barrier.

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    What are the eligibility requirements for studying science and engineering in Ireland?

    Here is a list of the most common eligibility requirements that you will be required to fulfill for pursuing a STEM program from an Irish university:

    • Qualifying Examination: One of the key factors on the basis of which the applications of the non-Irish and non-EU candidates are assessed is their academic record. A good academic record at class X and class XII levels in science background would be necessary for applying to undergraduate programs. An above-average GPA in a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering would be required for entry into a master’s program.
    • Language Ability Tests: Scores of IELTS or TOEFL would have to be submitted with the application. 
    • Letters of Recommendation (LOR), Work-experience Certificate, and Statement of Purpose (SOP): These documents are a mark of your academic abilities, professional skills, and career goals respectively.
    • Proof of Funds: You should provide the university with the necessary proof of scholarship or sponsorship. Your ability to pay the program fee and manage the living expenses can be proven by account statement or loan approval letter. These documents are also required to secure a Student Visa.

     

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    How good are the career options available for STEM students in Ireland after completing their degree?

    • Undergraduate degree holders from Irish universities earn a slightly higher wage than those from the UK's premier universities like Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE, etc. Their average lifetime net premium as calculated by Indecon is €106k as against €103k for UK graduates. The average lifetime net premium figures for master’s and Ph.D. students from Irish universities are €146k and €222k respectively.
    • 69% of the international honors graduates found employment without much delay after completing their degree. 76% of international postgraduate (taught) students and 94% of international postgraduate (research) students found employment without much delay.
    • 62% of employed international graduates found placement in Ireland. 54% of honors graduates, 66% of postgraduate (taught) and 61% of postgraduate (research) students that found employment were placed in Ireland. 13% of all employed graduates work in the technical and scientific sector. Postgraduate (taught) is similar to the undergraduate program format, while Postgraduate (research) is more independent in nature and generally leads to the Ph.D. program.
    • The minimum salary for Chemical Engineers was €40k in Ireland (€60k in Dublin), while that for Health and Safety Engineer was €40k in Ireland (€45k in Dublin). Electrical Engineers earned a minimum of €35k, while Chartered Civil Engineers earned at least €45k. Biotechnologists could make a minimum of €45k, while Biochemists and Chemists could make €30k and €28k respectively in Dublin. Clinical Research Officers earned a minimum of €30k. Pharmaceutical Engineers earned above €40k in Dublin and €37k outside Dublin. UI/UX Designers made above €45k, while Web Developers and Database Administrators earned a minimum of €24k and €35k respectively. (All figures are from 2018)
    • Pharmaceuticals and IT are among the rising sectors in the Irish economy and are expected to create a large number of jobs. Java Software Engineers and Developers and Automation Engineers will be in high demand in the future.
    • Junior Engineers are making an average of €45k annually, while senior engineers are earning €75k annually on an average. Junior Automation Engineers are earning €50k annually on an average, while Senior Automation Engineers are taking home €90k annually on an average. 
    • Quality Engineer, Utilities Engineer, Project Engineer, Maintenance Engineer, and Project Engineer job profiles will also remain in high demand in the future.

     

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    How to Get a Work Visa for Ireland after completing the degree?

    There are nine different General Employment Permits issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to non-EEA (European Economic Area) candidates. There are two key work permits which are as follows:
    A) General Employment Permit: It allows non-EU citizens with job offers to work in Ireland. It is initially granted for 2 years but can be extended for another 3 years. The student must have the job offer to apply for this permit.
    B) Critical Skills Employment Permit: It is for those in professions mentioned in the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List. 
    To be eligible for work-permits, one should have an annual salary of more than €30k (including Health Insurance). In the following exceptional circumstances, work permits will be considered for salary less than €30k as well:

    • A non-EEA student who has graduated within 12 months from an overseas third-level institution and has been offered a graduate position on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List.
    • A non-EEA student who has graduated within 12 months from a non-EEA institution and has been offered a graduate position from the ICT Category on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List.

    In Ireland, non-EU students have to apply to the Garda Immigration Bureau if they wish to work for longer than what is permitted under the student visa. Green Card can be given to those who have a job paying over €60k annually. It can also be given to those who have been working in jobs on the restricted list of occupations for more than two years and earning a minimum of €30k annually.

    What are the Top Universities in Ireland for MS?

    Here is a list of the best Universities in Ireland for International Students of STEM

    Institute Names (Ranking in Ireland)

    QSRankings

    Costs (Non-EU Students)

     

    Eligibility

     

    Trinity College Dublin

    108

    Tuition: €12k - 25k/year (depending on the course) Living: €1K to €1300/month (Varies)

    Minimum GPA: 3.0, Bachelors in science/engineering (preferably), IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL: 88 (internet-based test)

    University College Dublin

    185

    Graduate (research): €14k annually Living: €1K to €1300 monthly (Varies)

    Minimum GPA: 3.0; Bachelor’s Degree in science or engineering; IELTS: 6.5, Minimum individual sections 6.0; TOEFL: 90

    National University of Ireland, Galway

    259

    Tuition: €18k/year Living: €11k/year

    Minimum GPA: 3.0; Bachelor’s Degree in science or engineering; IELTS: 6.5, Minimum individual sections 6.0; TOEFL: 80

    University College Cork

    310

    Tuition: €24k/year Living: €940 to €1580 monthly

    Minimum GPA: 3.0; Bachelor’s Degree in science or engineering; IELTS: 6.5, Minimum individual sections 6.0; TOEFL: 90

    Dublin City University

    429

    Tuition: €17k/year Living: €1,100 to € 1,800 monthly

    Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4 or 4.0 on a scale of 5; IELTS: 6.5, Minimum individual sections 6.0; TOEFL: 92; Personal statement and 2 references


     

    Conclusion: The Best Universities in Ireland listed above are all amongst the top 500 universities across the globe. Ireland is the perfect choice for STEM programs for those who are seeking a quality education at an affordable price beyond the hyped US or UK universities. There is no dearth of options for Masters Degrees in Ireland universities, and almost all of them offer the same variety of courses that the leading universities in Australia or America do. All of the above listed five institutions house the Best Engineering Colleges in Ireland, which all have high placement rates. Ireland offers a peaceful, safe and friendly environment for education without burning a hole in your pocket and ensures a secure career path.

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