10 Tuition-free Universities in Ireland for International Students

Most students when asked which foreign country would they love to further their higher education, Ireland doesn’t always come into the picture. But little do they know that this country is one of the safest places in the world – always ranking among the top 20 countries for quality of life, peace, and human development. 

It’s also one of the few English-speaking countries in Europe and has several universities that rank among the top 3% in the world, and employers are looking for graduates from Irish Universities.

Regardless of how beautiful all of these sounds, one of the greatest challenges for international students is the cost of studying abroad, especially the fact that international fees are always more than double what domestic students pay.

That’s where these tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students come in, depending on your country, you’ll see schools that provide free or almost free tuition for studies. Also, taking advantage of scholarships can help you to study in Ireland and other European countries, with less financial burden.

And, if you’re an Indian student, there are still special scholarships that you can use to study in Europe, but first, you should try to know the right grade to be eligible for these awards.

Let’s go ahead to list these scholarships.

tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students

Tuition-free Universities in Ireland for International Students

You should know that the Higher Education Authority (HEA) covers the fees of undergraduate degrees for citizens from Ireland, EU/EEA countries, and Switzerland. That means Ireland citizens or permanent residents won’t pay for tuition.

1. Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

Trinity College Dublin offers Irish Free Fees Initiative EU Undergraduates. For you to be considered an EU student, you need to meet some of the school’s requirements like;

  • Being a citizen or resident of the EU
  • Have official refugee status
  • Be a family member of a refugee and have been granted permission to live in the State.
  • Have been granted humanitarian leave to remain in the State.

However, if you’re a non-EU international student, you’re required to pay the fees for the program you intend to pursue. The school still offers scholarships to international students whether they’re EU or non-EU citizens/residents.

2. University College Dublin (UCD)

This is one of the tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students that operates on the Free Fees Initiative which only applies to EU Undergraduates. These fees are paid by the Irish Exchequer on behalf of students registered for the first time in qualifying, full-time, undergraduate degree programmes.

As for other international students, there are scholarships for prospective Undergraduate & graduate students, and current Undergraduate & graduate students that you can choose from.

3. University College Cork (UCC)

UCC has approximately 4,000 students from 104 countries, which makes them one of the schools that largely embraces diversity. They also partner with more than 300 universities across the world, and have research links with 7,000+ institutions, and representative offices in India, the USA, and China, the International Office is the gateway between UCC and the world.  

The school is likewise ranked among the top 2% of global universities. Since the school only provides free tuition only for EU students, other international students can take advantage of their scholarships.

4. National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

Due to the quality of education NUIG provides, it makes 96%  of their graduates be employed or continue with higher studies 6 months after graduating. The school provides international scholarships like;

  • Global Achievement Scholarship: worth €2,000
  • Business Postgraduate Merit Scholarships: awarded up to 50% of the tuition fees, for the majority of courses
  • Other external scholarships and financial aid

5. Dublin City University (DCU)

DCU easily entered our list of tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students due to their provision of scholarships. Which include;

  • DCU Merit Scholarships: a merit-based scholarship offered to some outstanding international students.
  • DCU Humanities and Social Sciences Bursary: also another merit-based scholarship offered to postgraduate international students worth €2,000.
  • Postgraduate DCU Brazilian Ambassadors Scholarship
  • Irish Government scholarships

6. Maynooth University

Maynooth University provides different kinds of scholarships such as;

  • Sports Scholarships
  • A €1,000 Entrance Scholarship is automatically awarded to incoming first-year students
  • Dublin Port Company Scholarships
  • John & Pat Hume Doctoral Awards
  • Maynooth University Teaching Studentships
  • MU Doctoral Scholarships


7. University of Limerick (UL)

Since the free fees initiative only applies to EU Undergraduates, what the University of Limerick did to compensate other students was to provide several partial merit-based scholarships for international students, and you don’t even need to submit an extra application to be considered. Most of their scholarships are spread across their faculties;

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering Scholarships
  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Scholarships
  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences Scholarships
  • Kemmy Business School Scholarships

There are still other scholarships coming from Ireland’s Government, external, or even sports Scholarships.

8. Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)

DIT honors its international students, which makes them provide more than 200 programmes to students from more than 85 countries in disciplines like Applied Arts, Engineering, Business, Science, TU, etc. They also offer a diverse range of specialists such as Optometry, Human Nutrition, Transport & Logistics, Horticulture, Environmental Health, and Tourism Marketing.

9. Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)

This is among the tuition-free universities in Ireland for international students with several scholarship schemes. 

Their scholarships for Undergraduates can reduce 20% in tuition fees for each year of the programmes. Their postgraduate scholarship provides a reduction of €2,000 for full-time, taught postgraduate programmes. 

10. Institute of Technology, Sligo

If you’re among Students from Northern Ireland or Great Britain, you do not have to pay tuition fees to study in the Republic of Ireland. You only require to pay a €3,000 contribution fee.

Whereas, for other international students, you need to take advantage of their scholarships and grants to be able to reduce your school fees.


Even though these universities only offer tuition-free education to their citizens and EU Undergraduates, they provide scholarships or financial aid to help other international students that deserve it.

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