UK vs Ireland: Which is Better for Indian Students - Gateway International
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UK vs Ireland: Which is Better for Indian Students

UK vs Ireland

Studying abroad is a common aspiration for many Indian students, but they often face confusion when deciding on the destination. Here, we discuss two popular study abroad destinations for international students: Ireland and the United Kingdom. This article offers an impartial comparison of the two countries to assist candidates in making informed decisions.

Through this article, we aim to alleviate this confusion by providing an unbiased overview of both the United Kingdom and Ireland. We consider various factors such as popular courses, job opportunities, and the cost of studies to help candidates make the right choice. Our comparison is based on extensive research from numerous sources, using the most recent data available to us.

Popular Courses UK vs Ireland

Some of the popular courses in the UK are Nursing, Psychology, Law, Computer Science, Management Studies, Accounting and Finance, Biological Sciences, etc. Read: Study in UK – Colleges, Eligibility & Scholarships.

Read More: Different Types of Law Courses to Study in the UK

Popular courses in Ireland for international students are Business Analytics, Investment Banking and Finance, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Data Sciences, Computer Science, and Cyber Security, etc. Read: Study in Ireland – Colleges, Eligibility & Scholarships.

Top University UK vs Ireland

Here’s a the top universities for international students in the UK vs Ireland:

RankUnited KingdomIreland
1University of OxfordTrinity College Dublin
2University of CambridgeUniversity College Dublin
3Imperial College LondonUniversity College Cork
4London School of EconomicsNational University of Ireland, Galway
5University College LondonUniversity of Limerick
6University of EdinburghDublin City University
7University of ManchesterMaynooth University
8King’s College LondonUniversity of Dublin
9University of BristolUniversity College Galway
10University of WarwickDublin Institute of Technology

Highlight of UK vs Ireland

Average Living Cost5.86 Lakhs4.80 Lakhs
Fees for visaPound 348 = Rs 32,385/-Euro 100 = Rs 8,093/-
Work Permit After Study2 Years2 Years

Admission Requirements: UK vs Ireland

United Kingdom (UK)

For undergraduate (UG) courses in the UK, universities used to require 13 years of pre-university education. However, this requirement has recently changed, and UK universities now recognize CBSE plus-two certificates for admission to UG courses.

For postgraduate (PG) courses, admission is typically granted after completing a three-year UG degree. For management courses, applicants are usually required to take the GMAT exam. However, for science courses, the GRE exam may not be necessary, but it’s advised to check with the university for specific requirements.

Similar to the US, some management courses in the UK may require a few years of work experience. While TOEFL or IELTS scores may be waived by the university, they are important for obtaining a visa.


In Ireland, for each course, a minimum academic score of 60% and above in Standard XII is required. Foundations and Diploma programs are available for students who have secured around 50%. Additionally, students should have completed 18 years of age before joining a degree program.

It’s important to note that while entry requirements are lower at Irish universities, the education standard is not compromised. Hence, students should carefully prepare to cope with the high standard of education over the next few years beforehand.

For undergraduate courses, Irish universities accept applications through the Central Applications Office (CAO), an online enrollment system. Applicants need to create an account on the CAO website, provide basic information, submit scanned documents, TOEFL/IELTS scores, and pay application fees. The application process and its stages will be communicated through this account.

For postgraduate courses, candidates need to have a relevant bachelor’s degree or diploma. The undergraduate course must be consistent and relevant to the master’s course being pursued. Applicants are also required to appear for an English proficiency test to demonstrate their command of the English language.

Cost of Studying an Undergraduate Programme: UK vs Ireland

CategoryUndergraduate Courses in the UKUndergraduate Courses in Ireland
Average Tuition Fees (Lakhs)BSc: £20.09 BTech: £18.67 BBA: £16.71BSc: £13.18 BTech: £11.67 BBA: £10.74
Average Living Expenses (Lakhs)£5.86£4.80
Duration3-4 Years3-4 Years

Cost of Studying an Postgraduate Programme: UK vs Ireland

Cost ComponentUnited Kingdom (UK)Ireland
Average Tuition FeesMSc: £16,000 – £25,000 per yearMSc: €10,000 – €20,000 per year
MBA: £20,000 – £40,000 per yearMBA: €20,000 – €35,000 per year
Accommodation£6,000 – £12,000 per year€5,000 – €10,000 per year
Living Expenses£8,000 – £12,000 per year€7,000 – €12,000 per year
Health Insurance£150 – £300 per year€300 – €600 per year
Books and Supplies£500 – £1,000 per year€500 – €1,000 per year
TotalTotal costs for a postgraduate program canTotal costs for a postgraduate program can
range from £30,650 to £51,300 per year.range from €23,300 to €48,600 per year.

Student visa Processes for the UK and Ireland

The student visa processes for the UK and Ireland have some key differences.

In the UK, students typically apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. This visa is granted for the duration of the course, with additional time allowed at the end. Applicants need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor, proof of English proficiency, evidence of financial support, and valid passport. Financial requirements include demonstrating the ability to cover tuition fees and living expenses. The application can be done online or through a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Upon arrival, students can work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations. Post-graduation, they may be eligible for the Graduate Route, allowing up to 2 years (or 3 for PhD graduates) of work or job seeking.

In Ireland, students apply for a Study Visa (Stamp 2). This visa is granted for the duration of the course, up to 2 years for non-degree courses and up to 7 years for degree courses. Requirements include a Letter of Acceptance from an Irish university, proof of €7,000 per year for living expenses, valid passport, and proof of English proficiency. The visa can be applied for online or through a Visa Application Centre. Students can work part-time during term time and full-time during holidays. After graduation, they can apply for a 24-month Stay Back Visa (Stamp 1G) to work or pursue further study in Ireland.

Residency in the UK and Ireland

Residency in the UK vs Ireland varies in terms of requirements and processes.

In the UK, residency rules depend on factors like nationality, visa type, and length of stay. EU/EEA citizens need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK post-Brexit. Non-EU/EEA citizens usually apply for various visas such as work visas, student visas, or family visas, each with different residency rules. Long-term residency can lead to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency, usually after a certain period of lawful residence. Citizenship can be pursued after holding ILR for a set period.

In Ireland, residency is also determined by factors like nationality and visa type. EU/EEA citizens have certain rights under the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement. Non-EU/EEA citizens apply for various visas like work visas, study visas, or family visas, each with specific residency conditions. Long-term residency can lead to Stamp 4 permission, allowing unrestricted access to the labor market and social benefits. Citizenship can be applied for after a qualifying period of residency.

Both countries have processes to ensure that residents comply with immigration laws, including registration requirements, periodic renewals, and reporting changes in circumstances. It’s important for residents to familiarize themselves with the specific rules and obligations related to their visa or residency status.

Climate Condition UK vs Ireland

In the United Kingdom (UK), the climate is generally temperate maritime, characterized by mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and frequent cloud cover. Winters are typically mild, with average temperatures ranging from 0°C to 7°C (32°F to 45°F), although colder temperatures and snowfall are not uncommon, especially in northern regions. Summers are usually mild to warm, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F). Rainfall is spread throughout the year, with the wettest months usually being October to January.

In Ireland, the climate is also temperate maritime, with mild winters and cool summers. Average winter temperatures range from 4°C to 7°C (39°F to 45°F), while summer temperatures range from 14°C to 20°C (57°F to 68°F). Rainfall is abundant and evenly distributed throughout the year, with the west coast generally receiving more rainfall than the east. The wettest months are typically from October to January.

Both countries experience relatively stable weather patterns, but conditions can vary greatly from day to day due to the influence of Atlantic weather systems. Additionally, coastal regions tend to be milder and wetter than inland areas. Overall, the climate in the UK and Ireland is mild, with relatively small temperature variations throughout the year.

FAQs UK vs Ireland

Q1: What are the main differences between studying in the UK and Ireland?

A: While both countries offer high-quality education, the UK is known for its prestigious universities, diverse cities, and vibrant culture. Ireland, on the other hand, boasts a more intimate student community, stunning natural landscapes, and a strong focus on innovation and technology.

Q2: How do the costs of living compare between the UK and Ireland?

A: Generally, living expenses in Ireland are slightly lower than in the UK, particularly outside of major cities like Dublin. However, the cost of accommodation and daily expenses can vary depending on the location within each country.

Q3: What are the visa requirements for international students in the UK vs Ireland?

A: In the UK, international students typically apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, while in Ireland, they apply for a Study Visa (Stamp 2). Both visas have specific requirements regarding financial means, English proficiency, and enrollment in a recognized educational institution.

Q4: Are there opportunities for international students to work while studying in the UK vs Ireland?

A: Yes, both the UK and Ireland allow international students to work part-time during term time and full-time during holidays. However, there are restrictions on the number of hours students can work per week, and certain visa conditions must be met.

Q5: What are the post-study work options for international graduates in the UK and Ireland?

A: In the UK, international graduates can apply for the Graduate Route, allowing them to work or seek employment in the UK for up to 2 years (or 3 years for PhD graduates) after graduation. In Ireland, graduates with an Irish degree can apply for a 24-month Stay Back Visa (Stamp 1G) to work or pursue further study in Ireland.