Vrije Universiteit Brussel Featured Masters Courses
University College London Featured Masters Courses
University College London Featured Masters Courses

Masters Scholarships in Ireland

Written by Ben Taylor

There are lots of reasons to study a Masters in Ireland: excellent universities, a vibrant local nature and stunning natural landscapes, not to mention the fact that it’s the largest anglophone country in the EU.

But did you know that there is a wide selection of Masters scholarships for international students in Ireland? This page will give you an overview of the main funding schemes, from government scholarships and grants to tuition fee waivers and research studentships.

You can also begin your search for a Masters in Ireland right now, or check out our guide to postgraduate study in Ireland.

Masters scholarships for international students in Ireland

Ireland’s reputation as a welcoming destination for international Masters students is backed up by the range of postgraduate scholarships on offer at its universities. With institutions keen to attract the brightest and best students from around the world, funding is available for both EU and non-EU nationals.

Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship

This scholarship scheme is managed by the Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) and is targeted at non-EU/EEA nationals. Successful applicants can use the scholarship to fund one year of Masters study at an Irish university (Bachelors and PhD programmes are also eligible).

The Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship provides the following benefits:

  • €10,000 stipend for living costs
  • Full tuition fee waiver

You’ll receive the stipend in two €5,000 payments from your higher education institution.

You should make your application through the online portal (applications usually open in February, with a deadline at the end of March). You’ll be assessed on the following areas:

  • Academic performance and work experience
  • Two references
  • A personal statement covering your plans to involve yourself in Irish society and to promote links with Ireland, as well as how the scholarship will benefit you and your country of origin

You’ll then hear if your application has been successful by the beginning of June.

Find out more by visiting the Higher Education Authority website.

Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is funded by the Irish Department of Education and Skills and administered by the Irish Research Council.

It can be used to fund a research Masters or a PhD in any discipline at an Irish university.

The scholarship programme is open to domestic and international students from around the world. You’ll need to have a first-class or upper second-class Bachelors (or the international equivalent) degree in order to be eligible.

If you’re successful in applying for a scholarship, you’ll receive the following financial support:

  • An annual stipend of €18,500
  • A contribution to your tuition fees of up to €5,750 per year
  • A contribution to your direct research expenses of €3,250 per year

Online applications open at the beginning of September, with a deadline at the start of November.

You’ll need to find a primary supervisor who will supervise your research project and provide the details of two academic referees.

You can read more about the scholarship programme on the Irish Research Council website.

Irish Research Council Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme

Administered by the Irish Research Council, this programme allows students to complete a research project – through a research Masters or a PhD – in collaboration with an Irish employment partner.

An employment partner could be a business, charity, non-profit organisation or a public body (you can see a list of previous awardees on the Irish Research Council website). You’ll split your time between this company and an Irish higher education institution.

Under the terms of the Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme, researchers will receive a full salary during their studies. Your employer will be expected to provide at least €9,000 per year towards your salary / travel expenses, while the scholarship will itself will provide €27,500 per year, broken down into the following elements:

  • €18,500 contribution to your salary
  • €5,750 towards tuition fees
  • €3,250 towards direct research expenses

You should apply through the Irish Research Council’s online application portal (the deadline is usually at the end of February). Before beginning your application, you’ll need to contact – and receive approval from – an academic supervisor and an employment mentor, as well as two referees.

Find out more about the Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme.

Irish Aid Fellowships

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) offers around 200 postgraduate scholarships for a fully-funded one-year Masters through its Irish Aid Fellowships scheme. These scholarships provide successful applicants with the following benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Travel expenses
  • Accommodation and living costs

There are several fellowship programmes targeting various countries and regions around the world, each with slightly different entry requirements and eligibility criteria.

The largest ‘strand’ of the scheme is the Ireland-Africa Fellows Programme, which resident nationals from these countries can apply for: Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In order to be eligible, you’ll need two or three years of work experience (including voluntary positions and internships). You should also have a first or second-class honours Bachelors degree.

These are the other Irish Aid Fellowships:

For more information, please visit the Irish Aid Fellowships website.

International scholarships from Irish universities

Universities in Ireland can be another good source of funding for international students, offering a variety of different merit-based scholarships, ranging from fully-funded Masters to tuition fee waivers.

We’ve picked out the international scholarship pages from some of the top Irish universities below:

Irish postgraduate student grants

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) is the Irish student finance agency. In some cases, EU, EEA, UK or Swiss nationals (as well as those who have leave to remain in Ireland) can apply for financial support through SUSI.

If you’ve been living in Ireland for three out of the last five years, you could be eligible to apply for a contribution towards your tuition fees, as well as a maintenance grant (subject to qualifying as a ‘disadvantaged student’ who meets certain conditions).

If you’ve been living in the EU, EEA, UK or Switzerland (but outside Ireland) for three out of the last five years, you could be eligible for a contribution towards your tuition fees only (not a maintenance grant).

Depending on your personal circumstances, you could receive between €2,000 and €6,270 as a contribution towards your tuition fees.

The maintenance grant is worth €2,375 if you ordinarily live within 45km of your university, but €5,915 if you ordinarily live outside of this radius.

Applications for the following academic year open in April and can be made online via SUSI.

For more information on eligibility for Irish student finance, please visit SUSI or the Citizens Information Board.

Masters fees for international students in Ireland

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss national, the average annual tuition fee for a Masters in Ireland is between €3,800 and €10,000, although this can vary significantly according to subject and institution. Business Masters degrees may cost up to €30,000, for example.

Other international students will pay higher postgraduate tuition fees, at a minimum of €9,950 per year (and in some cases up to €32,000).

In some cases, international students may be eligible for cheaper tuition fees if they’ve been resident in the EEA or Switzerland for three out of the previous five years before starting a Masters in Ireland.

Search for a Masters in Ireland

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse and compare Masters degrees in Ireland on FindAMasters.com

This article is the property of FindAMasters.com and may not be reproduced without permission.

Click here to search our database of Masters courses