Doesn’t this question seem weird? Yes! It sounds a little weird, but actually, you need to know on this!

Education in Ireland is divided into various levels and the degree that you would prefer to gain from Ireland will be of one among those levels!

This is not something very difficult to understand, every country has its own education system and the basics of schooling are quite very similar.

Ireland’s education system bases its education at various levels, inspiring the students to move on their journey of attaining knowledge! Let us know more about it!

Education in Ireland

Ireland, the wealthiest country of Europe is a great destination to get a high-quality education with a worldwide reputation. The country’s history has a deep appreciation and respect for learning, with the highest rates of educational attainment among other countries in the world.

Irish Higher Education System & Institutions offer degrees at ordinary and Honours Bachelors, Masters, & Doctorate Levels & undergraduate & postgraduate diplomas in a range of disciplines and programs. And it has one of the best education systems in the world for higher education achievements.

The universities of Ireland offers research-based and innovative programmes in the subject areas of medicine, science, technology, engineering, business, law, psychology, languages, etc., at an affordable tuition fee compared to other countries worldwide. Irish research ranks among the top one per cent in the world in 18 fields of research.

Currently, there are 7-degree awarding universities, 14 Institutes of Technology & many other world-leading education & research centres in Ireland. And all of Ireland’s universities are in the top 3 % worldwide. Nearly 12% of the country’s student population is of international students from more than 160 countries worldwide.

Now, what is a degree program in Ireland?

Having a brief on the education in Ireland, let us know “What is a degree program in Ireland?”

The Irish Education System is made up of Primary, Secondary, and Higher (Third or Tertiary level) and further education. At all the levels state-funded education is made available by the government.

As mentioned earlier, a degree program in Ireland is a level of the study program, which refers to a full-time, day-time academic course that leads to the major awards, above the Level 7 of the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications).

National Framework of Qualification

The National Framework of Qualification (NFQ) serves as a system of 10 level that allows different standards & levels of qualification to be compared.

Progression is the major feature of the National Framework of Qualification. Often an achievement of one level leads to the opportunity to continue to the next.

The National Framework of Qualifications is presented here under for you!

National Framework Of Qualifications Level Major Awards
NFQ Level 1 Level 1 Certificate
NFQ Level 2 Level 2 Certificate
NFQ Level 3 Level 3 Certificate
Junior Certificate
NFQ Level 4 Level 4 Certificate
Leaving Certificate
NFQ Level 5 Level 5 Certificate
Leaving Certificate
NFQ Level 6 Advanced Certificate
Higher Certificate
NFQ Level 7 Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree
NFQ Level 8 Honours Bachelor’s Degree

Higher Diploma

NFQ Level 9 Master’s Degree

Postgraduate Diploma

NFQ Level 10 Doctorate Degree

Higher Doctorate

Six types of majors are awarded in Ireland at the levels from 7 to 10, they are:

  • Level 7 = Ordinary Bachelor Degree (3 years)
  • Level 8 = Honours Bachelor Degree (3-4 years)
  • Level 8 = Higher Diploma (1-year)
  • Level 9 = Postgraduate Diploma (1-year)
  • Level 9 = Masters Degree (1-2 years)
  • Level 10 = Doctoral Degree (approximately 4 years)

In regard to the above, a Degree program in Ireland is defined as courses that lead to an award of:

  • Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  • Honours Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma
  • Postgraduate Diploma
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral Degree

This degree programs from NFQ Level 7 – NFQ Level – 10 falls under the Tertiary Level of Education or most commonly known as Third-level education.

Third – Level Education

Third Level Education in Ireland includes all education after the secondary level, which encompasses higher education in universities, colleges and also further education on Post Leaving Certificate and also other courses.

There is a wide range of institutions in Ireland that offers third-level education, including the university sector, the technological sector, colleges of education which are substantially funded by the State along with a number of independent private colleges.

Usually, the length of the degree program determines the qualification. A higher certificate is in general 30 credit program over six modules. A graduate diploma is of 60 credits whereas a master degree is of 90 credits.

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