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Institutions of Higher Education and Fields of Study

PLEASE NOTE: study in Northern Ireland is not available for the 2018-2019 Mitchell class.  For more information, click here.



Mitchell Scholars may study or conduct research at institutions of higher learning including the seven universities in Ireland and two of the institutes in Dublin.  For the 2018-2019 selection process, applicants may not choose the two universities in Northern Ireland: Queen's University, Belfast and the University of Ulster.

When assigning Mitchell Scholars to programs in Ireland, we will draw from only the programs identified in the applications at the schools listed.  Once your application is submitted, you may not add a program to your list, and you may not change the prioritized order in which programs are listed.  Please do your research in advance to make sure you are satisified with your program choices and have thought carefully about the order in which those preferences are listed in your application.

The following is provided to give students a general idea about the universities and the fields of study Mitchell Scholars may pursue. Applicants are responsible for obtaining additional information about the institutions and programs which interest them by contacting those institutions directly. Prior to applying, prospective applicants should study the academic system of the institutions in order to determine if their plan of study is feasible, and that they have the undergraduate background for the programs which they propose.

EDUCATION IN IRELAND is a searchable database of programs available to international students.  It is a tremendous resource and can aid in your research regarding program and university selection.  In addition, each of the Irish and Northern Irish universities has a webpage listing the available one-year post-graduate programs at their schools.



The Education System in Ireland


Ireland has a long and reputable tradition in education, dating back to the middle ages when it held the position of one of the principal education providers to the western world. Today education is held in very high regard in Ireland and this is reflected in the priority given to it by successive Governments and by the fact that it has one of the highest participation rates in the world. In addition, parents take a keen interest in educational standards and considerable attention is paid to educational issues in the national media, thereby strengthening Ireland's reputation for providing a very high quality system of education.

Overall responsibility for education in Ireland lies with the Minister for Education and Science who is a member of the Irish Government and responsible to the National Parliament.

While the Irish education system is provided by a combination of State and private institutions it is substantially State-funded and State-regulated. Primary and secondary education is largely free to Irish students and third level education is heavily subsidized.

The Academic Year

The university academic year runs from September to June, typically divided into three terms. In recent years, however, some institutions have introduced a two-semester system.  Many graduate programs often require that students complete their thesis over the summer months (June, July, August).


Mitchell Scholars will be provided with living accommodation (meals are not included). Accommodations at the universities vary but, in general, accommodation will be in a shared apartment in a dedicated, on-campus development, or in an individual room in a Hall of Residence.


There are seven universities in Ireland -- Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, and University of Limerick, and the four universities of the National University of Ireland (NUI). The NUI is organized on a federal basis but the constituent universities -- University College, Dublin; University College, Cork; National University of Ireland, Galway, and National University of Ireland, Maynooth -- enjoy a large measure of autonomy. The Royal College of Surgeons and St. Angela's College of Education for Home Economics are also recognized colleges of the NUI.  

In addition to undertaking research in a wide range of disciplines, the universities offer degree programs at Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate level - in a wide-variety of disciplines, such as humanities, scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics fields , and in social and behavioral sciences. A range of undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas is offered.

Masters degrees are usually taken by course work, research work or some combination of both. Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of research. Universities award their own degrees using external examiners to ensure consistency of standards. There is also a national Higher Education Authority (HEA) which oversees the work of the universities on behalf of the Department of Education and Science.


Institutes of Technology & Other Institutions of Higher Learning

In addition to the universities, there are thirteen Institutes of Technology which complete the Irish higher education system. Spread regionally, the Institutes offer a large number of sub-degree and undergraduate degree courses. With the exception of the Dublin Institute of Technology which awards its own degrees, the Institutes' awards are made by the National Council for Educational Awards. Further information concerning the accredited post-graduate courses conducted by the Institutes may be obtained by contacting the NCEA at Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 or the DIT at Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.