Fourth-level study FAQs: applications

Your questions answered on the application process for postgraduate study.

How do I apply?

For the majority of courses in Ireland, you should complete the relevant institution's official application form, usually available in hard copy or in PDF format from their website. You should then submit it directly to the Postgraduate Admissions office or equivalent, along with your previous degree transcripts, certificate of English proficiency and the application fee where appropriate. (Non-EU candidates will require a score of 6.0 in the IELTS English Proficiency examination in order to obtain a study visa for the Republic of Ireland.)

A number of Irish Institutions, including DCU, NUI, Galway, UCC and DIT require that applications are made online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre. This website also handles applications for the Higher Diploma in Education at the National University of Ireland. There are some variations from this, for instance for postgraduate teacher training courses. In all instances, it's best to check with individual institutions to find out what type of application they will accept.

What are the typical entry requirements?

Candidates normally require at least a 2.2 honours degree in a relevant discipline but some courses may ask for a higher classification. For postgraduate conversion programmes which provide training in a new discipline, a 2.2 honours degree in any other discipline is usually required. It is important to check with the institution before you apply. For all programmes, relevant work experience is advantageous and this is sometimes a requirement for part-time programmes.

What is the closing date for applications?

Some application dates may be as early as November of the year prior to entry. There are also an increasing number of programmes starting in January as well as programmes commencing annually in September. This means it is important to find out the specific closing dates of any programme you are interested in applying for.

Will I have to be interviewed? If so, how can I prepare in advance?

For some programmes, candidates will be interviewed as part of the selection procedure. You should prepare in advance by researching the industry towards which the programme is geared. You can expect to be asked about the field of study and the relevant industry. You may also be asked about your previous education and work experience, and why you wish to undertake the programme you have applied for.