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Universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Cross-border costs and funding: Ireland and Northern Ireland

Useful tips if you're thinking of moving from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa, for a postgraduate course.

There are many reasons for students to move from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa, to undertake postgraduate study. The best course in your field may be in the other jurisdiction, it might not be possible to pursue fourth-level programmes in your chosen specialism at your undergraduate college, or you may simply want a change of scenery.

Costs

While you’ll find no differences in teaching style, there are practical considerations to be aware of. The most obvious is the currency difference. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students from the eurozone find that the euro doesn’t stretch as far in the UK.

Some students in the border regions tend to travel home each night, rather than socialising and living in Northern Ireland, to save money. However, the cost of accommodation is lower in Northern Ireland: the average rent for a room ranges from around £71 per week for a single room residencenear the University of Ulster's Coleraine and Magee campuses to around £160 per week for a one bedroom apartment. In Belfast, costs are gigher, ranging from £100 to £180 per week for campus accommodation at University of Ulster.

Getting funding

The aim of this scheme is to encourage outstanding students from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to cross the border to undertake postgraduate study and experience life in the other Irish jurisdiction. Each year, Universities Ireland offers four scholarships, each worth €15,000, to students who have been accepted to undertake a recognised Master’s Degree or are entering the first year of a PhD programme at a university in the island of Ireland that is not in the same jurisdiction as the university where they have previously studied. See www.crossborder.ie for more details.

Grants

There are frequent changes to student assistance schemes in both Northern Ireland, and the Republic. In Northern Ireland, it is anticipated that rom the beginning of academic year 2017-2018, postgraduate tuition fee loans for Northern Ireland students will be available. Whilst the exact details are yet to be finalised, it is hoped that you will be able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with course costs, from Summer 2017. Please monitor https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/financing-your-postgraduate-course for more information on these developments.

In the Republic of Ireland, you may be eligible for support from Student Universal Support Ireland SUSI