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15 Best Universities in Ireland in 2023

15 Best Universities in Ireland in 2023

Known for its emerald green landscape surrounded by breathtaking backdrops of ocean views and rich heritage, Ireland is also home to some of the best universities in the world. 

We’ve rounded up a list of the top 15 universities in Ireland. If you are interested in going to one of the most cultural places worldwide to earn your university degree, then stick around to learn more about what this country has to offer.

The 15 Best Universities in Ireland in 2023

Nicknamed as being the Land of Scholars and Saints, Ireland offers a diverse selection of top-ranked universities and learning institutions historically dating back to 500 AD. 

Ireland welcomes local and international students to their learning facilities and has built a global reputation for offering the best universities worldwide.

Schools in Ireland offer English-speaking settings with over 5,000 qualifications to suit your educational preferences. 

Ireland also offers a safe learning environment rich in culture and unspoiled views of their lush countryside filled with leisure activities that allow you to take in all that Ireland offers. Without further delay, here’s our list of best universities in Ireland.

1. Trinity College Dublin

Students and parents gathered in front of the Campanile inside Trinity College Campus in Dublin, with green trimmed lawn on its rear, considered as one of the best universities in Ireland

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Located along the western edge of Europe, Trinity College Dublin is nestled deep in the heart of Ireland amongst 47 acres of rich cultural environment.

One of the highest-ranking universities in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, was built for the future of education. Yet, it combines four centuries of diverse Irish culture and heritage inside the walls of its architecturally preserved campus.

Welcoming thousands of new students yearly, Trinity College Dublin offers undergraduate, postgraduate, micro-credential, and flexible learning options for its students. Graduates of Trinity College Dublin have achieved successful careers and have significantly impacted Ireland and the world.

2. University College Dublin

University College Dublin, considered as the largest and one of the best universities in Ireland, facing a pool with ducks swimming near water spouters


Founded in 1592, the University College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland, occupying 133 hectares of campus grounds in the center of Dublin, Ireland.

The University College of Dublin features scenic views of the lush campus surrounding and historical buildings. Ranked in the top one percent of educational facilities worldwide, the UCD is one of the highest-ranked universities in Europe.

Students are attracted to UCD’s master’s, undergraduate, and Ph.D. training courses. UCD research facilities contribute new information globally and offer structured educational programs and a support system for thousands of graduates.

Recognized for their excellence, UCD assigns mentors to each first-year student to ensure their educational journey starts positively on the journey to success.

3. National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

Fall on National University of Ireland in Galway, one of the best universities in Ireland, where cars are parked at the entrance with vines attached on its walls

Nataliia Pushkareva/Shutterstock

Ireland truly is a city filled with outstanding universities. Founded in 1845 and situated in the center of Galway, NUI University offers students ample amenities within a short walking distance from campus. 

A vibrant educational facility, NUI University provides year-long courses, cultural diversity, and extra-curricular activities, including sports programs to its students.

The National University of Ireland makes up twenty percent of the city population and is an essential part of the city. Globally ranked 259, NUI is growing in popularity for its reputation as one of the best universities in Ireland.

4. University College Cork (UCC)

well-maintained green lawn at the University College Cork's quadrangle, one of the best universities in Ireland, with its old long hall and clock tower

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Situated on forty-two acres of lush scenic grounds, the University College Cork is a short ten-minute walk to the city center of Cork, Ireland.

Ranked among the top two percent of universities, the University of College Cork was established around 1845 and first opened its doors over 170 years ago to 115 students.

Today, over 23,000 students have enrolled in the University of College Cork annually. Campus life has much to offer, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and adult continuing education courses. Online programs are also an option.

Extra-curricular activities on campus include a swimming pool, rock wall, soccer fields, and badminton courts, making this school a much-loved favorite among many students.

5. Dublin City University

A modern wooden sculpture with large Dublin City University sign at one of the best universities in Ireland on the street side


Located on the north side of Dublin, The Dublin City University is close to the airport and city center and is easily accessible to over 19 city busses. 

A newer university built in 1980, DCU offers its student a chance to transform their lives through innovation, research, and learning. Dublin City University provides access to education for students with disabilities and learning challenges through support and assistive technology.

Campus life includes a sports complex, a football facility, a climbing wall, and a fitness center for student enjoyment.

6. University of Limerik

A wide campus pathway of the University of Limerik, one of the best universities in Ireland fronting an orange building

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Located on the majestic Shannon River, the University of Limerick offers its students a beautiful campus surrounded by trees, water fountains, and lush scenery. 

The University of Limerick opened its doors in 1972 and now enrolls 17,500 students annually. UL offers a wide selection of programs, including business, arts, health, and technology. 

Campus life offers an Olympic-sized pool, a sports arena, a rowing program, and an orchestra building. The university is adjacent to the 263-hectare National Technology Park, Ireland’s first science park. 

7. Maynooth University

Historical building entrance at Maynooth University, a piece on the best universities in Ireland, with two tall trees on green lawn beside paved path during Spring

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Tucked away, twenty-five kilometers from the city center of Dublin, Maynooth University is a fast-growing, student-centered educational facility that is easily accessible by city bus.

The Maynooth University offers many subjects, including business, education, law, physics, and science.

Campus life provides many activities for students, including over 30 sports leagues to join. Offering support, initiatives, and student opportunities, Maynooth University is a popular choice of university in Ireland.

8. Technological University of Dublin

Conveniently scattered throughout Ireland, the Technological University of Dublin offers student campuses in Blanchardstown, Dublin City, and Tallaght. TU Dublin provides student programs in business, culinary, creative and performing arts, and media.

Campuses are currently being upgraded to become state-of-the-art facilities with the student’s overall experience in mind.

The Technological University of Dublin welcomes diverse students from all over the world to join their learning facilities. Adding to the ranks of most popular technological universities, TU Dublin offers an exciting educational experience.

9. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Few people passing by the front of classic Royal College of Surgeons building, one of the best universities in Ireland, on a cold early morning

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Established in 1784, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences is one of Dublin’s oldest universities. It currently offers world-leading health science programs at professional, undergraduate, and postgraduate levels of education.

The University of Medicine and Health Sciences offers state-of-the-art technologies and a modern campus with many extracurricular student activities to enjoy.

The RCSI offers healthcare programs in various subjects, including pharmacy, medicine, sciences, nursing and midwife, and physiotherapy. 

10. Dublin Business School

Nestled right in the heart of Dublin City, Dublin Business School is within walking distance of the vibrant city center. The university is also easily accessible by city transit and is the perfect place to enjoy your studies.

Dublin Business School offers certificate learning and degrees in post-graduate programs designed for flexibility in career choices.

With over 45 years as an educational facility, the DBS has established a reputation for valuable teaching and student learning experiences.

11. National College of Ireland

College students heading inside modern glass building of the National College of Ireland, named as one of the best universities in Ireland

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Tucked deep in the city center of Dublin, The National College of Ireland was established in 1951 and is one of the most prominent educational facilities in Ireland. 

Located close to NCI, you will find the headquarters of several social media companies, including Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, where many graduate students of the National College of Ireland gain employment.

Courses offered at NCI are university-recognized and provide academic undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. 

12. Griffith College

Open in 1974, Griffith College is one of Ireland’s hugest independent educational facilities and offers four campuses in Cork, Griffith, Dublin, and Limerick. 

The Griffith College campus in Dublin boasts seven acres of space near the city center. Campus life includes student residence onsite, a library, a restaurant and bar, and a fitness studio.

Griffith College offers one-year courses and a vast choice of programs to consider to help you conquer university life in stride. 

13. Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Damp road with parked cars in front of the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, a piece on the best universities in Ireland


Set in the breathtaking corners of Ireland, Letterkenny Institute of Technology sits in the town of Donegal along the picturesque Swilly River. The campus offers a mix of clubs, restaurants, a library, and shopping nearby and is easily accessible by public transit.

Rated as one of the best educational facilities in Ireland, the town of Donegal offers students spectacular views from its coastline, beaches, mountains, and waterways. Donegal also provides employment prospects for graduates.

14. Waterford Institute of Technology

Located south-east of Ireland, Waterford Institute of Technology has over 10,000 students in attendance. WIT is one of the best educational facilities in Ireland and offers various certificate, degree, and Ph.D. programs. 

Academic success ranges from higher certificates in health, humanities, science, nursing, business, and engineering to post-doctoral degrees.

15. Dun Laoghaire Institution of Art, Design, and Technology

The Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT) is an educational institution in Deansgrange near Dún Laoghaire, Ireland.

Established in 1997, IADT offers art, film, and creative technology programs and has built a valued reputation among its digital and cultural departments. 

The Dun Laoghaire Institute is one of the best design, film, and art schools in Ireland and is an attractive program for creative individuals hoping to hone their talents.

Things to Consider

Pretty blonde student holding a flag from her country to symbolize the best colleges in Ireland

Most seniors spend their final months of high school shuffling through websites, social media posts, and emails to decide which university is best for them.

But one thing they can all agree on is that choosing the right university is no easy task. Here are some factors to consider to make picking the right university easier:

  • Programs Offered. When deciding on a university, ensure the educational facility offers the program of interest.
  • Entrance Requirements. Before wasting your time filling out application forms, ensure you meet all the entrance requirements for the program of interest.
  • Location. Finding the perfect campus location is another critical factor when choosing a university.
  • Accommodations. It’s always crucial to check for housing available at the university of your choice.
  • Tuition Costs. Another significant factor to consider is the tuition costs of various universities to ensure that they are within your financial means.
  • Campus Life. Check out the university website and find out information about campus life to see if the school is a good fit for you. You can also plan a tour or even a virtual campus tour to help your decision.
  • Transportation. Most university students do not have means of transportation. Therefore, another important factor is accessibility.
  • Reputation. The last factor to consider is the report of the university. Picking a reputable University is always a wise decision for your future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long hall clock tower at the College of Cork, one of the best colleges in Ireland


The following are some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to universities in Ireland:

Is Ireland worth studying?

Ireland is an excellent country for studying abroad for several reasons, including a high standard of education, a beautiful country to explore the surroundings, and many reputable universities to consider. Ireland is also a friendly place to meet new people.

Is it better to study in the UK or Ireland?

Both the UK and Ireland have reputable universities. Therefore, it depends on what programs you’re interested in and which schools offer them. Carefully weigh all the pros and cons of each institution before deciding.

Which university is the cheapest in Ireland?

Finding the most affordable options of universities is always beneficial. Here is a list of the top five cheapest universities in Ireland:

  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • Letterkenny Institute of Technology
  • National College of Ireland
  • Trinity College
  • The University of Limerick

Is Ireland a good place for international students to study?

Ireland is an excellent country for studying abroad for several reasons, including a high standard of education, a beautiful country to explore the surroundings in, and many reputable universities to consider. Ireland is also a friendly place to meet new people.

Is Dublin expensive for students to attend universities?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Dublin is an expensive city. If you plan to attend university here, carefully budget your savings to ensure you have enough money to last the entire length of your studies. 

So, What’s the Best University in Ireland?

A couple walking away from the old cock tower at Trinity College in Dublin, one of the best universities in Ireland


If you’re interested in a reputable university set within a breathtaking emerald backdrop, Ireland offers some of the best universities in the world. 

Whether you’re looking for a rich cultural experience, panoramic views, the ultimate campus experience, or some of the highest-ranking universities in the world, completing your university studies in Ireland offers it all.