Want to study abroad but are torn between choosing the UK or Ireland as your destination? You may want to read this section for sure. Higher education consultants share some of the top differentiating factors to help you decide where you want to spend the next few years studying for your chosen degree.

  • Top universities, education system, and study options: If you have started research from your end for selecting the best options, among the UK and Ireland, you must have probably known both countries have the top universities. So, the deciding factor then goes into the course you want to study. The UK is popularly known for offering study programs in business and management, law, social studies, art and design, psychology, education, nursing, biosciences, dentistry, and more. On the other hand, Ireland offers some of the best study options in data analytics, business analytics, data & computer science, cyber security, and more.

The UK has around 130 universities that include Loughborough University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Leeds Beckett University, Teesside University, ranking among the top 20 universities in the UK. On the other hand, with eight world’s best universities like Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, University College Cork, and Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland is again the best country to venture into for abroad studies. Irish universities are regarded the best among the top 1% of research institutions in global research impact. Besides, it is one of the safest, friendliest countries, which attracts most international students.


  • Entry requirements for UK and Ireland universities: This is again one of the differentiating factors as the entry requirements for both countries are relatively different. If you want to study an undergraduate course, you need a CBSE or state board +2 certification. For management courses, the GMAT is mandatory. For science courses, some universities in the UK ask for GRE, while others ask for English proficiency proof in the form of TOEFL or IELTS test scores. For a visa, a student must clear either TOEFL or IELTS to become eligible to study in the UK.

For studying in Ireland, students would require 60℅ or more in +2. The requirements for every college are different. The universities in Ireland use English as a means of communication and teaching. Thus, students are required to submit proof of their English language proficiency by appearing in any acknowledged Language Proficiency Tests.


  • Tuition Fees: UK and Ireland often go hand in hand in tuition fees, as studying in these countries comes cheap, compared to other destinations like the USA. However, the overall living cost and tuition fee can vary depending upon the university and course you choose. Cities like London and Dublin are relatively expensive, so one can expect higher living costs if they wish to live in nearby areas. You can also get the benefit of various scholarships and awards that you can apply for to support or take care of the expense of your study abroad in either nation. Consulting UK education consultants can help you bag a suitable scholarship based on your eligibility and qualifications.
  • Visa requirements and work opportunities: You may know that the UK left the EU in 2020 and Ireland is still part of the EU, which leads us to the question: what are the visa rights for both countries if you’re planning to travel throughout Europe? The answer to this is, there’s no difference. Even though Ireland is part of the EU, you would need a separate visa if you want to travel in any country, even if it’s within the EU. And the same goes for the UK. In terms of work opportunities, both Irish and UK visas allow the international students studying a full-time course to work up to 20 hours per week along with studies and 40 hours during the holiday break.
  • Accommodation: There is no doubt both countries are equally expensive when it comes to accommodation. Particularly London and Dublin are on a steeper side wherein a typical expenditure of a student is around £12.000 per year and 8.000-12.000€, respectively. Here, private accommodation is generally cheaper than university offered accommodation. You have to check the university’s cost of living guides as they can vary depending on the university and their accommodation options. Apart from London and Dublin, there are plenty of other cities with excellent courses and considerably lower living costs.
  • Out of university experience: Both countries have a lot to offer in terms of experiences. With amazing attractions, touristy places, and multiple opportunities to explore and experience the global culture, the UK and Ireland attract International students from around the world. If you want to experience the upbeat lifestyle, you would love to visit the UK for a one-of-a-kind experience. The UK is known for its unique nightlife, classy bars, bustling pubs, clubs, concerts, markets, shops, and parks. For those interested in hiking and biking, at the UK’s Yorkshire Dales, one can find some of the best hiking and biking trails. On the other side, Ireland (famously known as Emerald Isle) is well-known for its serene natural & calming beauty. Ireland is home to beautiful parks, galleries, shops, restaurants, theaters, and historic buildings, providing students a plethora of leisure opportunities out of the Uni. Ireland has endless entertainment options for students like plays, concerts, exhibitions, live music to enjoy and connect with the rich Irish culture.


It is evident from the above pointers that both countries have their benefits and both offer several opportunities to students. Country selection is an important and exciting decision as it decides the success of your academics and life. We hope these differences will help you zero down on the country. Are you still contemplating your options? Connect with Vision International, the study in the UK consultants, to help you choose the country best for you and your career goals. Or, if you want an in-depth expert consultation in university selection and the related application procedure, book your one-on-one appointment!