Ireland vs UK: Deciding where to study?

If you are confused about selecting the study destination between UK & Ireland, one thing is clear when you determine whether you Study Abroad, UK or Study in Ireland, both have outstanding educational institutions and the finest universities in the world for foreign students.

There are several perks of studying in the UK & Ireland and too many choices will depend on the individual or lifestyle choices of a person.
Below are few statistics to help you determine when to pursue your degree over the next few years.

UK Visa vs Irish Visa – What is the difference, and where?

The UK parted from the EU in 2020 as you might be aware, so Brexit was a massive news story.

On the other side, Ireland remains in the European Union, if you decide to travel around Europe, you might well ask yourself what your visa rights differ. In short – no difference.

This means that although Ireland is a member of the EU, you cannot fly freely inside the EU. As you know Ireland is also not part of the Schengen Region. To visit France, Spain, Germany, or any other European Union country you will also have to apply for another additional visa.

The same goes for the United Kingdom. If you are leaving the country, you may need to seek an additional visa, if you are in the EU or not.

During the study duration, both Ireland and the British student visas allow foreign full-time students to work up to 20 hrs a week.

Tuition fees

It is still a draw with respect to tuition fees. Equal sums of money will be spent on tuition expenses for both Study in Ireland and the UK. But it is typically less than that of the US or Australian tuition fees.

Two things must be considered when comparing tuition fees. Not all courses have the same study rates, with arts and science generally being cheaper, while courses which focus their education in laboratories or require advanced equipment and facilities normally cost more.

Additionally, not all colleges and universities offer the same tuition fees. Capitals like Dublin are much pricier in Ireland and London in Great Britain than the rest of Europe. That implies that in the capital cities both tuition fees and cost of living are higher.

My studies are also based on the university itself, making esteemed colleges such as Cambridge and Oxford in the UK more competitive, since they are not located in London.

It is also important to note that the United Kingdom and Ireland are not using the same currency. In Ireland (as in most European countries too) you will find Euro-€ and in the UK British Pound-£.

It is necessary to check the exchange rate to your local currency to make a sense of how much stuff costs. In fact, the British Pound is marginally higher than that of the Euro, although it varies according to the value of the currency.

Tuition fees in Ireland is approximately €9,850-55,000/year, while tuition fees in the UK generally around £9,250-26,000/year. In the United Kingdom, medical programs tuition fees substantially higher, up to £58,600/year.

Cost of living

The easiest way to find this same kind of knowledge on the Web. Expatistan is one of the world’s top sites for comparing the costs of living around the globe.
Expatistan is based on several prices entered by huge numbers of people for various products. Thus, Dublin would appear more affordable than London whether you’re going to look to study in one of the cities, but this could vary and so you can get an up-to-date comparative analysis on Expatistan.

Many reports online say that living costs in the two capital cities are very close. Study in the United Kingdom is around £12,000/annul, in Ireland between €8,000-12,000. Based on my own experience of living in Great Britain, I would suggest that £10 000 a year will probably be feasible, but it is necessary to test the housing costs of each student, as the institution and its accommodation options differ based on them.

Fortunately, Dublin is not the only town in Ireland and London does not encompass the UK as a whole. Several other towns are offering excellent courses and a significantly reduced cost of living.

Bristol is 25-30 percent cheaper than that of London, for instance, and Galway generally is 20-30 percent economical than Dublin, but it is necessary to check Expatistan for current comparative analysis.

World’s best universities

It will not be that easy if you rely on your choices in life exclusively on universities and their quality. Ireland and the United Kingdom also have one of the world’s best universities.

United Kingdom universities have an edge on the QS World University Rankings website. The United Kingdom is home to four of the top ten universities.

The best Irish universities, but on the other hand, ranked 108th TCD (Trinity College Dublin) and 185th UCD (University College Dublin), as per the QS World University Rankings-2020.

The number of choices for universities in the two countries is somewhat different. In the United Kingdom there are about 130 universities and in Ireland there are only eight. That facilitates comparison when you first plan to explore Irish colleges.


With the finest universities comes the costliest accommodation. This implies that when you choose to study at TCD you will spend €8,000/year for accommodation and €11,000/year if you choose to study at UCD.

Like the United Kingdom, Ireland’s private accommodation seems usually cheaper than accommodation facilities provided by the universities. Based on the recommendations of Education in Ireland, you might need an estimated €427/month for rent, plus €28/month for utilities.

The scenario in the United Kingdom is equivalent, including that utility bills should be included in the rent. The 2019 National Student Money Survey claims that you’ll need an estimated £439/month for rent, including bills.

When you choose to stay at university accommodation in the United Kingdom, as per Times Higher Education, the monthly rent is up to £535 or £640 if you study in London.

Recreation & Spare time

While London is larger than Dublin, both towns offer great opportunities to enjoy your spare time. There are lots of events, shows, clubs and bars, cafes, and pubs.

Being larger in both size and population, the United Kingdom might seem like a more ideal option. Nonetheless, Ireland, also recognized as the Emerald Isle, provides many stunning places if you want to spend your spare time outside or in the countryside.

Whenever you want to try the best of all, there are so many services between Ireland and the United Kingdom that you can move between one and the other and do whatever you want – when your visa allows, of course!

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