Why Ireland ?
The Irish Education System consists of primary (first level), second level , third level, further education and special need education for students with disabilities. In Ireland, education is compulsory for children aged six to sixteen or until students have completed three years of second-level education.
Third level education comprises of the university sector, technological sector, colleges of education and private independent colleges of which the first three groupings are autonomous and self-governing, but substantially state funded. Entry to third level education for Irish students is competitive and based upon performance in the final secondary school examination, the Leaving Certificate. Entry requirements for oversea students are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language aptitude.
Higher Education in Ireland is provided mainly by 7 Universities, 14 Institutes of Technology, including the Dublin Institute of Technology and 7 Colleges of Education which are autonomous and self- governing. In addition, a number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in such fields as art and design, medicine, business studies, rural development, theology, music and law.
The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) is authorised to make awards in the non-university sector. HETAC makes awards and sets and monitors standards at all levels of higher education and training up to doctorate level.
The qualifications system in Ireland has been modernised with the introduction of the National Framework of Qualifications. Students are encouraged to use the National Framework Qualifications to identify the qualification they will achieve before making decisions. The quality and standard of all Irish educational awards made by authorized institutions and HETAC are fully recognized globally.
The following academic awards can be achieved at Irish higher education institutions:
Higher Certificate: 2 years full-time
Bachelor Degree (Ordinary): 3 years full time
Bachelor Degree (Honors): 3 - 4 years full time
Graduate Diploma: 1 year full time
Master degree (research or coursework): 1- 2 years full time
Doctorate (PhD): Minimum 3 years of original research
Doctorates are usually awarded pass or fail, with distinctions in rare cases.
The academic year typically runs from September to June and is divided into either two or three semesters with holidays in December (Christmas) and April (Easter).
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