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Study in Dublin

By Niamh O

Updated July 28, 2021 Updated July 28, 2021

Enjoy "the craic," heaps of history and culture, and lots of career opportunities within the tech sector in Dublin.

For those whose idea of a perfect student city involves combining top-class study facilities and historic surroundings with a cracking social scene and famously friendly locals… Dublin should be on your list!

Cultural mainstays such as “the craic”, Guinness and St Patrick's Day may have spawned a global Irish cliché industry, but if you visit the real thing you'll understand why there are so many imitations.

Ireland's capital has become a more multicultural and cosmopolitan place in the past several decades, but at its heart retains a tradition and culture that is all its own.

Dublin is home to four of Ireland’s eight world-ranking universities, led by Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD), ranked joint 108th and 185th in the QS World University Rankings® 2022. Between them, these historic institutions have produced famous names in an impressive range of disciplines, but they are perhaps best-known for their literary alumni: Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats and many more.

Dublin’s strongest score in the QS Best Student Cities 2022 is for student mix, in which it ranks 12th. This reflects the city’s high concentration of students and high ratio of international students (with 23 percent of the student population coming from outside Ireland). The city also ranks in the top 40 for desirability and student view, with lots of praise from students who took our survey for Dublin’s diversity, nightlife and friendliness. One respondent described it as a dynamic and multicultural city with incredibly friendly people.

Would Dublin get your vote? Tell us why.

Best universities in Dublin: QS Best Student Cities ranking: 39th

Trinity College Dublin. The University of Dublin (101st); University College Dublin (=173rd); Dublin City University (=490th); Technological University Dublin (801-1000)

More about Dublin

Number of universities ranked by QS

4

Highest-ranked institution

Trinity College Dublin (101st)

Population

1,228,000

Average international fees (at ranked unis)

US$18,900

Desirability rank

=30th

Employer Activity rank

=36th

Affordability rank

103rd

Student View rank

42nd

To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Dublin?

A lively cultural calendar

If you study abroad in the spring, be prepared to don your green clothes and experience the excitement of St. Patrick’s Day in the streets of Dublin.

The city of Dublin loves a celebration - and so there are MANY. There’s Dublin’s International Film Festival and the Six Nations Rugby in February; the Irish Grand National horse races in April; Bloom in the Park and International Literature Festival Dublin in May; the Forbidden Fruit alternative music festival on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Taste of Dublin, and Bloomsday (think Edwardian dress and a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses as well as a retracing of Leopold Bloom’s steps) in June; Longitude music festival and the Street Performance World Championships in July; Dublin City Liffey Swim in August; the All-Ireland Finals (for fans of Gaelic games), Culture Night, and the Dublin Fringe Festival in September; Dublin Theater Festival, the Hard Working Class Heroes (a three-day music festival for unsigned Irish acts), and Hallowe’en in October; and Christmas-related festivities in December.

Great places to sit and study

Whether you prefer studying in libraries or coffee shops, Dublin offers a number of options to find your perfect study spot. The Bald Barista or Coffeeangel are close to Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Business School, and provide a peaceful atmosphere for learning, as well as delicious coffee and desserts.

Excellent nightlife

Harcourt Street in central Dublin is home to some of the best nightclubs in Europe. Dicey’s Garden has the most inexpensive drink prices around early in the week, as all pints and bottles are around €2 on a Monday night. Copper Face Jack's next door has a low cover charge during the week and is huge, with lots spots to dance and mingle. Temple Bar is also an exciting location with a good atmosphere (however, this is often thought of as a bit of a tourist trap, so be careful with your pennies).

Rich history to explore

You may be aware that a number of the world's biggest technology companies have their European headquarters in Dublin, but Dubliners are more proud of their history than anything else - with these new developments sitting alongside the richness of the old in this constantly changing global city.

Dublin was first referenced as far back as AD 140 when it was called Eblana. The Celts were believed to arrive around 700 BC, and it was around 841 that the Vikings showed up. While the exact dates of Dublin’s foundation are unknown, it has a long and rich history and has gone through many transformative periods over the centuries.

Historic sites you’ll want to visit include Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the National Museum of Ireland, Trinity College Library, Christchurch Cathedral, the Georgian Merrion Square, The Little Museum of Dublin with its collection of everyday items from the 20th century, and the Dublin Writer’s Museum.

If you ever find yourself looking for a fun yet historical place to eat or listen to live music, head over to The Church which was founded in 1699 and converted into a restaurant, pub, and cultural space in 2005.

Cost of studying in Dublin

Unfortunately, Dublin is one of the more expensive students cities in the QS Best Student Cities 2022, with the city ranking 103rd in the world. In fact, Dublin has gained the title of one of the most expensive cities in Europe to live.

Dublin's title as the Silicon Valley of Europe, accommodation, travel, food and drink are just a few of things that are expensive in the city.

Numbeo estimates that a single person's monthly costs will be US$1,060.68 without rent, but rent for a one-bedroom apartment will set you back US$1,986.87. Now it's clear to see why Dublin ranked 103rd in the world for affordability.

Careers in Dublin

Known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, Dublin offers a number of jobs in tech and start-up spaces. Dublin has seen an influx of tech giants choosing the city as their European base in the past few years.

Huge corporations like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn have all created hubs in the city, partly due to the low corporate tax in the city.

Dublin boasts one of the youngest populations in Europe, meaning graduates hoping to start their careers in Ireland should feel right at home.

With the fastest growing economy in the European Union (EU) Ireland is a great option for those on the job hunt.

The service sector dominates the job market in Ireland, however, opportunities can be found in a number of major industries including the growing technology sector where demand for IT workers is high.

If you're looking for a niche The Irish economy has skills shortages in a number of areas including:

  • Business and finance - accountants, business intelligence analysts, financial advisers, risk and compliance professionals
  • Engineering - biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, electrical engineers, energy engineers
  • IT - app developers, data analysts, software developers, IT support specialists, programmers
  • Healthcare - doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians, radiologists
  • Hospitality - chefs
  • Transport and logistics - logistics and supply chain managers, supply chain analysts, transport managers.

This article was originally published in July 2021 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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