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Find information on higher education opportunities & academic scenario in Ireland.

Education System of Ireland

Since the growth of the Irish economy in 1960, the education system of Ireland has evolved to a great extent, no surprises here. The education system of Ireland is managed by the Department of Education And Skills of the Irish Government. Education in Ireland is free for Irish students and students from other EU countries. According to Irish law, all children who fall between the ages of six to fifteen are supposed to receive compulsory education. It is mandatory for students to learn Irish, English, and mathematics during their primary education. The education system of Ireland has three distinct levels: primary, secondary, and higher or third-level education. Typically, the academic year in second level schools runs from September to June and for third level education the academic year runs from october to June, making it three terms in total. Read on to learn more about the education system of Ireland.

Education System of Ireland

Primary Education

Ideally, the age for primary education is six years. However, most children start school at the age of four. Primary education continues for a stretch of eight years. The curriculum for primary education focuses more on the children rather than on the subjects. Students are also not required to write examinations to proceed to the next term. The subjects that a child learns during this phase include Irish, English, mathematics, social and environmental studies, arts and crafts, music, physical education and religious instructions too.

Second Level Education
There are several secondary level state schools in Ireland including some boarding schools as well. It is compulsory for all the schools to follow the curricula and syllabi prescribed by the educational ministry. However, additionally, some schools also offer courses to help students prepare for the International Baccalaureate and the British A-level examinations. In addition to core subjects like Irish, English, and mathematics, most schools offer a wide range of other subjects including biology, accountancy, music, mechanical drawing, geography, history, chemistry, civics, economics, computer science, etc. The second level of education, for a student, starts at the age of twelve and lasts for six years. After the first three years, students are required to take up the Junior Certificate Examination. This is followed by a transition year when students are allowed to take up more flexible programs. The next two years comprises more education which ends with a Leaving Certificate Examination.

Types of Second Level Schools

Secondary Schools

Secondary schools make for the majority of second level schools in Ireland. These schools are usually privately managed and are typically run by religious bodies, governors, or by individuals. Most of these schools are state funded and usually educate students for free.

Community Schools
These are comprehensive schools that combine academics with technical education. These schools also feature community dimension in terms of adult education and facilities. These schools are generally completely funded by the state.

Vocational Schools
Such schools in Ireland are completely funded by the state and are administered by local education committees. Although the core focus f these schools are technical and vocational, over time these schools have managed to introduced a wide array of subjects. Apart from offering a secondary level of education to students, these schools have also become popular amidst post second level students.

Third Level Education
The third level education is the highest level of education that includes universities, technological colleges, and colleges of education. Some of the popular universities in Ireland include the National University of Ireland, Dublin City University, University of Limerick, and Trinity College. All the universities in Ireland offer undergraduate and Master's degree programs in a wide array of subjects. Research opportunities are also available in these universities and can be utilized by students who wish to pursue their higher education.

The education systems in Ireland are very elaborate and designed with intricate details. This has helped the overall education system of the country gain high repute. Each course offered in each level of education is carefully crafted so that a student can get the most out of it.