School system in Dublin


Education in Ireland is compulsory for children from the ages of six to 16 or until students have completed three years of second-level education.

The Irish education system is made up of primary, second, third-level and further education. The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a system of 10 levels, which grades all levels of learning in Ireland. State-funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution.

School qualifications are awarded by the State Examinations Commission. Further education and training qualifications awarded by FETAC and higher education and training qualifications are awarded by HETAC, DIT, Institutes of Technology and Universities. All NFQ qualifications are recognised both home and abroad. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has responsibility to develop, promote and maintain the Irish NFQ.

Pre-School in Ireland

Pre-school education is usually provided by privately funded childcare facilities or providers. The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age.

Most children enter primary education at the age of four although it's not compulsory until age six. Having completed primary education at the age of twelve, children then move on to post-primary.

Primary School in Ireland

Primary education includes state-funded primary schools, special schools and private primary schools. The state funded schools include religious schools, non-denominational schools, multi-denominational schools and Gaelscoileanna (Irish-medium schools).

Primary education consists of an eight-year cycle: junior infants, senior infants, and first to sixth classes. Pupils then normally transfer to post-primary education at the age of twelve.

Post-Primary School in Ireland

Post-primary education consists of a three-year Junior Cycle (lower secondary), followed by a two or three year Senior Cycle (upper secondary), depending on whether the optional Transition Year (TY) is taken.

The Junior Cycle begins at age 12 with The Junior Certificate examination conducted after three years. Each student main objective is to complete a broad and balanced curriculum, and to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to proceed to Senior Cycle education.

The Senior Cycle caters for students in the age group of 15 to 18. It includes an optional Transition Year (TY), which follows immediately after the Junior Cycle. Transition Year provides an opportunity for students to experience a wide range of educational inputs, including work experience, over the course of a year.

During the final two years of Senior Cycle students take one of three programmes, each leading to a State Examination:

  • Traditional Leaving Certificate
  • Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)
  • Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

Students who have taken the Senior Cycle state examinations are allocated points for their results and can apply to colleges and universities via the Central Applications Office (CAO). The level of points required for each course within the college/university is determined by demand.

To get more information, visit

Private Schools in Ireland

There are over 50 private second level schools in Ireland.

Private primary schools receive no State support, nor are they subject to State control in relation to curriculum, school day, school year, etc. There is a limited element of State assessment of private schools because the State is required to ensure that children receive a certain minimum education. Many private primary schools do provide the basic curriculum as set out for national schools but they are not obliged to do so.

Teachers in private primary schools are not paid by the State and there are no requirements about their qualifications.

See the complete list of private fee-paying secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland by province in Wikipedia.

Private School Fees in Ireland

Annual day fees are usually cost between €4,000 to €7,000. However, the cost of boarding can increase these fees significantly, up to more than €15,000 for the school year.

Universities in Dublin

Dublin has always had a long tradition of learning and academia. Its oldest university, Trinity College, it dates as far back as the 16th Century. Today, Dublin boast a large and diverse range of both State and privately funded third level institutions. Providing an environment, which caters for all who wish to further their education.

For undergraduates attending state funded third level institutions, tuition fees are paid by the Higher Education Authority. However, there will be an annual student contribution charge also known as a registration fee, which covers student services and examinations within the college. This charge varies from institution, but the maximum charge is €3,000.

There are a number of requirements that must be fulfilled under three criteria of residence, nationality/immigration status and course requirements to qualify for free fees. Free fees do not apply to private colleges.

If you do not qualify for free fees, you may be eligible for EU fee rates. You should contact the college you are interested in to find out more, as EU fee rates varies between institutions.

The biggest and most-respected universities are:

Libraries in Dublin

With over 17 million visits annually, libraries play an important community role as centres of knowledge, information, and culture.

Public libraries are open to everyone. You do not have to be a member of the library if you just want to read something in the library, ask a question or consult a reference work (for example, a telephone directory or a dictionary or an encyclopaedia). You will, however, need to join the library if you want to borrow books or other items or, in most cases, if you want to use the internet.

There are differences in the services particular libraries provide, depending on the size and location of the branch and on the policies of the library service.

There are 336 branch libraries and 29.5 mobile libraries in Ireland, including a shared cross-border service. You can access local library information via each city or county council website. Alternatively, you will find up-to-date contact details for your local library managed by the Local Government Management Agency, which publishes news and information about libraries in Ireland.

Find out more information about Lending services, reserves, requests, etc. on the following links:

Update 14/10/2017


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