Immigration Service Delivery has launched a new website available at

From July 28, 2021, this website will no longer be updated.

I want to study a degree programme course


Overview of Conditions for Degree Programme Student

The main conditions of being a Full Time Degree Programme Non EEA student are:

  • The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at degree level is limited to seven years;
  • The level of course and award must comply with the conditions below
  • A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education
  • You must have proof that fees have been paid to the college. Where your fees are below €6,000, the full amount of the fees must be paid in advance.
  • You must have access to €3,000 at first registration. This is in addition to your course fees.
  • All students are required to have private medical insurance, either personally or through a group scheme operated by your college, at time of registration in accordance with the conditions set out below regarding private medical insurance.

Full conditions and requirements are set out in the Guidelines attached below. It is the responsibility of the student to familiarise themselves with these requirements.


What is a Degree Programme?

The Degree Programme refers to full-time, day-time academic courses leading to major awards as outlined below at or above Level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications (see NFQ "fan diagram" at Appendix 1).

There are six types of major award available in Ireland at these levels:

  • NFQ Level 7 = Ordinary Bachelor Degree (3 years duration)
  • NFQ Level 8 = Honours Bachelor Degree (3-4 years duration)
  • NFQ Level 8 = Higher Diploma (1 year duration)
  • NFQ Level 9 = Postgraduate Diploma (1 year duration)
  • NFQ Level 9 = Masters Degree (1-2 years duration)
  • NFQ Level 10 = Doctoral Degree (approximately 4 years duration)

In that regard Degree programme courses are defined as courses which lead to an award of:

  • Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  • Honours Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral degree

Certain ‘awards’ offered by international universities which satisfy the above definition will also be regarded as Degree Programme courses.

If you are a non-EEA national coming to study in Ireland you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The list is available at the following link Interim List of Eligible Programmes.

Guidelines for Degree Programme Students (Size 1.54MB)  This document is a pdf

NOTE : It is not permissible for Students who come to Ireland on a Degree Programme course to enrol in a Non Degree or Language Course (Students may be permitted to undertake a foundation language course, if required, where this has been arranged in advance and has been clearly stated in any application for a visa or permission to remain).

Similarly students who complete a Degree Programme course cannot then enrol on a Language/Non Degree Programme Course.

NOTE: The primary purpose for a student to be in the State is to study. It is not permissible for a student to come to Ireland to undertake a part-time course, or a distance learning course.


Other Information

For information regarding evidence of finance for ALL Non-EEA Students from 01 September 2016 please click on the following link: Evidence of Finances for all Non EEA Students

For information regarding the requirement to hold private medical insurance please read the following notice

Private Medical Insurance for full-time Non-EEA Students (Size 22KB)  This document is a pdf


Return to main Students page