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Best Foundation Courses in Ireland for International Students

ACAlpina ChariJan 24, 2023

Best Foundation and Preparatory Courses in Ireland for International Students

Foundation courses, more loosely termed introductory courses, offer the necessary knowledge and insights to better prepare a student for their higher education degree program. Ireland, being famous for quite the number of academic programs it has to offer,  also offers foundation year courses in a range of subjects such as business, finance & management, computers, law, art & design, engineering, social science, medicine, science & pharmacy, media, and humanities.

Some foundation providers have connections to colleges or are subsidiaries of universities and can ensure admission provided the student has the required marks. The foundation course fills in academic deficiencies, improves your English, and introduces you to Irish life and culture in order to prepare you for university. It serves as a bridge between your present credentials and the prerequisites for undergraduate admission to Irish universities. Let’s take a look at some of the top universities offering foundation courses in Ireland for international students.

Foundation Courses in Ireland: Who is it for?

Foundation courses for international students in Ireland primarily exist for students who may lack the necessary entry requirements and qualifications to directly apply for a university degree program. For school leavers who have studied a non-Irish curriculum yet want to pursue a degree at an Irish institution, foundation programs are recommended. The foundation course, although not mandatory, is an immensely helpful course providing a pre-university pathway. It also encourages the students out of the education field to get back into the domain they wish to educate themselves on. International students who enroll in foundation courses are prepared for a range of courses, including subjects such as Science, Business, Engineering, Teaching, Informatics, and many others.

The degree you will eventually pursue and the foundation year are intricately linked. It enables you to interact with peers from the year before so you may prepare for moving on to a degree. You are a university student, even if you are enrolled in the foundation year, and you may make use of the resources and opportunities that are accessible to all students. That is the biggest plus-point to a foundation course year student.

Best Universities Offering Foundation Programs in Ireland

After extensive research, we at Gyanberry have curated a list of universities offering foundation courses along with the subjects in which these are offered.

Name of the University Foundation Course Subject(s) Offered
Trinity College, Dublin
  • Business, Economics, Sociology & Political Science
  • Physics, Chemistry & Biology
National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Science, Technology & Engineering
  • Business
  • Youth Leadership & Community Action
Dublin International Foundation College, Ireland
  • Health Science (Medicine)
  • Business & Management
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Sciences
University College, Dublin
  • Business, Economics & Finance
  • Engineering & Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
Dublin City University
  • Business Stream
  • Education & Training
  • Engineering Stream
  • Humanities Stream
  • Science Stream
Maynooth University
  • Return to Learning
  • Science/Computer Science
  • Teaching 
University of Limerick
  • International Program
TU Dublin
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Business
  • Social Science
  • English
  • Maths
  • Information Technology
  • Applied Writing

Cost of Foundation Courses for International Students in Ireland

The standard international cost for a foundation year course in Ireland for an international student is 12,500 EUR. But since every college/university has its own courses and specifications, the tuition fee may vary accordingly and range from 12,500 EUR to 18,000 EUR depending on the course and the number of classes, hours, and extracurriculars offered. 

Some of the top universities offering the best foundation programs in Ireland along with their tuition fees for the same are listed below:

Name of the University Foundation Course Subject(s) Offered Tuition Fees (2023-24)
Trinity College, Dublin Business, Economics, Sociology & Political Science 16,480 EUR
Physics, Chemistry & Biology 17,995 EUR
Dublin International Foundation College, Ireland Health Science (Medicine) 20,825 EUR
Business & Management 14,740 EUR
Engineering & Technology 18,250 EUR
Sciences 18,250 EUR
University College, Dublin Business, Economics & Finance 18,750 EUR
Engineering & Sciences 19,750 EUR
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities 18,750 EUR
Dublin City University Business Stream 12,950 EUR
Education & Training
Engineering Stream
Humanities Stream
Science Stream
University of Limerick International Program 12,000 EUR
TU Dublin Engineering 12,500 EUR
Social Science
Information Technology
Applied Writing

Scholarships Available to International Students for Foundation Courses in Ireland

Although there exists a lot of scholarships for international students, Ireland does not have  many options for scholarships when it comes to studying foundation courses. There still exist universities’ self-scholarships based on merit and performance. 

For example, 

Trinity College, Dublin:

  • offers scholarships up to 5,000 EUR per student, applied as a discount to the International Foundation Program’s tuition costs to all non-EU students paying non-EU tuition fees based on academic achievement. 
  • students wishing to pursue Engineering, Environmental Science, and Engineering or Geography and Geoscience courses from Trinity College, Dublin, may also be awarded scholarships up to 5,000 euros per, applied as a 2,500 EUR tuition fee reduction for Trinity College Dublin’s International Foundation Programme and 2,500 EUR tuition fee reduction for first-year students.

Dublin International Foundation College also offers partial scholarships to international students.

  • For the January intake, all incoming students were awarded 2,743 USD for International Foundation Year Program. 
  • For international students studying completely online, a scholarship of 5,486 USD was awarded in the 2021 January intake.

Types of Foundation Year Programs in Ireland

International students looking to study basic foundation courses in order to pursue further studies or students looking to reignite their studying streak have come to the right place. Gyanberry has curated the types of foundation year courses available to students looking to follow the same. Even though there is a huge variety of colleges to choose from when it comes to foundation courses, there is an even bigger number of types of foundation courses in themselves. Some of the pre-specialization or foundation courses are for the following subjects:

  1. Education & Training
  2. Engineering/Sciences
  3. Medicine
  4. Business
  5. Social Sciences
  6. Computer Sciences/Information Technology
  7. English 

Admission Requirements for Foundation Year Programs in Ireland

Every university and college has its own admission process and eligibility criterion. But the basic requirements for admission in any university in Ireland for international students to a foundation year program are the same countrywide. They are mentioned below:

  • The biggest factor for admission to a Foundation Year Program in Ireland is the age criterion. You need to be at least 17 years old on the course start date in order to be admitted to the International Foundation Programme.
  • You need to have a high school certificate of completion with minimum grades being mandatory, whichever board or level it may be, depending on the country,  in order for admission to the course.
  • Most universities look for a minimum of a 5.0 score on the IELTS or equivalent examination for the majority of foundation courses. Certain courses, such as health and applied sciences, may require a score of 5.5 or higher due to the extensive nature of the subject.
  • Before beginning your foundation course, you might need to enroll in an English language course or college if you lack official English credentials.


All in all, don’t be afraid to take a step toward your future goals and ambitions. Ireland is one of the most innovative, creative, and forward countries in the world, with its universities reflecting the same spirit. Not only further studies but foundation courses available to international students help them take a peek at what their degree of choice would be like. This proves to be a vital step in deciding one’s future. With Ireland’s top universities offering foundation courses, half the work is done. All you need to decide now is what you want to be in the future! For more information, contact the Gyanberry team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Foundation courses allow international students to get an overview of the course along with the qualifications required to further pursue a degree of their choice in Ireland.

Yes, universities such as Trinity College, Dublin City University, Maynooth University, and the University of Limerick are some of the popular universities offering foundation courses in various subjects to international students in Ireland.

One can pursue subjects ranging from engineering to applied sciences, information tech to medicine, and business to education training amongst all the subjects offered for foundation year programs in Ireland.

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