As well as the eight universities in Ireland, the country is also home to four National University of Ireland (NUI) colleges. These four colleges cover a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a wide variety of educational sectors, from hotel management and medicine to teaching and fine art programmes.
The four NUI colleges are as follows: Mary Immaculate College (sometimes referred to as “Mary I”), the Shannon College of Hotel Management, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).
Although the student populations of these four institutions tend to be smaller and more specific than many of their university or IT counterparts, the NUI colleges serve a crucial role in the delivery of third level education in Ireland. You can learn more about each college below.
Mary Immaculate College
Founded in 1898 and located in the heart of Limerick city, Mary Immaculate College (Mary I) is home to over 5,000 students, the majority of whom are enrolled in one of the college’s Arts programmes. Mary I is renowned as a hub of teacher-training excellence, and a significant proportion of the student population end up pursuing a career in primary or secondary teaching through the Bachelor of Education degree programme. In fact, the college is the leading primary school training college in Ireland, with over 40 percent of Ireland’s primary school teacher population having been educated there.
Apart from educating the teachers of tomorrow, Mary I is also home to a number of highly sought-after programmes including Liberal Arts, Theatre Studies and Early Childhood Care & Education courses. One of the other unique selling points of Mary I is that it has a very compact campus, making it easy for students to integrate to their third-level surroundings.
From an international student perspective, Mary I offers an extensive orientation programme for its student population from overseas. If you would like more information about how to study in Ireland as an international student, then visit here.
Shannon College of Hotel Management
Located a stone’s throw from Shannon Airport, the Shannon College of Hotel Management definitely scoops the prize for the most convenient location for international students arriving in Ireland! Apart from its proximity to one of Ireland’s busiest airports, the Shannon College of Hotel Management has a range of other unique attributes that make it one of the most appealing NUI colleges.
Since its foundation in 1951, the Shannon College of Hotel Management has produced highly employable graduates who have succeeded in the hotel and services industry across the world, the wide network of partners that the college has established, over 100 hotel partners in 16 countries globally, as well as two paid internships throughout the course of the degree programme, mean that if you are an aspiring hotel management professional with a desire to live and work abroad, then the Shannon College of Hotel Management could be the perfect starting place for your career.
If you are an international student interested in studying at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, you should look at your options here. Equally, if you are from a number of select countries, then you may be able to learn more about what this NUI college has to offer by speaking with a college representative in your home country. Further information on that can be found here.
National College of Art and Design
With over 1,100 full time students, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) located on Thomas Street in Dublin 8, is the leading art and design third level institution in Ireland. What’s more, with NCAD degrees being issued by University College Dublin (UCD), it is the only Irish college offering a university degree programme specialising in Art and Design.
If you are an international student with a desire to pursue a career in the artistic sphere, then NCAD might be the perfect place for you. As well as offering many course in a range of different and design disciplines, NCAD also has the allure of an end of year exhibition where students can display their year’s work. What’s more, it’s central location in Dublin’s south inner city means that all newcomers will be in the heart of the action in one of Europe’s cultural capitals.
If you choose to study at NCAD as an international student, then you will be joining a college with a rich tradition in welcoming those from abroad. At present, NCAD is home to international students from over 40 countries worldwide. For further information on studying at NCAD as an international student, visit here.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Founded in 1784, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, or RCSI as it is more commonly known, is one of the oldest third level institutions in the country. Apart from that, it is also one of the most picturesque, with the city centre campus located directly across from Dublin’s beautiful St. Stephen’s Green.
If that’s not enough to sway you, then you should also know that the RCSI is home to one of the most diverse international student populations in Ireland, with the campus currently comprised of students from over 50 countries; from North America, through the Middle East and on to South-East Asia.
One thing to keep in mind about RCSI is that it is a college with a specific focus on science, medicine and pharmaceutical courses. So, if you are looking for an Arts or Business degree, this is not the place for you. However, if you are an international student who likes the sound of what RCSI has to offer, then you can learn more about the studying at the college here.