Postgrad Study

Thinking about postgrad study

What do I need to consider before doing a Postgrad ?

  • Will the qualification leave you more employable ?
  • Is it a requirement for the profession you want to enter (e.g. H Dip Teaching, Accountancy)
  • Do you want to become more specialised in a certain aspect of your primary degree?
  • Do you want to change direction or achieve a complementary qualification to your primary degree and do a conversion course (1 year taught postgraduate course on an area you did not cover during your primary degree)
  • Practicalities such as fees, funding and accommodation
  • Prospects : Why do a Postgrad
  • Postgradireland : Choosing a Postgrad course

What are the different types of Postgrad qualification ? There are three types of postgraduate qualification:

  • Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma These are usually one-year taught programmes which either lead to a professional qualification or allow graduates acquire skills in other areas. ie HDip in Education Typical examples are the Higher Diploma in Education or Graduate Diploma in Computing. There is currently a vast range of courses available in Universities, Institutes of Technology, or private colleges. In the cases of some of the ‘conversion’ courses in special skill areas, course fees are subsidised.
  • Masters Degree Masters degrees can be taught or by research. Taught courses typically take one year for full-time study and two years for part-time study. Research degrees can take anything from one year to about five years, depending on how long it takes to complete the research.
  • Doctorate A Doctorate of PhD programme usually takes a minimum of three to five years to complete. It may be possible to follow a structured programme for part of the time but in many cases the research is self-driven with supervision from a faculty member.

Where can I find the types of Postgrad available ?

Details of postgraduate courses in Irish Universities and institutions are contained in Postgradireland directory, copies are available in the Careers Office. The additional links below will help you search additional options.

How much will it cost me to do a Postgrad ? Fees

  • Fees can vary from course to course and from Institution to Institution. The level of fees may depend on whether labs, special equipment or highly expert training is required.
  • Fees for full-time and part-time study are usually the same. The advantage of part-time study is that the fees are spread over two years.
  • There is often no difference in fees for courses taken at Diploma or Masters level. As a broad guideline the fees for a taught programme could range from €1,500 to €4,000 though they can be higher.
  • Fees are considerably higher for non-EU citizens.
  • Also take into account the cost of living – food, travel, accommodation etc.


  • Many students will finance part or all of their studies themselves, e.g. Bank loans.
  • A student, who holds a Higher Education Grant when completing his/her primary degree, may be eligible to apply for continuation of the grant from the Local Authority.
  • Mature students may be eligible to apply for Higher Education Grant from Local Authority where his/her parents reside.
  • Students may be eligible to apply for or continue to benefit from a VEC Scholarship.
  • The best source of information on funding is the postgraduate office or department to whom you are interested in applying.
  • Funding through various programmes is often advertised in the national press. Scholarships are available from industry
  • Two research councils have been established in Ireland, one for the humanities and social sciences (IRCHSS – Irish Research Council for the Humanities & Social Sciences) and one for science and technology (IRCSET – Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology)
  • For further information on Postgraduate study and funding please contact the Careers office for an appointment
Graduate site with excellent information on all aspects of Graduate Careers. Register today on, the official all-Ireland postgraduate study website with a searchable course database.
The National Courses Database.