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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Ireland

Studying an LLM in IrelandThe Irish educational system has long been valued for its excellence and enjoyed an international reputation.

During the Dark Ages, many scholars from Britain and mainland Europe travelled to Ireland to study in the famous monastery schools.

In the 21st century the tradition continues to flourish with international students from all corners of the globe travelling to study in Ireland – indeed, Ireland has much to offer for everyone.

Reasons to study your LLM in Ireland

Ireland is a great country to live and study in. Ireland's law schools are well funded and well respected internationally offering an opportunity for an excellent legal education – here are five reasons why you should consider studying your LLM in Ireland.

Long heritage ­­– Ireland has a long history of offering university-level education and law programs are no different. Trinity College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland being established in 1592. There was a wave of universities established in the mid-19th Century including Queen's University Belfast and University College Dublin. There was another group of universities created in the 1970s including the University of Limerick. This gives students a range of educational approaches and practices, from the ancient style of Trinity College Dublin to the more modern ways at newer law schools like the University of Limerick.

Dual language – law schools in Ireland teach in English, however, the Irish language is a significant part of the Irish identity and governance in the Republic of Ireland. Laws are written in Irish and English, and this means that there can be competing interpretations of the language, however, as stated in the Irish Constitution, the Irish language version holds precedence over the English version. Multilingualism is a part of many countries’ legal systems, even English-speaking ones such as Canada, but English is the predominant language in Ireland and this gives excellent chances for students who want to improve their English skills.

International business links – the Republic of Ireland is home to numerous major international corporations, particularly tech companies, such as Apple, Google, Accenture and Facebook. This means that those students who wish to concentrate on International Business Law or Corporation Law will have lots of opportunities to learn from those already working in the area. For students who wish to have an international career in Business Law, there will be excellent networking events to attend.

Warm and friendly – Ireland is a warm and friendly country where the locals are welcoming and people really enjoy socialising with eachother, this makes it a great option for international students. The social events held by your law school and student societies, such as the one at the University of Limerick, will be well attended. If you enjoy meeting other people and making friends, then studying your LLM in Ireland is a great choice. The rural areas of Ireland are popular with tourists and the island is easy to travel around, especially by car, and there is plenty to see and do when you are relaxing away from your LLM studies.

Legal complexity in practice – the Republic of Ireland is a full member of the EU and a member of the Eurozone, meaning its currency is the Euro. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland is a devolved nation of the UK and this means it has its own parliament but is a full member of the UK using sterling as its currency, which is the currency of the UK. With the exit of the UK from the EU, this situation has become more complex making this a fascinating time to study the law in Ireland as the daily realities of doing business and living on the island of Ireland continue to develop.

Find LLM programs in Ireland

Where to study your LLM in Ireland

LLM in IrelandThe duration of the LLM program in Ireland ranges from one to two years depending on whether you opt to study full or part time. There is a range of universities that offer LLMs in Ireland with a broad range of specialisations. Some of the universities that offer a Master of Laws program in Ireland include University College Cork, Griffith College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Galway and Trinity College Dublin.

The specialisations offered at these universities include International Law, International Human Rights Law, Commercial Law, EU Law, Public Law, and Humanitarian Law.

5 of the best LLMs in Ireland

Here are details of five of the best LLM programs on offer in Ireland*.

LLM – Trinity College Dublin

Duration: One year full time
Cost: €10,402 for Irish / UK and EU students or €20,204 for international students
What you will study: Trinity College Dublin describes the General LLM program as their 'flagship' LLM course and modules include Business and Human Rights, National Security Law, and Regulation of Cyber Speech.

LLM – University College Dublin

Duration: One year full time or two years part time
Cost: €9,320 total cost of Irish, UK and EU students / €19,900 total cost for all international students.
What you will study: There are a four specialisation for this LLM program; Immigration and Asylum Law, Comparative International and European Law, Corporate Governance, and Environmental Law and Policy. Those students who undertake the Comparative International and European Law focus can undertake an exchange trip to partner law schools based in Europe.

LLM – University College Cork

Duration: One year full time or two years part time
Cost: €7,000 total cost for Irish, UK and EU students or €17,000 total cost for international students
What you will study: This is a general LLM with a large number of modules to select from. These include topics such as Environmental Law, Mental Capacity Law, Global Maritime Security Law, and International Refugee Law.

LLM – National University of Ireland, Galway

Duration: One year full time or two years part time
Cost: €7,300 total cost for Irish, UK and EU students or €16,500 total cost for international students
What you will study: Students can choose to focus on one of four legal areas of either International Criminal Law, International Migration and Refugee Law, Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict, and International Human Rights. NUI Galway is home to The Irish Centre for Human Rights giving students access to some of the top professionals in the field.

LLM – University of Limerick

Duration: One year full time or two years part time
Cost: €5,912 total cost for Irish, UK and EU students or €12,884 total cost for international students
What you will study: The General LLM program at the University of Limerick allows students to tailor the course to their career aims and interests. Modules include Law of International Trade Organisations, Penology and Victimology, International Perspectives on Property Law, and Policing and Human Rights.

Entry requirements for a Master of Laws in Ireland

The entry requirement for an LLM program at an Irish university is generally a 2.2 (i.e. lower second) bachelors degree or international equivalent, with prescribed certificates in English skills if necessary. But these requirements may vary with the institution – and some law schools may require a 2.1. Before you set your heart on going to a particular institution, check its entry requirements to make sure you comply with it. It is also worth bearing in mind that other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, however all qualifications must be from a recognised higher education institution.

LLM tuition fees and living costs

Your main cost consideration when studying an LLM in Ireland is the LLM tuition fees – and these vary from law school to law school, and also on whether you are in Irish/EU students or an international student.

This table provides examples of LLM tuition fees at a selection of Irish law schools in 2021.

Irish University

Irish & EU Student
Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees

Trinity College Dublin



University College Dublin



University College Cork



National University of Ireland Galway



University of Limerick



Accommodation costs – it depends on both where you are living as well as how you want to live when accessing accommodation costs when living in Ireland as a student, but as an example on-campus accommodation at the University College Cork costs between €300 and €650 per month. Self-catering accommodation is a lower cost compared to catered halls of residence, but in this instance, you will have additional expenses such as food costs. In Cork itself rental accommodation is around €500 to €700 per month, but this will give you more flexibility during holidays. Dublin accommodation is usually a little more expensive and can cost from around €800 per month. Outside of Dublin and Cork you will probably find that accommodation costs are lower – it just depends on what you are looking for.

Cost of living – the cost of living in Ireland depends on your lifestyle, but for students in the main cities of Dublin and Cork certain aspects – such as accommodation – can be higher than in other parts of Ireland. Other living costs, for example transportation costs, may be lower. Socialising and other lifestyle costs are estimated at €200 to €300 per month and for LLM students this is particularly important as many of your fellow students will become your colleagues and contacts of the future.

Transport costs – in Dublin and Cork, students use a variety of travel methods and travel costs vary depending on the method. Both cities have comprehensive public transport systems, but many students live near to the campuses, so walking is popular. An annual bike hire membership costs €25 in Dublin and in other places in Ireland many LLM students are reliant on cars for transportation.

Additional course costs – as well as the LLM tuition fees, LLM students will also need to purchase other items such as books and other course materials. This varies between courses but expect to spend €70 to €100 each month on additional costs including attending networking events or purchasing stationery items.

Extra costs for international students – international LLM students will also encounter additional costs. For students who are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they have to register in person with the Irish Naturalisations and Immigration Services (INIS) after completing their registration at their law school. The INIS issues an Irish Residence Permit in the form of an ID card and this costs €300. This is an annual cost for non-EU students and to get this card students must also have health insurance which costs between €160 to €600 per year, and your law school will have all the details about health insurance. All international students and those Irish students moving for studying will have extra settling in costs associated with moving house.

Potential funding – there is some possibility of obtaining financial aid or scholarships which are offered by individual institutions. Generally however, students are expected to have sufficient funds to finance their course and to satisfy the visa clearance officer regarding proof of funding. Seeking part time work may also be a potential option but you must comply with all terms and conditions of your entry visa which only permits international students to work for 20 hours a week. Bear in mind that the rigours of a masters course may not leave sufficient time for working.

Visa requirements for international students in Ireland

If you are a citizen of an EU country no visa is required to study in Ireland. All international students however, are required to obtain a study visa to stay in Ireland. The visa requirements can differ depending on what country you’re from, so check with the Irish embassy in your home country. Usually the documents required to obtain the study visa for Ireland are a confirmed acceptance letter from the university, proof of funding to support the degree, academic transcripts and medical insurance.

To allow ample time to process your application for admission and subsequently the student visa, you should make your application for admission at least six months prior to the commencement of the session in which you wish to enrol.

International student in Ireland case study

International student case studyChoosing to study your LLM overseas is a great idea, as it will be once in a lifetime experience that will broaden your mind as well as your career opportunities, demonstrating to your future employers that you are a dynamic and adaptable individual. By opening yourself up to the possibility of studying at law schools all over the world you are giving yourself many more options when it comes to LLM specialism as well as the potential to live in a brand new culture and learn a whole new language.

University of Limerick StudentNancy Lugeye, from Tanzania,studied the LLM in International Commercial Law at the University of Limerick (UL) in Ireland. Speaking about her reasons to study at UL, she says, “What made me study at the University of Limerick was the various choice of courses it had to offer. The university had the exact course I wanted. I read online about the content of the course and it contained electives that I was passionate about. I compared UL to other universities and I believed the LLM program UL had to offer was perfect for me, which I loved.”

Nancy did her research before deciding upon this LLM, she explains, “The course content is unique. I have compared it with other universities and I found that this one is more diverse. I also like the way the teachers are very encouraging. You always have the support of them, anytime you are just an email away from them.”

She has found studying her LLM overseas as challenging but ultimately very rewarding, enthusing, “I have really benefitted from this course as I have expanded my thoughts and ideas. Most of the things I have learned, last semester, were mostly all new to me. I was unfamiliar with some of the concepts regarding international law as I come from an East African country. I got to compare the EU with the US on the same topic, which gave me the opportunity to understand how other people look at the same thing or the direction others have gone. When I first came to Ireland, I found it challenging to understand the different legal systems. The systems are different to what I was used to in my own country. I have to research and I have to find the answers for myself. I was really impressed because my fellow classmates, especially the Irish ones, were really friendly telling me ‘if you need to know that, there’s a certain book you can read which will be easy’ or ‘you can go to the internet and get a general overview about this’. It was really easy later on after getting to know everyone and making friends. If I wanted to know about the court system here in Ireland, they would tell me to read certain books in order for me to understand.”

So, would she recommend her chosen path to other international LLM students? “Yes, I would recommend the LLM International Commercial Law to others. I have enjoyed it and I have learned a lot. I am still looking forward to learning more. I have made a lot of friends. I’ve enjoyed Ireland, Limerick and UL. I would encourage anyone who is interested in LLM International Commercial Law to give UL an opportunity.”

Find out more about the LLM in International Commercial Law at University of Limerick.

Law courts in Ireland

What to do when you aren’t studying

Ireland is an island nation with a small population which offers natural beauty and beautiful landscapes. With lush countryside, natural reserves and sandy beaches there is much tourism in Ireland and you don't have to travel far to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

At the same time there is exciting urban life in cities such as Dublin, which are of central importance to Irish economy. Dublin is dynamic, vibrant, colourful and diverse. Its nightlife is famous for its pubs and bars, as well as restaurants. There's plenty to do from visiting the Guinness Store House to Dublin Zoo, the castle to the Dublin Museum of Writers, Ireland’s National Gallery, Botanical Gardens and National Leprechaun Museum.

Although it is actually part of the UK rather than Ireland, Northern Ireland – and Belfast in particular – is definitely worth a visit during your time of living in Ireland. Belfast has a history of political instability which is illustrated in murals around West Belfast known as “The Writing on the Walls”. It is now a thriving city with great nightlife and plenty to see of interest. In Northern Ireland, in the northeast coast explore the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom, the Giant Causeway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Nature Reserve. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland include the Honeycomb, The Wishing Chair, The Giant's Granny, Lord Antrim's Parlour, The King and his Nobles, The Keystone, The Chimney Pots, The Fan, The Punchbowl. A number of cultural events also take place such as Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin and the National Ploughing Championship being the most famous. There are also a range of art galleries and museums which beautifully display Irish culture, heritage and traditions.

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.


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