books3 classroom_1 classroom_2 classroom_3 books4 books2 classroom_5

Higher Education in Ireland

Ireland has a reputation for excellence in education.  Our higher education (‘third-level’ education) system is similar to that of the UK and many other European countries, and Irish graduates are highly sought after. 

Bachelors degree programmes

These are undergraduate or first-degree qualifications.  All of the Conservatory’s bachelors programmes are offered with Honours (Level 8 on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications), and all of them last four years, except the BA in Drama (Performance) which lasts three years.  Honours qualifications are generally required for entry to postgraduate study.

Masters degree programmes

These are postgraduate qualifications (Level 9 on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications).  The Conservatory’s masters programmes last one year full-time or two years part-time; the MMus Opera programme (currently subject to validation) is only offered in full-time mode.  


Research programmes lead to the awards of MPhil (generally two years full-time) or PhD (generally three years full-time).  These awards are pegged at Level 10 on Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications.   

Ireland is a member of the European Higher Education Area, established to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe.