Spring Intake at Irish Universities – The What, When and Why

Spring Intake at Irish Universities – The What, When and Why

Written by Taru Medha

Home to some of the top 300 universities in the world (according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings), it is no surprise that Ireland is a popular study destination for students. And students have the option of choosing between two intakes in a year to start their Masters course

The spring intake starts in January/February. Even though it is not considered the primary intake for Ireland, students choose this intake for plenty of reasons. If you’re thinking of applying for the next spring intake, we have all the information you need from important dates to the application timeline.


Key features of spring intake in Ireland
Application end time September/October
Acceptance letters November
Term dates Starts in February

The spring intake

The spring intake usually starts in January/February. Since it is not the primary intake (autumn), not all Irish universities offer courses to start in the spring so check what the start date options are for your subject of interest.

Applications are usually open until September/October (the year before). Deadlines can vary with universities, and you should check before you plan your applications.

The spring intake application timeline

We’ve given a timeline below to help you streamline the process of applying for your Masters in Ireland.

Step #1 – Start now – do your research!

Take your time deciding which subject and Irish university meets your postgraduate goals. Since not all universities offer courses in the spring intake, be extra sure your desired programme is available for a February start!

Step #2 – July/August – Get supporting documents ready

Once you’ve found the courses you’re interested in, it’s time to start getting all the required documents ready. You can find this information in course listings but don’t hesitate to get in touch with the university if you have any questions.

You will most likely need to submit research proposals, references and English language test results (if you are not a native speaker).

Step #3 – August/Early September – Search for funding

Whether you’ve lived in Ireland all your life or are an international student on a budget, there’s plenty of help on offer to fund your studies. Irish PhD funding and scholarships can help cover tuition fee and, in some cases, even include a stipend for your living costs.

Step #4 – September/October – Apply to your university

Now that you have everything with you, you can go ahead and apply to your desired universities. You’ll most likely start hearing back in November.

Step #5 – November/December – Apply for a student visa

Depending on your nationality you might need to apply for a student visa to study in Ireland. If you need a visa, you’ll only be able to apply once you have a confirmed place at an Irish university. You must give yourself enough time to complete the visa application and account for any processing delays. You can usually expect a decision within 8 weeks of making the application.

This is also the best time to start looking for accommodation in Ireland. Student accommodation is competitive, so it is always a good idea to start your search as early as possible!

Step #6 – January/February – Get ready to fly!

Now all there’s left to do is fly! It is a good idea to arrive a few days before your course to get used to a new place and its culture!

You can read our guides on Irish universities, student visas and life as a student for more information.

Why should you study in Ireland in the spring intake?

Even though the spring intake is less popular, there are many reasons you might choose to apply for this intake.

  • Class sizes are smaller so you’ll have a more personalised experience with the teachers.
  • Gives you more time to prep your application and make sure you’ve taken any language tests.
  • There might be less competition for student jobs that are available on campus as the autumn intake will have sorted theirs already.
  • You don’t have to wait an entire year if you miss out on the autumn intake.

Find a PhD in Ireland

Browse Irish PhDs in our programme finder


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Last Updated: 13 July 2023