Education and diplomas Ireland

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View the Dutch comparison of diplomas from Ireland. Or download a pdf with more detailed information about Irish education.

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Education system Ireland‌ (279.9 kB)

Common diplomas of Ireland

View the Dutch comparison of the most common diplomas from Ireland, the duration of schooling, the type of education and the purpose of these diplomas.

Junior Certificate + transition year (3 + 1 years)

  • Dutch comparison: VMBO-T diploma (NLQF* 2/EQF** 2).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 to 4 years.
  • Type of education: lower secondary general education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to upper secondary general education.

Leaving Certificate Applied

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma for the general education component (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary and vocational secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher professional education.

Leaving Certificate (at least 6 exam subjects with at least 2 subjects at higher level with a grade of A, B, C or H1-H4)

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: secondary general education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: secondary general education, with a few vocational components.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

Higher Certificate

  • Dutch comparison: at least 2 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to university Bachelors, with 1 to 2 years of exemptions.

Bachelor’s (ordinary) degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 to 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher diplomas and postgraduate diplomas.

Bachelor’s (honours) degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to university Masters, postgraduate diplomas and higher diplomas.

Master’s degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Master of Philosophy

  • Dutch comparison: WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: research based education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to doctorate programmes.

* NLQF = Dutch Qualifications Framework
** EQF = European Qualifications Framework

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