Where to Study in Ireland to Get a First Class Honours Degree


Which Universities in Ireland are Most Likely to Award a First Class Degree?

Last updated: 30 July 2023 Study in Ireland

Irish Universities Produce Top Quality Graduates

According to estimates, at least two out of three Irish university graduates have secured top grades in 2018, resulting in an increase in the number and quality of graduates completing their degrees with first class or upper second class grades. These numbers have significantly improved over the last decade, with Irish universities securing better ranks across global university league tables and producing superior quality research output.

Graduates with honours degrees from Irish universities are highly employable and estimates show that 62% of all honours degree graduates from Ireland were in employment within 9 months of completion, whereas almost 81% of those with masters and doctoral degrees were in employment. As employers are more likely to recruit graduates with at least a 2.1 degree or higher, it is important for students to know where to study to get a first class honours degree.

Evidence suggests that Irish University education is top quality, with sustained growth displayed in the number of first class graduate degrees awarded in Ireland. This is because of:

If you want to learn more about Irish universities and courses and get expert advice on how to study in Ireland, book a free consultation with SI-Ireland.

Study in Ireland to get first class degrees

Universities in Ireland with Most First Class Graduates

According to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), as many as 64% graduates from all seven universities in Ireland received first class or upper second class grades (2.1 or higher) from 2015-2017. Based on the latest available data, universities in Ireland where students are most likely to secure first class grades include:

1. Trinity College Dublin

TCD’s grading system is slightly different from other Irish universities with regards to the categorisation of second class degree.

2. Dublin City University

In the education sector where top grades are harder to attain, 5.5% DCU students were awarded first class honours.

3. University College Dublin (UCD)

Grading across programmes show that 17% of business graduates at UCD secured a first class honours degree while 72% received a 2.1.

4. University College Cork

5. Maynooth University

6. NUI Galway

7. University of Limerick

Study in Ireland

If you want to learn more about studying at the globally ranked Irish universities and get great career opportunities, book a free consultation with SI-Ireland for expert guidance and advice.


Universities featured in this article:

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • University College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • Maynooth University
  • University of Galway
  • University of Limerick
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