English language education

English language schools

There are many schools and courses for students who want to improve their English language skills.

The majority of English language education (ELE) schools in Ireland are privately run and offer preparation programmes for the major English language examinations, such as TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge and Trinity College (London).

English language teaching (ELT) programmes are also available at many private schools and a number of universities (University College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Dublin City University and University of Limerick).

Many can schools provide students with a full package of tuition, homestay accommodation and extra-curricular activities.

Quality assurance for English language schools

The Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services (ACELS) runs a quality assurance scheme for ELE schools who are registered with it. The list of ELE schools and organisations in Ireland recognised by ACELS is published annually. ACELS is managed by the International Education division of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

QQI will introduce a new International Education Mark (IEM) for the ELE sector. The IEM will be a voluntary quality scheme to protect international learners. Providers who wish to recruit non-EEA learners on programmes that require immigration permissions or study visas will be required to apply to use the IEM.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has developed guidelines for English language course providers:

Travelling to Ireland to study

If you are a non-EEA national coming to study in Ireland you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). Citizens of certain countries must apply for a student visa to enter Ireland before they travel here to study. You can find out more in our document on the immigration rules for non-EEA students.

You can also find out more about moving to Ireland for third-level education.


Tuition costs for English language courses in Ireland vary depending on the English language school and the type of programme you choose. You should check fees with your English language school.

Further information

Irish Council for International Students

41 Morehampton Road
Dublin 4

Tel: (01) 660 5233
Fax: (01) 668 2320

Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Marlborough Street
Dublin 1
D01 RC96

Tel: (01) 889 6400

Quality & Qualifications Ireland

The Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services (ACELS)

26-27 Denzille Lane
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 905 8185
Page edited: 6 November 2023