Take a PTE Academic test in or nearby Ireland
Get to know the most favored universities and programmes to study abroad in Ireland.
Ireland was inhabited as early as 8,000 BC. Its early Brehon Law system was highly sophisticated, and when Europe entered the Dark Ages, Ireland's monasteries remained a beacon of culture and learning throughout the continent. However, Ireland was to face its own dark times, first with the Viking and then the Anglo-Norman invasions. Ireland's darkest era, the Great Famine of 1845-49, saw over a million die and another million emigrate, sowing the first seeds of the Irish Diaspora.
The early 1900s saw a doomed uprising in 1916; a war of independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty. This treaty ended British rule in 26 of the 32 counties and established an Irish Free State. In 1937, a new constitution re-established the Irish Free State as Ireland, and in 1949, Ireland was declared a Republic.
In Northern Ireland, the initially peaceful civil rights marches of the 1960s were followed by several decades of violence. However, in 1998, a peace-plan was agreed by all parties; organisations on all sides lay down their arms, and Northern Ireland is now at peace. In 2013, the Global Peace Index ranked the Republic of Ireland the 12th most peaceful nation on earth.
Punching well above its weight on the international stage, Ireland's distinctive historical circumstances combine with its unique position as a European post-colonial state, its neutrality and its trusted partner status in so many conflict zones to ensure a sustained and valuable impact. Today Ireland is recognised as a global leader (both academically and in practice) in the fields of international relations & law, peace and conflict studies, human rights and development.
The Republic of Ireland is also one of the most globalised economies in the world, according to a 2013 index produced by Ernst and Young in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit. Since the 1970s, Ireland has evolved from a largely agrarian society to become a major player in the international software, food, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.
In the wake of a major financial contraction over the period of 2008-10, the Irish government has implemented a series of tough reforms. Having shaken off the excesses of the 'Celtic Tiger' boom-years, the economy returned to growth in 2011, and all indicators are for steady, if modest, growth for the years to come.
10 most popular study destinations for students in Ireland
2. United Kingdom
5. United States