Working, Internships and Graduate Employment
Students have to be studying in Ireland on a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate programme before they are permitted to work in the country.
International students that hold an immigration Stamp 2 are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during the university term. During the holiday period students can work on a full-time basis – up to 40 hours per week. This means you can work for 20 hours per week during term time or full-time (up to 40 hours) during June, July, August and September, as well as during the Christmas break.
Please note that the information below is for guideline purposes only. Students should familiarise themselves with the Immigration Guidelines for Degree Students.
Some undergraduate programmes have a 6-9 month Internships (cooperative education or CoOp) placement period. The Cooperative Education & Careers team at the University of Limerick is responsible for the CoOp programme. Every year, they work with about 1,500 employers, both in Ireland and internationally, to secure placements for 1,600 undergraduates. CoOp is an essential part of the overall academic programme. Cooperative Education gives students the chance to experience a real work environment before they graduate. There are no internships or placements in the taught Masters programmes.
Click here for further information on the UL Cooperative Education and Careers Division.
Our career development programme equips students with career management skills for life, not just for their graduate role. This progressive programme is predicated on engaging with students from the first year of their degree. Specifically, it supports students in developing an understanding of their abilities, interests, preferences and motivations and impact on career-related decision making. Over 15,000 students and employers visit the careers service annually. As well as one-to-one careers consultations, the Careers Service offers targeted employability programmes (accredited and non-accredited) on topics such as professional development; building a career; skills and competences for the world of work; development of e-portfolios and CVs; and planning for postgraduate study. There is also an extensive graduate recruitment programme, advertising over 1,500 graduate vacancies annually and hosting the largest graduate recruitment fair nationally. At postgraduate level, UL provides a suite of accredited sector-specific professional development programmes, co-delivered with employers.
Our institutional commitment to employability has made us the University of Choice for employers. UL graduates consistently enjoy the highest level of graduate employment nationally. At 96%, the employment rate for UL graduates remains steadily high. UL is also ranked in the Top 200 Global Universities for Graduate Employability (source: QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). In recent years, UL’s clear positioning in the employability domain has been endorsed by a number of awards, both national and international including the National Employability Challenge, the Graduate of the Year and the World Association for Cooperative Education Roll of Honour.
The findings of the UL Graduate Outcome Surveys can be found here
Note, for information on COVID-19 and the Third Level Graduate Scheme, please see here.
The Graduate scheme enables non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for period of time after they have graduated from their respective course. During this period of time they can seek employment and work in Ireland without an employment permit. Entry to the scheme is facilitated by application and the start of the scheme is based on the official receipt of exam results.
Twelve Month Graduate Scheme
This scheme is open to a non-EEA student who has acquired an Honours Degree i.e. Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualification from an Irish third-level educational institution.
Twenty Four Month Graduate Scheme
This scheme is open to a non-EEA student who has acquired a Masters Degree, a Postgraduate Diploma or a Doctorate Degree, i.e. a qualification from evel 9 – 10 on the National Framework of Qualification from an Irish third-level educational institution.
Applying for the Graduate Scheme
It is important to note that third level graduates are not automatically included on this scheme, i.e. individuals must apply for entry on to the scheme. Applications may be made at the applicant’s local Garda Síochána registration office.
Application Documents Required
- An original letter signed by the College Registrar (on the headed paper of the College) stating that the applicant has completed the course of study satisfactorily and the date results were made available. This can be requested from the UL international Education Division.
- Current passport.
- Existing IPR (formerly GNIB) Card.
- Medical Insurance for the 12 months.
- Official UL transcripts.
- A payment of €300 by credit/debit card (cash not accepted).
- Application fees.
- The normal fees for the issuing of Certificates of Registration will apply to this Scheme.
Permission to remain
Persons who qualify under this scheme will be granted Stamp 1G for a 12 month period starting on the date upon which the person receives their exam results. The purpose of the permission to remain under this Scheme is to seek employment and gain a Hosting Agreement, Green Card or Work Permit. After 12 months, you may be eligible for the Green Card or Work Permit Scheme. This permission is granted by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation. Please see here for more information.
A person granted an extension to their permission to remain in the State under the Graduate Scheme shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
- Will be allowed to work for up to 40 hours per week without an employment permit
- Will not engage in self employment or operate a business in the State
- A student can only avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme once. Once a student has availed of the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme they are not permitted to re-enter full-time education and to be registered as a student at the end of this period.
This scheme shall automatically expire after a period of 12 months for those with an undergraduate qualification, 24 months for those with a postgraduate qualification
Irish Universities Association - 'Employable You'
The Irish Universities Association have published a guide ‘Employable You’ to help international students and graduates with their employability journey. The guide focuses on employment in Ireland and contains information on topics such as finding work, applying for a job and knowing your rights.
UL Careers Services
The primary mission of the University of Limerick Career Services is to support students and recent graduates in developing and implementing successful career plans, and to facilitate the recruitment process for students and employers.
The UL Careers Service frequently organise great online workshops which will help give you that competitive edge in the job market.