Health Insurance


All students should have health insurance cover. This may be provided by your government through the public healthcare system or alternatively through private medical insurance. In the case of visa requiring students it is mandatory before a visa will be issued. Please review details below to learn about your health insurance requirements and options.

Health Insurance | ICOS (

Non-EU Students

Study period less than 12 months

All non-EU students must have private health insurance for immigration purposes.  This must cover you from the date you arrive to Ireland until the date you leave.  Alternatively, you must produce a travel insurance policy that covers you from the date you arrive until the date you start college (i.e. start date of medical insurance policy). 

Immigration will only grant permission to reside in Ireland if you can produce private health insurance policy documentation.

You will need to arrange the health insurance yourself but UCC have agreed a special rate with Study and Protect for any student studying in Ireland for less than 12 months.  It is a minimal cost of between €150 and €180 per year. 

In the case of visa requiring students it is mandatory to submit private health insurance details with the visa application. (The health insurance document must be written in English).

See here for more information regarding the above.

Renewal of Registration

See here for more information regarding the above.

UK Citizens

UK citizens have the same rights as an Irish citizen if you are ordinarily resident.  This means that you are here to study a course of more than 12 months duration. 

If you are here as a visiting student for one semester or one year only, the UK government will pay for your healthcare. 

See here for more information. 

*Updated 12 August 2022*

Visiting EU Students

Visiting European students are expected to have their European Health Insurance Card, which is issued in their home country, prior to departure and before arrival in Ireland.

While EU students can avail of the public health service all students are advised that it is highly desirable to have cover for private medical care. Such cover would ensure that a student has choice of doctor, choice of hospital and choice of hospital accommodation in the event of illness.

All Students

Students are advised that in addition to medical insurance being a visa and immigration requirement the cost of Healthcare in Ireland is high. A one night stay in hospital can cost in excess of €1200. Therefore we would recommend that all students carry medical insurance in case they are taken ill or are involved in an accident whilst studying with us.  

Students often wonder why private health insurance is necessary given that UCC has a Student Health Department.  You need private medical insurance to cover any emergency situation where you might need to be hospitalised or access to private consultations.

Options for Private Health Insurance

A. Obtain health cover from home country. Please ensure that it is valid in Ireland. Please note that in cases where there is a high deductible (excess) it may be less expensive to purchase health insurance in Ireland.

B. Obtain private health insurance from providers operating in the Irish Market.

C. Some students have also availed of the services of Bupa Global.  Details are available at


Irish Health Insurance Companies:

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The most competitively priced insurance policy available is the Medicover Standard Medical Expenses policy underwritten by Chubb at €160 for cover for a year.  This is available for students intending to study in Ireland for less than 12 months.

Already a policy holder? Contact their concierge service with your policy questions on 083 378 8214.

VHI Healthcare


UCC Students may purchase private health insurance from VHI by going to: UCC Student VHI

Laya Healthcare

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Please check when cover commences what exactly is covered in the policy. Give consideration to repatriation.

International Office

Oifig Idirnáisiúnta

Roseleigh, Western Road, Cork, T12 R229

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