Ireland leaves Albion after 18 successful months which has seen the club’s youngsters make the step up to the Under-21 Premier League this season following Brighton’s promotion to a category one status in the summer.
He becomes the head of coaching and coach education at QPR’s academy, where he will work alongside head coach Chris Ramsey and director of football Les Ferdinand in developing players for both the club’s elite development squad and the first team.
The 43-year-old told qpr.co.uk: “I’ve worked with every age group, from under-9s when I started through to the under-18s at Blackburn Rovers and the under-21s at Brighton.
“Having worked through the age groups and knowing how Chris and Les work, I’m looking forward to installing what they’ve done previously at QPR.”
Ferdinand welcomed the appointment, saying: “We’re delighted to be bringing somebody of Simon’s experience to the club.
“One of our primary aims is to progress more players from the academy into the first team and we’re confident Simon’s arrival is another step in the right direction.
“It’ll be my job to make sure the philosophy’s adhered to and pushed through the age groups, starting from the very bottom to the top.
“From the first team downwards, the club is looking to play a certain way, go about doing things in a certain way and focus massively on the development of the individuals within the team.
“Hopefully we can make that pathway an easier one for players to progress through to the first-team squad. First and foremost that’s what I’ll be trying to do.”
Ireland’s appointment follows the departure of Nick Daws, who vacated the position to join Scunthorpe in October.
Brighton have asked under-18 coach Simon Rusk to take interim charge of the under-21 team while they find a permanent replacement for Ireland.