StudyQA — University College Dublin — Dublin — Ireland: Fees, Rankings, Courses, Admissions

University College Dublin

Dublin, Ireland
Site: Founded: 1854 year Type of University:Public 251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 1338 pts. No. Students: 32387 No. Staff: 3170 Languages: English Phone: +35317167777 Fax: +35312694409
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About University College Dublin

University College Dublin has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century under the leadership of the renowned educationalist John Henry Cardinal Newman. Since its foundation in 1854, the University has flourished and made a unique and substantial contribution to the creation of modern Ireland, based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity.

UCD is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities; an environment where undergraduate education,masters and PhD training, research, innovation and community engagement form a dynamic spectrum of activity.

The international standing of UCD has grown in recent years; it is currently ranked within the top 1% of institutions world-wide. UCD is also Ireland's most globally engaged university with over 30,000 students drawn from over 120 countries, and includes 5,500 students based at locations outside of Ireland. The University's main Dublin campus occupies an extensive parkland estate of more than 130 hectares and offers world-leading facilities including theUCD O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD Sutherland School of Law, UCD Lochlan Quinn School of Business and UCD Student Centre.

As Ireland's largest university, with its great strength and diversity of disciplines, UCD embraces its role to contribute to the flourishing of Ireland; through the study and discussion of people, society, business, economy, culture, languages and the creative arts, as well as through research and innovation. The University's Strategy 2015-2020 outlines the objectives and major strategic initiatives set in place in order to accomplish UCD's mission and vision for this era.

Tackling global challenges: Research & Innovation at UCD

Research and innovation are essential drivers of a dynamic economy, an informed society and a vibrant culture. The spectrum of research and innovation at UCD encompasses individual scholars, small, medium and large research groups, start-up companies and large-scale collaborations with industry and other partners. Research is conducted within each of the University's extensive range of disciplines, and in multidisciplinary research programmes addressing challenges of global scale.

In 2013/14 UCD researchers secured €114 million in research grants from national and international funding agencies, companies and foundations. Since 2004 UCD researchers have secured over €1 billion in such grants. Their research underpins national research and technology institutes and centres, including the €75 million Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the largest research grant in the history of the Irish state.

UCD has had nationally-leading success in many of the most prestigious European awards, including the European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie schemes.

Over the last decade UCD researchers have doubled their annual number of papers in the international literature and have co-authored publications with more than 7,000 international researchers from more than 130 countries. These papers are cited by other researchers at a rate that is 59% above the world average.

As Ireland's leader in innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation, UCD's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship recognises the importance of actively participating, contributing and collaborating to exploit leading-edge research and development outputs. In 2014 UCD was ranked 5th among European universities for its track record in educating successful entrepreneurs.

UCD offers the biggest start-up incubator centre and support in Ireland. Supports for innovation include NovaUCD, the centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs; NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre; and the UCD Enterprise Gateway. To date 30 UCD spin-out companies and 242 start-ups have been supported by NovaUCD and over €100 million in equity funding has been raised for spin-outs.

History of UCD

Originally known as the Catholic University of Ireland and subsequently as the Royal University, the university became UCD in 1908 and a constituent college of the National University of Ireland (NUI). In 1997, UCD became an autonomous university within the loose federal structure of the NUI and UCD students are awarded degrees of the National University of Ireland.

UCD has been a major contributor to the making of modern Ireland. Many UCD students and staff participated in the struggle for Irish independence and the university has produced numerous Irish Presidents and Taoisigh (Prime Ministers) in addition to generations of Irish business, professional, cultural and sporting leaders. Among UCD’s well-known graduates are authors (Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle, Flann O’Brien), actors (Gabriel Byrne, Brendan Gleeson), directors (Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan) and sports stars such as Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll and former Manchester United and Ireland captain Kevin Moran. Perhaps the best known of all its graduates is the writer James Joyce, who completed his Bachelor of Arts at the university in 1902.


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition  - Department of Education and Skills, Ireland


  • As of 2015, it was ranked by the QS World University Rankings as the 154th best university in the world and the 66th best in Europe. 
  • TheTimes Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UCD as 176th in the world in 2015-2016.
  • QS Subject Ranking: Veterinary Science, 201540th globally, 16th in Europe, 1st in Ireland
  • The Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School of UCD is rated regularly as being among the 100 best schools for Business or Economics worldwide.
  • Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2015.73rd globally.
  • Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2014.35th in Europe.
  • The Economist (Full-time MBA ranking) 2014.63rd globally.


  • The Sunday Times University of the Year 2006.

Student Life @UCD

Students' Union

The students' union in the college has been an active part of campaigns run by the National Union, USI, and has played a highly significant role in the life of the college since its foundation in 1974.

The Union has also taken significant stances on issues of human rights that have hit the headlines in Ireland and around the world, particularly in becoming the first institution in the world to implement a ban of Coca-Cola products in Student Union controlled shops on the basis of alleged human and trade union rights abuses in Colombia. This ban was overturned in 2010.

The Union's main Governing Body is the Union Council which meets every two weeks during term. Council membership consists of 180+ seats for Class Representatives, ten directly elected officers of the Union Executive and five Executive officers elected by Union Council at its first meeting each year. Their term commences on 1 July in the year of their election and lasts for twelve months. Sabbatical elections take place in late February of each year. To date, students from Arts, Science and Law have predominated in holding council seats.

From 2013, there is a new bar on campus in the Student Union building and near the gym. There is also a faculty bar in Newman building.


UCD has over 60 sports clubs based on campus with 28 sports scholarships awarded annually.

UCD competes in the most popular Irish field sports of Gaelic Games, Hurling, Soccer and Rugby Union. UCD is the only Irish University to compete in both the major Irish leagues for rugby and soccer with University College Dublin A.F.C. and University College Dublin R.F.C.competing in the top leagues of their respective competitions. UCD GAA have won the most Sigerson Cup (Gaelic Football) whilst they have the second most Fitzgibbon Cup (hurling) wins, both the major University competitions in the sports in Ireland.

UCD sport annually compete in the Colours Match with Trinity College, Dublin in a range of sports, most notably in rugby. The rugby side has won 35 of the 57 contests. UCD RFC has produced 13 British and Irish Lions as well 70 Irish Rugby International and 5 for other nations.

Whilst top flight soccer is semi professional with many players going to England, UCD is still the only University soccer side in the top division of a Western European league. A result of particular note came in 1985, when UCD drew with Everton F.C. in the 1st round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, which Everton went on to win.

Other notable team sports in the college basketball side, UCD Marian, victors in the 2012 Irish Basketball Superleague.

The Belfield campus is home to a wide range of sports facilities. Facilities include the National Hockey stadium (which has previously hosted the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals and the Men's Hockey European Championship Finals) and UCD Bowl a 3,000 capacity stadium used for rugby and soccer. UCD has one of the largest fitness centres in the country, squash courts, tennis courts, an indoor rifle range, over twenty sports pitches (for rugby, soccer and gaelic games), an indoor climbing wall and two large sports halls. The Sporscenter was added to in 2012 with the competition of an Olympic-size swimming pool, a tepidarium and a revamped fitness center as part of the re-development of the UCD Student Centre.

The University hosted the IFIUS World Interuniversity Games in October 2006.

UCD American Football

Leinster Rugby

Leinster Rugby's headquarters and training facility are located on campus, housing the Academy, Senior Squad and Administrative arms of the rugby club. Their facilities include an office block and a high performance facility, located next to the Institute of Sport and Health (ISH). They also use UCD's pitches. It was completed in 2012 at a cost of 2.5 million euro.


There are currently over fifty student societies in the university. They cater for many interests ranging from large-scale party societies such as Ag Soc, Arts Soc, Commerce and Economics Society, ISS (and its subgroup AfricaSoc), INDSoc(Indian Society) and MSoc(Malaysian Society) who have the largest student communities of Indian and Malaysian students in Ireland. There are also religiously-interested groups such as the Christian Union, the Islamic Society and the Secular Humanist Society, a television station Campus Television Network, academic-oriented societies like the Economic Society, UCD Philosophy Society, Mathsoc, Classical Society, and An Cumann Gaelach, an Irish-language society and such charities as St. Vincent de Paul, UCDSVP. There are two main societies for international students, ESN UCD (part of the Erasmus Student Network) and the International Student's Society.

Many UCD societies engage in voluntary work on-campus and across Dublin. For example, the UCD Student Legal Service is a student-run society that provides free legal information clinics to the students of UCD.

Irish political parties are represented on campus including Ógra Fianna Fáil, Young Fine Gael, and UCD Labour Youth. The college has two debating unions.

The oldest societies are the Literary and Historical Society, which is currently in its 160th session, and the University College Dublin Law Society which was founded in 1911. Both of these societies are the major debating societies of the college and two of the leading ones in Ireland. Ireland's most prestigious competition, the Irish Times Debate the L&H has 11 team wins and 12 individual ones with the Law Society achieving 2 team wins and 2 individual wins respectively. The two societies have also been successful further afield at the UK and Ireland John Smith Memorial Mace (formerly The Observer Mace) with the L&H winning 5 titles and Lawsoc 2 titles. UCD has hosted theWorld University Debating Championships twice, most recently in 2006. At the start of the 12/13 Academic Year, the Literary and Historical Society achieved a membership of 5143 becoming the largest student society in UCD and in Europe. The UCD Dramsoc is the university drama society, it is noted for an active membership and a number of notable alumni. The university also has a successful sinfonia called University College Dublin Symphony Orchestra.


Two student newspapers are currently published at the university, the broadsheet University Observer and the tabloid College Tribune

Radio and television

UCD also has a student radio station, Belfield FM, broadcasting at selected times throughout the academic year across the campus and surrounds on FM and online on the station's website. The station is independently run by the UCD Broadcasting Society and has produced well known Irish radio presenters such as Ryan Tubridy and Rick O'Shea(of RTÉ fame) and Barry Dunne of 98FM. Belfield FM is the successor to UCD FM, which was operated within the entertainment office of the students' union as a service for students. Initially launched in 1992, the station rebranded in 2000 and has operated since then under the current name. As a result of the implementation of the students' union's new constitution at the beginning of the 2012 / 2013 academic year, the station now operates as a student society.

Why UCD?

  • Ireland’s Global University
  • Ireland's most popular University for international students with more than 5,000 international students (30% of international students in Ireland study in UCD)
  • International Student Barometer Survey
  • 90.9% of international students surveyed in UCD reported that they were satisfied overall with the level of support they received in UCD
  • 25% international staff
  • UCD has 160,000+ alumni around the world
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251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 832
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251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 739
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251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 1514
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