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Ireland's Global University

University College Dublin



With a huge campus, University College Dublin (UCD) welcomes almost 8,000 international students from over 138 countries. It is ranked among the top one per cent of higher education providers worldwide, offering a wide choice of degrees for its students. Its faculty comprises of research–intensive, national and international opinion leaders and influencers. The faculty ensure that students receive the best education possible in a dynamic and supportive environment.

UCD has the highest publication volume of all Irish universities and is a member of several international research and education networks such as Universities 21, the World Universities Network and UNICA. With global centres, including in Delhi and Dubai, UCD also has a presence around the world through its overseas programmes.

It is based in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, with its elegant Georgian architecture making it one of Europe’s most attractive capitals. It’s a relatively small, safe and accessible city well serviced by its public transport system.

Situated on 133 hectares of picturesque parkland, the UCD campus offers the best infrastructure and accommodation. Students enjoy access to world class teaching and research facilities, interactive laboratories and much more.

The university also houses world-class sports facilities including a huge sport centre and an Olympic sized swimming pool. Some sports that UCD students can choose from include soccer, rugby, hockey and swimming. Eight UCD students qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, representing Ireland - resulting in a silver medal and Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal.

UCD’s 269,000 alumni network is spread over 165 countries, with graduates holding positions in leading organisations around the world. UCD is Ireland’s number one university for graduate employability for the years 2018 and 2019. 93% of the university’s graduates progress to higher studies or into employment six months of course completion.

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What's new

The UCD Moore Centre for Business forms part of the EUR 20 million investment in the UCD College of Business, aimed at expanding facilities and providing the best possible learning environments for students. The new facility boasts a 320-seat lecture theatre, numerous working zones and has a focus on interactive learning. Students will be able to access a media suite, skills quarter support area, an entrepreneurship and innovation hub as well as a THINK Lab as the new facility.

The project has been supported through a donation by Angela Moore, in memory of UCD alumnus George Moore who had forged a successful career as a businessman and philanthropist.

Dean of the UCD College of Business, Professor Anthony Brabazon, commented, “As Ireland’s leading business school we constantly challenge our offering to ensure we have world-class facilities that present our students every opportunity to excel and differentiate themselves as they enter the world of business.”

“The UCD Moore Centre for Business will allow current and future students to learn in an environment that celebrates innovation, creativity and adaptability—characteristics we know to be valued in the workforce and society as we face bold and audacious global challenges,” he added.

UCD continues to enjoy an enviable reputation across the globe as a go to destination for business programmes. This has been noted by the Financial Times Global Masters rankings, which placed the MSC in Finance programme from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, at number 36 in the world and 30th in Europe. In addition, the MSc in International Management programme is ranked in the top ten master’s in management programmes in the world. 

The UCD College of Business is particularly noteworthy as the only school in Ireland to hold accreditation from three prestigious centres of business, namely EQUIS (Europe), AACSB (U.S.) and AMBA (UK).

Teaching quality

Teaching quality

UCD is well-known around the world for the quality of its teaching and learning. In the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject, it ranked in the top 50 for the following subjects: Veterinary Science; Nursing; Library & Information Management; English Language and Literature; Engineering – Mineral & Mining; and Sports-related subjects. UCD has a further 14 subjects in the top 100 and another 35 in the top 200. The UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business is placed 23rd in the Financial Times' ranking of leading European Business Schools and has consistently ranked in the top 100 in the Financial Times’ MBA rankings since 2000. The UCD Masters in International Management is ranked 7th in the world and MSc Finance is ranked 36th in the world.

UCD is ranked within the top one per cent of higher education institutions across the world, and it has the best internationally accredited curriculum in the country. With centres in cities such as Beijing, Dubai and New York, students can enjoy a global university that is a member of a number of international research and education networks including Universities 21, UNICA and the World Universities Network.

More than 30% of the faculty is made up of international academics, and more than 50 percent of the research-funded staff are non-Irish.

The undergraduate curriculum is large, diverse and offers UCD Horizons, where students can explore other areas they are interested in alongside their chosen degree. All programmes have both core and optional module selections, so everyone can adapt and grow in a unique way.

For postgraduate students, UCD is home to a vibrant graduate community based on two campuses and associated research and teaching centres. A wide variety of programmes are available to study, including doctoral, taught and research master’s, graduate diploma and certificate programmes.

Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

As a country, Ireland places within the top ten globally for the quality of its education system. It has a higher education curriculum that is tailored to the needs of the competitive economy and is noted for the knowledge transfer between institutions and industry.

UCD was named the top university in 2018–19 for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings. 93 per cent of students enter into professional employment or further study within six months of graduating from UCD.

UCD has a global alumni network of some 269,000 graduates working in many top organisations. Many graduates remain in Ireland after studying and pursue careers there, as the Irish economy is one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone.

The UCD alumni network is spread out over 165 countries with many at the top of their respective fields. This makes UCD alumni and graduates both international and influential. UCD has among their alumni four Irish Taoisigh (Prime Ministers), three Irish presidents, four current Irish cabinet ministers as well as five of Ireland’s European Commissioners.

Careers Network

At UCD, students can take advantage of the Careers Network that provides a variety of support to help with decision making and career plans. Services include:

  • Personal career guidance
  • Resource room
  • Workshops
  • Interview preparation
  • CV support
Student safety

Student safety

International students will be pleased to know that Ireland is a safe country to live in and that it was placed at 10th in the Global Peace Index, out of 163 countries.

Accommodation at UCD is safe and secure. Students can choose from several options on both Belfied and Blackrock campuses, or there are off-campus options in catered housing at Donnybrook. The Residences team is dedicated to providing a safe experience for all students, staff and visitors.

Safety is promoted across all UCD campuses through the following:

  • Confidential emergency phone line available 24/7
  • 24/7 campus patrolling – on foot and in vehicles
  • CCTV surveillance
  • Walk Safe escort service
  • In Case of Emergency (ICE) programme
  • Unicare – a programme which encourages the entire university community to learn and cooperate to ensure a safe environment.
Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic and English language entry requirements vary by course. The admissions team is experienced at assessing applications from all over the world. Students can select their country and find further information about the qualifications accepted. 

Prospective students can apply to UCD through the University’s Online Application System from the 1st of October. The deadline for undergraduates is the 15th of July. There are usually no specific deadlines for graduate applications. All applications are processed on a rolling basis, and some programmes are more competitive than others and can reach capacity before the given deadline, so students are advised to apply early.

English language requirements

As programmes are taught in English, international students will need to prove a high level of English proficiency. Normally an average IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with at least a score of 6.0 in each band, or equivalent, is required for admission for both undergraduate and graduate students, but some programmes may have a higher requirement.

Pathway Programmes

UCD offers a number of pathway programmes for both undergraduate and graduate courses. These courses have been designed for students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry.

Supported by the International Study Centre, with its world-class learning environment, students enrolled in the International Foundation Year pathway programme are given excellent support and guidance. This allows them to develop the requisite skills to confidently progress to undergraduate degree studies. 

A preparatory programme for postgraduate studies is also available. The UCD pre-master’s pathway programme aims to facilitate the development English language proficiency and academic skills enabling students to successfully adjust to the rigors of a new learning culture at postgraduate level.

Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

UCD recognises student excellence and achievement by providing a large range of scholarships and awards, which celebrate the diverse talents of students. Several of these awards are held in high esteem by employers and industry.

To award outstanding achievement and to attract students of the highest calibre from around the world, UCD offers a number of scholarships to international students. These are competitive and based on academic excellence, country of origin and subject area.

For 2020, a few new scholarships have been created for international students. Students will have to be admitted to UCD before they can apply for a scholarship. Awards available include:

  • UCD Global Excellence Scholarships for International Students
  • UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Scholarships
  • Government of Ireland Scholarships. 

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Key facts


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020-2021
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2020-2021
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020
Source: ARWU


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