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University College Dublin

Ireland Ireland

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Ireland's Global University

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University College Dublin (UCD) is the largest university in Ireland. Based in the country’s capital city, UCD is home to a global community with more than 8,000 international students from 139 countries.

UCD was ranked 185th in the world in the most recent QS World University Rankings. It was also named as the best university in Ireland for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings, with 93% of the university’s graduates progressing to higher studies or into employment within six months of course completion.

Many students attend UCD because of its excellence in teaching and research. Additionally, they are attracted to the programme portfolio and the holistic experience that is offered. The main university campus is located in Belfield, Dublin, on 133 hectares of beautiful parkland estate.

Being a student at UCD means that there are countless clubs and societies to join, where everyone can explore their interests and make new friends. This, alongside the friendly campus environment, offers an unrivalled experience for those who are looking to study overseas.

International students at UCD will enjoy living in a country that has modern cities as well as thousands of years of history and culture. Ireland is an ideal destination for both undergraduate and graduate study with the Irish education system ranked in the global top ten. UCD graduates are highly sought after in government, industry, NGOs and organisations worldwide.

Ireland offers opportunities to world markets as it is one of the most open and globally connected countries worldwide. Its geographic location, and EU and Eurozone membership, means that there are easily accessible international links to the entire world.

Average tuition fees per year

Fees are for indicative purposes, check with institution for details


Fees are for indicative purposes, check with institution for details


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What's new

Times Higher Education recently released its first ever University Impact Rankings, which saw University College Dublin listed in the top 100 universities for social and economic impact. Added to this accolade, the university placed 58th globally when measured using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) benchmarks. Ireland’s higher education system is also noted, second only to Canada, for its social and economic impact.

The UN SDG’s are designed to address global issues like the eradication of poverty and hunger, the provision of quality education and ensuring gender equality. The SDG’s provide the referential architecture to undertake action on sustainability by organisations and institutions.

UCD is committed to the creation of sustainable campus communities, which is borne out by its number one ranking in Ireland and 22nd in the world for sustainability. The university has also been noted for the quality of its work practices, placing 12th globally. The assessment for the new rankings involved 550 universities globally with the aim of acknowledging institutions that best align with the achievement of the UN goals.

“The new ranking recognises UCD’s achievements and commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through its teaching, research, knowledge transfer and governance,” said Professor Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Dean of Social Sciences.

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
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.



UCD offers students a wide and diverse range of facilities, regarded as some of the best in Ireland. Students have the opportunity to get involved in a multitude of activities, from keeping fit to joining societies. The Student Centre and the UCD Sport and Fitness complex are the hub of student life on campus. At the Student Centre students have access to top-quality facilities, with everything from a 600-seat auditorium and 3-D cinema to numerous shops and social spaces. The centre also looks after the health of students with a pharmacy and medical centre.

Student societies and networks are a great way for students to explore interests and develop new ones. They have the choice of over 80 student societies, which are great for international students in providing the opportunity to network and meet new people. Some examples include the International Student Society and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), who organise numerous events and activities.

The Sport and Fitness Centre is extremely well equipped and provides for a wide variety of activities, regardless of the fitness level of students. They can take advantage of everything from a 50-metre swimming pool and climbing wall to squash courts and spinning studios. There are also numerous pitches for football, rugby, hockey and a fully equipped high-performance gym.


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.


Student reviews

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University College Dublin


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What do students say...

Definitely recommend!

Una, Ireland

I really enjoyed my time in UCD. The connections I made and reach I have through the alumni network is invaluable as is the learning I took from studies. I absolutely recommend UCD as the best (and first) choice for anyone looking to study in Ireland and set themselves apart from the herd!!!

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Key facts


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2021
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020
Source: ARWU


English score required

Minimum IELTS Score






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