Graduate Applications FAQ

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Q: How do I know if I am eligible to apply for this programme?

A: Each programme has a particular set of recommended entry requirements.  Please see our list of programmes for more information. All applications are considered individually.  The specific applications committee will have to assess all the modules taken during an applicant’s degree and individual results to check suitability.

Q: How can I apply to a particular programme?

A: Applications can only be made online through

Applications will open October 2017 for Sept 2018 entry 

Q: How does the Application review process operate?

A: All applications are considered individually. Once an application is received the Applications Committee will have a look at all the modules taken during an applicant’s degree and their individual results and check their suitability.  If an applicant feels that their work experience should be also considered then it is recommended to upload a curriculum vitae as supporting documentation. 

Q: How can I apply for a PhD in the School of Mathematics and Statistics?

A: Before applying for a PhD with this School, an applicant must find a potential supervisor. All the information about our staff members and their research areas is available in our webpage:  An applicant would need to contact the academic(s) working on the particular area that they would like to study and see if anybody would be interested in supervising that area of research. Contact details for all academic staff members is available here.

Q: What documents do I need to make an application to a taught masters programme?

A:  An application will not be processed unless all of the following documents are uploaded through your online application:

- a copy of all relevant transcripts from previous degrees/courses taken

- 2 academic references on headed university paper.  If it is not possible to obtain 2 references, we will accept a minimum of 1 academic reference and 1 professional reference

- A copy of English language certification (if applicable to your application)

- Additional supporting documentation such as personal statements or curriculum vitae can be included should an applicant feel it will benefit their application

Q: What is a transcript?             

A:  A transcript is a University certified list of modules taken and results achieved throughout the duration of a person’s degree.  For the application stage, the School requires copies of the applicant’s university transcripts and if an offer is extended to an applicant, the School will then request official original university transcripts for verification purposes.  Originals can be collected from the School office upon commencement of programme or upon request they can be posted back to a specific address.

Q: I have more than one degree; do I need to provide copies of all my transcripts?

A: If an applicant holds more than one degree, he/she should submit all relevant transcripts with their online application as the Applications Committee will take all supporting documentation into consideration.

Q: I am in my final year and my final year results will not be available until the summer.  Can I still apply to a taught masters programme?

A: Yes, applicants can still apply and submit all module and results information achieved to date along with references and any other supporting documentation that is deemed beneficial.  If an applicant proves that they are on target for a minimum overall award of a 2:1, then a conditional offer can be extended pending receipt of this award and forwarding of the final transcript to the school office.  However, if the applicant fails to reach this minimum award requirement then the offer will be rescinded.

Q: What are the English language requirements for the School of Mathematics and Statistics taught masters programmes?

A: Courses at UCD are given almost entirely in English. All students applying for degree courses must be able to speak, read and write English fluently in order to take part in tutorials, seminar discussions and examinations. If your mother tongue is not English, or if you have not taken your secondary education in English, you will need to have passed an approved test before registering for a course.

The two major tests are:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) A minimum score of 600 in TOEFL (250 computer based with test of written English at 475+) or 6.5 in IELTS (minimum 6.0 in each band) is required for all programmes. Some courses require a higher level of English language competency.  Please note, that in all cases, the test results must be less than 2 years old.

Other acceptable English language qualifications are listed at

Q: I have uploaded my transcripts and filled in the online application form – why have I not received an update on my application?

A:In order to process an application we need to receive all the relevant required documentation. E.g. if an applicant has filled in the application form and uploaded a copy of their academic transcript but have failed to upload 2 academic references as required then their application cannot be fully processed and will remain pending on the system until they complete the application correctly.  Due to the very high volume of applications this office receives, we will not be in a position to send reminder e-mails in relation to this.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete their application in full. Please note that in all cases an application will not be fully processed until the mandatory application fee is paid. (unless you are exempt from the application fee and infrom us as such with supporting documentation)

Q: I have uploaded all required documentation: transcripts, reference letters, and filled in the application form and meet all the requirements – why have I not been made an official offer?

A: Applications will not be fully processed the application fee is paid in full.  An official offer cannot be sent until this is paid.

Q: I have been e-mailed saying that a conditional offer has been made for my application to a particular taught masters programme.  What does this mean?

A: A conditional offer means that the applicant has been offered a place but this place can only be taken up if the applicant meets certain requirements as set out by the Applications Committee in the conditional offer e-mail e.g. the Committee may decide to offer a place conditional to the applicant receiving a 2:1 award in final exams, a 6.5 in recognised English Language Testing or upon receipt of original university transcripts to the School office.

Q: Will I receive a formal letter of acceptance?

A: Applicants will receive notification of the outcome of their application via e-mail from the Graduate Administrator.  If a paper letter of acceptance is required by an applicant, this can be processed upon request to

Q: Will I get any further information from the School before my taught masters programme begins in September?

A: Applicants will receive an e-mail during the summer term with details of a programme information session that takes place prior to commencement of the programme.


Q: What is the closing date for EU and NON EU taught masters applications for the 2017/18 academic year?

A:  Closing date for EU and NON EU applications to our other taught graduate programmes is the 30th June 2017. 


Q: Will any taught masters applications be accepted after the deadline?

A: The second closing date for EU applicants and Non-EU applicants who do not require a visa is the 21st August 2017. This is only subject to available places on programmes.


Q: Where can I find fees information for postgraduate programmes?

A: Fee information available here:

Q: I am a non EU student who has been living in the EU for a number of years.  Do I qualify for the EU fee rate?

A: For further information visit: 

Q: If I get offered a place on a particular programme, when are the programme fees due?

A: Fees need to be paid by a certain date, please see the following link for this date information:

 Q: When can I apply for on campus accommodation?

A: Information about on-campus accommodation is provided by UCD Residences 


Q: What are the time commitments/contact hours for part time taught masters programmes?

A: The timetable for the full-time and part-time day programme is the same (i.e. no evening or weekend lectures) and lectures are scheduled between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. The lecture days would depend on the modules selected. Generally part-time students try to pick per semester the modules that take place in similar days of the week.  (Note that most modules also include tutorials and lab hours).  Contact hours per module per week average 3-4 hours including lab and tutorials.  Sample timetables for the next academic year are not available at present.  Copies of current academic timetables are available on request as an indicator of what to expect but please note that these are subject to change each year.

 Q: Can the Graduate Diploma/MSc in Actuarial Science be completed on a part time basis?

A: There is no part time option available for either programme.


Q: What is the difference between the Graduate Diploma Actuarial Science and the MSc Actuarial Science?

The MSc is a 90 credit one year programme, which includes a summer research project. There is the possibility for some students to complete the summer research thesis in the form of a paid placement. The Graduate Diploma is a 60 credit 9 month programme which does not include a research project.

In general the entrance threshold is slightly higher for the MSc but we look for similar skill sets and qualifications on both programmes, as you will see on the websites. The Graduate Diploma also serves as a fall-back option for students who initially enter the MSc but ultimately find it too demanding and feel they would benefit from reducing their course load.

Both the MSc and the Graduate Diploma offers subject by subject exemptions for Institute and Faculty of Actuaries CT exams. That means that if you do well enough in the UCD module(s) corresponding to a CT subject you will receive the CT exemption.
The MSc also offers a block exemption, which means if you do well enough overall you will receive an exemption in every CT subject you have passed. The Grad Dip does not offer a block exemption.

Q: Is the MSc course in Actuarial science accredited by the UK Actuarial Profession? And if I scored 70% overall, will I be exempted from CT1-CT8 exams?

A: The MSc Actuarial Science is fully accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. They have the final say on exemptions but 70% is a usual guideline for what will be sufficient for a block exemption from all 8 CTs.

Q: Typically how many exemptions do students manage to achieve in the Grad Dip?

A: 4-6 exemptions would be the "average" range on the Graduate Diploma.

Q: Are any exemptions set against the research project/dissertation

A: There are no exemptions set against the thesis, of either type, but a placement thesis would provide good experience and a non-placement thesis gives students good material to discuss at subsequent job interviews, so it is a valuable exercise.

Q: What are the employment prospects like for graduate of the MSc and Graduate Diploma Acturial Science Programmes?

A: Employment prospects for our graduates are very good.  The strong majority of our students have secured an actuarial trainee within one month of completing the programme and many do so in advance of completion. Starting salaries for actuarial trainees vary from 35,000 to 40,000 euros depending on the company and number of exemptions you acquire. However salaries then tend to rise significantly as you pass additional exams over the course of the qualifying process.

Q: What industries/practices would be the best to gain actuarial experience in?

A: The actuarial department of any insurance company, pensions provider or bank would be very relevant experience to a career as an actuary eg Kiln, Swiss Re, Aviva, Morgan Stanley, Lloyd's etc. Another good step would be to look into doing CT1 as a non member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Details of this can be found on the Institute's website.

Q: What is the difference between the HDip in Mathematical Studies and the HDip in Mathematical Sciences?

A: The HDip in Mathematical Studies may be of particular benefit to teachers or potential teachers who would like to include mathematics among the subjects that they are eligible to teach at Leaving Certificate Level. It brings the student to the level of a 3-year Honours undergraduate mathematics major.

The HDip in Mathematical Science programme is aimed at graduates whose level of mathematical training is high, but below that of the BSc Degree Honours in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics, and who have demonstrated mathematical flair. It enables them to reach in one year a level of mathematical knowledge equivalent to that of BSc Honours graduates.

Q: Who is the H Dip in Math Sciences aimed at?

A: The HDip in Math Sc is aimed at students who have had a significant exposure to mathematics in their own degrees, but not enough to enter an MSc/PhD programme in mathematics. It is an intensive 9-month programme that gives students the opportunity to complete core components of a 4-year BSc in Math/Math Sc. Students who acheive a 2.1 degree or higher are eligble to enter the MSc in Math/Math Sciences in UCD.

It is ideally suited to a student with a 3-year degree in math/applied math but we have taken on students with a variety of backgrounds such as engineering, theoretical physics, mathematical economics etc who wish to push their careers in a mathematical direction.

Q: What are employment prospects like for graduates of the H Dip, MA or MSc Statistics programmes?

A: Most of our graduates go to work in the pharmaceutical and financial services sectors, or stay in academia to do a PhD. We also have lots of students going into the betting industry, Paddy Power for example.