The current UCD College of Science (2005 to present) was preceeded by a UCD Faculty of Science, which came into existence in 1908 following the establishment of UCD as a constituent college of the National University of Ireland.
Some of the Departments of the former Faculty of Science that contributed to its teaching programmes had their origins in the Catholic University, while others claimed descent from the fusion of disciplines represented in the Museum of Irish Industry, founded 1847, and its successor, the Royal College of Science, founded in 1865 and transferred to UCD under the terms of the University Education (Agriculture and Dairy Science) Act, 1926.
Two Departments, Chemistry and Botany, traced the origins of teaching and research in their respective disciplines to the Chairs of Chemistry and of Botany instituted by the Royal Dublin Society in 1796.
Departments of more recent origin, e.g. the Department of Computer Science, also existed in the former UCD Faculty of Science.  

Key dates   


In October 2013 the new and refurbished UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, offering state-of-the-art teaching and research space to science and the university, officially opened by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.


UCD Science Centre complex at Belfield opens, bringing together several science disciplines in one cohesive space, which until then were dispersed across a range of locations.  


Dr Michael Tierney appointed UCD president. Tierney conceived the scheme of a new UCD on a suburban site; he became intimately involved in UCD's fever of purchasing several hundred acres in the neighbourhood of Belfield over the next 17 years. The plan was to develop architectural harmony in the grouping of buildings, landscaping and planting of trees, creating a sense of unity to faculties then on different campuses. Sports grounds and residences were incorporated into the scheme. The inspiration for the plan came mostly from universities in Stockholm and Goteborg in Sweden as well as some models from the US. 


Mathematician Dr Arthur Conway appointed UCD president. During this period various plans were developed but failed to succeed to expand university premises in Dublin city centre, along Iveagh Gardens, Hatch Street and Earlsfort Terrace. 


The University Education (Agriculture and Dairy Science) Act transferred the Royal College of Science for Ireland in Merrion Street and Albert Agricultural College in Glasnevin to UCD. The Royal College of Science for Ireland is absorbed into University College Dublin and  becomes a substantial part of its Science Faculty.
The Royal College of Science for Ireland came into existence as a result of a Treasury decision in 1865 which converted the Museum of Irish Industry and Government School of Science applied to Mining and the Arts into the Royal College for Science for Ireland in 1867. The first Dean of the Museum was Sir Robert Kane; it was his work which had led to the foundation of the Museum of Economic Geology in 1845, out of which grew the Museum of Irish Industry in 1847.
The minutes of the council meeting of the Royal College of Science for ireland held on 11 September 1867 state that "The object of the Royal College of Science (for Ireland) is to supply as far as practicable a complete course of instruction in Science applicable to the Industrial Arts, especially those which may be classed broadly under the heads of Mining, Agriculture, Engineering, and Manufactures, and to aid in the instruction of Teachers for the local Schools of Science". These headings were slightly extended later to include "Mining, Engineering, and Manufactures, and Physics and Natural Science". The Royal College of Science for Ireland had chairs of Mining and Mineralogy, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Applied Mathematics and Mechanism, Descriptive Geometry and Engineering.  


The Irish Universities Act brought into being the National University of Ireland with its constitutent University Colleges - Dublin, Galway, Cork and led to the demise of the Royal University and the Jesuit-run University College. Dean of the Medical School, Dr Dennis Coffey appointed first president of UCD. 
36 chairs and 15 lectureships established in UCD. Focus on: medicine, celtic studies, classics, modern languages, english, political economy, mathematics, philosophy, education, history, national economics, civil engineering, mathematical physics, experimental physics, chemistry, geology, zoology, architecture, commerce, law, botany, and pure mathematics. 


The passage of the Royal University Bill in 1879 had established the Royal University as an examining body for approved teaching institutions.
In order to avail of the indirect endowment from the state through the Royal University of Ireland the Catholic University reorganised . All of the Royal University's Roman Catholic Fellows were professors at the Catholic University.The St Stephen's Green institution was renamed University College and its management transferred to the Jesuits. 


The Catholic University Medical School was opened in Cecilia Street. The Medical School was the Catholic University's great success story; by the end of the century it had become the largest medical school in the country. After 1908 it became the medical Faculty of UCD. 


1851 John Henry Newman (1801–1890) was appointed the first rector of the newly forming Catholic University. Newman was installed in 1854, professors and lecturers were appointed and the university opened its doors later that year. The university never obtained a charter from the government or the power to grant degrees. Newman resigned after four years.  

You can learn more about UCD Science history and its context at: 'From early scientific endeavours to today's UCD Science - Towards a history of the UCD College of Science'