Ireland's Global University

Over 160 Years of Education 

Founded in 1854, UCD was created from an idea, The Idea of a University, written by our founding Rector John Henry Newman. This classic work is one of the most enduring texts on the value of higher education. Newman’s vision, “True enlargement of mind”, embodies the aspiration to provide a holistic experience and inspiring environment beyond the classroom. Interpreted today as ‘Think Bigger’, it is a rallying call for the university and its community to unleash the unique potential of the individual to meet global challenges and “to benefit the wider world.”

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.

Since its foundation, the University has made a unique contribution to the creation of modern Ireland, based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity. The international standing of UCD has grown in recent years; it is currently ranked within the top 1% of higher education institutions world-wide. UCD is also Ireland's most globally engaged university with over 30,000 students drawn from over 139 countries, including almost 5,000 students based at locations outside of Ireland. The University's main Dublin campus occupies an extensive parkland estate of 133 hectares and offers world-leading facilities including the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD Sutherland School of LawUCD 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 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 vision for this era.

Tackling Global Challenges: Research and 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, 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 2017/18 UCD researchers secured €122.4 million in research grants from national and international funding agencies, companies and foundations. Since 2008 UCD researchers have secured over €1 billion in such grants. Their research underpins national research and technology institutes and centres, including the SFI funded Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG)Bioeconomy Research Centre (BEACON) and I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

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

Over the last decade UCD researchers have increased their annual number of papers in the international literature by 50% and have co-authored more than 15,000 papers with researchers from more than 130 countries. These papers are cited by other researchers at a rate that is 73% 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 active participation and collaboration to exploit leading-edge research and development outputs. Supports for innovation include NovaUCD – the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs and NexusUCD – the Industry Partnership Centre. Since 2003 NovaUCD has incubated over 170 companies and has supported over 350 companies and early-stage ventures.

Defining Educational Excellence: Teaching and Learning at UCD

UCD is Ireland's University of first choice, leading in first-preference applications in Ireland year after year. The first year retention rate is 98% and over half of UCD undergraduates progress to graduate studies. For the last two years UCD has ranked number one in Ireland for Graduate Employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018, 2019).

UCD is globally recognised for its excellence in teaching and learning – 12 subjects are ranked in the top 100 in the world (QS World University Ranking by Subject 2018). This quality of teaching is complemented by a high standard of support. Every incoming first year is assigned a peer mentor and there are student advisers for every programme.

UCD is Ireland's leader in graduate education with over 9,000 graduate students; almost a quarter of whom are graduate research students. 1,571 PhD students benefit from a structured PhD programme as well as the research-led education culture at UCD.

The UCD Horizons scheme of modern, modularised education based on learning outcomes sees 50% of students take modules outside their subject areas. UCD is the only Irish university to provide the EU Supplement Label to students for international recognition of qualifications.

Engaging Globally

UCD's world extends beyond its campus, city and borders. UCD students and worldwide network of 269,000 alumni benefit from a UCD education that enables them to thrive and contribute in an increasingly global community. As the number one 'university of destination' for international students coming to Ireland, UCD's 7,923 international students make up 27% of the student body, while international academics make up 30% of UCD's faculty.

With 400 partner universities for student exchange, UCD offers extensive global study opportunities and is engaged in partnerships including such networks as Universitas 21, the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)UNICA and the EUA.

UCD expertise is recognised worldwide, with international accreditations for UCD degrees from the world's leading professional organisations in Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Regional and Urban Planning, and Engineering. The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is one of less than 60 schools worldwide to hold triple accreditation from the US, Europe and the UK accrediting bodies, and the MSc in International Management there is now regarded as the seventh in the world, according to the Financial Times Global Master in Management Ranking 2018.

UCD faculty engage in international research collaborations, sharing and contributing to a global bank of knowledge. To further expand this global engagement, UCD has developed a network of UCD Global Centres in North America, UAE, India, China and Malaysia; each of which provides a hub of research and education connections for students, faculty, alumni and partners.