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Come to UCD: Your Journey Starts Here

At UCD, we know that no two students are the same. Are you completely new to college life? Are you returning to education after time away? Do you need a flexible way to explore new skills or interests? In this section you will find information to help you start or continue your learning in a way that suits your needs.

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Flexible Options - Try something new!

University study doesn't have to mean a full-time degree – UCD offers flexible study options in a broad range of disciplines that you can take on your own terms for the love of learning. 

Lifelong Learning

Choose from a range of 4- to 8-week lecture courses designed purely for your interest. No exams, no assignments: just turn up, enjoy your class, and meet some like-minded learners who share your interests.

Find out more about Lifelong Learning

Open Learning

You can study individual UCD undergraduate modules for audit (no exams or assignments) or academic credit. This is a great way to explore new subjects, experience campus life and learn new skills. As a fully registered UCD student, you can access all of the university’s support services and campus facilities.

Find out more about Open Learning

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Access courses - Preparing you for college life

Our Access courses are ideal if you want to study an undergraduate degree but don't quite feel ready or don't fully meet the admission requirements. These courses are designed to help you find your feet, explore subject choices, and develop your study skills before you take that next step. UCD offers a range of Access options depending on what you hope to study and the time you can commit. 

UCD Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law (AHSSL)

You will take modules in study skills, digital knowledge, and writing, as well as having the opportunity to try out modules from Law, the Social Sciences and Arts.

This is a one-year, part-time course for mature students (over 22 years). Upon completing the course students receive an NFQ Level 6 Diploma and have the opportunity to progress directly into 5 different UCD degrees.

Find out more about Access to AHSSL

UCD Access to Science, Engineering, Agricultural Science and Medicine (SEAM)

This is aimed at those who are hoping to study a science-focused degree in UCD. You will attend classes in maths and research skills, as well as an introductory module in biology, chemistry, and physics. 

This is a one-year, part-time course for mature students (over 22 years). Upon completing the course students receive an NFQ Level 6 Diploma and have the opportunity to progress directly into 5 different UCD degrees, including Medicine.

In order to be eligible for mature student entry into UCD Medicine, students must complete the UCD Access course. 

Find out more about Access to SEAM

Open Learning

This is UCD’s most flexible part-time study option. You can build your own timetable, choosing from more than 200 modules taken directly from UCD undergraduate degrees. You will participate in classes, labs and tutorials with full-time students. This is an excellent way to try out the university experience. 

There are 2 NFQ awards available through Open Learning: a 30 credit (6 modules) NFQ Level 7 Certificate, or a 60 credit (12 modules) NFQ Level 7 Diploma. Students who complete the Certificate with the necessary GPA may apply for direct admission into 13 UCD degree programmes.

Find out more about Open Learning Progression Pathways

A new student leans over a desk where an access leader in a yellow tshirt is talking him through the UCD orientation programme

Applying for UCD

For Irish and EU students, applications to study undergraduate courses are made through the (opens in a new window)CAO. International students should apply directly to UCD

For students making a CAO application, there are a number of different pathways and schemes to consider.

Leaving Certificate Applicants
QQI-FET Applicants
Mature Applicants (applicants who are over 23 years of age)