The origin of the Belfield Campus dates back to the 18th century with the development of a number of estate houses and their associated lands. In the 1930s, the purchase of lands at Belfield enabled UCD sporting activities to commence. The strategic acquisition of lands since the 1930s has created a 133 hectare campus in a sylvan setting with primary access off the Stillorgan Road (R138).
When new science facilities opened at the suburban Belfield location in the 1960s, it was a first step in the vision to co-locate the majority of academic activities onto a single campus. In time this would enable the University to grow to its full potential.
From the 1960s through to today, the evolution of the Belfield Campus has been guided by a series of Campus Development Plans. The earlier formative development took place under the auspices of the Andrzej Wejchert Masterplan, first prepared in the 1960s. Since then the Campus Development Plan has been updated every 5-10 years to reflect the changing needs of a growing university.
Such plans have enabled UCD to establish a modern and integrated campus in a planned and coherent manner and to successfully relocate all undergraduate teaching to the Belfield Campus.
A key objective outlined in the UCD Campus Development Plan 2005-2010-2015 was the consolidation of the academic core of the Belfield Campus and, specifically, the redevelopment of the original UCD Science Centre, which is now over 50 years old. Other high level objectives such as the expansion of residential and recreation accommodation were also actively promoted.
The UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016-2021-2026 recognises that future campus development will be a blend of both new construction to support future growth, and the extensive refurbishment of older buildings which have now reached a stage in their lifecycle when significant investment is required.
In this regard, it is envisaged that much of the future planned development will occur within the academic core of the campus, with minimal development at the campus periphery other than as outlined in the Residential Character Area.