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Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarships

Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

An infographic explaining the Realtas Scholarship process

Make an application for one of the 20 Réalta Scholarships for
Stage 3 Engineering Students

The Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship provides funding for the fifth year of a Master of Engineering degree programme. The purpose of this award is to encourage UCD Engineering undergraduate students, who might be uncertain about their ability to fund the fifth, fee-paying year, to progress into and complete the ME programme.

Students who are completing Stage 3 of their studies, in Academic Year 2023/2024, are eligible to apply for one of the 20 one-year scholarships available. The value of the Réalta ME Scholarship is €9,500 per individual one-year bursary and will be payable once the student enters the fifth, fee-paying year of their ME programme.

Mechanical Engineering students who are completing Stage 3 of their studies, in Academic Year 2023/2024, may also be eligible to apply for the ATA Réalta ME Scholarship - see below under FAQs.


(opens in a new window)Applications for the Réalta Engineering Scholarship are now open.

The application deadline is Monday, 3rd of June 2024.

You can download a Guidance Document from here:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this Scholarship?

The Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship provides funding for the fifth year of a Master of Engineering degree programme and is intended for students who may otherwise be unable to undertake the ME.

How much is this Scholarship for?

The Scholarship is €9,500 per individual one-year bursary.

How many Réalta ME Scholarships will be available in 2023/2024?

Twenty individual one-year scholarships of €9,500 will be available.

Who can apply for this Scholarship?

Whilst any Stage 3 Engineering Student can apply, the Scholarship is particularly aimed at those who have shown the ability to maintain strong academic grades in spite of challenging personal or financial circumstances and hope to complete a Master of Engineering programme.

How do I apply for the Scholarship?

You can apply for the Réalta ME Scholarship by accessing the application form through the following link: (opens in a new window)Click Here.

Please note your application must be submitted on or before Monday, 3rd of June 2024 to be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Successful applicants will be informed in early August 2024.

How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed by the Réalta ME Scholarship Assessment Panel. The panel will consider both your personal circumstances (including financial) and your academic performance as reflected in your responses to the questions asked. The panel will pay particular attention to your Personal Statement.

How is the Scholarship awarded?

The Scholarship is payable upon entering the fifth fee-paying year of your chosen ME programme, and will be paid in monthly instalments over the academic year.

Who can I contact with further queries?

Sue Philpott, Director, UCD Engineering & Architecture College Office - (opens in a new window)sue.philpott@ucd.ie

What previous recipients had to say

Because of my scholarship, I have been able to focus all my energy on the final year of my studies. Beyond the financial benefit, which of course was hugely significant and allows me to graduate debt-free, being awarded this Scholarship felt like a recognition of my efforts, which was a massive confidence boost.

Having a Réalta Masters in Engineering Scholarship has enabled me to focus all of my attention on my studies. This has paid off significantly and has allowed me to have my most successful academic year to date. It has meant the world to me and I am truly grateful for it

The Réalta Masters in Engineering Scholarship has allowed me to finish my degree with dignity and less stress than I may have had otherwise....I can hopefully get into a job which will provide both financial stability and security for myself and my family.

As a result of my scholarship, I have been able to make the most of the Masters programme and really push myself to see how far I could take the project. This was possible because I did not have the worry of how to afford the course fees and I did not have to take time out from studying to find a job to support myself. As a direct result of this, I am on track to achieve my highest results throughout my time in UCD. This year would undoubtedly have been much harder in terms of balancing study and finances had it not been for this scholarship.

This scholarship provided me with an incredible opportunity to get the most from my Masters at UCD; something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am incredibly grateful to have had this support.

This scholarship means I'll be able to continue to focus fully on my academics as my education at UCD comes to a close. Having the freedom to put time into study over work, will be the difference in my degree.

having the scholarship will really will be life-changing for me for next year

The Réalta masters scholarship has lifted a huge weight off not only me but my family. The scholarship has given me the opportunity to get the most from my masters at UCD, allowing me to apply myself to my work without the financial worry of masters fees above my head. I'm incredibly grateful to have the support of the program and proud to be a member of its alumni.

Not having the constant stress of repaying a loan for my masters would help me through the work I had to put in...it would help my whole family. It could give me the opportunity to work less hours and put more time and energy into the degree itself, and my family.

ATA Réalta ME Scholarship

This scholarship is only available to One Stage 3 Mechanical Engineering student intending to pursue a Master in Engineering in one of the three areas:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • ME Engineering with Business (Mechanical)

One ATA Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship is available under this application round (2023/2024).

Similar to the Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship programme, this is an externally funded scholarship awarded on the basis of both academic excellence across Stages 1, 2 and 3, and a personal statement from the student regarding the impact that this award would have on their ability to engage with the ME programme. This scholarship will be of particular interest to students who maintain strong academic grades despite challenging personal or financial issues, and with confirmed accommodation needs.

The aim of the ATA Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship award is to provide funding for the fifth year of an ME Degree programme, such that UCD Mechanical Engineering students intending to pursue one of the Master in Engineering streams above, who might be uncertain about their ability to fund the fifth, fee-paying year, and with confirmed accommodation needs, would be encouraged to progress into and complete the ME programme.

This award comprises 3 elements:

  • Payment of the relevant year’s EU Fees.
  • An allowance of €5,500 to contribute to living expenses.
  • An accommodation bursary of €11,000. In relation to support for accommodation, this is especially important to the donors, ATA.

Applications for the ATA Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship are now open.

Applicants use the same application form as the Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship programme. In order to be considered for the ATA Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship, applicants will need to give details regarding their confirmed need for support for their accommodation in their fifth year of study.

While this scholarship is open for your application now and will be judged in summer 2023, it will not be paid to you until you are registered to the fifth (ME) year of your engineering studies.

Guidance documents

Réalta ME Scholarship Graduate Testimonials

Your career journey post-graduation?

After graduating, I got a job as a project manager with Bristol Myers Squibb, a biopharmaceutical company in Dublin. This was my first job out of college, and it has been an incredible learning experience. Over the past two years, I have worked in different areas within the company focusing on helping to bring new medicines to the site.

How did the Réalta Scholarship contribute to your university experience and your personal/professional growth?

The Réalta Scholarship relieved a great deal of pressure from both me and my family. It allowed me to focus on my studies during my masters while still enjoying the college experience! 

Any advice you can offer to current and future scholarship recipients?

My advice is simple: apply! The support provided by the Réalta Scholarship is immeasurable. It takes a tremendous amount of stress off your shoulders during your college years, allowing you to fully focus on your education. Take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of it.

Why did you choose to study engineering at UCD?

I always had an interest in chemistry, engineering and maths during secondary school and this led me to chemical engineering. Travelling to Dublin and speaking to the staff like Dr Patricia Kieran on the open day for UCD, I then knew it was the right choice for me! I felt that it offered a wide range of options for me after graduation and allowed me to pursue my interests from school. 

How did the programme you studied support / help or set you up for your career journey?

I use my degree everyday. It gave me the industry knowledge to contribute from day one. There was also a real focus on team work and group projects throughout college which helped me working in a large organisation such as Bristol Myers Squibb.

Your career journey post-graduation

My work placement during my masters year was with IN2 Engineering in Ranelagh which was an amazing experience but I was keen to work outside of Ireland for a while so I followed my girlfriend who was doing her masters in London.

I was really lucky to have had a fantastic relationship with my thesis supervisor Donal Finn and my Energy & Buildings teacher James O’Donnell; they introduced me to some of their contacts in London who in turn helped me get an interview.

I now work for XCO2 in London, an environmental and mechanical engineering consultancy and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a small and progressive company which is constantly reinventing the wheel and keeping up to date with what’s going on. It’s an amazing company and I would definitely recommend to other UCD graduates to explore job opportunities with XCO2. 

In my spare time I volunteer with Powerup North London, a charity that helps schools, churches and community centres to save on energy costs and I really enjoy that work.

My ambition for the next few years is to explore the area of renewables and sustainability more and I would be happy to move country again to gain relevant experience. My end goal down the line is to start my own company.

How did the Réalta Scholarship contribute to your university experience and your personal/professional growth?

My parents had been saving up for my education, so luckily part of my living expenses during college were covered. However, it would not have been enough to fund my masters and I would have ended up getting a big loan.

The scholarship had a huge impact on my time in university as it allowed me to cut back on the shifts I was working, concentrate on my studies and apply for every project and opportunity that came through my UCD inbox: I was accepted onto the Huawei - Seeds for the Future programme (unfortunately not in China but online, due to Covid, but a great opportunity anyway!) and the Red Bull Basement competition, a student innovation event in which my friend and I were chosen to represent Ireland with our start-up idea and we came in the top 10 countries.

The scholarship gave me the chance to do all these amazing things without being in massive debt today. Having these experiences on my CV and talk about them in interviews is really valuable.

I’m extremely thankful to the UCD donor(s) who support students like me and who made it possible for me to fully immerse myself in university life and explore every opportunity that came my way. 

Any advice you can offer to current and future scholarship recipients?

If you work hard and remain curious, be open to changing your ideas, the money will come! Focus on grades but it’s not the be all and end all; don’t forget to spend time with friends! And if anything comes in through the UCD inbox that interests you - APPLY!

How did the programme you studied support you / set you up for your career journey?

I find that the problem-solving capacity you are taught when studying engineering helps you with absolutely everything. Employers say I have great understanding of engineering principles and I am sure that a lot of it is down to the fantastic teaching I received in UCD. I remember in particular the Energy Systems in Buildings module. My lecturers were always open to answer questions and went out of their way to help you learn.

Why did you choose to study engineering at UCD?

I always thought engineering would be a good choice for me as it’s an outlet for creativity; I had considered medicine in the past but after doing work experience in a hospital during secondary school, I knew it wasn’t for me.

I started off in mechanical engineering because it felt really down-to-earth and then I branched off into energy systems for the masters. I really enjoyed the programmes, found it all extremely interesting, the lectures were really insightful and I learned something new every week. It was right down my alley! Some of the modules were very difficult but there weren’t any modules that I didn’t enjoy.

Your career journey post-graduation

During my final year at UCD I got a placement with Fingleton White and after graduation I was offered a job with them. I was involved in the design and operations of power stations, such as the gas thermal power station in the Guinness Storehouse. I was also involved in upgrade works at Pfizer Pharmaceutical and the Glanbia dairy site.

Based on the site experience and operational work I did in Fingleton White, I was offered a job with ESB in January 2023 and I now work with them at Poolbeg. Working for ESB is quite a different experience for me - I was used to working for clients, now I am working for the country and the priorities here are placed very much on environmental issues and safety.

How did the Réalta Scholarship contribute to your university experience and your personal/professional growth?

I was brought up by a single mum, my father passed away early. Throughout my undergraduate studies I had to work really hard to finance myself. I was working long shifts in bars and consequently did not get enough sleep or time to study.

Receiving the Réalta Scholarship gave me the extra support I needed to do my masters and still be able to keep up social life and sports. I could do my work on an ongoing basis, not having to cram at the end. It would have been very stressful otherwise.

Any advice you can offer to current and future scholarship recipients?

Apply! These supports are very important to give everyone the same opportunities. If you're willing to learn and work hard, you should have the same chances as anyone else, and this scholarship helps bridge the gap. Coming from a certain background doesn’t mean you can’t do everything; don’t put yourself in a box.

Everyone’s situation is different but if the pressure of having to work long shifts is taken off you during your final year in college, it can make all the difference for your overall experience and success. Be consistent with your time and don’t hesitate to ask for help!

UCD College of Engineering and Architecture

Room 122 & Room 126, UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
T: +353 1 716 1868 | E: eng.arch@ucd.ie