Graduate Orientation

GradsConnect Virtual Welcome 2020/21

A welcome for all incoming graduate students (taught & research) from UCD's President, Professor Andrew Deeks and Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor Barbara Dooley.

Professor Dooley also discusses supports available to you as graduate students at UCD, in conversation with Philip Smyth of the UCD Institute for Discovery. See links below for further info. 

Welcome to UCD and GradsConnect 2020. I’m Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies here in UCD. I would like to formally welcome you to UCD, you our new graduate students. This afternoon we are here to share with you all of the supports that the University has to offer, both academically and socially. I would now like to hand over to the President Professor Andrew Deeks who will address you. Thank you.

Good afternoon, I'm professor Andrew Deeks, President of University College Dublin. On behalf of my fellow faculty and staff, it's my privilege and pleasure to welcome you to your University today, albeit virtually. We are delighted that you have chosen UCD for your graduate programme. Over 160 years ago, UCD was founded as an independent University by the renowned educationalist John Henry Newman. UCD is now Irelands largest and most diverse University, with over 33,000 students drawn from over 130 countries. We actively promote University life as a journey of intellectual and personal discovery. We’re committed to providing you with the best possible learning and student experience and we will achieve this through a mixture of lectures and experiential learning, blended with accessible distanced learning tools. We're here to guide your academic success through quality international research and world class resources. College life is not only lectures and study and I encourage you to take the chance to engage with the rich array of opportunities UCD has to offer outside the classroom. Being involved in society life is a great way to make friends and to develop your skills. Graduate programmes can be hard work, getting involved in a Sports Club is an ideal way to stay well, keep fit, meet people with similar interests, as well as to provide a welcome break from academic life. There's a large range of sports clubs and facilities to choose from. Including adventure sports, water sports and martial arts. UCD has a wonderful campus famous for its green parkland setting, mature landscaping which has been complemented over the years by biodiversity initiatives such as the 8-kilometer boundary woodland walkway and the wildflower meadow network amongst other things. Take a walk, you never know what you might discover. The University experience is all about getting involved, trying something new, having fun and making great new friends and memories along the way. I wish you every success in your graduate programme at UCD.

Hi everyone, my name is Aisha Hamdulay and I'm a master’s student at UCD. I am doing the MSc in humanity in action. My name is Darragh Moriarty, I did my master’s in UCD in international relations. My name is Enoch Ademo and I am currently undergoing a master’s in civil, structural and environmental engineering. I'm Gráinne Daly and I'm an IRC funded PhD scholar in the School of Creative Writing. I chose UCD because of its world class reputation. When I did my research, UCD consistently came up as being one of the top Universities in Ireland and now that I’ve attended UCD, I definitely think it is the top University in Ireland. In terms of my own experiences of doing the master’s in international relations. I found it really interesting, the range of issues that were on offer from UCD. I had to take classes where I had to go out of my comfort zone, to obtain details and research materials, to allow me present different solutions to relevant case studies facing our society. I also liked the practical approach that was taken. The courses and the modules and the teaching was really practical, had lots of transferable skills. In terms of supports in UCD, the academic staff are pretty impressive. But just as important in my view is that you have a really good strong and approachable administrative team around the campus. People that you can ask questions of, people who are willing to help, willing to inform, willing to advise because let's face it as a student this is what we need on a day-to-day level. We need information, we need a hand, we need to be pointed in the right direction. There is a really great health and counseling centre on campus. The doctors are really amazing, I've been there a few times. There are IT services, there is a learning and disability centre. The library services are quite comprehensive. The writing clinic for one is excellent. I found it to be a wonderful resource. They coach academic and creative writing. I know some of my pals from other schools have found that the math’s clinic is excellent. Our libraries across campus are brilliant. Our campus is beautiful, it's really lovely. The 50-meter Olympic pool for me is a big plus, the gym and sports facilities, the clubs, the bar. In terms of clubs and societies, there's a club and a society for everything, lots of sports that you can take part in, a gym, a cinema on campus. In terms of career progression after the masters, the masters will give you an option of doing a thesis or a placement and I got really excellent advice at the time, who said, you know if you want to go down the academic route, you're better off doing the thesis, you’re better off sitting in a room and finding out whether or not that's for you and if you like it, but he said if you want to go into the field of sort of being a practitioner and working in international relations or working in government or in the NGO civil society space you know try and find a placement for you that works. UCD is a Dublin University, but it's a Global University and it has that feel. It has a sense of place, but also a sense of the bigger picture. It's a diverse area. It's a really diverse University, world class facilities, diverse staff members, diverse range of students, lots of international students. So, you'll be interacting with a variety of different people. When you got a degree from UCD, you have a degree from a world class facility.

So, there we have some students who've been there done that here at UCD and now we are here on campus with UCD to have a little bit of a chat with the Dean of graduate studies Barbara Dooley. Barbara, thank you for joining us. The whole idea of this is to have a chat and just to kind of talk a little bit about the supports and what students can expect when they come to UCD. So I'm a student, I'm arriving, what can I expect? Thanks Phillip, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to talk about what the students can expect when they come to us here in UCD. So, we have a very large number of students come to take programmes with us every year. We have our taught programmes and our research students. The biggest number of students who come take a one-year master’s with us, a taught programme and for them, they can expect to really engage deeply with a topic that interests them. Something that maybe they hadn’t had the opportunity to do as an undergraduate. Something that they now want to take to another to another level in terms of their understanding, a kind of a curiosity. It’s probably really exciting for them as well because like in your undergrad you don't get to decide everything that you learn, it's kind of broad. I suppose it is an interesting time. No, it is a time to really deepen and explore an area that really interests you. For the students who are coming for our taught programmes, they are going to be imbedded within a school generally. They will have a programme director who will help them to navigate their programme and with Covid, obviously it's a different experience, so we won't have the opportunity to have students on campus all of the time. So, there will be a time when they will be on campus with us and other times, they will have their modules online so that will be different. But that doesn't mean to say it won't be excellent and a good experience and I do encourage students to really make sure that they take the opportunity to engage with all of the people on their programme. there is the school office there to support as well, in terms of navigating their programme. But those then who come to do their research with us, they will be working directly with a supervisor and that's a slightly different way. So that's a graduate education where you’re going to go on and research a topic for a number of years so and they will expect to meet their supervisors. Their first expectation would be meeting with their supervisor. And I mean I suppose what speaks to me there is like you're actually creating connections. Not only with the work that you’re doing but you're excited and like you’ve picked, and you’ve chosen. But it’s connections with not only the supervisor if it's a research project or your advisors, it's a relationship and building a network is probably very important in creating that structure for you academically. Absolutely I think in this academic year it will be really important that as students come to study with us that they try and get those networks going pretty quickly. Because it could be very isolating at any time so to engage with people would be really important so if you happen to have a module online and then there's an opportunity to have a Zoom coffee afterwards or whatever. Well take it, get to know your fellow students and when we can come back to campus which we really do hope that will be a little bit down the way that you will then have started those connections and build on them when you meet them face to face. And you'll have something to talk about like the coffee that it was like at home as opposed to the coffee that’s here... so like real important, the real research that matters... “where's the best coffee” Ok, coffee is a support to us sometimes but there are other supports. We’ve talked about the supervisor and we talked about advisors for students as well but UCD does work hard to make its students not only feel wanted but to make sure that they succeed here. I think succeed is a great, that's a great word. So, we have a series of short snippets that they can view later, and they will be on the website introducing them to the supports to help them succeed for example the library and every student engages with the library. When we talk to a student there isn't one thing they don't engage with, every one of them and that’s library. and it's very important that they understand how the library works and we have lots of videos on the library to help them get started even if they're not on campus initially. To help them get started to use that library really well. We also have supports in relation to our access and lifelong learning which looks at making sure all students are included. We have our writing support our math’s support. So these are part of the experience for students who at different times may need to actually seek advice and it's academic advice to make sure that they succeed in their journey and we have in the Tierney building which if you come to campus we have our registry office. Which is where the student desk is there and people may have very practical questions that they need support with and they can get all of them answered there and IT so well IT is this kind of word, what does IT mean. Now for me in UCD IT means well what are all those software’s, what are all those programmes, what's that Internet, what are those things I need to do so that when I have my laptop in front of me that I can do my studies. Whether it's on campus or remotely and again we have a great induction video there on what the IT services at UCD can provide and there are an excellent array of things from literally software, to videos, to how to get things done, how to use our Wi-Fi and things like that. So basically what you're saying is that from a personal side as in you can deal with people in terms of interacting with them, you can talk with your cohort of students or your research group and you’ve get the practical side of things which is the library, the ALL, the access for lifelong learning, you've got your Technical Support everything else. All really practical fundamental stuff, academic side of stuff. Life side of stuff, how do people strike the balance at UCD like it can't all be just one way traffic on the academic side of things. No, you're absolutely right. For everyone we need a work/ life balance and I think particularly for graduate students they often can get really immersed in their programme to the extent that maybe they don't quite take care of the other side of life. Which is the outside the work piece and UCD has an array of things to offer to actually make sure that we have a work/ life balance while you study with us. So, we can take the sports end of things first, but I know not everybody is into sports. So, we have the student centre, there's a fantastic 50-meter pool, there are gym classes, all of those types of activities there. Others prefer games, team sports. So, we have all of the clubs that you could think of that offer team sports or it could be you’re into the martial arts, but all of those activities are available to you. And for some people particularly in Covid, they might not want to go into a class or be in a pool with others and we have this fantastic campus... Take a look at it behind us, like today it looks amazing... and there's an 8 kilometer walk or run around the periphery. So, if you thought well look, I need to take exercise, but I could do it outside, so we have those things available to us on campus and then there are the societies. So, as I said sports isn’t for everybody and we have so many societies, international societies, things that are kind of law, history you know, the L&H – Literary and Historical Society, there are fantastic clubs and societies here. But the societies are for those that may not want to get engaged in sports. But it's a fantastic way to meet people and I think clubs offer the opportunity to meet, societies offer the opportunities to meet but also the opportunity to actually give you a balance to the work that you're actually doing while you’re with us on campus. And like you said, there's so many. The ones you'd expect like soccer, rugby in sports and then there’s the L&H and Law, but as societies go. Like there’s film, there's everything you could possibly imagine so whatever you're into there's something for you and people you can connect with which is really important and I love the way that you just, like the balance of each side and for being in an academic institution you would expect sometimes it always to be academic but we're not just preparing people to be chemists, biologists, business graduates, marketeers economists or in the arts or anything else. We're preparing them for life in the real world and that takes balance too. Absolutely I think we all know that, that when you leave here you know the discipline that you have and whatever you've studied is incredibly important to maybe what you're going to do next. But at another level the transferable skills, the life skills, the leadership skills, the conflict skills, conflict management skills that you pick up along the way will probably take you as far in the long run. So, I think yeah, it's a journey of personal development as well as academic development. So, I think they’re the kind of things we hope that the students coming to UCD will get from us. So one that will be supported no matter what your need is along the way and I think that's really nice and hopefully nice for you to hear as you’ve watched this video is to realize that UCD isn't just a place to learn a discipline, it's to understand who you are, what you are and then to apply it in the real world. Barbara thank you very much for joining us today and up next you're going to have a look at what other supports are available here at UCD.

Hello and welcome to UCD. This video will outline some of the student support services available to assist you in creating a good experience of your time here as a student. My name is Anna Scully and I am a UCD Student Adviser. Now our UCD Student Adviser service is all across the University, in all of the schools and colleges. So, there is a UCD Student Adviser dedicated to your school. Please get in contact with us if you have any concerns, no matter how small or how serious they may be. We assist students with concerns like personal, emotional, social, practical, financial. We can give you advice, information and support and the time you need to explore those issues and find your best way through your UCD experience. I wish you all the best for the time ahead and your experience as a UCD student. Thank you.

Hi, my name is Mark. I'm a student here at UCD and I also work part time at the Student Desk. The Student Desk are located in the Tierney building and we support students with queries relating to admissions, fees, assessment, registration and also official documents. There are a few different ways you can get in touch with us; by person, email, instant message or by phone and you can find out how to do this on our website and we are always happy to help.

My name is Triona and I am a Psychologist working at the Student Health & Counseling center. The Student Health & Counseling services provide a range of medical and psychological care for all students at UCD. If you need to get in touch with us, you can find information for all of our services on our website.

My name is Scott and I'm one of the chaplains here in UCD and UCD Chaplaincy offers three key things; emotional support, pastoral care and spiritual direction. So, if at any stage you need somebody to talk to or if you'd like to learn more about your faith or if you'd like to be involved in positive dialogue with people from other faiths and religions then UCD Chaplaincy is definitely for you. You can find out more on our website and on socials.

Hi, my name is Sarah Brown. I'm a Career and Skills Consultant here in the UCD Careers Network. Our focus is to help you move forward with your career planning and to develop your professional skills, whatever stage you're at. Whether you have no plan, a vague plan or a clear plan we have online resources and a range of initiatives and events for you. These include career development modules and skill seminars, individual coaching - which we offer both face-to-face and online, recruitment events and alumni discussions as well as a vacancies portal. We work very closely with employers and colleagues within UCD to provide you a first-class experience and to ensure that your journey from UCD into your future career is smooth. For more information please visit our website

Hello, my name is Bairbre and I work in UCD Access and Lifelong Learning. UCD treats all students the same. But that sameness sometimes requires alternative or different supports. You may be a student with a disability, somebody from a low-income household, part-time student or a mature student and may need additional personal, financial or disability supports. We also work with the entire University community through the UCD for ALL initiative, working to make UCD a diverse and inclusive community.

So, I have stepped outside after having that conversation with Phillip to show you the campus one more time. I hope to be able to welcome you here personally to campus in the near future and all it leaves me to do right now is to thank you for being with us this afternoon. To wish you success both academically and socially and I really hope that you have a fantastic year ahead 2020/21. Thank you.

Welcome to Ireland's Global University!

Welcome to UCD, No 1 in Ireland for Graduate employability. Orientation in January 2021 will have a few elements & the paths differ slightly for graduate taught & graduate research students. All Graduate Studies events will be virtual, to respect social distancing requirements. Please see below for further details & check with your School on programme-level activities.

<strong>Welcome</strong> to Ireland's Global University!

 Programme/School Orientation

  • Provided by your School or Programme Office

  • You will receive information directly from your School regarding their planned activities

  • Research students should liaise with their Principal Supervisor

 BrightspaceIntroduction to UCD on Brightspace

UCD has a Virtual Learning Environment called Brightspace, to access teaching, learning and assessment materials for taught modules. When you log into Brightspace, you will also be able to access the Introduction to UCD module, which must be completed by all incoming students. It will cover topics including: Academic Integrity, the Active Bystander Programme: UCD Says No to Sexual Misconduct, UCD for ALL & Discover IT.

To access Brightspace:

  1. Accept your offer
  2. Go to UCD Connect
  3. Log into SISWeb
  4. Begin Step 1 of Registration
  5. You can then log into Brightspace & begin the 'Introduction to UCD' module, located in the "My Modules" section.

Graduate Research Student Induction 

(Incoming Graduate Research Students only)

Relevant to incoming graduate research students only (Note: September 2020-start graduate research students are also welcome)

  • An induction event was held via Zoom on Thursday 4th February 2021 11:00-15:30

Relevant materials and resources from induction have been shared via Brightspace - Graduate Orientation Explore module and may be useful as a reference. For help enrolling in the module, see Brightspace enrolment instructions - Graduate Orientation


  GradsConnect Virtual Welcome 2020/21

UCD's President Professor Andrew Deeks and Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor Barbara Dooley have recorded a welcome message for all incoming graduate students (taught & research).  Professor Dooley also discussed supports available to you as graduate students at UCD, in conversation with Philip Smyth of the UCD Institute for Discovery. 

Services & Supports


COVID-19 Arrangements

UCD remains committed to providing the best experience for all our students whilst prioritising the safety of our staff and students