Frequently Asked Questions

About UCD Online

UCD Online is an established flexible learning initiative from University College Dublin that provides
fully accredited and recognised online education from UCD faculty for both local and international students

Yes. UCD Online is an established flexible learning initiative from University College Dublin that provides fully accredited and recognised online education for both local and international students. There is no distinction made between qualifications earned on campus or through UCD Online.

All UCD Online courses are developed, delivered and supported by the same world-class academics who educate our campus-based students.

Yes. University College Dublin is a recognised awarding body meaning the university has the authority to make awards in accordance with the National Framework of Qualifications. UCD has well-established quality assurance procedures and is subject to periodic reviews of these procedures by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). UCD qualifications are recognised both nationally and internationally. In addition, UCD has strong global connections since it is a member of several international networks and collaborations within research and education

No. UCD makes no distinction between a qualification delivered on campus or through e-learning, via UCD Online. Every UCD course is subject to the same quality assurance procedures regardless of the mode of delivery. A UCD award does not make reference to the mode of study through which the qualification was earned.

All UCD students are invited to attend a conferring ceremony on campus upon successful completion of their degree course, regardless of whether they study on campus or through UCD Online. All students will be awarded a UCD parchment stating their qualification. The method of study (i.e., online, face-to-face) is not stated on your parchment. In some cases, a conferring ceremony may also be held for receipt of Certificate/Diploma awards.

UCD Online offers full courses that contain a number of modules. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Upon successful completion of an individual module you will have earned a number of credits (usually a multiple of 5). Upon successful completion of a pre-specified collection of modules you will have completed a course and earned a qualification. Each course descriptor outlines the number of modules/credits required to successfully complete the course.

There are two ways to study with UCD Online. Students may choose to study full time and complete their course in the minimum time allowed. Alternatively, students may enrol in a part time pathway, to work towards a qualification where relevant/qualifying modules will contribute to the final award, e.g. a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or MSc degree qualification. Studying part time, students typically spend one year for a Graduate Certificate or Diploma qualification, two years for an MSc Degree and a maximum of four years for all.

Applying to UCD Online

While all courses typically have a start date in September, some also offer start dates in January. Please see the relevant course descriptor for the start date of the course you are interested in.

UCD Online applicants apply directly to UCD via UCD Applications.  If you are not a UCD student and have not applied previously, you must register before using the system for the first time. You'll find step-by-step instructions on how to apply on this page.  If you have already registered you can return to the secure system using the login details you registered with. If you are a current or previous UCD student, please use your UCD student number (the system will pre-populate your personal details and you will not be requested to send transcripts).

All courses have specific entry requirements which are outlined on their individual descriptor pages. If you feel you should qualify for a course or module and that your specific circumstances are not catered for in the entry requirements section, you should use the enquiry function to contact the course director to clarify. Mature students are warmly welcomed by UCD Online

Graduate applicants who attended a third level institution (other than UCD) are required to provide an electronic copy of all of their academic transcripts, detailing all modules taken and individual results. Applicants should submit any other relevant documentation in support of their application, e.g. C.V, reference. Teaching in UCD is through the medium of English; therefore you must demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language to be admitted. Details on UCD's minimum English language requirements can be found here.

You can check the progress of your application by logging into your application account and viewing your Application Status (e.g. offer, no offer, etc.)

Applications may open at various stages throughout the year but, in general, applications for graduate taught programmes to start next September, open on 1st October. Most courses operate a rolling admissions policy with decisions being taken as soon as possible after receipt of completed applications. Therefore, it is advisable that you do not delay making an application as competition for places may result in courses reaching capacity quickly. In general, courses remain open until such time as all places have been filled.

Yes, you can find the relevant contact details for the course you are interested in here.

Studying with UCD Online

 Yes. All UCD Online students are fully registered students of University College Dublin and will receive a UCD student card.

Yes, as a fully registered UCD student you are welcome to come to campus and use our facilities.

UCD Connect is your online campus. There you have access to important online IT services and information such as the  Brightspace virtual learning environment, Library Electronic Resources, Connect Files, SIS Web, email, calendars, and more.

Courses delivered through UCD Online aim to provide you with a quality education using a flexible approach. In most cases this means there will be minimal attendance requirements. Some modules have an exam that you must take in a UCD exam centre. These exams take place during scheduled exam periods in May and December. Some courses opt to assess students using alternative methods meaning that the student is not required to attend campus at all. Please see the relevant course page(s) for more detailed information.

UCD Online courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment, Brightspace, meaning that you can participate from anywhere in the world providing you have a device with Internet access. Some modules will require you to travel to the UCD exam centre for an end of module exam which will be scheduled during a predefined exam period. 

Strong commitment is required for online learning. The expected time commitment varies depending on the qualification being earned, the number of modules it requires and the number of credits each individual module is worth. A typical 5 credit module requires 100-120 hours of student effort in total, usually over a 12 week period.

UCD Online aims to provide you with a flexible education that you can fit around your current personal and work commitments. Other than the end of module exams, which you may be required to sit in Dublin, most courses are structured in a way that enables you to study while continuing to work. In fact, the majority of UCD Online students since 2013 have combined their study with work. For full details of the expected commitment for each course/module please see the relevant course and module descriptor pages. Employers often recognise the benefits of further learning. Please enquire in your workplace to find out if you are eligible for study leave or financial assistance.

UCD Online courses are delivered through the Brightspace virtual learning environment (VLE). UCD academics and personal tutors make module content available to students enabling them to download/view content from wherever they may be. Most modules are delivered on demand, meaning that you may study at times that suit you. Many modules use continuous methods of assessments providing flexibility and ongoing feedback, which help to reassure and motivate you while studying independently. Lecture material may be presented in a variety of formats including audio/visual lectures, interactive learning materials, podcasts, videos etc. We also encourage and facilitate students to form study groups.

Lectures and course materials are designed and delivered by a UCD academic who is an expert in the subject matter. Learning supports are provided by personal tutors who will assist you with matters relating to the  virtual learning environment. They will answer module related questions, provide feedback and facilitate group discussions through the use of forums within the virtual learning environment.

In some cases, UCD Online courses offer a Module to Masters pathway as a flexible way to study modules in a UCD Online course with the potential to work your way towards a qualification. For more information about the qualifications you may earn through each course please visit the course descriptor.

Each course descriptor specifies a minimum and maximum duration within which you must complete your course. While each module typically runs over a 12 week period, how long you take to complete a course depends on the pace at which you decide to take your modules.  

The methods of assessment are specific to each module and details can be found on the course pages and the module descriptor pages which they link to. Students may be required to travel to a UCD exam centre for one or two days during the standard UCD exam period.

A breakdown of course fees can be found on the UCD fees website. It is advisable to note the exact course code when checking the fees. Course codes for each level can be found on the course page.

Yes, your employer may choose to fund your studies. This may be an attractive option to many employers as the flexibility of UCD Online will enable you to continue to work while you study. By providing your employer with some basic information including your Application/Student Number and date of birth, they may pay your fees securely, on your behalf, using our online payments system.

Please read more here for further information on the Revenue Commission scheme for tax relief on fees.

Ready to take the next step?

Make an enquiry See faqs