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Intake and Enrolment Planning Strand

Planning 2024

Intake and Enrolment Planning

This strand covers our planning of student numbers and is closely linked to enabler 2 in the university strategy - 'Increase Our Student Population'. Planning covers both Intake - to the number of students entering Stage 1 / Year 1 - and enrolment - the number of registrations in total i.e., entering plus continuing.

At undergraduate level Intake planning drives Enrolment planning, but for other levels Enrolment is planned and translated into equivalent Student Intake.

Undergraduate Intake

Deans prepare the undergraduate student intake plans. Plans are expressed in terms of EU and Non-EU target places for each CAO code. For EU, sub-targets by Admissions entry route (e.g., HEAR, DARE, QQI-FET, Mature, Open Learning, Access Progression) are required and for non-EU, targets need to be split between direct applicants and those progressing from IFY programme. Intake Plans are prepared by Deans and agreed with the Director of Admissions and Strategic Enrolment. Deans are responsible for ensuring local agreement with College Principals, Heads of School and Finance Managers. This plan is referred to as the Dean’s Plan.

The EU intake planned for a CAO course in September 2024 has already been published, so only increases will be feasible for 2024. For later years, increases or decreases may be planned.

Undergraduate Intake plans are concluded at an early stage of the planning process so that the subsequent enrolment and fee income planning may be performed.

To enable school fee income planning CAO codes must be mapped to our internal (Program and Major) codes. For programmes with multiple majors, mapping of undergraduate Student Intake to Major Registrations cannot be known with certainty in advance, and is subject to discussion between Deans, Heads, Principals and Finance Managers. Finance Managers use the financial planning system (PBCS) for planned Intake and planned Major Registrations which feed into the financial targets rather than operational targets.


Registrations other than for the undergraduate Stage 1 are planned by Heads of School in consultation with Finance Managers and are entered onto PBCS by Finance Managers. For Stage 1 or Year 1, the registrations are translated to equivalent Student Intake using assumptions.

For multi-year or multi-stage programmes, the registrations for Stage 2/Year 2 onwards may be calculated on the system using assumptions regarding student progression or may be manually entered/amended.

International students

UCD Global provides guidance on international (Non-EU) recruitment, but does not feed directly into the school intake or enrolment plans. Guidance will be provided to College Principals and Finance Managers, based on analysis of the Census registrations, applications activity plus Market Plans. This guidance is available to Heads via InfoHub.

When draft school enrolment plans have been developed, UCD Global will review them with College Principals and Finance Managers to provide feedback and the opportunity for amendment before final submission.

The Enrolment Plan (ie Major Registrations) is a key driver of fee income in the Financial Planning strand. Registrations determine student FTEs and therefore the fee income attributed to schools. While Intake and Enrolment Planning is described as a separate strand to Financial Planning, it is an integral part of the overall planning of registrations, student FTEs and fee income and will normally be carried out as a single process.

Programme Deans and Finance Managers will liaise to ensure consistency between enrolments planned at Major level and expected total enrolments based on Dean's Plans.

See the Milestones section for an overview and Google Calendar.

  • Undergraduate Intake Template, provided by Director of Admissions and Enrolment Planning to Deans on 16th January.
  • Registrations in Base Five Year Plan, provided as part of the Financial Pack (Base Plan). In some cases Finance Managers will provide Heads with an Excel Registrations Template to complete offline.
  • UCD Global’s Market Plans, College-level guidance document
  • Admissions and Retention Statistics for 2021, available on the (opens in a new window)intranet. These reports give details by programme area and may be of assistance to you in your planning.

Content to be added

  • Intake Plan – Undergraduate (Completed spreadsheet template)
  • Intake Plan – Other. On PBCS. Reports available to Dir of Admissions and Enrolment Planning and UCD Global.
  • Enrolment Plan. On PBCS. Reports included in Financial Pack (Submission).

FAQs - Intake and Enrolment Planning

Any unfilled places in any of the Access cohorts (e.g. HEAR, DARE, QQI-FET, Access Progression ) can be made available to other Access cohorts in later offer rounds . If there are no waiting lists in the other Access groups, the balance will go to school leavers.


University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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