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Strategic Planning

This section of the website sets out the process and templates to assist schools and units in setting out their key strategic goals.  This work should be completed in conjunction with and as an integral part of the budgetary and enrolment elements of the planning process.

This documentation should be completed in as brief a form as possible.  It is strongly recommended that the completed plans should be no more than two pages in length.  Only key items should be outlined and then only in bullet point format.

It is critical that this process is clearly based on the priorities set out in the UCD Strategic Plan 2020-2024 ‘Rising to the Future’ with appropriate contextualisation for the circumstances and opportunities relevant to each school or unit.

Each college and school have also been provided with a copy of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as agreed with the Governing Authority.  Targets for KPIs at University level, College level are also supplied.

UCD is determined to ensure that the school planning process is fully integrated with the budgeting and enrolment planning processes.  A schedule of key dates linking budgetary planning, enrolment planning and strategic planning is included in the planning documentation.  Additionally, the strategic element of each school/unit plan should incorporate a summary of the budget and enrolment plan as appropriate.  The template provides assistance as to how this should be formatted.

Please clearly note that it is critical to the success of this process and to the achievement of the UCD Strategic Plan that Schools and Units set out clearly the areas in which they intend to invest (people, facilities, programmes etc.) in addition to setting out how they plan to raise revenue.  In particular, it should be clearly set out how accumulated reserves (where applicable) will be used to achieve key college and school objectives.

It is intended that each school/unit will complete the documentation.  It will then be discussed at College level or with your relevant Vice-President and amendments/updates agreed as appropriate.  Subsequent to this, it is planned that each College Principal/Vice-President will present a summary of his/her schools/unit to the President and UMT.

The inputs to the process will be published on this website and made available to all relevant college principals, heads of schools and units throughout UCD and will be as follows:

  • UCD Strategic Plan 2020-2024 ‘(opens in a new window)Rising to the Future
  • The plans developed by schools and units during the Planning Process last year in 2023;
  • This website information setting out overall process;
  • Templates for strategic planning, available for downloading from the Documents section of this website;
  • KPI information for each school and college, available via InfoHub.

The output of the process will be as follows:

  • Statement of progress against KPI targets at School level where appropriate, College level and Institutional level;
  • Strategic Plans covering the 5 years to 2028/29 for Schools and Administrative Units.

Key linkages with other strands of the Planning 2024 process are:

  • Financial Planning: The Strategic strand of the plan and the financial planning strand must dovetail. The financial and strategic planning strands should form a single, integrated plan.  A summary of the financial plan is to be attached as an appendix to the strategic plan to support this.
  • Research: The strategic plan should be informed by the processes and information set out in the research strand of the planning process.
  • IT Planning: We will incorporate an IT planning element within the planning process. Units will be asked to identify their key IT requirements as part of the planning process.
  • Quality Assurance: From 2020 onwards, actions identified for a particular school or unit as a result of a Quality Assurance review should be incorporated into the Strategic Plan for that particular School/Unit. Please clearly note that this requirement applies only to Quality Assurance reviews conducted after the 1st January 2020. There is no need to apply this requirement retrospectively.

See the Milestones section for an overview and Google Calendar of all planning dates.

Glossary - Strategic Plan


Key Performance Indicator.

To support the achievement of the objectives set out in the UCD Strategy 2020-2024 ‘Rising to the Future’, a set of 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) has been agreed by the UMT and endorsed by the Governing Authority.  These KPIs with targets broken-down to College and School level will be made available.  Please discuss any questions you have arising from these with your College Principal in the first instance.

FAQs - Strategic Planning

The planning horizon for strategic plans will be the 5 years to 2028/29

Plans should be as concise as possible.  If possible, use bullet points rather than long paragraphs.  We want to make the process as easy and user friendly as possible.

All of our strategies and plans should reflect the priorities identified in overview.  Schools and units should develop their plans for the 5 years  to 2028/29. While this may not represent fundamental changes from plans developed last year, it is appropriate to re-consider all aspects of the plans in the light of our themes, objectives and enablers and how these impact on your school or unit.

Yes, very much so!!  The areas where you plan to invest over the coming years are an essential element of the plan.

Your first point of contact should be your College Principal or Vice-President.  Your local Finance Manager will provide also provide help and support throughout the process.

Additionally, Sarah O'Flaherty or Tony Carey would be delighted to meet with you at any point in the process to discuss any issues you may have.  Please email (opens in a new window)planning@ucd.ie with any queries or to arrange a discussion with Sarah or Tony.


University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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