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Founded in 1854 by John Henry Newman, University College Dublin (UCD), home to the UCD Drama Studies Center, is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities. At UCD, undergraduate education, master's and PhD training, research, innovation and community engagement all come together to form a dynamic spectrum of activity.

Today UCD is Ireland's largest and most diverse university with over 30,000 students, drawn from approximately 124 countries around the world. It actively promotes university life as a journey of intellectual and personal discovery through its highly innovative and flexible UCD Horizons undergraduate curriculum and is the most popular destination for Irish school-leavers.

University College Dublin is Ireland’s leader in graduate education with approximately 7,000 graduate students, and almost 2,000 PhD students. Over 50% of UCD undergraduates progress to graduate studies in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.

UCD is home to over 6,000 international students and delivers degrees to over 5,000 students on overseas campuses. In addition, the University places great emphasis on the internationalization of the Irish student experience – preparing all UCD students for future employment and life that crosses borders, boundaries and cultures.

University College of Dublin:  By the Numbers

Below are some interesting facts about the University College of Dublin as of the 2013 school year, listed by numbers: 

  • 1—UCD is ranked within top 1% of higher education institutions world-wide
  • 23—the total percentage of international students
  • 24—the percentage of international staff
  • 51—the percentage of non-Exchequer funding received by the institution
  • 121—the number of different nationalities within the student body
  • 133—the number of hectares making up the woodland campus
  • 423—million euro annual turnover
  • 454—million euro won in externally funded research in last 5 years
  • 1596—the number of PhD students
  • 5,448—the number of international students studying on campuses overseas
  • 6,170—the number of international students on the UCD campus
  • 8,054—the total number of graduate students
  • 8,398—the number of awards/degrees conferred each year
  • 31,804—the total number of students at UCD (including those studying abroad)
  • 2,000,00—the number of annual visits to the UCD library

Brief History of University College Dublin

Originally known as the Catholic University of Ireland and subsequently as the Royal University, the university became University College Dublin in 1908 and a constituent college of the National University of Ireland (NUI). In 1997, UCD became an autonomous university within the loose federal structure of the NUI and UCD students are now awarded degrees of the National University of Ireland.

UCD has been a major contributor to the making of modern Ireland. Many UCD students and staff participated in the struggle for Irish independence and the university has produced numerous Irish Presidents and Taoisigh (Prime Ministers) in addition to generations of Irish business, professional, cultural and sporting leaders. Among UCD’s well-known graduates are authors (Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle, and Flann O’Brien), actors (Gabriel Byrne and Brendan Gleeson), directors (Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan) and sports stars such as Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll and former Manchester United and Ireland captain Kevin Moran. Perhaps the best known of all its graduates is the writer James Joyce, who completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at UCD in 1902.

Teaching and Learning at University College Dublin

University College Dublin places a strong emphasis on delivering world-class education for its students. Research, the use of robust institutional data and quality enhancement, highlight the university’s high teaching standards, innovative curricular structures and a student-focused learning environment.

UCD draws on the educational philosophy of its founding rector, John Henry Newman, who saw education as character forming, individual and permanent.  UCD aims to provide students with an excellent learning experience from their first day attending the university to their graduation and to provoke in each of them a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Research and Innovation at University College Dublin

University College Dublin is the national leader in research funding, attracting quality investment that has helped the university to establish a reputation as a world-class destination for leading researchers.

UCD has prioritized five major research themes which build on the university’s established or emerging research strengths.

The five major research themes are:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Culture, Economy and Society
  • Health
  • Information, Computation and Communication
  • Agri-Food

Collectively these themes contribute to the preservation and exploration of Ireland’s cultural heritage and the development of solutions for current global challenges.

UCD is home to a number of primary Research Institutes which have been established to provide world-class facilities for a critical mass of academics and PhD students who are conducting research into a broad spectrum of areas. These institutes include:

  • UCD Complex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory
  • UCD Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research
  • UCD Earth Institute
  • UCD Geary Institute
  • UCD Humanities Institute
  • UCD Institute for Food and Health

UCD also leads or partners with several major externally-funded Centers for Science, Engineering and Technology, Strategic Research Clusters, Inter-Institutional Collaborative Programs and other Research Centers, focusing on areas such as sensor web technologies, systems biology, drug delivery, solar energy conversion, financial mathematics, electricity grid integration, molecular medicine and war studies.

Information for International Students

UCD is home to approximately 6,000 international students from 121 countries. Many of these are full-degree undergraduate or postgraduate students spread across UCD’s wide range of subject offerings.

UCD also offers vibrant Junior Year Abroad (JYA) and Semester Abroad programs for international students seeking to sample Irish and European education and culture for shorter periods of time. While initially designed for United States’ students only, these programs are becoming increasing popular for students from other countries as well.

UCD has student exchange and/or collaborative educational programs with many leading Chinese universities including Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University, Fudan University, Wuhan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shenzhen University.

UCD students have access to a variety of study abroad and international volunteering opportunities. The university has the largest outgoing cohort of Erasmus exchange programs of any English-speaking university in Europe. In addition, UCD is a member of the Universitas 21 network of global research universities which offers a variety of student mobility initiatives, including the Undergraduate Research Conference, Summer School, and traditional student exchange programs.

All Programs Available:
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    • Performing Arts
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Carysfort Avenue Blackrock - Co., Dublin, Ireland

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