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University College Dublin



University College Dublin (UCD) is the most international and diverse university in Ireland. Based in the vibrant capital city of Dublin, UCD is home to a global community with 9,500 students from 152 different countries.

UCD is ranked in the top 1 per cent of higher education institutions worldwide. In the 2022 QS World University Rankings, UCD was named 173rd in the world. Around 93 per cent of the university's graduates progress to employment or higher studies within six months of completing their course.

Many students attend UCD because of its excellence in teaching and research. Additionally, they are attracted to the programme portfolio and the holistic experience that is offered. The main university campus is located in Belfield, Dublin, on 133 hectares of beautiful parkland estate.

Being a student at UCD means that there are countless clubs and societies to join, where everyone can explore their interests and make new friends. This, alongside the friendly campus environment, offers an unrivalled experience for those who are looking to study overseas.

International students at UCD will enjoy living in a country that has modern cities as well as thousands of years of history and culture. Ireland is an ideal destination for both undergraduate and graduate study with the Irish education system ranked in the global top ten. UCD graduates are highly sought after in government, industry, NGOs and organisations worldwide.

Ireland offers opportunities to world markets as it is one of the most open and globally connected countries worldwide. Its geographic location, and EU and Eurozone membership, means that there are easily accessible international links to the entire world.

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UCD is proud to have been ranked first in Ireland and 87th in the world for employability (2022 QS World University Graduate Employability Rankings). It has held the number one spot in Ireland since 2018 and is rated highly for its excellent relationship with employers - the HEA report on graduate earnings shows that after eight years, UCD undergraduate and graduate students have the highest average annual earnings of any Irish university.

UCD is ranked number 22 in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which benchmark universities against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UCD rose 12 places in these rankings, following the university's new ‘Rising to the Future' strategy. One of the main areas of the strategy is striving to create a sustainable global society.

The university was also ranked very highly amongst universities in Ireland for two individual SDGs:

  • UCD ranked 41st for SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth
  • UCD ranked 32nd for SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

''The new ranking recognises UCD's achievements and commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through its teaching, research, knowledge transfer and governance,'' said Professor Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Dean of Social Sciences.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Quality of Education at UCD

In the 2022 QS World Subject Rankings, UCD was named among the best 50 universities globally in the study of library & information management, English language & literature, archaeology, and veterinary science. UCD also ranks number one in Ireland in 20 out of 51 subjects ranked by QS, up from 16 in 2021.

The UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business is placed 28th in the Financial Times' 2021 report on leading European Business Schools. The graduate business school has consistently ranked in the top 100 in the Financial Times' MBA rankings since 2000.

UCD has the best internationally accredited curriculum in Ireland. With centres in cities such as Beijing, Dubai and New York, students can enjoy a global university that is a member of a number of international research and education networks including Universities 21, UNICA and the World Universities Network.

More than a third of the faculty is made up of international academics, while more than a quarter of the student community originates outside of Ireland.

The undergraduate curriculum is large, diverse and offers UCD Horizons, where students can explore other areas they are interested in alongside their chosen degree. All programmes have both core and optional module selections, so everyone can adapt and grow in a unique way.

For postgraduate students, UCD is home to a vibrant graduate community based on two campuses and associated research and teaching centres. A wide variety of programmes are available to study, including doctoral, taught and research master's, graduate diploma and certificate programmes.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

Global Opportunities for UCD Graduates

Ireland is consistently named within the top ten globally for the quality of its education system. Ireland's higher education is tailored to the needs of the competitive economy. The innovative and progressive global companies that base their European headquarters in Ireland consistently employ the country's highly educated graduates. These include Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook among many more.

UCD graduates are always in demand. Around 93 per cent of students enter professional employment or further study within six months of graduating from UCD.

UCD has a global alumni network of some 300,000 graduates working in many top organisations. Many graduates remain in Ireland after studying and pursue careers there, as the Irish economy is one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone.

The UCD alumni network is spread out over 185 countries with many at the top of their respective fields. This makes UCD alumni and graduates both international and influential. UCD has among their alumni four Irish Taoiseach (Prime Ministers), three Irish presidents, four current Irish cabinet ministers as well as five of Ireland's European Commissioners.

Careers Network

At UCD, students can take advantage of the Careers Network that provides a variety of support to help with decision-making and career plans. Services include:

  • Personal career guidance
  • Resource room
  • Workshops
  • Interview preparation
  • CV support

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic and English language entry requirements vary by course. The admissions team is experienced at assessing applications from all over the world. Students can select their country and find further information about the qualifications accepted.

Prospective students can apply to UCD through the University's Online Application System from the 1st of October. The deadline for undergraduates is the 15th of July. There are usually no specific deadlines for graduate applications. All applications are processed on a rolling basis, and some programmes are more competitive than others and can reach capacity before the given deadline, so students are advised to apply early.

English language requirements

As programmes are taught in English, international students will need to prove a high level of English proficiency. Normally an average IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with at least a score of 6.0 in each band, or equivalent, is required for admission for both undergraduate and graduate students, but some programmes may have a higher requirement.

Pathway Programmes

UCD offers a number of pathway programmes for both undergraduate and graduate courses. These courses have been designed for students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry.

Supported by the International Study Centre, with its world-class learning environment, students enrolled in the International Foundation Year pathway programme are given excellent support and guidance. This allows them to develop the requisite skills to confidently progress to undergraduate degree studies.

A preparatory programme for postgraduate studies is also available. The UCD pre-master's pathway programme aims to facilitate the development English language proficiency and academic skills enabling students to successfully adjust to the rigors of a new learning culture at postgraduate level.

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UCD offers students a wide and diverse range of facilities, regarded as some of the best in Ireland. Students have the opportunity to get involved in a multitude of activities, from keeping fit to joining societies. The Student Centre and the UCD Sport and Fitness complex are the hub of student life on campus. At the Student Centre students have access to top-quality facilities, with everything from a 600-seat auditorium and 3-D cinema to numerous shops and social spaces. The centre also looks after the health of students with a pharmacy and medical centre.

Student societies and networks are a great way for students to explore interests and develop new ones. They have the choice of over 80 student societies, which are great for international students in providing the opportunity to network and meet new people. Some examples include the International Student Society and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), who organise numerous events and activities.

The Sport and Fitness Centre is extremely well equipped and provides for a wide variety of activities, regardless of the fitness level of students. They can take advantage of everything from a 50-metre swimming pool and climbing wall to squash courts and spinning studios. There are also numerous pitches for football, rugby, hockey and a fully equipped high-performance gym.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

UCD recognises student excellence and achievement by providing a large range of scholarships and awards, which celebrate the diverse talents of students. Several of these awards are held in high esteem by employers and industry.

To award outstanding achievement and to attract students of the highest calibre from around the world, UCD offers a number of scholarships to international students. These are competitive and based on academic excellence, country of origin and subject area.

Students from all over the world are welcome to use the scholarship search tool to find the scholarships open to them and to apply. Students must first have an offer of a place to study at UCD in order to apply for a scholarship. Some of the scholarships and awards available include:

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International students

Average cost of living in Ireland

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Total average cost: €1747

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