Over 160 years of education and contribution
University College Dublin has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century under the leadership of the renowned educationalist John Henry Cardinal Newman. Since its foundation in 1854, the University has flourished and made a unique and substantial contribution to the creation of modern Ireland, based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity.
UCD is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities; an environment where undergraduate education, masters and PhD training, research, innovation and community engagement form a dynamic spectrum of activity.
The international standing of UCD has grown in recent years; it is currently ranked within the top 1% of institutions world-wide. UCD is also Ireland's most globally engaged university with over 30,000 students drawn from over 120 countries, and includes 5,500 students based at locations outside of Ireland. The University's main Dublin campus occupies an extensive parkland estate of more than 130 hectares and offers world-leading facilities including the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD Sutherland School of Law, UCD Lochlan Quinn School of Business and UCD Student Centre.
As Ireland's largest university, with its great strength and diversity of disciplines, UCD embraces its role to contribute to the flourishing of Ireland; through the study and discussion of people, society, business, economy, culture, languages and the creative arts, as well as through research and innovation. The University's Strategy 2015-2020 outlines the objectives and major strategic initiatives set in place in order to accomplish UCD's mission and vision for this era.
Tackling global challenges: Research & Innovation at UCD
Research and innovation are essential drivers of a dynamic economy, an informed society and a vibrant culture. The spectrum of research and innovation at UCD encompasses individual scholars, small, medium and large research groups, start-up companies and large-scale collaborations with industry and other partners. Research is conducted within each of the University's extensive range of disciplines, and in multidisciplinary research programmes addressing challenges of global scale.
In 2013/14 UCD researchers secured €114 million in research grants from national and international funding agencies, companies and foundations. Since 2004 UCD researchers have secured over €1 billion in such grants. Their research underpins national research and technology institutes and centres, including the €75 million Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the largest research grant in the history of the Irish state.
UCD has had nationally-leading success in many of the most prestigious European awards, including the European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie schemes.
Over the last decade UCD researchers have doubled their annual number of papers in the international literature and have co-authored publications with more than 7,000 international researchers from more than 130 countries. These papers are cited by other researchers at a rate that is 59% above the world average.
As Ireland's leader in innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation, UCD's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship recognises the importance of actively participating, contributing and collaborating to exploit leading-edge research and development outputs. In 2014 UCD was ranked 5th among European universities for its track record in educating successful entrepreneurs.
UCD offers the biggest start-up incubator centre and support in Ireland. Supports for innovation include NovaUCD, the centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs; NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre; and the UCD Enterprise Gateway. To date 30 UCD spin-out companies and 242 start-ups have been supported by NovaUCD and over €100 million in equity funding has been raised for spin-outs.
Defining educational excellence: Teaching and Learning at UCD
UCD is Ireland's University of first choice, leading in first-preference applications in Ireland year after year; as well as being the university of first choice for international students coming to Ireland. The University attracts top students: some 1,525 of the 1st year entrants in 2014 achieved 500 Leaving Certificate points – just 10% of all Leaving Cert students attain these results. The first year retention rate is 98% and over half of UCD undergraduates progress to graduate studies.
UCD is globally recognised for its excellence in teaching and learning – 9 subjects are ranked in the top 100 in the world out of 30 subjects (QS World University Ranking by Subject 2015) and the University is first in Ireland in 12 subjects. This quality of teaching is complemented by a high standard of support. Every incoming first year is assigned a peer mentor and there are student advisers for every programme.
UCD is Ireland's leader in graduate education with over 8,000 graduate students, almost a quarter of whom are graduate research students; 1,580 PhD students benefit from a structured PhD programme, as well as the research-led education culture at UCD.
The UCD Horizons scheme of modern, modularised education based on learning outcomes, sees 50% of students take modules outside their subject areas. UCD is the only Irish university to provide the EU Supplement Label to students for international recognition of qualifications and is also number one in Ireland in QS Employer Reputation Survey – 129th in the world.
The role of UCD within Irish higher education is underscored by the fact that UCD alone accounts for over 30% of international students, over 25% of all graduate students and almost 28% of all doctoral enrolments across the seven Irish universities.
UCD's world extends beyond its campus, city and borders. UCD students and worldwide network of 224,000 graduates benefit from a UCD education that enables them to thrive and contribute in an increasingly global community. As the number one 'university of destination' for international students coming to Ireland, UCD's 6,500 international students, make up 25% of the student body and degrees are delivered to over 5,500 students on overseas campuses. International academics make up 35% of UCD's faculty, while some 50% of UCD research staff are non-Irish. Those interested in joining UCD's expert research and teaching staff can find out more here
With 400 partner universities for student exchange, UCD's extensive global study opportunities are taken up by 18% of undergraduates – the highest of any Irish university. UCD is engaged in partnerships including the networks Universitas 21, Erasmus, UNICA and EUC.
UCD expertise is recognised worldwide, with international accreditations for UCD degrees from the world's leading professional organisations in Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Architecture, Regional and Urban Planning, Engineering and Diagnostic Imaging. The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business is one of less than 60 schools worldwide to hold triple accreditation from the US, Europe and the UK accrediting bodies.
UCD faculty engage in international research collaborations, sharing and contributing to a global bank of knowledge that aims to impact on society. In order to further expand this global engagement, UCD is developing a network of UCD Global Centres, each of which provides a hub of research and education connections for students, faculty, alumni and partners.