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University College Dublin

Why choose University College Dublin?

Welcome to University College Dublin, Ireland’s global university, and most popular destination for international students. UCD is home to over 34,000 students, 29% of whom hail from outside of Ireland. Ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutes worldwide, and located in one of the safest and most welcoming cities in the world, UCD’s main campus offers state-of-the-art learning and living facilities, only 3 miles south of Dublin's bustling city centre and Ireland’s major business hubs. UCD is a beautiful self-contained campus with extensive on-campus housing options, academic and recreational facilities.

University College Dublin


Min. SAT Score:
Min. ACT Score:
Min GPA:
Min. Age:
Additional Items:
  • Transcript
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Language Requirement (English)

How to Apply

Application Steps
  • Go to the university course finder page
  • Click Special Groups > Study Abroad > Search. This will give you the list of available applications for study abroad courses
  • Click the blue 'Apply' button for the preferred course
  • Create an account on the application portal
  • Complete & submit the application for review


Min GPA:
Additional Items:
  • Transcript
  • Language Requirement (English)

How to Apply

Application Steps
  • Apply through the online application system
  • Submit a personal statement
  • Collate up-to-date offical transcripts and 2 reference letters

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is University College Dublin known for?

    UCD is known for many things, but has a special reputation for the quality of its degrees in teaching and learning. This makes UCD graduates among the most employable in Ireland.

  • Where does University College Dublin rank?

    University College Dublin ranked #177 in the QS Global World Rankings 2021.

  • Where in Dublin is University College Dublin?

    UCD is located in the southwest of Dublin, about a 20-25 minute car or bus ride. There are several public bus routes that run from the city center to campus, making it easy to access even if you live further from campus.

  • Is Dublin a good place to study abroad?

    Dublin is a great city for studying abroad! It's a major city that's more affordable than many other study abroad destinations, with easy flights to the U.K. and the rest of Europe. You can also explore the rest of Ireland easily by car or bus.


University College Dublin - Scholarship

Scholarships for International Students

UCD is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to international students. All UCD scholarships are advertised online. Please explore the link below to see what options are available to you.

$1,000 - $10,000


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Yes, I recommend this program

Why I Enjoyed my Time at UCD

I initially chose to study abroad at UCD because I knew the business school was very good. I also did not know any other students studying at UCD. The first week, the study abroad program did a very good job putting together events to welcome the international students, and they were a great way to meet new people. During class time, professors did a very good job facilitating discussions, and outside of class they were extremely willing to help when I needed it. Overall, I loved UCD because of the people, the city, and the academics.

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Yes, I recommend this program

UCD Engineering vs American

I enjoyed my time at UCD studying mechanical engineering. I think the classes were not that much harder than my American engineering classes. The academic freedom from accountability was the hardest thing to get used to vs. the US. There is not ongoing academic assessment like homework every week. Class grades are largely determined by a large midterm test or assessment and a final I tried to sign up for a dance class with the dance society every week and was mostly successful. The classes were very laid back and fun. I also engaged with a 5v5 pickup soccer event that was biweekly organized by the student residences which was also a lot of fun.

One reason why I wanted to study abroad at UCD is because international travel within Europe is so cheap compared to traveling from the US. I went on weekend trips to Spain, England, Scotland, France, and Germany. I also went on trips to other cities in Ireland including Cork, Belfast, Galway, and some coastal towns. Getting to spend 20 euro to fly to a different country was absolutely insane to me that it was that cheap.

I studied abroad at UCD via a program called Arcadia Abroad. I personally would recommend doing it through the program if possible because they took care of some of the annoying logistical stuff for me like applying for housing that some of my roommates that didn't study through Arcadia had problems with. From Arcadia, I was also introduced to a cohort of American students via some group bonding events before classes started that was really nice so I could meet people that were in a similar boat and added some familiarity from home to such a foreign experience.

I was assigned what I believe is one of the worst housing options on campus, but I was still really surprised by what was offered. We had our own suite style rooms fully furnished and a full kitchen and common area (no oven unfortunately). The really nice perk was that we had our own private bathrooms which was a really nice bonus I wasn't expecting until I got to my room.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience, rough around the edges

Dublin is an amazing city for many reasons, including its charm, pubs, and views, but it's also not without its flaw when looking to study. There is a very real chance you will not get accommodation from UCD, as me and some of my friends did not. You will instead have to constantly search sites like and the student accommodation pad for some of the most insulting accommodation listings. I ended up paying more than most campus accommodation prices, with a 20 minute bike commute (in Ireland's rainy weather too) that takes over an hour in Dublin's absolute joke of a public transit system. If you're like me, this may even lead to a lengthy tour of the Irish healthcare system after getting hit by a van on your way to class. It's very slow (you're looking at around 9 hours in the ED for just a concussion), but at least the price is much better than the US (hospital visits are free with a GP referral!).

Despite dropping the ball on accommodation, however, there are many things to praise about UCD. Academically, I never once felt as relaxed studying in the US as I did on even the busiest weeks here; the lack of gamified busy work gives you much more time to focus on actually learning the content. Even in my more difficult classes like thermodynamics and heat transfer, I felt I learned just as well as in my home university with only a fraction of the difficulty. There are, however, some culture shocks on final exams since they are such a large part of your grade. UCD also has an amazing system for clubs and societies which I wish my home university would adopt itself (go to freshers week and sign up for as many societies as you can!). The campus resources are plentiful, and the library is amazing, even if its usually too packed to find a good spot to study with friends.

I specifically studied chemical engineering, which had an even smaller program here than at my home university. One of the reasons I chose UCD was because of the lack of similar programs at other institutions. The faculty in all my engineering classes were amazing, however, and I felt welcomed and encouraged in all my classes. Overall, I would recommend UCD to anyone looking for study in Ireland, looking for easy access to cheap Ryanair flights, or anyone that just needs to enjoy some much lighter schoolwork for a semester.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would get myself much more waterproof gear, as you will be wet half the time, especially if you bike.
  • Great academic system
  • Friendly staff, peers
  • Excellent clubs and activities
  • Accommodation troubles
  • Rainy
  • Cost of living
Response from University College Dublin

Thanks Drew for your review. Whilst we are not in a position to facilitate all students in on-campus housing, we do have more capacity on-campus in the spring than in the autumn when you studied with us.
Looking to the future, UCD is building more residences to add to our existing portfolio which will come on stream in the next few years. UCD also has a bus terminus on-campus next to the student residences which is an easy 30-minute commute into the city centre. UCD is facilitated by all of the major bus routes so I am guessing that your off-campus accommodation was not well facilitated to UCD.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Engineering Abroad @ UCD

UCD has an amazing engineering study abroad program. Compared to my home university (GW), their engineering program is much bigger and they offer a huge variety of classes. Although it may seem hard to study abroad as an engineering major, UCD makes it very easy to get classes that will transfer over to your home university. They also have a very extensive study abroad program that plans free trips for you to travel around Ireland and meet other study abroad/erasmus students. It was also relatively easy to travel to other places. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Prague, and Rome during my time at UCD. The only negative is that most of the local students do not live on campus, so it can be a little hard to meet Irish students.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to go to all of the UCD events in the beginning of the semester! It can be a great way to meet other students.
  • Culture
  • Location
  • Safe Campus
  • Almost everything on campus is closed on weekends
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Engineering Student at UCD

I have thoroughly enjoyed my semester abroad at UCD. While I am studying business and environmental science at my home university (Northeastern), the classes I ended up taking at UCD placed me in the engineering program. The academic staff was incredibly helpful in the planning process with my home university, and it has been enlightening to gain an Irish and European perspective on the topics I'm studying. Ireland's close proximity to Europe is also great for weekend trips, and I was thankful to have traveled to Switzerland and Scotland for relatively cheap. Highly recommend at semester abroad at UCD for anyone interested!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pace yourself! When studying abroad, it can be tempting to say "yes" to everything and burn yourself out. Try new things and meet new people, but also take care of your own health, rest plenty, and don't forget about your academics! Also, I found that the education system here is more self-paced and weighs final exams more heavily than in the U.S., so keep that in mind.
  • Travel
  • Culture
  • Flexibility
  • Cold
  • Dark
  • Wet


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I had studied abroad for a mini-term in London last year and loved every second of it. However, it was simply not enough time. When I heard that the Honors Program at my school was partnering with UCD to send over a cohort of students each semester, I thought it would be a good fit. I really wanted to go back to Europe and I had never been to Ireland, so I thought why not? My scholarships from my home University still applied, so it was about the same cost-wise. Also, the staff at UCD were so friendly and accommodating- they made the whole process so easy! Thanks to their help, all my classes will transfer, and I will still be on-track for graduation. I couldn’t have planned it to work out any better than it has!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The staff at UCD were extremely organized and were available to assist with everything from the application process to picking classes to finding housing. They also made themselves very accessible in answering any and all questions, even ones that arose throughout the semester. I can't think of anything that needed to be organized on my own besides arranging my travel to and from Ireland, and even then they would still be able to advise you.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Enjoy every moment! Ireland has so many amazing places to see, make sure you take advantage of every second there. Also, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and do things out of your comfort zone.

If you can, take moments every so often to reflect on the experience, because you will get so much more out of it that way.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day consists of class for a few hours, maybe grabbing a chicken fillet roll from the Centra on campus, then a lot of free time to explore the city, hang out with friends, and travel! There isn't much schoolwork until the end of the semester, so weekends can be spent exploring Dublin or traveling to other cities and countries in Europe.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I think my biggest fear was actually making friends, just because you were in a completely new place in which you don't know anyone. It can be scary, especially since you leave all of your friends and family behind, but what I realized- just like the first week of college freshman year- everyone is in the same boat and looking to make friends. It was so easy, I even met a few friends on my flight over. I became really close with all my friends and I'm so grateful that Ireland brought us together.

How are the classes in terms of difficulty and structure?

The classes were a little different than what I was used to in the states. For instance, we had very few assignments and one final exam that counted for a large majority of our grade, as opposed to multiple tests, homework, and assignments throughout the semester. Moreover, the exams were also majority essay-based responses as opposed to multiple choice.

Finally, the grading scale is a bit different- more subjective. To achieve an A on an assignment requires effort above and beyond, and most professors are selective in awarding A's. Thus, the classes are a bit on the challenging end, but not in terms of workload, in terms of quality on assignments. However, it is nothing to be worried about, everyone I know ended up doing well enough. I'm just mentioning this as something to keep in mind, so you are a bit more prepared for what is to come.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Aoife Redmond

Job Title
International Programme Manager - School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems

Aoife has been an International Education professional for over 10 years and has worked extensively worldwide and in Ireland leading groups of international students through academic, volunteer, and leadership programs. She joined UCD International in 2016 as the Arts and Humanities Study Abroad Manager and is now the International Programme Manager for the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I had the opportunity to live with a hill tribe family in Chang Rai, Thailand for a short time, and it was incredible! We taught English in their school, helped on their farm, and visited groups within their village such as their Mayoral team, medics, and women's groups. It was truly an eye-opening experience!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I find it very heartening that the Nursing Study Abroad students we receive are just as dedicated to their future healthcare careers as our Irish students are. It makes me proud to know that the young people we work with will really make a difference in the world after their studies, and we get to be a small part of that. It motivates me to make the Study Abroad experience as smooth as possible for our incoming students and showcase our school as much as a positive and supportive learning hub.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

My favorite stories are those where past students come back to visit the friends they have made at UCD and in Dublin for vacation.

I love that even a single semester can forge friendships that last beyond the academic experience.

I also love to hear about students who perhaps weren't accustomed to traveling before their Study Abroad semester and who are now travelling and experiencing new places whenever they can. I am extremely happy that these students get to do that because their semester showed them how small the world is and how important it is to see as much of it as possible!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I could go back in time and study abroad during my own college experience, I would do that in a heartbeat! I traveled as an international student after my MA, and it was life changing. However, I also think that taking the leap during my undergrad would have been really impactful as a slightly younger person. Travel is ALWAYS the right choice and should be undertaken at every opportunity!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The UCD staff are completely dedicated to supporting our Study Abroad students and their experience in Dublin, Ireland and Europe. No matter what subject area a student may choose, there is a staff member they can touch base with before they arrive and meet with when they are here to help them navigate their time here. From choosing the right academic modules to helping them figure out how to get to the airport for their next adventure, the UCD staff are there help out in any way we can. Our priority is to deliver a great student experience all round, and that makes me proud.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Teamwork, understanding, and fun! International Education is a great industry to work in. It is ever changing, and we get to meet wonderful faculty and students semester after semester. Working together towards successful programming, understanding, and learning from our students’ experiences and having great fun along the way can only lead to great things!

Articles About Studying Abroad in Ireland