Approximately 120,000 students in total attend the Dublin region’s five universities. The oldest, Trinity, is in the heart of the city. Four of the others have campuses in the suburbs and one is located in the town of Maynooth, about 25km from the city centre. While each have their particular strengths, between them they offer courses in everything from astrophysics to zoology. Business, tech, law and the humanities are all popular choices. The Irish Universities website has more facts.
Trinity College Dublin, the sole college of the University of Dublin, was established in 1592. It is Dublin’s oldest and most illustrious university and counts Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Jonathan Swift among its alumni. More recent graduates include Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, actor Dominic West and rock icon Courtney Love. Its historic campus is a landmark on College Green in the heart of Dublin, close to the city’s vibrant nightlife and shopping districts.
The university library is Ireland’s largest and oldest. Its collection holds more than six million printed volumes, including the Book of Kells – Ireland’s most important national treasure.
In the QS World University Ranking for 2018, Trinity was placed 104th and in the top 50 in four subject areas: Nursing, English, Classics and Politics & International Studies.
University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s largest university by student number. 27% of its student come from outside the country (source: UCD.ie), making it one of Ireland’s most outward-looking institutions of higher learning. The Dublin campus stretches across 130 hectares of parkland in the south of the city and includes world-class facilities devoted to research in science, law and business.
UCD prides itself on its track record of excellent research and innovation. Its academics have penned publications with over 7,000 international researchers from more than 130 countries, producing a body of research that is cited at a rate 59% higher than the world average (source: UCD.ie). It prides itself on turning that research into real-world results. NovaUCD, the university’s centre for new ventures and entrepreneurs, has supported over 360 companies and early-stage ventures since it opened 15 years ago.
International students can look forward to strong support from UCD’s Office of Global Engagement, through its academic advisers and career counsellors, on-campus housing, and cutting-edge sports and campus facilities.
Dublin City University (DCU) is the city’s youngest, having been established in 1975. It offers programmes in a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, health, engineering and computing. It established the first faculty of education in an Irish university and holds a place in the Times Higher Education ‘Young Universities’ listing, a ranking of the best universities in the world under fifty years old.
DCU is a thoroughly modern university. The John & Aileen O’Reilly library gives digital records the same importance as books and journals, with a collection of 250,000 volumes. Business and enterprise is a major focus. Its USTART start-up accelerator supports students with business space and funding to launch their own enterprises.
International students, hailing from 110 different countries, make up 22% of DCU’s student body. They receive excellent support from the university’s International Office, including help with immigration requirements, accommodation, and social events.
In the QS World University Ranking for 2018, DCU was placed 422nd.
Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) is Ireland’s first technological university and was formed in early 2019. It’s a multi-campus university made up of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT). TU Dublin is the largest higher education Institution in the country with almost 28,000 students and over 3,000 staff.
Dublin Institute of Technology’s history stretches back to 1887 when the first technical education institution in Ireland was established. Since then it has distinguished itself in engineering, science, marketing, pharmaceuticals, and journalism. Several of its alumni also hold prominent places in Ireland’s political class.
Around 20% of DIT’s students are from outside Ireland and are supported by a proactive International Office. Its International Pathways programme offers comprehensive support for students from non-English speaking backgrounds. While various faculties of the university have previously been housed at a number of different locations in the city, it is expected that by 2020 the move to a single new campus in the suburb of Grangegorman will be largely complete.
In the QS World University Ranking for 2018, DIT was placed 751st.
The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown campus, part of TU Dublin, offers courses in a wide range of subjects and makes awards from higher certificates to PhDs. It has a large selection of lively sporting clubs, devoted to everything from football to martial arts. The ITB International Office is on hand to welcome international students and ensure that they have a rich and rewarding experience.
The Institute of Technology Tallaght campus, part of TU Dublin, offers courses in advertising and marketing, accountancy and professional services, computing and IT, science and engineering, and the humanities. It confers awards from higher certificates to postgraduate diplomas. The ITT International Office is on hand to support students moving to Ireland for their studies and runs scholarship programs with several countries.
Maynooth University is Ireland’s fastest-growing university. It has over 11,000 students from more than 90 countries. Although it appears in the Times Higher Education ‘Young Universities’ listings, its tradition of academic excellence in the humanities and sciences can be traced back to 1795. Located in Ireland’s only university town, 25 kilometres west of the centre of Dublin, it is easily accessible by car, bus, bicycle and train.
With seven cutting-edge research institutes and an excellent record for commercialising its research, Maynooth provides many opportunities for students to further their academic or professional careers.
Through its three academic faculties – Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy; Social Sciences; Science and Engineering – students can choose programmes from undergraduate to doctorate level in a broad range of disciplines including the humanities, music, education, social sciences, law, business, accounting, digital media, science and engineering.