Guide to open days: other institutions

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, IADT, NCAD, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Mary Immaculate College, Marino Institute of Education, Hibernia College, National College of Ireland, Dublin Business School, Griffith College and Pulse College


When is its open day?
January 5th from 10am.

Located just off St Stephen's Green, in one of the busiest spots in Dublin, the faculty of medicine and health sciences of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is home to Ireland's largest undergraduate medical school. The open day lets you experience life as a healthcare professional, watch an operation (via video link) and a pregnancy scan, and test your surgical skills using virtual-reality simulators. RCSI graduates are held in high regard internationally. The college, which attracts many overseas students, is ranked 46th in the world for "international outlook"; it is also ranked 251 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-6). There will be open days next Saturday for the graduate-entry medicine programme and on November 24th for graduate pharmacy, graduate physiotherapy and mature-entry medicine;


November 27th, 10am-4pm; November 28th, 10am-2pm; January 13th, 2016, 4pm-7pm.
Don't miss the portfolio workshops and talks throughout the open day.

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology is a powerhouse of creativity, including in animation, design, TV and film production, computing and media. It prides itself on creating graduates who are thinkers as well as doers, and there is a strong focus on entrepreneurship. Many of IADT's graduates work in the creative and cultural sectors, and the college has changed its business studies and arts management degree to a cultural enterprise degree to meet demand.
The college is in the middle of a makeover, refurbishing a lecture theatre to create a cinema and redesigning the library to make spaces for exhibiting, learning and creating;


November 25th, 9.30am-3.30pm.

Don't miss the product design portfolio workshop at the open day. In the past year the Dublin college made headlines as students protested against cuts at the college, but the National College of Art and Design continues to rank in the world's top 100 universities for art and design. Its diverse courses include painting, sculpture, fashion design, ceramic and glass, textiles and metalwork, and product design, and the college is well known for its end-of-year exhibition. Its campus in the Liberties includes individual spaces for all studio-based students, the NCAD library, the National Irish Visual Arts Library, the students' union, a cafe, a garden and a student gallery. With creativity fizzing all over the campus, students may well learn as much from each other as they do from the teachers;


December 5th, 3pm-6pm.

As well as short music courses, the Royal Irish Academy of Music offers diplomas, bachelor's and master's degrees, and doctorates in teaching, performance and composition. The open day at the academy's Dublin base will give an introduction to full-time programmes in music performance and composition, along with presentations on its access, diploma, bachelor's, master's and doctorate programmes. There will also be Q&As with faculty heads, advice on the audition process, student performances and tours;

Mary Immaculate

January 23rd, 11am-1pm.


Known for its primary teaching courses, Mary Immaculate College, in Limerick, also offers arts programmes and a new contemporary and applied theatre studies course. The college is a small, vibrant community of 3,500 students with a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Close to the city centre, it also has cultural and social amenities on its doorstep. The college has a long sporting tradition and more than 30 clubs and societies on campus. Next year MIC will incorporate St Patrick's College in Thurles, which offers four degrees to prepare students for second-level teaching;

Marino Institute

November 21st, 10am-4pm.

With just 800 students, Marino Institute of Education is something of a boutique college, but it nevertheless has many services and facilities. Best known for its primary-teaching courses, the north Dublin institution also runs programmes in education studies and further study. This year the college introduced an undergraduate degree in early childhood education. All programmes are accredited by Trinity College Dublin. There are 12 clubs and societies on campus; men and women's GAA is particularly strong.


November 5th, 5pm-7.30pm; November 7th, 11.30am-2pm.

Ireland's only QQI-accredited online college offers diplomas and master's degrees in primary and postprimary teaching. More than 350 staff work at Hibernia College, which trains almost half of all student teachers in Ireland. Students study from home through a mix of online learning and traditional in-school practice. Hibernia also offers an MA in teaching and learning and continuing professional development for teachers;


November 25th, 10am-3pm; January 23rd, 10am-1pm

The students of the National College of Ireland have added a lot to the colour of Dublin’s docklands. The college offers a variety of business and computing courses and has recently added a BA in psychology. Next year a BSc in technology management will start, with a focus on data analytics and social media.

The campus is very contained, and with a student population of 3,500 it's easy to navigate and to get to know people. There's good social life, and a choice of clubs and societies. Classes are small, and NCI graduates do well in the job market: the college has a postgraduation employment record of 96 per cent;


December 4th, 11am - 2pm.

Dublin Business School, which says it is Ireland’s largest independent college, offers programmes across a range of disciplines, such as business, arts, law, media and computing. It has four locations in the city centre and an active student services team.

There are social nights and weekend trips and a good range of clubs and societies to choose from. The private college recently renovated its Castle House common area, which is a popular meeting-up place.

Like the other fee-paying colleges, it has small classes and offers courses that reflect the needs of students and employers.

DBS recently launched an undergraduate Level 8 BSc in computing in response to market demands;

Griffith College

November 25th, 5.30pm-8pm.

With campuses in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, Griffith College is Ireland's oldest and perhaps best established private college. It offers programmes in accountancy, business, computing, design, law, media, music and drama, training and education.
The college recently opened a five acre campus in Cork city. In Dublin it has introduced two new streams to its business degree, with a BA in business studies (marketing) and a BA in business studies. Recently it initiated a BA in film and TV production.

The college has a good reputation nationally and internationally for the quality of its graduates. Courses are industry-focused, classes are small and teachers have hands-on industry experience. Students on all three campuses have the city to explore, and there are more than 25 clubs and societies. Griffith College has some strong sports teams – particularly in basketball, table tennis and cricket;

Pulse College

December 8th from 6.30pm on Dublin and Galway campuses, pre-registration required on

Pulse College, which as been offering professional training in audio and music for 25 years, now also offers diplomas, BAs, MAs and higher-certificate courses in gaming, animation, film production, and scoring for film and visual media. Last year it opened a new Dublin campus for games development and animation students. Its music programmes are delivered at Windmill Lane studios in Dublin, where Lady Gaga, U2, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding have recorded albums. Classes are small – there are just over 350 full-time students – and courses are accredited by Griffith College and DIT.

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe is an Audience Editor with The Irish Times