SETU: Southeast university is developing new, expert-led courses of study across multiple disciplines

SETU has courses available in the areas of business, humanities, science, engineering, computing and sport

South East Technological University (SETU): Established in May 2022 following the merger of Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow, SETU is the only university in the southeast. Website:

The fifth and most recently established technological university in the State is SETU, which became the first university to cater for that region of the country.

The institution was established in May 2022, with Prof Veronica Campbell being appointed its inaugural president.

Prof Patrick Prendergast, chairman of SETU’s governing body, and previous provost of Trinity College Dublin, described the creation of SETU as a “momentous day for the southeast of Ireland”.


“It marks a new dawn for the region, and we in the governing body share an immense pride with the staff and students of SETU in all that has been achieved to make our new university a reality,” he said at the time.

SETU is a multi-campus unitary university with campuses in Waterford, Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow.

The technological university currently has 19,151 students, with 11,353 of those being in full-time education and 7,798 being part-time students. Some 16,727 students are undertaking undergraduate courses, while 2,424 are postgraduates.

Speaking following her appointment as president, Prof Campbell said the team is “ambitious for our new university and for our region”.

“We want to become a leading European technological university, transforming lives and driving growth through excellence in learning, research, collaboration and innovation,” she said.

“SETU will play a pivotal role in regional development, attracting talent, inward investment and research opportunities to the southeast.”

SETU has courses available in the areas of business, humanities, science, engineering, computing and sport. It offers a number of interesting areas of study, outside of the more traditional offerings.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “SETU develops new, expert-led, courses of study across disciplines on an ongoing basis with exciting offerings in areas such as bio-medical electronics and robotics; organic agriculture; set design and construction; and computer forensics and security.”

In Waterford, there is considerable focus on agriculture, with students on the agriculture programme spending a considerable portion of their time in Kildalton Agricultural College, as well as having a farm work placement, with many students opting to complete this abroad in New Zealand.

The CAO code for the level eight bachelor of science in sustainable farm management and agribusiness is SE503, and the level eight bachelor of science in organic agriculture is SE517.

In Carlow, there is an undergraduate course in brewing and distilling (SE521), the first in Ireland. It equips students with the necessary scientific knowledge and instrumentation competencies to work in the brewing and distilling industry.

On top of the traditional course types that are available through the institution, SETU is “deeply engaged in the national research agenda”.

“SETU brings together over 550 active research staff, nine research centres, one research institute and four technology gateways across Waterford and Carlow, expanding the range and quality of research to meet the needs of the southeast,” the spokeswoman said.

“SETU holds the highest number of research centres among its TU counterparts with four technology gateways that are located across its campuses: SEAM, PMBRC, DESIGN+ and the Walton Institute. These technology gateways provide advanced services and support applied research for companies in advanced manufacturing, pharmaceutics, design and ICT.”

Over the five years from 2016 to 2020, researchers from institutions successfully attracted more than €95 million in research funding from a variety of European and national funding agencies, State bodies and industrial partners.

The TU also has a specific focus on entrepreneurship. Last year, the two amalgamating institutes were jointly awarded €3 million to operate a new development programme for potential entrepreneurs, called New Frontiers.

The programme, which seeks to train budding businesspeople to establish and run their own businesses, is co-located in the Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre in Carlow and at the ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre in Waterford.

In terms of other facilities on the campus, SETU boasts one of the largest sporting facilities in the country, including what the university describes as a new, world-class South Sports Campus in Carlow.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times