Everything you need to know about college open days

Life on campus: what Ireland’s universities and colleges have to offer

National University of Ireland in Galway (NUIG).

National University of Ireland in Galway (NUIG).

 

NUI Galway

When is open day? Saturday, March 28th

Web: nuigalway.ie/opendays

Life on campus

Since the university opened the doors of the quadrangle in 1845, the campus has been growing and evolving to accommodate an increasing number of students which now stands at more than 18,000. Today, NUIG has over 90 buildings set on the banks of the river Corrib and is a short walk from the heart of Galway city. The campus is known for its warm welcome and atmosphere where students meet friends for life.

Strengths

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUIG is one of the world’s premier academic human rights institutions with a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. In 2019 a new BA human rights was introduced. This four-year programme includes a work placement in year three where students develop practical skills.

Accommodation

NUI Galway has two student residences on campus: Corrib Village and the new 429-bed Goldcrest Village, bringing the number of on-campus beds to 1,193. In 2020, there will be a random selection process for on-campus accommodation and booking will open for about three weeks in February. There are many off-campus, privately-owned student apartments and houses within easy reach of the university.

What’s new?

There are four new degrees for 2020 entry: law and taxation; BCL law, criminology and criminal justice; BSc geography and geosystems; and a BSc genetics and genomics, which is a multi-disciplinary course covering a range of biological, mathematical and computer science subjects. The BA journalism has also been relaunched with €250,000 investment in new digital television and radio studios.

Don’t miss

Galway is European Capital of Culture for 2020 with cultural activities taking place across the city and campus.

 

Sutherland School of Law, UCD. Photograph: Alan Betson
Sutherland School of Law, UCD. Photograph: Alan Betson

University College Dublin

When is open day?

Saturday, November 9th, 10am-4pm

Web:ucdopenday.ie

Life on campus

Located 4km south of Dublin city centre, UCD is set in a modern parkland campus with world-class teaching and student facilities, a student centre and 8km of woodland walkways. With more than 33,000 students, UCD has 90 active student societies along with about 56 official sports clubs, excellent facilities and a huge range of fitness classes.

Strengths

UCD has been ranked the number one university in Ireland for graduate employability for the third consecutive year (2018, 2019 and 2020) by QS World University Rankings and is 78th in the world in this same ranking. The university has six subjects ranked within the top 50 QS World University Subject Rankings – veterinary science, library and information management, nursing, English language and literature, sports-related subjects and engineering (mineral and mining). It also has 14 subjects in the top 100, including those listed above along with archaeology, history, philosophy, agriculture and forestry, anatomy and physiology, law, politics and international studies, and social policy and administration.

What’s new?

UCD Moore Centre for Business has recently opened, doubling the size of the Lochlann Quinn School of Business. For the 2020 entry, UCD has introduced a new graduate entry course in diagnostic radiography in response to the anticipated workforce needs of the Irish health system.

Accommodation

UCD will have an additional 924 new residences for students ready for occupation in September 2020, with first-year students prioritised.

Don’t miss

There will be over 100 programme and subject-specific talks taking place in eight locations on campus. Tours of the main Belfield campus will run at regular intervals throughout the day beginning at 10am from O’Reilly Hall.

University of Limerick campus. Photogrpaph: Press 22
University of Limerick campus. Photogrpaph: Press 22

University of Limerick

When is open day?

Thursday and Friday, October 17th and 18th, 9.30am-2pm

Web: ul.ie/opendays

Life on campus

With the city on its doorstep, more than 70 clubs and societies to choose from and top-class sporting facilities, there’s always a buzz around this Shannon-side campus. Home to Ireland’s largest all-weather floodlit park, along with a sports arena, a 50m pool, an indoor rowing tank and a diving pool, fitness and sports enthusiasts will feel right at home. With preparation for the working world at the forefront of the student experience, facilities like the law school’s moot court room, the journalism editing suite and the university’s Wall Street-style trading area make for energetic and practical learning.

Strengths

Voted University of the Year 2019 by the Sunday Times, UL is ranked third in Europe for career preparation through internship, according to the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings, with many of its courses boasting 100 per cent employment rates. First-year students get to “try before they decide” and can avail of several common-entry programmes in science and engineering before choosing a preferred pathway to specialise in for their remaining years. Arts students can build their own degree from 16 different subjects, with over 150 possible combinations.

Accommodation

Limerick is one of the most affordable cities in Ireland for rental accommodation. There are a number of on-campus village-style accommodation options along with off-campus digs and private rentals.

What’s new?

Last year UL opened its new Glucksman Library which is now one of the most digitally advanced libraries in the world. A new BSc (Ed) in mathematics and computer science will begin in September 2020.

Don’t miss

Presentations on all undergraduate courses along with tours and talks on courses, finance and scholarships, and work experience placements.

The Helix Theatre on the grounds of the Dublin City University (DCU) campus.
The Helix Theatre on the grounds of the Dublin City University (DCU) campus.

Dublin City University

When is open day? Friday and Saturday, November 15th and 16th

Web: dcu.ie/openday

Life on campus

Clubs and societies are the heart and soul of DCU and for its more than 17,000 students there’s plenty to get involved in with about 140 clubs and societies. DCU has an award-winning gym, a state-of-the-art sports campus while the campus bar is a busy spot, hosting comedy festivals, guest speakers and gigs throughout the year. There is also a new student centre which combines facilities for social, cultural, global engagement and entrepreneurial activities.

Strengths

DCU’s business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, placing it among the top 5 per cent of business schools worldwide. This year, DCU was ranked number 98 in the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, its performance in the areas of climate action, sustainability, health and wellbeing singled out as strong factors. It is ranked number one for graduate employment by the Higher Education Authority and 19th in the world in the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings. It is the first university in the world to be designated as an autism-friendly university.

Accommodation

All CAO applicants can apply for on-campus accommodation from March 2020 with rooms allocated by a random lottery in the first week of April. The students’ union works with local landlords to source digs, apartments and houses.

What’s new?

An increase in work placements for a number of arts and social science courses, as well as a year of physics general entry before choosing which physics specialism to pursue.

Don’t miss

The chance to speak with expert academic staff and more than 150 DCU student helpers to answer any questions, subject-specific presentations and information sessions on sport and elite sport opportunities, alternative entry pathways into university, and a parent information session.

The quad of University College Cork.
The quad of University College Cork.

University College Cork

When is open day? Saturday 12th October, 10am-2.30pm

Web: ucc.ie/opendays

College life

UCC has a great sense of community and most of the university’s more than 21,000 students participate in one of the many clubs and societies on campus. With over 100 educational, charitable, political, social and religious societies and 55 sports clubs to choose from, along with the traditional offerings, students can also get involved in powerlifting, trampoline, ultimate frisbee, and lacrosse to name a few. A vibrant city social scene is just 10 minutes from campus.

Strengths

UCC is Ireland’s first Green Flag campus and the university is recognised as Ireland’s leader in the field of sustainability and the environment. With strong links to industry, 94 per cent of UCC graduates are in employment or further study.

What’s new?

A new student hub is home to a range of student support services, student clubs and societies, the campus radio station, event spaces and study rooms. UCC has added a BA anthropology and a BEd education-Gaeilge, both of which will have their first intake of students in 2020. The integrated Master of engineering (ME) has also been introduced, giving all engineering students the option of extending their studies by a year to graduate with an ME.

Accommodation

UCC allocates a certain percentage of university-owned accommodation for first-year students. Applications can be made for a lottery system to live on campus but there are other options including digs, private rentals and privately-owned student apartment complexes.

Don’t miss

Take a Green Campus tour or enjoy the opportunity to learn from, question, interact and be inspired by some of UCC’s leading student scientists. There will also be a talk and information on Sanctuary Scholarships.

Technological University Dublin

When is open day?

Grangegorman: Wednesday, October 23rd, 8:45am - 2:30pm (TU Dublin Career Guidance Counsellor Open Day)

Blanchardstown: Tuesday, November 12th: 10am - 12:30pm

Grangegorman: Thursday, November 14th, 9:30am - 1:30pm (Dublin School of Creative Arts Open Day & Portfolio Clinic)

Tallaght: Friday, November 15th (10am - 3pm) and 16th (10am - 1pm)

Aungier Street: Friday, November 29th and Saturday 30th (9am - 2pm)

Web: tudublin.ie

Life on campus

TU Dublin is Ireland’s newest university with over 28,500 students at locations in Tallaght, Blanchardstown and around Dublin city. TU Dublin has a strong sporting tradition, and you can choose from over 55 clubs in a range of sports from GAA, rugby and soccer to judo, snow sports and yoga. There’s also dozens of student-led societies for a wide range of interests, from computers and Japanimation to environmentalism and horticulture.

Strengths

TU Dublin has the largest number of students of creative arts in the country and is ranked by the QS World University Rankings in their Top 200 Universities for Art and Design in the world. The university’s strength lies in the practice-based nature of its programmes and students put theoretical learning into practice through work placements, study abroad opportunities and student competitions.

Accommodation

TU Dublin works with private providers to help students secure quality

accommodation and block-books over 500 spaces for students across Dublin city. It also facilities a host-family database that is often considerably cheaper than other options and is particularly suitable for first-year students.

What’s new

From September 2020, one in three TU Dublin students will be based at the university’s flagship campus at Grangegorman while in Blanchardstown the Connect building opened earlier this year providing a one-stop shop for all student services, complementing existing facilities.

Don’t miss

The sessions on study skills and information for parents at the university’s annual open day events in November.

 

NUI Maynooth
NUI Maynooth

Maynooth University

When is open day? Friday and Saturday, November 29th and 30th

Web: mu.ie/opendays

College life

Located in the heart of Ireland’s only university town, MU is 25km from Dublin city but you’ll find everything you need, from a buzzing social life to studying in a beautiful mix of old-meets-new buildings, in the university’s north and south campuses in this student-friendly town. With access to over 100 clubs and societies, all interests are catered for including more specialised interests such as AIESCEC (Leaders for the World), mountaineering and bouldering, Hogwarts and trampoline.

Strengths

MU has been recognised as one of the leading new universities in the world and was ranked in the top 50 globally and first in Ireland in the latest Times Higher Education Young Universities list. It has an international reputation in areas of research, exceptional programmes in science and engineering, with 95 per cent of graduates in employment or in further studies/training (2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey). MU’s BA programme has been the most popular CAO course at the university for the past few years receiving most first preference applications.

What’s new?

More opportunities for internships as part of the experiential learning programme; a new degree in biological and geographical sciences which looks at the study of life, how living things work and how they change and evolve.

Accommodation

About 1,200 students live on campus with accommodation situated just a short walk to all lecture, sports and recreational facilities on the north campus. Currently more than 50 per cent of all campus accommodation is reserved for first-year students with many private, off-campus options also available.

Don’t miss

Student-led tours of the north and south campuses, talks on various programmes and opportunities and the chance to meet with department staff and students.

 

The Long Room, Trinity College Dublin library
The Long Room, Trinity College Dublin library

Trinity College Dublin

When is open day? Saturday, November 23rd, 9am-3.30pm

Web: tcd.ie/openday

College life

It’s easy to see why Trinity, with its cobbled squares and historic buildings, is ranked in the top 10 of Europe’s most beautiful universities (Times Higher Education 2018). The city-centre campus is not only home to the oldest student societies in the world (the Phil and the Hist debating societies), it’s also where Ireland’s first student newspaper hit the presses and where the country’s largest library is located. Though steeped in history, TCD offers modern learning and sports facilities and with more than 170 student societies, publications and sports clubs, there’s something to suit the interests of each of the university’s 18,000-strong population.

Strengths

In this year’s QS World University Rankings, TCD was ranked Ireland’s leading university; first in Ireland for employer reputation and alumni outcomes; and 108th in the world university rankings. Trinity puts a strong emphasises on learning support, providing all undergraduates with a personal tutor. It’s also an attractive hub for budding entrepreneurs, with its Blackstone LaunchPad programme available free to all students and last year TCD was ranked as the number one university in Europe for producing entrepreneurs by Pitchbook, a financial data and software company.

What’s new?

Trinity opened a new business school in May 2019 while two new undergraduate programmes for 2020 include single honour courses in film, and history of art and architecture

Accommodation

Many first-year undergraduate students apply to Trinity Hall in Dartry near Rathmines. The accommodation advisory service provides advice and access to house-hunting resources.

Don’t miss

Over 150 presentations, campus tours and more at the open day.