TU Dublin: the wide range of programmes and student services on offer

TU Dublin offers 166 undergraduate programmes and 158 postgraduate programmes

Dublin's newest university is also its most different. The long process that saw the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown merge into the Technological University of Dublin (TU Dublin) means that there are now five universities in the greater Dublin region. But, as the first technological university founded in the whole of Ireland, TU Dublin's mission stands out.

So just what is this fledgling university about?

Prof David FitzPatrick, president of TU Dublin, says the university is still undergoing a transformation but that combining three different institutions into one has allowed for a collective and strategic approach across the Dublin region, as well as better catering for the needs of industry and students, particularly students with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

FitzPatrick points to the development of a fifth and new faculty at TU Dublin, focused on digital and data. “I’m not sure this exists in many other places, and it is an expansion of our computer science domain. We have more opportunities now for common entry engineering students across our broader geographic spread. We have a new programme in international business and a new, short, five-credit course on inclusive entrepreneurship, directed towards people with disabilities. And because we, as a technological university, have so many connections with industry, we can use them to deliver the course.

"We can't talk about industry without recognising that each of the founding partners had regional and local links with industry, which we have maintained and brought to a wider network. For instance, Intel had strong links with DIT but now offers scholarships and career progression across our TU Dublin campuses."


Dr Mary Meaney, deputy president and registrar at TU Dublin, says the close connections between the institutes of technology and industry – a mission that has transferred to the new technological universities – has allowed them to develop bespoke programmes for training and upskilling in collaboration with particular industry partners.

"We've developed a programme with Amazon Web Services, designed and co-delivered with them, to upskill staff," Meaney says. "We also have earn and learn type programmes in pharmaceutical and IT security, which sit alongside our apprenticeship programmes."

Another feature that sets TU Dublin apart from its fellow Dublin universities is the suite of programmes on offer, including part-time courses, full-time undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, apprenticeships and upskilling and retraining courses, online and in-person, from level six right through to level 10 on the national framework of qualifications.

There are major opportunities for European students to study at TU Dublin and, because of its now larger size, also more opportunities for TU Dublin to study in Europe, FitzPatrick says.

Jennifer Farrell, head of student services and wellbeing at TU Dublin, says the university is career-focused and runs a number of regular career events with its students.

“On top of this, we have academic writing centres, time-management support and services including counselling, health centres and accommodation services.”

Although the term “technological university” brings to mind the sciences, TU Dublin also has a strong footprint in the performing and creative arts. DIT’s status as the premier provider of culinary arts training has transferred to the new institution, while the commercial modern music undergraduate course, offered through the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) Dublin, is producing a new generation of young musicians. Alongside this is a more traditional music course.

What all of these creative programmes have in common is that they are vocationally focused and work-oriented, with industry connections and jobs, as always, at the forefront of their mission.

Student life and services

"We have five campuses spread across Dublin city and county," says Mark O'Donnell, president of TU Dublin students' union, who recently completed a degree in event management there. "These include Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Grangegorman, Aungier Street and Bolton Street.

“A lot of our students don’t remember the old institutes of technology,” says O’Donnell. “They know themselves as TU Dublin students and they are less likely to identify with a specific campus.”

O’Donnell says students like the small class sizes, the opportunity to know their lecturers and the sense of community across the campuses.

“I did a six-month placement for my course and I knew, after my dad died during third year, that they would help me get my assignments done and plan for the rest of the year; I knew my lecturers and knew they would be supportive.

“We are a big university but they are not in an anonymous lecture hall with 400 or 500 people. Learning here is hands-on and still very practical, just like it would have been in the three founding institutes.”

O’Donnell says accommodation remains an issue for all students across Ireland, meaning that students are commuting for long distances in the mornings and evenings.

“This does affect student life, and there is a lot of pressure on us to attend lectures, get our class work done, get involved in college life, hold down a part-time job and commute.”

O’Donnell is hopeful that plans for a new student centre at TU Dublin’s new flagship campus in Grangegorman will begin soon, saying the university needs a student centre.

“We are pushing for more resources in each of our campuses. Covid, of course, played havoc with student life just as the first intakes of TU Dublin were starting college, but we are working to build a community and make sure there are more things for students to do here.”

Farrell says new facilities are being developed across the university campuses. “We’ve a new sports facility opening in Tallaght this September, and we’re seeing more and more integration of programmes and activities to give equal access across the campuses to all students.”

The next steps

TU Dublin is developing a strategic plan to take it through the next 10 years. “This came through deep engagement in the university – talking to staff and our students – as well as with external stakeholders, including industry and the local community,” says FitzPatrick.

“By virtue of being the first TU established, we are helping to shape the landscape,” says Meaney. “We will also be the largest, and our footprint will help shape higher education. Being approved as a technological university is not an end, but a new beginning.”

Key stats

Total student numbers: 29,867

Study options: 166 undergraduate programmes and 158 postgraduate programmes

Undergraduate students: 25,827

Postgraduate students: 3,895

Other (foundation programmes): 145

Full-time: 19,506

Part-time: 10,361

Campus locations: Aungier Street, Bolton Street, Blanchardstown, Grangegorman and Tallaght

Fees: EU fees including student contribution at €3,250

– For a level six or seven degree: €4,450

– For a level eight undergraduate engineering and for all other level eight degrees €3,819

Bursaries and scholarships: The median scholarship, award or bursary is €3,000, including sports scholarships, with more information available at TUDublin.ie/connect/giving-to-the-university/scholarships/

Awards may include fee waivers, additional CAO points, financial support, career guidance support and more.

Accommodation: No on-campus accommodation available but the university has supported students in finding suitable housing, block-booking 600 places running from €99 ar week for a shared room to €257 a week for just a single en suite room.

Contact details:  
Blanchardstown: +35312208093 
City centre: +35312206100
Tallaght: +35312207662

What sets TU Dublin apart

“A key TU Dublin goal is to ensure our graduates are responsible global citizens that champion a sustainable ethos in their respective industries; therefore, we provide learning opportunities from apprenticeship to PhD to instil a sustainability mindset,” says Mairéad Murphy, head of recruitment, admissions and participation at TU Dublin.

“For example, inspired by the Climate Action Strike, students and staff of the School of Architecture worked together to develop a five-year climate action plan. For one week, classes were suspended, and students from first to fifth year were split into teams to develop solutions addressing some of Dublin city’s most pressing climate challenges.

"TU Dublin is a leader in Stem disciplines and also supports the largest cohorts of students in business, media, culinary arts and the creative and performing arts.

“Our students also learn to consider the human impact of new technology, from driverless haulage trucks to the depletion of our natural resources required to produce the latest consumer technologies.

“Since [TU Dublin was founded from a merger of three existing institutions], we have added a new business programme where students can study international business, management and marketing in their first year, and then pick the learning pathway they enjoy most.”