University College Dublin (commonly referred to as UCD; Irish: Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath) is a research university in Dublin, Ireland, and a member institution of the National University of Ireland. It has over 1,482 academic staff and 32,000 students, and it is Ireland's largest university. UCD originates in a body founded in 1854, which opened as the Catholic University of Ireland on the Feast of Saint Malachy and with John Henry Newman as its first rector; it re-formed in 1880 and chartered in its own right in 1908. The Universities Act, 1997 renamed the constituent university as the "National University of Ireland, Dublin", and a ministerial order of 1998 renamed the institution as "University College Dublin – National University of Ireland, Dublin".
A report published in May 2015 showed the economic output generated by UCD and its students in Ireland amounted to €1.3 billion annually. UCD is frequently ranked among the top universities in Europe. Five Nobel Laureates are among UCD's alumni and current and former staff.
UCD can trace its history to the institution founded in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland, was established as UCD in 1880 under the auspices of the Royal University of Ireland, and received its charter in 1908.
After the Catholic Emancipation period of Irish history, a movement led by Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Armagh (and, later, Archbishop of Dublin, then created a Cardinal) attempted to provide for the first time in Ireland higher-level education both accessible to followers of the Catholic Church and taught by such people. In the 19th century, the question of denominational education in Ireland was a contentious one. For many years it had divided Daniel O'Connell and the Young Ireland Movement. The Catholic Hierarchy demanded a Catholic alternative to the University of Dublin's Trinity College (Ireland's ancient university, located on the east coast), whose Anglican origins the Hierarchy refused to overlook. The Hierarchy also wanted to counteract the "Godless Colleges" of the Queen's University of Ireland – established in the cities of Galway (now NUI Galway, on the west coast), Belfast (now Queens University Belfast, to the north-east of the country) and Cork (now University College Cork, on the south coast). The University of Dublin had since the 1780s admitted Catholics to study; a religious test, however, hindered the efforts of Catholics in their desire to obtain membership of the University's governing bodies (see Denis Caulfield Heron). Thus, in 1850 at the Synod of Thurles, it was decided to open in Dublin – especially for Catholics – a rival institution to that city's University.
As a result of these efforts, a new "Catholic University of Ireland" opened in 1854, with John Henry Newman appointed as its first rector. Newman had been an integral figure in the Oxford Movement in the 19th century. The Catholic University opened its doors on the feast of St Malachy, 3 November 1854. On that day the names of seventeen students were entered on the register and Newman gave the students an address "What are we here for" and prophesied that in later years they would look back with pride on the day. The Catholic University opened with three houses: 86 St Stephen's Green, which was known as St Patrick's or University House, under the care of The Rev. Michael Flannery; 16 Harcourt Street, known as St Lawrence's under the care of The Rev. James Quinn, who also had his school there; and Newman's own house, 6 Harcourt Street, known as St Mary's under Newman's personal supervision.
To prepare students for entry to the new Catholic University, a feeder school under the guidance of Bartholomew Woodlock and Cardinal Newman, referred to as the Catholic University School, was established. Among the first students enrolled were the grandson of Daniel O'Connell. Another included William O'Shea who would go on to become a Captain in the British Army and was central to the divorce crises which brought down Charles Stewart Parnell's career in trying to establish Home Rule for Ireland. O'Shea, however, clashed with Newman and found the Catholic University insufficiently inspiring, so departed after one year to instead attend Trinity. Of the eight original students in Newman's own home, two were Irish, two English, two Scottish and two French. Among them were a French viscount, and Irish baronet Sir Reginald Barnewall, the son of a French countess, the grandson of a Scottish marquis, and the son of an English lord. Later were added to his care two Belgian princes and a Polish count. Many were attracted to the Catholic University on the basis of the reputation of Newman.
As a private university, the Catholic University was never given a royal charter, and so was unable to award recognised degrees and suffered from chronic financial difficulties. Newman left the university in 1857, after which the school went into a serious decline. Bartholomew Woodlock was appointed Rector and served until he became Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise in 1879. In this period he attempted to secure a site of 34 acres at Clonliffe West but the scheme collapsed when the expansion of the railway system on the north side of Dublin cut across the site. He then turned his attention to expanding along St Stephen's Green and over these years bought from No. 82 to 87.
The decline was halted in 1880 with the establishment of the Royal University of Ireland. The Royal Universities charter entitled all Irish students to sit the Universities examinations and receive its degrees. Although in many respects the Catholic University can be viewed as a failure, UCD would inherit substantial assets from it including a successful medical school (Cecilia Street) and two beautiful buildings, Newman House on St Stephen's Green and the adjoining University Church.
To avail of the benefits of the Royal University of Ireland arrangement, the Catholic University was re-formed as UCD. The college rapidly attracted many of the best students and academics in Ireland including Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Joyce and quickly began to outperform the other three colleges in the Royal University system – in the fifteen years before the establishment of the National University the number of first-class distinctions in Arts awarded by the Royal University to University College was 702 compared with a total of 486 awarded to the combined Queen's Colleges of Belfast, Galway and Cork. Many of the college's staff and students during this period would later contribute substantially to the formation and development of the future Irish state, the most famous being Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Patrick Pearse, Hugh Kennedy, Eoin MacNeill, Kevin O'Higgins, Tom Kettle, James Ryan, Douglas Hyde and John A. Costello. Student unrest occurred during this period, especially during loyalist speeches by the Chancellor, The 12th Earl of Meath, and the playing of "God Save the King" at conferring ceremonies.
In 1908, the Royal University was dissolved and a new National University of Ireland founded to replace it. This new University was brought into existence with three constituent University Colleges – Dublin, Galway and Cork. By this time the college campus consisted of a number of locations in and around St Stephens Green in Dublin's city centre, the main sites being Earlsfort Terrace, Cecilia Street, College of Science Merrion Street, and Newman House on St Stephen's Green. Following the establishment of the NUI, D. J. Coffey, Professor of Physiology, Catholic University Medical School, became the first president of UCD. Under the Universities Act, 1997, University College Dublin was established as a constituent university within the National University of Ireland framework.
UCD Decade of Centenaries website celebrates 100 years since the steps towards independence gathered momentum, in which many staff, students and graduates of University College Dublin played a pivotal role in the discourse and actions that took place. UCD is a major holder of archives of national and international significance relating to the period.
In 1913 in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers, Eoin MacNeill, professor of early Irish history (who viewed the movement as a threat to the Home Rule movement), called for the formation of an Irish nationalist force to counteract it. The Irish Volunteers were formed later that year and MacNeill was elected its Chief-of-staff. At the outbreak of World War I in view of the Home Rule Act 1914 and the political perception that it might not be implemented [the Act was suspended for the duration of the war] the leader of the Home Rule Party, John Redmond, urged the Irish Volunteers to support the British war effort as a way of supporting Irish Home Rule. This effort on behalf of Home Rule included many UCD staff and students. Many of those who opposed this move later participated in the Easter Rising.
In this way UCD was a reflection of the Irish nationalist community in general, with several staff and students participating in the rising, such as Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Michael Hayes and James Ryan, and a smaller number, including Tom Kettle and Willie Redmond, fighting for the British in World War I during the same period.
Many UCD staff, students and alumni fought in the Irish War of Independence that followed the rising. Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty four UCD graduates joined the government of the Irish Free State.
By the early 1940s, the College had become the largest third-level institution in the state. In an effort to cope with the increased numbers unsuccessful attempts were made to expand the existing city-centre campus. It was finally decided that the best solution would be to move the College to a much larger greenfield site outside of the city centre and create a modern campus university. This move started in the early 1960s when the faculty of science moved to the new 1.4 square kilometres (350 acres) park campus at Belfield in a suburb on the south side of Dublin. The Belfield campus has since developed into a complex of modern buildings and inherited Georgian townhouses, accommodating the colleges of the University as well as its student residences and many leisure and sporting facilities.
One of UCD's previous locations, the Royal College of Science on Merrion Street is now the location of the renovated Irish Government Building, where the Department of the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) is situated. University College Dublin had also a site in Glasnevin for much of the last century, the Albert Agricultural College, the southern part of which is now occupied by Dublin City University, the northern part is where Ballymun town is located.
The new campus was largely designed by A&D Wejchert & Partners Architects and includes several notable structures, including the UCD Water Tower which was built in 1972 by John Paul Construction. The Tower won the 1979 Irish Concrete Society Award. It stands 60 metres high with a dodecahedron tank atop a pentagonal pillar. The Tower is part of the UCD Environmental Research Station.
- 1854 – The Catholic University of Ireland opens with Blessed John Henry Newman as the first rector. It is located on St Stephen's Green.
- 1855 – The Catholic University Medical School was opened in 1855 in Cecilia Street.
- 1856 – University Church was opened in 1856. Apart from religious services it was used also for public university functions and occasions such as the opening of academic sessions and the making of awards.
- 1861 – Bartholomew Woodlock appointed Rector and served until he became Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise in 1879.
- 1879 – Henry Neville, Dean of Cork appointed Rector (while still retaining his role as Parish Priest in a Cork parish).
- 1880 – The University Education (Ireland) Act 1879 brought in by Disraeli's government led to the establishment of the Royal University of Ireland (incorporated by charter in 1880) which was a non-teaching, degree-awarding institution.
- 1882/83 – The Catholic University reorganised to avail of the indirect endowment from the state through the Royal University of Ireland. The St Stephen's Green institution was renamed University College and its management was transferred to the Jesuits.
- 1883–1888 – Fr William Delany SJ appointed the first president of University College.
- 1908 – Irish Universities Act brought into being the National University of Ireland with its constituent University Colleges – Dublin, Galway and Cork, and led to the demise of the Royal University and the Jesuit-run University College. Denis Coffey appointed the first president of reformed UCD. Coffey was to hold the position for 30 years. The Medical School in Cecilia Street became the UCD Medical Faculty. The campus covers, Earlsfort Terrace, Cecilia Street, College of Science Merrion Street, Albert College Glasnevin and St Stephen's Green.
- 1908 – The Faculty of Commerce established.
- 1911 – Land donated by Lord Iveagh helps the university expand in Earlsfort Terrace/Hatch Street/ St Stephen's Green. Iveagh Gardens are a part of this donation.
- 1913 – University Park, Terenure became the base of UCD sports clubs between 1913 and 1934 – although the landlord would not sell the site to UCD.
- 1916 – A number of junior staff and students participated in the Easter Rising.
- 1926- University Education (Agriculture and Dairy Science) Act transferred the Royal College of Science in Merrion Street and Albert Agricultural College in Glasnevin to UCD.
- 1933 – Belfield House on 44 acres is bought for sporting purposes.
- 1940 – Arthur Conway appointed president. During this period various plans were developed but failed to succeed to expand along Iveagh Gardens, Hatch Street and Earlsfort Terrace.
- 1964 – Jeremiah Hogan appointed president (1964–1972). Under the leadership of Thomas E. Nevin the science faculty moves into new campus at Belfield. UCD becomes the first University in Europe to launch an MBA programme.
- 1967 – Minister for Education, Donogh O'Malley, proposes plan to merge UCD and Trinity.
- 1969–1970 – Faculties of Commerce, Arts and Law move to Belfield.
- 1972 – Thomas Murphy appointed president (1972–1985).
- 1973 – The Library (Now known as the James Joyce Library) opens.
- 1980 – Richview and 17.4 acres bought. Architecture moves in there.
- 1981 – Sports Complex opens.
- 1986 – Patrick Masterson appointed president. (1986–1993)
- 1990s – In the 1990s, some of the students of Women's Studies petitioned to rename their Gender Studies building after Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington to honour her contribution to women's rights and equal access to third-level education. Her husband Francis Sheehy-Skeffington was himself an alumnus of the university and Hanna of the Royal University, a sister university of UCD. Their campaign was successful and the building was renamed the Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington Building.
- 1990 – Engineering building opens. Most, but not all of the Earlsfort terrace, Engineering department moves to Belfield.
- 1990 – Carysfort College, Blackrock on 19 acres bought and is the location of the Smurfit Graduate School of Business. First student village (Belgrove) opened.
- 1992 – Second student village (Merville) opened. The Centre for Film Studies established.
- 1993 – Art Cosgrove appointed president (1994–2003).
- 1994 – O'Reilly Hall opened.
- 2003 – NovaUCD, a 110 million Euro Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre opened. The purpose-built centre was funded by a public/private partnership. UCD purchased the Philips site and buildings adjacent to the Belfield campus at Clonskeagh, to facilitate the relocation of the Departments of Civil and Agricultural & Food Engineering from Earlsfort Terrace, bringing more of the remaining off-campus elements of the University to Belfield.
- 2004 – Hugh Brady appointed president. UCD celebrates 150th Anniversary.
- 2006 – UCD Horizons begins.
- 2007 – With the completion of the final phase of the Health Sciences Building, the last of the departments remaining at Earlsfort terrace relocate to Belfield.
- 2009 – Innovation Alliance announced between Trinity and UCD.
- 2010 – NCAD and UCD forge stronger links. The two institutions will form an academic alliance with new joint courses and research across common areas of interest. NCAD will become a recognised college of UCD. NCAD will remain on its current site and retaining institutional autonomy.
- 2012 – Expanded Student and Sports Centre opened containing an Olympic Swimming pool, cinema and a new gym.
- 2012 – UCD became embroiled in controversy over its sudden closure and destruction of the athletics track and field facilities beside Belfield House less than a day later. The track had been funded and built using private funding.
- 2013 – UCD O'Brien Centre for Science opened replacing much of the 1960s science infrastructure. UCD Sutherland School of Law opened to replace Roebuck Castle for the Law faculty at the South-Western end of the campus.
- 2014 – Andrew J. Deeks appointed President, the first Australian to hold the highest office in an Irish university.
- 2015 – UCD opens global centre in US to enable UCD pursue its new global engagement strategy which aims to place the university in the top ten in the world for global engagement
List of colleges and their respective schools following restructuring in September 2015
At the beginning of the 2005/2006 academic year, UCD introduced the Horizons curriculum, which completely semesterised and modularised all undergraduate programmes enhancing the quality and flexibility of the standard university education. Under the Horizons curriculum, new undergraduate students have greater choice in what exactly they study in their programme. Under the new curriculum, students choose ten core modules from their specific subject area and two other modules, which can be chosen from any other programme across the entire University (this applies in the majority of programmes, however some exceptions, as in Arts Omnibus and Business & Law, can apply). For example, a student studying Stage 1 Commerce as his primary degree programme can also choose one module (or two) from the Stage 1 Law programme (subject to space availability, timetable constraints and so on).
The initial patrons and benefactors of UCD were the Catholic Church.
Undergraduate fees are funded in part by the Irish State (for EU citizens) and by students themselves.
Amongst the most recent patrons include actor Gregory Peck who was a founding patron of the School of Film. Other benefactors include Lochlann Quinn (UCD Quinn School of Business), Michael Smurfit (Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School), Peter Sutherland (Sutherland School of Law), Tony O'Reilly (O'Reilly Hall) and Denis O'Brien (O'Brien Science Centre)
The Sunday Times University of the Year 2006.
Research and innovation
UCD is a leading research centre within Ireland with a research income of €114.1 million during 2013/14. UCDs research community of approximately 1,150 academic staff, 630 research funded staff, and 1640 PhD students work in the various schools and research institutes of the University.
The School of Physics is a major centre for physics research in Ireland with research groups in; Astrophysics, space science and relativity theory (members of the VERITAS and INTEGRAL experiments) and Experimental particle physics (participating in the Large Hadron Collider experiments LHCb and CMS).
Amongst the research institutes of the university are:
- Complex and adaptive systems laboratory
- Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation
- UCD Earth Institute
Wide partnerships in which UCD is involved include:
- Adaptive Information Cluster (with DCU)
- Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (with NUI Galway and DCU)
- Centre for research on adaptive nanostructures and nanodevices (with TCD and UCC)
- CTVR Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain-Driven Research (with DCU, TCD, NUI Maynooth, UCC, UL, DIT and Sligo IT).
- National Digital Research Centre (with Dublin City University and Trinity College, Dublin).
- National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (with Dublin City University, Trinity College, Dublin and Sligo IT).
- Programme for Research on Grid-enabled Computational Physics of Natural Phenomena (with DCU, TCD, UCC DIAS, NUI Galway, HEAnet, Met Éireann, Armagh Observatory and Grid Ireland).
- Advanced Biomimetic Materials for Solar Energy Conversion with the University of Limerick, Dublin City University, Airtricity, OBD-Tec and Celtic Catalysts.
There are a number of related companies, many concentrated as the NovaUCD initiative, to commercialise research results and opportunities; many of these reflect the university's expertise in the life sciences and information technology. These companies include Duolog
The Educational Irish Research Satellite 1 or EIRSAT-1 is a 2U CubeSat under development at UCD and will be Ireland's first satellite.
The students' union in the college has been an active part of campaigns run by the National Union, USI, and has played a highly significant role in the life of the college since its foundation in 1974.
The Union has also taken significant stances on issues of human rights that have hit the headlines in Ireland and around the world, particularly in becoming the first institution in the world to implement a ban of Coca-Cola products in Student Union controlled shops on the basis of alleged human and trade union rights abuses in Colombia. This ban was overturned in 2010.
The Union's main Governing Body is the Union Council which meets every two weeks during term. Council membership consists of 180+ seats for Class Representatives, ten directly elected officers of the Union Executive and five Executive officers elected by Union Council at its first meeting each year. Their term commences on 1 July in the year of their election and lasts for twelve months. Sabbatical elections take place in late February of each year. To date, students from Arts, Science and Law have predominated in holding council seats.
From 2013, there is a new bar on campus in the Student Union building and near the gym. There is also a faculty bar in Newman building called the UCD Common Room Club. Established in the early 1970s, it is now threatened with closure by the current President and has led to a proposed boycott of the new University Club.
UCD has over 60 sports clubs based on campus with 28 sports scholarships awarded annually.
UCD competes in the most popular Irish field sports of Gaelic Games, Hurling, Soccer and Rugby Union. UCD is the only Irish university to compete in both the major Irish leagues for rugby and soccer with University College Dublin A.F.C. and University College Dublin R.F.C. competing in the top leagues of their respective competitions. UCD GAA have won the most Sigerson Cup (Gaelic Football) whilst they have the second most Fitzgibbon Cup (hurling) wins, both the major University competitions in the sports in Ireland.
UCD sport annually compete in the Colours Match with Trinity College Dublin in a range of sports, most notably in rugby. The rugby side has won 35 of the 57 contests. UCD RFC has produced 13 British and Irish Lions as well 70 Irish Rugby International and 5 for other nations.
Other notable team sports in the college basketball side, UCD Marian, victors in the 2012 Irish Basketball Superleague.
The Belfield campus is home to a wide range of sports facilities. Facilities include the National Hockey stadium (which has previously hosted the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals and the Men's Hockey European Championship Finals) and UCD Bowl a 3,000 capacity stadium used for rugby and soccer. UCD has one of the largest fitness centres in the country, squash courts, tennis courts, an indoor rifle range, over twenty sports pitches (for rugby, soccer and Gaelic games), an indoor climbing wall and two large sports halls. The Sportscenter was added to in 2012 with the competition of an Olympic-size swimming pool, a tepidarium and a revamped fitness center as part of the re-development of the UCD Student Centre.
Leinster Rugby's headquarters and training facility are located on campus, housing the Academy, Senior Squad and Administrative arms of the rugby club. Their facilities include an office block and a high performance facility, located next to the Institute of Sport and Health (ISH). They also use UCD's pitches. It was completed in 2012 at a cost of 2.5 million euro.
UCD has currently more than sixty student societies. They cater for many interests ranging from large-scale party societies such as Ag Soc, Arts Soc, Commerce and Economics Society, ISS (and its subgroup AfricaSoc), INDSoc(Indian Society) and MSoc(Malaysian Society) who have the largest student communities of Indian and Malaysian students in Ireland. There are also religiously-interested groups such as the Christian Union, the Islamic Society, the Atheist and Secular Society, a television station Campus Television Network, academic-oriented societies like the Economic Society, UCD Philosophy Society, Mathsoc, Classical Society, and An Cumann Gaelach, an Irish-language society and such charities as St. Vincent de Paul, UCDSVP. There are two main societies for international students, ESN UCD (part of the Erasmus Student Network) and the International Student's Society.
Many UCD societies engage in voluntary work on-campus and across Dublin. For example, the UCD Student Legal Service is a student-run society that provides free legal information clinics to the students of UCD.
The oldest societies are the Literary and Historical Society, which is currently in its 160th session, An Cumann Gaelach who are entering their 110th session, the Commerce & Economics Society who are entering their 105th session and the Law Society which was founded in 1911. The L&H and Law Society are the major debating societies of the college and two of the leading ones in Ireland. Ireland's most prestigious competition, the Irish Times Debate the L&H has 11 team wins and 12 individual ones with the Law Society achieving 2 team wins and 2 individual wins respectively. The two societies have also been successful further afield at the UK and Ireland John Smith Memorial Mace (formerly The Observer Mace) with the L&H winning 5 titles and Lawsoc 2 titles. UCD has hosted the World University Debating Championships twice, most recently in 2006. At the start of the 12/13 Academic Year, the Literary and Historical Society achieved a membership of 5143 becoming the largest student society in UCD and in Europe. The UCD Dramsoc is the university drama society, it is noted for an active membership and a number of notable alumni. The university also has a successful sinfonia called University College Dublin Symphony Orchestra.
UCD has two student newspapers currently published on campus, the broadsheet University Observer and the tabloid College Tribune
The University Observer won the Newspaper of the Year award at the National Student Media Awards in April 2006, an accolade it has achieved many times, most recently in April 2014. Founded in 1994, its first editors were Pat Leahy and comedian Dara Ó Briain. Many figures in Irish journalism have held the position of editor including The Irish Times duty editor Roddy O'Sullivan and political editor Pat Leahy, AFP business reporter Enda Curran, The Irish Examiner political editor Daniel McConnell, RTÉ News reporter Samantha Libreri; Today FM political correspondent Gavan Reilly; and TV researcher Alan Torney. The efforts of its staff were noted by the prestigious Guardian Student Media Awards with a nomination for "Best Newspaper", the first Irish student publication to receive such recognition. In 2001, in addition to several Irish National Student Media Awards, the University Observer under McConnell and Curran took the runner up prize for "Best Publication" at the Guardian Student Media Awards in London. To date, The University Observer has won 29 Irish Student Media Awards.
The main sections within the paper are campus, national and international news, comment, opinion and sport. In addition, each edition includes a pullout arts and culture supplement called O-Two, with music interviews, travel, fashion and colour pieces. The University Observer is funded by the UCD Students' Union, but its content, in theory, remains editorially independent, barring one 'Union Page' per issue.
The College Tribune was founded in 1989, with the assistance of noted political commentator Vincent Browne. Then an evening student at UCD, Browne noted the lack of an independent media outlet for students and staff and set about rectifying this with the establishment of a student newspaper. The paper was initially established with links to the Sunday Tribune, though over time these links faded and ultimately, the Tribune would long outlast its national counterpart. The paper has since its inception supported itself financially through commercial advertising in its print edition. Operating under such a model theoretically allows the paper and its staff to maintain genuine editorial independence from both university authorities and the Students' Union. The Tribune has been recognised on a number of occasions at the national student media awards, particularly in sports writing, of which the paper maintains a strong tradition. In addition to winning Student Newspaper of the Year at the 1996 USI & Irish Independent Media Awards, then editor Conor Lally was also awarded Student Journalist of the Year. 2003 saw Tribune stalwart Peter Lahiff win Diversity Writer of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards, to-date the only Irish based recipient of a Guardian award.
College Tribune sections include news, sport, features, arts, film and entertainment, music, fashion, business, and politics & innovation. These are contained in both the paper proper and its arts culture supplement The Trib. The paper is also noted among students for the launch of The Evil Gerald, a satirical 'paper within a paper'.
UCD also has a student radio station, Belfield FM, broadcasting throughout the academic year online on the station's website. The station is independently run by the UCD Broadcasting Society and has produced well known Irish radio presenters such as Ryan Tubridy and Rick O'Shea (of RTÉ fame) and Barry Dunne of 98FM. Belfield FM is the successor to UCD FM, which was operated within the entertainment office of the students' union as a service for students. Initially launched in 1992, the station rebranded in 2000 and has operated since then under the current name. As a result of the implementation of the students' union's new constitution at the beginning of the 2012 / 2013 academic year, the station now operates as a student society.
- The Student
- University Gazette
- UCD News
- Student Voice
- Catholic University News and Times
- Comhthrom Feinne
In later years students have been given a scarf of St Patrick's blue, navy and saffron at the President's Welcome Ceremony when they are officially welcomed. These colours have replaced "Faculty" colours and are now worn at graduation also.
- Denis Coffey, Dean of Medicine (1910–1940)
- Arthur W. Conway (1940–1947)
- Michael Tierney (1947–1964)
- Jeremiah Hogan (1964–1972)
- Thomas Murphy (1972–1985)
- Patrick Masterson (1986–1993)
- Art Cosgrove (1994–2003)
- Hugh R. Brady (2004–2013)
- Andrew J. Deeks (2014–)
In International affairs UCD's alumni include:
- Anne Anderson, first female Ambassador of Ireland to the USA, UN, EU, France and Monaco
- Catherine Day, former Secretary-General of the European Commission, the first woman to hold the position
- Dermot Gallagher, Secretary-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador of Ireland to the USA
- Mahon Hayes, lawyer, diplomat and the only Irish person to serve on the International Law Commission
- Seán MacBride, one of the founders of Amnesty International and recipient of the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Peter Sutherland, one of the major negotiators in the foundation of the World Trade Organization, and its first Director-General
- V. V. Giri the fourth President of India
- Ryan Crocker, a Career Ambassador within the United States Foreign Service, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- James Dooge (alumnus and faculty), chairman of the "Dooge Report" which led to the Single European Act and the Treaty of Maastricht
Seven of Ireland's former European Commissioners are alumni.
Irish revolutionaries Pádraig Pearse and Thomas MacDonagh, two of the leaders of the Easter Rising and signatories of Proclamation of the Irish Republic were, respectively, a student and member of faculty at the University. As well as former President, Douglas Hyde and Pádraig Pearse, UCD Professor Eóin MacNeill had a key role in the Gaelic revival in Ireland.
Since the foundation of the Irish state in 1922, UCD has produced the most Justices of the Supreme Court of Ireland, the most Chief Justices and the most Attorneys General of Ireland. Alumni Síofra O’Leary is Judge at the European Court of Human Rights and three of the six current Justices of the Supreme Court are UCD alumni.
In 2010, UCD medicine graduate and cardiothoracic surgeon Eilis McGovern was elected 168th President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and thereby became the first female President of any surgical Royal College in the world.
Dee Forbes, Director General RTE and Miriam O'Callaghan, presenter of RTÉ's leading current affairs show, Prime Time, are alumni, as are comedians Dermot Morgan (1952–1998) and Dara Ó Briain who were major figures in the University's debating scene for many years.
UCD has produced a number of well-known athletes, mainly in the popular Irish field sports of Gaelic games and rugby union. Many played within the University's club sides such as Brian O'Driscoll who played for University College Dublin R.F.C.. The Club has produced numerous British and Irish Lions including O'Driscoll, with several others attending as students. Notable GAA athletes include Rena Buckley, one of the most decorated players in GAA history, having won a total of 17 All-Ireland senior medals; Seán Murphy, a medical school graduate and member of the Gaelic Football Team of the Millennium; and Nicky Rackard, included in the Hurling Team of the Century. Kevin Moran, formerly a Gaelic football but also a soccer player for Manchester United, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1976.
Alumni involved in business include:
- David J. O'Reilly, formerly CEO and Chairman of the Chevron Corporation
- Lucy Gaffney, Chairperson of Communicorp Group Limited
- Niall FitzGerald, former CEO and Chairman of Unilever
- Pearse Lyons (1944–2018), founder and President of Alltech
- Tony O'Reilly, who previously served as the CEO of H. J. Heinz Company as well as owning Independent News & Media
- Denis O'Brien, founder of Digicel
- Andrew Mulvey-Mescall former CEO of Tesco
Amongst the number of humanitarians to attend are John O'Shea founder of GOAL and Tom Arnold the CEO of Concern Worldwide. Former religious figures include Cardinals Tomás Ó Fiaich and Desmond Connell as well as the founding rector Cardinal Newman.
Former faculty include Dennis Jennings of the School of Computing, considered to be an Internet pioneer for his leadership of NSFNET, the network that became the Internet backbone. Other notable faculty include Patrick Lynch, logician and philosopher Jan Łukasiewicz, and Professor of Science and Society James Heckman who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000.
UCD in popular culture
James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is partially set in UCD (when it was sited on Earlsfort Terrace) where Stephen Dedalus (now the name of the IT building) is enrolled as a student. Joyce's posthumously-published autobiographical novel Stephen Hero contains stories of his time in UCD. Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds features a UCD student who writes a meta-novel wherein the author is put on trial by the characters of his novel. Maeve Binchy's novel, Circle of Friends, deals with three female friends starting college in UCD in the 1950s. However, shots of Trinity College were used in the 1995 film. The second Ross O'Carroll-Kelly novel, The Teenage Dirtbag Years, follows Ross as he enters UCD.
Christy Moore wrote a tongue in cheek song about UCD's Literary and Historical Society called "The Auditor of the L and H". Johnny Jurex & The Punk Pistols, predecessors to Rocky De Valera & The Gravediggers had a song called "Anarchy in Belfield" which they played at their only gig during Rag Week in 1976.
Conor McPherson's third film Saltwater was filmed in Belfield, UCD. In Boston Legal, Season 2, Episode 21 "Word Salad Day", there is a reference to a study from UCD that "found that the effects of divorce on children are far more damaging than the death of a parent".