Dublin City University

From Academic Kids

Template:IrishUniInfoBox Dublin City University (DCU) is a university situated in Glasnevin on the Northside of Dublin in Ireland. Created as the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin in 1975, it enrolled its first students in 1980 and was elevated to university status in 1989 by statute. The university currently has around 6,000 undergraduate students. There are over 500 research postgraduates and over 1,800 taught postgraduate students at the college. In addition the college has around 3,000 distance education (Oscail (http://www.oscail.ie/index.php/)) students.

The founding president of the institution was Dr Danny O'Hare, who retired in 1999. The current president is Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski.



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An aerial view looking eastwards in 1998
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The O'Reilly Library
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The Helix

The university has a particularly strong research record, it is a research led university, and has regularly been recorded as bringing in more research income per members of faculty - or indeed as a percentage of total income - than any other university in Ireland. Its research team working on sensors at the National Centre for Sensor Research is considered one of the best in the world.

The university is also famous for its Centre for Talented Youth (http://www.dcu.ie/ctyi) and is the location for The Helix a purpose built "performance space", which includes Ireland's largest concert hall, the Mahony Hall. The O'Reilly Foundation made a substantial contribution towards the new library, The John and Aileen O`Reilly Library (http://www.dcu.ie/~library/). Library users can avail of photocopying/printing/scanning facilities, read microforms, watch videos/DVDs and access the internet. Dedicated laptop network points and wireless network access are available on three floors of the library.

The university prides itself on its modern facilities and often leads to the comment that building never stops on the campus. DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and research facilities. These include television and sound studios, computer laboratories and networking facilities, language and interpreting laboratories, a video-conferencing suite and print and graphical laboratories. These are in addition to modern research and teaching laboratories in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and computing. Their is an InterFaith Centre (http://www.dcu.ie/students/chaplaincy/centre.shtml) located on the campus, a Crèche (http://www.dcu.ie/info/creche.shtml) and Dublin City University Language Services (DCU•LS) (http://www.english.dcu.ie). Other social facities include The Venue (Student Arts Theatre, aka omega[Ω]), a Ticketmaster Outlet, Club & Society meeting and seminar rooms, Starbucks at the main restaurant (the first in the Republic of Ireland), three pool rooms and a “Glass Room” for band practice. Retail facilities include six restaurants and two bars, a campus wide snack delivery service (Littlebites (http://www.littlebites.ie/)), a Spar shop, barber, Allied Irish Bank branch, Xerox reprographic unit, Hodges Figgis bookshop and a second-hand bookshop. DCU also has a campus radio station called, predictably enough, DCUFM (http://www.redbrick.dcu.ie/~mps/). An Arts Committee (http://www.dcu.ie/arts/index.htm) was established in 1983. Since then, it has acquired more than 300 works of art, including paintings, tapestries and sculptures for the university.

The university was named "Irish University of the Year 2004-2005" [1] (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8444-1266614,00.html) by the Sunday Times, UK. It was also ranked No 2 in the league table of Irish universities in the same newspaper.

The university recently completed an agreement with the Postgraduate Applications Centre in Galway.

University graduates are currently (2004) not eligible to vote for Ireland's upper chamber, Seanad Éireann, this is under review.

The universities current corporate identity (http://www.dcu.ie/marketing/logo/index.shtml) dates from 2001 when the university decided to rebrand as it considered the "three castles" logo out of date and not representative of the universities vision.


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Ballymun Road Entrance
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Collins Avenue Entrance

In 1975 the institution was created, on a ad-hoc basis, and on June 18 that year Dr Danny O'Hare was made acting director of the institution and a day later the first governing body met. It was intended at this stage that the institution become the unified structure under which the colleges of what later became Dublin Institute of Technology would unite, but by 1978 it became apparent that this would not be the case and instead an independent institution developed.

In 1979 the institution was located on a 85 acre (0.3 km²) site 3 miles (5 km) from the city centre, just north of Albert College Park; the Albert College Building is the only significant remaining building from before this period. The total area of the main campus is approximately 50 acres and is bordered by Collins Avenue, Albert College Park, Ballymun Road, Hillside Farm and St. Aidan's School. There are another 35 acres at St. Clare's Sports Grounds on the west side of Ballymun Road. This part of the campus also includes the Sports Pavilion. A further 10 acres situated along Griffith Avenue have been acquired recently. Entrances to the main campus are from Ballymun Road, to the west, and Collins Avenue, to the north.

The land on which the university's main campus is based was once the Albert Agricultural College. The Albert Agricultural College began life as the Glasnevin Model Farm in 1838 becoming the Albert National Agricultural Training Institution in 1853 after a visit by Prince Albert. Its foundation was an important event in the history of Irish agricultural education, whose primary function in its early years was the provision of instruction for primary school teachers to teach agriculture and meet the requirements set down by Board of National Education in Ireland. However, it also taught those whose aim was to pursue a career in agriculture. The Board established twenty Model Agricultural Schools and provided many National Schools with small holdings or gardens. Because of religious opposition and laissez-faire economic policies, the Board was forced to discontinue support for the schools holdings in 1863 and in 1874 disposed of most of the model farms. The Albert Agricultural College survived, probably because it was not exclusively concerned with the Board’s educational policies—it also carried out research work in new crop varieties, farming methods and breeding livestock.

In the early 20th century Professor Paul Murphy made a significant scientific breakthrough in the study of Phytophthera infestans, the fungus which causes blight in potatoes. In the definitive work on the Irish Famine - The Great Hunger - the author Cecil Woodham Smith states that in view of the fact that Ireland suffered so much from the blight it was 'by a stroke of poetic justice that it was in Ireland that much of the final research was carried out… at the Albert College in Glasnevin, Dublin". Between 1926 and 1978 the Faculty of Agriculture, University College, Dublin had ownership of the site. The Henry Grattan building was the first new building completed in 1981 along with the adjoining restaurant, many buildings have been added since forming a modern university campus.

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Albert College Front View 1
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Albert College Front View 2
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Albert College Side View 1
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Albert College Side View 2
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1989: The University's logo

The early focus of the institution was, in particular, on science and technology although it has also had a large business school. It has recently developed a presence also in the performing arts and in the humanities. The university is also famous for its work placement or INTRA (http://www.dcu.ie/intra/index.shtml) (INtegrated TRAining) programme, the first such programme in Ireland.

The Computer Applications course in DCU was the first degree offered by the college and is Ireland's oldest computer science degree. The degree is more in demand than any other computer degree in Ireland and is the most highly regarded computer degree in the country, it has three times more first preferences through the Central Applications Office system than the next most sought after computer course in Ireland, Computer Science in Trinity College, Dublin.

Note: In Ireland, both the University of Limerick and Dublin City University use the term "computer applications" very liberally. Computer applications is normally a subset of computer science, but the subjects covered in the computer applications courses in the two universities effectively make them computer science courses with a more practical, workplace-ready slant including an INTRA placement. These two universities can afford to include the practical side of computer science because their courses are semesterized, unlike the majority of Irish universities, effectively allowing the colleges to cram more subject modules into a smaller time period.



The academic organisation of the university is arranged into faculties and schools, a number of independent colleges are also associated with the university.

The university has recently undergone some reorganisation on the faculty level, with the school of education studies being incorporated into humanities & social science and the school of computing being incorporated into the engineering faculty. There are currently four faculties (http://www.dcu.ie/faculties.shtml):

The university also hosts Oscail (http://www.oscail.ie/index.php/), the National Distance Education Centre.

The university started its first link with an external college in 1993 with an agreement St Patrick's in nearby Drumcondra. Since then it has continued to confer degrees at several colleges, primarily in the north Dublin area. There are currently five linked colleges (http://www.dcu.ie/info/linked_colleges.shtml):


The university collaborates with a number of national and international organisations and universities on techology and research projects.

The AIC Adaptive Information Cluster (http://www.adaptiveinformation.ie/) with University College Dublin is one such initiative been based on computer and sensor technology to develop advanced applications in several areas. The Center for Innovation and Structural Change (http://www.nuigalway.ie/cisc/index.html) with National University of Ireland, Galway and University College Dublin is a initiative to better utilise and develop international level research. ISERC (Irish Software Engineering Research Consortium) (http://www.iserc.ie/) with the University of Limerick is a partnership to bring together and focus software engineering in Ireland.

Plasma and Vacuum Technology (http://www.plasmavacuum.net/) with Queen's University of Belfast is a cross-border programme to deliver online courses in plasma and vacuum technology without attending university based lectures. The Programme for Research on Grid-enabled Computational Physics of Natural Phenomena is a wide partnership with DIAS, National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Dublin, HEAnet, Met Éireann, Armagh Observatory and Grid Ireland. Development of research under the PRTLI Cycle 1 funded Institute for Advanced Materials Science, additional funding is now being sought to further research in the area of nanomaterials and nanotechnology with Trinity College, Dublin.

The university also has aggreements with organisations and universities outside of Ireland. For instance the University at Buffalo is a strategic partnership to develop research in the east United States. Focal.ie (http://www.focal.ie) is an ongoing project with the University of Wales, Lampeter to develop a Irish language terminology database online. The Catholic University of Lublin has a partnership with the university to deliver and accredit a Master of Business Administration in Poland.

The university also hosts many public events such as monthly lectures in the areas of physics and astronomy in collaboration with Astronomy Ireland (https://www.astronomy.ie)(held in "The Hub") and Irish Inventor Association (http://www.inventnetireland.com/) seminars held at the Invent Centre (http://www.invent.dcu.ie/).

The university is strongly committed to international education and internationalising its campus. Apart from the large number of exchanges the university also welcomes international students as part of its Study Abroad Programme and offers programmes jointly with institutions based outside Ireland and is rapidly expanding a wide range of international activities.


The university is headed, titularly, by the Chancellor, currently the Hon Ms Justice Mella Carroll of the High Court of the Republic of Ireland, the President, currently Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, is the "chief officer" of the university, comparable to that of a chief executive officer. The functions of the Governing Body (http://www.dcu.ie/info/governing_authority.shtml) of the university is outlined in the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin, Act, 1980 (http://acts2.oireachtas.ie/zza30y1980.1.html) and was later amended in the Dublin City University, 1989 (http://acts2.oireachtas.ie/zza15y1989.1.html) which raised the institution to that of a university and provided for related matters.

There are several other important acts concerning the college include the Universities Act, 1997 (http://acts2.oireachtas.ie/zza24y1997.1.html), which allows the creation of University Statutes (http://www.dcu.ie/info/statutes/index.shtml). The Copyright Act, 1963 (http://acts2.oireachtas.ie/zza10y1963.8.html#zza10y1963s56), as amended by the act of 1989, states that every university in the Republic of Ireland is entitled to one copy of every publication published within the state.

Student activities

Clubs and Societies

Their are a broad variety of clubs and societies, representing a wide range of interests such as culture, music and sport - as well as academic interests:

Student Publications

Their are several publications by and for students including:



In the Republic of Ireland, unlike other industrialised nations, on campus accomodation in universities is a relatively new innovation. Since the mid 1990s all Irish universities have built up a stock of quality campus accomodation although still on campus living is still uncommon for students. Most accomodation is of apartment rather than halls of residence type and is managed by DCU Campus Residences (http://www.dcu.ie/accommodation/).

The university has built several modern apartment and residences. Larkfield Apartments have 127 units, each with two study bedrooms and a shared living, kitchen and dining area within each unit. The Postgraduate Residences have 37 apartments, each with two, three or four en-suite bedrooms. the Hampstead Apartments consist of 57 units, each with three or five en-suite bedrooms and a shared living, kitchen and dining area. The College Park Apartments consist of 450 units, each with four or five en-suite bedrooms and a shared living, kitchen and dining area.


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University Sports Complex
Sports facilities on the campus include a sports complex (http://www.dcu.ie/sportsclub/index.shtml) and fitness centre which incorporates: An aerobics studio, spinning studio, quiet studio, four sports halls, two Squash courts, a glass-backed Handball/Racquetball court, a gallery that accommodates table tennis and a body conditioning arena, nine grass and astroturf pitches, a rock climbing hall and a fully equipped gym outfitted with cardiovascular machines, free weights and resistance machines. The sports complex also includes a twenty-five metre swimming pool with tepidarium, footbaths, spa pool, steam room, wellness spa, multi-jet pulse showers and sauna.

The main sports hall can be divided into three full size volleyball, badminton or basketball courts. The facilities at St. Clare’s Sports Ground include three GAA pitches, two soccer pitches, one rugby pitch and one Astroturf pitch for hockey or soccer.

There are twelve tennis courts and a grass athletic track in Albert College Park (Tennis Ireland National Training Centre) (http://www.tennisireland.ie/ntc.php) and a further five tennis courts are situated at Glasnevin Lawn Tennis Club (adjacent to St. Clare's Sports Grounds. There is also a GAA pitch, a grass athletic track and four or six soccer pitches (depending on configuration) in the park.


The are four licensed premises on the campus, they also sell a wide selection of food; the “old bar” (aka alpha [α]), the “new bar” (aka beta [β]), The Helix and Spar (off-license) also sells a large selection of wines.

Their are several restaurants and cafes; the Main Restaurant and the first Starbucks (in Ireland) are located in the Pavilion building. Zero-1 is located in the basement of the O`Reilly Library. The Invent Centre, The Helix, Nursing School and Business School each have their own restaurants. The 1838 Club is a restaurant for academic staff and postgraduate research students, it is located in the Albert College Building. Littlebites (http://www.littlebites.ie) allows students and staff to order food to anywhere on campus. There is a second Starbucks located in the Sports Complex, the third in Ireland after Microsoft Ireland.


Note: these lists are incomplete.



See also

External links

Dublin City University Logo: Dublin City University
All Hallows College | Mater Dei Institute of Education | St Patrick's College of Education | Royal Irish Academy of Music | Turning Point

Universities of Ireland
Republic of Ireland: Dublin City University | National University of Ireland | University of Dublin | University of Limerick
NUI Constituent Universities: Cork | Dublin | Galway | Maynooth
Northern Ireland: Queen's University of Belfast | University of Ulster
QUB University Colleges: St Mary's | Stranmillis

Other degree awarding authorities in Ireland
Dublin Institute of Technology | Higher Education and Training Awards Council | King's Inns | Pontifical University of Maynooth | Presbyterian Theological Faculty Ireland
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