Why Choose DCU?

Choosing where to go to college can be extremely daunting. What makes DCU stand out from other universities? Beyond being the World’s first Autism-Friendly University there are many reasons why you should choose to study at DCU.



DCU is one of the best young universities in the world as ranked by the Times Higher Education Top 100 Under 50. We are the only Irish university to have featured in this league table every year since the rankings were first published.

We have a proud tradition of world-class academic excellence, research and innovation. From foundation and language programmes and online degrees to respected undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Study Abroad and Erasmus/Exchange opportunities, DCU has a clear study path for every student. By choosing one of our many Bachelor or Master’s degrees you will gain great work and life experience as many of our degrees include workplacement or a consultancy or research project with industry.

10 Reasons to Choose DCU

1. Academic excellence

At DCU we focus on the quality of the learning experience for each student. With a strong focus on academic excellence, we ensure that your degree is highly regarded, both nationally and internationally, and that you will leave university equipped for success in all aspects of your life- both in the workplace and in society. We strive constantly to improve the quality of our degree programmes and this has been recognised in many external reviews.

‘DCU can fairly claim to be at the cutting edge in terms of academic quality improvement.’ – International Review Panel that carried out an Institutional Review of DCU in 2010.

‘Academic excellence has seen DCU quickly establish itself among the higher education elite.’ – Sunday Times University Guide 2011.

2. Employability of our graduates

DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. A 2011 survey of our most recent graduates demonstrated that nearly 90% of those who responded to the survey were either in employment or in further study. This is significantly higher than the national average measured across all Irish universities.

DCU graduates work in prestigious positions with top national and international companies worldwide. Some of our more prolific alumni include: John Jordan (Director of Marketing, Irish Dairy Board), Gervaise Slowey (MD, Ogilvy), Sean McGrath (Vice President of HR, World Bank), Lorainne Twohill, (Vice President of Global Marketing, Google), Noel Curran, (Director General of RTE), Matt Cooper (Journalist, Today FM) and Laura Whitmore (Presenter, MTV/ITV).

3. DCU is a highly-rated university

Dublin City University has been ranked in two new league tables of the world’s young universities (less than 50 years old).We are the only university on the island of Ireland to be featured in the QS Top 50 under 50, coming in at No. 46 in this showcase of next-generation, leading universities, all established since 1962. We have also been placed 86th among the top one hundred young universities in the Times Higher Education 100 under 50.

DCU is also ranked in the top 4% of universities worldwide. We have held the honour of Sunday Times Irish University of the Year twice in the past eight years (2004/5 and 2010/11) due to our achievements in a number of areas, including the calibre of our degree programmes, the employability of our graduates, our research successes, our focus on supporting students and our Access programme.

Commenting on the awards, the Sunday Times stated: ‘DCU gives students vital experience and skills to augment their academic studies and is instrumental in producing an excellent calibre of graduate, primed and ready to face the future.’

4. A focus on supporting every Student

DCU is committed to providing a highly supportive environment for our students in all areas of learning and personal development. At DCU, there is always someone there to assist you no matter what your concerns or problems might be. Our primary goal is to unleash and harness the potential in every student and to enable all our students to realise their ambitions.

5. Our work placements and Year Abroad programme

A key factor in the success of our students on graduation is our INTRA Internship Programme, where students gain relevant, paid work experience as part of their degree programmes. This gives our students an early introduction into the world of enterprise and employment and, as a result, employers frequently comment that they choose DCU graduates because they can ‘hit the ground running’ in the workplace. In 2012, more than 900 DCU students from 31 degree programmes completed INTRA placements.

Some DCU degree programmes offer international experience to our students – e.g. students on degree programmes offered by the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies participate in our Year Abroad Programme where they spend one full academic year at one of our partner institutions in Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Spain.

6. Our Generation 21 programme

Introduced in September 2011, Generation 21 is a unique programme of initiatives for students that fosters the skills and attributes that a young graduate needs to be successful in the 21st Century. We recognise the need to equip our graduates with skills to enable them to navigate the challenges of a dynamic, globalised society and an increasingly knowledge-based workplace. We have developed a new approach that underpins our commitment to excellence in education, and prepares our students for success in the 21st Century.

Integrated into all our degree programmes, Generation 21 aims to shape our graduates into rounded individuals who are Creative and Enterprising, Solution-Oriented, Effective Communicators, Globally Engaged, and Active Leaders.

7. A vibrant student campus

With over 100 Clubs and Societies and The Hub Student Centre at the heart of the campus, there is no shortage of opportunities to have fun outside of lectures and to make friends. There is a great buzz around our campus, which features multiple bars, restaurants, bright, modern campus residences, and the world-renowned Helix theatre.

Our goal is not only to give students an excellent degree qualification but also to ensure that your time at DCU is great fun, full of extra-curricular activities and life-enhancing experiences.

8. A sporting campus

DCU is renowned for both its excellent sports facilities and sporting heroes. There are currently over 100 students playing at inter-county level in both ladies and men’s football. In 2012, 6 DCU students or recent graduates participated in the London Olympics, and yet another student in the Para-Olympics.

Our excellent sports facilities include a state-of-the-art 25 metre swimming pool and spa, a superb fitness gym, basketball courts, squash courts and a sprint track.

The Sports Scholarship Programme attracts some of Ireland’s most promising sports people. The dedicated high-performance facilities along with the expertise of our staff at our School of Health and Human Performance are integral to the development of many of Ireland’s top athletes, including Fionnuala Britton, who recently retained her European cross country champion title for a second year.

9. Ireland’s University of Enterprise

DCU instils a spirit of creativity and stimulates innovation in all its degree programmes. Our Enterprise Advisory Board, comprising national and international leaders from the world of business and enterprise, ensures not only that our degree programmes are at the cutting edge internationally, but that the skills and attributes of our graduates are informed by the various needs of the enterprise sector.

We are the only Irish member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). ECIU is a prestigious network of 11 European universities all of which share a common commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. The vision of ECIU is to be a global leader in higher education through the collective expertise of the consortium, their dedication to enhancing the learning experience of students, and their focus on fostering economic and social development across the regions of Europe.

10. We offer choice and flexibility

We offer over 60 undergraduate and 70 postgraduate programmes across a broad range of areas including engineering, computing, business, humanities, science, social sciences, and health. Many of our degree programmes are unique to DCU and many of them offer unique discipline combinations, e.g. business with languages.

Our ‘DCU Online’ initiative will introduce on-line elements and technology-enabled learning enhancements to most of our degree programmes over the coming years.

Additional information and links

If you would like to learn more about DCU’s Autism Friendly University Project you can click here.

If you need some tips and information on how to apply to university you can click here.