University College Cork UCC v University College Dublin UCD | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

University College Cork UCC v University College Dublin UCD


Two of the Best Universities in Ireland

Although Ireland may be a small nation, it still boasts some of the best universities and learning institutions in the world – some over a century old with notable reputations. Here, at EDUopinions, we have compiled information on two of the best universities Ireland has to offer; University College Cork (UCC)  and University College Dublin (UCD). Let’s compare the two and see what we found!

University College Cork (UCC)

What You Need to Know

University College Cork’s EDUopinions page contains a total of 8 reviews left by students with an average review of 4.5 stars out of five. Students gave positive reviews all round and you can check them out UCC’s EDUopinions page.

University College Cork, located in Cork City in the south-east of Ireland, was established under the name Queen’s College Cork in 1845, first opening its doors to students in 1849. It now in 2018 hosts over 21,000 students and the university conducts a significant amount of research – some of it making national and international news. The university was ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide and was named the number one university in Ireland in 2016.

The university is not just for those from Ireland however, as UCC also welcomes a significant portion of international students – mostly from the US, China, and France over its four schools: the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences, the College of Business and Law, the College of Medicine and Health, and the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science.

Most Frequent Comments

The comments left about University College Cork have several running themes, and one of these mentioned by several students is the ability to travel thanks to the university’s connections to other prestigious institutions  abroad.

Students mention that semesters or years abroad were of high quality and were made simple and easy to set up by friendly and helpful university staff, and consistently compliment the quality and location of the courses offered to them.

Students are also universally positive about the university’s atmosphere, with many suggesting its clubs and societies were the highlight of their university experience. Students are overall very upbeat regarding UCC’s culture both on and off campus and speak highly of the wide range of experiences and events on offer.

The reviews are impressively positive with only minor issues being raised by some of the students. These include the accessibility of the library due to limited opening hours and the tendency of on-campus areas to become crowded due to the high student population.

The Good

Overall, students are glowingly positive about UCC and its rich and vibrant culture. All of their reviews seem to point to a good overall university experience, with their crowning achievement being their welcoming and exciting atmosphere, mentioned in some capacity in every student review on EDUopinions.

University College Dublin (UCD)

What You Need to Know

University College Dublin is Ireland’s largest university and located close to Dublin City. The institution was founded in 1854 as the Catholic University of Ireland but changed its name to UCD in 1908. UCD has an attendance in 2018 of more than 30,000 students and its student body is comprised of students from approximately 120 different countries, with 5,500 UCD students being from outside of Ireland.

University College Dublin is ranked within the top 1% of universities worldwide, and is widely known for its sporting successes – in particular its soccer team. It is also prestigious in an academic sense, and is known for a high quality of teaching across its numerous academic colleges; Arts and Humanities, Business, Engineering and Architecture, Health and Agricultural Sciences, Science, and Social Sciences and Law.

University College Dublin’s EDUopinions page is relatively new, containing 4 recent reviews left by students with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of five. You can check out UCD’s EDUopinions page here.

Most Frequent Comments

Most students left encouraging reviews of UCD, and mentioned many of the same areas in which the university excels. The first of these is its sports teams and facilities, with several students mentioning the quality of campus facilities such as an exceptional pool and the good selection of sports clubs and teams on offer.

Students also mention the high quality of the teaching at UCD. Students described the courses as “demanding but doable” and compliment the staff on the high quality of their teaching, recommending the university for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The main complaints levelled at UCD seem to be surrounding the accomodation and transport. Students complained that the on campus accommodation was not of a very high standard and could be pricey, suggesting instead that incoming students should pick cheaper, shared off-campus options. They also complained that transport to the university could be difficult, noting a lack of parking and that the only transport link to campus was by bus.

The Good

Students are generally happy with their experience at UCD and would recommend it to others. They especially recommend the university’s facilities and sports teams so if you are into sports and looking for an institution with exceptional facilities to heighten your skills, UCD might be the place for you.

In Conclusion

This concludes our comparison of UCC and UCD. We went over several key points so let’s see how they rack up!

  • UCC and UCD are both centuries old institutions in Ireland with extensive and prestigious reputations
  • Both universities have outstanding scores on EDUopinions – 4.5 stars out of 5
  • UCC has a great range of societies leading to a great campus atmosphere
  • UCC also has good international connections and can provide the year abroad experience
  • UCD has excellent sports facilities and a wide range of clubs and teams
  • UCD provides a high level of teaching and provides a range of high quality courses

What did you think of this comparison piece? Are you considering studying in Ireland and did this article help inform your decision?  Please let us know by leaving a comment! If you have personal experience as a student at either of these universities, You can leave a review about your time as a student there on We can’t wait to hear your story!

Scholarships and Financial Aid Information

University College Cork (UCC)

University College Cork has a focus on continuous growth and development which manifests in their scholarships. They come under the name of Quercus, meaning oak. Their scholarship extends across disciplines from Academia, Sport, Creative and Performing Arts to Active citizenship and Innovation/Entrepreneurship. Find information about the Quercus scholarships here.

The university also offers more general financial aid, information about this can be found here.

University College Dublin (UCD)

Being the biggest university in Ireland, UCD has the funding to provide a wide range of scholarships and financial aid options all of which can be found here.  

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Written by
Lucy Burt is a recent graduate of Keele University in the UK, graduating with a bachelors degree in Psychology and Criminology. She is about to start a postgraduate career in the civil service and is passionate about all things pop culture, from literature and theatre to movies and video games.

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