Photo: Keith Arkins


University College Dublin’s ambitions reflect the breadth of its faculty and its internationally-minded and progressive character: its purpose is no less than the flourishing of Ireland, Europe and the wider world.

This UCD seeks to achieve through the study and discussion of people, society, business, economy, culture, languages and the creative arts as well as through its leadership in science, medicine and engineering.

The story of the University provides a great insight into the development of Ireland. Many staff, students and graduates were involved in critical events in Ireland’s history and were heavily involved in the foundation and development of modern Ireland. UCD counts amongst its graduates three Presidents, four Taoisigh, five ministers in the current cabinet and six of Ireland’s European Commissioners.

The University’s ambition is to establish itself as a world Top 100 university by 2020. To achieve this, the UCD Strategy 2015-2020 puts particular focus on increasing the quality, quantity and impact of its research, scholarship and innovation.

UCD is a major contributor to the Irish economy, generating circa €1.3bn in total output annually, and is at the forefront of Ireland’s technology and innovation sector, through its research and its start-up hub, NovaUCD. Ireland is the second largest exporter of IT services in the world and eight of the top ten global IT companies have a presence in Dublin. UCD works to strengthen its ties to industry through strong interdisciplinary research and education that tackles global challenges.

Improving and enlivening the main Belfield campus demonstrates the University’s ambition to further develop its world-class facilities, attract talented students and faculty, and continue to influence Ireland’s cultural and economic success at the very highest level. The UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016-2021-2026 guides the future development of the Campus and includes a commitment to high architectural quality with a focus on sustainable design.

The Centre for Creative Design will include education, research and outreach facilities, and will be home to the UCD Creative Skills Academy. The Academy will bring together artists, designers, engineers, architects and technologists and provide formal and informal opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as supporting strategic links through the creation of a Centre for the Internet of Things.

UCD’s College of Architecture and Engineering is similarly ambitious; the College is in the final stages of working towards SE (Substantial Equivalence) accreditation from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its MArch course – a rare achievement for an international university outside North America. The University also plans to run a forthcoming joint Master’s degree with the National College of Art and Design and Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology that will combine architecture with art.

UCD is working closely with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the National Transport Authority on the Entrance Precinct Masterplan initiative. UCD has secured initial funding and will continue to fundraise for the project, targeting a mixture of private sources and public grants.

A previous competition for development on the UCD Campus, including its entrance, was launched in 2007. This project was to be led by UCD in conjunction with a development partner, but was subsequently cancelled due to the global economic downturn in 2008.

The new project will be led and financed by UCD exclusively.

This competition was managed on behalf of UCD by independent competition specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants. The process was run under the Restricted Procedure in accordance with EU procurement rules and the Republic of Ireland’s S.I. No. 284/2016 European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016, and the competition was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).