Dublin City University
Dublin City University is a young university, situated on an 85 acre campus three miles north of the River Liffey in the city centre and just a 15-minute drive from Dublin airport. With the city just a 10-minute bus drive away, students of DCU have the best of both worlds; the social and cultural benefits of city life, but with the security and vibrancy of a university campus built very much for today.
Dublin City University was initially set up to fulfil the national requirement for a highly-trained workforce with skills in the areas of business, science and electronics, computer technology, communications and languages and as an agent for change in its local community. The first students came through the door in 1980 and the university is now recognised nationally and internationally as a centre of academic excellence.
It was awarded university status in 1989 and was considered at the time to be an 'unconventional' university. It broke with the traditional mould and introduced a number of ideas, which had enormous impact on the Irish education system. DCU was the first university in Ireland to introduce work placement (INTRA) as part of its degree programmes. The aim is for students to put their academic skills into practice in the work environment. Its degree programmes were also the first to be interdisciplinary, with, for example science students taking business courses, business students taking languages and language students taking computing. Many DCU students study at universities in Spain, France, Germany and Austria as part of their degree programmes under Erasmus exchange agreements.
DCU has developed its own research specialisms, creating a number of national centres of excellence that collaborate with other universities and industry internationally. These research centres have transcended traditional boundaries and have been extended to include combinations of academic disciplines such as biotechnology, electronic engineering, physics and chemistry.
The design of the campus and the bright modern architecture make DCU a vibrant and attractive place to study. The campus is laid out to encourage community interaction with the John & Aileen O'Reilly Library at the East end and the restaurant and Helix Arts Centre at the West end. It is a place where young people can live, learn and develop in a dynamic but intimate environment. One of the objectives of the university is the strengthening of the campus as a vibrant social and learning environment and the pursuit of a holistic approach to student development. DCU prides also itself on the range of its facilities, both academic and recreational.