Set on 42 acres of wooded ground, only a 10 minute walk from Cork City Centre, our college was established in 1845 after a long campaign for a higher education institution in Munster. On these pages you can find out more about the history of UCC.
University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC) (Irish: Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh) is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and located in Cork.
The university was founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges located in Belfast, Cork, and Galway. It became University College, Cork, under the Irish Universities Act of 1908. The Universities Act 1997 renamed the university as National University of Ireland, Cork, and a Ministerial Order of 1998 renamed the university as University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork, though it continues to be almost universally known as University College Cork.
Amongst other rankings and awards, the university was named Irish University of the Year by the Sunday Times on five occasions; most recently in 2017. In 2015, UCC was also named as top performing university by the European Commission funded U-Multirank system, based on obtaining the highest number of "A" scores (21 out of 28 metrics) among a field of 1200 partaking universities. UCC also became the first university to achieve the ISO 50001 standard in energy management in 2011.
Queen's College, Cork, was founded by the provisions of an act which enabled Queen
Victoria to endow new colleges for the "Advancement of Learning in Ireland". Under the powers of this act, the three colleges of Belfast, Cork and Galway were incorporated on 30 December 1845. The college opened in 1849 with 23 professors and 181 students; Medicine, Arts, and Law were the three founding faculties. A year later the college became part of the Queen's University of Ireland.
The original site chosen for the college was considered appropriate as it was believed to have had a connection with the patron saint of Cork, Saint Finbarr. His monastery and school of learning were close by at Gill Abbey Rock and the mill attached to the monastery is thought to have stood on the bank of the south channel of the River Lee, which runs through the College lower grounds. This association is also reflected in the College motto "Where Finbarr Taught, Let Munster Learn" which is also the university motto.
Adjacent to Gillabbey and overlooking the valley of the river Lee, the site was selected in 1846. The Tudor Gothic quadrangle and early campus buildings were designed and built by Sir Thomas Deane (1792-1871) and Benjamin Woodward (1816-1861). Queen's College Cork officially opened its doors in 1849, with further buildings added later, including the Medical/Windle Building in the 1860s.
University College Cork has been ranked by a number of assessment bodies, including as "Irish University of the Year" by the Sunday Times in 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2016, and was named a runner up in the 2015 edition. In 2015, UCC was also named as top performing university by the European Commission funded U-Multirank system, based on a high number of "A" scores (21 out of 28 metrics) among a field of 1200 partaking universities. Also in 2015, the CWTS Leiden Ranking placed UCC 1st in Ireland, 16th in Europe and 52nd globally from a field of 750 universities. The 2011 QS World University Rankings assigned a 5-star rating to UCC, and ranked the university amongst the top 2% of universities worldwide. UCC was ranked 230th in the 2014 edition of the QS World University Rankings. 13 of its subject areas featured in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 (up from 10 subject areas in 2014), including the Pharmacy & Pharmacology disciplines, which were listed with the top 50 worldwide. The Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Ranking awarded UCC a second in the world ranking for the second year in a row in 2015 for its efforts in the area of sustainability, with 360 universities from 62 countries ranked overall.
UCC has also been recognised for its digital and social media presence, including for 'Best Social Media Engagement' category at the 2014 Social Media Awards, and as a finalist for 'Best Use of Social Media by a State Body' and 'Best Non-Profit/Organisation Twitter Account' at the 2015 Social Media Awards. A previous finalist at the 2013 and 2014 Web Awards, UCC also made the 2015 finals in two categories, 'Most Influential Irish Website Ever' and 'Best Education and Third Level Website'. University College Cork had the first website in Ireland in 1991 (only the ninth website in the world at the time), serving transcriptions of Irish historical and literary documents for the CELT project converted from SGML to HTML.