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Coordinates: 51°53′37″N 8°29′31″W / 51.893497°N 8.491873°W / 51.893497; -8.491873

University College Cork
Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh
UCC - NUI, Cork.png
Motto Where Finbarr Taught Let Munster Learn
Established 1845
President Prof Michael B. Murphy
Registrar Prof Paul Giller
Faculty 809 (2007)[1]
Undergraduates 15,732 (2007)[1]
Postgraduates 3,128 (2007)[1]
Location Cork, Ireland
Affiliations AUA
Utrecht Network
corporate logo

University College Cork (UCC) is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland. The university is located in Cork.

The university was founded as a college in 1845 under the original name of Queen's College, Cork. It became University College, Cork, under a charter issued after the Irish Universities Act, 1908 became law. 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[2].

The university was named the "Sunday Times Irish University of the Year 2003-2004"[3], and again in 2005-2006. In 2007, it jumped 100 places to 286th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and advanced again by 60 places to 226th amongst the world's top universities in 2008.[4]

Professor Michael B. Murphy has been president of the university since February 2007.



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 and a year later became part of the Queen's University of Ireland.

The original site chosen for the College was particularly appropriate in that it is 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 current university motto.

UCC Quadrangle

On this site (on a hill overlooking the valley of the Lee), the Tudor Gothic quadrangle and early campus buildings were built by Deane and Woodward. Over the coming years the College gained a standing for excellence in various fields, including mathematics, medicine and the humanities.

The medical buildings were built in stages between 1860 and 1880, and the faculty quickly gained a reputation for the quality of its graduates. The first two women to graduate in medicine in Ireland did so in 1898 (this was notable as it was more than 20 years before women were permitted to sit for medicine at the University of Oxford).

In the following century, the Irish Universities Act (1908) formed the National University of Ireland, consisting of the three constituent colleges of Dublin, Cork and Galway, and the college was given the status of a university college as University College, Cork. The Universities Act, 1997, made the university college a constituent university of the National University and made the constituent university a full university for all purposes except the awarding of degrees and diplomas which remains the sole remit of the National University.


UCC Student Centre with the O'Rahilly Arts and Commerce Building opposite

Today the university has over 17,000 students - of which there are over 14,000 undergraduate degree candidates. This student base is supported by 2,578 staff - of which 764 are faculty. There are 1104 non academic staff and 710 research staff.

The university is one of Ireland's leading research institutes, with the highest research income in the state.[citation needed] The university's internal research reputation spans all of its faculties where it offers over 120 degree and professional programmes through seven schools and 27 departments. The university had seven faculties in Arts and Celtic Studies, Commerce, Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Law, Medicine, and Science. In recent years,the University has been restructured so that it now has four colleges, Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science; Business and Law; Medicine and Health and, Science, Engineering and Food Science. UCC is also home to the Irish Institute of Chinese Studies, which allows students to study Chinese culture as well as the language through Arts and Commerce. The department recently won the European Award for Languages 2008.[5]

Student numbers, currently at over 17,000, have increased greatly since the late 1980s, precipitating the expansion of the campus by the acquisition of adjacent buildings and lands. This expansion continues to the present day to meet the needs of an ever growing student population, with the construction of the Alfred O'Rahilly building, a new Pharmacy building, the Brookfield Health Sciences centre, the extended Áras na MacLéinn (Devere Hall), the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Experience UCC (Visitors' Centre) and an extension to the Boole Library - named for the first professor of mathematics at UCC, George Boole, who developed the algebra that would later make computer programming possible. The University also recently opened the Western Gateway Building on the site of the former Cork Greyhound track on the Western Road as well as significant refurbishment to the Tyndall institute buildings at the Lee Maltings Complex.

The university has a number of related companies; including: Cytrea which is involved in pharmaceutical formulations. Firecomms an ICT company concentrating on optical communications; Alimentary Health a biotech healthcare company; and Optical Metrology Innovations who develop laser metrology systems.

The college was involved in some controversy in 2006 when one academic, Professor Des Clarke alleged that the university authorities were guilty of financial mismanagement, and called for a full independent inquiry into governance. The subsequent inquiry found that there was no evidence of financial mismanagement.

Also in 2006, the University re-opened the Crawford Observatory, a structure built in 1880 on the grounds of the university by Sir Howard Grubb. Grubb, son of the Grubb telescope building family in Dublin, designed the observatory and built the astronomical instruments for the structure. The University paid for an extensive restoration and conservation program of the building and the three main telescopes, the Equatorial, the Transit Circle and the Sidereostatic telescope.[6]

In October 2008, the governing body of the university announced that UCC would be the first institution in Ireland to use embryonic stem cells in research.[7]

In November 2009, many UCC buildings were damaged by unprecedented flooding.[8] The floods also affected other parts of Cork City, and many students were evacuated from their accommodation and academic material was lost. The college authorities postponed academic activities for a week,[8] and indicated that it would take until 2010 before all flood damaged property would be repaired.[9]

UCC SU Crest

UCC Students' Union (UCCSU) acts as the representative body of the 17,000 students attending UCC. Each student is automatically a member by virtue of a student levy.


Notable alumni of the University include: Former Taoiseach Jack Lynch, Mathematician George Boole, Rugby coach Declan Kidney[10], Gaelic footballers Séamus Moynihan, Maurice Fitzgerald and Billy Morgan, hurlers Pat Heffernan, Joe Deane, James "Cha" Fitzpatrick and Ray Cummins, rugby players Moss Keane and Ronan O'Gara,[11] actress Dame Fiona Shaw, novelist William Wall, politician Micheál Martin, High Court judge Bryan MacMahon, comedian Des Bishop, journalists Brendan O'Connor and Eoghan Harris[12],poets Thomas McCarthy and Greg Delanty and professor of physics and director of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at M.I.T. Richard Milner. Actor Cillian Murphy and BBC presenter Graham Norton both attended UCC but did not graduate.[13][14]


See also

The Glucksman Gallery in UCC's lowergrounds

External links

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