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Self-Care to Sustainability: the PG Expo Returns to Campus

Campus was abuzz with activity as more than 600 prospective students descended upon The Hub for UCC’s first in-person Postgraduate Expo in three years. With a key focus on self-care and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explore the highlights below.

20 Mar 2023
This year marked the return of the PG Expo to campus for the first time in three years

Advice on maintaining a healthy study–life balance and how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) influence our students’ and alumni’s studies and work were among the topics explored at our annual Postgraduate Expo event.

More than 600 prospective students attended the Expo – which pivoted back to an in-person, on-campus event for the first time in three years – to explore the full range of UCC’s postgraduate offerings through a series of panel discussions, information sessions and workshops in The Hub.

Visitors were invited to peruse the information stands in the Atrium and chat with staff and representatives from across all four colleges as well as current taught and research postgraduate students, and alumni. As a collaborative event organised and presented by Student Recruitment, the Graduate Studies Office and Career Services, there were more than 200 staff and student ambassadors on hand from departments to engage with prospective students.

In keeping with UCC’s commitment to ‘Leave No One Behind’, the event was organised through the lens of the UN SDGs. Through the Making a Difference With Your Postgraduate Studies session, prospective students got to hear first-hand from alumni about how their postgrad studies positioned them for their respective careers where their work draws on, and is influenced by the 17 SDGs.

Another key theme from the event was the importance of self-care and maintaining a healthy study–life balance. Dr Eithne Hunt, from UCC’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, presented the Everyday Matters: Healthy Habits for University Life workshop, in which she spoke of the importance of creating healthy habits for maintaining daily wellness as a student. Attendees were gifted a bonus LED bamboo alarm clock for their self-care swag-bag after the session. The alarm clocks were generously supported by the UCC branch of Bank of Ireland and reinforced the principles of healthy sleep habits and routines, covered in Dr Hunt’s session.

Many of the day’s sessions focused on the practical side of postgraduate study, with presentations on funding your studies and writing your personal statement, as well as a roundtable discussion chaired and led by current postgraduate students, who shared insights into their own experiences of postgraduate life and learning at UCC. The student voice and input were a key feature of this event; extensive student media coverage was produced from the Expo, including videography from UCCTV, radio and podcast content from UCC98.3FM, and articles in UCC Express and Motley magazine.

The event ended with an informal networking session in the Atrium, where prospective students could approach staff and student ambassadors with any other questions and queries – all while enjoying a beautiful musical performance by UCC student and Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar Donnchadh Hughes.

UCC staff were on hand to meet with prospective students and answer queries
The Hub was packed on the day, with more than 600 prospective students in attendance

Lenka Forrest, Head of Student Recruitment at UCC, commented on the success of this year’s event:

‘We were delighted with the turn out, engagement and atmosphere of this year’s Postgrad Expo. The Hub was an excellent venue, a veritable ‘hub’ of activity in every sense!

‘UCC’s annual Postgrad Expo is an important feature in the university life’s calendar. It reminds all students to consider the next step in their educational and professional career. It is never too early or too late to explore all UCC’s postgrad offerings – taught, research, CPD, MicroCreds, HCI & Springboard courses, Adult Continuing Education and Language Centre courses.

‘At UCC we are all about lifelong, life-wide and life-deep learning, and we are committed to leaving No One behind. This year’s Postgrad Expo was certainly a testament to that commitment.’

The annual Postgraduate Expo showcases UCC’s unique and diverse offering for prospective students, with learning experiences and opportunities extending far beyond the lecture theatre. Indeed, this year, our postgraduate students were invited to join a UCC panel participating in the B!G iDEA, an initiative that equips students in Transition Year, Leaving Cert Applied and Youthreach Centres all over the country to tackle some of the biggest problems facing society. As a partner university within the initiative, UCC has created a panel of mentors that will work collaboratively with the secondary school students to find solutions to problems presented across the themes of diversity and inclusion, displaced persons, climate change, mental health, and hidden poverty.

The success of the Postgraduate Expo was followed by more good news, with the announcement that UCC has been shortlisted in nine categories at the Education Awards 2023, including Best Student Campus, Best Student Experience, and Excellence in Sustainability. UCC has enjoyed much success in recent years at the annual awards, having claimed back-to-back wins in the Overall Excellence in Education category in 2020 and 2021. This year’s winners will be announced at an awards gala in Dublin on April 27.

Visit to find out more about this year’s Postgraduate Expo and to register your interest for next year’s event, which takes place in the Hub, on Wednesday, 31st January 2024.

Photography: Tomás Tyner

Videography: Ruben Tapia, UCC TV

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