UCC is recognised as an autonomous degree-awarding body under the terms of the Qualifications & Quality Assurance (Education & Training) Act 2018, with responsibility for assuring and enhancing the quality of its education, research and allied services. UCC has comprehensive internal and external quality assurance procedures meeting both national and European standards, with a strong focus on enhancing the quality of all activities. These procedures are overseen by the national agency, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), and UCC’s procedures are based on QQI’s Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines and Sector-Specific Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines, all underpinned by the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.
All courses offered in UCC lead to qualifications which are included on the
Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
. These qualifications are underpinned by the core principles of quality, recognition, access, transfer and progression and are recognised internationally for the purposes of further study and employment. The NFQ contributes to the strong reputation of Irish university graduates and their qualifications, at home and abroad.
UCC’s internal quality system ensures regular reviews of academic Schools and professional service units along with thematic and enhancement-focused reviews. UCC also, uniquely among Irish Universities, undertakes a comprehensive review of its research activity every 7 years via the Research Quality Review (RQR). The RQR initiative was endorsed positively in the report of the University’s Institutional Review as “a remarkable exercise that deserves wider notice throughout Ireland … a significant stimulus to its work as a research institution” (IRIU Report UCC, 2013). All of the reviews undertaken by UCC involve internal and external international expert peer reviewers as standard. The outcomes of all reviews are made available publicly on the University’s website and the institution provides an Annual Report (AIQR) to Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) on the operation of its quality processes and key themes arising.
The effectiveness of the University’s internal quality system is evaluated through external institutional review, now conducted under the auspices of QQI, on a 7-year cycle. The University underwent Institutional Review by QQI in 2012/13 and it will undergo a future statutory Institutional Review (CINNTE) under QQI in 2021. These reviews provide the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of institution-wide quality assurance procedures for the purposes of establishing, ascertaining, maintaining and enhancing the quality of education, training, research and related services that UCC provides. The reports arising from these reviews are published on the