Survival Guide

Thinking About University?


EU and Irish students apply for undergraduate courses online through the Central Applications Office (CAO); additional access routes include the DARE, HEAR and Mature Applicants schemes.

“I’d really advise students filling out the CAO to research every course they are interested in. For example, I thought Arts was only for teaching and I didn’t want to be a teacher. After I researched the course and spoke to one of the UCC Career Guidance Counsellors, I learned that international companies are looking for Arts students because we think differently… we think about people’s cultures and interests, which helps a business grow”.                             

 Rebecca O’Callaghan, 2nd year, BA (Hons) Spanish and Computer Science              



“Research the courses you're applying for... look at the modules you'll be taking, and at aspects such as whether you have a year abroad or work placement. Know what you're putting on the CAO form”.

Siobhán Lee, 1st year, BSc (Hons) Physics and Astrophysics

Before applying for university, do your research! Check out for information on all our undergraduate degree courses including entry requirements and career options.

For more information on applying for UCC, call our Admissions Team at +353 (0)21 490 3571.

Visit UCC

“Definitely, visit campus before starting university! As a Trainsition Year student, I attended 'Prep for Med Day’ and I absolutely loved it. I got to see the facilities available in the UCC Brookfield Health Sciences Building and Cork University Hospital; it gave me a great insight into what life is like as a Medicine student in UCC”.

Kate Buckley, 2nd year, Medicine

“Open Days are a great opportunity to meet current students and lecturers, tour campus, and pick up information on courses that you may not find on the web. Visiting campus prior to filling up your CAO is extremely helpful when deciding on college courses… I had a chance to engage with a mix of lecturers and current students”.

Damien McCarthy, 3rd year, BA French and English

Open Days are free to attend, and pre-registration is not required.

For more information, you can ask us a question here:

Can’t make it to Open Day or looking to take another tour? Not to worry, the UCC Visitors’ Centre holds Historical and Cultural Campus Walking Tours, at 3 pm Monday to Friday and 12 pm on Saturdays*

Open to all.

For more information click here>>>

*Subject to availability, days and times of tours may change.


Get to Know Your New Home

Getting to know different aspects of your new university and city is important.

You get a campus map on Orientation Day, so use it! Orientation week is a great opportunity to explore, get to know your new timetable and suss out where your lectures are before the semester begins.

“You never feel alone or lost on UCC campus, especially with all the fantastic services provided like the Visitor's Centre, where you can drop in to buy some college gear and stationery, as well as asking for any information regarding the UCC campus. There are also lots of places to meet for lunch or coffee with friends, such as the Student Centre or the Main Rest. There will also be a new Student Hub which will be a central area for all students on campus”.                                                    

Jennifer Clifford, 2nd year, BA (Hons) World Languages

“I like the Main Restaurant (Main Rest), it's not very pricy and there's a different menu every day. I also enjoy the Elements Cafe in the Kane Building, they do nice sandwiches and good coffee”.

Niamh, 3rd year, Arts International with Politics and Asian Studies with Japanese


“The atmosphere around Cork is the perfect balance between urban and homely… I would highly recommend new students wander into the city, and avail of Cork’s wide variety of coffee shops and coffee houses...”

Edel Burton, 5th year, Pharmacy

“I’m an absolute foodie so finding new places to eat and tasting different types of food was really big for me…. In Cork there is no shortage of new cafes and restaurants to try, I really enjoyed spending time in the city”.

Umar Faruok Sobayo, 2nd year, BE Process and Chemical Engineering

“I was on a bus journey home and I could hear five different languages being spoken... it epitomised how connected Cork is culturally and internationally”.

Elvis Seporaitis, 1st year, General Engineering

Credit: Mike Hannon Media

First Semester

Well done, you’ve made it here, you’re in your first semester at UCC – our First-Year Experience Coordinator Nóirín Deady is on hand to ensure first years have the best experience possible. Other support services available for new and current students include The Mature Students’ Office, Access Office, and Disability Support Service.

For more information click here>>>


 “Definitely, engage with your Peer Support Leader. Every first year gets assigned one... I found mine to be super helpful, even if it was just showing me a classroom for a tutorial. As they're students themselves they completely understand where you are coming from as a new student and always know where to find the solution to your problem. Definitely give the Skills Centre in the Boole Library a visit, they are super helpful if you're struggling with assignments…”

 Damien, 3rd year, BA (Hons) French and English

Joining a club or society is a great way to meet students with similar interests. UCC has 57 Clubs, with loads to come - everything from Gaelic football to tennis, sailing, dance, hockey and much more. We have a whopping 110 societies – and if there isn’t a society to suit your taste, you can start one!

“Societies and clubs are one of the best ways to integrate yourself into university life. They give you a chance to become involved on campus and socialise outside of lectures. I really recommend getting involved during your first semester, as it definitely helps you find your place in college life”.

Siobhan Lee, 1st year, BSc (Hons) Physics and Astrophysics


“I highly recommend joining a society or club, if you had hobby in school like rugby then join the rugby club, you'll meet so many people with the same interests as you. Joining a club or society is a great way to meet people. College is only going to be the best years of your life, if you make it the best years of your life”.

Irina, 3rd Year, BA Economics and Computer Science

For more information on joining clubs and societies check out: and

You can join as many as you want and it's 100 percent free.


Health and Well Being

For most of you university will be the first time you have lived outside of home. This means – among other things - learning how to cook. The lifestyle overhaul of starting university can be quite challenging, but being aware of the choices you’re making and the impact they may have on your health is important.

“Exam season is when I tend to get very strong cravings for sweets and sugary things, so I've started keeping fruit nearby when I study. Invest in a reusable water bottle as well and you'll find yourself sipping away consistently and staying hydrated! It's so important when you're in the library to stay hydrated or you'll find it more difficult to focus”.

 Rosemary Kelly, MA English – Texts and Contexts: Medieval to Renaissance

“Make a point of involving some bit of exercise into your week. Personally, I've never been a mad sports person, but I walk almost everywhere and I make a conscious effort to go for a swim at least once a week. Over time my overall fitness improved and it did wonders for my mental health and my self-esteem

Find an interest unrelated to your course. Between lectures and study your brain is constantly focused on work. You need to find something that switches your brain off, even for a short while. Whether that's hanging out with friends, reading a book, going to the gym or getting involved in clubs and societies, just do something different!”

 Kate Buckley, 2nd year, Medicine

“Going to the Mardyke Arena Health and Leisure Centre is a great way of de-stressing and keeping fit. Location-wise, it is perfect to access after classes…I have only ever really used the running track and the gym myself, but I know a lot of my friends attend the classes and have nothing but good things to say about them. The Mardyke is also where a lot of the UCC clubs train, so it’s definitely a place to familiarise yourself with if you intend on joining a club”.

 Edel Burton, 5th year, Pharmacy

The Student Health Department offers students access to on-campus psychiatric, psychological, physiotherapy and general practitioner care.

Money Matters

"I recommend buying and cooking your dinner instead of takeaway. It’s cheaper and healthier and if you make extra you can freeze it for another time again saving money. Keep a rough account of your expenses so you can keep track of what you are spending. Look out for discounts when buying new clothes. There is always a deal somewhere."

Emma Ambrose, 3rd year, BA (Hons) Early Years and Childhood Studies


Our Student Budgeting Advice Service offers confidential advice and guidance on money management. Open to all current UCC students.

For more information check out or call +353 (0)21 490 1861.

Admissions Office


1st floor, West Wing, Main Quadrangle, T12 K8AF