Academy Review: University of Limerick
The University of Limerick (UL) was established in 1972 as the National Institution for Higher Education Limerick. It gained university status in 1989, becoming the University of Limerick.
University of Limerick’s campus is the largest in Ireland. It covers 366 acres of land along the stunning river Shannon. The parkland campus is located 5 km away from the city centre but has all the necessary student supports, shops and facilities on campus or nearby.
The University of Limerick offers endless opportunities for its students. UL pioneered a compulsory work placement program across all faculties called ‘The Cooperative Education.’ The majority of these compulsory placements are based in Ireland and some placements are available internationally. This helps students to develop work-based skills and gain experience, and even potentially line up a graduate job.
The University of Limerick has a student population close to 18,300 each year, with 3,000 international students.
Irish students recently voted UL Ireland’s most popular university with a satisfaction rating of 85% in a survey. UL was also voted 4th Globally for Campus Environment in the most recent (2021) International Student Barometer.
UL encompasses some of Ireland's most influential research centers. Among these is the Nexus Innovation Centre, an expanding hub comprising international researchers and entrepreneurs dedicated to fostering new ventures and generating employment opportunities, and the Bernal Institute which hosts a multidisciplinary team of world-leading materials scientists and engineers at UL.
Some notable alumni from the University of Limerick include:
- Terry Wogan - a legendary broadcaster and television presenter, was one of the most influential and beloved figures in the British and Irish media.
- Paul O’Connell - a renowned rugby player who played for the Irish national rugby team.
- Patrick O’Donovan - an Irish politician who has served as a member of the Irish Parliament.
Limerick is located in the southwestern part of Ireland. It is the country's third-largest city and County Limerick's capital. Limerick is approximately 200 kilometers southwest of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The journey between the two cities takes approximately 2.5 - 3 hours by car or bus, depending on traffic. Limerick has a population of approximately 250,000 people, and half of the population are under the age of 35, making it a young and vibrant city to work, live and study in. There are 150 different nationalities represented in the population of Limerick.
Limerick is also close to Shannon Airport, one of Ireland’s major international airports, just 25 kilometers west of Limerick.
The University of Limerick has more than 80 clubs and societies covering various interests, from sports and arts to culture. Joining these clubs is a great way for students to meet like-minded individuals and engage in extracurricular activities. There is an International Society too, which is a great way to make friends from all over the world.
Here are some places that are known to be popular with students in the city centre of Limerick:
- Thomas Street, the Milk Market, and Wickham Way – lots of nice little cafes and food stalls to try. Very popular at the weekends.
- Various festivals and events in the city - Limerick St. Patrick’s Day Festival, celebrated around March 17th, features parades, live music performances, cultural events, and family-friendly activities.
- Riverfest- This festival is held during the May bank holiday weekend each year. Riverfest is a major celebration along the River Shannon with music, dance, fireworks, food stalls, and river-based activities.
- People's Park- Perfect for a relaxing afternoon picnic, maybe after a visit to the Limerick City Gallery of Art.
- Limerick County: You should also travel outside Limerick city to visit the scenic Ballyhoura Mountains, where you can choose from various hiking and mountain biking activities. The UL Outdoor Pursuits Club is a great way to see more of Limerick county.
Generally, living costs in Limerick are lower than in some larger cities in Ireland, which makes it a very attractive destination for students.
The University of Limerick has eight student villages on campus and can accommodate 3,000 students. UL strives to offer a place to every international student, however, it is not always possible due to the post-pandemic shortage of accommodation, similar to many other European countries.
UL can also support you if you’re seeking accommodation outside your university. So make sure you check out their website.
Computing Study Programs
Faculty of Science & Engineering delivers over 30 academic degree programs in Computing, Design, Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. It has over 500 Ph.D. researchers and continues to provide research opportunities at doctoral and post-doctoral levels.
The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) is a Faculty of Science and Engineering department. Some of the focus areas in the department include digital disciplines, including human-centered computing, music technology, digital arts, games, software engineering, software localization, and bio-inspired intelligent systems.
Here are the programs that you can study at the University of Limerick:
Computer Science Common Entry
- BSc in Computer Systems
- BSc Cyber Security and IT Forensics
- BSc Computer Games Development
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Software Engineering
Let's look at these programs in more depth.
Computer Science Common Entry
This is designed to give students a gateway to better choices if they are unsure which area in Computing to study. This will be your first year of study, which is the same across all specializations. In your first year, you will study subjects like Introduction to Programming, Discrete Mathematics, and Foundations of Computer Science 1.
After the first year, you will be able to choose your specialization from one of the following:
Advanced software systems are vital to our daily lives, influencing how we interact, work, and source information. They are used in managing cities, improving communication, and changing how we experience the world. These systems have brought about significant changes in various aspects of our lives.
Some of the topics that you will study in this program include:
- Principles of software design and implementation
- Computer Organisation
- Operating Systems
- Systems Analysis
- Professional issues and ethics
A very important part of your course will also be the Cooperative Education period, during which students spend eight months collecting experience working in a course-related job in a business or industrial environment outside the University.
Cyber Security and IT Forensics
The Cyber Security and IT Forensics program at UL educates you about constructing secure systems that safeguard crucial data, such as banking information and medical records. You will be taught key computer and web security concepts that will help you navigate the cybersecurity sector. Software Development, can help you create, design, deploy, and support software. Data Forensics, is a crucial element of ensuring safety online as it encompasses an array of functions that attribute to electronically stored data. Ethical Hacking, relates to the detection of vulnerabilities that could be exploited for malicious purposes. Encryption, helps protect our sensitive information by converting data into code in order to prevent unauthorised access. Computer Law will help you understand the morals and ethics of the cyber landscape. Cloud Computing fundamentals, will allow you to explore the fundamental aspects of the online world.
Some topics you will study include:
- Games Modelling Design
- Modern Communications: Fundamentals
- TCP/IP Networking
- Introduction to Security and Cryptography
- Embedded Software
- Applied Cloud Computing
- Computer Forensics
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Master)
Research in artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming our lives and guiding us toward a future where self-driving cars, automated stock trading, AI-assisted surgery, smartphones with object/face/speech recognition, and video games with dynamic, smart behavior are becoming a reality.
Here are some of the modules that you will be studying:
- Evolutionary Computation and Humanoid Robotics
- Artificial Intelligence for Games
- Theory and Practice of Advanced AI Ecosystems
- Research Methods and Project Specification
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Project
Software Engineering (Master)
The Software Engineering program at the University of Limerick uses specialized expertise and abilities to create various types of extensive and intricate software systems. Additionally, the program offers the chance to focus on data analytics, which involves deriving insights from substantial datasets.
Here are some subjects that you will be studying if you choose this program:
- Research Methods & Practice
- Software Development Paradigms
- Software Evolution
- Project Management and Practice
It is important to note that Ireland has its own system of entry requirements for EU undergraduate students, and certain CAO points are required for you to compete against other applicants.
How are the CAO points obtained? The CAO assigns the CAO points to each Leaving Certificate / end-of-school exam. This helps you identify whether you have enough points to secure a place on your chosen course.
The points are used to calculate the applicant's results value based on their performance in their best six subjects, which include certain mandatory subjects (Maths, English and another language) and potentially other subject specific requirements.
Here are some general entry requirements.
CAO points history- 434
The term "CAO points history" refers to the historical points required for entry into a particular course over a period of time.
Minimum grades needed:
Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
In addition, this program has a subject-specific Mathematics requirement:
A minimum grade of O2/H6 in Mathematics.
Dependent on whether you are coming from the UK, the EU, or another country, there are country-specific requirements on the Computer Science Common Entry page if you need more information, make sure to click the link, and it will take you to the how to apply page, where you will find the country-specific entry requirements.
If English is not your first language, you must also pass an English language requirement.
Software Engineering (Master level)
Here are the entry requirements for the Software Engineering Masters degree program:
Normally a primary degree (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or approved equivalent professional qualification in a cognate discipline (e.g., Computer Systems/Science, Applied Mathematics) at the first or second-class honours level. An interview may be part of the admission process.
Here is what you will need for the application:
- Qualification transcripts and certificates
- An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae outlining your work experience (with details of each role you have held) and your technical skills
- A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
- If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language, this will suffice
- If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided - English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts and English language competency certificate
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Master level)
Here is the minimum requirement for the program:
Applicants must have a first or second-class Level 8 honours degree (NFQ or other internationally recognized equivalents) in a relevant or appropriate subject (Computer Science, Computer Engineering programs, or level 8 Science programs that have sufficient mathematical and programming skills) or equivalent prior learning that the University recognizes as meeting this requirement.
Here are the documents that you will need for the application:
- Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable
- A copy of your birth certificate/passport
This will suffice if your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language.
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided - English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts and English language competency certificate
If you are an Irish/ EU applicant, you can apply to all Undergraduate programs through the Central Application Office or CAO system.
The CAO system opens at the beginning of November and students must only apply during their final year of studies The closing date for CAO applications is 1st February each year. However, ‘late applications’ will be accepted for some programs until 1st May.
*Please note that the deadlines for specific programs can differ, so it is crucial that you check the website for the deadline of your chosen program.
If you are an international (non-EU/EEA/UK) student, you can apply through the University of Limerick website on the relevant programme page.
Further timelines and the application handbook can be found on www.cao.ie.
Application queries must be directed to the CAO office.
The majority of programs at UL can be applied to on a rolling basis – from end of October to early July. Please consult the relevant program page to confirm.
Student Universal Support Ireland
Student Universal Support Ireland is a financial assistance scheme available to Irish and European students if they meet specific residency and immigration requirements.
You must have a PPS (Personal Public Service) number to apply for the SUSI grant. You can obtain a PPS number once you have a place of residence in Ireland.
Here you will find more information on the SUSI grant:
Students only have to pay (which can be covered by SUSI): €3000
Student pays a small administration fee (Student Levy): €98
The Irish government covers the rest.
The full fee for International (non EU/EEA/UK) Students:
Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Master Programs)
EU students: €6,950
International (non EU/EEA/UK) students: €18,078