My name is Niamh and I am a third year student studying Classics, English & History at UCD. I am in the first year group of this course and I remember being so delighted when I came across it in the CAO handbook when I was in 6th year. I had always loved these subjects in school and was really struggling with having to choose only two. I already knew I wanted to study in UCD because of the large teaching faculties with such a variety of specialities, as it means you have so much choice to tailor your degree to your specific interests. Finding out I could study all three subjects as well as interdisciplinary modules and go on an internship before I graduated was music to my ears! UCD campus was also really appealing to me as it’s a big campus just outside of the city with lots of facilities both academic and social. There’s the dedicated Classics Museum in the Newman building, which is the only one of it’s kind in Ireland, as well as the Special Collections Library and the giant Student Centre which has its own theatre, cinema, swimming pool, two gyms and so much more.

Looking back choosing to study Classics, English & History was the best decision I’ve ever made, I love studying Humanities in UCD. You have so much choice when it comes to your modules and the opportunity to work with some incredible lecturers who can really guide you in the areas of study you’re interested in. Typically, you will study 6 modules a semester, and have about 12-15 contact hours a week with 2-3 hours per module of lectures and tutorials. In first year lectures are quite big with up to 200 people in a lecture hall for compulsory modules. You also have tutorials which are much smaller groups of about 20 people where you discuss that week’s lecture topic and readings. These are great forums for discussion and meeting other students who study the same subject as you. You won’t just be in class with those who do your specific pathway but everyone who does that subject ie all the English students regardless if their other subject is Sociology or French. I love meeting people who do different subject combinations to me as it’s really refreshing to get a new perspective on a topic. Outside of class there is free time for independent study, getting involved in campus life and having a part time job. This has been great for me because it means my schedule is flexible to what suits me, my interests and my responsibilities. It’s definitely possible to balance everything you want to do in college, though I would recommend a good planner!

Throughout my degree, I have always worked part-time two days a week in the city centre but when I’m not at work I am pretty much exclusively on campus. Whether that’s in the library preparing for tutorials or working on assignments, grabbing a coffee from Bluebird in Newman before a lecture or (more likely) hanging around the Dramsoc theatre working on different shows. There’s always something to do on campus. There’s over 70 student societies and nearly 60 sports clubs so there really is something for everyone and so many chances to make friends. I met so many amazing people through UCD Dramsoc and through working on UCD Students Union and have had so many memorable college experiences with them. I always recommend that people get involved in student life on campus as it can teach you just as much about yourself and what you want to do in the future as your course can. The variety of experiences you can get from student societies and student leadership opportunities is incredible and has helped so many of my friends stand out as job applicants as well as set them on the path for careers in theatre, broadcasting, writing etc.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first students in the new Humanities programme to undertake an internship, which I did in my first semester of third year at the Little Museum of Dublin. Here I worked primarily as an Archivist, but also as a Researcher and Editor for new exhibitions, as well as in Customer Relations dealing with guests directly on the floor. It was an invaluable experience and I was able to bring so much to the team with all my transferable skills I had learnt at UCD. It was amazing to work in such a practical and professional environment and I was able to learn a lot from the people around me. The internship programme is competitive so you have to submit applications and CVs as well as participate in interviews so it’s an amazing learning opportunity about the professional world as well. However you don’t have to go on an internship in third year, many of my friends decided to use both semesters to study in UCD and some went on a study abroad to partner universities in Cyprus, France, Italy, the list goes on! The different opportunities in third year are yours to choose from and will be a great benefit to you whatever path you choose. 

I would absolutely recommend coming to study in UCD, especially to study Classics, English & History in the Arts and Humanities programmes, as you will learn so much about your subjects and your interests and have so many opportunities to explore them!