What is UCC like?

Find out about our campus atmosphere, locations and general environment, and see how we are making our campus more ‘autism-friendly’.


the main quadrangle in UCC on a sunny day
The Quad in UCC


Our university campus is in Cork city and is an eclectic mix of old and new buildings. One of the most familiar sights is the iconic ‘Main Quadrangle’, often just referred to as ‘The Quad’. The River Lee runs through the campus and there are lots of green spaces (with benches to just sit and relax), plenty of trees, and even a wildflower meadow. A outdoor sensory garden is also under development.

large tree and red poppies and yellow flowers in foreground and the North Wing in the background
The ‘Wildflower Meadow’ in the summer


On campus there is a library, a purpose-built sensory respite area for students called The Calm Zone (or An Ceantar Ciúin in Irish), lots of places to eat or have a coffee, the Mardyke Arena, an art gallery known as the Glucksman, an observatory, a chapel and a variety of different Student Services, many of which can be found in our new Student Hub. There is also a Student Centre with shops, cafés, and a bookshop.

student centre on a sunny day
Áras na Mac Léinn (The Student Centre) in UCC


Our University has around 20,000 students from a wide variety of different backgrounds and cultures, and we employ approximately 4,000 staff. This means that campus can be very busy at times but we are making sure there are quiet places for students to go if they need to.

a stone entrance with a black gate next to a sunny lawn
Students sitting in the President’s Garden in UCC


Teaching takes place all over campus, but usually there will be buildings that you spend more time in and this depends on the course you choose. For example, if you are studying a health science subject you will spend a lot of time in the Brookfield Health Science Complex or if you study a language-related subject you will spend a lot of time in the O’Rahilly Building.


You can see our campus map here.

How could this affect me?

The campus is bigger than you might have been used to at school and can get very busy at particular times – one autistic student described the campus as ‘an airport without planes’.


Getting lost is common for all new students and the places you become used to going to may change when timetables change for the new semester. Becoming familiar with key buildings and locations on campus may help you to prepare. We have also put together some information on quieter routes around college – you can view this map here.


The Student Hub is a key location – the Disability Support Service is located on the first floor of this building as part of Access and Participation.

What to do next?

Spend a little time exploring our campus maps, videos and virtual tours online.

Questions to think about

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where are my lectures and tutorials being held? (Remember these may change from time to time).
  • Is my lecture being held on campus or being held online? (This may change week to week depending on circumstances).
  • Do I know how long it takes to get from one building to another?
  • Where will I eat?
  • Where will I go if I feel a bit overwhelmed?

Additional information and links

UCC Main Campus Map 

Other helpful UCC Maps