The award adds to the university's success this year, after becoming the only university in Ireland to climb the QS World Rankings earlier this summer.
UCC President, Dr Michael Murphy said “this prestigious award reflects UCC's outstanding reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching and research, the highly successful Access Programme, the ability to attract international students and establish links overseas.”
NUI Maynooth came in second place after UCC, who hadn't won the award since 2005.
He added: “the high calibre of students choosing the university along with the outstanding quality of the student experience clearly places the university as a world-class education provider.”
Dublin Institute of Technology was awarded the accolade of Institute of Technology of the Year.
Explaining the reasons for choosing DIT, the Editor of the Sunday Times University Guide, Alistair McCall, said “Employability is at the heart of the decision to name the country’s largest institute of technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, as The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year. It attracts the highest calibre of students of any of the republic’s 14 institutes of technology. It also has the second best record in the country at retaining students…. It is starting or refreshing 10 new honours degree courses this month, including two firsts for Ireland – a degree in professional Irish and one in commercial music.”
The list is compiled not solely on league table position, but also on the university's contribution on a local, national and international level.