Daniel Hurley, 20, was on a night out when he became separated from friends on September 24, 2017.
Efforts were made to locate the Cork Institute of Technology student and extensive searches were carried out.
Mr Hurley was last seen alive on CCTV footage at Victoria Lodge, a UCC student complex. He was seen entering the complex at 2am on the day he went missing.
However, Cork City Coroners Court was told he was not seen leaving the complex.
Sgt Jason Lynch told the court that Mr Hurley had stopped to urinate as he made his way to his home in Carrigrohane on the south side of the city.
The student went into the bush area adjoining the Curraheen River which runs alongside the Victoria Lodge site.
The court heard the river bank was completely unprotected for a stretch of around 80 yards. It was also very dark at the time of the accident.
Divers from Mallow Search and Rescue found Mr Hurley’s body in the river on the evening of September 28. The death was treated as a tragic accident.
Dr Margot Bolster, assistant state pathologist, carried out a post-mortem on the deceased.
Dr Bolster indicated that Mr Hurley had died from drowning.
The Hurley family said they are calling on the jury to recommend that UCC would carry out a full safety review of the Victoria Lodge Student accommodation complex.
They asked that the review cover lighting, fencing, and vegetation control.
The jury recommended that the review be carried out.
A verdict of accidental death was recorded in the case.