Covid 19: Message from Dean of Law to Students

On March 23rd, Professor Imelda Maher contacted all law students returning from their two-week reading break.  Her email welcomed them back to the much-changed and challenging learning environment.  Her objective was to inform students of the supports on offer from UCD Sutherland School of Law, and above all, to reassure them in these unprecedented times.  Below are the key points for students in relation to the forthcoming weeks.  The university also has this useful FAQ webpage for students to consult for information (it is regularly updated).

E-learning

All module coordinators have been updating Brightspace and each of them will contact students about the changes ahead. There will be some variation as to how staff approach remote learning, just as there is variation when teaching is on campus, so it is very important that students check in with each module and make sure they know what is happening.  Students cannot assume that because one module coordinator does it one way, all the others will as well (different approaches to teaching are discussed regularly in the School and the view is that differences in approach deepen and enhance the student learning experience).

Tutorials

For undergraduates, tutorials are also going online or being replaced by written exercises. Students should consult each module on Brightspace.

Assessment

On assessment, the School is currently planning assessments and students can expect to get clear guidance over the coming weeks from their module coordinators about what is expected of them. They will need to plan their time and manage their deadlines - remembering that assessments can of course be submitted ahead of deadlines. The principle the School is applying is that no student is to be disadvantaged by the changes. In short, standards will be maintained but not raised and as with any assessment, they are still just being asked to show that they have met the module learning outcomes - nothing extra.

Skills

It is different working remotely so there will be a process of getting used to it. Students should be patient and be aware that it will broaden their skill-set further and require a different kind of focus, discipline and organisation.  These are skills that will be invaluable in the workplace so this is an opportunity to learn in new ways, to address what even just in educational (as opposed to social, economic or medical) terms is a considerable challenge, and to win through.

Exchange Students

For those currently on exchange with partner Law Schools, many will have returned to Ireland but will be continuing their studies with the host School remotely (just as those incoming students to the School of Law will continue their studies with us).  Students should contact the exchange coordinator in their host Law School or the relevant module coordinator there in the first instance if anything is needed.

Communication

Given that students won’t be physically present in the building, communication becomes even more important. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with their classmates.  All staff are working remotely.  Academics will continue office hours and administrative staff are available via email.  As issues arise, students should consider where they need to direct their query having first consulted the university FAQs here and determine is it their tutor, module coordinator, staff in the Law Office, the programme coordinator or student advisor? (see relevant email addresses below). The School of Law understands that the current situation will affect some more adversely e.g. through illness, care responsibilities, illness of loved ones, loss of employment, loss of income, accommodation.  Any student facing additional challenges should advise the School as soon as possible and not wait for months on end or worry e.g. about getting medical documents – let the School know – the staff are all fully aware of how challenging it will be for what we hope is a small number of students.

The School will respond to queries appropriately and in an appropriate time frame.  Students are encouraged to engage but at the same time, remember the challenges that staff are dealing with too - working remotely, complex care arrangements etc.  While 100% of emails may not be answered on the day received, the School is committed to doing so where at all possible (and if for any reason, no response is received, students should resend with a polite reminder in a day or so).

Professor Maher finished her email to students by wishing that all students stay safe and well in these difficult and challenging times.

School of Law Emails:

Dean of Law: deanoflaw@ucd.ie

BCL: uglaw@ucd.ie (Ms. Maureen Reynolds)

BCL Programme Coordinator: Dr. Joe McGrath joe.mcgrath@ucd.ie

BBL: margaret.maher@ucd.ie (Ms Margaret Maher)

BBL Programme Coordinator: Assoc Prof Paul Ward paul.ward@ucd.ie

Tutorial Queries: lawtutorials@ucd.ie (Ms Julie Lim)

Outgoing Exchange Student Queries: lawexchanges@ucd.ie (Ms. Ulyana O’Neill)

Incoming Exchange Student Queries: lawincomingexchange@ucd.ie (Ms. Ulyana O’Neill)

Graduate Students: Ms. Niamh McCabe  niamh.mccabe@ucd.ie

Graduate Diplomas: lawdiplomas@ucd.ie  

Programme Coordinator taught graduate programmes: Prof Ian O’Donnell ian.odonnell@ucd.ie

Programme Coordinator for PhD programmes: Prof Joe McMahon joseph.mcmahon@ucd.ie

Student Adviser: Ms. Nadia Clarkin nadia.clarkin@ucd.ie

For library information see   https://libguides.ucd.ie/covid19remoteaccess

University FAQs:  https://www.ucd.ie/about-ucd/about/covid-19specialarrangementsfaqs/