FAQs for Students

Information still relevant on Friday 31 July

The University is committed to looking after the health, well-being and academic progress of our students. The following FAQs are reviewed daily and updated regularly.

Classes, tutorials and assessments

Student support - general and pastoral

When will term start?

The Autumn Trimester for continuing students starts on 21st September. There'll be a small number of programmes that will have different start dates, such as our Clinical and Health Professional programmes, so your academic School will be in touch with you should this be the case for your programme of study.

Will there be a reduction in fees?

Students will be charged the full published tuition fees for 2020 entry.  There will not be a discount.    We are absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at UCD and are very much looking forward to welcoming students onto our campus as soon as we can. We are currently planning for every eventually to follow Irish government advice.  We are confident that students will still be able to engage with their programme of study effectively and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

Can you explain what you mean by ‘online teaching’ and ‘on-campus’ activities’?

‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we are unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. Large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for students to watch and re-watch whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When campus is fully opened, and some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time.

Will there be teaching in class or online? 

In 2020/21 academic year we aim to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible in our safe and welcoming campus.  You will debate topics in seminars, develop practical skills in labs and tackle big issues in workshops. We are putting measures in place to help you stay safe. This may mean teaching in smaller groups, delivering shorter sessions or staggering start times.

Large group activities, like lectures, will take place through digital methods. You will be able to ask questions, contribute to discussions and, with recorded sessions, look back on what you have learned. Methods and systems will vary from course to course. Your school will provide more details closer to the start of the year.

We expect you to enjoy as much classroom experience as we can provide, and therefore expect you and support you to be here on campus. We hope we can increase the amount of face-to-face engagement and social activities that we are able to offer over the year. This will depend on Irish government advice and when coronavirus is brought under control.

We understand that some of you will not be able to join us in UCD, due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 which are beyond your control. This may be due to travel restrictions or because your health situation requires you to shield.

If you are in this position, we will do our best to help you maintain a strong connection to our University community and your programme of study. This will be through online options that will allow you to engage with your learning and assessment.

As the year starts, you will need to tell us if you are in this position [needing to study online only] so that we can support you effectively. You will need to submit an online form which will be available soon.

If you can return to the on-campus experience before the end of the academic year, complete the same form to tell us. We will support you to do this wherever possible.

If my lectures are online, does this mean I will not have any teaching in person at all? 

We have made the decision for all lectures to happen online for the first semester due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students. Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on Irish government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time.

How will social distancing work on campus?

Your safety and wellbeing are our priority.  We are implementing social distancing measures across our campuses.  As part of our approach we will use dedicated entrances and exits along with one-way systems, queues and distance markers combined with other safety measures like hand sanitising stations. This will apply to:

teaching and study spaces
social and sports facilities
and our outdoor spaces.

Our buildings will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and additional handwashing and sanitising facilities will be provided.

We will continue to follow government guidance and monitor for updates between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.

How will campus be kept safe?

Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.  Students will receive clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. Students will be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities.

What will happen if there is a second wave of infection? 

We will continue to monitor government guidance between now and the proposed physical re-opening of our campus. Any action we take will be made with your safety in mind.  Plans are in place to ensure we can support you towards your desired learning outcomes, whatever the circumstances.

Do I have to come to UCD for the first trimester?

We expect most students to join us in UCD for the start of the academic year. However, we are aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice. To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in trimester 1 or at the start of trimester 2.

I am a final year student, what supports will I receive in finding a job after graduation? 

Our Careers Service is now offering many of its services online.  This includes help finding internships and a range of other supports.

What sort of assessments will I have to do in the first Trimester? 

UCD modular system ensures that you will be exposed to a range of different types of assessment.  There will be no sit-down invigilated examinations at end of the first trimester. Depending on your School, your Module Coordinator will plan alternative assessments for each module taking account of the learning outcomes to be assessed for that module. This will mean that once to commence your studies you will be working towards your assessments through essays, project work, online activities, practicals, laboratory work and in some cases where appropriate online examinations.

How will my programme be delivered this year?

We understand that UCD students value the opportunity to learn in a campus setting, but we also recognise that our response to COVID19 will require that some campus activity may not be possible.   The University has indicated that as much activity, in line with Government and Public Health advice pertaining at the time should be delivered face to face.  Academics delivering modules and programmes are best placed to determine which elements are best suited to an online experience, and which elements should be delivered in class or through an equivalent face-face activity.  Therefore, the experience for each student will vary considerably depending on your programme of study and even your year / stage of study.  The exact details for each student will only become clear when module registration commences in late August/early September.  However, each programme is developing guidance based on the prevailing social restrictions with the aim of making this available to you in early August.  

Who should I contact If I am concerned about returning to campus?

You should contact your College or School Office or your Student Adviser.

Who should I contact in relation to information on my course?

In the first instance, you should make contact with your College and/or School Office. 

Is the Student Desk open?

Student Desk staff are currently working remotely. All of our services are provided through the UCD Student Desk Connector. You can also invite the Student Desk to chat via Hangouts by following the steps below:

1) Go to https://hangouts.google.com/ and login with your UCD email details
2) Click Message
3) Add the Student Desk email address (studentdesk@ucd.ie). You may get a message about the domain, ignore it.
4) Send the invite during chat opening hours and the Student Desk will reply as soon as they can.

How can I get IT support?

While our IT Centres are currently closed, IT Services staff are working remotely and you can continue to contact us through our IT Helpdesk.

t: +353 1 716 2700 e: ithelpdesk@ucd.ie w: www.ucd.ie/it  

Can I get access to my locker? 

Following Public Health restrictions on movement (29 March, updated on 10 April), access to lockers for the period up to 5 May will not be available. Pending further Public Health updates, access to lockers will be reviewed after this period.

UCD Estate Services plans to defer centralised clearing of lockers at this time and further information on new arrangements will be made available in due course.

What UCD Library facilities are available? 

The Library services are available via Remote Access Arrangements Information, which includes links to essential UCD Library contacts, services and resources for UCD researchers, lecturers and students. It also contains information regarding the July opening hours of the James Joyce Library.

Who is available to provide pastoral support and advice for students?

Student support services continue. 

  • Student Advisers can be contacted by email and Zoom calls will be set up for individual consultations if necessary.
  • UCD Chaplaincy continues to play a vital role for students at this time.
  • The UCD Global Lounge is closed at the moment; however, Virtual Global Lounge activities are now being scheduled, and the UCD Global Experience team are available to respond to queries by email and Zoom.
  • Support and advice is also available from the UCD Students' Union.

I am experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19, what support is available?

If you have lost your job or are unable to work, the Irish Government has established a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Please see here for further details on how to apply. If you had not yet engaged in employment, but are still in need of financial assistance, the Government is providing supports under an Exceptional Needs Payment Scheme. International students are eligible to apply for both of these schemes.

If you are facing other financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis, please contact your Student Adviser who will be able to advise you as to your options. 

I'm an international student and my Irish Residency Permit (IRP) is due to expire. What should I do?

If you are from a visa-required country and have an Irish Residence Permit card which expired after 20 March 2020 and before you were able to return to Ireland, then you will have to make a new on-line visa application. However, you should contact your nearest Embassy or Visa Office to confirm what, if any, supporting documentation is required. To check if you need a visa, visit the following webpage: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/check-irish-visa  

If you are not from a visa-required country, you may return to Ireland with your valid passport and your IRP card. We also advise you to have a copy of your certificate of attendance from UCD when you arrive at an Irish airport.

I'm from a non-EU / EEA country and I will be eligible to apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme when I complete my studies in order to seek employment in Ireland. How will this scheme operate in light of the Covid-19 situation?

Once you have completed your studies and received your final results, you will need to apply for a Stamp 1G permission via INIS. Please see here for further details on the application process and the temporary measures which have been put in place in light of Covid-19 restrictions.

I'm in receipt of US Federal Aid funding. Can I continue my studies at UCD at a distance?

Normally, US Federal Aid regulations state that any programme at a non-US university which includes online teaching and learning is ineligible for Federal Aid.

On Friday 27 March 2020, the US Senate passed the Third COVID 19 Coronavirus Bill (H.R. 748). Among other provisions, the Bill allows for eligible programmes that would normally be taught in a traditional classroom setting to be taught through online learning for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The Bill will be applied retroactively to all programmes that have moved online since 1 March 2020 and will cover programmes until the end of the state of emergency. Accordingly, current UCD students who are recipients of US Federal Loans may continue to be in receipt of their loans even though their programmes have temporarily moved to online teaching and learning.

If you have decided to suspend your studies rather than continue with online education, you should contact federalaid@ucd.ie.

All recipients of US Federal Aid should also consult the following release by the US Department of Education on Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents.

Student support - health

Is the UCD Student Health Service still available to me?

The Student Health Service continues to operate but in a different manner. In line with public health guidelines, at present, there is no walk-in service although doctors and nurses are on the premises.  If you are unwell, or would like to schedule an appointment, you are asked to the student health service on 01-716 3134 and they will advise you on how to proceed.  If a consultation is necessary, it may take place remotely using telephone or video consultation, or you may be advised to attend the Centre.

Before contacting Student Health Services with a query, please log in to your SISweb account and make sure that your registration profile has the correct address including eircode (if known) and Irish mobile number.

Routine prescriptions and follow up appointments (e.g. contraception, pre-existing conditions and mental health reviews) will be facilitated as much as is possible by telephone consultation. If you require the prescription to be sent to your local pharmacy, please have the fax number and contact details of the pharmacy at the ready.

What are the opening hours for Student Health Services?

Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 12.00pm and 2pm to 4.30pm. Please note there will be a small standard charge of €15.00 for all consultations.

If you have concerns regarding COVID-19, please feel free to call the service during opening hours and a nurse or doctor will phone you back and advise the next steps. All students should be prepared to answer screening questions. Please keep your phone on and be ready to receive a call back from the medical or nursing staff.

I don’t have access to a GP. When is the Student Health Service open and how do I access it? Will it be open on public holidays and over the weekend? 

The UCD Student Health Service is open from Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) and opening hours and contact details are available here in addition to contact details for out-of-hour services. If your concern relates to the coronavirus and are well, please phone HSElive at 1850 241 850 (or 041 685 0300).

I am concerned that I may have COVID-19. What should I do?

If you have fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath, you need to call your own GP or Student Health Service who will conduct a telephone consultation with you to decide if testing is indicated. While waiting to speak to the nurse or doctor you should: 

  1. Self isolate, stay away from other people
  2. Take paracetamol for fever or pain.
  3. Have your mobile close by and charged and also your Eircode (if known) to hand as this will help the COVID-19 testing service, to contact you easily if required.

Additional information regarding the COVID-19 virus is available on the HSE website. If you have any concerns around COVID-19 and are well please look at the Health Protection Surveillance website for information or contact the HSE public advice line 1850 241850. Please note that this line is extremely busy. 

I am feeling unwell and the Student Health Service is closed. Where can I get advice?

These are the contact details of the out of hours services that are available to you for emergency or medical care. Please note there are charges for these services: 

  • EastDoc Telephone Number: (01) 221 4021
  • Doctor on Duty Telephone Number: (01) 420 0880. Opening hours 24/7

If you require advice regarding general health advice, please check out the HSE Under-the-Weather webpage.

The Student Health Matters App is also a useful source of reliable information for the student population. It is available to download on Android and iPhone.

I have been in contact with the Student Health Service and have been told that a test for COVID-19 has been ordered, when will the test be done?

There can be a waiting time for the test so please be patient. The Student Health Service cannot speed up the testing so please do not call the Service to request this.

I have had a test done yesterday but have not had the result, when will I hear about the result?

This can take a number of days. You will be informed as soon as the result is back. While you are waiting for the test result you need to remain in isolation, take paracetamol for fever or pain and ensure that you have plenty of fluids.

I am in self-isolation and I am feeling very upset, what can I do?

Student support services remain available. Student Advisers can be contacted by email and Zoom calls will be set up for individual consultations if necessary - Student Adviser contact details are available here.

The UCD Student Counselling Services are available to students in the following ways: 

  • Telephone support to students currently attending counselling at UCD
  • Telephone consultations with staff who support students 
  • Providing useful information about self-care and coping on UCD student counselling webpage and student life app. 
  • CBT self-help tool SilverCloud

I am a student awaiting testing / a diagnosis, is there anything I need to do?

Please follow the advice being issued by the HSE regarding self isolation for those persons who are symptomatic / awaiting test results (https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing.html).

If you are currently a Resident on campus we would ask that you let the residents team know about your status. They will be able to provide information on supports available to you as you self isolate.

If you have not already done so, consider informing your closest contacts (i.e. housemates and partner) that you are being tested and advise them to ensure that they adhere to strict social distancing protocols (information on social distancing can be found at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html). 

You may also wish to inform close contacts (persons who you have had more than 15 minutes face to face contact with / have shared a room with for more than 2hrs in the 48hrs prior to your symptoms developing / since you have developed symptoms) who you are aware fall into a vulnerable group (see https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html for details of vulnerable groups).

I have received a positive diagnosis, what should I do?

Please follow the health advice issued to you upon diagnosis. If you are a Resident on campus, we would ask that you let UCD know about your status through the residence team. 

The HSE will begin contact tracing to inform your close contacts and you should provide them with all of the information that they need. To speed up this process you should consider informing your closest contacts (housemate and partner) of your positive diagnosis and advise them to restrict their movements until they are contacted by the HSE (see https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html for information on how to restrict movements).

You may also wish to inform close contacts (persons who you have had more than 15 minutes face to face contact with / have shared a room with for more than 2hrs in the 48hrs prior to your symptoms developing / since you have developed symptoms) who you are aware fall into a vulnerable group (see https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html for details of vulnerable groups).

I don’t have family in Ireland. If I contract coronavirus, who will support me?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a Public Health Professional will contact you with the positive result. They will also advise you on self-care. Unless assessment at hospital is indicated, the current advice to all patients in a suspect case of COVID-19 is:

It is likely that you will have already been self-isolating and looking after yourself at home for some time before the result comes back.

Your GP or the UCD Student Health Service remains available to you for advice and telephone/video assessment. Please also see other FAQs for further information on supports available to you and for further advice on what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19.

I am an international student who has recently returned home and I have received a positive diagnosis, what should I do?

Please adhere to the advice being issued by your Local Health Authority. In so far as possible you are advised to contact your closest contacts (housemates, partner) who may be back in Ireland or elsewhere and inform them of your positive diagnosis and advise them to adhere to any local guidelines that may be relevant to them. If you were previously a Resident on campus we would also ask that you let UCD know about your status (email sirc@ucd.ie).

You may also wish to inform close contacts in Ireland (persons who you have had more than 15 minutes face to face contact with / have shared a room with for more than 2hrs in the 48hrs prior to your symptoms developing / since you have developed symptoms) who you are aware fall into a vulnerable group (see https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html for details of vulnerable groups).

If you were in Ireland during the 48hrs prior to your development of symptoms or your positive diagnosis, then you should contact the HSE in Ireland to make them aware of your status - https://www.hse.ie/eng/hselive/ 00 353 (0) 41 6850300.

If, and only if, you cannot make contact with the HSE via the above mentioned means then email covid19centre@ucd.ie, insert Corona positive in the subject line. and inform them of your positive diagnosis, when you left Ireland and when your symptoms began. They will inform the HSE who will be in touch with you if they consider it necessary to engage in a contact tracing exercise with you.

This email address should only be used by international students who have tested positive outside Ireland.

ls the UCD Student Counselling Service still available to me?

Yes, the UCD Student Counselling Service seeks to actively assist you despite restrictions imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can no longer provide face to face counselling, we understand students may be anxious at this time. Therefore the UCD Student Counselling Service is offering brief single session phone consultations to all UCD students who feel they may benefit from psychological support at this time. This service operates from Monday to Thursday.

Please complete and submit this form, and a member of staff will call you back as soon as possible.

Please note that this is not an emergency service and you should use existing emergency services in your local area if you require urgent assistance, including situations where you or someone else may be at serious risk of harm.

If you are a student or intern working on the frontline and you would like support to sustain you in your work, the Counseling team is here for you. Please complete and submit this form and indicate in the form that you are a frontline worker.  A member of the counseling team will arrange a phone session with you.

How do I get in contact with the Counselling Service?

To get in contact with the Student Counseling Service please phone (01) 716 3134 or email: student.counselling@ucd.ie.

What happens if I have an upcoming scheduled appointment with a counsellor at UCD? 

We can no longer offer face to face counselling. If you would like your counsellor to phone you, send an email to student.counselling@ucd.ie

If your counsellor is not available we will let you know, and we can arrange for another counsellor from the team to phone you if you wish.

Please note the student counselling email address is checked daily, morning and afternoon, and is not monitored outside of those periods. It is not advisable that you email about an emergency or if you are at risk of harm.

What if I need help now as I or someone I know is at risk of suicide or self-harm?

You should make contact immediately with one of the following:

  • Your General Practitioner
  • Accident and Emergency Department of your nearest hospital
  • Call 999/112 

Are there any other services available to me outside of the UCD Counselling Service? 

 The following services may be of assistance: 

 The University’s free CBT self-help tool SilverCloud is helping students deal with emotions such as anxiety and stress at this time.   

Student travel

Can I travel to Ireland at this time?

As of 22 July, Ireland's borders remain open and there are no additional restrictions on travel to Ireland. However, the Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form on arrival and to restrict your movements for 14 days.

Although Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU), the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU have not been adopted by Ireland.

The Irish Government has now published a 'green list' of countries, which will be updated every two weeks. Anyone travelling to Ireland from a 'green list' country willl not be required to restrict their movements on arrival in Ireland.

At 22 July, the Irish Government has advised that it is continuing with plans to strengthen the existing measures for monitoring passengers who arrive into Ireland, including the introduction of an Electronic Passenger Locator Form, enhanced follow-up procedures, a call centre, and a proposed testing regime for symptomatic passengers at airports and ports.  

Note: this advice is subject to change at short notice, and UCD will update this FAQ with new information as soon as it is available.

I am currently living or studying overseas. How do I know if it is safe for me to travel to Ireland?

As the situation is evolving daily, UCD recommends that you check the public health advice and travel advisories issued by the country you are travelling from, as well as consulting with your airline for further information. You may also want to review the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website before making a decision on travel. 

What advice is the Irish Government providing about overseas travel at this time?

In order to receive the latest developments regarding travel restrictions, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) recommends that you download the DFAT Travel Wise App which will help you to stay safe and informed while abroad. In addition, if you are an Irish citizen, you can register your contact details on Citizens’ Registration, which allows DFAT to contact you and provide assistance in the event of an unforeseen crisis or family emergency while you are overseas.

Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect my exchange in the Autumn Trimester?

UCD has made the difficult decision to suspend Exchange Programmes (Erasmus+ and Non-EU Exchange) for the Autumn Trimester 2020. Having considered the current travel restrictions nationally and internationally, and the uncertainty as to when such restrictions will be lifted, it is clear that it is not feasible for students to adequately plan their exchange activities. We realise that this is very disappointing for students, but at present it is the best option in terms of ensuring the health and safety of students and reducing the disruption to their academic programmes.

What preparations is UCD making for exchange in the Spring Trimester?

At the moment, applications for outgoing exchanges in Spring 2021 are proceeding as planned and it is important that you complete your application and meet all relevant deadlines. Typically partners start accepting applications from August to October. UCD will be closely monitoring the situation during the summer months, and if the situation changes, applicants for outgoing exchange will be notified immediately by your contact in UCD Global or your College/School. Please remember to check your UCD email for updates throughout the summer. However, we recommend that you do not book travel or accommodation at this time

Where can I find further information about outgoing exchange?

Detailed FAQs for prospective outgoing exchange students are available on the UCD Global website.


Comprehensive FAQs for continuing students, returning students, and international students are available and updated regularly.

Current or former residents who have queries, please contact residences@ucd.ie

Other Facilities

Visit https://www.ucd-studentservices.com/access-ucdcampus-post-covid19 to get up-to-date information on a range of campus amenities, facilities and supports. This site is updated regularly to provide information on the ever-increasing list of amenities, facilities and supports available virtually or on campus.