FAQs for Taught Students

Information UPDATED on Thursday September

The University is committed to looking after the health, well-being and academic progress of our students. Please 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.

Short Guide for Students Returning to Campus has been prepared and will help you prepare for your return to campus in September, letting you know what you can expect of the University and, also, what we will expect of you. The overriding principle is that we will continue to be led by Public Health recommendations to minimise the opportunity for COVID-19 to spread, therefore maximising your safety and the safety of the whole University community.

The following FAQs are reviewed and updated regularly.

New Students

I don’t want to accept my place do I still need to tell you? 

Just do nothing as the offer will automatically lapse when the reply date has passed.

I want to defer my place? 

You may request deferral to next year for most undergraduate degree courses with the exception of DN301 (Vet Medicine Grad Entry). There is no guarantee that a deferral will be permitted as there is a limit to the number of deferrals we can grant. Deferrals will not be permitted if you want to attend another course of more than 1 year’s duration or if you want to repeat the Leaving Certificate to apply for another course. Please see full deferral procedure here

Can I defer for more than one year?

Deferral is normally allowed for one year only. However, in exceptional cases requests to extend deferral may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I've already accepted my place can I still defer? 

It may still be possible to defer if you have accepted during the first few weeks of term. You must contact us immediately explaining via the form on the deferral website why you wish to defer now. It is important that you do so as early as possible because if you're deferring, the place needs to be made available to somebody else.  After mid-September (exact date TBC), deferral requests will only be considered in extenuating circumstances such as serious illness.

If I start the trimester but want to defer later, who do I contact? 

You should contact your Student Adviser and College/Programme Office if you want to defer by following UCD procedures in the usual way.

I’ve been offered a place in UCD when does term start? 

In 2020, for first year undergraduates, teaching term will start on 28 September. Please note that Stage 1 Graduate Entry programmes to Veterinary Medicine (DN301/VTS3), Medicine (DN401/MDS9) and Radiography (DN411/MDSJ) will start on September 21st. This is also the start date for later stages at undergraduate level and for graduate programmes. In a small number of programmes, term may start earlier but you will receive specific information where this is the case.

Where do I register?

You will find all the information here https://www.ucd.ie/students/registration/

I'm trying to register, and I can't log on, what do I do?  

First check the email you received from Admissions telling you when you could register. If this time has passed, please check

  • Are you using your CAO number (it should be 8 digits, and the first 2 digits refer to the year)?
  • If you were in UCD before you should use your old UCD number
  • Are you using your date of birth in the correct format? (DDMMYY)
  • If it still doesn't work, please contact www.ucd.ie/askus

What is a Trimester and how long is it for?

UCD uses the term trimester as part of its Academic Calendar.  Each trimester includes a 12-week teaching period.  Trimesters are referred to as Autumn, Spring and Summer.

When will I know my timetable?

Your personal timetable will be available when you register.  In some modules where limitations on the numbers of student who can attend particular classes, you will be provided additional details on your on-campus schedule by your Module Coordinator.  You will be informed of when to register when you have accepted your place.

Where will I find my timetable?

When you log into your student account you will be able to access your timetable. 

I’m starting my undergraduate studies.  Where do I find out information about orientation?

You’ll find information on orientation timetables, checklists and how to get to UCD here.

I can't attend orientation. Does it matter?

Orientation for most students has 3 major parts

  • Program Orientation - A series of timetabled virtual events led by your school or college
  • Virtual Orientation - An Introduction to UCD Brightspace module
  • Peer Mentor led Social Activities and Campus Tour.

We advise you to check out your timetable on the new student website (www.ucd.ie/newstudents) and try and attend your program orientation events live. However, we expect many of these events to be available (by recording) afterwards to watch at a later date. If you miss your campus tour, ask your Peer Mentor if it is possible for them to give you a tour at a later date or help you navigate our virtual tour (you can access on the new student website.)

You can also check the new students’ website for details of alternative and late Orientation programs.

Do I have to attend classes in UCD?

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our future students.  We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at UCD and we're very much looking forward to seeing students on campus as soon as we can; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

Our lecturers are working hard to develop timetables that will allow you to attend campus while also engaging in online elements of your learning. The maximum number of students in a lecture theatre or classroom will comply with the public health guideline at that time. Large group activities, like lectures, will take place through digital methods. Some of these may be streamed so that while a smaller than normal number of students will attend, others will access these lectures online. You will be able to ask questions, contribute to discussions and, with recorded sessions, look back on what you've learned. Methods and systems will vary from module to module. This approach ensures that you will still be able to engage with your studies effectively and receive the highest quality learning and student experience.

Will I get a chance to meet anyone else on the course?

Yes. You will have many opportunities to meet your classmates through our blended approach, where you will also have the opportunity to be present on campus to meet your lecturers and other students.  Lecturers will provide you with opportunities to meet others in the online environment through working in groups, completing group assignments and working together to answer questions during the online class.  Each module is different so you will get to know a lot of other students through learning in this way. 

What is UCD Horizons?

UCD Horizons is the name given to the modular and credit-based structure for taught degrees at UCD.

What does Stage mean? 

UCD uses the term stage to identify students at undergraduate level.  As a new student starting a programme in UCD you will be in Stage 1 of that programme. 

I don’t understand what modules are?

Modules are the units with a course (or in UCD terminology, programme). For most programmes you will take 12 modules per academic year, worth 5 credits each, so a total of 60 credits per year.  The majority of your study (between 10 of the 12 modules) will be in your chosen degree programme; some may be compulsory ‘core’ modules, others will be ‘option’ modules, where you choose modules that interest you from a list of modules in your degree subject(s). Where you choose to take up to 2 modules outside of your programme, these are referred to as “electives”   You have the choice to take additional option modules within your programme to deepen your learning, or elective modules outside your programme to if you want to broaden your horizons. The choice is yours – we hope you’ll benefit from the freedom and diversity it offers you.

What are elective modules?

As a Stage 1 undergraduate student you can register for your electives in the Spring Trimester.   Most undergraduate degree students can take elective modules.  Electives give you the chance to study modules from outside your programme area. Always read the information about a module to see if you will be interested in it and if you meet the module requirements. The Module Spotlight gives you a list of interesting elective modules that have places available. You can also choose to take Structured Electives. This means taking your elective credits in a structured manner over the course of your programme to form a recognised block of learning in a subject area amounting to a minimum of 15 credits – typically three 5 credit modules. There is a range of Structured Electives available from Languages to Statistics so make sure you explore the available choices before making your decision.  Discovery modules are an exciting addition to the range of elective modules on offer. Each module is taught by more than one school and is designed to deepen students’ understanding of different disciplinary perspectives on topics of significant importance. The content of the modules includes cutting-edge research and all relate to an issue of historical or current global significance. Read more about Discovery modules in UCD.

How do I register for an Elective Module? 

As a first year undergraduate, you can register to an elective module in the Spring Trimester.  If you want an elective module, simply click ‘Select Elective’ under it. Your choices will be recorded in the Electives Modules section of the electives page. If you see Provisional beside an elective choice, it means that places for that module will be randomly allocated. Electives that are provisional do not add up in the Credit Information box on the right-hand side of the electives page. If you get a place, the status will change to Confirmed and your credits will accumulate. 

I had a bad experience of using online learning in Secondary school from March.  How will this be different?

Your lecturers/ Module Coordinator will do everything possible to ensure that you have access to the material you need for the module.

Where you are experiencing difficulties email your lecturer/Module Coordinator and let them know. Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom tool used by UCD to facilitate online classes, it can be accessed directly from within Brightspace. Your lecturer or Module Coordinator will post a link to the virtual classroom for you to join. Virtual Classroom is a menu item under “Module Tools” in your module area on Brightspace. Click here for further assistance

If you are having trouble connecting (insert) during a live class, you should also email your lecturer / Module Coordinator to let them know. Your core content will be available on Brightspace. Where your lecturer / Module Coordinator decides to use live classes, they may record the lecture and make it available on Brightspace afterwards.

IT support is available to all UCD staff and students. You can contact our IT Helpdesk at (01) 716 2700 or by emailing ithelpdesk@ucd.ie General hours of service are Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.30.

Will I have exams like I did in secondary school?

The UCD modular system ensures that you will be exposed to a range of different types of assessment.  There will be no sit down in a room invigilated examinations at end of the first trimester. Depending on your School, your Module Coordinator will plan assessments for each module taking account of the learning outcomes to be assessed for that module. This will be explained in your module descriptor.   It means that once you commence your studies you will be working towards your assessments through essays, project work, online activities, practicals, and laboratory work as relevant to your programme.

What are open book examinations?

Open book exams allow you to take notes, texts, or resource materials into an examination. They test your ability to find and apply information and knowledge.

I keep seeing references to continuous assessment.  What does that mean in UCD? 

Continuous assessment is the continuous and frequent analysis of the learning performance. Your lecturer/Module Coordinator will explain clearly what is required of you and how you will be assessed during the module. 

I always struggled with writing essays; is there anywhere I can get help?

UCD Writing Centre provides free, one-to-one tuition and a range of workshops on all aspects of the writing process https://www.ucd.ie/writingcentre/

I always needed support with Maths; is there anywhere I can continue to get support? 

The Mathematics Support Centre provides support to UCD students.  Details can be accessed here https://www.ucd.ie/msc/

How do I know if I am doing well in my studies? 

You will know from the grades that you are receiving.  All your assessments are graded according to the UCD grading scale.  The University uses three scales to determine a module’s grade:

Letter grade scale
Pass/Fail grade scale
Distinction/ Pass/ Fail grade scale

Each module descriptor will indicate the grading scale used.  Full details about UCD’s grading scheme can be accessed here:

https://www.ucd.ie/students/exams/gradingandremediation/understandinggrades/

I am a mature student who just returned to study in College this year. I am worried I won’t be able to do all these modules at home on my own. Can I reduce my workload to two modules for this semester and not lose my grant?  

If you have any queries relating to disability support, financial supports, mature entry student advisory supports, or Open Learning please email all@ucd.ie or disability@ucd.ie

Teaching

When will term start?

The Autumn Trimester for continuing students starts on 21 September. There will 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 eventuality 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.

When will I know my timetable?

Your personal timetable will be available when you register.  In modules where there are limitations on the numbers of student who can attend particular classes, you will be provided with additional details on your on-campus schedule by your Module Coordinator.

When can I register? 

Registration will commence for continuing students from Monday 7th September 2020.  You can find the registration date for your programme on the Student and Registry key dates website from 2pm on Monday 31 August 2020. 

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

We will continue to follow 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.

How will I know when to come in for face to face classes?

You will receive a personalised timetable when you register.  This will include details of how your modules will be delivered.  In some modules where limitations on the numbers of student who can attend particular classes. Your lecturer/Module Coordinator will let you know.  Check your emails and Brightspace regularly for updates. 

What is a Module Coordinator?

Each module is coordinated by a UCD faculty member who is there to answer any questions you may have in relation to the module that you are taking.  You will find their contact details when you register to each of your modules. 

When will I hear from my Module Coordinator about arrangements?

Your Module Coordinator will be in touch with you when the trimester commences or sooner in some cases. Module-specific communications will be via Brightspace communication tool, (i.e. announcements, email). Please make sure to check your UCD Email and Brightspace announcements regularly.

Is it okay to email Module Coordinators/lecturers if I am having a problem with my studies?

Yes. Your lecturers are there to help you.  Many lecturers/Module Coordinators will be developing FAQs that pertain to your modules and programmes and it is important that you consult with those first to see if they address the issue that you have.  It is also important to remember that it may take some time for lecturers/Module Coordinators to reply due to the number of students that they are dealing with. 

My lecturer/Module Coordinator seems to have Virtual Office Hours, but if I can’t make contact in this way what do I do?

You can email your lecturer/Module Coordinator and explain that you cannot get access. Be specific about your query in your email so your lecturer/Module Coordinator can help you or direct you to someone who can. In large classes it will be difficult for lecturers/Module Coordinators to maintain individual contact so be patient and wait for their reply and keep checking Brightspace for relevant announcements. Some lecturers will post FAQs concerning their own modules so look out for those on Brightspace.

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.

More general guidance for students is available from the following websites:

UCD College of Engineering and Architecture

UCD College of Science

UCD College of Social Sciences and Law - Undergraduate

UCD College of Social Sciences and Law - Postgraduate

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

UCD Sutherland School of Law

UCD School of Medicine

How do I know what I have to study in each module? 

Each module has its own descriptor which you should read very carefully.  You can access all modules here 

Each module descriptor sets out clearly 

  • What you will learn?
  • How you will learn?
  • Whether you are eligible to take the module?
  • How you will be assessed?

It is important that you read each module descriptor carefully and refer to the learning outcomes and understand what is expected of you while studying the module. 

I keep seeing the term ‘learning outcomes’, what are learning outcomes?

Learning outcomes express what you will know, understand or be able to do after you have satisfactorily completed your modules and programme.   Learning outcomes focus on what you have achieved rather than merely focussing on the content of what has been taught. Learning outcomes in a module focus on what you can demonstrate at the end of a learning activity.   It also means that you are responsible for your own learning and you will have to be able to demonstrate attainment of key knowledge before being recognised as having successfully completed a programme of learning which includes all of the modules that you have studied. 

What does Blended Learning mean?

We have adapted our teaching to include more online delivery, so we can keep everyone as safe as possible. We call this blended learning. We will be offering as many on campus teaching opportunities as possible safely. Blended learning includes:

on campus face to face learning, following the social distancing guidelines in place at the time
live online learning, using a range of software
online learning using recordings teachers have prepared for you to watch in your own time, with associated activities self-study tasks eg reading or structured problems for you to work on

You will have regular contact with your lecturers and fellow students, and tasks may include group work. The mix of learning methods will be different for each subject.  Your school will let you know about any individual requirements for your course.

How will lectures be delivered?

Where the class size is large, most lectures will be online during the autumn trimester as indoor group sizes will be in accordance with prevailing government and public health advice. 

Lecturers may include interactive quizzes or break-out rooms for you to discuss topics with other students. You may also be able to ask questions and talk or send messages to the lecturer.

Is teaching in class or online? 

Large group activities, like lectures, will predominantly take place through digital methods. You will be able to ask questions, contribute to discussions and, with recorded sessions, look back on what you've learned. Methods and systems will vary from course to course. 

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.

What do you mean by ‘online teaching’ and ‘on campus activities’?

Large group activities like lectures will predominantly be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure your study week. The online lecture material will allow you to work at your own pace, where and when this suits you. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for you to watch and re-watch whenever you wish, to catch up on anything you may have missed. 

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. It may include lecturers where the class size permits. You will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus.  Your published timetable will indicate when these sessions will take place and you will have access to this when you register. 

If my lectures are online, does this mean I won’t have any teaching on campus at all?

Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus where it is possible to do so.   In some courses, lectures may also be on campus face to face.  Your School will explain clearly how this will operate once you have registered.  

How will tutorials, seminars, small groups, practicals, labs and field trips will work?

Individual and some small group tutorials will be live, either on campus face to face or online. Seminars and teaching in small groups will be a mixture of on campus face to face and live online. We are making arrangements to ensure that practicals can operate safely for students and staff. We are currently planning how best to manage field trips, which will need to follow the government guidance at the time around travel and physical distancing.

We recognise the importance of on campus face to face learning and are doing our best to make sure this can happen as much as possible, while keeping students and staff safe. Your school will let you know about the specific plans for your course.

How will I know how to study in this way?  I never did anything like this before.

Your lecturers will guide you in your learning, tell you what to focus on and how to learn within your modules and set assignments that will provide you with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your learning.   It is extremely important that you keep up to date with all of your lectures, reading material and assignments, that is why it is important to structure your week according to your timetable so that you attend lectures, engage in self-study and complete your assignments.

I am afraid to attend classes in person due to an underlying health condition what do I do? 

We understand that some of you will not be able to join us in UCD, due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 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. It will be important for you to let us know through our College and School Offices associated with your programme so that the appropriate arrangements for you can be put in place. 

My programme has essential clinical skills practical classes at UCD for professional accreditation, which I must attend and pass, but I can't attend these this trimester. What will I do?

In this case, substitution of practicals may not be possible. Your Programme Director or lecturer/Module Coordinator will advise you on the contingency plan to deliver and assess these at the earliest possible date.

My programme has professional work experience which consists of mandatory clinical attachments at UCD or in the health or social care services. These have minimum hours and mandatory competency assessments which have to be completed but, planned placements and assessments are being disrupted both in Ireland and abroad. What will happen?

The School has to respect the wishes and capacity of the health and social care partners regarding placement provision, so it is very possible that some placements could be delayed. This may not be uniform across the University or even within your class. Your Programme Director will be working closely with placement providers and will advise you on the contingency plan for you.

What is the online learning system called?

Brightspace.

Where do I find my online lectures/teaching activities?

All lecture and support materials will be available in Brightspace, UCD’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). These include module information, learning materials, activities, and assessments.  Click here for more information on this.

What sort of learning materials will be on Brightspace?

Your lecturer/Module Coordinator will make available the materials that will best support your learning. This will include some of the following examples: narrated PowerPoint slides, pre-recorded lecturers/videos, case studies, readings, discussion forum, quizzes, online group activities.

Who will show me how to use Brightspace, the University online learning system?

Explore the 'Introduction to UCD' module when you first log in into Brightspace, your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The section called 'Discover IT' is designed to help you get started using IT@UCD. IT Services has developed a set of guides to help you with using Brightspace which can be accessed here.

If I can’t get into Brightspace who do I contact?

All students have an account in Brightspace and are automatically enrolled into their modules. You can access Brightspace through UCD Connect with your Connect username and password. If you have problems accessing your account, IT support is available. You can contact our IT Helpdesk at (01) 716 2700 or by emailing ithelpdesk@ucd.ie General hours of service are Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.30pm.

I have existing IX grades and do not have access to Brightspace what do I do?

If you are seeking to remediate IX grades in the current term you should contact your College or School Offices to be registered for access to the current Brightspace module, if required. Your module coordinator may choose to offer any remaining assessments using the original Brightspace module which you will always retain access to. You do not need to request access to this module. If you are unsure as to where to access your assessments for the purpose of remediation it is best to first check with your module coordinator. 

I had problems with Brightspace last trimester, what browser should I use for Brightspace?

The recommended browser for the best experience of using Brightspace is the latest version of Chrome. The Brightspace Pulse App is also a useful way to receive alerts and notifications from Brightspace on your mobile device. Our institutional app, UCD Mobile, provides easy access to a range of information and services. 

What sort of PC/laptop do I need for my online activities?

As parts of our teaching will be online, you will need access to a computer and internet connectivity to fully engage in your studies. We will provide access to the software you need for online learning and support with how to use it. We are committed to ensuring that our teaching is accessible.  UCD IT Services will provide you with all of this information at https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/startoftermguide/

If I don’t have internet access who do I contact?

Some students for a variety of reasons may have challenges engaging with online learning.  Brightspace is a fully responsive system that works well through web browsers on multiple mobile devices to give you the same information and experiences as on your computer and can be used with 3G and 4G data services on a mobile device. If you are having difficulty with internet access, you should first self-identify to your lecturer, Module Coordinator or Programme Director as quickly as possible and contact UCD IT Services. You can contact our IT Helpdesk at (01) 716 2700 or by emailing ithelpdesk@ucd.ie General hours of service are Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.30.

I had trouble with my computer equipment last trimester, can I borrow computer equipment from UCD?

The James Joyce Library and the Health Sciences Library both have banks of laptops that can be borrowed for use within the library space. 

Will I be able to use computers in UCD?

Yes, there are a number of computer laboratories available for student study. We will be asking you to wipe down any computers, equipment, before and after use.

Will I need headphones?

With lots of online classes and meetings going on, headphones will be essential. 

I cannot connect to my live lecture who do I contact?

Where you are experiencing difficulties email your lecturer/Module Coordinator and let them know. Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom tool used by UCD to facilitate online classes, it can be accessed directly from within Brightspace. Your lecturer or Module Coordinator will post a link to the virtual classroom for you to join. Virtual Classroom is a menu item under “Module Tools” in your module area on Brightspace. Click here for further assistance

Click here to find troubleshooting information on accessing Collaborate Ultra virtual classrooms.

If you are having trouble connecting, you should also email your lecturer / Module Coordinator to let them know. Your core content will be available on Brightspace. Where your lecturer / Module Coordinator decides to use live classes, they may record the lecture and make it available on Brightspace afterwards.

IT support is available to all UCD staff and students. You can contact our IT Helpdesk at (01) 716 2700 or by emailing ithelpdesk@ucd.ie General hours of service are Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.30.

Where do I go between face to face classes? 

Spaces will be available for you to study in between face-to-face teaching periods, and you will be facilitated where possible to remain in the same building that you have classes in.   Rooms not in use may be available for personal and self-study.

Will I get to meet any of my classmates?

Yes. You will have many opportunities to meet your classmates through our blended approach, where you will also have the opportunity to be present on campus to meet your lecturers and other students.  Lecturers will provide you with opportunities to meet others in the online environment through working in groups, completing group assignments and working together to answer questions during the online class.  

Can I study on campus?

Yes, but the number of students who will be able to access the library at any time will be reduced.  Through the UCD Library, you will continue to be able to access information to support your study online, including many additional e-books. Help on searching from home can be found here. All five libraries will be open to allow you to borrow print books, consult print journals and to use the laptops, PCs, printers, and copiers. Please note that it is mandatory to wear masks within libraries.  Group study spaces will be available but spaced to ensure the physical distancing guidelines are adhered to for your safety. Any books you may have from last trimester have been renewed until September. You can return them to any of the five libraries and no fines will be charged. Loan periods will also be altered to reflect the changing nature of your time on campus. Library staff will be available in person and online to help you with any questions you may have. Additional study spaces will also be made available and communicated to you before the trimester commences.

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 opening hours of the James Joyce Library.

I am worried that I will have no one to talk to about my studies?

There is no need to worry, there are many different people that you can talk to about how you are getting on in your studies.  Yes, university is very different to school, but we are here to help and support you in your studies.    You can contact your Module Coordinator in relation to understanding content, your School and College Programme Office in relation to matters around eligibility to register for modules or to explain the process around choosing modules and how the credit system works.   If you feel that you are not keeping up with your work then you can contact your Student Adviser.  

What are Extenuating Circumstances and how do I apply?  

Extenuating circumstances are serious unforeseen circumstances beyond your control which may prevent you from meeting the requirements of your programme at a particular point in time. If you experience serious unforeseen circumstances which have caused you to

  • miss a substantial period of attendance (more than 10 working days)
  • have significantly affected your ability to study or complete assessments (continuous assessment and/or examinations)

or

  • have adversely affected your performance in any assessments you have undertaken,

your circumstances will be considered and may, for example, provide the opportunity to complete the impacted modules without academic or financial penalty, at a later date.

If your extenuating circumstances relate to missed in-trimester assessments or attendance, (mid-terms, tutorials etc.), local arrangements may be possible and you should contact the module coordinator as soon as possible and within ten days of the due date of any assessment.

If you know in advance that you are not going to meet a submission deadline, the Late Submission of Coursework Policy applies.  The application should be made prior to the due date, and granting an extension is at the discretion of the Module Coordinator.

If your extenuating circumstances relate to end-of-trimester assessments/exams or cover the whole trimester, your application should be submitted as soon as possible and before the final deadline.

If a local solution is not possible, contact your Student Adviser or Programme Office to submit a formal Extenuating Circumstances application.  

Further information and application forms are available at: Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Guidance Notes.

What is recognised as an extenuating circumstance?

Extenuating circumstances are serious unforeseen circumstances beyond your control which may prevent you from meeting the requirements of your programme at a particular point in time. If you experience serious unforeseen circumstances which have caused you to:

  • miss a substantial period of attendance (more than 10 working days)
  • have significantly affected your ability to study or complete assessments (continuous assessment and/or examinations)

or

  • have adversely affected your performance in any assessments you have undertaken, your circumstances will be considered and may, for example, provide the opportunity to complete the impacted modules without academic or financial penalty, at a later date.

If your extenuating circumstances relate to missed in-trimester assessments or attendance, (mid-terms, tutorials etc.), local arrangements may be possible and you should contact the Module Coordinator as soon as possible and within ten days of the due date of any assessment.

Does the University recognise that all students have COVID19 related extenuating circumstances this trimester? 

  1. In the unexpected circumstances that occurred during the Spring Trimester where the university had to move immediately to at distance learning, it was recognised that all students had COVID19 related extenuating circumstances. 

As we have planned for a blended approach encompassing online and face to face learning, underpinned by our structured support systems at School and Programme levels during this Autumn Trimester we are focussed on the needs of each individual student.  Our extenuating circumstance policy reflects this approach.   

If I believe I have extenuating circumstances related to COVID19, what should I do?

You should contact your Student Adviser to discuss your individual situation and context.  They will advise you about the options that are available to you. 

How do I complete the Extenuating Circumstances application form? 

To complete an online Extenuating Circumstances Application you should follow the following six steps:

(1) Familiarise yourself with the Guidance Notes on Extenuating Circumstances for Students which is availablehere.

(2) Go to the Student Services tab in SISWeb and click on "Applications for Extenuating Circumstances"

(3) Click on the "New Application" button and complete the information requested on this form

(4) In "Step 2" of the form you must list any modules and/or components which you have missed or were impacted by your extenuating circumstances. You will need to repeat this step for every module and/or component which you have missed or which was impacted.

(5) Click "Submit your Application" when you are complete.

(6) Send the relevant documentation (see list below) to your Programme Office and they will then verify and accept your application.

Your application when accepted will be automatically forwarded to the module co-ordinator of each module you have missed or which was impacted for appropriate action.

Do I need to submit evidence of an extenuating circumstance in the Autumn Trimester? 

Yes.

What evidence is required?

Supporting evidence from one or more of the following competent professionals must be submitted to your programme office (or school office for graduate students) before your application can be considered. Medical certification or other evidence may not be provided by a relative. Please note that original documentation must be supplied and is non-returnable. It is recommended that you retain a copy of your supporting documentation for your records.

The competent professionals include:

  • Medical practitioner
  • Garda
  • Other Health Professional
  • UCD Student Support Professional (e.g. Student Adviser, Student Counsellor)

Submission deadline:

Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted as close as possible to the time the circumstances occurred.

I want to take time out this trimester who do I contact?

You should contact your Student Adviser and College or School Office if you want to take a Leave of Absence by following UCD procedures in the usual way.

Assessment

Will my GPA from the 2019/2020 Autumn Trimester count towards degree results?

There has been no change in the way in which your degree GPA is calculated.  If the GPA from the Autumn Trimester forms part of the calculation for your degree, it will count.

How will I know when my examination will take place or when my assignment is due?

Your official examination timetable for end of trimester examinations will be published and you will have access to it in good time.  Your lecturers / Module Coordinators will provide you with information on the timings and any submission date for assessments due to take place during this Trimester.

Is there a No Detriment Policy/No Disadvantage Policy this trimester?

No.

Where do I find out about examinations and assessment policies?

All information concerning examinations are located on the UCD official website https://www.ucd.ie/students/exams/ and on the UCD official FAQ website.  This is the only official source of information that you should use in relation to your teaching, learning, examinations, and assessments.   

If I know in advance that I will not be able to meet a submission deadline what do I do?

If you are not going to meet a submission deadline, the Late Submission of Coursework Policy applies.  The application should be made prior to the due date, and granting an extension is at the discretion of the Module Coordinator.

Is there a late submission of coursework penalty?

Yes. The Late Submission of Coursework Policy applies during this Trimester.  

When will my lecturer/Module Coordinator be in touch about my examinations and assessments?

Your module descriptor provides you with details on how and when you will be assessed during your module. You will receive clear comprehensive instructions on the assessment approaches and associated technologies during your module. 

How will assessments take place during this Trimester?

Your module descriptor provides you with details on how and when you will be assessed during your module. Your Module Coordinator will inform you of specific assessment arrangements in place for your modules. 

How do I submit my assignment?

You will submit your assignment through Brightspace. The instructions on doing this are here.

When I submit my assignment how do I know that my lecturer has received it?

When you submit your assignment you will receive a notification that it has been submitted successfully.

I have additional needs and was wondering if my lecturers will allow extra time in Brightspace to complete online assessments.

If you have any queries relating to requiring extra time to complete online assessments email all@ucd.ie or disability@ucd.ie

What if I feel disadvantaged by the type of assessment offered online?

If you feel disadvantaged by the type of assessment offered online you should raise this with your Module Co-Ordinator in the first instance, as your Module Co-Ordinator is best placed to determine the appropriate mechanisms to assess whether learning outcomes have been achieved.

What if there has been an error in the assessment process?

If you believe that there has been an error in the assessment process, it may be possible to submit an Assessment Appeal. Please see the Assessment Appeals webpage https://www.ucd.ie/secca/assessmentappeals/ for further information on permitted grounds for appeal and on the Assessment Appeals process. Assessment Appeals may only be submitted following the release of final results.

If I don’t do well in the examination due to taking it online will this be taken into account?

Whatever issues emerge in the online context will be taken into account once you inform your lecturer/Module Coordinator clearly indicating what those issues are. Lecturers/ Module Coordinators have been advised where they find it possible to do so (but cannot guarantee) to offer practice sessions that are not graded to ensure that you have familiarity with the process. Lecturers / Module Coordinators will judge your work having regard to the unfamiliar teaching and learning context that you are now experiencing. Lecturers/Module Coordinators will share any revised marking criteria with you.

What are my remediation options?

If you fail a module, normal remediation options will apply.  Guidance on remediation for each module is available in the module descriptor. Your lecturer/Module Coordinator will inform you of all your remediation options.

Can I resit an examination? 

The approach to resits is outlined in the module descriptor. If a resit is available, you will be required to undertake an assignment or an examination within the subsequent two trimesters. Your lecturer/Module Coordinator will inform you about your resit opportunities if they are required and they will be conducted in line with UCD regulations.

Support (General, Pastoral and Health)

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

Student support services are offered as follows:

  • Student Advisers are available to offer support, information and advice to all students. Every programme has a designated student adviser and details of your adviser can be found on their web page. Appointments can be made for zoom meetings and telephone calls. If necessary, face to face meetings can be facilitated. You can also Live chat with our Student Advisers during office hours.
  • UCD Chaplaincy continues to play a vital role for students at this time.
  • 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.

What changes can I expect to the Student Health Service when I return to UCD in September?

The Student Health Service is open and available to all students however continues to operate in a different manner. ALL appointments begin with a medical consultation over the telephone. The service cannot accommodate ‘walk-ins’ at this time unfortunately. To arrange your medical consultation please call 01 716 3134. 

To have your questions answered in a quick and convenient manner, please visit the Student Health Services designated FAQ webpage

What are the opening hours for Student Health Services?

Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm. Please note there will be a small standard charge of €20.00 for all telephone clinical consultations. COVID-19 related consultations are free

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, alteration to your sense of taste or sense of smell 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 / undertaking restricted movement and I am feeling very upset, what can I do?

Student support services remain available. If you are a campus resident, please to talk to the residential management team or residential assistants. 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 physical distancing protocols (information on physical 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.

How do I access the UCD Student Counselling Service?

The UCD Student Counselling Service is still available to actively assist despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for the new academic year (2020/21), the counselling team plan to offer physically distanced face to face counselling in the Autumn trimester. In addition, the team will continue to offer phone and video counselling where deemed appropriate to accommodate students who are studying remotely. We will provide regular updates on our website to keep you informed of progress and how the service will work going forward. 

The UCD Student Counselling service delivery framework is designed to avoid unnecessary stand-by time for students. In the best interest of all students, if you are a registered student who is seeking counsel, please engage with the service at the time when you are ready to start counselling. Be assured when you register, you will be offered a counselling appointment within 10 working days of your request where resources allow. We work with counselling services in the vicinity of UCD, to provide counselling at busy times.   

To arrange to speak with a counsellor,  please contact our team by phone at 01 716 3134 or email student.counselling@ucd.ie.  Please also visit the service's website for further valuable insights and resources about mental health.

What if I need urgent help?

If you are feeling very distressed and need urgent mental health support, you need to contact your GP surgery to request an emergency appointment. Additional options for immediate assistance can also be found here.

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

The following services may be of assistance: 

  • HSE primary care psychology service 
  • HSE mental health service (both the above are accessed through your GP) 
  • Pieta
  • Samaritans
  • Jigsaw
  • Spunout

The University also provides a free CBT/self-help tool called SilverCloud in helping students deal with emotions such as anxiety and stress at this time.   

What should I do if I experience a bereavement or illness and cannot engage with my studies?  

If you experience a bereavement  or illness or any other issue contact your Student Adviser and let the College or School Office know as soon as you can. They will provide you with the support you need.

I have a disability and feel overwhelmed by new technologies.  Where will I get help? 

UCD Access & Lifelong Learning have a wide range of resources to assist students to adapt to this new working environment. Students can contact support staff for help by emailing disability@ucd.ie.

I have a learning difficulty and cannot type fast enough or process information quickly enough to show that I am participating in online discussions. What can I do?  

Access & Lifelong Learning have prepared some advice for students with learning difficulties who have difficulties with typing and/or processing information. These can be found on the UCD Access & Lifelong Learning FAQ page https://www.ucd.ie/all/cometoucd/studentsupport/  or you can contact staff for advice by emailing disability@ucd.ie.

Is there a UCD app that I can download?

Yes. Before you arrive on campus download the free UCD Mobile app as it has an interactive map of the campus to help you get around. You will also have news updates, access to your virtual learning environment, an events calendar, dining options and much more. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Are the Careers Office still offering supports and services? 

Yes, UCD Careers Network offers career coaching, personal and professional development opportunities, and access to job vacancies and other opportunities.

Can I access career related support while I’m off campus?

Yes, you can – whether you are based in Ireland or have returned to your home country, you can access UCD Careers Network services virtually. Undergraduate and graduate taught & research students can book appointments as normal via CareersConnect. The appointment may take place virtually via Google Hangouts or Skype (a telephone appointment is also possible) or where required in person. If you are having difficulty with internet connectivity or any other aspect of the appointment booking process please contact careers@ucd.ie. Online practice interviews are available via our Sonru platform. Contact us to arrange a practice interview. There is a wealth of career related resources available on the Careers Network website, including online versions of our Career Guides for each UCD College, access to platforms such as Vault (industry and company profiles, job search tips etc.) and Profiling for Success (psychometric tests, personality and career interest profiles), our “5 minutes on…..” video series and our Jumpstart resource for international students.

I have not yet secured a job and I am concerned about the recruitment market. What support is available to me?

You can access all the services and supports of UCD Careers Network while you are a UCD student, and for up to 2 years after you graduate. If you are concerned about your graduate employment prospects, please make an appointment to speak to one of our Career & Skills Consultants.

Can I still register for and achieve the UCD Advantage Award?

Yes, you can. UCD Advantage is operating as normal. You can register for an online induction via CareersConnect. The process for submission of your UCD Advantage Application remains the same. Unfortunately, the certificate presentation ceremony will not take place in May, but we will post your certificate out to you and the achievement will be included on your UCD Diploma Supplement. If you have any queries in relation to your UCD Advantage application please contact skillsaward@ucd.ie.

Travel

Can I travel to Ireland at this time?

As of 9 September, 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 an online COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form 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 also now published a 'green list' of countries, which will be updated every two weeks. Anyone travelling from a green list country will not be required to restrict their movements on arrival in Ireland.

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.

What arrangements are in place for international students arriving to Ireland?

A full set of FAQs are at this link: International Student Arrivals

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. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, UCD has commenced a consultation and decision-making-process in September 2020, in order to reach a decision by October 2020. If the situation changes with any of our partner universities, 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. 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.

International Students

Facilities and Residences

How will physical distancing work on campus?

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

  • teaching and study spaces
  • residences
  • laboratories
  • social and sports facilities
  • libraries
  • and our outdoor spaces

Our buildings will be cleaned and disinfected regularly in accordance with Government and public health advice, and additional handwashing and sanitising facilities will be provided.

We will continue to follow 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.

How will campus be kept safe?

We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate physical distancing and enhanced 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.

Can I rent a locker on campus?

Lockers are available to rent for UCD students for the academic year in a number of buildings across campus. To rent a locker, please log in to your SISWeb account through UCD Connect and go to My UCARD tab, where locker availability will be shown. There is a fixed fee of €15 per locker per year, payable using your UCard. A tutorial on how to use the masterlock padlock is available on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byD1nIr2P98&feature=youtu.be.