COVID-19 FAQs for non-EU/EEA Prospective Students
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Updated Friday 29 May

We are working hard to ensure that we manage any impact that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) might have on students who will be joining us in September 2020. We will regularly update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back regularly to stay informed.

If you have  immediate concerns or need some help, please contact us at You may also find the information videos on UCD Global Live helpful.

You can also get in contact with the UCD Global Centre supporting your application.

If you are a prospective student from Ireland or the EU, please consult this page for information. 


Starting my Studies in UCD

The academic calendar for the Autumn (September - December 2020) trimester is as follows:

International Student/First Year Orientation: Monday 14 September to Friday 18 September 2020. 

Teaching Term: Monday 21 September - Friday 11 December 2020.

Exams: Monday 14 December - Wednesday 23 December 2020.

UCD Global expects that the UCD Residences will be open from Monday 7 September, and is now working on Orientation and other arrangements for students who may need to self isolate for two weeks. We will publish further information on these arrangements as soon as possible.









The Irish Government has set out a schedule for reopening society after COVID-19, and UCD has announced details on how teaching, learning and assessment can be conducted for the coming academic year. 

UCD aims to give you the best possible campus and blended learning experience, and the President of the University, Professor Andrew Deeks, has given a commitment that the delivery of all programmes will be to the highest standards on which UCD's current reputation is based.

UCD is a campus-based university and we consider face-to-face interaction between students, and between students and faculty, to be vital ingredients in your learning journey. While the national response to COVID-19 presents challenges in maintaining this experience, we will seek to ensure that our students commence and continue their education in UCD accessing and using our campuses to the greatest extent possible.

 Currently UCD is working towards the following principles for the Autumn Trimester:

  • Core modules are expected to have elements delivered in person on the campus.
  • Recognising that availability of students to attend campus may change through the course of the trimester, at-distance alternatives will be available.
  • Elective-only modules will be delivered at distance wherever possible.
  • Module offerings may be reduced in order to reduce the mixing of students.
  • Continuous assessment or other open book assessment formats will be used to the greatest extent possible.

The UCD community is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus in September. We will seek to ensure that your education in UCD enables you to access and use our campuses, and maximises your personal interaction with your friends and faculty.








We recommend that you check the Irish Embassy/Consulate website in your current country of residence before making travel arrangements. You may also require a study visa to enter Ireland, so please check the INIS website for further details. At present, the Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, and to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form to this effect.

Please check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements, bearing in mind that advice may change at short notice, you should check to ensure you have the latest information. We recommend that you take this self-isolation period into consideration for booking travel and accommodation.








To support students who cannot attend campus in the early part of the Autumn(September 2020) trimester for personal or travel reasons, the University is proposing at-distance alternatives for undergraduate and taught masters students, with the expectation that these students will attend campus when it is possible for them to do so.





If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of your course, you should not travel, and should follow all local health advice. You should wait for clear medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling.

You should contact UCD Global,, to let us know the situation.  



Applying to UCD

All new applications for study at UCD are treated in the usual way, irrespective of where you are from or currently reside. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update these FAQs as more information becomes available. Our advice is that you check back with us regularly for the latest advice and guidance. 







Yes – please still apply as the situation in all countries will change a lot over the next few months. Most of our courses are still open for 2020, and we continue to welcome new applications at all study levels. If your application is successful, we will be in touch with you about the next steps leading up to registration. We will continue to follow public health guidance and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements apply.







Your application is important to us and we are continuing to assess all applications in the usual way. If you are concerned about how Covid-19 may affect your plans to study at UCD after you’ve received a decision from the university, please read the advice being shared with current students on campus.







We are making efforts to be as flexible as possible for students who are applying to the University. Please contact to explore whether an extension to your deposit payment deadline is possible. 





UCD has recently agreed to provide a full refund of any tuition fees paid in advance of registration, if you're unable to start your studies at UCD due to COVID-19 travel restrictions or related extenuating circumstances.

For non-EU full-degree applicants, we are also pleased to confirm that we will refund your tuition fee deposit if you are unable to meet the conditions of your offer for reasons outside your control. Please refer to the UCD refund policy for further information.







If your examination is one which UCD normally recognises, we will continue to accept the results, provided they are formally issued by the examining body, in accordance with the timelines for 2020 admissions. 

However, we will keep the situation under review and if there is a significant difference in grade distribution relative to Leaving Certificate results, we reserve the right to implement a system of proportionality*. Please contact if you have further queries.

*If there is a significant imbalance in the proportion of eligible candidates in relation to specific qualifications, places will be offered, proportionate to application numbers, and on the basis of ranking within a particular examination group.  






We understand that the examining boards and OFQUAL are working together to provide alternative arrangements so that candidates will have a result. Until such time as the outcome of this is known, we cannot make a decision on admission for A-level candidates.






The university accepts several English language tests as proof of eligibility. If you are unable to take your English Language test due to closures and find no alternative, please contact to alert us to your situation.

UCD is now accepting the Duolingo English Test (DET) and TOEFL iBT Home Edition for student admission purposes. 

The Visa Division of the Department of Justice and Equality has confirmed that it will accept both of these tests as an alternative, on an exceptional basis for 2020 only. Further information is available here.






We are working hard to find a number of ways to support you in PSE. These options include late start dates for 12 and 7 week PSE courses. We will keep you informed as they are finalised. Please read our UCD Pre-Sessional English programme information page for further details.

Please email if you have any questions about these courses.






Yes - if you are visa required. While we are still working toward all students joining us on campus in September, should circumstances require that you commence your studies online, it is anticipated you will be facilitated as quickly as possible to re-join classes taught through traditional (face-to-face teaching delivery) on campus, and accordingly you will require a visa.

We expect that visas will be issued to students before they commence their course - with the visa sticker post-dated to allow entry to Ireland when needed.






For the UCD Pre-Sessional Programme please visit the ALC website.

For the International Foundation Year (for pathway to undergraduate study) please visit the UCD International Study Centre website.

For the UCD Pre-Masters Programme please visit the ALC website.





No, at the moment our accommodation application deadlines are unchanged.  For the latest information visit our Accommodation website. In advance of campus accommodation bookings opening, incoming students will receive information, via email, with details of the accommodation booking process.







We are continuing to assess new applications, and are preparing to welcome our new students in September 2020 as usual. If you think that you can no longer commence your studies in September 2020, please contact your Our Admissions Team can discuss your options with you.






No. If an interview is compulsory as part of your application, the relevant School or Unit will be in touch and it will be offered remotely. 





We are aware that delays may be unavoidable for you in providing the information needed to support your application. We aim to be as flexible as possible. If you will need extra time to gather requested information, please just let your Admissions Adviser know so that we are aware of any delays. 






We do not anticipate any delays. However, if this changed we would contact applicants.





Normally, U.S. Federal Aid regulations state that any programme at a non-U.S. 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, recipients of US Federal Loans studying at UCD may continue to be in receipt of their loans even though their programmes have temporarily moved to online teaching and learning.

For more information on Federal Aid at UCD, go to: UCD North American Loans

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

“If your school has moved classes to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid. If you have questions about the online format, contact your school.

The administrative forbearance will last for at least 60 days from March 13, 2020. ED may extend that period, depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency. If the option for an administrative forbearance is extended, your loan servicer will communicate information about the extension to you.”

At the moment, our start dates remain the same. We are exploring whether it would be possible to condense the 12 and 7 week programmes, should this be required. 




Advice for Current Students

Our advice for current students and staff can be found on the UCD travel and public health information web page maintained by the UCD Safety, Insurance, Operational Risk and Compliance Office (SIRC).

You can also check our FAQs for Current Students



Further Information for Current Students

For updated health information on COVID-19, please see Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

For updated travel information on COVID-19, please see the Department of Foreign Affairs DFA Travel Advice.