Information for students studying and preparing for exams remotely

The following information is designed to help students securely access the main IT services available at UCD while studying remotely.

All staff and students are provided with access to the University Google services (G Suite).  G Suite includes the primary applications such as Mail, Calendar, Drive and Google Hangouts Meet.

These services can be accessed remotely in the same way they are accessed on campus.

Note: If you experience any difficulties while taking part in an online exam you should contact your module co-ordinator as quickly as possible.

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Home Broadband Advice

Broadband networks will be under increased strain during this period where many of us will be working and studying remotely. While Internet Service Providers (ISP) are doing what they can to provide as much capacity to cope with the increased usage, there are some things we can do to improve our home broadband coverage.


Note: These are general tips and recommendations for improving your home broadband but for technical support you should contact your ISP directly.

  • If you connect via Wifi make sure you have a good strong signal. Try moving closer to your router if your signal is weak.
  • If possible, directly connecting to the internet router or access point via a wired cable will provide the best quality, especially for audio/video applications like Zoom.
  • Be conscious of other devices using the network at the same time. If overloaded this can affect overall coverage.
    Reboot your broadband router if your signal is weak.
  • Be aware that when connected to a domestic broadband connection advertised speeds are often reduced at times of peak usage.
  • Be aware of your broadband contract details and usage limits.

If you are having difficulty connecting to your home broadband, you could use your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Check your manufacturers guide for details.


The Brightspace Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used to provide e-learning services to staff and students and is available on and off campus. Extensive web resources are available on our web site covering all features of Brightspace.



Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom (facilitated by Collaborate Ultra) is a real-time web conferencing tool, which can be used to support teaching delivery.

Virtual Classroom


Taking a Quiz in Brightspace, FAQ's and troubleshooting

Taking an Assignment in Brightspace, FAQs and troubleshooting

Google Hangouts Meet

Google Hangouts Meet is a video conferencing solution available to all staff and students through Google Calendar. Hangouts Meet allows for meetings of up to 150 people simultaneously.

Google Hangouts Meet

Google Drive

If you use Google drive to store and share files, you also can access these remotely.

Protecting personal data when studying remotely

Tips from the Data Protection Comission on keeping personal data safe.

Backup your data

Always remember to backup your data. Keep more than one copy of your files. Personal backup plan.

Apps Anywhere

AppsAnywhere provides both staff and students access to a selection of the most popular academic application software for academic use. There is no requirement to install the software locally and the user must be validated by the system to access the application suite.


A detailed list of all available applications is listed in the Software Catalogue.

Access to this service is through the AppsAnywhere icon in UCD Connect using your UCD Connect username and password.


*AppsAnywhere is only available to Mac users when connected to the UCD network.


Software Downloads

Applications that are available to download, can also be downloaded remotely from the Software Downloads icon on the UCD Connect web page.


Sophos AntiVirus

Sophos Antivirus is licenced for home use and is available to download from Software Downloads.


Device & IT Security

Students should ensure that their laptop or desktop computer has up to date virus protection such as Sophos Antivirus installed. Sophos Antivirus is available free to install from Software downloads.


Phishing & Password security

When studying remotely it is as important to protect your password and be aware of potential phishing attacks


We have a comprehensive suite of information on our IT Security web pages.

You can also check out our top security tips.


Research VPN

The Research VPN Service has been initiated as a temporary measure due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. It is designed to allow researchers who are engaged in active research on behalf of the College to use the UCD Research VPN in order to gain access to internal UCD systems. This service is suitable for researchers who do not have access to a Staff account and are therefore unable to use the Staff VPN.

Note: Currently undergraduates are not able to apply for this service.

Research VPN