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HOS Letter

Covid 19: SPIRe plans for the Autumn trimester

Dear students,

As the beginning of term approaches, we are getting ready to welcome you all to the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe). For some, it will be your first year on campus, others will be returning to the fold. We hope that for all of you, it will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

We are very conscious, though, that this year is unlike any other. Many of you are grappling with issues such as accommodation, travelling from abroad and whether or not to be physically present on campus over the course of the Autumn trimester. We will attempt here to address some of the specific questions you may have around how SPIRe will be conducting lectures and tutorials and the measures that have been put in place for Covid-19.

The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount and the university has been busy putting appropriate social distancing and cleaning measures in place in advance of the start of term. Students will be fully briefed on these as part of the university’s induction activities.
SPIRe will be following university and public health guidelines with regards to social distancing. Both staff and students may have loved ones in a vulnerable category or may be in a vulnerable category themselves. In a spirit of mutual respect, protection and solidarity we would ask that the safety policies outlined be adhered to.

While it may be a different kind of learning experience in the Autumn trimester, we are confident that it will be no less academically robust. We have examined our teaching schedule, cognisant of the fact that some modules and forms of teaching lend themselves to distance learning more than others. Therefore, the School has decided to use a blend of face-to-face and online learning options during the first teaching term (21st September-11th December) to optimise your experience whilst maintaining a safe learning environment. Some of the content will be delivered live and some will be pre-recorded. Where feasible, face-to-face content will also be recorded and made available online for anyone who cannot attend campus. Additional online learning methodologies will also be used to support group work and peer discussions. Academic staff will remain available to you for individual discussion and support in an online capacity.

You will find more detail specific to your programme, below. For general queries the university FAQs provide a wealth of information.

Click here for Undergraduate Safety and Teaching policies 
Click here for Postgraduate Safety and Teaching policies 
Click here for PhD policies

I wish you all well and we look forward to seeing you soon in SPIRe.

Prof David Farrell

UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe)

School Office: G301, Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.