Attending DCU 2020/21 - Latest Updates

Attending DCU 2020/21: Everything Need To Know

Latest Updates

This is DCU

This page was last reviewed and updated on Tuesday, 20th October 2020

Heightened Restrictions

The government has decided that, as of midnight on Wednesday 21 October, all of Ireland will be placed on Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID.

The government has also made it clear that education is a national priority and has designated higher education as essential. The new restrictions allow campus classes "insofar as onsite presence is required and such education activities cannot be held remotely".   

DCU has already reduced teaching activities on campus to these types of classes: laboratories, practical and skills-based learning.  We also have configured all of the teaching spaces on the basis of 2m social distancing and have stringent protocols in place for the safety of everybody attending classes.

Classes planned on campus for the rest of this semester will take place. The health and safety protections are in place and this limited amount of campus-based learning is critical to achieve key learning outcomes. This approach is supported by designation of this type of learning as essential and a national priority. 

For the next six weeks, the university will continue to operate as we have been - with the only significant change being the closure of the Sports Complex. However, an updated online-class timetable will be released by the Sports Complex shortly..

We fully appreciate for everyone, staff and students alike, that the ever changing circumstances and levels of restrictions and so on results in a significant degree of uncertainty. We are trying to work through this to provide clarity to staff and students on our plans as best we can.  We will keep you fully informed of our plans and the latest information via this website and email as required.

Our plans are driven by three principles: protecting the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, providing the highest quality education possible for our students, and optimising the broader student experience within the constraints imposed by COVID-19. But the first of these principles is paramount and overrides everything else.  

Minister Simon Harris has also clarified what Level 5 means for further and higher education here

DCU statement re Semester One Teaching

Dublin City University has decided to retain teaching activities as they are currently being delivered - this means we will predominantly be teaching online. Learning activities which cannot effectively take place remotely - including practical, laboratory and skills based activities - will continue on campus.
What this means is that if a student's classes are fully online for the first three weeks, they will remain online for the semester; if students have some on-campus classes, they will stay at that level for the semester.

It has also been decided to hold exams planned for January 2021 online, bar exceptional circumstances.

When DCU adjusted plans for semester 1 (in response to the Government’s request to increase protective measures on University campuses as the Dublin region moved to Level 3 restrictions), we put amended arrangements for teaching in place until the end of week 3. 
We had hoped to revert to our original plan for campus teaching - 'using the campus as much as we can' - at that point.  
Unfortunately, the degree of uncertainty and concern around the national public health situation has increased further since then and we are acutely aware that students and staff want clarity on what is happening at DCU for the rest of semester 1 so that they can plan accordingly. We cannot continue to operate on a week to week basis waiting for updates on the latest restriction levels that will/will not apply.
This decision, taken with great reluctance, provides clarity in very uncertain times.
We will review the situation prior to the start of semester two with a view to maximising on-campus teaching, in so far as possible, in accordance with the COVID-19 regulations in place at that time.
Our focus remains on ensuring that you have the necessary support and the best learning experience possible, using all of the tools and ingenuity at our disposal. 

For Students

The 2020/2021 academic term for continuing students started on October 5th.

It was decided in early October to retain teaching activities as they were at that point, i.e. predominantly delivering online, but with learning activities which cannot effectively take place remotely remaining on campus for the rest of the semester.

Wider information on the student experience and supports can be accessed here

Information on timetables can be found here 

Further details are available at

Information on Graduation ceremonies for 2020 graduates is available here


For Staff

University campuses have been open since Monday, 21 September. Staff who are essential should come to work on campus as planned. 

All other staff may continue to work remotely if agreed by their head of School, Unit or Department.

It was decided in early October to retain teaching activities as they were at that point, i.e. predominantly delivering online, but with learning activities which cannot effectively take place remotely remaining on campus for the rest of the semester.

Wider information on staff supports and campus facilities can be accessed here

For further information on DCU's Return to Campus policy please see the document below.


President's Message

We are living in unprecedented times with the trajectory and potential impact of the COVID19 outbreak uncertain at this time.

We want to ensure, however, that we are as prepared as we possibly can to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors while also trying to continue to deliver on our core activities of teaching and research.

This website contains easily-accessible, DCU-specific information that will be kept updated on a regular basis and will be expanded as needed to keep the DCU community fully informed.

At a time of significant concern for all of us, I would like to acknowledge the work and dedication of so many DCU staff members who have shown great commitment in their efforts to address this evolving situation.

In particular, they continue to focus on developing contingency plans for all eventualities so that we can continue to deliver high quality education for our students while maintaining essential services.