NCI response to easing of restrictions

Students should observe current class schedules unless and until informed of changes. Check your timetables regularly

This page is reviewed daily and was last reviewed on Tuesday, 26th April, 2022.

On Friday 21 January, the Irish Government lifted many of the emergency restrictions that were in place due to the global pandemic. As of Monday 24 January, all staff and students may attend on campus with no prior appointment, and it is no longer necessary to complete a Covid Questionnaire beforehand. We are still asking people to swipe in/log in, as this record may assist contact-tracing should that be necessary.

Classes

Staff and students had already begun a phased return to campus, and this process will be accelerated. In the coming weeks, specific groups will begin to receive more class time scheduled on campus. This will be communicated clearly, well in advance. For the moment, please follow your current schedule. It is vital that students continue to keep checking Moodle and their college email.

For part-time students, classes currently scheduled to be online will remain online this semester. Those of you undertaking a fully online course need not concern yourselves with any possible changes, except to note that you may freely come on campus to access facilities and services, which will also continue to be available online.

Every effort will be made to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by any change to timetables this semester, due to the removal of some restrictions. However, and particularly those of you in full-time programmes, students should be prepared for a further increase in attendance on campus in Semester 3.

Moving Forward

Just as we had to learn to live with the restrictions, we will have to adjust to their removal – be aware that each person you meet, fellow student or lecturer, may have a different comfort level with circumstances at any stage of our emergence from the pandemic. Change, even for the better, can be stressful: please remember that SilverCloud is available to all NCI students, and the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is available for all staff. These resources offer guidance on many areas of mental health and wellbeing, including help to manage anxiety and build resilience.

Visit the HSE website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on COVID-19. 

The College will continue to update this page, and will contact staff and students directly as and when circumstances change.

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT TRAVEL

Students who travel overseas during holiday periods should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs latest travel advice and carry out any necessary isolation or quarantine periods before returning to campus.


2022-2023 Academic Year

As classes begin in September 2022, full-time programmes will be full on-campus and part-time programmes will be blended (a mix of online and on campus), except where the programme is specfied as fully online. On-campus classes for part-time programmes will be notified well in advance. National College of Ireland will continue to monitor pandemic conditions and follow HSE advice and government regulations to ensure the best possible experience for our students.

Information and Support

Please read the FAQs below for information and guidance in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Does this mean we can stop worrying about COVID-19?

The lifting of restrictions is good news: we no longer need an emergency response to COVID-19. However, the global pandemic is not yet over. The College advises staff and students to continue to observe best practice in protecting themselves from COVID-19, and in limiting the possibility of spreading infection:

  • Do not attend on campus if you have any symptoms, follow HSE advice.
  • Also follow HSE advice if you are a close contact of a confirmed case.
  • Make good use of Antigen tests (see NCI’s provision of free antigen testing – note again, if you are symptomatic, you should not attend on-campus)
  • The best defence against COVID-19 is vaccination. NCI students may receive a free vaccination or booster from Hanover Medical.
  • Wash your hands properly and regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • Wear a face covering on public transport and in crowded or poorly-ventilated spaces
  • Wear a face mask on the NCI campus

Note: HSE advice is that wearing face masks in crowded areas or public indoor spaces helps protect against the spread of COVID-19. We continue to request that all students and staff wear face masks in the classrooms and public areas of the College.

What will the campus look like now?

Additional handwashing and sanitisation points will be maintained. The College will continue to monitor CO2 levels in classrooms and lecture theatres. We encourage you to continue to wear face masks indoors, even though they are no longer mandatory. Fusion Café will return to normal operation.

How is my timetable affected: will classes be online or on-campus for Semester 3, 2022?

You can access your timetable through the Timetable website or the MyTimetable app – you can learn more about accessing timetables here – It is always a good idea (even when we are not dealing with the ever-changing rules of a global pandemic) to regularly check your timetable, as it will always be issued ‘subject to change’.

Currently, NCI prioritises in-person classroom time for full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. As restrictions lift, we will begin by increasing on-campus class time for these students. Any changes will be communicated to you directly - but keep checking your timetable! Your timetable indicates which of your classes are on campus and which are online. There may be immediate changes, for example, the move away from over-flow classrooms means that your classroom allocation for existing on-campus classes may already have been updated.

For Semester 3, there will generally be no increase in the number of classes on-campus for part-time programmes: classes timetabled as online will remain online.

Non-learning events on-campus, for example NCISU events, will also increase in number now that restrictions have lifted.

How can I access Library/Study Resources?

The Norma Smurfit Library will no longer implement social distancing on campus, and you no longer need to book an individual study desk in advance.

Group Study spaces are available and may be booked here. Initially limited spaces are available, as the library rebuilds to pre-pandemic supply.

Both the library website and this web page will continue to update as more spaces become available.

Online library facilities continue to remain available.

What arrangements are in place for exams?

In line with QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) guidance, alternative assessment and delivery arrangements remain in place until August 2022. You will be assessed on a mix of continuous assessment, traditional assignments and/or online examinations. Group projects will operate as normal, as these can easily be managed in an online mode of delivery. This will apply to the majority of Semester 2 exams, although some quantitative exams may now take place in person.

We are currently in contact with a variety of professional bodies to establish their response to the reduction in restrictions, and will update you with regard to various accreditation exams as soon as possible.

All in-person exam dates will be communicated well in advance.

Students (particularly full-time students and those whose programmes include professional accreditations) should prepare for a further increase in in-person exams in Semester 3.

Students may repeat an assessment taken under these alternative assessment arrangements without academic or financial penalty. Students may also defer an assessment until terminal in-person examinations are reinstated. You can find more information about assessment and exams at NCI on the exams section of our site. We also encourage all students to keep up-to-date with information from their Programme Coordinator.

I feel unwell/I have tested positive for COVID-19.

The first concern is for your health, and the College wishes you a speedy recovery.

The best source of advice regarding COVID-19 is the HSE website. Here you will find what to do if you have a positive PCR test, if you have a positive Antigen test, or if you have symptoms. If you are very short of breath, so that you cannot complete a sentence, contact Emergency Services on 112.

Please follow all medical advice given by the HSE and your medical professionals and observe any quarantine/self-isolation measures as instructed by them.

If you need to take time off your studies due to illness, please follow the normal procedure for letting your Programme Coordinator know that you are missing scheduled teaching sessions by logging a Notice of Absence via NCI360.

I am an international applicant where can I find out more?

Our International Department and our overseas offices are ready to answer all your queries by email at international@ncirl.ie. You can also find out more on the International pages of this site.