Everything You Need To Know About The Reopening of Dublin College Campuses

Everything You Need To Know About The Reopening of Dublin College Campuses

With the government confirming on-site education for the 2021/22 academic year, we’re so excited to see Dublin students buzzing again and getting back into the college experience. But with so many updates and various colleges having their own specific guidelines it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on – so we have put together this handy guide on the reopening of Dublin college campuses and what you can expect!

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity’s front gate has officially reopened as of the 6th of September, signalling the return of staff and some students ahead of the academic year. If you’re brand new to the campus, be sure to check our blog on 10 Things New Trinity College Students Should Know.

Trinity will be adopting a two-phased approach, starting out cautiously in the first half of the new semester. This will mean that there are limits to in-person learning while figuring out what is possible within the limits. Large lectures above 150 will continue to be online. For lectures between 50 and 150 schools have discretion as to whether they should be in-person or online.

On-campus, face coverings and 1M social distancing are mandatory in lectures, tutorials and laboratories. But there will be no time limit on laboratories once they are in use. Face coverings when outdoors at Trinity will not be mandatory, however, they are recommended for large groups! Libraries around the campus will still operate with a booking system, allowing students to book slots for revision.

Finally, Freshers’ Fair begins on the 20th of September and will last for three days all bearing in mind the above guidelines. With sporting events due later in the semester following public health guidelines. 

Trinity will be revising guidelines once again on November 1st – so keep an eye out.


UCD will have ‘one-way’ systems in place where possible. However, many of the buildings will instead operate a ‘Keep Left’ system that will be signposted around campus.

Students are also required to wear face coverings when indoors in University buildings at all times. However, If you cannot wear a face covering due to an underlying condition then you are exempt from doing so, but best to get in touch with the college regarding the specifics. Face coverings will not be mandatory when seated at a desk more than 2M from the nearest person, when seated at a restaurant or during sports on campus.

Though you need to wear a face covering, social distancing between students is not mandatory in teaching settings. However, lecturers/instructors should be at least 2M from students. In the laboratory, workshop and similar teaching settings staff and students may interact with no physical distancing in place as long as everyone is wearing face coverings.

Most of the on-campus spots are back open but you can see a list of available on-campus and virtual services here. For everything else, UCD has a pretty comprehensive FAQ on their campus reopening that you can check out here.

TU Dublin

With the Technological University of Dublin having five campuses across the county, you can expect some minor variations. But for the most part, their guidelines will apply consistently at all locations when classes resume from Monday, 20th September. 

Effective face-coverings are mandatory on campus and TU Dublin encourages distancing where possible unless it’s an “organised and controlled” event.

Workshops, labs, studios, project work, seminars and smaller teaching groups will be prioritised however, some timetables may still feature remote learning subject to class sizes. TU Dublin says every effort will be made to prioritise on-campus learning for first-year students to help them settle in.

Sporting and social events will follow government guidelines while on-campus canteens, coffee shops and dining areas are back open. TU Dublin is also planning for outdoor and indoor sports facilities to be fully operational with some modifications.

Libraries will be fully operational, with bookable study spaces and PCs to avoid over-crowding. All student information and support services will be available, handy for students attending campus for the first time!

Dublin City University

Draft timetables should be released the week of September 6th (these may change but are a good indication). With in-person lectures beginning for all students on September 20th, with 1st year lectures beginning September 27th. Online orientation for 1st year students will be from the 15th – 17th of September with in-person events returning following government guidelines.

Face-to-face teaching will return at close to normal levels for most modules with classrooms and laboratories operating at >80% capacity. Students are required to wear face coverings and maintain a 2M distance from their lecturer during class. Medically vulnerable students (including mental health) can be exempt from in-person attendance.

Restaurants, canteens and retails will be back open with reduced capacity but outdoor dining is encouraged, where possible – get out there while the sun is still here! DCU has also added two new coffee trailers which is a welcome addition.

Finally, a walk-in PCR test facility will be added on Glasnevin Campus from September 21st to encourage students to get tested. However if you suspect you have COVID symptoms or test positive, stay home and isolate.

Griffith College

Teaching begins the week of September 20th for most students, with first-year students starting the week of October 4th. (Griffith will forward specific details to each learner.)

Students are required to wear face coverings at all times in indoor shared spaces, including classrooms, common areas, and libraries. Groups gathering in outdoor spaces also require face coverings. When moving from class to class, there will be at least a ten-minute break.

The library facilities on all campuses will be open. In order to operate the library safely, an online booking system will allow students to book a designated time slot.

The on-campus restaurant facilities will also be open for in-person dining or takeaway service.  Those choosing to dine in will need to present a copy of their EU COVID vaccine certificate. Sports and other on-campus clubs and societies will be active, operating in accordance with prevailing public health guidelines.

Griffith College also has a more detailed overview of their plans for the upcoming academic year, key points throughout the semester and an FAQ which you can take a look at here.

National College of Ireland

NCI will be operating a dual delivery of course material, meaning part on-campus and part remote learning. Students shouldn’t attend campus except at the times laid out by their timetable or by other appointments.

When attending, you can enter and exit the NCI building via the main entrance. Once inside, follow the one way ‘Stay Left, Stay Safe’ system in place. Students now need to log in on campus by swiping their student card on the reader provided and again when leaving. This is to assist tracing and tracking should contact occur on campus.

NCI encourages social distancing, wearing a face-covering on the NCI campus and wearing a face-covering in spaces where social distancing is not possible.

The college restaurant is back open but there may be restrictions and limited seating to facilitate distancing. Similarly, students will be able to book time slots for study and library space.

A lot to take in no matter which college you’re attending this semester, but as always the respective staff and student unions are there to assist you with any queries you have about your return (or first visit!) to your college campus. 

If things still aren’t too clear or you have some more questions about staying in Dublin this upcoming academic year, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram and our team will try and help out however we can!

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