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FAQs for all UL community on COVID-19

Last updated 22/05/2020 - 16:08

The Critical Incident/Crisis Operations Team at University of Limerick continues to meet regularly to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and prepare our institution and our community. Regular updates will be posted here and on all UL institutional social media accounts to keep the community fully informed.

See below for a full breakdown of frequently asked questions which we are constantly updating.

Campus Advice

  1. Email Buildings and Estates outlining the purpose of your visit, when you plan to come on campus, what building you need to access and for how long.
  2. Once Buildings and Estates reply to your email approving this visit on a particular date, they will provide you with a letter of authorisation. 
  3. Bring a hard copy or electronic version of this letter of authorisation with you on the day you visit. You may need it at any Garda checkpoints and you will need it for campus security. 

As an essentail worker under the Gov.ie List of essential service providers,

The University does not expect to be in a position to have the detailed arrangements for returning to work safely completed until late June at the earliest. Even then, and with protocols in place, there will be restrictions. Repeat campus visits for staff who need to work on campus should:

  1. Email the Executive member in your area (usually your Dean or divisional head) outlining why you need access, what you are doing and how frequently you will need to come on site. It will be necessary for them to deem the work essential. Interim safety arrangements, compliant with the Return to Work Safely Protocol, must be put into place by the relevant department for essential employees prior to them returning to work.
  2. If your Dean or divisional head approves access, they email Buildings and Estates stating who is coming in, for what purpose and how long/ how often. Buildings and Estates will then provide you with a letter of authorisation. 
  3. Bring a hard copy or electronic version of this letter of authorisation with you on the day you visit. You may need it at any Garda checkpoints and you will need it for campus security.

University of Limerick hosts many visits from students and staff from our partners overseas and in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are advising that any planned visits to the UL campus should be postponed until the campus reopens and is fully operational once again.

University of Limerick will continue to deliver its programmes and courses on offer through online methods of teaching and learning and we are striving towards overcoming the threat of the COVID-19 virus in our community and beyond.

As a prospective undergraduate student, we would encourage you, should you have any queries regarding applying to UL, to browse the Academic Registry / Undergraduate Admissions webpage and contact the relevant section from there. For new applications, we will aim to be as accommodating as possible and we hope that these considerations will help to alleviate any concerns you may have in applying to UL.

For details on the application process to postgraduate taught, postgraduate research and continuing professional education programmes, please refer to the Graduate & Professional Studies website at www.ul.ie/gps. Please note that while the university is closed, there is currently no disruption to the service of processing applications.

Our Critical Incident/Crisis Operations Team at University of Limerick continues to meet regularly to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and prepare our institution and our community.

We hope that you, your family and your community stays safe in these unprecedented times. 

General Update Advice

The HSE is carrying out contact tracing of all individuals who may have come into casual or close contact with a diagnosed patient. You will only be contacted directly by the HSE if you fall into this category. You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. Please notify your course director or your line manager if you have been contacted by HSE and have been medically certified to self-isolate.

The UL campus will remain closed until May 18 at least, Further updates on closures will be posted online and communicated to all students and staff as they arise. 

University of Limerick President, Dr Des Fitzgerald sent this memo update to all staff and students on May 15.

Memo Update: Final Update - May 15

Dear colleagues and students,

This will be the final update you will receive from UL’s Critical Operations Team and Executive Committee (COTEC) as we move from a crisis operations mode back to our regular senior leadership structures - albeit in a new environment for the foreseeable future.

The Crisis Operations Team was brought together in January of this year as the Coronavirus crisis emerged in China and was chaired by the Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer (DPCOOR), Gerry O’Brien to develop a response to the situation. UL COTEC was formed when the Executive Committee (EC) joined the Crisis Operations Team on the last day of January as it became apparent that the crisis was escalating and the campus would be closed. UL COTEC, chaired by the President, has successfully managed the campus closure and the initial response to the pandemic.

COTEC will now revert to being the Crisis Operations Team charged with monitoring the pandemic and its impact on the University and ensuring the appropriate University response to any re-escalation of the crisis, should it occur. Communications on the University response will now revert to coming through the Executive and President.

As we move out of crisis mode the Executive Committee (with some additional input) will oversee the structure of the next semester in September. The working groups to report into it are:

  1. Chaired by Kerstin Mey, the Academic Planning Group is overseeing two working groups. One is planning the undergraduate offering and the other the postgraduate programmes including student recruitment, student support, mobility, operational implications and technological underpinning
  2. Chaired by Norelee Kennedy, the Research Planning Group has been tasked with getting our researchers back to work and dealing with issues with research agencies and stakeholders
  3. Chaired by Gerry O’Brien, the Space Management Committee has been tasked with preparing a UL specific plan for how we make the campus safe for the return of our staff and students, creating a plan that meets all the requirements outlined in the government roadmap documents and incorporating our own specific needs

As we enter into the first of the phase of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business next week, there will be further updates from senior leadership to indicate what implications the phases will have for the UL community.

Stay home and stay well.

UL Critical Operations Team and Executive Committee

Every member of the UL community must take personal responsibility for their own health and that of our entire community. We are relying on our community to closely follow the HSE hand hygiene advice and other prevention measures.

The University is closed until March 29, in the first instance, but that is likely to be extended. We strongly endorse preventative measures, which have been published and extensively circulated by the HSE and are available here.

Stay at home, follow the advice of the HSE and minimize the contact with others (especially new or infrequent contacts) insofar as is practicable, regardless of symptoms.

Students with MEDICAL QUERIES only can contact the Student Medical Centre by phone at (061) 202 534. Please only contact this number with medical queries as the service must be available for those who have health concerns or questions.

Students may also choose to contact their own GP.

All other queries can be directed to covid19advice@ul.ie.

UL staff should contact their GP for health advice. You may have general questions on a health issue and we will do our best to advise you.

UL staff can email their queries to covid19advice@ul.ie.

The HSE is carrying out contact tracing of all individuals who may have come into casual or close contact with a diagnosed patient. You will only be contacted directly by the HSE if you fall into this category.

You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. 

You should follow all medical advice that you are given. You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. Please immediately notify your course director or your line manager and email covid19advice@ul.ie to advise of your situation.

Welfare Updates

All members of the UL community who have underlying medical conditions should seek the advice of their own medical consultants or GP in relation to the current COVID-19 crisis. 

All UL programme content has moved online and if you have any queries relating to your particular course you should contact your course director. 

Students who have been advised to self-isolate should inform their course director and email covid19advice@ul.ie immediately.

Academic Updates

You can view the Academic Calendar for 2019/20 as originally published. However, where there is an impact on a specific item due to COVID-19, this is highlighted in the last column and you can see the changes here.

Contact your module leader to discuss alternatives.

Consideration is being given to the assessment of student learning and in particular the approaching end of semester exams. We will be adhering to the exam schedule as far as is possible.

However, the traditional closed book written exam may need to be replaced with an alternative end of term assessment via the Learning Management System, Sulis (or Moodle, for some of you). 

See the latest communications on exams and assessments in the questions that follow. 

If necessary, priority will be placed on final year and on Masters students to ensure they can complete their programmes of study should the University be required to close.

We are also planning alternative delivery modes and assessment for students in all years to minimise any potential disruption in the event of a closure.

We have been directly in touch with all UL students on study abroad programmes or international co-operative placements to advise them to return home to Ireland. 

Previously we advised that it is likely that there will be severe disruption on international travel and placements. It is dependent on the advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland and its counterpart in other countries, and whether the recipient institution is placing restrictions.

We are working through the International Education Division (IED) and the Cooperative Education & Careers Division to make alternative arrangements.

Host institutions will generally provide online teaching and assessment should the institution be required to close as a result of COVID-19.

UL students currently on cooperative education placements should follow the advice of their co-op employer. Students on international co-operative placements have been contacted directly to return home to Ireland, 

International students should follow the advice in place for all UL students. Campus accommodation remains open and there is no change to the validity of student visas.

Should visiting students be recalled home due to COVID-19, we will continue academic programmes online and through remote delivery. 

Those on study abroad should follow the advice of their host university and the International Education Division at UL. We have asked students to engage with their course content online. Students residing at UL can remain and will be supported in their residences throughout the closure.

The Department of Justice and Equality website holds full information on any changes to the processing of visas and visa renewals. The following are some important notices issued:

March 20 - The Department of Justice and Equality  announced that student visa’s due to expire between March 20 and May 20, 2020 will automatically be renewed for a period of two months. Full details are on the department’s Frequently Asked Questions document.

March 21 - The Department of Justice and quality announced that new visa processing would temporarily cease as of March 20, 2020.  

Issued 24th March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Limerick Academic Planning Group has been meeting regularly and, amongst other items, discussed the issue of how the University cope with the impact of the immediate campus closure, the uncertainty at national and local level over the possibility and timing of reopening, and our assessment procedures.  It is fair to say we are in uncharted territory and the Academic Planning Group has explored multiple options as to how we maintain academic integrity, provide assessment for our students to enable timely completion of final awards, and provide the flexibility that will be required during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable all of our students to either progress to their next academic year, or graduate.

We, as an institution, cannot underestimate the challenge here.  The institution ratifies approximately 70 000 grades each semester for our 16 000+ students.  Each grade requires the involvement of many stakeholders within the academic departments and our professional divisions and these result in the majority of progression decisions for taught programmes being made this semester.  Those most affected by these changes will be the students themselves and the module leaders. 

The Academic Planning Group is very much aware of the impacts that COVID-19 has on our society in general and on education institutions more specifically. We will remain closed until 19 April at least, and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester, which means that we must continue and complete this academic year in online modus. We do know this will impact our students in many, many different ways.  As an institution that supports diversity in our student population, we need to consider this impact and the (in)ability of all our students, regardless of their personal situation, to participate in an assessment at a predetermined time in the near future while dealing with the likely impacts of COVID-19.  We are very proud of our diverse student population and this diversity necessitates a level of flexibility never required before.  When children are at home as schools and creches have closed, when home caring necessities increase, while financial situations worsen, while unemployment increases, while family businesses struggle, and ultimately, as our students, their friends and families suffer with COVID-19, we cannot be sure that our students will have a suitable physical, or emotional place to participate in a time-bound centrally scheduled exam at a predetermined time.

The Academic Planning Group is aware that there is technical functionality in our core virtual learning environment (VLE; Sulis) that could theoretically be used to deliver an online time-bound and centrally scheduled exam.  However, and in addition to the reasoning above, we must appreciate that our students would be accessing the VLE from different geographical locations, with vastly varying internet connection speeds, on widely varying different types of devices with different processing speeds and different internet browsers leading to the possibility of unintended and unacceptable inequity.  In addition, we are unsure of the ability of our VLE to handle the simultaneous load during each of the calendared exam periods.

The Academic Planning Group recognises and acknowledges that it normally takes time to experiment and reflect on delivery and assessment modes within modules to attain the correct balances in workload; this reflects the depth of our expertise.  Much of what we have had to do in recent weeks has led us to a place where we cannot benefit from such time to experiment and reflect

In order to manage staff workload and to ensure that we can be fully prepared for other unexpected COVID-19 related demands over the coming months, we are encouraging all academic staff to carefully critique the demands of their alternative assessment requirements.  This will help to protect staff from overcompensating with heavy demand assessment tasks that impact adversely on them as well as our students.  From an institutional perspective we are aware that such demands may lead to a significant increase in applications for I grades and ultimately increase the repeat examination requirements; both of which will impact on all academic departments and professional divisions.

The Academic Planning Group has endeavoured to create a dynamic and robust solution that will withstand, as much as possible, the predicted impact of COVID-19 on our students whilst remaining true to the academic principles of the University.  The Centre for Transformative Learning (CTL) has already developed and circulated guidance on ‘Alternative assessments to end of term exams’ and ‘Moving to an alternative, remote end-of-term assessment’ – these are also available at https://www.ul.ie/ctl/ and at https://ul.topdesk.net/.

Of course, it will be challenging to deliver remote assessments to reflect what we typically do on campus but, given the demonstrable collegiality across the campus community in the past few days, this is a challenge that we know we can address.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  • All terminal exams arranged at the institutional level for May through Academic Registry (via the MERCS system) will no longer go ahead. 
  • All other on-campus assessments, either planned or scheduled to occur later this semester, will no longer go ahead.
  • To ensure we maximise the opportunity for all our students to complete assessment points, all remaining assessment points (including any replacement for a terminal end of semester exam) should be redeveloped where applicable and made available on the VLE and/or distributed to the students via e-mail, by Monday 6th April
  • If required, this communication should also state that the module assessment information provided at the start of the semester is being amended.  In addition, if the format of the repeat assessment has changed, information related to the format of the altered repeat assessment mode should also be included.  The University is planning to offer institutional exams in August but alternative modes should be considered in this period of great uncertainty.
  • The final deadline for the submission of any altered assessment point by a student will be Friday 15th May – the final date of this current semester.  This provides students with a six-week window (6/4 to 15/5) in which to complete all required assessments.
  • It should be noted that due to the issues pertaining to equity and unpredictability of the impact of COVID-19 any interim deadlines for submission for individual assessments (i.e. a date before 15th May) must be flexible and allow submission up to, and including, the final submission deadline.  The students should be advised that there will be no penalty for late submissions up to and including May 15th.  This should be managed at modular/departmental level in a way that minimises the impact on both the staff and the student.
  • As remote learners tend to benefit from a scaffolded structure to guide them through a module, we strongly encourage module coordinators to create a recommended work plan including the interim deadlines for submission for their modules to guide student effort and endeavour.
  • All grades should be submitted for consideration by the extended module grade entry (MGE) deadline of Tuesday 9th June. 

 

SPECIFIC PRINCIPLES

Terminal Assessment Points

  • All terminal exams arranged at the institutional level for May through Academic Registry (via the MERCS system) will no longer go ahead. 
  • There is no option available to provide a time limited proctored examination, either online or in person
  • An alternative assessment point, or points where appropriate, should be created which can be completed by all students remotely; this should have an equal contribution to the overall module grade as the original terminal exam.
  • The assessments should offer equivalent validity, reflect high standards, and address the learning outcomes as any award-related assessment ordinarily conducted on campus.

Continuous Assessment Points

  • All continuous assessment points already completed will be assessed, if not done already, and contribute to the final grade for the module.
  • All continuous assessment points due for completion between now and the end of the semester will continue to be offered via a remote option where possible.  Any deadlines that applied to these assessment points will stand but flexibility in submission dates is expected.
  • Where it is not possible to offer the original assessment remotely an alternative assessment point that can be completed remotely should be offered; this should contribute to the overall module grade.
  • The assessments should offer equivalent validity, reflect high standards, and address the learning outcomes as any award-related assessment ordinarily conducted on campus.

Final Year Project and Dissertation Assessment Points

  • All final year projects and masters dissertations due for completion and submission between now and the end of the academic year will be offered remotely.
  • The format of the project or dissertation may need to change where the original plan of work is not possible due to the restrictions related to COVID-19
  • For masters programme dissertations occurring over the summer, we will replicate the multiple Module Grade Entry processes in a similar way to AY 18-19 and facilitate a full Winter exam board.

 

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INCOMPLETE (I) GRADES

Clearly, during the COVID-19 pandemic the requirements for I grades is highly unpredictable.  As such, we will continue to operate the I grade process as outlined in section 4.2.3 of the University of Limerick Handbook of Academic Regulations and Procedures.  However, there are two significant changes in how the process will operate –

  1. In the case of illness – students will be able to provide self-certification where third-party certification is not possible; we are acutely aware that we cannot add any extra burden to the health services within Ireland at this time.
  2. In the case of a COVID-19 related impact that is not covered within our current regulations a special (fourth) category will be facilitated.  Our objective is to ensure that no student will be penalised for a COVID-19 related issue and at the same time maintain academic standards and quality.  For example, this category may cover students with a change in any home care arrangement, an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances, inability to access LENS related learning supports remotely, students who lack access to a digital infrastructure with no alternative assessment mode – this list is not exhaustive.

More information related to the practical aspects of how and when to submit documentation in support of an I grade will follow in due course but this solution will be based around our current I grade platform and processes.

 

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR

As outlined above, the extension of the module grade entry period to facilitate assessment of remote assessment points will impact on the University Calendar.  This will impact the processes and/or committee meetings outlined below; it should be noted that these dates are provisional and are dependent on the impact of COVID-19 and containment measures on students and staff.  Additionally, further changes to the AY 19-20 and AY 20-21 calendar may be required.

  • End of semester two occurs on Friday 15th May as per original calendar
  • Module Grade Entry deadline is to be rescheduled from 26th May to 9th June
  • Academic Council Grading Committee is to be rescheduled from 5th June to 19th June
  • University Exam Board is to be rescheduled from 11th June to 25th June
  • Availability of results to students is to be rescheduled from 22nd June to 6th July
  • Opening of the two-week recheck process is to be rescheduled from 22nd June to 6th July
  • Script Viewing days (online if necessary) are to be rescheduled from 30th June & 1st July to 14th and 15th July
  • Student Status Committee is to be rescheduled from 1st July to 15th July

 

MEMBERSHIP OF THE ACADEMIC PLANNING GROUP

Vice President Academic Affairs and Student Engagement (Chair); the Deputy President, Chief Operating Officer and Registrar; the Associate Vice President Academic Affairs; the Associate Vice President Student Engagement; the Associate Vice President Academic Systems and Deputy Registrar; the Deans and Assistant Deans (Academic Affairs) from each faculty and the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies; Director International Education Division; Director Cooperative Education and Careers Division; Director Information Technology Division; Head of the Centre for Transformational Learning; Director of Strategic Projects and Transformation.

Dear Student,

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that the new closure date for all schools and higher education institutes is May 18, however we continue to believe that students will not be physically back on campus before the end of this academic year.

UL’s Academic Planning Group and lecturers and tutors throughout our community have been working to ensure our students can complete this academic year in a timely manner via remote delivery and remote assessments in a fair and equitable way. We will maintain academic integrity and provide assessments for you, our students, to enable timely completion of your final awards. We will offer the flexibility that is  required during this COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that all of you will either progress to your next academic year, or graduate as appropriate. 

Please be assured that no student will be penalised for a COVID-19 related issue and that, at the same time, academic standards and quality will be maintained by the measures outlined.

Assessments and Exams​

·All end of semester on campus assessments and exams scheduled between 5th May and 18th May will no longer go ahead and will be replaced with an alternative assessment you can complete remotely.

·All existing continuous assessments which you can complete remotely will go ahead as originally planned. All continuous assessment already completed will be assessed and contribute to the final grade for the module.

·All UG final year projects and Masters dissertations/projects due for completion and submission between now and the end of the academic year will be offered remotely. The format of the project or dissertation may need to change where the original plan of work cannot be carried out due to the restrictions related to COVID-19.

·All alternative assessments will offer equivalent validity, reflect high standards, and address the learning outcomes as any award-related assessment ordinarily conducted on campus.

Dates

·To ensure we maximise the opportunity for you to complete all your assessments, all remaining assessments (including any replacement for an end of semester exam) will be made available on Sulis (or Moodle for some) and/or distributed to you via e-mail from your Module Leader, by Monday 6th April.   

·The final deadline for the submission of any alternative assessments will be Friday 15th May – the final date of this current semester.  This provides you with a six-week window (6/4 to 15/5) in which to complete all required assessments. 

·Module Leaders will create a recommended work plan including any interim deadlines for submission of an assessment to guide your effort and endeavour over the next weeks. That means, your Module Leader may set interim deadlines for submission for individual assessments before 15th May. However, where your ability to meet this deadline has been affected by COVID-19, we will allow submission up to May 15th  without penalty. To avail of an extension to interim deadlines please contact your Module Leader in advance of that given interim deadline.   

Exam results

·There will be a delay in releasing your semester two results and overall award classifications; we will work to minimise this delay as much as possible. At this stage, the predicted delay is 2 weeks, 6th July 2020. 

·The dates for the recheck process, script viewing days, student status committees, repeat registration will also be affected. These revised dates will follow.  

I-Grades

Read latest communication to students on I-grades here.

Repeats

·The University will offer repeat assessments / exams in August. As we are preparing for all eventualities, academic staff have been requested to consider alternative modes of assessment for the annual repeats. 

You may have questions regarding specific arrangements for assessments, their formats etc. However, we urge you to await confirmation of the alternative assessment which you will receive from your Module Leader by 6th April 2020.  That information will provide clarity and direction on what the next step is in terms of your specific assessment(s).  If you have any further questions, please contact your Module Leader in the first instance.

Accommodation Updates

Campus Life Services have contingency plans in place to provide assistance and support to students living on campus in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the residences.

Students living on campus should continue to take personal responsibility for their own health and follow the advice on preventative measures which have been published and extensively circulated by the HSE and are available here.

If a student living on campus feels unwell, please TELEPHONE the UL STUDENT HEALTH CENTRE on 061 202434 during office hours (9am to 1pm or 2pm to 4.30pm)

If a student living on campus feels unwell outside of these hours please TELEPHONE Emergency Services on 999/112 AND contact the UL Emergency Number on 061 213333 to alert them that the Emergency Services have been contacted

The UL Student Health Centre will liaise with Campus Life Services and the Village Management Teams will provide the support and assistance required to any affected students living on campus. 

Residents who have been advised to self-isolate should inform the Village Management by telephone/email immediately and email covid19advice@ul.ie. If a student is required to self-isolate it is important to do so and stay away from other people in the residences.

Campus Life Services have designated a number of self-isolation apartments on campus to support containment in the event of an initial outbreak. The Village Management Teams will be on hand to facilitate and support students in self isolation.

In the event of a large outbreak and students are unable to return home they should contact Village Management for support. 

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. A virus called coronavirus causes it. 

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) you may need to either: 

The difference between restricted movements and self-isolation 

Restricted Movements 

Restricted movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. It is sometimes referred to as self-quarantine. 

You do this to stop other people from getting coronavirus.  

You need to restrict your movements if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus but you are:  

Self-isolation 

Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus. This is to stop other people from getting it. You may also be asked by your doctor to self-isolate for medical reasons. 

You will need to self-isolate: 

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus 
  • before you get tested for coronavirus 
  • while you wait for test results 
  • if you have had a positive test result for coronavirus 

How to restrict your movements  

If you are well, but you have been in close contact with a case of coronavirus you will need to restrict your movements. You will also need to restrict your movements if you return to Ireland from any other country. This is to stop other people from getting coronavirus. 

Restricted movements means avoiding contact with other people as much as possible by staying at home or in your hotel. 

You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. But you should not spend time in close contact with other people. 

Other household members do not need to restrict their movements unless they are told to. 

Don't 

Do not go to school, college or work. 

Do not use public transport. 

Do not go to meetings, social gatherings, group events or crowded places. 

Do not have visitors at your home. 

Do not go shopping - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off. 

Keep away from older people, anyone with long-term medical conditions and pregnant women. 

Do not travel outside or within Ireland. 

How to self-isolate 

If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test. 

You will need to self-isolate if you have coronavirus or have symptoms of coronavirus. This could be before you get tested for coronavirus, while you wait for test results or when a positive result is confirmed. 

Most people with coronavirus will only have mild symptoms and will get well within weeks. Even though the symptoms are mild, you can still spread the virus to others. 

If you have to self-isolate, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. 

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Only stop self-isolation when both of these apply to you: 

  • you have had no fever for 5 days 
  • it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms 

 

Symptoms of coronavirus 

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear. 

The main symptoms to look out for are: 

Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team has advised anyone who has symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days. 

If you have any of the most common symptoms and have been to a place where there is spread of coronavirus, read this advice. Countries that have spread of coronavirus that health experts in Ireland have been focusing on 

  • China 
  • Hong Kong 
  • Singapore 
  • South Korea 
  • Iran 
  • Japan 
  • the following regions in Italy - Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna or Piedmont 

What you need to do depends on if you are: 

The National Public Health Emergency Team has advised anyone who has symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days. 

If you have any of the most common symptoms and have been to a place where there is spread of coronavirus, read this advice

If you are not feeling well 

If you have been to one of the places listed above and you are not feeling well, check if you have symptoms of coronavirus

Compare symptoms of coronavirus and flu 

 

Symptoms 

Coronavirus 

Symptoms range from mild to severe 

Flu 

Abrupt onset of symptoms 

Cold 

Gradual onset of symptoms 

Fever 

Common 

Common 

Rare 

Cough 

Common (Usually dry) 

Common (Usually dry) 

Mild 

Fatigue 

Sometimes 

Common 

Sometimes 

Aches and pains 

Sometimes 

Common 

Common 

Sore throat 

Sometimes 

Sometimes 

Common 

Headaches 

Sometimes 

Common 

Rare 

Shortness of breath 

Sometimes 

No 

No 

Runny or Stuffy Nose 

Rare 

Sometimes 

Common 

Diarrhoea 

Rare 

Sometimes in children 

No 

Sneezing 

No 

No 

Common 

 

From 16/03/2020, students that have symptoms of corvid 19 can be referred for testing through Health Link (online service) by contacting the UL Medical Centre staff or any local GP directly.  The student will be subsequently contacted by public health services to arrange testing. They will either come and test the student in their residence or invite the student to attend a testing centre depending on how likely to test positive given the symptoms.  

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, phone your GP/Student Health Centre (Tel: 061 202534) during office hours. During out of hours service phone Limerick Doc (Tel: 087 7551570 or HSE helpline 1850 241850); or local emergency department (ED) (Tel: 112 or 999) immediately. 

Do not go to your GP or ED. Phone them first. Tell them about your symptoms. Give them the details about your situation. Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating. In a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) call 112 or 999. 

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. A virus called coronavirus causes it. 

Symptoms of coronavirus 

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear. 

The main symptoms to look out for are: 

Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team has advised anyone who has symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Self-isolation 

Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You may need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus. This is to stop other people from getting it. 

A doctor/health professional will ask you to self-isolate if you have coronavirus or they think you may have coronavirus. 

This could be: 

  • before you get tested for coronavirus 
  • while you wait for test results 
  • if you have had a positive test result for coronavirus 

Self-quarantine 

Self-quarantine is avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. 

You will need to do this if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus and you are still well. 

Self-quarantine is to stop other people from getting coronavirus. 

 

How to self-isolate if you are asked to 

A doctor may ask you to self-isolate. 

They will do this if you have coronavirus or they think you may have coronavirus. This could be before you get tested for coronavirus, while you wait for test results or when a positive result is confirmed. Most people with coronavirus will only have mild symptoms and will get well within weeks. Even though the symptoms are mild, you can still spread the virus to others. If you have to self-isolate, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. 

Do 

Stay at home, in a room with the window open. 

Keep away from others in your home as much as you can. 

Check your symptoms - call a doctor/health professional if they get worse. 

Phone your doctor if you need to - do not visit them. Student Health Centre; 061202576 

Out of hour’s service; 0877551570/ HSE; 061483388 

Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue - clean your hands properly afterwards. 

Wash your hands properly and often

Use your own towel - do not share a towel with others. 

Clean your room every day with a household cleaner or disinfectant. 

Don't 

Do not go to work, school, religious services or public areas. 

Do not share your things. 

Do not use public transport or taxis. 

Do not invite visitors to your home. 

Keep away from older people, anyone with long-term medical conditions and pregnant women. 

It is safe for friends, family or delivery drivers arranged by UL campus accommodation management to drop off food or supplies to your place of residence during self-isolation. Make sure you are not in the same room as them, when they do. 

If you live with other people 

Stay in a room with a window you can open. 

If you can, use a toilet and bathroom that no one else in the house uses. 

If you have to share a bathroom with others, use the bathroom last and then clean it thoroughly. 

Do not share any items you’ve used with other people. 

These include: 

  • dishes 
  • drinking glasses 
  • cups 
  • eating utensils 
  • towels 
  • bedding 

Meals 

If possible, have someone leave your food on a tray at your bedroom door. 

When you have finished, leave everything on the tray at the door. 

This should be collected and put in a dishwasher and hands washed properly afterwards. 

If you don't have a dishwasher: 

  • wash in hot soapy water, wearing rubber gloves 
  • leave to air dry 
  • wash the rubber gloves while you are still wearing them 
  • remove gloves and wash your hands 

Face masks 

You may have to go into the same room with other people while you are self-isolating. If you do, wash your hands and wear a face-mask if you have one. If you do not have a face mask, stay at least 1 metre away from other people.  

If possible, anyone in a room with you should also wear a face-mask. Do not touch the front of the mask when you are taking it off. Clean your hands with gel or wash them with soap and water after you take it off. 

You do not need to wear a face mask when there is no one else in the room with you. 

Wash your hands often 

Wash your hands properly and often with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub. 

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze. 

Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands. 

How to wash your hands properly 

Clean your hands 

Use soap and water or alcohol hand rub to clean your hands regularly. 

How to wash your hands with soap and water 

  1. Wet your hands with warm water and apply soap. 
  1. Rub your hands together until the soap forms a lather. 
  1. Rub the top of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. 
  1. Do this for about 15 seconds. 
  1. Rinse your hands under running water. 
  1. Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. 

 

Use a detergent or disinfectant to clean your home 

Many cleaning and disinfectant products sold in supermarkets can kill coronavirus on surfaces. 

Clean the surface as usual with a detergent, disinfectant or disinfectant wipe. 

This includes:  

  • counters 
  • table-tops 
  • doorknobs 
  • bathroom fixtures 
  • toilets and toilet handles 
  • phones 
  • keyboards 
  • tablets 
  • bedside tables 

If you have them, wear rubber gloves when cleaning surfaces, clothing or bedding. Wash the gloves while still wearing them, then clean your hands after you take them off. 

Laundry 

Put your laundry in a plastic bag. Have someone collect it from your bedroom door. If possible, they should wear rubber gloves.  

They should: 

  • wash the laundry at the highest temperature for the material, with a laundry detergent 
  • clean all surfaces and the area around the washing machine 
  • wash the rubber gloves while still wearing them 
  • wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing the gloves 

If possible tumble dry and iron using a hot setting or steam iron. 

Do not take laundry to a launderette. 

Managing rubbish 

Put all the waste that you have used, including tissues and masks, in a plastic rubbish bag. Tie the bag when it is about three-quarters full. Place the plastic bag in a second bag and tie the bag. 

Treat all cleaning waste in the same way. 

Do not put the rubbish bags out for collection for 72 hours. After that, the bags can be put out for collection in regular domestic waste. 

Stay in touch with your GP or doctor 

If your symptoms develop or get worse, phone your GP and/or Student Health Centre 061 202534 during office hours. Outside of this call Limerick Doc 0877551570 or call 999 in the case of an emergency  

The Covid-19 dedicated phone line 1850 241850  

Regular communication with University accommodation services 

The table below outlines all the student residences on campus and key contact details. For all out of hours queries, please call the Village Manager on call on 083 3732614 

 

 

Village 

Reception 

Village Manager 

Mobile 

Email 

Plassey 

061 202347 

Philip King 

086 3009661 

philip.king@ul.ie 

Troy & Groody 

061 330199 

Philip King 

086 3009661 

philip.king@ul.ie 

Kilmurry 

061 202081 

Jason Hegarty 

085 8209455 

jason.hegarty@ul.ie 

Dromroe 

061 202977 

Laura Carroll 

089 9456881 

laura.carroll@ul.ie 

Thomond 

061 237000 

Sean Savicic 

087 3442836 

sean.savicic@ul.ie 

Cappavilla & Quigley 

061 237500 

Carol Jane Shanley 

086 2446202 

carol.shanley@ul.ie 

 

Guidelines on social distancing for students who life in shared University accommodation: 

The importance of social distancing 

Staying at home and avoiding crowds and larger gatherings such as parties, concerts, sporting events, and mass transit. is vital to stem the outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID 19. 

Best practice requires limiting the contact to others and maintaining at least a six-foot distance between yourself and them.  

It is part of your responsibility for yourself, your family, relatives, friends and the communities of which you are part of whilst residing on University accomodation.  

How to implement social distancing in shared University accommodation 

Social distancing is key, and your family, friends and community rely on that you follow the social distancing measures outlined below: 

 

Do: 

  • Stay in your University accommodation 
  • Limit your contacts as much as possible to the people you are staying with in your accommodation 
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Manage your household waste responsibly and empty your waste bins regularly into the designated collection bins 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects 
  • Apply particular hygiene in shared facilities such as the kitchen or the bathroom and toilet: clean these spaces often and with appropriate detergent 
  • Exercise regularly indoors or outdoors: go for a walk or a run, engage in yoga or plates, but do it on your own 
  • Order in your food and household essentials 

 

Do not: 

  • Do not Invite friends to your accommodation, including those in nearby university residences 
  • Do not hold parties or go to parties 
  • Do not stage or go to large group sporting matches or exercise classes 
  • Do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary 
  • Do not go to the shops unless it is absolutely necessary 

Remember: Meet your responsibilities now to void unintended consequences for many in the future! 

 

Residents who have been advised to self-isolate should inform the Village Management by telephone/email immediately. If a student is required to self-isolate it is important to do so and stay away from other people in the residences. Campus Life Services have designated a number of self isolation apartments on campus to support containment in the event of an initial outbreak. The Village Management Teams will be on hand to facilitate and support students in self isolation and will assist any relocation requirements as a result of self isolation.    

In the event of a large outbreak and students are unable to return home, students in shared accommodation will be required to self-isolate in their own student bedrooms.  

Self isolation support in residence is as follows: 

  1. Village Management team available by phone 24/7 to support your requirements 
  1. Food and sustenance: Food supplies should be ordered online if possible. If online delivery is unavailable the Village Management team will arrange the delivery of food supplies directly to your front door. Simply contact the village reception to arrange same. The Village Management Teams have access to wholesale stock at Musgraves Limerick and supply will not be a problem. 
  1. Crockery and cutlery: Any student in self isolation should use separate crockery and cutlery which should be kept separate from others. The Village Management Team have additional sets of crockery and cutlery in stock in the village stores, please phone/email the village reception for delivery to your front door.  
  1. Readymade meals: The Village Management Team have arranged a 7 day meal plan with Masterchefs Hospitality if students wish to avail. A fresh and nutritious readymade meal can be delivered to your front door daily if required. Please contact the Village Reception by phone/email to organise 
  1. Medical and other supplies: The Village Management team will organise the collection and delivery of any other supplies such as prescription collection and delivery to your front door. 
  1. In general, students self isolating in residence on campus should:   
  • Stay in your student bedroom with the door closed and only use communal kitchens, bathrooms and living areas when necessary 
  • Communicate by phone or online - Set up a resident’s WhatsApp group and advise fellow residents of your requirement to attend bathroom/ communal area so that they can avoid making contact. Email or phone your Village Manager if you need assistance 
  • Don’t congregate - Avoid using a shared kitchen/living area while others are using it 
  • Have supplies delivered – As outlined above, purchase food requirements online or through the village management and be cognisant that prepared ready make food will limit the necessity to visit communal areas 
  • Eat alone - Take meals back to the student bedroom to eat. 
  • Use separate cutlery/crockery – As outlined above, request new designated cutlery/ Crockery from the Village Manager. Wash your designated crockery and cutlery with detergent and warm water and dry thoroughly using a separate tea towel and take all cutlery / utensils used back to your isolation room.  

 

Keeping well during self-isolation 

Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a garden or backyard go out and get some fresh air, but keep more than 1 metre away from other people. 

Self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. It may affect your mood and feelings. You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.  

You may find it helps to stay in touch with friends or relatives by phone or on social media 

You can Contact the Student Counselling Service; counselling@ul.ie where a phone service is available 

How to self-quarantine if you are asked to 

A doctor/health professional may have asked you to self-quarantine. This is because you have been in close contact with a case of coronavirus and you are still well. This is to stop other people from getting it, if you develop symptoms. 

If you have been asked to self-quarantine, avoid contact with other people as much as possible. 

Examples of close contact may be considered as: 

  • spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person 
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person 

These examples of close contact are a guide only.  

You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. However, you should not spend time in close contact with other people. 

Other household members do not need to restrict their activities, unless they are also close contacts of a case. 

Don't 

Do not go to school, college or work. 

Do not use public transport. 

Do not go to meetings, social gatherings, group events or crowded places. 

Do not have visitors at your home. 

Do not go shopping - where possible, order your groceries online or have management from UL Accommodation services drop them off. 

Do not contact older people, people with chronic health problems and pregnant women. 

Do not travel outside Ireland. 

 

 

 

Summer accommodation is available for students who wish to live in a UL village after their current licence agreement ends. All enquiries can be made to Chloe.Keogh@ul.ie and accommodation is subject to availability. 

Staff Advice

DPER will continually update these FAQs in response to queries received centrally. The most up-to-date version of these FAQs are available here.

Staff members are advised to check the HSE website and the UL alerts page for up to date information. 

Staff members are reminded of the availability of the Employee Support Service. Access to the free confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1800-201-346. Further details are available here.

If a staff member has any further questions or requires HR support, please contact HRCOVID-19@ul.ie.

If the virus has affected you and the situation has caused anxiety or stress, staff members or members of their family can contact the Employee Support Service. Access to the free confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1800-201-346. Further details are available here.

The University is supportive of staff who wish to volunteer outside of working hours to help out in the Covid-19 crisis.  If you want to volunteer, you can register with your local Volunteer Centre or sign up online at www.i-vol.ie. The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting many COVID-19 related roles to be listed on the www.i-vol.ie database in the coming days and some roles will be directly related to COVID 19 support. Other roles for volunteers may be related to helping community organisations to keep normal services running. You can also contact your local Volunteer Centre directly to speak to someone about what is needed most in your own area – you can find their information here

The Minister for Education and Skills has put in place special provisions around payment during COVID-19 for staff employed in approved posts funded by monies provided by the Oireachtas.

An approved employer may grant special leave with pay to an employee only when an employee is advised to self-isolate and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or had a positive test. Medical or HSE advise should be followed. Special leave with pay for COVID-19 is being used in place of sick pay.

Please refer to the following link for more detail.

 

While all employees are currently working remotely, employees are reminded that the University of Limerick Sick Leave Scheme remains in operation during this period, and as such, employees who are ill should contact their manager on the first day of Sick Leave.  A medical certificate must be sent to the Dean/Head of Department/Manager as soon as practicable.  Line Managers must forward all medical certificates along with a Sick Leave Form to the Human Resources Division at compandbens@ul.ie.  For the duration of the closure, medical certificates and sick leave forms can be sent via email (with cert attached as a photograph) to the line manager and HR. 

In cases of COVID-19, line managers must inform HR on the same day they are made aware by the employee.

In cases of COVID-19, a staff member must send in appropriate HSE or Medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate or to restrict his/her movements in accordance with HSE Guidelines to their manager and Human Resources Division at compandbens@ul.ie. This should be sent in by the staff member as soon as they are diagnosed.

In the event that written HSE or medical confirmation to self-isolate is unavailable, an employee must complete the Self-Declaration Form at Appendix 1 to record the HSE or medical advice received and this should be sent to their manager and compandbens@ul.ie (Self-Declaration Form can be found at appendix 1 of this link)

Any special leave with pay granted for the purpose of diagnosis of COVID-19, self-isolation or restricted movements will not be counted as part of the employee’s Sick Leave record. The special leave with pay entitlement will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor.

Managers need to establish specifically:

  • Whether the staff member has consulted a doctor or the HSE (if not, the staff member should be advised to phone their Doctor immediately)
  • If a staff member provides appropriate HSE/ Medical confirmation/Self-Declaration Form confirming COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate or to restrict his/her movements in accordance with HSE Guidelines, special leave with pay may be granted. Read lates DES circular here.
  • Establish if the staff member has called the designated phone numbers as per HSE Guidelines to report diagnosis. If they have not reported the diagnosis then the manger should advise them to do so
  • Ensure the staff member submits the appropriate medical confirmation retrospectively
  • Record the absence as CV19 special leave with pay on the staff members attendance records and return to HR – Compensation & Benefits
  • It is the advisable that all managers familiarise themselves with the DPER circular here.

If medically diagnosed, please inform your Line Manager as soon as possible.

Seek the appropriate medical confirmation and ensure you provide it to your line manager.

Provide appropriate HSE/ Medical confirmation/Self-Declaration Form of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate or to restrict your movements in accordance with HSE Guidelines, special leave with pay may be granted. Read latest DES circular here.

If a staff member is in contact with a confirmed/diagnosed case of COVID -19, they should contact their doctor or the HSE and follow the medical advice provided. 

Staff members should inform their Line Manager as to the advice given by their doctor / HSE

Read here for more information and the latest DES circular here.

The HSE sets out the criteria for self-isolation at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html.

  • An employee cannot voluntarily choose to self-isolate.
  •  Where HSE or medical advice is that the employee must self-isolate then special leave with pay may be granted by the employer.
  • In the event that written HSE or medical confirmation to self-isolate is unavailable, an employee must complete the Self-Declaration Form at Appendix 1 to record the HSE or medical advice received.

The completed Form should be forwarded by the employee to the employer as soon as possible. (Self-Declaration Form can be found at appendix 1 of this link)

  •  Where the employee is already on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and subsequently contracts COVID-19, then the special leave with pay may continue for the duration of the illness, subject to medical certification being provided to the employer. 
  •  Similar to the general principles applying to the management of Sick Leave, the employee must contact the employer where any of the above circumstances apply. Where circumstances or diagnosis changes, the employee should inform the employer as soon as possible.  
  •  There should be appropriate contact between the employer and the employee during the period of special leave with pay.   
  • When the recommended period of self-isolation has passed, medical advice and HSE Guidelines should be followed regarding return to work. 
  •  An employee on special leave with pay is not permitted to claim the DEASP COVID-19 Illness Benefit payment.

Where medical advise is that the employee, who is not ill, should self-isolate then they should continue to work remotely where possible. Where working remotely is not feasible, then special leave with pay may be granted. Read the circular 0026/2020 here and more from DPER here

The staff member must inform their manager as soon as possible if they have been medically advised to self-isolate. Appropriate medical confirmation of the need to self-isolate will be required, however in the event that written HSE or medical confirmation to self-isolate is unavailable, an employee   must complete the Self-Declaration Form at Appendix 1 to record the HSE or medical advice receive.  (Self-Declaration Form can be found at appendix 1 of this link)

There is no special paid leave available for COVID-19 caring arrangements during this time. If a staff member cannot work outside the home and cannot perform their current role remotely, they are still considered as actively on duty and available to work. If work cannot be assigned remotely, then the staff member can/will be assigned work outside of their usual core duties i.e. potentially a new role. This will be reviewed by management to ensure that employees are placed where they are most needed to deliver critical services.

There will be temporary assignments in the public sector under the principle of One Public Service to deal with this crisis. What this means is that an employee can be assigned work outside their usual core duties/a new role as required by the Public Service should they be unable to carry out their substantive post during this time.

Any employee who wishes to avail of existing leave allowances during this time is entitled to have such requests considered by their employer, as always, including

  • Annual Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Leave of Absence
  • Force Majeure

Where the employee is already on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and subsequently contracts COVID-19, then the special leave with pay may continue for the duration of the illness, subject to medical certification being provided to the employer. 

  • Similar to the general principles applying to the management of Sick Leave, the employee must contact the employer where any of the above circumstances apply. Where circumstances or diagnosis changes, the employee should inform the employer as soon as possible.  
  •  There should be appropriate contact between the employer and the employee during the period of special leave with pay.   
  • When the recommended period of self-isolation has passed, medical advice and HSE Guidelines should be followed regarding return to work. Read more here.

When the recommended period of self-isolation is passed, please follow medical advice and/or HSE guidelines on return to work.

Viral type respiratory illnesses should be recorded as ordinary certified sick leave and the usual rules governing sick leave will apply in line with the University’s sick leave scheme. If the staff member is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, the special leave with pay can be retrospectively applied in lieu of the sick leave.  

  • The HSE advice on at risk groups is at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html
  • There are 2 levels of higher risk groups and the HSE provides different advice to protect people in each group
  • An employee must self-declare to their manager if they fall into the very high risk (extremely vulnerable) category. Medical verification from your GP or the HSE may be required.
  • Where the employee is not ill, the employer should prioritise alternative working arrangements e.g. where possible, remote working.
  • Where remote working arrangements in the employee’s current role is not feasible, then he/she may be temporarily assigned to work within the wider Public Service.

Further details are available at paragraph 12 of this circular

The same rules apply to the booking of Annual Leave when working remotely as apply when working on site, see the Annual Leave Procedure for details.

Requests for annual leave shall be submitted by the staff member to their line manager, in order to establish a suitable time, or times, for such annual leave to be taken.

In order to ensure effective planning of leave within a department, there is an expectation that Annual Leave, once approved, will be taken at the agreed time.

There is also a recognition that there may be times, where due to unforeseen circumstances, a request to amend previously approved leave may be made to the line manager. Each case will be reviewed individually by the staff member’s line manager.  The line manager will aim to balance operational requirements with the staff members need to balance family responsibilities and opportunities for rest and relaxation.

Yes. The following letter and FAQs on Temporary Assignment Arrangements for Certain Staff should be read in conjunction with DES Circular 0026/2020 regarding working arrangements and leave associated with COVID-19.

Staff members or visitors should not travel to any affected areas as defined by the Department of Foreign Affairs https://dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/. In addition staff are strongly advised to cancel all work related overseas travel until further notice. If the staff member thinks that their travel is essential, it must be approved by their line manager.

To keep our people safe, as of March 12 all future work related travel bookings have been suspended. Travel advice remains under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest assessment of risks to staff.

For further travel guidance please refer to: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/.

In line with the COTEC communication of 27th April 2020, there is now a recruitment freeze in place, all open positions will be reviewed by the recruitment sub committee to decide if a competition will still go ahead.  Externally funded positions, where funding is committed, will be unaffected. This process is expected to remain in place for the immediate future. Further updates will be issued as the situation evolves.

Yes. Employees may wish to make a claim to the Revenue directly for tax relief, however, that is at their own discretion.

Yes. It is a matter for each organisation’s senior leadership team to determine which services are currently essential to critical business continuity in the context of its organisational Business Continuity Plan, and to identify employees (including contingency for COVID-19 illness/back up) required to manage the delivery of these services. For more information on temporary assignment follow this link (insert link to new FAQs) 

Employees will receive a notification from their Local HR which will include a link to an online questionnaire. 

Employees will be required to complete the questionnaire for automatic upload to the Public Appointments Service (PAS). This questionnaire can also be completed on mobile phone, tablet or laptop for ease of use. Read more here.

Prospective postgraduate and continuing professional education students

Information on all our postgraduate programmes is available from the Graduate and Professional Studies division website at www.ul.ie/gps. You will also find the contact details for the academic course director for each programme. For enquires related to the application process, applicants from outside of the European Union should contact the International Education Division at international@ul.ie and applicants from within the European Union should contact the Graduate and Professional Studies division at gps@ul.ie.  If you have already made an application, please ensure that you include you application number in all correspondence.

Yes. The Graduate and Professional Studies division and the International Education division are open and fully operational for the purpose of processing applications from within and outside of the European Union..  Most of our programmes are still open to applications.  Our application process is entirely online and we are in regular communication with applicants by email.  The admissions teams are working hard to process applications to provide decisions as soon as possible. All correspondence is taking place by email as there is no postal system at this time.

Yes. Applications are welcome from countries outside or Ireland.  Additional information related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is also available for international students at  www.ul.ie/international. We will continue to follow public health guidance and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements apply. Provisions are also being made in circumstances where there is a government requirement to self-isolate for a defined period where students are travelling from overseas.

The university can make offers conditional on the provision of exam results at a later stage. A number of institutions also provide electronic solutions that allow third parties to securely access verified and authenticated examination results. These will also be considered. As soon as you receive transcripts or other documents, you should email them to the Graduate and Professional Studies division at gps@ul.ie (applicants within the European Union) or to the International Education Division (applicants outside of the European Union). Please ensure that you include you application number in all correspondence.

Instructions on how to accept an offer of a place will accompany your offer email. You will be required to pay an acceptance deposit and reply to the offer email with your payment reference number confirming that you are accepting the offer of a place. The acceptance deposit is €250 for EU applicants and €600 for Non-EU applicants. This deposit will offset your final programme fee.  Applicants experiencing  difficulties with paying this amount can contact the Graduate and Professional Studies division.

There is an application fee of €35, which you pay online by credit/debit card. You pay this fee as part of the application process. Applicants with application problems should email gps@ul.ie for assistance.

The precise dates for accepting offers are communicated in the offer letter. Typically a candidate who gets an offer has two weeks to accept and deposit, though where a candidate is experiencing difficulties they can contact the university to discuss an extension on same

Yes. In circumstances where an applicant cannot take up a place due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), an application to defer can be considered and is subject to approval within the faculty.

The University of Limerick to delivering the highest quality education programmes regardless of the format of delivery. The 2020/21 academic year for postgraduate students is expected to commence on Monday 28th September 2020 though some programmes may have earlier start dates. While the format has yet to be decided, for programmes that are normally delivered on campus, it is expended that they will be delivered through blended learning which could involve cycles of on campus laboratory and other experiential learning, alternating with cycles of online lectures and seminars. The health and welfare of the campus community remains a priority and government guidelines regarding physical/social distancing will be implemented across the campus.

The programme fee schedule for the academic year 2020/21 are available from our Finance Office website.  The deposit you pay when accepting your offer (€250 for EU applicants, €600 for Non-EU applicants) is offset against your programme fee. Programme fees are payable in two equal instalments in September 2020 and January 2021 so you do not have to pay the full amount up front.  You can also find additional detail on funding your postgraduate degree.

We understand some of the providers are likely to offer alternative means of assessment in the coming weeks. We are also recognising Duolingo Test of English for 2020 only. This can be examined remotely. Please check our English language tests page for a full list of recognised examinations.

The Graduate & Professional Studies Office are continuing to offer places on programmes, however due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19)) there may be some delays. Please continue to check your emails for updates on your application.  If you have any queries please contact gps@ul.ie for assistance.

With many staff operating remotely off campus, there is currently no telephone service operating within the Graduate and Professional Studies division. However you can contact us by email at gps@ul.ie  and we will respond to you directly. As normal keep an eye on the university website and our social media channels for the latest updates related to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

No, the expectation that it will be announced in late May/early June remains.

UL Postgraduate Researchers

During the Covid-19 pandemic, queries can be addressed to Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) directly at gpsresearch@ul.ie.

Postgraduate researchers at UL should familiarise themselves with the Current Research Students section of the UL website or consult the FAQs for all UL community on COVID-19 which is updated regularly with news and developments.  

Where possible, you should continue your research by engaging in a process of online supervision with your supervisory team.

You should maintain regular contact with your supervisor(s) and develop a programme of work with them for your PhD/Research Masters thesis during this time. While direct lab/field work may not be possible, there will be other aspects of your research that you can work on, such as your professional development plan, thesis plan, formal and informal learning online, lab/field notes, paper preparation and writing etc.

Yes. Please consult with your supervisory team and ensure that the PGR1 Nomination of Examiners for a Research Degree form is completed and sent to gpsresearch@ul.ie.

Yes. Before doing so, please consult with your supervisor and adhere to the procedures relating to the submission of an electronic copy (PDF) of your thesis for examination during the Covid-19 pandemic. Those procedures can be found at this link:  Submission of Thesis for Examination

Your supervisor must submit a PDF version of the thesis via email on your behalf (subject of the email should indicate submission of research thesis: PGR name, faculty, department/school). Your thesis should be sent by your supervisor to marie.beaumont@ul.ie, copying gpsresearch@ul.ie

The supervisor(s) must confirm the names and email contact details of the examiners within the email. 

Additionally, your supervisor should submit your PGR4 form ‘Submission of Thesis for Higher Degree by Research’ with your thesis.

Examiners who have requested soft-bound copies of a thesis are to be informed that they will instead receive an electronic copy of a thesis until UL reopens.

Yes, the appointment of Examiners will continue to be processed in the normal way. However, there may be a delay in the approval of Examiners process during the current pandemic. 

If you have an examination scheduled to occur while the current restrictions are in place at UL during the Covid-19 pandemic it may be possible to facilitate your viva voce examination online, subject to certain conditions. Where a viva voce takes place remotely, the video conferencing software to be used for such an examination is SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS. 

When using conferencing (VC) software for a viva voce at UL, your supervisor must log a call requesting the VC service and technical support on https://itdservicedesk.ul.ie using the Viva Voce Examination Form in the Audio Visual Services section of the website, at least two weeks in advance of the examination.

Your department/school must obtain your written agreement That you are wiling to avail of video conferencing in undertaking the oral

aspect of the examination process. You can give your written consent to the examination going ahead online by emailing gpsresearch@ul.ie and copying your supervisory team into the email. A typical email to gpsresearch@ul.ie for this purpose would say the following:

“I [NAME OF CANDIDATE] agree that the forthcoming PhD viva on [DATE] will take place online via SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOF T TEAMS.” 

In such exceptional circumstances, you should contact your supervisor in writing to advise that you cannot undertake the viva. In this case, the viva will be deferred.  

Your department/school must obtain written agreement from you and the examination panel that you are willing to avail of video conferencing in undertaking the oral aspect of the examination process.

You may decline to use video conferencing as a format for undertaking the oral examination and defer the examination until it can be conducted face-to-face.

Please refer to the Guidelines on the use of Video Conferencing (VC) to undertake Viva Voce Examinations for Research Students. 

Can the PGR choose an alternative examiner or does the Viva have to be rescheduled?

If an examiner is unable to participate in the viva voce via video conferencing, the relevant examiner should contact in writing the relevant academic department(s) and chairperson of the viva voce Exam. In this case, the viva voce will  be deferred. However, in exceptional circumstances different examiner(s) may have to be appointed.   

Yes. Due to restrictions on personal movement imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that the PhD candidate, Supervisor, Chair, External and Internal Examiners will be in different locations during the online viva voce

Yes, the Internal and External Examiners Reports will be approved during the pandemic subject to the Examiners’ reports adhering to all examination regulations and procedures.  

Procedures for the Submission and Examination of a Research Thesis can be found at this link: Thesis Submission & Examination Guidelines  

The Code of Practice for viva voce examinations at UL can be found at this link Code of Practice for Viva Voce You can also find useful information about the examination process at:  Guide for UL Doctoral Students.

No. Following the viva voce examination when minor changes or amendments have been signed-off by your Examiner(s), the completed and signed Examiners’ PGR6 Form and final electronic version of the thesis should be submitted via email to Marie Beaumont (GPS) marie.beaumont@ul.ie and gpsresearch@ul.ie

However, after UL reopens, two hardbound copies of thesis will have to be submitted to GPS. 

This situation may be subject to change, depending on how events develop during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The next Exam Board in UL is due to sit on July 1st 2020 (This was originally scheduled to take place on June 11 2020). 

Yes. If you have fulfilled all the requirements of your degree programme then it should be possible to graduate at the August 2020 conferring ceremony.

Yes. Please email gpsresearch@ul.ie and pgrprogression@ul.ie and we will deal with your registration query. Please copy your supervisory team into that message. 

A Funders’ Joint Statement from the IRC, HRB and SFI on funding arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic  can be found at Funders’ Joint Statement on COVID-19

Please maintain regular contact with your supervisor to plan your research work during this time.

Funding from within UL for PGRs will not be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and will remain in place up to the end of the 2019-20 Academic Year. 

Confirmation Panels are facilitated by your Department. These panels may take place during the Covid-19 pandemic, but only online by using SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS video conferencing software.

The deadline for completion of your Research Confirmation Panel was Monday 23 March, 2020. Your supervisory team should have returned your completed PGR3a form to UL’s Academic Registry Division (pgrprogression@ul.ie) prior to that date. 

If your department has been unable to convene your confirmation panel due to COVID-19, your supervisor will advise a date on which the panel can take place, in consultation with you. 

Confirmation Panel meetings will remain the responsibility of individual academic departments.

The final date for submission by the Confirmation Panel of the outcome of the review will be in accordance with the grading deadline of the following Academic Council Grading Committee meeting. Outcomes of the Confirmation Panels will be reported to pgrprogression@ul.ie.

GPS will continue to process applications from prospective research students during the current pandemic. You may apply for a postgraduate research programme at UL by completing and signing UL PGR Application Form (please find here) using an electronic signature. The completed and signed application form should be sent to: gpsresearch@ul.ie and postgradadmissions@ul.ie.

You may need to open the PGR Application Form in the Internet Explorer browser in order to insert your electronic signature into the form. 

Medical insurance for all non-EU students is a compulsory requirement when applying for an Irish student visa. Please check the extent to which this covers you for medical costs in the event of an accident.

As a registered student of UL you will also be covered by the university’s Student Life Personal Accident Policy which covers basic medical expenses resulting from accidental injury, certain permanent disabilities such as loss of a limb or loss of an eye, and accidental death.

The 2020 GPS Summer School on Generic and Transferable Skills is taking place online from May 25th to May 29th2020.  

SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS don’t need to be installed on your device to successfully participate in a viva. A plugin is added to your browser and the call will run from there.

While no guarantees can be given that the viva will take place without a technical problem, ITD will conduct a test call in advance of the examination to determine the quality and reliability of the connection between all participants. If there are issues with any of the test calls, ITD will do a second test.  

In such cases, the viva will not take place and will be deferred to another date. Please refer to this link Video Conferencing Guidelines before using Video Conferencing to undertake a Viva Voce Examination.

UL has institutional licences for SKYPE FOR BUSINESS and MICROSOFT TEAMS, which  are both GDPR-compliant. This will safeguard your data and protect your privacy with regard to the examination process.  Where SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS can’t be downloaded, VSCENE may be used as an alternative.

UL does not have a contract for Zoom and therefore this software is not supported by ITD. Use of Zoom means that security of data and privacy may be compromised during the viva voce examination. Additionally, the free Zoom account has a 40-minute limit on group meetings involving more than three different users which isn’t long enough for a viva voce examination. 

You can make a presentation at the start of the examination, or at another stage of the viva voce, with the approval of your Examiners.

The new UL logo adopted in October 2019 is the preferred option to use in this instance, but the previous logo is also permissible to use as an alternative. 

In this instance, you may send your thesis to the Library Repository at ir@ul.ie.

You will still need to send the FINAL PDF copy of your thesis to Marie Beaumont (marie.beaumont@ul.ie) and copy ir@ul.ie and GPSReseach@ul.ie.  

Please direct your question to gpsresearch@ul.ie and we will update this page with your query if the information is relevant for you and other PGRs at UL. 

The campus will be effectively closed until Semester 1 of Academic Year 2020/21 begins on September 28th, 2020. The UL Critical Operations Team and Executive Committee (COTEC) is constantly reviewing the situation and will act in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health.

Postgraduate researchers at UL should familiarise themselves with the Current Research Students section of the UL website or consult the FAQs for all UL community on COVID-19 which is updated regularly with news and developments.  

Yes, SKYPE FOR BUSINESS and MICROSOFT TEAMS both have a Notes facility to assist with technical questions throughout the examination. 

Suspension of UL academic placements abroad for Autumn 2020

Our commitment is to your health and safety and to ensuring that you can complete your degree on time, while achieving the intended learning outcomes.  In the current Covid-19, many exchange partners may be unable to receive our students in the Autumn semester, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to suspend academic placement abroad for this cohort.  This will allow us to plan your academic programme in the forthcoming semester so that we avoid last-minute disruptions to your studies.

We are very disappointed that you will not experience this time abroad and we are developing other options to help your meet the learning outcomes. The Erasmus and non-EU Exchanges office will communicate the cancellation of the inbound and outbound mobility programme to all partner universities. We will also communicate this decision to our internal UL offices, Access, Disability, Student Support and the Library. You do NOT need to contact these offices to inform them.

The International Division will cancel your placement abroad. There is no need for you to contact your host university. Your Course Director will be in contact regarding your degree programme and your Autumn 2020 academic semester. This decision will not impact your degree programme. You will receive emails from the President and updates are also available on the COTEC website regarding UL developments and semester dates.

Your Course Director will be in contact with you once the new Autumn semester is finalised. We anticipate that this will occur by end of May.

 

Unfortunately no, the decision is final for the Autumn semester. The decision has been taken by UL management to ensure the health and safety of our students during this pandemic and ensure that your learning is unaffected. All mobilities inbound and outbound have been suspended.

If you wish to apply for an academic semester abroad in the Spring semester, please check with your Course Director and email the International office (outgoing.erasmus@ul.ie and outgoingexchanges@ul.ie) before 1st June.

The International Division will be in contact with students in due course with details of alternative funded options that you can avail of.

 

This will depend on each university. The International Division will check this on an individual basis and will inform students accordingly by 31st May.

 

You should check COTEC updates for further information regarding when campus will reopen. The President has issued an email to the campus community on April 30th outlining the proposed semester for Autumn 2020. We advise that you do not make any financial commitment until further information has been issued by the University.

 

You may still undertake a one-semester exchange placement in the Spring 2021. Please contact outgoing.erasmus@ul.ie or outgoing.exchanges@ul.ie to let us know if you wish to move your academic placement overseas to the Spring 2021 or if you wish to cancel your placement altogether. Our office will contact the host university to change your nomination once you let us know how you wish to proceed.  If you decide to go on Erasmus in the Spring 2021 and have already submitted an application to the host university for the Full Year 2020/21, you may be required to submit a new application for the Spring (our office will check this with the host university and inform you accordingly).

 

The UL International Division will contact the Student Status Committee to cancel applications for the Alternative to Erasmus. Instead of taking alternative modules, you will follow the replacement programme offered for your course in the Autumn 2020. Your Course Director will be in contact with this information by end of May.

 

Yes, you should maintain your application. The deadline to submit all supporting documents is 10th July 2020 at 12:00 (to be submitted to SSC@ul.ie) and the SSC meeting will take place on 15th July 2020.

If you have already submitted your SUSI application for AY 2020/21, you should contact SUSI immediately to let them know that your circumstances have changed (Email: support@susi.ie Phone: 0761 08 7874)

If you were to undertake a double-degree programme, please contact your Dual Degree coordinator, Dónal Palcic (donal.palcic@ul.ie) for further information.

 

The University of Limerick has contacted your home university to alert them to our cancellation. We are very sorry that this has occurred and wish you good health during this time.

Unfortunately no, UL has cancelled all mobilities, in and out, for Autumn 2020, and this means that our Erasmus and Non-EU Exchange agreements, which are based on reciprocal exchanges, are null and void for the Autumn semester.

Please contact your home university regarding your options. We are happy to review your application should Spring semester be an option for you. Please email incoming.erasmus@ul.ie or incomingexchanges@ul.ie

No. If your University chooses to nominate you for a different semester, you will be able to keep the ID number you have already been issued. You will be sent new information regarding the new semester.

 

Please contact accommodation@ul.ie and ask for a refund. As UL cancelled the mobility activity this will be processed for you.

 

Please contact your landlord to request a deposit refund. This is a private tenancy agreement.