Since the original offer letters were released in March, RCSI has made the decision to move the official start dates for new incoming students to the following start dates:
- Graduate Entry Medicine to Monday, 31 August;
- Undergraduate Medicine (6 year), Pharmacy and Physiotherapy degree programmes to Monday, 14 September 2020; and
- Undergraduate Medicine (5 year) to Monday, 5 October 2020.
a) Will the programmes start at a later date than outlined above?
The start dates that have been provided are based on the current health information that is available. They are based on advice from many medical experts in epidemiology and virology. We believe the start dates are realistic, but if the advice were to change, then alternative plans would need to be implemented. Our plan is to keep in regular communication with new and returning students and any changes to the planned start dates will be flagged, without delay, if amendments are required. Presently however, we do not currently envisage the programmes starting at dates later than those outlined above.
b) Will the programmes be delivered online for a period of time?
There will be an element of online delivery in conjunction with classroom teaching in the first semester. Students will be required to be in Dublin in advance of registration day. Under current Government guidelines, the first two weeks will be a self-isolation period for students who are recently arrived in Ireland. During this period, you will start your induction and orientation and begin your educational journey with online introductory lectures and course work. These two weeks are a core part of the first semester for all students, designed to allow you to get to know your fellow students, teachers and support staff in addition to commencing your academic programme.
On completion of the self-isolation period, face-to-face teaching (lectures, practical demonstrations and simulated clinical training) will commence in a safe environment consistent with the highest health and safety protocols. This will include allocated times on Campus to ensure students can partake in the full range of educational and social activities.
This will remain in place until social distancing is no longer required and full face-to-face teaching is restored.
c) What happens if classes cannot start on 14 September/5 October 2020?
We do not currently anticipate start dates being pushed back to a later date, but as outlined above, there may be a requirement for social distancing for a period of time and a combination of classroom based and online teaching, in line with the National Department of Health guidelines.
d) Will I be offered the option of a deferral or refund of fees if the programme does not start in 2020?
In the unlikely event that start dates are further pushed back to January 2021 (or later), the option to defer or claim a refund of fees is available and can be discussed with the Admissions Office.
Yes. If the Undergraduate programmes started a number of weeks later than originally planned, there would be a need to extend the end of academic year dates by the same number of weeks. This would shorten the 2021 summer break. The following academic year would begin again on schedule.
If there are COVID-19-related restrictions in place in your home country which prevent you from travelling from your home country to Dublin in advance of registration day at RCSI, students will be offered the option to defer their place or request a full refund of their fees.