We have been working hard to ensure RCSI campuses are ready to welcome our students for the academic year 2020-21. We want to provide you with an authentic, but safe university and campus experience, complete with the important interactions that you expect.
However there are some changes in place to ensure your safety.
Before entering buildings you must wear a face covering for your own personal safety and for that of others. With many of our buildings you will enter through one door and exit through another.
Hand hygiene is extremely important, we have installed over 90 hand sanitiser dispensers across our buildings. We ask you to use these when entering all buildings.
At our reception desks we have installed perspex screens for safe interaction with our student engagement and front of house services.
Many of the corridors are divided with ‘keep left’ signs for ease of movement throughout the buildings. Some corridors are one way, however, all areas are accessible.
In our lecture theatres and tutorial rooms we have introduced designated seating.
In order for these essential measures to be successful everyone on our University campus has personal responsibility for themselves, to their colleagues and to fellow students.
In line with our increased safety measures, Croke Park, on the northside of the city, will act as a satellite campus. Croke Park offers flexible space for Medicine students who are in Second Year and Intermediate Cycle, to deliver as much of your teaching face-to-face safely and in accordance with current Irish public health guidance.
There are three main teaching spaces all with varying room capacities. Two rooms will be constantly used for teaching with students being able to choose which room they wish to sit in. The third room will be a study space for students to use in between classes and when it is not being used for smaller group sessions.
The campus will open at 7am and close at 9pm and classes will, on most days, begin at 9am and finish at 5.30pm (except Saturdays). Outside of teaching times (Monday to Friday), all desks can be used for study by the students attending the campus that day.
The RCSI library will operate a 'click and collect' service meaning you will be able to reserve the necessary text books and have them delivered to the campus. Many books and other resources will also be available online.
Students and staff rely on a variety of modes of transportation to commute to the University. It is understandable that many would have a preference to commute in a manner that avoids modes of public transport, be that by car, walking or cycling. However, for many commuting to campus, avoiding public transport is not an option. Each of us will make our own decisions to devise the safest and best way to get to the University.
If you require public transport we recommend that you purchase a Leap Card as soon as you arrive in Dublin. Student Leap Cards are also available, which offer additional discounts and benefits to users. Application forms for these and other discount cards are available from the Student Services office.
The regulation requiring public transport passengers to wear a face covering took full legal effect from 13 July 2020. Public transport services continue to operate as necessary for journeys at this time however, those who can get to their destination by walking, cycling or driving are encouraged to do so in order to prioritize the service for essential workers due to capacity restrictions. Guidelines are subject to change on this matter and further information can be found on the Transport for Ireland website.
Bicycle parking on campus is in the following locations:
- RCSI House, 121/122 SSG car park
- 123 SSG at end of railings on York Street
- 26 York Street. at back of building (via Cuffe lane)
- Ardilaun Block B building (back of building via Cuffe Lane)
- Mercer courtyard
- Reservoir House, Sandyford – at back of building
- Beaumont Smurfit Building – at front of building
- Croke Park at the car park entrance
In other locations such as hospital sites there may be public bicycle parking facilities available to use.
Car parking is available through public car parks near campus locations:
- SSG campus – Q Park is available on Mercer Street. RCSI staff and students can avail of a daily discount of €11.
- Beaumont Smurfit Building – Beaumont Hospital has a public car park.
- Reservoir House, Sandyford – contact your programme/course coordinator
- Connolly Hospital campus – public car parking available
- Croke Park – parking is available on the grounds of Croke Park.
If you are driving to RCSI in your own private car, please try to avoid car sharing/pooling if possible with the exception of persons who you live with.
No matter the mode of transport used, once students and staff arrive to campus there is a requirement to complete hand washing/hand sanitising before moving though the campus. Ideally hand washing with soap and water is preferable to using sanitiser, but sanitiser will be available for use in multiple locations.
The catering providers for the St Stephen’s Green campus and Beaumont Smurfit Building are Chartwells catering. There are three restaurant facilities on the St Stephen's Green campus (1784, Remedy and the Dispensary) and one in Beaumont Smurfit Building (Bean Lab).
In line with social distancing protocols, the capacity of seating in all cafes on campus has been reduced.
Our catering providers have adapted a 'grab and go' food offering which will allow you to purchase your food with confidence and safety.
Breakfast will be available in all the cafes which will include individually wrapped muffins/pastries/scones/baguettes and rolls. There will also be a hot breakfast offering which will be porridge, turkey bacon and turkey sausage baps, and avocado and poached egg blasts.
Hot and cold Halal lunch options will be available to include sandwiches, wraps, box salads and hot pot selections.
Hot beverages will be available in all cafes.
Blackthorn café will be open for those based in Croke Park. The food offering will be tailored to match similar offerings in our St Stephen's Green and Beaumont campus and to meet the needs of our students and staff.
Students utilising the restaurant facilities on campus are asked to adhere to the following:
- Follow all guidance and signage with respect to physical distancing and hand hygiene
- Follow the signposted queue management system and distance markings to avoid queues at food counters, tray return points and checkouts
- Use contactless payment where possible
- All food and beverages will be served in disposable containers (i.e. no crockery, no stainless-steel cutlery (biodegradable cutlery will be available to purchase)
- Your own reusable cup will not be accepted.
Communal student common rooms are located across all sites in RCSI. The following measures will be implemented in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in these shared spaces:
- Distance markings will be clearly displayed in all communal areas within the University and we ask everyone to ensure you adhere to the appropriate physical distancing guidelines.
- The total occupancy for each communal room will be clearly signposted and all are asked to comply with these occupancy guidelines.
- Seating will be removed to facilitate physical distancing.
- In an effort to reduce touch points self-service coffee and tea making facilities will be removed.
- Microwaves and hot water dispensers will remain in place and hygiene products (sanitising sprays and wipes) will be provided.
- Everyone will be expected to operate a 'clean in, clean out' policy and wipe down anything that they have come in contact with prior to and after use.
- People are not to share objects that touch their mouth, for example, bottles or cups, and therefore crockery and cutlery will be removed from common rooms.
- We ask that you do not congregate in common areas / hallways, landings, staircases.
The safety and wellbeing of students and staff underpins library service plans for the coming academic year. For returning students you will notice changes both to how we deliver services and to the physical study environments as we implement the necessary physical distancing measures. Over the coming weeks we will be rolling out new online and onsite services, including zero-contact services to facilitate student access to print collections. The physical libraries will reopen to students from September 2020.
- A Virtual Information Desk will be available to support you with general queries relating to library services and in-depth support. Please email us and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook.We will be rolling out a new Chat service at the start of the academic year.
- To support your online learning, the Library has created new resources on Moodle and LibGuides to help you develop your skills and techniques searching for and using information. One-to-one research consultations are available by appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Library BiteSize sessions will be delivered online this year. The sessions provide you with an opportunity to learn how to effectively search and use information. Topics include Library essentials, how to reference, Using Endnote, how to search for books/ebooks and searching healthcare databases (CINAHL, clinical summaries, PubMed).
- The online library is available 24/7 providing you with access to a wide range of databases, ejournals and ebooks. For 2020/21 we are aiming to provide reading list materials online when we can.
- Some tips for using the online library:
- Use the links in the A-Z resources to connect to databases, clinical summary tools and ejournal collections
- Use the ejournal portal to locate specific journals. Search by journal title keyword. The portal provides a link to the journal and also indicates what years online access is available for.
- Use BrowZine to explore our online journals collection by topic. BrowZine allows you to create a personal bookshelf and to save favourite articles. Find out more about BrowZine, including the phone app version, on the Library Blog.
- Use the Library catalogue ebook search to look up books available online.
To complement online services we are currently developing a range of zero-contact services to facilitate access to materials for students, including:
- Scan and deliver – using this service you will be able to request scans of book chapters and journal articles located in the general print collections and have them delivered to you electronically.
- Click and collect – using this service you can place an online request for print books held in the general collections. The Library team will process the requests and have the items ready for collection for students with home rooms based in York Street and Beaumont Hospital. Alternative services will be provided to students based in satellite campuses and learning from home.
Full information on these and all library services and resources are on the Library web section.
Access to individual study spaces
We are currently working on options to maximise the amount of study spaces available to ensure we can provide you with as much access to a study environment as is possible under the current restrictions. For up-to-date information on study spaces in the academic year 2020/21, check the Library’s Study Facilities at RCSI LibGuide and the Library website.
The University has a multi-denominational oratory and prayer rooms for students of the Islamic faith.
Prayer rooms are available on campus and in Croke Park during building opening times, however, there will be restrictions in place in line with the public health guidelines.
Therefore we ask students to behave responsibly, adhere to all guidelines and take all necessary precautions when using the prayer rooms. We request your understanding and cooperation.
Students are asked to adhere to following guidelines:
- Due to social distancing requirements please note there will be a limitation in the numbers attending prayers. Please ensure you place your mat on an area that has been clearly marked with signage.
- Once capacity is reached you will unfortunately not be able to access the prayer room.
- Make ablution (Wudu) at home, the Wudu area will not be available.
- Please bring your own prayer mat. For the safety of all persons using the prayer room there will be no admittance without a mat.
- Please place shoes in a bag, the shoe rack has temporarily been removed.
- We ask students to comply with a ‘pray and go’ system to give all students an opportunity to pray.
- No staying, no socialising and no shaking hands.
- Please wear face masks during prayer and use the hand sanitizer station when entering and exiting prayer room.
Touchpoints entering and exiting will be cleaned frequently throughout the day, and the floor area will be sanitized between prayers.