Key information

  • Semester dates: For most students, Semester 1 teaching begins on Monday 28 September. See full list of dates here.
  • Student timetables: Semester 1 timetables will be made available to students by the end of August 2020.
  • Prospective students: Students considering coming to NUI Galway should also check out our Prospective Students FAQs

  Scroll down for answers to your FAQs

Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our campus community, so we are navigating a new landscape, where students enjoy a campus experience blended with online engagement. This hybrid approach will encompass both teaching and  social activities, as we reimagine the student experience so that our high standards are maintained and we continue to provide a rewarding and quality academic experience, as well as life experience.   

As the public health guidance is evolving, we will be monitoring these changes to develop teaching timetables in due course that take into account this continually changing situation. Our experts on campus are informing government policy, and are informing our approach to reopening from public health, teaching and learning perspectives

What will learning look like?

All taught programmes will be delivered in a hybrid of online and on-campus classes. Irrespective of the size of the class, we will have on-campus learning built into the student experience, typically through on-campus tutorials, seminars, distanced meet-ups and/or laboratories according to the needs of various courses.

Large-scale lectures will be adapted for online delivery, while smaller classes will be delivered on-campus where it is possible and safe to do so. This will vary between programmes. As the public health guidance is evolving, we will be monitoring these changes to develop teaching timetables that take into account the continually changing situation.

The majority of online lectures will not be timetabled but will instead be made available in advance of any related timetabled classes such as seminars, tutorials, lab work etc. Timetables will indicate which classes will be delivered on campus – these classes will be a regular part of the student experience and students will need to be on campus to participate. At all times capacity in rooms will conform to public health advice.

We will work to accommodate the small number of students who cannot come to campus for health, access, global travel restrictions or other reasons, so as not to disadvantage their academic journey. We are working hard to ensure that all learning will be made available online to allow for students who may face delays in arriving in Ireland, allow for limits to student numbers in teaching spaces, accommodate those who cannot attend for health reasons, and to provide a backup in case of a rise in COVID-19 transmissions. 

What will campus life look like?

NUI Galway is known for the quality and vibrancy of out student experience. This is important to us and we want students to experience our campus from the outset insofar as possible within the parameters of the public health guidance. 

Our campus sports facilities, the majority of our restaurants, library and social spaces will all be operating within the parameters of public health guidance. Orientation will involve a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Likewise, our societies have managed very successfully virtually since March, and will be offering in-person and online activities.  For those who are unable to join us due to travel restrictions or health concerns, we are working to ensure that the social and academic experience is just as rewarding virtually.

Our approach to the return to campus is expert led-drawing on the research of our colleagues to inform teaching and learning delivery.  For example, our Professor of Bacteriology, Consultant Microbiologist Martin Cormican, who is a member of the government’s expert advisory group, is developing guidance for our students so they can keep safe while they study and enjoy their university experience.  

Do I need accommodation? Can I still book?

All students  are encouraged to be in Galway from September, to be available for on-campus learning, and to experience the fullest student learning experience possible, given the COVID-19 restrictions. 

All of our campus accommodation is already booked for the next academic year and our team in the residences are developing plans, in compliance with public health guidelines, to ensure the safe return of residents to campus. We will have many virtual events and activities organised to support our students settle into university life.

Support with accommodation in en suite bedrooms and delivered meals with be available for students travelling from overseas who need to adhere to the 14 day restricted movements requirement on arrival in Ireland. 

What facilities will I have access to for the university semester?  

The University is currently progressing the re-opening of campus facilities in line with Government guidelines. These guidelines prioritise the health and safety of staff and students. Our initial priority was to re-open research facilities and this has progressed very well. The planning for the re-opening of Library services is also progressing well.

Our plan will be to have all significant buildings re-opened (in line with Government and Public Health guidelines) in time for the start of Semester 1. One of the biggest challenges we will face is the application of social distancing regulations which will limit the capacities of our teaching and research facilities. We will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure best practice procedures are in place.

Will all the catering facilities be open for the full year? 

There are five companies engaged to provide catering facilities in our 16 campus restaurants/cafes and plans are in progress to reopen the majority of these facilities safely in compliance with industry and Public Health guidelines by mid-September. 

How much will I be on campus?

Large-scale lectures will be adapted for online delivery, while smaller classes will be delivered on-campus where it is possible and safe to do so. The majority of online lectures will not be timetabled but will instead be made available in advance of any related timetabled classes such as seminars, tutorials, lab work etc.

School and Programme Directors will be working over the summer months to develop teaching timetables, taking into account the continually changing situation and evolving public health advice. Timetables will indicate which classes will be delivered on campus – these classes will be a regular part of the student experience and you will need to be on campus to participate. At all times capacity in rooms will conform to public health advice. 

Will courses that require a lot of lab and clinical learning take place as normal?

All taught programmes will be delivered in a blend of online and on-campus classes. Irrespective of the size of class, we will have on-campus learning built into the student experience, typically through on-campus tutorials, seminars, distanced meet-ups and/or laboratories according to the needs of various courses. Clinical simulation will also be used to provide clinical training in circumstances where access to clinical settings is restricted.

How will group projects operate?

Group work may involve physical or virtual contact depending on public health advice. It is anticipated that small group work will go ahead as normal, in line with social distancing requirements.  

When will my timetable be available? 

As the public health guidance is evolving, we will be monitoring these changes to develop teaching timetables over the summer that take into account the continually changing situation. 

We want to ensure that our timetables are issued with the most current information, rather than continually revising them over the summer as the government’s advice evolves. Student timetables for Semester 1 will be made available to students by the end of August.

Deferrals: Can I defer my place until next year?

We are offering a limited number of deferrals on undergraduate programmes, as we have a duty to ensure that we will be able to accommodate usual numbers of students in 2021.  Priority will be given to those with exceptional circumstances such as those who face travel restrictions, those who have experienced a close family bereavement or have health issues that would prevent them attending campus.

International students who have places on postgraduate taught programmes can defer their place if they face challenges join us this year as a result of COVID-19and the associated restrictions. Domestic postgraduate students may also defer their place in certain circumstances. 

Fees: Is there a reduction in fees if a lot of activity is moving online?

NUI Galway is committed to providing a world-class educational experience in the upcoming academic year. We are determined that our students will graduate with a degree of the highest standard, and will enjoy a student experience that is as supportive as we can make it to build new relationships and develop their talents.

We anticipate a hybrid learning approach with as much face-to-face teaching and learning as possible under prevailing health and safety requirements at the time.  The University is focused on delivering a high quality educational and social experience next year, for our communities on campus or online as required.

It is for these reasons that we do not intend to reduce fees in the forthcoming academic year. We will continue to provide information in as timely a manner as possible to inform your decision-making activities. We ask for patience as we all continue to navigate through these unprecedented times together.