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You are here Courses > Undergraduate > Five-Year Integrated Pharmacy Programme (M.Pharm) > COVID FAQS

COVID-19 Information for Undergraduate Students 2020-2021

Welcome to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to our new Junior Fresh students and welcome back to all our continuing students.  
In these unprecedent times, we have introduced new plans and procedures to ensure all our staff and students can work and study safely while on campus.
Below is information relevant to students on the Five Year Integrated Programme. For up to date information on College COVID-19 procedures, see here.

  1. New Academic Year
  2. Freshers Week
  3. Pharmacy Orientation Sessions
  4. Social distancing on campus
  5. Delivery of Classes
  6. Personal Belongings
  7. Contacting Teaching Staff
  8. Precautionary Measures
  9. Michaelmas Term Assessment
  10. What To Do If You Have Symptoms (while at home)
  11. What To Do If You Have Symptoms (while on campus)
  12. Close Contact and Casual Contact
  13. What To Do If You Are A Close Contact of A Confirmed Case
  14. What To Do If You Are A Close Contact of Someone Awaiting COVID Testing/Results
  15. What To Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19
  16. What To Do If There Is A Confirmed Case On Campus
  17. New Student Spaces
  18. Student Learning and Development webinar programme
  19. Further Updates
  20. Contact the School

New Academic Year

Teaching for current undergraduate students will begin on Monday 28th September. Teaching for new first-year undergraduate students will now begin on Monday 5th October.  

Freshers Week

This year Freshers Week begins on Monday 28th September for all new first year undergraduate students.  You can find lots of useful information on the Trinity Orientation webpage, which includes Orientation timetables and important course information.

Pharmacy Orientation Sessions

The School will be holding Orientation Sessions on Thursday 1st October, for all new first year undergraduate students in groups. It is important that you attend one of these sessions. You will be notified by email which session you are invited to attend.

Social Distancing on Campus

Trinity has put a range of measures in place to protect students, staff and visitors during COVID-19. These include:


Clear signage at all entrances to buildings and within buildings of the COVID 19 precautions that apply to everyone; hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette, social distancing and the wearing of face masks in designated areas.
A one-way entry and exit route for buildings - where possible.
A ‘keep right’ and ‘keep moving’ policy on all stairways.
A one-person policy for all lifts on campus.
Clearly designated seating that maintains social distancing.

For teaching and learning purposes, a physical distance of at least 1m shoulder-to-shoulder should be maintained between students, with mandatory wearing of cloth face coverings, visors or face shields.

Delivery of Classes

Due to the current pandemic, most lectures will be delivered through a variety of online methods hosted in Blackboard (virtual learning environment used by Trinity). During Freshers Week, new students are provided with the opportunity to take a class on how to use Blackboard and we strongly advise you do this.
Some introductory lectures for Junior Fresh students will be delivered face to face in small groups on Monday and Thursday, starting on 5th October. 
Mandatory labs, practicals and some other sessions will continue to be delivered face-to-face whilst complying with the Covid-19 guidance. Each year of the Pharmacy course will be assigned specific days they will be expected to be on campus. Below is the list of days for each class year for Michaelmas term.

Junior Fresh: Mondays and Thursdays (each student will not need to come in every Monday and Thursday)
Senior Fresh: Wednesdays
Junior Sophister: Tuesdays
Senior Sophister: on placement
Fifth Year: Fridays

Personal Belongings

College is not providing lockers this year. You will not be allowed to leave bags or coats etc. in corridors or in the Atrium.
If you are attending a practical class in a wet lab at Panoz Institute (UL1, PHCHLAB1&2 and PHCOGLAB), a Pharmacy-specific locker will be assigned to you, located at the entrance to the Panoz Institute, in the basement and Level 1, to be used for the duration of the class. Lockers card/keys will be handed out to students by a member of staff at the entrance to the Panoz Institute 10 minutes before each class and students must return card/keys in the same place immediately after class.
If you are attending a class in another venue of Panoz Institute (Boots Lab, EEPC1/2/3) you will be allowed to bring your belongings with you and place them in areas where they not constitute a trip hazard (under benches, on windowsills, etc).
For all other venues outside Panoz Institute, local rules will apply.
As much as possible, avoid bringing any unnecessary items with you to the campus. All lockers will be sanitized between classes and if necessary emptied. Access to belongings/lost keys will incur a cost of €50.

Please read the detailed procedures for storage of personal belongings here.

Contacting Teaching Staff

Teaching staff will continue to be available to answer student queries about lectures and labs. In face to face sessions, there may be opportunity to interact with the lecturer during the class or using the chat function on Backboard (depending on the class size). Where this is not possible, you can also email the lecturer directly with your query after the session. Contact details for lecturers can be found here.

Precautionary Measures

The wearing of face masks* is mandatory for all teaching and learning events for all students, in the Libraries, and public areas of the campus such as the Buttery and the Book of Kells. Trinity will require all students to wear face masks for all teaching and learning events. Teaching staff have been asked to wear visors where possible instead of face masks while teaching as this will reduce the impact on communication. 
For teaching and learning purposes, a physical distance of at least 1m shoulder to shoulder should be maintained between students, with mandatory wearing of cloth face coverings, visors or face shields. Each student will be assigned a space in the labs.

The School will provide each student with a reusable mask for face to face teaching and visor/face shield for labs. Gloves should not be worn unless required and must never be used as a substitute for hand hygiene.

Students will be responsible for the cleaning of their own individual workspace prior to and after each teaching event using sanitiser gel from their own individual hand sanitisers and paper towels provided by Estates and Facilities. For any classes that exceed two hours in duration, a mandatory 15-min break will take place after two hours with students wiping down their own individual workspaces before leaving/on return.

  1. Arrival: to minimize contact, students should arrive no earlier than 5-10 minutes prior their classes and proceed straight to the lecture theatre/lab. Please apply hand sanitizer upon entering campus and immediately prior entering the lab.
  2. Circulation: Access and egress to practical classes will be done through the Panoz main entrance and stairs. A “keep-right” circulation system is in place.  
  3. After class and during class breaks: Please sanitise your hands after a class and before and after breaks. Students must not congregate in corridors, atrium, concourse, undergraduate lounging area over the concourse or in any other space within the Panoz Institute.

*A face mask is defined as ‘a covering of any type which when worn by a person covers the person’s nose and mouth.’  

Michaelmas Term Assessment

Exams for fifth year students begin week commencing 14th December.
Exams for Junior Fresh, Senior Fresh and Junior Sophister students begin on 11th January and continue for two weeks. Semester 1 assessments will predominately be online apart from a very small number of exceptions.

What To Do if You Have Symptoms (while at home)

Common symptoms of coronavirus are a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. 
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP straight away to get a test. Other people you live with will need to restrict their movements.

Do not attend your face-to-face classes. Contact your tutor and the module coordinator(s) to let them know you will not be able to attend face-to-face classes.

What To Do if You Have Symptoms (while on campus)

Common symptoms of coronavirus are a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. 
Anyone who develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should ring the College Health Centre at 01-896 1556. A College Health GP will ascertain if you should have a COVID-19 test. In the majority of cases, the test can then be carried out the same day with the swabs being sent to the HSE Laboratories to determine whether you have the virus. By having the testing centre on campus, you can be tested in the most timely manner available. Trinity is currently the only university in Ireland to offer this service. A location on campus has been identified and the systems, staff and training needed are being put in place at the moment. Further information will be made available when the system is ready to start.

Close Contact and Casual Contact

Close contact can mean spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of someone who has coronavirus, indoor or outdoor, or living in the same house or shared accommodation as someone who has coronavirus, or sitting within 2 seats of someone who has coronavirus on public transport or an airplane. Spending more than 2 hours in an indoor space with someone who has COVID-19 will sometimes count as close or casual contact. This could be an office or a classroom. But it will depend on the size of the room and other factors.

If you are a close contact, you will need to get tested for COVID-19 and restrict your movements for 14 days (do this from when you were last in contact with that person).

Casual contact can mean spending less than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person, indoor or outdoor, or being in the same room as an infected person for less than 2 hours, or being on public transport or an airplane with an infected person but not sitting near them. Spending more than 2 hours in an indoor space with a person who has COVID-19 will sometimes count as casual contact. This could be an office or a classroom. But it will depend on the size of the room and other factors.

If you are a casual contact, you do not need to restrict your movements. You do not need to get tested.

What To Do If You Are a Close Contact of A Confirmed Case

If you are a close contact, you will need to get tested for COVID-19 and restrict your movements for 14 days (do this from when you were last in contact with that person).

If you test positive and do not have symptoms, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test. 

If your test is negative, you still need to restrict your movements for 14 days as you could still have the virus. A second test may be arranged for you after 7 days by the contact tracers.                 

What To Do If You Are a Close Contact With Someone Awaiting COVID Test/Results

Restrict your movements, even if you feel well.  The person who has symptoms should behave as if they have coronavirus and self-isolate immediately. They should phone their GP for advice.
If their test is positive you will become a close contact. If their test is negative, you no longer need to restrict your movements. 

What To Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19

You’ll need to continue to self-isolate until both of these apply:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms

If you tested positive because you are a close contact, you may have no symptoms. In this case, you can stop self-isolating 10 days from the date of your test. If you are caring for someone who cannot self-isolate you should restrict your movements for 17 days.

If your symptoms continue or get worse, phone your GP.

Please advise the course director, Assoc. Prof. Astrid Sasse, sassea@tcd.ie. The course director will notify the Head of School, Prof. John Gilmer.

What To Do If There Is A Confirmed Case On Campus

New Student Spaces

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has announced the opening of a number of new student spaces across campus, with €1 coffee, free hot water, & microwaves, so that students have somewhere to socialise, attend online lectures in between face-to-face lectures, and to host society events. Each space will have to be booked in advance by students and will be available for 45-minute slots. The spaces will be cleaned professionally every morning by college staff and there will be a 15-minute gap between bookings to allow for cleaning. The spaces are:

  • New Square marquee
  • The Dining Hall (during Buttery hours)
  • Goldsmith JCR
  • TBSI (Knowledge Exchange)
  • The Old Stone Building at St. James’ Hospital

These spaces will function from 9am to 6pm with the purpose of providing students on campus a place for respite, and to eat in between face-to-face lectures.

The booking form can be found here.

Student online class spaces are bookable spaces for students to use if you are already on campus for a face to face class and have an online class shortly before or after. Please bring your laptop and your headphones. These spaces are:

  1. The Exam Hall
  2. The bank in the Hamilton Building
  3. The Botany Bay marquee

The booking form can be found here.

Student Learning and Development webinar programme - Michaelmas term

Further Updates

The COVID-19 situation continues to change regularly. Continue to check your emails for further updates and check the TCD Covid-19 information page here.
Keep an eye on the School website and social media channels (Twitter and Facebook).

Up to date information on COVID-19 from the HSE (Health Service Executive) can be found here and from Citizens Information can be found here.

We are continuously updating the information on this page. If there is any information here which differs from the HSE guidelines, HSE information prevails.

Contact the School

If you have any questions about the new academic year that have not been addressed here, please contact the School at Pharmacy@tcd.ie or 01 896 2809.
The School Office will be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday by email or phone only.