Postgraduate Orientation

Welcome from the Head of School

Dear Postgraduate student,

I am delighted to welcome you to the School of Pharmacy. I hope your time here will be both enjoyable and productive.

This orientation link has been assembled to help you to transition into University College Cork, especially if you have not previously been a student here.  There are some useful information and links that you can utilize over the next three to four years and these will be updated when necessary.

The School was awarded the Athena Swan Bronze award in 2018 and we continually work to maintain an inclusive open culture and ensure our study and work environment is one in which our staff and students can thrive and contribute to their full potential.

I wish you the very best with your postgraduate studies here in the School of Pharmacy.

Prof Brendan Griffin

Head of School of Pharmacy


The Dean of Graduate Studies organises orientation for registered MSc/PhD students twice a year.  See link below in case you need to register for such an event.


When your application has been approved, you will get an email from the Graduate Studies office congratulating you.  They will also send you a link to finalise registration and activate your ID card.  It will look something like this.  You need to follow all instructions to complete the registration process.

Click on link for registration and ID card information. Next Steps and Registration

E-mail Address

All UCC students automatically have an email account created for them. Umail is the name of the UCC Student Email service, it is powered by Google. Your UCC Email account is yours for life.

Accessing your student Email Account

To access your Umail account go to Umail FAQ and click on the Umail icon.

  • Username: Student Number
  • Password:Student IT Account Password

Alternatively, you can access Umail directly at

​​​​​​​The School will use your student number for all correspondence.


The School can give you a letter confirming your contract if you need this to show to a Landlord. is a good website from which you may be able to source accommodation.

Location within the School of Pharmacy

Your location will be identified by your supervisor.  You have to follow all rules relating to COVID-19 in relation to access to the Pharmacy building.

Fees and Stipend Payments


F1 fees form:  If your fees are being supported by a research grant or some other means, an F1 fees form will need to be completed.  This will be prepared by the School Manager and sent to you and your Principal Investigator for signature before being signed off by the Head of School.  Once the fees form has been fully signed it will be returned to you where you can upload it to your student portal. Please select "Fees and Funding", then "Student Enquiry" and then "Upload Documents".  More information can be found on the Fees webpage.


P3 Postgraduate support form:  If you are being paid a stipend, this will be done accordance with the particular requirements of the research grant.  This form is completed by the School Manager and forwarded to Payroll.  If you are paid a stipend you are not taxed on this payment if you are a full time registered student.

P5 Scholarship Exemption Declaration Form

If you are being paid a stipend you need to complete a Scholarship Exemption Declaration form.  This form allows you to have your stipend paid to you tax free.  Once you have signed this form and returned to the School Manager, it is returned to Payroll office for records.

Paypath form

You will need to complete a P6 paypath form.  This form is returned to Payroll office as all stipend payments are made through the Bank.  Your pay day is usually the last working day of each month.

Opening a Bank Account

To complete the Paypath form above you may need to open an Irish bank account.  You will need evidence of your address and may also need a letter from the School of Pharmacy in order to open a bank account. The School Manager will provide you with this letter.


PPS Number

If you are have not lived in Ireland previously, you need to apply for a PPS number.  Due to COVID 19 this process can now be started online

  1. Print off and complete the Reg 1 form which can be found under Temporary Arrangements for PPSN Applications
  2. Photo ID (passport)
  3. Proof of address (in own country if you don’t have an Irish address)
  4. Documentation or letter or contract from your Department/PI/HR in UCC as proof that you are going to be completing a PhD/Research/Work and will be in receipt of funding/payment (this letter can be provided by the School Manager)
  5. Scholarship Exemption Declaration form for PhD students, leaving the PPS number blank so that the DEASP can see why you need a PPS number.
  6. Scan and email all of the above to with a cover note in the email explaining that you are starting your PhD/Research position/Other work with UCC and will be in receipt of a stipend/salary but cannot travel to Ireland at the moment.

If the DEASP require any further information from you they will be in touch directly.  There is a delay of up to 4 weeks in the process. 

The forms mentioned above can be viewed on


If, in addition to your stipend, and if your research grant permits same, you may also undertake demonstrating for undergraduate students for which you will be paid.  If you are doing this work you will need to complete a demonstrator form on a monthly basis and submit to Ms Kathleen Williamson so that payment for that month can be processed.

If you do this work, you will also be issued with a part time contract for this work.

If you come from outside of Ireland this would also mean that you would have to apply for a tax free allowance.  In order to apply for a tax free allowance you will need to register “My Account” with Irish Revenue.  See link below.

You will require your PPS number and the UCC ID number which is 0006286E.  You are looking for an accumulative tax certificate within My Account.


If you are paid through a Research Grant you may need to complete timesheets. Please check with your supervisor if this is the case.  If so please ask the School Manager to provide you with same. These need to be completed and signed by the Principal Investigator quarterly. The Principal Investigator will advise you whether these forms are to be kept by them or in the School Manager’s office.

Health and Safety Induction Training – Laboratory safety

Each Principal Investigator maintains their own copy of “Good Laboratory Practices in the Cavanagh Building”. New PhDs should read and sign this document.

The University also uses some E Learning platforms and you should familiarise yourself with these. The link below will take you to the Health and Safety website:

Students must also read and sign the “Covid Response Plan Pharmacy Building” Rev 7 17th Dec 2020 and complete the “Return to Work Form” . A hardcopy is available in each laboratory.

Out of Hours Work

If you are working out of hours or at weekends, you are required to sign the “Out of Hours” log.  This log is located on the landing just near the bridge that connects the School of Pharmacy to the Food Science building on the first floor.

Swipe Access and Daily Record of Presence in the Pharmacy Building

Your student card will give you access to areas that require swipe access.  Please liaise with Ms Aisha Murphy to activate your student card.​​​​​​​

You must complete the Google form indicating the times you were in and the rooms you were in every day. Click on link for the Pharmacy Building sign-in QR code for the Google attendance form.  The QR code is also printed around the building and you can download a QR scanner to complete this form. 

Ordering supplies and Claiming expenses-Agresso

Agresso is the University’s financial management system. Purchase orders, invoices and expenses are all managed through Agresso. Once you know what Agresso codes you will need access to, you will need to register on Agresso by using the link below:

There are two forms to complete here – Agresso registration and Procurement User form.  Please check with the School Manager for the Cost Centre and Project code.

​​​Once you have registered and if you have been asked to order goods, please contact Ms Kathleen Williamson (room UG05) who will give you a short tutorial on how Agresso works.   She will also show you how to claim expenses which has also to be done on Agresso.


Currently, deliveries are placed just inside the back door.  If you have ordered goods you may need to check if your order has been delivered.

Post is usually held in the main office on the ground floor (UG06). 

Staff Room

The School has a staff room club that you can join for €5.00 per month once the pandemic is over.

Training Plan

There are a number of postgraduate training modules available to you.  You must complete 15 credits of taught modules before you submit your PhD.  Further or other training opportunities will need to be discussed with your supervisor(s).

The research project and completing the thesis is ultimately the student’s responsibility with the support from the supervisor(s). A learning plan is advised to can help clarify the roles and expectations of the student in this regard, and the supervisor(s) in supporting the student in the process, as well as any additional elements required as part of the structured PhD.

Link to Template for Student Learning Plan

For more information on student and supervisor roles please refer to the

 Code of Practice for Supervision of Research Students

Other useful information can be found on the Graduate Studies Office webpage

Assessment during your PhD studies

You will have to complete a number of assessments during your PhD studies and these are outlined below:

  • End of Year 1 – complete a Progress review (oral viva assessment by two independent examiners). See forms below.
  • End of Year 2 – provide evidence of scientific publication skills e.g. either a Poster accepted for presentation at a national/international conference or a research publication accepted in a PEER reviewed journal)
  • End of year 3 - provide evidence of scientific presentation skills e.g. an oral presentation at either a School, College, National or International conference
  • In addition:
    • all PhD students are expected to attend seminars/training events as recommended by their supervisors and
    • Complete a minimum level of 15 ECTS credits training, by registering for Postgraduate Training Modules.

You will be sent an annual log of activities where you can record these and they should be returned to the School Manager by 30 September each year.


 PG Annual log of activities V3 Oct 2020

Postgraduate Assessment Guidelines V2 17 Dec 2020

Annual Leave

Annual or other leave has to be approved by your Supervisor. Please discuss with them in advance of you taking leave.

Sick Leave

Sick leave also has to be reported to your supervisor via email if possible.


The University offers a myriad of services that students can avail of, either face to face or online.  Visit the Student Wellbeing webpages for details.

UCC Student Services have also produced the inforgraphic oak tree below, summarising the myriad of student services available.  Many of these services are also available remotely to students. 

A pdf of the poster is available here.

Resolution of Difficulties

The University has a grievance procedure in place to support students who may experience a grievance while studying in UCC. 

The Student Advisor and Ombudsman's purpose is to advise and assist students with the resolution of difficulties, complaints or grievances involving staff or services of the University in an informal manner. All enquiries to the Student Advisor and Ombudsman will remain confidential, except in cases of serious threat to life or property.

Link to the full policy can be found here: Policy on Resolution of Difficulties as a Postgraduate Research Student

Useful Links

Research Ethics

School of Pharmacy


Cavanagh Pharmacy Building Room UG06 University College Cork