COVID-19 and 2020 Entry FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding 2020 Entry

1. I have applied via CAO for a restricted course. I was due to attend an entrance exam/performance. What happens now?

We are making alternative arrangements for applicants where face-to-face interviews/performances would ordinarily take place. Please check your email regularly as we will contact with you by email with the details once arranged.

2. I am unable to take the English language test I had planned to. What are the alternatives?

UCC accepts several English language tests as proof of eligibility.

We now also accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for student admission purposes for the academic year 2020/2021. DET offers an online test with results available in two days. 

Please see view Your application journey at UCC with a DET result for further information.

UCC is pleased to inform you that the Department of Justice and Equality now recognises DET for entry visa purposes.

3. When will students start Semester 1, 2020/2021?

The 2020-2021 start date for most Taught Programmes and most 1st year students is 28th September 2020. A graphic of the Key Dates 2020/2021 can be found on the Student Examinations and Records webpage.

Some programmes traditionally have earlier starts and these can also be found on the Student Examinations and Records webpage.

All on-campus activity is subject to the prevailing public-health advice

If you are in any doubt, please contact the Programme Director or School for the programme.

4. When is orientation week?

We will commence online orientation for undergraduate students on Wednesday 16 September 2020.

University College Cork is committed to you. We will provide you with the best opportunities to ensure that you make a successful transition to university life.

We will schedule an online orientation that will offer you a huge range of opportunities to:

  • meet the academic community and learn more about the structure of your degree programme
  • get to know your class mates and your peer support leaders
  • hear from current students who have completed first year already
  • learn how to access all resources
  • meet members of the Students’ Union and representative from Clubs and Societies
  • participate in virtual interactive tours
  • meet professional student support staff

The biggest benefit of online orientation is that you will be able to transition at your own pace for a number of activities.
We will commence online orientation on Wednesday 16 September 2020.

You are not alone and you won’t be alone in your first year. We are very excited and can’t wait to welcome you to campus.
Stay curious – planning is currently underway

5. What is being done in UCC to manage the COVID-19 situation?

UCC convened a group to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation in late January 2020. This group has met regularly to consider and implement recommended actions advised by the HSE and HPSC.

Regular communications have been issued to students and staff advising of appropriate infection control measures and travel advisory notices. These communications have been supplemented by the creation of the COVID19 Information and Updates webpage which is updated regularly.

The university Emergency Management Team meets regularly to oversee the overall university response and co-ordinate the ongoing operations of the university whilst making contingency plans to deal with the expected escalation of the situation. The Emergency Management Team can be contacted at 

6. Is the University campus closed?

Yes. The Irish Government announced that  on 12 March that all higher education institutions should close. Following this directive UCC closed the campus. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount.

Online teaching and learning  is being provided for students. 

Critical services (including critical research infrastructure) will be maintained. UCC staff are working remotely to the maximum extent possible during this period, in line with the Government advice. Please agree your remote working arrangements with your relevant line management. A guide to remote working has been prepared and is available to all staff.

Please continue to monitor this page, your student and staff email and our social media platforms.

7. Are Student Services operating during the campus closure?:

The following Student Services are working remotely to the maximum extent possible during the closure period and providing some services online.  Please check their individual websites for specific information regarding the service.

Service Name

Service Information



First Year Experience Coordinator


Peer Support



The service is open Sunday - Thursday, 9pm-1am and is available HERE

Instant messaging service is open

Disability Support Service


Mature Student Office




Student Budgeting Advice Service


Student Assistance Fund


Career Services See their specific FAQs

Accommodation & Community Life 




Campus Watch


Students’ Union


Student Societies


Student Health

Telephone enquiries-only; (no appointments in operation) answered 9 - 5 pm M-F on 4902311 . Outside these hours a voice message will direct you to

sources of help, for those students who have remained in Cork and are not yet registered with a local General Practitioner.

Student Counselling & Development  
For students who wish to access advice on healthy emotional wellbeing at this time, it is possible to speak to a duty Student Counsellor.
Please email  to arrange a telephone appointment between 9.15am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Admissions Office


1st floor, West Wing, Main Quadrangle, T12 K8AF