Sep 18, 2020

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to Move Online Where Possible, Says College

Classes will be moved online where possible, meaning that timetables will not have to be altered.

Cormac WatsonEditor
Sinéad Baker for The University Times

Classes in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, apart from those which must be delivered in person, will move online until level-three restrictions are lifted, the College announced this evening.

In an email to all students, signed by Provost Patrick Prendergast, Vice-Provost Jürgen Barkhoff and Chair of the Resumption of Teaching Working Group Áine Kelly, College said that in person teaching for Health Science and Engineering, Mathematics and Science students will continue as planned “either because it is laboratory, practical or other teaching requiring physical presence or because it is required for professional accreditation”.

Some in-person teaching in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, however, will move online until Dublin re-emerges from the newly imposed level-three restrictions that the government announced this evening.


“It is important to say that not all teaching will move online because some of it may be deemed to be essential for in person delivery by the academics involved in teaching the course, or by accrediting bodies”, the College added regarding Arts, Humanities and Social Science courses.

“Furthermore the timetables will not change because teaching will just switch from in person to online.”

The email added that extracurricular activities “that require physical gathering” are suspended, and that students will only be allowed on to campus for face-to-face classes.

Research activities, laboratory work and practical work will all continue, and the libraries will remain open despite the restrictions. The Buttery will also be open for takeaway services.

The College also plans to hold “some in person events to welcome to new students to College but more limited than previously envisaged”.

News of increased restrictions for Dublin-based universities and colleges comes days after Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell confirmed to this newspaper that College planned to offer all students some in-person teaching this semester.

Earlier today, the Irish Universities Association announced that on-campus teaching would be minimised and “given to teaching and learning that can only take place on-site” in Dublin’s universities.

In an email to students yesterday, the Provost said that the government’s coronavirus roadmap “as we understand it, does not envisage further curtailing of face-to-face teaching unless we reach Level 4”.

Speaking to The University Times earlier today, Union of Students in Ireland President Lorna Fitzpatrick said: “I think the colleges, because they’re autonomous bodies, because each one of them is different in terms of size and in terms of courses, they need to make decisions and they need to make them quickly.”

“But I think the thing that needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind is student safety and while students most definitely want to be back on campus, they want to be back on a safe campus”, she added.

Trinity’s teaching term is due to commence on September 28th, with second, third and fourth years scheduled to begin classes that week. Freshers’ week is set to take place on September 28th also.

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