When Problems Arise
When Problems Arise
During the academic year many problems can arise which may affect your academic performance. It is important to deal with these as early as possible. Once you bring these to the attention of the appropriate staff, you will find there is considerable advice and help available. While the practices of different departments in responding to your problems will vary, the College recognises the necessity for some common procedures. Some of the important ones are outlined below.
The problems that arise from time to time that are discussed in this section are
- Changing your subjects /degree programmes / modules
- Timetable Clashes
- Getting information about your courses and your progress
- Advice to students in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences about giving feedback to staff
- If you need to talk to a member of staff in your department/discipline/school
- The ‘Student Advisor and Ombudsman’
- Times of emotional stress or illness
- Student part-time employment
- Library Problems
- Examination Failure
- Repeating the year (Second and subsequent years)
Changing your subjects /degree programmes / modules
Transfers at the end of First Year between programmes of study may be allowed provided that:
(a) the student has successfully completed First Year;
(b) appropriate subjects were taken in First Year to meet any Second Year prerequisites;
(c) subject entry requirements (if any) were met, e.g. Entrance Tests/Interviews etc.;
(d) there is a place available in the Second Year programme.
Students wishing to transfer must make an application on the form available from the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Office. The closing date for receipt of these applications is 28th August, 2018* (except for students wishing to transfer from CK101 Arts to CK108 Arts International which has a closing date for receipt for applications of 31st August, 2018 as outlined below). The same conditions apply to students seeking transfers from other Colleges/Faculties.
Transfer from CK101 Arts to CK108 Arts International:
As well as the conditions outlined above, students who wish to transfer from the BA CK101 (Arts) to BA CK108 (Arts International) will need to have attained in their first year summer examinations a mark of 60% in one of the two subjects in which they wish to continue their studies in Year II, with at least 58% in the other subject. Students registered for First year in 2017/18 must submit their transfer application by 31st August, 2018.
Note: As the transfer details outlined above apply only in the case of admission to Second Arts programmes, students are also advised to apply for, and secure a place in the first year of the programme through the CAO. The Admissions Office should be contacted for the relevant closing date.
CHANGING TO THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND FOOD SCIENCE
Students who achieve at least 55% in both Applied Mathematics and Mathematics in First Year may be eligible to transfer to the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Details available from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Sciences Office, Block E, Level 3, Food Science Building, UCC.
CHANGING MODULES AFTER FIRST YEAR
Students wishing to register a change of module must do so via the Student Portal or at the Student Records and Examinations Office no later than two weeks after the start of each Semester, i.e. by Friday, 22nd September 2017 (Semester 1) or Friday, 26th January 2018 (Semester 2). Semester 1 modules cannot be changed in Semester 2. No changes in registration will be allowed after these deadlines.
CHANGING TO OTHER COLLEGES
You must secure your place through the CAO and then apply to the relevant College for exemption on appropriate modules already passed. Details available from the Admissions Office, UCC.
The choice of subjects you have made should mean that no timetable clashes occur. Exceptionally, a clash may result if a class is unusually large and has to be moved to a larger lecture theatre. If this situation arises you should inform the lecturer and/or the Department/Discipline/School concerned immediately so that alternative arrangements can be made. The subject with the timetabled hour on the official timetable is your priority. It is not advisable to absent yourself from one lecture to attend another, even if you can arrange to get the lecture notes from another student.
Every student registered for a degree is expected to attend all lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes etc. A student will not be permitted to enter for an examination at the conclusion of a module, if attendance at the module is not considered satisfactory by the Registrar and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs following a report by the lecturer concerned and/or Head of Department/Discipline/School responsible for that module. The decision of the Registrar and Senior Vice President is subject to the appeal of the Academic Council of the University.
Many subjects organise small tutorial classes, which meet every week or fortnight. It is particularly important that you attend each one of these because there are so many possible subject combinations, most tutorial groups will consist of students with different lecture timetables. Normally, tutorial groups will be timetabled after the beginning of the first term when the lecture timetables of the tutorial members are known. If there is a clash between subjects it will be necessary for you to request a change of tutorial group immediately.
During the year, you will be expected to produce a number of essays and assignments for each subject. It is important to meet the deadlines that are set. However, sometimes these deadlines can be close to each other. You should establish the submission dates for all such assignments as soon as possible in each term to see whether such a clash is likely. If there is a class of dates, early notification to the lecturer concerned will normally result in satisfactory alternative dates being given.
Getting information about your courses and your progress
The majority of Departments/Disciplines/Schools in the College provide a considerable amount of information to help you make important decisions, to keep you aware of your progress and to help you in your studies. In particular you should watch out for the following:
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR
- a course outline
- a statement of course aims
- a timetable
- a summary or overview of course content
- details of course requirements
- assessment details, including weighting of individual components
for confirmation of specific information.
ABOUT WRITTEN WORK
- the grade or mark received
- the identity of the marker
- feedback to help improve future performance
- availability of the marker for discussion
- policy with regard to late submission
- draft examination timetable (usually in February)
- examination briefing in May (or earlier)
- feedback on performance (early July)
OPPORTUNITIES TO COMMENT ON LECTURING/TEACHING/TUTORING
- staff will indicate feedback arrangements
- also use channels outlined in "Advice to students in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences about giving feedback to staff"
Advice to students in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences about giving feedback to staff
The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences hopes to gain greater and more immediate feedback from you - both for its own information and so that your needs will be more fully and more promptly met.
What if you have a problem, complaint, grievance or a positive comment or suggestion to make? What should you do? Below you will find advice on how to make your views and needs known.
WHICH CHANNEL SHOULD YOU USE?
There are a number of channels through which you can give feedback, but direct communication is usually the most effective. So, if possible, first approach the person directly concerned. If this is not possible or if you make contact but remain unsatisfied, try an alternative channel and keep at it until you feel you have made some progress.
The list below suggests alternative feedback channels appropriate to different areas of your university experience.
SUGGESTIONS/PROBLEMS/COMPLAINTS ABOUT …..
a) Many of your lectures will use student opinion questionnaires and these give very useful information. You should give both praise and criticism as appropriate, on these questionnaires and be sure to include any suggestions for the future.
b) Questionnaires, however, are usually used at the end of a module when changes can only be made for the following year. For immediate results, other channels are necessary.
c) If you have a problem or complaint that requires immediate attention, ideally you should go directly to the lecturer, tutor or demonstrator concerned. For example, if you cannot hear your lecturer or understand the way s/he is presenting things there is only one way to give that person an opportunity to change this on your behalf – i.e. by letting him or her know about it. For most students, criticising teaching or admitting to problems takes a lot of courage. It is still worth trying, however and talking directly to the lecturer should be the first channel you consider.
d) It is often helpful to discuss a problem with other students. If they have the same concerns as you do, two or more students approaching the lecturer together will gain courage from each other and may improve the lecturer’s understanding of the problem. If on the other hand, you find the problem is yours alone then it is helpful to make this clear to the lecturer by saying that you have a problem and you need assistance with it.
e) If (b) and (c) above do not work for you, there are other channels listed below in their recommended order of consideration:
(i) Do you have a class ‘rep’ who can speak to the lecturer on your behalf?
(ii) Is there a Departmental/Discipline/School staff-student committee where you can raise the matter?
(iii) Is there another staff member to whom you could turn for advice?
(iv) If the matter is urgent enough and if all else fails then the Head of Department/Discipline/School is the one to approach.
(f) If you really cannot handle the matter yourself at any of the above levels, you could possibly ask the Students’ Union to go along and speak for you.
... COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND REGULATIONS
Enquiries about the rules and regulations can of course be made direct to lecturers or to the module/course co-ordinator. Aside from explaining the facts, however, there is probably little they can do to change things if you have a suggestion, problem or complaint. If you are seeking anything more than just information you should contact the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. If you remain unsatisfied and you think that the matter is important enough, you could consider going to the Registrar and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
....REGISTRATION, EXAMS OR MARKS
This is properly the area of the Registrar and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Of course, if you are concerned about something such as a mark you received ideally you should discuss it with the lecturer who gave you the mark, and possibly the Head of Department/Discipline/School if it becomes appropriate. But in the end, the Registrar and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs can be approached about anything to do with examinations, or with matters concerning registration.
... INTER-DEPARTMENTAL MATTERS
This refers to cases where the simultaneous course requirements of different Departments/Disciplines/Schools may cause you timetable conflicts, difficulties with your work schedule, an excessive combined workload etc. If any type of interdepartmental problem arises, you should approach the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, G31 O’Rahilly Building, UCC for assistance.
If you need to talk to a member of staff in your department/discipline/school
You will find that many staff of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences make a special effort to be available to students. You may need to talk to them at any time of the academic year. Because staff are as busy as you are, and do not want to waste your time, you will find that certain hours of each week have been designated as consultation hours. The details of these will be posted on the staff office doors and noticeboards. Make a note of these times and if in doubt, consult with a member of staff after lectures. You will find that some Departments/Disciplines/Schools designate a particular staff member to be available to first year students (see page 89 for details). Ensure that you make enquiries only within these consultation times as staff may not be available outside of these hours.
During the examination periods of May-June and September, including the period immediately after the results are published, arrangements may differ (check with the individual Departments/Disciplines/Schools).
The ‘Student Advisor and Ombudsman’
The intention of the advisory role is that it should fill in where gaps appear in the system – in other words, when it may not be obvious to you where advice can be sought. Thus s/he may be able to suggest the appropriate channel for dealing with problems that concern you. Discussion of any type of problem or complaint is welcome, no matter how small. Complete confidentially is guaranteed.
The Student Advisor and Ombudsman is also the person to turn to when you might want to get redress for a grievance in any part of the university system. The support extends to all facets of your University experience – even including difficulties with other students.
Professor Robert Devoy is the current Student Advisor and Ombudsman.
Tel: 00 353 21 490 4360
Times of emotional stress or illness
Few of us escape emotional stresses and traumas in our personal lives. For students these often come through family problems, bereavements and other personal crises. For all these there are counselling and health services in the University.
The Student Counselling and Development Service is located in Ardpatrick, College Road. Tel: 021 4903565; Text: 087 2152505. There are both male and female counsellors available.
Office Hours: 9.30am – 1.00pm & 2.15pm – 4.15pm
The Student Health Department is also located in ArdPatrick, College Road, Tel: 021 4902311.
Opening Hours: 9.30pm – 12.15pm & 2.30pm – 4.15pm
However, when these circumstances affect your academic performance, it is also the particular concern of the academic staff.
When problems of a personal nature arise you should make the situation known to the relevant Head of Department/Discipline/School or to particular lecturers whose modules you study. Depending on your circumstances a range of provisions can be made to help you, for example the extension of deadlines for the submission of work.
In the case of illness, it is important to get medical certificate to explain any absences from class tests, late submission of work and, of course, examinations. These should be produced at the time rather than late into the year. In some cases alternative assessments may be arranged to produce an appropriate grade. Marks cannot be awarded for medical certificates and it is still important that students meet all the programme requirements.
Student part-time employment
While many students rely on the income generated by part-time employment participation in full-time education implies a full time commitment. There are advantages and disadvantages involved in student part-time employment. As well as easing finances, part-time employment can have other benefits. Students may gain valuable work experience, develop skills such as time management and depending on the type of work chosen, may also reap benefits which relate to academic work e.g. increased language competency. However, part-time work can also be detrimental to academic study especially if the hours worked are excessive or unsocial. Negative effects include over-tiredness and ill-health, leading to lack of concentration, and missed classes, or an inability to keep you with coursework and assignments due to lack of time available to study. Effective academic study requires unbroken stretches of time. Relaxation and rest are also important for health and effective study.
- The primary responsibility of full-time students is to pursue their academic studies.
- Part-time work is not a valid excuse for not attending classes or for not submitting assessments when due.
The following guidelines are offered as best practice, should you engage in part time employment:
- Employment during vacation time is preferable to work during term-time. If you must work during term, then a job which is confined to the weekend is preferable to one which takes up one or more nights during the week.
- Seasonal employment, e.g. before the Christmas period, should not impinge upon academic work.
- Employment which demands unsocial hours should be avoided where possible, especially when the following day is a weekday.
- Non academic work which is excessively tiring should be avoided as much as possible, and especially during term time.
- Work where the schedule may be directly controlled (e.g. grinds) is preferable to a job where the hours are determined by an employer.
- Part-time employment should be avoided during the exam period.
- The absolute maximum number of work hours per week that you should devote to part-time work in term time is 10 hours.
The Library is a particularly important resource for students in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Early in the first term you should familiarise yourself with its resources and also how best to use them. There are a number of handouts prepared by the Library to help you in this and special tours are given at the beginning of the academic year.
There are insufficient books to enable every member of a class to have access to the same title and the same time. If the book you are looking for does not appear to be available, check the following:
- If it a prescribed textbook, you are expected to buy a personal copy. You should budget for such purchases.
- If it is a title on a recommended reading list provided by the course lecturer, the book with be in the library somewhere, catalogued and shelved. Inform the lecturer as soon as possible if problems of availability continue. For particularly important books additional copies can sometimes be obtained.
If you have not successfully completed your examinations, i.e. achieved 60 credits by passing prescribed modules in each of your subjects, you will be required to re-sit examinations in the failed module(s) either at the Autumn Supplemental Examination or in a repeat year, but with a limited number of attempts (see College Calendar 2017-2018 and Marks and Standards 2017 for details).
RECHECK OF EXAMINATION RESULTS
Students may formally request the Registrar and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing within three weeks from the posting of examination results. A fee for recheck is required but this is fully refunded if there is a material change in the candidate’s result. See Marks and Standards 2017 for full details.
APPEAL OF EXAMINATION RESULTS
A student who wishes to appeal an examination result must do so in writing, setting out the grounds for the appeal in full to the Registrar and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs within three weeks of the issue of Examination result. This fee is refundable if there is a material change in the candidate’s result.
An appeal of an examination result shall be considered if:
a) there is evidence of substantive irregularity in the conduct of the examination;
b) the student on stated grounds, considers that the mark assigned in an examination is erroneous. (Student contention that they ought to have done better cannot ground a claim under this heading).
a) there were circumstances of which the Examination Board were not aware when the decision was taken. See Marks and Standardsfor full details.
The matter shall be referred to the Examinations Appeals Committee. Students must be aware that an appeal may not necessarily be successful and that they should avail themselves of any opportunity to re-present for examination, on the understanding that the re-sitting of an examination would not prejudice their appeal in any way.
The University has established a Mitigation Committee to deal with applications for the waiver of the capping of marks in a module at a Supplemental, or where applicable, at a Repeat Examination. In addition, the University has granted permission to the Chairperson of the Committee, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of College, to approve the waiver of the capping of marks prior to the start of the Summer Examinations.
APPLICATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE
An application for waiver will be considered by the Mitigation Committee if the applicant satisfies at least one of the following conditions:
- Death of a parent /guardian, sibling, spouse, child (or a person to whom the student is in loco parentis) if within sufficient proximity to the examination to have substantial and material effect.
- Death of a mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent/grandchild, or any person who was habitually resident in the home of the applicant, if within sufficient proximity to the examination to have substantial and material effect.
- Pregnancy, if within sufficient proximity to the examination to have substantial and material effect.
- Debilitating illness/condition, if within sufficient proximity to the examination to have substantial and material effect.
- Circumstances outside the control of the applicant, which make it legally or physically impossible for the student to attend the examination.
- Other circumstances which the Mitigation Committee considers to be analogous to any of the above.
For full details you should consult Marks and Standards
Repeating the year (Second and subsequent years)
A number of circumstances can arise which may make it necessary or advisable to repeat the year. The most common are withdrawing from the programme during the year or after failing the end of year examination.
You should notify the Student Records and Examinations Office that you intend to withdraw. You should discuss the matter with the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences before such a decision is made.
Your tuition fees in the subsequent year will vary depending on the time of year you withdrew from your studies. You should seek advice from the Fees Office on this matter.
b. AFTER FAILING THE SECOND or SUBSEQUENT YEARS EXAMINATION
13. REPEATING THE YEAR (Final Year)
Students repeating the year may do so choosing whichever of the two following mechanisms best suits his/her requirements.
Note: Students are eligible for the award of Honours in the first Repeat Year only. Final Year students wishing to repeat the year with a view to improving their degree result may do so only if they have not been conferred.
1. Students retain exemptions, if any, and must repeat all failed/absent modules. In determining aggregation and the calculation of the award of honours, full marks obtained in modules passed at the Summer Examination in the first attempt year plus capped marks obtained in modules in Supplemental and Repeat Year Examinations are used. Note: For students selecting different modules not previously taken, there are no restrictions on the marks awarded for those modules at the Summer Examination of a Repeat Year.
2. Students may repeat the year taking the full 60 credits. In determining aggregation and the calculation of the award of honours, there is no restriction on the marks awarded for modules at the Summer Examination of the Repeat Year. Modules taken at the subsequent Supplemental Examination are capped at the pass mark. Subject to capacity, all students - whether they have failed or passed - are allowed to choose this option in an attempt to improve their grade.
In the case of a candidate choosing option 2 who failed the first attempt year and who also fails a Repeat Year as a result of failing module(s) already passed in a previous year, a pass for the year will be awarded by the Examination Board, provided the student achieves the Pass Standard for the year on the combined results from both years.
In the case of candidates choosing option 2 who had already passed or got honours in their first attempt year but who (i) fail the examination in a Repeat Year as a result of failing module(s) already passed in a previous year or (ii) fail to qualify for a higher class of honours at the second attempt, the original programme level judgement and associated marks will be awarded by the Examination Board.