UCD

User's Guide to the General Regulations:

2017 / 2018 Academic Session

What is a subject and who is responsible for it?

Academic Council maintains and reviews a register of approved subjects and, on the recommendation of the Head of School and with the approval of the College Principal, appoints Heads of Subject in approved subjects.

(General Regulation 3.5)

The Head of Subject, working with the Professor(s) in the subject, supports the Head of School in assuring the highest standards with regard to the design, delivery, assessment and quality of modules and programmes in their subject.

(General Regulation 3.6)

 

What is a programme?

A programme is an approved course of study, the successful completion of which leads to a University award: a degree, diploma or a certificate.  The award is made when the required number of credits has been successfully completed, at appropriate levels, from approved modules, and over an appropriate period of time, and all other programme requirements have been met, as outlined in the approved programme specification (see General Regulation 3.8).

(General Regulation 3.2)  

The following table shows the credit requirements for different awards:  (General Regulation 3.1)

 


AWARD


NFQ LEVEL

AWARD TYPE*

PROGRAMME CREDIT ACCUMULATION STRUCTURE

University (Level 7) Certificate

 

7

Minor Award 20 to 40 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 20 ECTS credits at Level 1 or above
University Diploma

7

Minor Award 60 to 120 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 45 ECTS credits at Level 1 or above
Honours Bachelor Degree

8

Major Award 180 to 360 ECTS credits with a maximum of 10 Level 0 ECTS credits, and a minimum of 100 ECTS credits at Level 2 or above and a minimum of 40 ECTS credits are at Level 3 or above
University (Level 8) Certificate

8

Minor Award 20 to 40 ECTS credits, with a maximum of 10 Level 0 ECTS Credits and a minimum of 20 ECTS credits at Level 3 or above
Higher Diploma

8

Major Award 60 to 120 ECTS credits, with a maximum of 10 Level 0 ECTS credits and a minimum of 30 ECTS credits at Level 3 or above
Professional Diploma in Education

8

Major Award 60 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 30 ECTS credits at Level 3 or above
Professional Certificate

7, 8
or 9

Special Purpose Award 5 to 15 ECTS credits
Professional Diploma

7, 8
or 9

Special Purpose Award 20 to 30 ECTS credits
Certificate of Continuing Education

  6 or 7

Special purpose Award 5 to 15 ECTS credits
Diploma of Continuing Education

6 or 7

Special purpose Award 20 to 30 ECTS credits
Certificate of Continuing Professional Development

8 or 9

Supplemental Award

5 to 10 ECTS credits
Graduate Certificate

9

Minor Award 30 to 40 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 20 ECTS credits at Level 4 or above
Graduate Diploma

9

Major Award 60 to 80 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 45 ECTS credits at Level 4 or above
Masters Degree (taught)

9

Major Award 90 to 120 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 70 ECTS credits at Level 4 or above
Professional Masters Degree (taught)

9

Major Award 120 to 180 ECTS credits, with a minimum of 70 ECTS credits at Level 4 or above
Masters Degree (research)

9

Major Award A minimum of one-calendar year full-time (or equivalent part-time) of Masters-level research activity (Level 4)
Doctoral Degree (Doctor of Medicine (MD))

10

Major Award A minimum of two calendar years full-time (or equivalent part-time) of Doctoral level research activity (Level 5)
Doctoral Degree (research)

10

Major Award A minimum of three calendar years full-time (or equivalent part-time) of Doctoral level research activity (Level 5)
Doctoral Degree (professional)

10

Major Award A minimum of two calendar years full-time (or equivalent part-time) of Doctoral level research activity (Level 5)
* The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) establishes criteria for both the level and type of university awards.  “An award type may be Major, Minor, Special Purpose or Supplemental.  Major award types are the principal class(es) of awards made at each level and are characterised by a broad range of learning outcomes.  Minor award types do not have the full range of learning outcomes associated with the major award-type(s) at that level.  Special Purpose award types are made for specific, narrow purposes, while supplemental award types recognise the acquisition of additional or updated knowledge, skills and competencies.” (The Universities and the National Framework of Qualifications, National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, August 2005)

 

Who is responsible for the governance and management of programmes?

University approval of programme-related matters
The University Programmes Board approves programme-related matters for all university programmes. 
(General Regulation 3.3)

 

An undergraduate programme leading to a major award
The designated Programme Board is responsible for the strategic development and academic management of the programme (design, delivery, quality assurance, oversight of assessment and progression, academic welfare of students, etc.), and their appointed Programme Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme. A given Programme Board may be responsible for more than one programme.
(General Regulation 3.3.1)

Programme Boards are managed through Programme Offices. Contact details for Programme Offices can be found at: http://www.ucd.ie/programmeoffices.htm

 

A graduate programme leading to a major award
It is normally the case that a single School will have responsibility for the development, design and delivery, admission to, assessment of and student academic welfare associated with a graduate programme. In certain circumstances (for example, where a large number of Schools are involved in the programme), a Graduate School may assume direct responsibility for a programme. The School (or Graduate School) will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme.


Where a graduate taught programme is educationally and administratively very closely associated with an undergraduate programme, the undergraduate Programme Board may, with the approval of the University Programmes Board, assume responsibility for the graduate taught programme. Such responsibility includes award of grades, progression and graduation of students registered to the programme.
(General Regulation 3.3.2) 

Information regarding the governance and management of graduate taught programmes may be obtained from the relevant School Office or the Graduate School Office. Contact details for Graduate School Offices can be found at: http://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/collegesandschools/

 

 

 

 

What are the steps for establishing a new programme?

All new programmes should be reviewed and recommended by the relevant Programme Board to the University Management Team and the University Programmes Board for approval. New programme proposal forms and information on the University's Programme Development, Approval and Review Framework (PDARF) can be found at: http://www.ucd.ie/registry/adminservices/curriculum/curriculum_progs.html

 

 

Programme Structure - What are Core, Option or Elective modules?

Every module offered can be categorised as a core, option or elective, depending on the student taking the module and that student’s programme structure.  Every programme normally has a certain amount of core, option and elective modules.

Core Modules
Core modules are modules within a given programme that must be taken by a student on that programme.
(General Regulation 3.9.2)

Option Modules
Option modules are a group of specified modules within a given programme, some of which must be taken by a student on that programme according to the programme structure.
(General Regulation 3.9.2)

Negotiated Options
With the agreement of the School and the Programme Board, a student may negotiate additional options beyond those specified by the programme.
(General Regulation 3.9.3)

Elective Modules
Elective modules are modules that students are free to take provided the timetable allows and there are places available.
(General Regulation 3.9.2) 

Some electives may be restricted to students in certain programmes because of the content of the module or the prior learning that is required to take the module.  Students will not be permitted to register to restricted electives online unless they are in one of the designated programmes.  Students who believe they have the prior learning that is necessary to take a restricted elective may apply to the Module Co-ordinator for admission. 
(General Regulation 1.8; see also General Regulation 3.9.4)

Elective modules are not normally offered at graduate level.

Undergraduate Programme Structure - What are Majors, Minors and Structured Electives?

Subjects may contribute to an undergraduate Bachelor Degree programme in one of four modes:  Single Major, Major (with Minor), Joint Major, or Structured Electives.  Each of the first three modes requires students to take a total of 100 credits across the final and/or penultimate stages of the programme as follows:

Single Major – a student taking a single major in a subject will take the majority of their non-elective modules within that particular subject.  Single majors require that a minimum of 100 credits in that subject are taken across the final and/or penultimate stages of the programme.
(General Regulation 3.9.1)

Major (with Minor) – a student taking a major (with minor) in a subject will still take the majority of their non-elective modules within that subject, for a total of 60 credits across the final and/or penultimate stages of the programme.  They will also take a minimum of 40 credits within the minor subject across the final and/or penultimate stages of the programme. 
(General Regulation 3.9.1)

Joint Major – a student taking a joint major in two subjects will take half of the non-elective modules within one subject and half of the non-elective modules in the other subject.  Joint majors require a minimum of 50 credits in each subject across the final and/or penultimate stages of the programme. 
(General Regulation 3.9.1)

Structured Electives – Students may also choose to take a structured elective, where available, in addition to one of the modes above.  A student taking a structured elective will take a block of elective modules, in a structured manner approved by that subject, amounting to a minimum of 15 credits
(General Regulation 3.9.1).

 

How is an Undergraduate Bachelors Degree programme structured in terms of core, option and elective modules?

Individual Undergraduate Bachelors Degree programmes, and their constituent majors and minors, will vary in terms of the distribution of core and option modules.  The relevant School, in consultation with the Programme Board, proposes the detailed definition of majors, minors and structured electives, listing the modules that must be taken in each instance.  These programme structures, on the recommendation of the relevant Programme Board(s), are then approved by the University Programmes Board. 
(General Regulation 3.9)

Each Undergraduate Bachelors Degree programme is required to specify a minimum of 30 elective credits as part of the programme.  
(General Regulation 3.9.4)

 

  • For example, where a programme comprises three 60 credit stages, 50 out of 60 stage credits may be core and/or options, with the remaining 10 credits electives.
  • Overall in a 180 credit degree programme, a student will normally attempt 150 credits of core and/or option modules, and 30 credits of elective modules.

The sequencing of elective credits may vary across different programmes, subject to the minimum provision of 30 ECTS credits overall across the duration of the programme being met. Exceptions to the minimum elective requirements requires the approval of the University Programmes Board.
(General Regulation 3.9.4)

Do undergraduate students have to take electives outside of their programme or subject?

No.  Undergraduate students should be able to take all of their credits, including elective credits, within their chosen subject.  

This means that each undergraduate programme (via its majors and minors) must provide sufficient modules to enable students to take all their credits from within their programme or subject(s) in each stage. 

(General Regulation 3.9.4)

How is a graduate taught programme structured in terms of core and option modules?

Normally, graduate taught programmes will have all credits as core and/or options.  Individual programme structures will vary in terms of the distribution of core and option modules.  The relevant School, in consultation with the Programme Board or Graduate School Board, proposes the detailed definition of programme structures, listing the modules that must be taken. These programme structures, on the recommendation of the relevant Programme Board(s) or Graduate School Board(s), are then approved by the University Programmes Board. 
(General Regulation 3.9)

Where a Graduate Taught Programme Co-ordinator would like to make modules from another School or programme available to students, these should be included as option modules with the permission of the relevant Module Co-ordinator.

Who defines the programme structure for undergraduate and graduate taught programmes?

The overall credit structure of an undergraduate programme, and how different majors or minors contribute to the programme, is negotiated between the relevant School(s) and the Programme Board, and recommended by the Programme Board to the University Programmes Board for approval.

The overall credit structure of a graduate taught programme is negotiated between the relevant School(s) and the Programme Board or Graduate School Board, and recommended by the Programme Board or Graduate School Board to the University Programmes Board for approval.

(General Regulation 3.9)

 

Can students be awarded credit for modules taken outside UCD?

Students can apply to their Programme Board to receive credit for certificated or experiential prior learning achieved outside of their programme.

(General Regulation 3.11)

Information on the University's Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning can be found here