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UCD Supports & Resources for Quality Review

UCD Supports & Resources for Quality Review

The University is committed to ensuring that the experience of learners and teachers is the best that the institution can provide, and where further improvements can be made, they happen. The University has an international reputation for the quality of its teaching – often provided by leading researchers in their fields – and first class facilities to support learning.

To assist Schools and Units with their preparation for Periodic Quality Review, a wide range of internal supports are available, and can be accessed at critical stages in the development of the Self-Assessment Report (SAR) by the School/Unit.

For an overview of these supports and when they are best utilised, see Provision of SAR Support - Indicative Intervention Timeline‌.

As part of its preparations for Institutional Review in 2019, the University produced a UCD Institutional Profile which provides useful information to support quality review.  The Institutional Profile will be updated on an annual basis.

Student Representation

The University operates Staff/Student committees which have been set up to give students an opportunity to raise any concerns they may have in relation to their programme of study or to facilities in their particular buildings etc. These committees also provide the staff with a forum to inform students of issues they may have or information they may wish to convey.

You can make your views known to your class representatives (class rep.), or volunteer to become a representative yourself. The job of the class rep. is to represent their respective classes at various levels. Each class rep. has a seat on the SU Council which entitles them to vote on motions that are raised. Class reps will also represent the classes when dealing with lecturers and administrators across the University. The class reps are also the main link between the President and Vice-Presidents and the student body. Class reps may also have a social role, organising parties and trips for the classes, with the help of the Entertainments SU Vice-President. Many students find the experience of acting as a representative a valuable and rewarding chance to influence what the University does. As a representative, you are likely to develop skills that enhance your opportunities as you progress from the University into employment.

Students are also represented on key University committees such as the University Programmes Board and the Academic Council Quality Enhancement Committee. The University highly values the positive collaborative partnership it has with the student body and with the University Student's Union, and the UCDSU itself of course, offers a wide range of ways that you can get involved in student and University affairs.

Student Participation in Periodic Quality Review

Hearing from students is one of the key elements of the quality review process. It is important to Review Groups to understand the student experience at UCD. Review Groups consider how a school/unit operates in light of how it impacts on the student, whether in positive and/or negative ways. Your experiences are one of the most important inputs to their deliberations.  Further information is available via the Guidance for Students meeting with Quality Review Groups (2014).

Student Feedback on Modules

Student Feedback on Modules is UCD’s system for collecting anonymous feedback from students on the design and delivery of modules. This feedback is an important source of information for lecturers and schools to use in reviewing and improving modules and it forms part of UCD’s quality assurance process. In some cases student feedback is an essential requirement for accreditation by external professional bodies.  All students are expected to provide feedback on what worked well and any areas for improvement.

Towards the end of each semester you will receive an email to inform you that the student feedback on modules web surveys are open.  All the information that you provide will be anonymous and it is taken seriously. Above all, we need you to use this important feedback system every semester so that we can hear your views. The surveys are completed at www.ucd.ie/survey.  Student feedback is of critical importance to the University and we encourage, and are very grateful for, the participation of students in the Student Feedback on Modules Survey.  This is an opportunity to ensure your voice is heard!

See below a snapshot of some of the topics that students across the university raised; the bigger the word in the picture, the higher the volume of comments on that topic.

Teaching wordcloud
This will be acted on as part of the Module Enhancement Process.  For further information on Student Feedback on Modules, please contact (opens in a new window)modulefeedback@ucd.ie.

(opens in a new window)StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie

StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie are designed to focus on student engagement, namely the amount of time and effort that students put into meaningful and purposeful educational activities, and the extent to which institutions provide such opportunities and encourage students to engage with them. The data collected reflects students’ self-reported perceptions of their experiences.

StudentSurvey.ie asks students about their experiences of higher education, including their academic, personal and social development, and how their institutions provide opportunities and support for this development. Approximately 374,670 students in first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate, and on taught postgraduate programmes have participated in the annual StudentSurvey.ie since 2013. These students have created a large and valuable data set of their experiences of higher education. Participating institutions and the national project team are very grateful for their time and contribution.

PGR StudentSurvey.ie, the survey for postgraduate research students (Masters by Research and PhD), opens every second year during February – March for a three-week fieldwork period that is also specific to each institution. This survey was first run in 2018 and is now on a biennial survey cycle, with the next survey happening in spring 2025. The questions have been designed to match the experiences of research students and have been pre-tested with groups of research students in several institutions. Approximately 13,350 postgraduate research students have taken part to date.

UCD units that provide support and resources for units undergoing quality review, include: UCD Human Resources; UCD Library; UCD Research; UCD Teaching & Learning; UCD Institutional Research.  Please see below for a brief description of supports provided and links to more detailed information.

UCD Human Resources

UCD Human Resources provide a number of supports to assist units developing their Self-Assessment Reports.  These supports include:

  • Collaborating with Schools/Units to understand and review organisational structures, succession planning and how they engage with staff development;
  • Offering a bespoke service to assist Schools/Units to identify and tailor a suite of activities to support the specific needs for their quality review;
  • Delivering specialist skills and expertise to support Schools/Units to undertake their self-assessment activities such as: facilitation; focus groups; SWOT sessions (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats); and structured interviews;
  • Partnering with Schools/Units post review, to support the development of responses to people and organisational recommendations).

UCD Human Resources also provides supports to Schools/Units in the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) phase.

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD Human Resources for additional information on UCD Human Resources supports for units undergoing quality review.

UCD Library

The UCD Library can provide information to help identify areas where Library supports are a strength for a School, or gaps which may have an impact on the School's activities.  The Library can also provide data from broad areas of activity: communication channels and collaboration activities; enhancing the student experience; collections; teaching and learning Library supports; Library research services; meeting the review group.

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD Library for additional information on UCD Library supports for units undergoing quality review.

UCD Research

UCD Research can provide support to Schools reviewing their research activities, e.g. RMS Profiles; research metrics and real-time financials.

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD Research for additional information on UCD Research supports for units undergoing quality review. 

UCD Teaching & Learning

UCD T&L provides the following supports to academic units undergoing review:

  • Preparatory workshop(s) to facilitate the Schools' analysis and outline SAR sections using the SWOT approach;
  • Customised support for Schools' internal stakeholder consultation, staff/students;
  • Facilitation of Schools' development work in accordance with approved Quality Improvement Plans (QIP) [post site visit stage].

These workshops are based on an input of approximately 2-3 days in the review preparation phase, and 1 day post review work for the QIP development. 

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD Teaching & Learning for additional information on UCD T&L supports for units undergoing quality review.

UCD Institutional Research 

In addition to a suite of InfoHub Reports, UCD Institutional Research can provide statistical data and information on applications, student registrations, graduations, and retention rates for academic units undergoing review.

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD Institutional Research for additional information on UCD Institutional Research supports for units undergoing quality review.

UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) 

UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, or membership of the travelling community. The Quality Review process provides an opportunity for Schools/Units to consider how they engage locally with the University EDI Strategy and demonstrate good practice.

Click Periodic Quality Review Support - UCD EDI for additional information on UCD EDI supports for units undergoing quality review.