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Academic Support

Toolkit for Academic Success

We hope that all students at UCD are stimulated by their degree programme, but we know that students can also have concerns about what is expected of them academically, and that’s perfectly normal. If you’re new to university, you may also find that your previous experience from school or work has not equipped you with the skills required to succeed at UCD. 

With this in mind, UCD has a number of supports and guides to help you on your academic journey.

You may find yourself coming across many new terms – such as plagiarism, citing and referencing – that are unfamiliar to you. Like all large organisations, UCD can seem to have a language of its own!  This UCD Jargon Buster will explain some of the more frequently used terms.

UCD offers a number of useful resources to help with study and exam techniques, including:

UCD Access and Lifelong Learning – Academic Skills and Wellbeing: a dedicated page with advice on study skills and exam preparation, including details on how to access the Brightspace module ALL Student Supports: University for All. This module is relevant to all students in UCD. Workshops are also provided throughout the year for all UCD students.

(opens in a new window)UCD Library – Study Skills Collection: a list of books on academic writing, study skills, research skills and career skills.

Most assessments at university are submitted in written form, either as essays, reports or exams – so your writing skills will be very important. The Writing Centre, based in the Library, provides free one-on-one tuition on any aspect of writing, as well as a range of workshops, to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. Bring an assignment you are working on, a graded paper, an essay question – they will talk to you about your writing process and offer strategies for improving your writing skills. You can avail of this service at any time, but the sooner you book in, the sooner you can apply what you’ve learned.

Get support from experienced tutors from UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics. Check out the schedule and tutor profiles. A short video clip explains what the Maths Support Centre can do for you, as well as listing the modules they will be able to assist you with.

Sourcing information in the Library can be a daunting task initially. The library staff have compiled a range of useful e-guides to help. Whether you’re looking for a textbook, journal article or video image, there is (opens in a new window)a tutorial to help.

All academic writing must be cited and referenced. It is important that you know what style is used by your school, and the Library portal has extensive information on (opens in a new window)citing and referencing.

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional, or unintentional.  Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offense. The library staff have prepared a short tutorial which may be accessed here

Like the jargon buster, this is a really useful source of information from Academic Secretariat containing all UCD policies and procedures.

UCD IT Services provides free online training for Microsoft Office (MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel), with courses for beginners through to advanced users. These courses are free of charge and completing each of them will increase IT proficiency levels to help with coursework and future employability prospects.

Sometimes things may happen for students that affect their wellbeing and consequently affect their studies. Examples of this might include, but are not limited to, the death of someone close, divorce or separation, mental or physical health issues, and family problems.

If you feel that this is the case for you and you would like some support, then please don’t delay in getting in touch with your School/College or your Student Adviser.

In addition to providing personal support, we can also guide you through relevant UCD policies such as Extenuating Circumstances or Late Submission of Coursework as appropriate. We can also recommend or refer you to other supports that may be helpful, such as: