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UCD Student Jargon Buster

An explanation of words and phrases you’ll hear in UCD!

Term Meaning
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Academic Advising Academic advising is part of the educational experience, where students are supported by faculty in making appropriate choices from a wide range of opportunities towards achieving realistic academic and professional goals.
Academic Dress For your graduation ceremony, you will need to wear the official UCD Academic Dress which is a robe and a hood with the colours of your degree (Bachelors, Masters, PhD).
Academic Regulations Academic Regulations are a set of rules that govern your chosen programme. All students, including students returning to their programme following a leave of absence or withdrawal, are governed by the Academic Regulations in place in the academic session they (re) register.
Academic Statement An Academic Statement is a short document that displays the years registered, the degree awarded, your overall grade and conferring date.

It does not show your modules and results so if you require a full breakdown of results you should get an Academic Transcript instead.
Academic Transcript An Academic Transcript lists your complete academic history: programmes attended, a breakdown of marks/grades achieved, the degree awarded, your overall grade and conferring date. You can access/request one online through (opens in a new window)SISWeb.

If you have not yet finished your programme, then a Statement of Results (see below) would be more suitable.
Academic Year An academic year is a period of time each year when a university is open and students are attending classes.

The UCD academic year is divided into trimesters. Autumn Trimester is September to December, Spring Trimester is January to May and Summer Trimester is May to August.

  • September Start Students begin in the Autumn Trimester.
  • January Start Students begin in the Spring Trimester
  • May Start Students begin in the Summer Trimester
Assessments There are many forms of assessment in UCD, not just exams. Most modules include essays and/or practicals as part of the assessment (known as continuous assessment). All of these are your opportunity to show your understanding of the material covered in the module and to build a strong Grade Point Average (GPA) to ensure you graduate with a good degree. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you how a module will be assessed.
Assessment Appeals If you want to appeal against the results of an exam you should follow the Assessment Appeals Process.
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Blended Learning Blended Learning is a hybrid model that utilises the benefits of both face-to-face and online learning modes of delivery. A substantial amount of the delivery (typically from 20% -79%) is delivered online with the remaining portion delivered face-to-face.
Brightspace Brightspace is an eLearning tool, specially designed for universities. It is used by lecturers to share course material with students and to post class announcements. It also includes other useful features such as virtual classrooms, discussion forums, surveys and much more. You can access it through UCD Connect.
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Certificate of Attendance A Certificate or Letter of Attendance verifies years registered and in attendance at UCD. Details provided include your name, programme title, registration status and stage. You might need one to open a bank account or apply for a GNIB card.
All students can produce and publish their Certificates of Attendance online via their (opens in a new window)SISWeb account. Please make sure that your address/phone number is up-to-date in SISWeb.
College/School Office Each course (programme in UCD) is supported by a College/School Office. They are your first point of contact if you need academic advice or pastoral support. They are there to help you with any concern or query relating to your degree programme. See the key areas that your College/School Office can help you with.
(opens in a new window)Component Module assessments are usually made up of components such as an essay, practical, MCQ or final exam. You complete assessments for each component and the results are combined to give an overall module grade.
Conferring When you finish your degree there will be a conferring ceremony organised by UCD. The conferring dates are published on the website. You will receive an email from the Conferring Unit with the details of your ceremony and the Academic Dress required a few weeks before it happens.
Core module A module that you must do as part of your programme. You will usually be pre-registered to these modules. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you the core modules for your programme.
(opens in a new window)Co-requisite modules These are modules that must be taken together. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you if a module has a list of co-requisites.
Course Reference Number (CRN) Modules are made up of different elements such as lecture times, tutorial times etc. A CRN is used to identify each individual time slot so when you register for lectures, tutorials etc. you will be able to see on your timetable exactly where you need to be.
(opens in a new window)Course Search You can use this search tool to find information about your programme or modules.
(opens in a new window)Credit Credit is the value given to a module. A 5-credit module will require 100 to 125 hours of work. This includes lectures/seminars, self-directed study and assessment. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) provides a framework to clarify the relationship between educational activity and credit value.
Credit Split by Trimester If your module runs continuously across more than one trimester, you will see a breakdown of the workload per trimester, expressed in credits
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Diploma Supplement The Diploma Supplement is available to all UCD Graduates from 2005 onwards. It shows additional information about your award that is not included on the Academic Transcripts, such as skills and competencies acquired. Most graduates can produce one online.
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Elective module You choose electives through the Electives page of Online Registration. If you see Provisional beside an elective choice it means that places for that module will be randomly allocated on a specified date. Keep an eye on Key Dates for these important registration dates each year.
End of Trimester Exams The two-week exam session that takes place following the end of the teaching trimester. The timetable for these exams is published a month in advance. Make sure you know how to get to where your exam is being held - see the list of exam centres (under Exam Arrangements FAQ) for more information.

Exam Hall/Exam Centre

The location for the end of trimester exams.
UCD exams take place in the following exam centres:
Exam Regulations UCD has exam procedures and regulations in place so make sure that you are aware of the rules.
The most important ones are:
  • Bring your UCARD to the exam hall
  • No mobile phones/electronic devices are allowed in the exam hall
No unauthorised materials (e.g. pencil cases, books, notes etc.) are allowed in the exam hall
Examination Results Each trimester you will receive your examination results for the modules that you have attempted. You can check them through SISWeb.

The Key Dates page will tell you when the results for each trimester will be available.
Extenuating Circumstances These are serious unforeseen circumstances beyond your control which prevent you from meeting the requirements of your programme such as missing an exam or being unable to submit an essay on time. If your study has been affected by illness or a family situation you can submit an Extenuating Circumstances form that may be taken into consideration by your Module Coordinator/Exam Board.
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Grade Point Each grade has a number associated with it, called a grade point. This is used to combine grades in all your modules and calculate an average score.
Grade Point Average When you have completed all the modules of a Stage, all your grade points are averaged to get a Grade Point Average, or GPA, for that Stage.
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(opens in a new window)Incompatible modules You may not register to a module if you are also registered to, or have already been registered to, another module where the content is considered to be too similar. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you if a module has a list of incompatible modules.
In-module Resit If you fail a module you may be offered an in-module resit assessment opportunity, which is organised before the publication of examination results. The exam is managed locally by the School and Module Coordinator. If you pass, your grade point will be capped at 2.0. Please see Pass/Fail Grade Scale (opens in a new window)(section 6.2 of Academic Regulations).To see if a module offers an in-module resit, use the Course Search to find it and look at the 'What happens if I fail?' section of the module description.
Invigilator Someone who supervises an examination, in particular, to watch for cheating. In UCD, the invigilators are usually postgraduate students. The Assessment Unit organises invigilators for UCD exams.

IX grade

(Opens link to Understanding Grades web page - look under Other Grades FAQ)

This is a grade that can be given if you are unable to complete part of your module assessment due to extenuating circumstances such as a short illness. Documentation is required, e.g. medical certificate, stating why you were unable to complete the module.

Please note
  • The Programme Board decides if the IX grade will be awarded
  • An IX is grade point neutral, which means it does not count towards your GPA
  • Outstanding work must be completed within two trimesters of the first attempt at the module
  • Credit is only awarded on completion of outstanding work – the IX grade will then be changed to the new grade
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January start Some programmes (mostly graduate) begin the academic year in January and go through to the following December. See also September start and May start.

Study Abroad and Exchange students may also attend UCD for one trimester, beginning in January.
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Laboratory, Practicals and Fieldwork These are opportunities for you to do the practical work related to your course and to put into practice the knowledge and techniques you learn in your lectures, e.g. carrying out chemistry experiments or visiting historic sites.
Leave of Absence (LOA) The purpose of a Leave of Absence is to allow you to take an approved and specified period of time off before returning and completing your programme.
Standard requests for Leave of Absence can be made online via SISWeb. Read more about completing the online Leave of Absence request form.
Level The level of a module is an indication of the level of difficulty of the learning outcomes and the material that will be encountered, and broadly indicates the stage in your academic career when you are likely to attempt the module. Levels range from 0-5 with 0 being the most basic level.
Generally, levels 1-3 are taken by undergraduate students.

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Major While your programme shows what degree you’re studying, such as a BSc, your major will show what subject area your degree is in, such as Zoology.
May start Some programmes (mostly graduate) begin the academic year in May and go through to the following April. See also September start and January start.
Minimum fee payment The amount of fees owing that you need to pay at the start of the academic year.
(opens in a new window)Module A self-contained unit of teaching and learning, which is usually studied over one trimester. Each module has a credit value. One credit equals approximately 25 hours (20-30 hours) of student effort.
Module Coordinator

The Module Coordinator is responsible for the design, delivery and assessment of a module and acts as the principal examiner for that module.

The (opens in a new window)Course Search will tell you who the coordinator of a module is.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) This is a form of assessment where you are asked to select the correct answer from a list of options and fill your answers in on a form or answer sheet. This form is then read by a machine to calculate your score. Instructions on filling out an MCQ form properly are available on the website.
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Online registration Confirm your attendance at UCD and register to modules using the online registration system. Access it through (opens in a new window)SISWeb.
Option module A module that is part of your programme. You will be given a list of option modules to choose from when you register online. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you the Option modules for your programme.
Orientation To help you settle into life at UCD we organise orientation events for new students. Two of the most important things to do are to say ‘Hello’ to other new students and to get involved in all the activities. Keep an eye on the New Students part of the website for details.
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Past Papers Past exam question papers are available from 1998 up to and including the most recent completed exam session. They can be used to get an idea of the sort of exam questions that are asked in particular subjects.
Peer Mentoring Peer Mentors are students,​ from your own programme and/or subject area, ​who ​assist ​you during the transition ​from school to university. Having gone through ​the experience​ themselves, ​they share with you what they have learned and offer advice and support.
Pre-requisite module Before you can register to some modules you need to have passed certain other modules first. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you if a module has a list of pre-requisites.
(opens in a new window)Programme This is your course of study, for example, BA Degree. Each programme will have a set number of stages and credits that you need to complete to get a University award (degree, diploma or certificate).
Progression Progression is when you complete an attempt at a stage and move to the next stage of your programme. Progression usually occurs at the end of an academic session but it may also occur after the first trimester in certain situations, such as where a student has carried repeat modules. Normally you will need to earn at least 50 credits in a stage before you can progress to the next stage. (opens in a new window)See section 5 of the UCD Academic Regulations. 
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Remediation If you fail a module, you will be given an opportunity to complete the credits required e.g. a Repeat; Resit; In-module Resit. (opens in a new window)See section 6 of the UCD Academic Regulations. 
Repeat a module If you fail a module you may be able to repeat it the next time it is taught. You will normally be expected to attend the lectures/tutorials and do any continuous assessment and/or exams. Grades awarded for repeat attempts at a module have the suffix R and are subject to a penalty of 0.6 (or 3 grade points). Please see the Repeats Grade Scale in (opens in a new window)section 6.7(b) of the UCD Academic Regulations.

To see if a module offers a repeat opportunity, use the (opens in a new window)Course Search to find it and look at the 'What happens if I fail?' section of the module description.
Required module Before you can register to some modules you need to have attempted other modules first. You do not need to have passed the required module. The (opens in a new window)Course Search will show you if a module has a list of required modules.
Resit a module

If you fail a module that is not being taught in the following trimester you may be offered a resit opportunity such as an in-trimester assessment or exam. You will not need to reattend and the resit will have a pass/fail grade. If you pass, your grade point will be capped at 2.0. (opens in a new window)See section 6.7(a) of the UCD Academic Regulations.

To see if a module offers a resit use the (opens in a new window)Course Search to find it and look at the 'What happens if I fail?' section of the module description.

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Seat Numbers Your seat number will be displayed on notice boards at the exam centres. You will have a different seat number for each exam. If you cannot find your name on the list, talk to an exam helper at the centre.
September start Most undergraduate and graduate taught programmes start their academic year in September and go through to the following May. Some masters programmes may continue to August. There are two other intakes of students into the academic year - January and May.
SISWeb SISWeb allows you to register, pay fees online and access official UCD documents, it also provides lecture and exam timetables and examination past papers. Access is given to all students before registration. See also UCD Connect.
Stage Modular programmes work on the principle of building up credits, and you will progress through your programme in stages as you earn these credits. Each stage normally represents 60 credits. A full-time student will normally complete a 60-credit stage in one academic year. Some programmes, e.g. graduate programmes, may vary. A degree programme will normally be three to four stages, although some degree programmes, for example Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Architecture, have more stages.
Start Times A Registration Start Time is an exact date/time from which you can begin your online module registration when it opens for the start of the academic year.
Statement of Results A Statement of Results (a.k.a. Examination Judgment) is a short document listing the marks/grades obtained in each module for a specific exam period (i.e. per year or per trimester). If you have completed your degree, an Academic Transcript will list all your academic history. You can access/request one online through (opens in a new window)SISWeb.
Student Advisers Student Advisers offer support to you throughout your university experience. Each programme has a dedicated Student Adviser who is your gateway to support services in the University. Additionally, there are Student Advisers attached to specific groups of students, such as mature or international students.

You can call to see your Student Adviser in relation to personal, social or practical issues. From simple requests for information to more confidential and serious matters, they will give you the time and space to talk things through.
(opens in a new window)Student Code The UCD Student Code sets out the University’s regulations and expectations in respect of student behaviour and conduct. It establishes the types of behaviour that constitute breaches of the University’s disciplinary regulations and you are encouraged to familiarise yourself with the UCD Student Code and related procedures.
Student Contribution Charge The Student Contribution Charge covers costs associated with student services, examinations, admissions, registration, fees administration and student records. It is payable by all students on 'free' fees programmes. The amount is set by the Department of Education & Skills each year. If you are approved for a SUSI/local authority grant you will have your student contribution paid on your behalf by SUSI/local authority either in half or full.
Student Desk The Student Desk is the University's point of contact for most of the administrative services you will need during your time as a UCD student. 
Student Email Protocol UCD uses email as an official method of communication with students. Emails sent to you through the UCD Targeted Communications System will automatically be copied to your personal email account unless you have indicated otherwise in the ‘My Profile’ tab in your SISWeb account. UCD Connect email remains the official channel of communication so make sure you check regularly for updates.

Read about how to set your email preferences.
Student Levy The Student Levy is paid by all students as part of their fees. It funds student facilities such as the UCD Sports Centre. The levy is not covered by SUSI/local grant authority awards.
Substitute a module/ take another module If you fail an Option or Elective module you can take another module that meets the requirements of the programme (section 6.6 of UCD Academic Regulations). You will need to pay for the additional module.
(opens in a new window)SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) (opens in a new window)SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) is the single national Awarding Authority for all new student grant applications. You can apply online through (opens in a new window)www.grantsonline.ie/
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Timetable Clash (Time Conflict) A timetable clash is where a module you want to take is scheduled at the same time as some part (e.g. lecture, tutorial, practical, etc.) of another module to which you are already registered. Online registration will tell you that the modules clash and will not let you register to them both. You may be able to select an alternative offering of either module and avoid the time clash.
Trimester The UCD academic year is divided into trimesters. Autumn (Trimester 1) is September to December, Spring (Trimester 2) is January to May and Summer (Trimester 3) is May to August.

Undergraduate programmes are normally taught in the Autumn and Spring Trimesters. Within each trimester, you will have 12 weeks of teaching, revision weeks and exams.

Study Abroad and Exchange students will sometimes attend for one trimester only.
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UCARD (UCD Student Card) Your UCARD is your official identification card as a student of UCD. You use it to access the Library, UCD Residences and UCD Sports & Fitness as well as pay for printing/photocopying. You will also need to bring it with you when you sit the end-of-trimester exams.
UCD Connect UCD Connect provides you with access to online services such as email, SISWeb, online registration, official documents and UView.
UCD Horizons UCD Horizons is the name given to the modular and credit-based structure for taught degrees at UCD. As well as the subjects you need to study for your programme you can also take elective modules in other subjects that interest you.
UView UView is an online page in SISWeb which allows you to view many aspects of your student record such as your Programme history, module registration, GPA's and grades. You'll find it on the (opens in a new window)Registration, Fees & Assessment menu in SISWeb.
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WN grade Withdrawn from a module

This is the grade given if a student withdraws from a module before the end of week 12 of a trimester, or before the last day of teaching in a trimester.

Please note
  • No credit is awarded
  • If you register to the module again it is treated as a first attempt
  • Fee implications may apply
Withdrawal from a programme If you decide not to continue with your programme of studies you can withdraw permanently from your programme and from the University. The (opens in a new window)UCD Withdrawal Procedure will help you with the process.
Standard applications for programme withdrawal can be made online via SISWeb. Read more about completing the online programme withdrawal form.
Workload/ Student Effort Student effort is the amount of time spent by you on university study, including both scheduled contact time (lectures, tutorials, laboratories, workshops, etc.) and individual (or group) study and is measured through the allocation of ECTS credits. Each credit equals approximately 25 hours (20-30 hours) of student effort.

Contact the Student Desk

Ground Floor, Tierney Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 1555 | Location Map(opens in a new window)