Information for DCU Students

Academic Advice

Updated May 29th

The May exams are now completed. The next period for exams is in August. 

  • We have published a series of FAQs on the coming academic year 2020-2021. These FAQs contain information on what the next year of study at DCU will look like; explaining what our hybrid delivery of teaching model means; what is happening with on-campus accommodation in DCU; and what is happening with Erasmus and INTRA. You can click to read these FAQs here
  • Information on the 'Review and approval of results: Information for students' can be accessed here
  • In May, we published a 'Guide for Students - Online Exams and Alternative Assessments' which can be accessed here
  • Earlier in May, we also published FAQs on Alternative Assessments which can be accessed here

Complete your academic year

Our focus in both teaching and in planning assessments has been to support students to complete this academic year on time.  In the current circumstances, however, we have permitted some students to postpone the Semester 2 alternative assessment (normally completed in May) to the August period without negative implications (please see below). It is important to emphasise that the August assessments will mirror those held in May and will be the last opportunity to clear a module within this academic year.   

Maintaining the value of your degree 

We have gone to great lengths to ensure that the significance of your grades and the quality of your degree are unaffected by the modifications we have had to make in our approach to assessments. We have done this in a number of ways. 

Firstly, in re-designing assessments, module coordinators have developed marking schemes for those new assessments to ensure that we maintain the same standards as in previous years. Secondly, a specially developed, systematic Quality Assurance (QA) process was undertaken to ensure that alternative assessments are consistent with the learning outcomes, challenge, and student effort envisaged for the originally planned exams. While this process was underway, our deliberations were informed by engagements with relevant regulatory and professional bodies and our external examiners. 

From the outset, we developed a set of principles to underpin the re-design of assessments and a glossary of terminology to ensure a consistency of interpretation across the university. The DCU Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policy continues to apply to this suite of alternative assessments.  

Following completion of the above processes to ensure that standards are maintained, we are now in a position to share information with you on the alternative final assessments and the schedule of those assessments. This will be done within your Faculty. While some inter-dependencies limit flexibility, the assessment schedule takes into account, in as much as is possible, the fact that students may be in different time-zones. The schedule also aims to deliver a manageable distribution of assessment activities and deadlines for all students.

Taking account of these exceptional circumstances and minimising negative implications 

We have permitted students to postpone the Semester 2 alternative assessment (normally completed in May) to the August period. For students who opted to postpone in May due to the impact of COVID19, the August exam will count as a first attempt.

There will be no fees for either resitting exams or for taking them for the first time in August, having postponed from May. There will be no need to register for either of these contexts; this will happen automatically for anyone who has failed or postponed in May.  Resits of Semester 1 examinations will be treated in the same way as resits of Semester 2 exams and, in this regard, will also be remote alternatives to on-campus examinations ensuring that students now based abroad are accommodated.   

For students who fail a module in May, the failed grade will not carry forward in calculating the overall grade for the year.  Instead, in the interest of fairness across the entire student body, the minimum pass mark will be used, if the student passes the module in the resit examination in August. At the same time, the Progression and Awards Board will, of course, take the overall academic profile of each individual student into account.  

The postponement of assessment and extenuating circumstances procedures have been revised to take account of current circumstances.  The revised forms are now on the Registry website under Examinations Forms and are available in both word and pdf format. https://www.dcu.ie/registry/application_forms.shtml#Examinations

They can be completed electronically and should be submitted by email to the relevant contact on the form.

Students may either enter a digital signature or send from their DCU student email address in lieu of signature.  The requirement to submit supporting documentation for postponements and extenuating circumstances has been temporarily suspended.

Students will also find a list of FAQs which should answer specific queries relating to these changes.


Queries

Registry have published FAQs for Postponement of Assessment/Considerating of Extenuating Circumstances - and this can be accessed here

Queries can be directed to assessment_queries@dcu.ie 



Supports for Students

We are committed to providing you with welfare, academic and practical supports throughout this time.

We have some really useful material about preparing for exams and taking care of yourselves prior to and during exams in the Discover Exam Success section of the Student Learning webpages. You can learn some new learning strategies, find ways of staying calm and get tips on how to give your best performance on the day of the exam. Students may also find the Discover Assignment Writing section interesting, as you complete your assignments.  

All student welfare supports continue to be offered, albeit remotely via Zoom or Google Hangouts (meet). Students should simply email the relevant service (full list available here) and a member of staff will get back to you promptly. Counselling is being offered online, and students struggling with finances may be able to get some financial assistance through the Student Assistance Fund. If a student has general enquiries and is not sure whom they need to speak to, a member of staff in the Student Advice Centre can advise them as necessary.

Social Distancing

It is crucial at this time that we all observe the social distancing guidelines, in everything that we do, if we are to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Please see the joint statement issued today by the Presidents of the Universities and Institutes of Technology (https://www.dcu.ie/news/news/2020/Mar/Message-Students-Presidents-of-Irish-Universities-and-Institutes-of-Technology)


Campus Accommodation updates

Updated Friday, May 29th

Following the announcement of additional measures on Friday, March 27th, by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, DCU has made the decision that only essential staff will be required to be present on campus from Sunday March 29th. Full details are available on dcu.ie/coronavirus.

A statement regarding DCU On-Campus accommdation for the coming academic year 2020-2021 is here. For all the latest updates on DCU On-Campus accommodation, please click here

Other Information for Students Living On Campus

Safe Zone App - Check-in

If you are on campus - it would be really helpful for DCU Security if you would 'Check-in' using the DCU Safe Zone App.  Full details are available at: https://www.dcu.ie/ocoo/safezoneatdcu.shtml 

Can I still contact the Student Health Centre if I'm feeling unwell?

Following advice from the HSE, the Student Health Centres are no longer available for drop-in appointments. You must contact the Health Centre by phone (01-7005766 or 01-7005143 to book an appointment with the GP (Glasnevin campus) and 01- 8842245 or 01-8842239 (St. Patrick’s campus)) to be triaged before an appointment can be confirmed.  

How do I self-isolate in shared accommodation?

If the need arises for a student to self-isolate, you should contact the Student Health Centre at studentservices@dcu.ie and we will put all the necessary arrangements in place in consultation with the HSE.

Reminders For Students Living On Campus

  • Both the U Building (Student Centre) on the Glasnevin Campus and the Java Café on the St. Patrick’s campus are closed
  • The DCU Sports Complex and Soccer Centre are closed
  • The Londis shop on the Glasnevin campus is closed 
  • The Student Health Centres on both the Glasnevin and St Patrick’s campuses will remain open, by appointment only, as will the Pharmacy on the Glasnevin campus
  • All CTYI and DCU Language Services classes are suspended

 'Keep Learning' has been added to provide students with important information on how to access the University's on-line resources - this is important for all students in the event that we have to suspend academic activities. Click here