Revised Academic Calendar - FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most common questions regarding DCU's new academic calendar. 

Further detail on the implementation of the revised calendar can be viewed on the project webpage here:

DCU’s academic calendar is changing. 

From this September, Semester 1 and 2 will be starting and finishing earlier than before, with Semester 1 exams taking place before Christmas rather than in January*. 

The academic year, up to and including the publishing of final results, will also finish earlier than before.

*This year Semester 1 is commencing slightly later than subsequent years, in order to facilitate the later than normal Leaving Certificate results.

The change in the calendar will bring DCU into line with other higher education institutions in Ireland.  Consultation with the student body has shown a desire to move exams to before Christmas, and the new calendar will allow for this to happen.

The revised calendar will also better allow students to take up work opportunities, to travel, or in the case of international students to return to their home countries for an extended period during the summer months. 

For final year students, the earlier publication of year-end results (typically late May) will align more closely with other higher education providers and will ensure our DCU graduates are not competitively disadvantaged in entering the jobs market.

In 2021, Semester 1 will commence on September 20th for continuing undergraduate students (2nd, 3rd and 4th years) and postgraduate students.

1st year undergraduate students will start on September 27th. This is due to the later issuing of the Leaving Certificate results.

Examinations will commence on December 6th and students will have their last exam on, or before, December 18th.

Semester 2 will start earlier too, on January 10th and will finish in April. 

Examinations will take place from April 11th to 26th and students will receive their end of year results on May 25th.

The key features of the new academic calendar are as follows:

  • The commencement of Semester 1 in early September. Semester 1 this year will commence slightly later, in order to facilitate the later than normal Leaving Certificate results.
  • The conducting of Semester 1 examinations before Christmas
  • The commencement of Semester 2 in early January
  • The conducting of Semester 2 examinations in mid to late April
  • The publication of final, end of year, results in late May

For the first time, DCU has approved a three-year outline calendar.  The full, detailed calendar for 2021-22 has also been approved.  

Going forward, it is planned that the outline calendar will be approved on a three-year rolling basis with a detailed calendar for the coming year being published in early June.

DCU academic calendars can be viewed on the DCU website here.

This year registration commences on August 25th for continuing students.

Registration periods for other cohorts can be viewed on the 2021-22 academic calendar here

Students should keep an eye on their DCU email account, as registration information will be communicated to them in due course.

Resit examinations will take place in August as per previous years, starting shortly after the August bank holiday weekend.

Over the past number of months, colleagues in Schools, the Intra Office and the International Office have worked to realign placements and study abroad in the revised calendar. 

Should students have any queries on specific placement timelines or requirements they should contact their normal placement coordinator in the first instance.


The normal maximum registration period still applies, and this is based on the date of your initial registration.  

The deadlines for some paperwork and the submission timelines for meeting particular graduation dates will differ from previous academic calendars. The timelines for Spring 2022 can be viewed on the Registry website here

In 2022 the deadline for completing the annual review (PGR2) process is also earlier (June 29th).  As per previous years, you will be notified when the annual review system is open.

The changes to the calendar will impact certain academic processes and timelines, and over the past academic year, colleagues across the Faculties, Schools and key units have worked to align academic and other activities to the new calendar. 

The full, detailed calendar for 2021-22 is now available here.