Explanation of Terms/Frequently Asked Questions


Explanation of Terms

Module: A module is a subject or a number of subjects that make up a single topic of study.

Module Code: The code number allocated to a specific module. The module code will generally be used as a short way of identifying the module.

Module Title: The full title of the module.

Credits: Each module carries a number of credits (on average 5) and students are expected to complete enough modules in a year to amount to 60 credits. This would mean taking 12 modules in a year or 6 per semester.

Core Modules: These are compulsory modules which students must complete.

Optional Modules: Students are often provided with a list of modules, from which they must choose a certain number along with their core modules to make up the required 60 credits in a year.

Semester: There are two blocks of 15 weeks in a year (12 weeks of classes followed by 2 study weeks and a week of exams). These are called semesters and there are examinations at the end of each semester. Some modules only last for one semester (Semester 1 or Semester 2) and some modules last for the whole year (both Semesters).

Full-time and Part-time: Most programmes are offered on a Full-time basis. This means that students usually attend classes during the day, from Monday to Friday. Some courses are offered on a Part-time basis. This means that students usually attend classes in the evenings and at weekends. Part-time courses are more likely to be postgraduate.

Reassessment Requirement Type (Resit Category): There are three categories; 1-3 listed below:

1 = A resit is available for all components of the module

2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module

3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long will my course take and where will I do it?

A. Most degree courses take four years. The exceptions are: Business Studies (3 to 4 years); Accounting and Finance; Communication Studies; Economics, Politics and Law; International Relations, which take 3 years, and Electronic Systems (European) which takes 5 years. Many courses include a period of work/industrial placement (known as INTRA), typically for six months in the third year. Students taking language-related degrees spend part or all of their third year studying at a university overseas. The final two years of the European Business degree are spent at a French, Spanish, German or US third-level institution, while the fifth year of the B.Eng/M.Eng in Electronic Systems is spent in a French Grande École.

Q. How is the academic year structured?

A. We operate on a semesterised basis, with two semesters in each academic year. Each semester lasts fifteen weeks - twelve teaching weeks followed by two study weeks and then a period for examinations.

Q. How are the courses structured?

A. We use a modular framework. Typically you will expect to complete six modules in a semester on an undergraduate course, or twelve in a full year. Each module carries a number of credits. A typical year will usually carry 60 credits.

Q. Will my degree be awarded on the basis of examinations?

A. Only partly. DCU also makes extensive use of continuous assessment, including project work where appropriate.