Introduction to Academic Programme

Structure of Colleges and Schools

•  Degree or Diploma programmes are offered within Colleges.
•  The Head of College is the Dean, assisted by Heads of Schools and administrative staff .
•  A College consists of Schools corresponding to different disciplines (Biology, History, Public Law, Sociology, etc.) Each School has a head, lecturers and administrative staff.
•  When you are enrolled in a module which is taught by a number of lecturers, determine who the Module Organiser is. Tutorials may be conducted by other members of the department or by graduate assistants.

Who to go to for what

•  You will be told during Orientation Week about the way your College functions.

•  Registration documents must be approved by the Dean. This also applies if you want to de-register and register for another module by the due date. Academic Coordinators will advise you if you have enquiries about your academic choices or progress. For some problems you may need to see the Module Organiser.
•  For bigger personal problems, the College Student Counsellors are available.
Course choices
•  Each College has different rules. Rules are found in your College Handbook and on the website (
•  Advice about module choices is given out during Orientation Week.
•  Some professional degrees have fixed module combinations. In Humanities, there are wide combination choices depending on the timetable. Also pay attention to  prerequisites and compulsory co-requisite modules.

Course changes
•  In each semester there is a date by which registration in modules must be finalised (about two weeks into the semester).
•  If you are not making progress in a module, it is better to de-register. You can change to another module but it is often risky to start a module late in the semester as you may have missed some important work.

 Duly performed (DP) requirements

•  Each module has DP requirements which are specified in the module material. The Module Organiser will give out this information in the first week.
•  DP requirements include attendance requirements and a certain number of assessed tasks.
•  Do not lose your DP by careless absenteeism. If you are absent from a tutorial, a test or a laboratory session, you should submit proof of the reason for your absence. If you are ill, you may require a doctor’s certificate.


•  Previously, student work was assessed by means of semester examinations. This is now changing to a mix of end-of semester exams and continuous assessment or ‘class marks’, made up of assessed tasks done during the semester.
•  If a student fails an exam with a mark between 40-48% the student is usually given the chance to write a supplementary examination for which there is an extra fee per course.
•  Some modules have done away with end of-semester examinations. Tests are done under examination conditions during the semester. Those who pass the assessment do not have to sit the examination.
•  Class marks in all modules are important. Make sure you submit your assignments on or before the due date. Marks are deducted for late submission. 

Academic progression 

•  The progression rules for each College are listed in the College Handbook. You have to obtain a certain number of credits before you are allowed into second year. You are allowed to take second-level modules only if you have passed first-level modules which are pre-requisites to the second-level module you wish to register for.
•  If you are not progressing at the rate which is expected you may receive warning about slow academic progress.
•  If you fail badly, or are not making progress after warning, you may be excluded. It is possible to appeal against exclusion. Documentary proof is required if you are claiming difficult personal circumstances, and letters from Student Counselling may be required to show that you sought counselling.

Financial aid and accommodation

 • The University has a policy of granting financial aid and rooms in residence only to students who have a reasonable chance of completing a programme.

 •  Financial aid and a place in residence will continue if a student’s academic performance is satisfactory. Students in doubt must consult with the Student Funding Centre to determine if further funding will be available.
•  If there is a poor chance of funding, it is sensible to start making alternative arrangements or enquire about less expensive study options.

The Academic Year

For full-time students, there are two semesters in the year:

Semester 1 – February to late June
Semester 2 – August until early December.

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