On July 8th, it came to the attention of UCD Politics students that some 3rd year Politics modules credits have been increased from 5 credits to 10 credits. There is yet to be an official statement from the University but this could be part of UCD’s plan to reduce the number of modules students are taking for the September semester so as to limit time on campus.
The head of UCD’s School of Economics, Prof. Ron Davies, told The College Tribune that most times such actions take place due to regulation changes. Prof. Davies also added that in the school of Economics such changes are usually “simply to fit the numbers into the system’s requirements”, however he did not mention that any similar actions will take place in his school.
The College Tribune also contacted the head of the UCD School of Politics and International Relations, Prof. David Farrell, regarding the credits change concerning his school’s modules. Prof. Farrell confirmed that “the School of Politics and International Relations took the decision to offer 10-credit modules for all our stage 3 and 4 modules” and added that “university regulations allow Schools to vary the credit allocation to modules”. However, contrary to what might have been assumed, Prof. Farrell said that these changes are not related to the new post-COVID-19 module delivery and are in fact due to “the move to 4-year degrees”. He said that the credit change aims to give students greater scope for in-depth engagement with the subject-matter of their degrees. Prof. Farrell added that the primary goal is “to reduce the number of modules that students have to take in a trimester so as to allow more time to delve into the material considered in a module”.
University Relations has also been contacted for more information but as of yet no response has been received on their behalf. UCD has already made the decision to cancel all end of Autumn Trimester exams and move to online based exams in a similar manner to how the Spring trimester exams were conducted. This is to comply with public health and to ensure the safety of all UCD students and staff.
Also on July 8th, all UCD students received an email from the Registrar and Deputy President, Prof. Mark Rogers, regarding the Autumn Trimester plan. The email started off by reassuring students that UCD is following all public health regulations and that “your education remains our top priority.” He added that the University has crafted multiple plans for different scenarios, all of them aiming to maximise face-to-face interaction and campus activities. The University has decided to go ahead with a hybrid method of teaching, with students having “a mix of online, blended and face-to-face classes and tutorials with variations depending on subjects and stages.” Prof. Rogers mentioned that undergraduate students can expect to be in classrooms around 40-60% of the normal schedule, while at graduate level “the changes are expected to be minimal for most students.” The email ended by encouraging students to spend as much time as possible on campus.
Ahmed Jouda – Reporter