Education Officer Megan O'Connor
I’m Megan O’ Connor and I am your Education Officer for the year ahead. My role is to ensure you have the best academic experience possible while here in Trinity.
I am here to help if you have any academic queries. If you don’t love your course and need assistance with a course transfer, are applying for extensions or deferrals, failed an exam or are having any difficulty with your course-I’m your gal!
I am your academic representative on many college committees to ensure that your best interest is kept at the centre of all conversations. If you would like to get involved in the Students Union, I organise the Class Representative system. Every class in college has a representative and it could be you! Class Reps are the glue that holds the entire SU together. Every course and module has different issues and your rep is the best person to raise any issues and concerns you have as a first port of call. If you would like to be a rep, it’s an incredible opportunity to gain skills, meet new people and it can be a lot of fun, so be sure to put your name forward, if your class doesn't have one yet!.
Please remember there is no such thing as a silly question and I am always here for advice or a chat. I will be holding office hours during the year and you can find me on the first floor of House 6. Follow @TCDSU_Education on Twitter for regular updates or send me an email.
Your tutor is your number one support in college. Contact them if you need any deferrals, extensions or support with your academic work due to illness, bereavement or other situations outside of your control (loss of internet connection etc). You can find their details on your my.tcd.ie under “my records”.
Please contact your tutor prior to the exam whenever possible.
The Senior Tutor’s Office is open for student appointments between 10.30am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
If you have any issues with your Wi-Fi, require a laptop or need a suitable space to sit exams please get in touch with your tutor.
Book your library seat here!
Book the breakout spaces here!
IT services have prepared a number of top tips for online exams here!
If you are medically unfit to sit your exam, please consult your doctor and request a medical certificate for the appropriate period. All medical certificates must be dated and include the date on which the illness started, the length of incapacitation, and a clear statement that you are unable to sit exams.
A positive COVID test result will also suffice.
This must be given to your tutor - preferably before the exam(s) in question, but up to 72 hours after.
Remember that medical certificates are not accepted in explanation or excuse for poor performance. You cannot claim mitigating circumstances having submitted a piece of work for assessment. As per college regulations, students cannot retract work submitted.
Please contact the Trinity Health Centre for COVID related queries on + 353 1 8961556 or for general queries on + 353 1 8961591.
If you are feeling unwell during an examination, do not submit your work as it will be considered completed.
Make the invigilator, designated liaison person in your school, module leader and/or tutor aware of your illness and contact the Trinity Health Centre.
If your internet connection drops or computer malfunctions during an exam
If your internet drops during a live exam, take a picture of the computer screen to have as proof (timestamped preferably) and inform your tutor, module coordinator and/or school designated liaison person as soon as possible.
If you are working on a take home 48 hour exam, remember to continually save and update your work.
Contact your tutor immediately. If your tutor is not available, check if they have organised someone to cover for them.
If you can’t contact your tutor, contact the Senior Tutor’s Office, the secretary in your department, or the Education Officer.
All applications for deferral through your tutor will be considered by the Senior Lecturer. The process is not automatic but if you have been significantly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, it will be considered as an “exceptional circumstance” and dealt with appropriately.
If you defer your exams, you will have one opportunity to re-sit them in the supplemental period. The grades of these exams will not be capped.
Please do not defer your exams unless you have to, and are genuinely unwell. Even if you fail your exam now, you will still have the opportunity to sit it again in the supplemental period.
If you are considering deferring your exams, please contact your tutor who can advise you further.
If you are overwhelmed with your workload or otherwise unable to complete your assignment(s) in the designated time, please get in touch with your module coordinator.
Liaise with your classmates, as many of you may be in the same position.
Lecturers should, and have been, very understanding of the pressures everyone is facing right now and should be lenient in this regard.
If all of your deadlines are falling at the same time, suggest for the deadline to be moved to the week of January 25th. If there are any issues with this, please let me know.
With exams & assignment deadlines looming, it’s easy to feel under pressure to use essay mills & other contract cheating services
Contract cheating is a term used to refer to the practice of companies that sell bespoke assignments, essays and theses which students may then submit for assessment, as their own work. These companies are often referred to as 'essay mills'.
Essay mills are illegal. Do not use essay mills. The consequences of doing so are severe and I cannot emphasise that enough.
Please watch this video from QQI for further information.
There are loads of ways Trinity can help. You’re not alone. Please talk to us in the SU, your lecturer or Student Learning and Development for assistance.
This video contains useful information about online exams and alternative assessments for students with disabilities, including how reasonable accommodations work remotely.
The Reasonable Accommodations policy can be found here and if you need any further information check out the website
GETTING SETTLED IN COLLEGE
-Get in contact with your tutor and arrange a Zoom meeting. Your tutor is your main academic representative and it is good to get to know them!
-Take note of important contacts such as your module leaders and course coordinator. They can be of great assistance if you have any difficulties with a module or assignments etc.
-Don’t be afraid to talk to your lecturers. If you don’t understand something-they are there to help. If you’re not comfortable with asking questions in class or over Zoom, just approach them at the end or send them an email.
-Grading differs between schools. If you have any questions about the grading system for your course, consult your course handbook or ask your school admin.
-If you have pre-recorded lectures don’t let them build up. Make a weekly schedule on an online calendar to keep track of deadlines, exams and your study plan and stick to it!
-Use Google Drive (trust me-it will be your best friend).
-Make study groups! Arrange a Zoom with your classmates and get to know each other. This is a great way to start discussions, gain learning opportunities and just a chat about your course.
-Get used to using Blackboard and learn how to submit assignments (so you don’t have to when you’re under pressure with 5 minutes until the deadline).
-Look after yourself! Make sure to take breaks at least every hour or so and get up and stretch your legs. Don’t do all your work from your bed and keep good habits.
-Develop a revision strategy that suits you: e.g. some students do past paper questions, others do mind maps–everyone is different! Find what works for you and stick to it. If you want to find past papers for your modules, check out tcd.ie/academicregistry/exams/pastpapers/annual/.
-Student Learning and Development is a fantastic service. They offer individual and group consultations on everything from exam advice to study skills and writing essays. Visit their website for more info at tcd.ie/student_counselling/student learning.
-Don’t leave it all to the last minute! College is about more than sitting in the library all day, but make sure you keep up to date with assignments and lecture notes so that you’re in good shape by the time exams roll around.
Keep an eye on the Students’ Union Facebook page and our website for classes, exam practices and education campaigns. Don’t forget, you can always call or email Megan if you need pointing in the right direction.
Erasmus is an incredible opportunity and many students will tell you that the chance to study abroad is one of their best experiences in college, getting to experience another culture, language and gaining confidence booth academically and personally.
Going abroad may affect your examination regulations and some courses base eligibility to go on Erasmus on previous years grades so make sure to ask your school or department for all the information first!
Visit the International Office website at www.tcd.ie/international to see the options Trinity offers for studying abroad.
Taking a Trinity Elective will provide an opportunity to learn something new, perhaps completely out of your current realm of study. You can engage with Trinity’s ground-breaking research, explore languages and cultures, or address key societal challenges.
The elective will be a stand-alone 5 ECTS module outside of your core discipline. If you’d like to find out more, visit tcd.ie/trinity-electives/.
Extramural courses, such as evening non-degree classes, allow students to take a language outside of their degree. There are a broad range of courses available. These courses do not count toward academic credit.
For more information visit www.tcd.ie/courses/extramural.
Trinity wouldn’t be the same without the incredible range of extracurricular activities on offer. Why not join a society, play a sport, write for a student publication or run for election? You can learn just as much from extracurricular activities as you can in a classroom. Check out the Fresher’s Fair and the CSC’s and SU’s respective websites for more information.
The Foundation Scholarship or ‘Schols’ exams are an optional set of special exams taken by students in Hilary Term of their Senior Fresh year, except in exceptional circumstances when it can be deferred until the following year.
The exams consist of 3-4 exam papers of which, in order to be successful, you must receive over 70% overall and over 70% in 2 out of 3 papers or 2 out of 4 respectively, with the remaining papers being 65% or above.
The announcement of new Scholars is made by the Provost on the morning of Trinity Monday, on the steps of the Public Theatre (Exam Hall). A full copy of the results is also published outside the Public Theatre.
The Scholarship is awarded solely on the basis of this exam performance and aims to recognise students who can demonstrate exceptional knowledge and understanding of their subjects. Successful candidates must demonstrate skill in synthesising and integrating knowledge across the full range of the set examination materials; to demonstrate rigorous and informed critical thought; and, in appropriate disciplines, to demonstrate a highly-developed ability to solve problems and apply knowledge.”
‘Shols’ is considered the most prestigious undergraduate award in the country.
Past scholars include Edmund Burke, Samuel Beckett, and Mary Robinson!
An online application form will be accepted usually around October. This is a very strict deadline and no applications will be accepted after the closing date.
For all the latest information on the application and deadlines, go to: tcd.ie/academicregistry/exams/scholarship.
Scholars enjoy numerous benefits including Commons (dinner) free of charge every weekday in the Dining Hall and campus accommodation free of charge for up to nine months of the year and one summer period. Students who receive no outside scholarships or grants are also entitled to fee remission (free fees). The remission is for up to 5 years, to the value of EU student fees.
Foundation Scholarship examinations will be held from Monday 25th to Friday 29th January 2021 (although it may be necessary to schedule some examinations in the preceding week).
Applications to sit this examination must be submitted online to the Assess, Progress and Graduation Team in the Academic Registry using this link!
The link will only be available until 5.00pm on Tuesday 1st December 2020.
No applications will be accepted after this date/time. Applicants must be fully registered for their course of study in the current academic year by the application closing date.
Find out more about the exams here!
Lectures are the primary form of teaching in College and depending on the size of your class, you could be usually sharing the experience with anywhere from 10 to 400 students.
This year will be different in many ways, and most lectures will be on Zoom for the first semester. Try your best to participate in the class and when we get back to normal college life-become familiar with your timetable and the various lecture halls.
All the information should be available on your my.tcd.ie page or from the departmental noticeboard. With most courses, you’ll be given a reading list for each topic either before or as part of your first lecture. In many courses lectures are mandatory and a large portion of your course material will be covered here, so it’s advisable to go to as many as you can. If you do miss one, don’t panic-your lecture notes should be available online.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything that goes on in a lecture, as chances are that the person next to you is thinking the same thing. Remember that no question is silly or too small. By asking you’re doing yourself and likely many others, a favour!
These are smaller classes to help you really get to grips with your lecture topics. They often take a discussion format and are usually taught by teaching assistants (TAs) rather than lecturers. Attendance at tutorials will often be compulsory, even if this isn’t the case for your lectures. If you miss a tutorial but have a valid excuse, contact your TA and your departmental head of year as soon as possible. It’s very important to take part as this is a great opportunity to improve your understanding of a new topic and do not be afraid to ask questions! Some departments don’t hold tutorials in the very first week of term, so be sure to check with the school administrators what the plan is for the first few weeks.
If you’re in the faculty of Engineering, Mathematics & Science (EMS) or Health Sciences (HS), the chances are that you’re going to spend a lot of time applying the material you learn in lectures practically. Attendance for these is compulsory, and you may be required to write up detailed lab reports. In many courses, all of your lab marks will come from this report. Try and get all your lab reports done and handed up on time. Having six lab reports to do at the end of the year while revising isn’t ideal!
Studying in college can be very different to how you may have studied up until now. You are studying a subject you have a genuine interest in and you can finally say goodbye to the days of rote learning information. College gives you space and time to explore your interests through various different recommended reading and forming your own opinions.
Independent research and analysis is strongly encouraged and while this can seem a bit overwhelming at first, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources and supports in place to help you. Being able to set goals is an important part of planning where and what to study. Effective goals are SMART goals. Goals can be long-term or short-term; generally, study goals are short-term. Use the following steps to set a goal. Make sure you write it down!
Setting SMART goals is the key to becoming a smart student. A smart student makes the best use of the time spent studying. Working smarter as well as harder is the key to academic success.
Sometimes, things don’t quite go to plan and you are not the first or last person to fail an exam. It might not be ideal but it is not the end of the world!
Sometimes if your average mark was good and you only failed one or two papers with an F1 you may be allowed to compensate and go onto the next year as if you had passed. All modules and components within modules are compensatable (except in particular professional
programmes where compensation does not apply). The rules for this vary from school to school, so make sure to check.
You may be required to sit repeat exams for free of charge at the end of the summer if you fail and cannot pass by compensation. These exams aren’t usually offered to students if their exams counted towards their degree, except in very special circumstances.
If you feel that your result is unfair or marks were added up wrong, you can apply to have them rechecked or remarked. If you are still not satisfied with your grade, you may be entitled to appeal. This is usually reserved for extenuating circumstances, and you have to act quickly. For more information, email your tutor or the Education Officer.
If you can’t appeal, then sometimes the only option is to repeat the year. Students can also apply to repeat off-books. This requires special permission, and the grounds for going off-books can be found in the University Calendar: tcd.ie/undergraduate-studies/general-regulations/calendar.php.
Keep in mind that you won’t qualify for free fees if you have to repeat, except in special circumstances.
*The content of this piece was accurate at the time of writing; please see tcdsu.org for updates*
Plagiarism, accidental or otherwise, is the most serious academic offence a student can commit. College deals with plagiarism very severely.
You must make sure that all the work you hand in is your own. Every student is required to take an online tutorial in “Ready, Steady, Write – Plagiarism Tutorial.” This is so you can learn about what plagiarism is and make sure it doesn’t happen in your work. You will have to sign a declaration every time you submit marked work, to say that you have taken the plagiarism workshop, and have not plagiarised.
TOP TIP It is always worth double checking your referencing. Your course handbook will have guidelines on how to reference work properly, but if you have any questions visit
Trinity Student Homepage www.tcd.ie/students
Registration, Fee Payments, Results, Exam number, Student Records (Tutor info), Applications, Campus Accommodation Payments
Senior Tutors Office
Here you will find forms for;
Computer, Printing. Scanning and internet services
The Trinity library has over 6 million printed volumes and you can get any book published in Ireland or the UK since 1801 - Make the most of it!
Past exam papers
Fees and payments
Student ID Cards
Senior Lecturer - Dr Kevin Mitchell
Careers Advisory Service
Student Learning and Development
Daily 11am - 3pm during term time – Room 2054. Book an online Drop-in appointment: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/contact/drop-in.php
The Disability Service/An tSeirbhís Míchumais operates a Calm Inbox system: email/phone is checked in admin hours 9-10 and 4-5 daily.
If you have any questions or issues with your LENS report please contact the Disability Service and they will ensure it is corrected.
Your school has access to all of your requirements and you should always be accommodated!
5.4 Students with disabilities who are registered with the Disability Service will have access to appropriate academic Reasonable Accommodations and/or additional services as determined by a Needs Assessment carried out by a suitably qualified staff member in the Disability Service and in accordance with the individual’s certified disability.
6.2 A Reasonable Accommodation is any action that helps to alleviate a substantial disadvantage due to a disability
7.5 Standard Reasonable Accommodations (Appendix 1, Code of Practice, Section 2) identified through the Needs Assessment process, carried out by a suitably qualified staff member in the Disability Service, are communicated to the relevant academic and service area via the LENS contained in the student record in SITS
7.9 LENS reports can be reviewed and amended if, for example, circumstances change and /or additional information is provided. The student or academic staff member can contact the Disability Service at any time to request a review and update of a LENS report.
9.1 Complaints relating to the implementation (or failure thereof) of this policy or its attendant code of practice are to be made using the University’s Student Complaints Procedure.
College Calendar – section 15 and intro to Trinity Reasonable Accommodation Policy https://www.tcd.ie/disability/assets/pdf/RA-Policy.pdf
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have as complete and equitable access to all facets of Trinity life as can reasonably be provided. Trinity has adopted a Reasonable Accommodation Policy, which is applicable to all students with disabilities studying in Trinity. This is in accordance with the Disability Act 2005, the Equal Status Acts 2000 (as amended), and the Universities Act 1997. As stated in the Trinity Calendar, students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Disability Service to seek supports where their disability could affect their ability to participate fully in all aspects of the course.
As of December 8th, those renewing their registration of their immigration permission will no longer need to submit their passport to have the immigration stamp added by their Registration Office.
This applies to renewals for Dublin-based students, which are made through an online renewal process facilitated by the Burgh Quay office and renewals for those living outside Dublin, which are made in-person in local Registration Offices at Garda Stations nationwide.
You no longer have to leave your passport with a registration office while your application is being processed. It is expected that this will significantly improve the time taken to renew immigration permissions and will also allow you to use your passport for other purposes while your application is being processed.
Successful applicants will be issued with an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card which will prove that you are legally registered in Ireland and identify the immigration permission that you hold. If legal residence and proof of an up-to-date immigration permission is a requirement for access to any state services, the production of this valid IRP card will satisfy this requirement.
If proof of a person’s reckonable residency in the State is required, queries should be addressed to the Garda National Immigration Bureau, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to live and study somewhere that you may never get the chance to do again. Know your options and the requirements well in advance as it can have an affect on your degree if you miss pre-requists.
Find all information here: https://www.tcd.ie/study/non-eu/study-abroad/from-trinity/