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 holdsm the entire SU together. Every course and module has different issues and reps are the best way that these can be flagged and rectified. 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. We will be collecting nominations from September 28th-October 10th.
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.
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 & LANGUAGE CLASSES
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.
WHAT IS IT?
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!
HOW CAN I APPLY?
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.
WHY SHOULD I APPLY?
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.
This academic year the Foundation Scholarship Examinations will likely be in late January-dates to be confirmed.
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!
TUTORIALS AND SEMINARS
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.
PRACTICAL AND LABS
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.
REPEATING A YEAR
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;
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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
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Senior Lecturer - Dr Kevin Mitchell
Careers Advisory Service
Student Learning and Development
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/