Compared with secondary school, the single biggest difference you will find as a university student is how much you are in charge of your own learning. There is no points system, no best-selling collections of past papers and, overall, much less emphasis on examinations and more on actual learning:
Learning at university has always been very different. At UCD, we have taken this one step further, with UCD Horizons.
UCD Horizons places UCD in the vanguard of leading universities by providing flexible, modular learning degrees that offer you, the student, choices rather than constraints. We’re the first Irish university to adopt this system fully and we hope you’ll benefit from the freedom and diversity it offers you.
UCD Horizons is the name given to the structure for undergraduate taught degrees at our university. The programme is modular and based on credits. It’s much more flexible than traditional degree structures and allows you to individualise your studies. It is aligned to best international standards and makes it much easier if you wish to study abroad for part of your UCD degree.
Each full-time student takes 12 modules per year over two semesters. In most cases, 10 of the 12 modules will be in your core area of study; some ‘core modules’ are compulsory; others are called ‘options’, where you choose what interests you from a list of modules in the subject.
In addition, you generally have a choice of two ‘elective’ modules (subject to module entry requirements, timetable and availability of places), which can either be taken from within your main subject area to deepen your learning, or from outside it to broaden your learning. The choice is yours.
A degree will normally be three to four ‘stages’ in duration. The diagram above shows the typical structure of a three-stage degree. A four-stage degree would generally require another 12 modules/60 credits in Stage 4 to give a total requirement of 240 credits.