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FAQs

Budgeting

1. What travel deals can I avail of?

Student LEAP cards are available from the Front Office in Mandella House (House 6).  Find out more about discounts and entitlements with your LEAP card at http://www.studentleapcard.ie/#about

2. Where do I find good deals for food?

Keep an eye out for weekly SU emails, which normally include great deals for food in and around campus.  You can also collect an ENTS card from Mandella House (House 6) or from the SU stand at the Freshers’ Week Fair.  ENTS cards include a wide variety of discounts, including great offers for eating out.

3. What do I do if my grant or research funding hasn’t come through yet?

Try not to panic.  Some people do experience delays in their funding.  Try to budget carefully and remember that you can contact the SU Welfare Officer/GSU Vice-President for a temporary loan if things get a bit tight.  If there is an ongoing issue, you can also talk to your Tutor or the Postgraduate Advisory Service about applying for the Student Assistance Fund.  Postgraduate students should also consult their supervisor or Postgraduate Director of Teaching and Learning regarding their research funding. Check out http://www.tcdsu.org/finance-loans for more information.

4. What is the Student Assistance Fund and am I eligible to apply?

The Student Assistance Fund is a small emergency reserve for students in significant financial difficulty.  Not everyone is eligible for it, but if you’re finding finance is becoming a significant stress in your life and basic budgeting skills aren’t to blame, talk to your Tutor or to the Postgraduate Advisory Service – they may be able to help you with an application.

5. What is a Welfare Loan?

A Welfare Loan is a temporary cash sum up to the value of €100 that students can avail of interest free if things get tricky.  You will need to pay it back, but if you know that a cheque is clearing or a grant is coming and you need a dig out until it arrives talk to the SU Welfare Officer. More information is available at http://www.tcdsu.org/finance-loans

Campus Life

1. How do I find my way around?

You can find printable and interactive maps of campus at http://www.tcd.ie/Maps/  Directions to and from the College are available at http://www.tcd.ie/Maps/directions.php

2. How do I know which gates are open when?
Don’t panic if your normal route in and out is blocked.  Campus gates open and close at different times, but there’s always a way off campus if you’re on campus, and it’s really useful to learn where the gates are and what times to use them – shortcuts are always handy!  Have a look at http://www.tcd.ie/Maps/access-times.php

3. Where can I take money out?
There are two banks located on campus – one to the left of the Buttery/Dining Hall and one by the Hamilton Café.  Each bank has an ATM (cash point/hole in the wall) where you can take money out.  They are normally well stocked with €10 notes.

4. How do I get a locker in College?
Lockers are situated in the Arts Building, Hamilton Building, Lloyd Building, Panoz Building , Biosciences Building and South Leinster Street.  Lockers are assigned on a first come first served basis during the first week of term. If you want to get a locker you need to make sure that you go to the security desk in the Arts Building to fill out an application form and pay a returnable deposit on the first day of term. Postgraduates can contact the Vice-President of the GSU directly.  There is a rental of €20.00 and also a deposit of €20.00 so the total cost is €40.00.

Clubs and Societies

1. What’s the difference between a club and a society?

In Trinity, “club” tends to refer to a student-led sports organisation and “society” to a student-led organisation that is not engaged directly in sports.  You can find a list of TCD Clubs at http://www.ducac.tcdlife.ie/clubs/ and of TCD societies at http://www.trinitysocieties.ie/

2. Is there a limit to how many clubs and/or societies I can join?

You can join as many clubs and societies as you want to – just be realistic about what you can commit to.  Most students recommend getting really involved in a few rather than trying to spread yourself too thinly across a lot of different groups, but the choice is absolutely yours.

3. I didn’t join in Freshers’ Week – do I have to wait till next year?

Absolutely not!  Keep your eyes on your email for “Re-freshers” events or email the club/society you’re interested in and ask them directly – most will be able to accommodate late members and will gladly welcome you!

4. How do I become a committee member?

Every club and society has its own constitution which includes a process for election to committee (normally at an Annual General Meeting or AGM).  Talk to the existing committee if you’re interested in getting more involved and find out how to stand for nomination.

IT

1. How do I print/scan/photocopy?

You can find all the information you need, including tutorial videos, at http://www.tcdprint.ie.  You can also find out here how to top up your account, print from your own device and scan to email.

2. Where are the computer rooms?

Check out the map of IT Services Computer Rooms at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/facilities/kb/map.php.  You can check whether rooms have available computers at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/facilities/pacrmaplinks.php.

3. What’s my password?

If you’re not sure how to login or have forgotten your password don’t panic!  All the information you need to access your IT accounts can be found at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/students/username.php.

4. I already have an email account, do I have to use the TCD one as well?

It’s essential that you check your TCD emails regularly – all of your course information, updates and notifications will be sent there!  Your TCD email is run through ‘MyZone’ which is provided by Google.  This means you also have access to calendar and cloud storage functions as well as your email (which is really useful if you’re one of those people who keeps forgetting to take their USB key out of the computer!)

If you’re not sure about all the functions on your email account, or if you’re looking for instructions to send TCD emails to your personal account (or vice versa) you can find it all at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/email/kb/myzone_faq.php

5. How can I get my laptop and/or phone connected?

Wi-Fi is available in most Trinity locations and if you’re in residences you’ll have access to a ‘wired’ connection too.  All the instructions on how to get connected, and how to get help, can be found at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/students/tcdconnect.php

6. Is it true that students can buy discounted computers and software?

Lots of different suppliers have different deals, so it’s worth having a look around and doing some bargain hunting.  IT Services do have some links to discount schemes and some advice for what to buy at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/purchase/kb/student.php

7. Something isn’t working properly – who can help?

TCD’s IT Services department have a host of support staff to help online, over the phone or in person.  Check out the IT Service Desk details and opening hours at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/help/it-service-desk-contact.php.

Library

1. How do I use the Library?

You can read about all the libraries’ facilities and how to use them at https://www.tcd.ie/Library/using-library/  You will be given a tour of your relevant library as part of your orientation and, if you’re an undergraduate, you can always go back to your S2S mentors with any questions, or to ask for more assistance.  Remember as well that library staff are always on hand to help – don’t be afraid to ask them anything you’re unsure of!

2. Is there a 24 hour library/study space?

All students can access Kinsella Hall in the Ussher Library outside of regular opening hours by swiping their ID card at the computer room entrance.  Postgraduate students can also access the 1937 Reading Room.  For more information visit http://www.tcd.ie/Library/opening-hours/#accessibletabscontent1431013567191

Registration

1. Where do I find all the orientation information?

All the orientation information is online this year at www.tcd.ie/orientation.  Be sure to check the site regularly as timetables and information can be subject to change.

2. What is the Academic Registry?

The Academic Registry is a one-stop shop for all your administration needs including; admissions, registration, fees, timetabling, exams, graduation, transcripts and more.  You can find out all about the services they offer at http://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/about/

3. Where can I find the Academic Registry?

The Academic Registry (AR) is located in the Watts Building at the East End of campus (map).  Enter through the Panoz Building entrance and turn left up the stairs. Go through the red doors on your left and The Academic Registry Service Desk is straight ahead.

4. Is my CAO/application number my TCD student ID number?

No. You’ll receive a letter and an e-mail with your new TCD student number.

5. What do I do if I’m waiting for a SUSI grant to come through to pay my fees?

During the online payment process, SUSI applicants should indicate that their Sponsor is SUSI; they will subsequently be prompted to provide their SUSI Application Number which will begin with ‘WO’.  The College will accept this as proof that the student has made an application to SUSI.  The student’s liability will be calculated in the expectation that their application to SUSI is successful.  SUSI will notify the College of the outcome of the application for funding.  Any student unsuccessful is their application will subsequently be billed for their tuition fee by the College.

Students who did not provide the information during the on-line process because they were unsure or progressed beyond the relevant screen, can email Monte Mulindwa (mulindwm@tcd.ie) in Student Fees with a screenshot of their SUSI application with their name and application number or can be returned to the Academic Registry or left in the Drop Box at the front of the Academic Registry.

6. Who can I talk to if I’m having trouble registering online?

If you’re experiencing problems completing the on-line registration process you can call in to the Academic Registry for assistance or may submit an enquiry with the subject title ‘REGISTRATION DIFFICULTY’ via email (academic.registry@tcd.ie) or by clicking the Ask TCD button on the registration screens.

7. Do I need to have module choice forms completed before Freshers' Week?

This varies from course to course so check the individual form to see when it needs to be returned. For some you need to complete and return forms before registration so do make sure you check!

8. How do I get a student ID card?

ID card collection will be timetabled as part of your orientation programme.  Make sure you have a print-out of your confirmation slip from your online registration and proof of ID (Passport/ Birth Certificate/ Driver's Licence). If you have been a TCD student before, bring your old student card with you as well.

9. What if I need to change my registration details?

The process for this depends on which details you need to change.  Have a look at https://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/service-desk/update-details/ for full information.

Social

1. What is Trinity Ball?

Trinity Ball takes place annually towards the beginning of Trinity Term.  For one night every year campus becomes a festival ground as stages are set for live acts from Irish and international bands.  This is a ticketed event so keep an eye out for details of how and when to get your tickets.

2. Where can I meet new people?

Very few people know other students when they first come to Trinity – but there are lots of ways to meet new people and to make friends on campus.  You can join clubs and societies throughout your time here.  New undergraduates will also be assigned to mentor groups by the Student2Student (S2S) Programme, and their mentors will be in touch about meet-ups and events designed to help people make new connections within their courses and across campus.

The Student’s Union (SU) and Halls JCR will also be organising events for people to get together, and there are a range of social spaces on campus including the SU Cafés and the Global Room. Postgraduate students can also avail of the Postgraduate Common Room, and should keep an eye on emails from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) for Postgrad events and activities.

3. Where can I go out in Dublin?

LINK TO LIVING IN DUBLIN SECTION

4. Who can I talk to?

If you’re feeling a bit stressed out or worried about anything the first thing to do is to talk about it.  From fellow students (S2S Peer Support, Niteline, SU Welfare, GSU Vice-president, Halls JCR Welfare Team) to professional Counselling and support (Chaplaincy, Tutorial Service, Postgraduate Advisory Service), there are a range of services on and off campus designed to give you space and time to get things off your chest.  Have a look at the links in this passage and see what’s right for you.

Study

1. Do I have to buy all the books on my reading lists?

Trying to buy all the books on your reading list can become very costly very quickly!  Second hand books can be bought and sold online at the SU Bookshop: http://www.tcdsu.org/find-a-book

You can also access books through the library – ask a librarian to assist you if you’re not sure how to find a book or need to know more about borrowing restrictions.

Some classes have a rota and students take it in turns to borrow a book and photocopy/scan materials for everyone else in the class (provided it’s not a breach of copyright of course!)  Ask your Class Rep if you’d like to set a system like this up yourselves.

2. How do I know if I’m studying properly?

Independent study and research is at the heart of your degree in Trinity, and most students need some time to adjust to this.  If you’re used to being told what to read and when, having to use your own judgement and motivation can be a lot trickier than it sounds.  Don’t be afraid to seek guidance from S2S Mentors, lecturers or your Tutors/postgraduate advisors if you’re not sure how to make the most of your personal study time, and remember that Student Learning Development have a host of online resources, workshops and one-to-one supports to help you work it out. 

3. I feel like I’m behind on my workload, what should I do?

There are lots of reasons why students sometimes feel that they’re falling behind.  It might be that you’re finding it harder to apply a new concept/theory that’s been introduced in the class, or that you feel other members of the class have more pre-existing knowledge of something than you do.  It might simply be that you feel as though you should be fitting more into your day than you’re managing to achieve.  It could be that something has happened that has taken away from your study time, and you don’t know how to recuperate it.

If you have been absent from classes and/or have not been able to undertake study due to personal circumstances make sure you inform your Tutor/supervisor as soon as possible, so that they can help you to take the time that you need, and to get back on track when you’re ready.

If you are able to attend classes and to study but still feel that you’re behind, talk to your lecturers and check out the time management resources that Student Learning Development have to offer.

4. What happens if I miss a class?

Check your course handbook to make sure you know what is expected from you in terms of attendance, and whether anyone should be notified of reasons for absence from class. If attendance is taken and/or forms part of your assessment be sure to get a medical certificate if you have to miss a class due to sickness.

Remember that it will probably be your responsibility to obtain notes from the class and make sure that you’re up-to-date with the course. If you are absent from more than one class and/or for a significant period be sure to talk to your Tutor/supervisor as soon as possible.

5. How do I prepare for exams?
Exam preparation begins with making sure you have clear notes from your lectures and seminars/Tutorials that you can follow when it comes to revision.
In order to know what to expect, you can view and practice from previous examination papers, which can be found at https://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/exams/past-papers/annual/
Keep an eye out for useful resources and workshops from Student Learning Development as well.
Above all, remember that balancing your revision with rest, breaks and stress management will help you to study more effectively.  You can find out about relaxation workshops available in the Student Counselling Service at https://www.tcd.ie/Student_Counselling/counselling/groups-workshops/ and use their online podcasts at https://www.tcd.ie/Student_Counselling/counselling/podcasts/

How does the grading system work?
NB - Some courses may vary from this. Check your course handbook for details!

I-First Class Honors; 70-100%
II.1-Second Class Honors, first division; 60-69%
II.2-Second Class honors, second division; 50-59%
III-Third class honors; 40-49%
F-Fail- F1; 30-39%
           F2; below 29%

REMEMBER THAT ANYTHING ABOVE 70% IS CONSIDERED EXCELLENT.

In some countries the percentages go a lot higher, but in Ireland anything above 70% means a top award, and anything above 80% is extremely rare!

6. What are Schols?

Schols refer to Foundation and Non-Foundation Scholarship Awards which are based on an optional examination undertaken at the start of Hilary Term.  For more information visit http://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/exams/scholarship/

7. How do I write references in my essays?

Your course handbook normally contains guidelines for essay writing, including which style of referencing to use and example references to follow.  If you’re not sure you’re referencing correctly or need help referencing you can ask your subject librarian for assistance.

8. What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the legal terminology for claiming work as your own when it was undertaken by somebody else.  To avoid any trouble, make sure you don't copy books at length or rephrase information without acknowledging your source.  Check out the guidelines concerning plagiarism if you're unsure about your essay content, but the general rule is that your coursework should be about what you think and why, not just about what's already been written!

9. How do I use Turnitin?

Turnitin is an online platform for essay submission that is designed specifically to screen for potential plagiarism.  There are Tutorials and learning resources around using Turnitin at http://www.turnitin.com/en_us/training/student-training

10. Can I get support with my study if I have a disability?

The TCD Disability Service will be able to give you all the information and support you need around registering a disability and accessing any supports that you are eligible for.  It’s important to register with them so that they can offer you assistance.  Find out how at http://www.tcd.ie/disability/current/registration.php

11. What help is available if English is not my first language?

Trinity’s Centre for English Language Teaching offers courses in English for Academic Purposes to assist students who are studying and writing in English for the first time, or students who need a little more assistance fine-tuning their academic language.  All the information about these courses, including dates and costs, can be found at http://www.tcd.ie/slscs/english/

12. Can anyone proof-read my essay for me?

Proof-reading is a specialised skill and not a service that is available free of charge in the College.  Quite often experienced proof-readers will advertise their services on the TCD Noticeboard (http://www.tcd.ie/Secretary/Communications/Noticeboard/)  Before engaging a proof-reader be sure to check your course handbook; some courses do not allow 3rd party proof-reading of assessed work.

13. Is there any additional support for maths skills?

There is a Maths Help Room available to all students working with maths and/or statistics, regardless of course.  The earlier you pop in, the more likely they are to be able to assist you in overcoming any issues or concerns that you have.  Find out more about the service at http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~mathshelp/

14. Is there any support available for programming?

There is a Programming Support Centre available to all students working with computer programming, regardless of course.  The earlier you pop in, the more likely they are to be able to assist you in overcoming any issues or concerns that you have.  Find out more about the service at https://www.scss.tcd.ie/misc/psc/

15. What if I want to transfer course?

If you’re starting to feel that the course you’re studying isn’t right for you, the first thing to do is to talk about why.  If you’re an undergraduate student check in with your S2S Mentors and/or students in the years above you.  They will be able to let you know what to expect in future modules and classes.  Talk to your Tutor as well, they will be able to advise you around potential options and are the only person who can make an official application for transfer if this is what you choose to do.  Postgraduate students can avail of S2S Peer Support, The Graduate Students’ Union Vice-President and/or the Postgraduate Advisory Service.

16. Can I study abroad?

Check your course handbook to see what study abroad options are available to you.  There is also useful information about Erasmus and Exchange programmes at http://www.tcd.ie/study/non-eu/study-abroad/from-trinity/index.php

17. What if I need to take some time out?

If something happens that makes it hard for you to focus exclusively on your study, or if you feel for any reason that your time in Trinity is being negatively impacted and you may need a breather please talk to your Tutor or supervisor as soon as possible.  Your Tutor/supervisor will have experience in what arrangements can be made to assist you, including the option to go “Off Books”, which means taking some time off by not registering as a student.

If you are going Off Books sign up to the S2S Lighthouse Group on Facebook to avail of student-based support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/S2Slighthouse/

Timetables

1. Where do I find my timetable?

Your main timetable is available on the student portal at my.tcd.ie.  Tutorials, seminars and other scheduled sessions are scheduled by your course office and details will normally be posted on course noticeboards in your school and/or emailed to you.  Check your course handbook for more information.

2. What do the terms mean?

Trinity College Dublin works to a very traditional calendar based on the court system.  Michaelmas Term runs from August to December, Hilary Term from January to March and Trinity Term from April to August.  For more information go to http://www.tcd.ie/calendar/ and select “Academic Year Structure”.

3. Why don’t my lectures start until Week 5?

Be very careful here – timetables are published according to the weeks of the term (see above item) but teaching weeks are very different.  Teaching Week 1 normally begins on week 5 of Michaelmas Term.  Check the Academic Year Structure at http://www.tcd.ie/calendar/ to make sure you know which week is which!

4. What if there’s a change to my scheduled classes?

Very occasionally a lecture or class may need to be cancelled or rescheduled.  Make sure you’re checking TCD email regularly as you will be contacted with information as soon as possible.

5. What do I do if there’s a timetable clash?

Don’t panic – this can happen from time to time.  Talk to someone in your course office as soon as possible.  If you’re in a multi-disciplinary course, email both offices or, if you’re in TSM, talk directly to the TSM office if the conflict is between your two moderatorship courses.

6. What do all the abbreviations on my timetable mean?

A lot of buildings and lecture theatres on campus have more than one name, or a name and a number that aren’t necessarily used together.  A lot of the names are also abbreviated.  You can find most common abbreviations at http://www.tcd.ie/Maps/facilities.php#rooms, ask for clarification from your course office or, if you’re an undergraduate student, don’t hesitate to ask your S2S mentors for help.

Tutors

1. What’s the difference between a Tutor and a mentor?

A Tutor is an academic staff member who has undertaken additional responsibilities to ensure that undergraduate students have a point of contact if anything, professional or personal, is affecting their study or their Trinity experience.  They are there to assist you with College administration, advocacy and support.

S2S Mentors are fellow students who have undertaken basic training to assist in your transition to College.  Mentors can absolutely help if you’d like to meet more people on your course, or if you need information or support and are not sure who to talk to.  If it’s a matter for your Tutor they will be able to assist you in approaching them.

If you are a postgraduate student you can seek support from your supervisor or from the Postgraduate Advisory Service

2. How do I find out who my Tutor is?

Your Tutor’s information, including their contact email address, can be found on your student profile at my.tcd.ie.  If you are a postgraduate student your supervisor’s details will be listed here instead. 

If you are a visiting/exchange student you will not be assigned a Tutor, but can contact your exchange co-ordinator or your S2S mentors for support.

If you are a full-time undergraduate student and your Tutor is not listed on your student profile please contact stosec@tcd.ie as soon as possible.

3. Do I have to see my Tutor during Freshers' Week?

It’s strongly recommended!  Most Tutors will email you some times that they’re available for a quick meeting in the first couple of weeks.  Take this opportunity to say hello to them and it will be much easier for you to contact them again if and when you need them!

4. How do I contact my Tutor?

If your Tutor has advertised drop-in hours then you can call in to see them during those office times.  Alternatively, you can email your Tutor to ask any questions you have and/or to arrange an appointment.  Remember to address the email professionally; some Tutors like to be addressed by their first name but unless they tell you this, address them as you would any other academic member of staff.

5. What if I can’t contact my Tutor, or I don’t get a response?

Sometimes Tutors can’t respond immediately to emails.  Please don’t let situations get urgent – contact your Tutor in a timely way and allow time for a response.  If a Tutor hasn’t replied and the matter is getting more pressing check to see if they have office hours and drop-by to check if they received your email, and if they’re available for a conversation.

If you can’t access your tutor during office hours you can email stosec@tcd.ie to find out if anyone else will be able to assist you.

6. What if I want to change Tutor?

You can change your Tutor easily, without being asked the reason for your decision.

  • Identify a new Tutor and ask them if they would agree to take you on as one of their tutees
  • Apply to the Senior Tutor's Office giving the names of your previous Tutor and your new Tutor.
  • Consult the Senior Tutor's Office in House 27 for advice on identifying a new Tutor.

It is advisable not to change your Tutor without careful consideration.

Union

1. What is a class rep?

Class Reps are the elected liaison person between a class and the Students’ Union or Graduate Students’ Union, and between a class and course administration.  They will arrange meetings to take class queries/concerns to the relevant staff or union member, and will arrange social events to assist with class bonding.  You can find out more about undergraduate Class Reps and their function at http://www.tcdsu.org/class-reps.  For information about postgraduate class reps contact vicepresident@tcdgsu.ie

2. How do I become a class rep?

Class Reps are normally elected by the class at the beginning of Michaelmas Teaching Term.  To find out more about the undergraduate election process and to register your interest go to http://www.tcdsu.org/class-reps.  For postgraduate expressions of interest contact vicepresident@tcdgsu.ie