From time to time, difficulties may occur which affect a student’s ability to continue with their studies or to sit examinations and, as a result, can disrupt a student’s normal academic progression. Such difficulties may include illness, bereavement and other personal circumstances.
Alternatively, students may wish to interrupt their studies in Trinity College for academic reasons, such as, spending time abroad to improve their competency in a foreign language. In all such situations, it is essential that the student discusses the issue, and practical options, with their Tutor.
Where it is deemed appropriate, the Tutor will write to the Senior Lecturer to seek permission for a particular course of action in relation to that student. Examples of this are permitting the student’s name to come off-books for a specified period of time or permitting the deferral of examinations. Requests such as these are commonly referred to in College as student cases and are dealt with at an administrative level by the Academic Registry.
Common student cases include:
- Absence from exams
- Students going off-books and re-admission
- Non-satisfactory attendance or completion of coursework
- Repeating a year
- Fitness to practice
- Course transfers
Students may not repeat any academic year more than once within a degree course and may not repeat more than two academic years within a degree course, except by special permission of the University Council.
Students must pursue their undergraduate course continuously unless they are permitted by the Senior Lecturer to interrupt it, normally for a period of one year, either by going ‘off-books’ or by intermitting their studies for extra-curricular reasons.
Students wishing to interrupt their course and go ‘off-books’ should apply through their tutor to the Senior Lecturer. During the period of interruption students are not required to keep their names on the College books, and do not pay an annual fee or a replacement fee. Junior Fresh students who seek to discontinue their course before 1 February will normally be required to withdraw.
Students who have been permitted to go off the books may return to College as detailed below, depending on the circumstance of their going off the books.
Fresh Students with permission from the Senior Lecturer to go off the books after 1 February and be re-admitted to the same course of study at a specified date must apply for re-admission before 1 August by completing the re-admission application form.
Students who for reasons of ill-health have allowed their names to go off the books can only be re-admitted, even in the current academic year, at the discretion of the Senior Lecturer. Such students will be required to submit to the Senior Lecturer before 1 August a certificate of fitness from a medical referee, nominated by the Senior Lecturer, as evidence that they can continue their studies.
Students with permission from the Senior Lecturer to go off the books for an academic year and sit examinations in that year must pay an examination fee of €382. Off-books students with permission to take examinations are advised to consult with their school, department or course office before the end of Michaelmas term to confirm their examination and/or assessment requirements while off-books. Such students are not required to apply for readmission and should register for the following academic year as set out in the general regulations concerning registration.
Students with permission from the Senior Lecturer to go off the books for one or more academic year(s) for reasons other than medical are not required to apply for re-admission and are expected to register for the academic year that they are due to return to College as set out in the general regulations concerning registration.
A requirement to undertake a period of professional re-orientation may apply in the case of certain undergraduate courses which have clinical or practice components and which are subject to accreditation by external professional bodies. Students who have been off-books, with the permission of the Senior Lecturer, may be required to complete a course of professional reorientation before proceeding to the next year of their course. Such professional re-orientation courses may not be repeated in the event of non-satisfactory completion, and the student will be required to withdraw from their course.
Students must register for the academic year and pay a professional re-orientation fee but will not be liable for the student contribution and related levies.
Students wishing to withdraw from College must notify the Senior Lecturer, through their College Tutor, by using the Exit/withdrawal form which can be downloaded through the link below. The data collected regarding reasons for a student's withdrawal will be held on a confidential basis and will be used in anonymous format for statistical purposes only, to inform College initiatives in the area of student support and retention.
Students should be aware of the fee implications of withdrawal from College and are advised that half fees will be claimed from the Higher Education Authority, in respect of students who are eligible for free fees under the 'Free Fees Initiative', who withdraw before the 1st February.
Students may be required to perform course work as part of the requirements of their course of study. The assessment of course work may be based on the writing of essays, the sitting of tests and assessments, attendance at practical classes and field trips, the keeping and handing in of practical books, the carrying out of laboratory or field projects, and the satisfactory completion of professional placements.
The school, department or course office, whichever is appropriate, publishes its requirements for satisfactory performance of course work on school notice-boards and/or in handbooks and elsewhere, as appropriate.
All students must fulfil the course requirements of the school or department, as appropriate, regarding attendance and course work. Where specific requirements are not stated, students may be deemed non-satisfactory if they miss more than a third of their course of study or fail to submit a third of the required course work in any term.
At the end of the teaching term, students who have not satisfied the school or department requirements, as set out in §§19, 24 and 25 above, may be reported as non-satisfactory for that term. Students reported as non-satisfactory for the Michaelmas and Hilary terms of a given year may be refused permission to take their annual examinations and may be required by the Senior Lecturer to repeat their year. Further details of procedures for reporting a student as non-satisfactory are given here.
Students may not repeat any academic year more than once within a degree programme and may not repeat more than two academic years within a degree programme, except by special permission of the University Council.
Repeating a Year under Free Fees Initiative
Except in the case of second chance students tuition fees will not be paid in respect of students doing repeat years or in respect of students repeating a year-level having changed (but not completed) their undergraduate course. This condition may be waived in exceptional circumstances such as cases of certified serious illness.
Tuition fees will be paid in respect of students who, having attended but not completed approved courses, are returning following a break of at least five years in order to pursue approved courses at the same level.
The tuition fees payable does not include the payment of up to €2,585 (which may be paid in two instalments) to be made by students towards the cost of registration, examinations, student services, etc.
Application forms for eligibility requests for the Free Fees Initiative can be downloaded in using the following links:
- Free Fees in repeat year - Application Form, Medical Grounds
- Free Fees in a repeat year - Application Form, Student Counselling Service
Situations may arise where there are concerns regarding a student’s fitness to participate in clinical or other placements, which are an essential component of the student’s course. Such concerns should be addressed to the student’s head of department or school (in the case of single discipline schools) so that they may consult with the Junior Dean or Director of the Disability Service, if relevant, in order to determine the appropriate mechanism to deal with the situation.
Where an alleged disciplinary offence or matter of student mental health comes before the Junior Dean, the Junior Dean may decide to refer the case to the Fitness to Practise Committee of the relevant school if the Junior Dean considers this to be a more appropriate way of dealing with the case.
Where a fitness to practise issue arises in the context of an academic appeal, whether through a Court of First Appeal or the Academic Appeals Committee, the relevant body hearing the appeal may decide to refer the case to the Fitness to Practise Committee of the relevant school if it is considered to be a more appropriate way of dealing with the case. Refusal on the part of the student to engage with the procedure set out in relation to fitness to practise cases shall be regarded as misconduct for the purposes of S.1(1), Schedule 2 of the 2010 Consolidated Statutes. Where the school’s Fitness to Practise Committee decides that the concern is well founded, it may take one of the following actions:
- Caution the student in relation to the matter.
- Recommend that the student be required to undergo testing, at College’s expense, in respect of suspected drug or alcohol addiction. A student failing to comply with this requirement or whose tests confirm continued drug or alcohol use may be required to withdraw from their course or to go off-books until such time as they are certified by an appropriately qualified person to be fit to proceed with their course of studies.
- Recommend that the student be required to undergo a medical examination or assessment, which may include psychiatric assessment, by a doctor or specialist nominated by the committee at the expense of College for the purpose of obtaining an opinion as to the student’s medical fitness to continue with his/her studies or as to their ability or suitability to participate in their course to the standards required by College.
Where a student fails to comply with this requirement, or where they are assessed to be unfit to continue with their studies or unable or unsuitable to participate in their course to the standard required by College, they may be required by the committee to withdraw from their course or to go off books until such time as they are certified by an appropriately qualified person, nominated by College, to be fit to proceed with their course of studies.
- Recommend that the student be suspended until such time as they are certified by an appropriately qualified person, nominated by College, to be fit to proceed with their course of study.
- Recommend that the student complete such additional academic exercises, which may include placements, as prescribed by the committee. Prior consultation with the Senior Lecturer may be necessary.
- Recommend that the student be required to withdraw from their course. Decisions of the school’s Fitness to Practise Committee shall be referred to the Senior Lecturer for approval. A decision of the school’s Fitness to Practise Committee may be appealed to the College Fitness to Practise Committee, which is vested with the same powers as a school Fitness to Practise Committee and will hear the case as new. A student appearing before either committee is entitled to representation by their tutor, by the Students’ Unions, or by any other person of their choice.