Arts & Engineering entry overhauled


Incoming students to arts will have the option to choose their core subjects before applying to the CAO from next year on.
A similar method to the procedures for entry to Trinity College’s two-subject moderatorship will be introduced for the 2010-2011 academic year. Students will now have a choice of indicating a preference for their major when applying to the CAO, thus avoiding disappointment when it comes to module registration.
A University spokesman explained that new incoming students “will be given the option to pre-register two subject preferences. These students will then be automatically allocated modules in these subjects at registration and will therefore be guaranteed places in those classes.
“Students won’t have to pre-register but if they wish to take high-demand subjects, they may find the classes are full when they go to register. The new system won’t affect existing students.”
In Engineering, entry applicants will now enter through a singular omnibus programme, and specialise in an engineering branch during their degree programme. The current options to enter specialised engineering programmes directly from the CAO will be rescinded.
The spokesman explained “Engineering is returning to omnibus entry next year because the pattern of student interest over the past number of years indicates that students prefer to specialise at a later stage in their engineering degree. By coming in through [the single course code] DN077, students get a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of engineering before deciding which discipline to follow later in their degrees.”
Students’ Union Education Officer, Donnacha Ó Súilleabháin, explained to The University Observer that “the current programme planning process is looking at simplifying entry routes to UCD courses, so that incoming students have a clearer understanding of what they’re studying, what options are open to them, and what pathways they can take through their degree programme.”
Ó Súilleabháin was also keen to defend the deferral of reformed entry to other programmes, some of which were originally intended for implementation in time for this year’s entry. He said that “programme planning is ongoing, and it is likely that we will see even more revisions for entry 2011.” He also felt that that the priority is “quality, and not deadlines. The university should take its time revising entry routes and processes, and ensure that all systems are working before implementing changes.”