Almost 4000 Students Failed Modules Last Year


The University Observer has obtained details of repeats in 2016/2017 under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. In this year, 3873 students failed at least one module. This excludes students who missed exams due to a leave of absence or had extenuating circumstances. UCD received at least three quarters of a million euro in repeat and resit fees.


In semester one of last year, 288 UCD students repeated entire modules and were awarded a grade. This therefore does not include students who paid to redo the module but failed it. This number increased in semester two to 783.


Numbers were higher for students who only repeated exams and not the full module. 737 students received a grade for a repeat exam in the first semester, with this figure rising to 1567 in semester two.


Last year a total of 2096 students failed more than one module. 1763 failed more than one module in semester one and 333 failed multiple modules in semester two.


The number of students who failed modules varied across different areas with 1190 students, the highest for any subject, failing at least one module in Mathematics and Statistics. The lowest failure rate was in Education where only two students failed a module.


Economics featured the second highest number of fails based on numbers alone with 892 students failing at least one module. The schools of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics; English, Film, and Drama; History; Business; and Medicine followed with 869, 841, 594, 540, and 480 fails, respectively. Law featured just 144 fails whereas the relatively small Veterinary Medicine had 346 students who failed a module.


Information previously obtained by the University Observer revealed that in 2014/2015, 16 modules had a failure rate of 100%. Several of these modules however, had just one or two students.


Earlier in the year a committee was established in UCD in partnership with UCDSU to review fees for resitting exams and retaking modules. At the time the committee was announced, Education Officer Robert Sweeney told the University Observer:UCD students view the fees as unreasonably high as it has become financially crippling in many cases.”


A decision is expected to be announced regarding a possible change in resit and repeat fees in the coming semester.