What is a module?


We often assume that when one language is in use for conversation, we understand perfectly what everyone is saying. When is this untrue?

In University College Cork (and Ireland) we use words that have a certain meaning in Ireland but the same word might not have the meaning in another country, even when we are both speaking English. One of those words is ‘module’. A module is one course or programme within your overall degree at UCC. A module is a self-contained fraction of a student’s workload during the year and  carries a unique examination/assessment mark. The size of a module is indicated by its credit weighting.

Under modularisation, each year of an undergraduate degree programme is worth 60 credits. This is based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which provides common procedures to guarantee academic recognition of studies at institutions offering ECTS-based programmes. Credits are the value allocated to modules to describe the student workload required to complete them. The number of credits allocated to each module will vary depending on the fraction of programme workload it accounts for. An undergraduate module may equal 5, 10, 15 or 20 credits. At postgraduate level, most taught masters require a student to complete 90 credits and generally this will take one calendar year with a dissertation over the summer months.

Each module has a unique code, which contains information about the module. The first two characters EN in the module EN1001, for example, indicate the subject area of the module (in this case an English module), the third character indicates the year or level (in this case a First Year or Level One module), and the remaining three characters 001 identify the particular module within the subject area.

A standard 5 credit module offered in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences could, for example, consist of 24 lecture hours, plus associated tutorials, essays, and reading, although in certain subjects the lecture load may be greater than 24 hours.



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