UCD the most expensive college in the country to repeat an exam

UCD students pay up to €230 to re-sit supplemental exams – higher than any other college in the country.

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Most of the universities listed above operate a capping system, whereby students are limited in how much they will have to pay.

NUI Galway, even though they are the second most expensive, charge a flat fee so students will only have to pay €195 to repeat, regardless of the number of exams they need to take.

University of Limerick caps their charge at the cost of four re-sits. NUI Maynooth, DCU and UCC all cap their charges at €280, €277 and €245 respectively, and Trinity do not charge for the first set of supplemental exams.

UCD however has no upward cap, so students will be liable for a charge of €230 per module repeat.

According to Danii Curtis, the education officer for UCD, the fee is calculated on average across the whole college. “It’s because we have a lot of practical courses so UCD averages the cost across the university and across the students,” she said.

“The practical subjects such as veterinary would be the most expensive, all the equipment and lab time means they would be on the higher end of what each repeat would cost,” she explained.

She added: “I think if you work it [out] on a per program basis you’ll have more students who can’t afford to repeat, the €230 is a fair average across the campus.”

How repeat and re-sits are conducted in UCD depends on the individual school, but UCD does allow students to carry onto the next year of their degree with 50 credits instead of the full 60 credits. However, they will need to make up those missing credits somewhere down the line.

As it stands, students who fail a module in UCD will be expected to re-sit an exam or project over the winter or summer exam periods, with no supplemental exam period set aside in the autumn unlike the majority of other colleges in Ireland.

“I would be in favour of a summer repeat period so students do not have to carry on subjects [into the next semester],” said Ms Curtis. “I’ve also started looking into a cap, and I would be in favour of a cap on three to four subjects per student.”

UCD allows students that owe the college money to repay it over the course of the semester, with students owing less than €600 allowed to receive their provisional results. However, students over that amount cannot.

In comparison to the universities, costs for taking supplemental re-sits are simplified at the Irish Institutes of Technology.

Most of the Institutes of Technology operate on a flat fee basis, so regardless of the number of repeat exams a student needs to take; they will only need to pay a set amount.


As the chart above shows, Tralee IT is the most expensive with a flat fee of €120. All the other institutes, with the exception of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) charge €50 to €100.

Cork IT offers repeats during the December or May exam periods at a cost of €50. However, if a student needs to repeat in the autumn the cost rises to €100.

IADT is the only IT to charge on a per subject or project basis at a cost of €25. They also do not offer a cap on the amount to pay, so for a student who has to repeat multiple classes, IADT could add up to be the most expensive IT to repeat in.

To see more from Ronan, visit his Twitter at @RowSmyth.

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