BCFE Student Life
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Course Coordinator & Module Teachers
At induction, your course coordinator along with your module teachers will explain the organisation of your course. Your course coordinator will be your first point of contact throughout the academic year and will monitor the progress of the group and of individual students.
Each course will have a tailor-made timetable to ensure all subject areas that are required to achieve the full award in each academic year is accounted for. Start and end time to the academic day and individual class duration varies across the college, depending on the course of study. During the year you will have periods when you are not timetabled for formal classes. These periods allow you time for research, reading and completion of assignments. Organising your time is an important skill which enables you to get the most out of your course.
Delivery of courses during the academic year 2023-2024 will be primarily face- to- face, with some blended learning and online/remote delivery. The specifics of for each course will be given at induction.
You are embarking on a course of study related to your chosen career. This course combines theory and practice, where you may work in groups on some assignments and individually on others. You are expected to be actively involved in your own learning through a variety of activities and will be encouraged to research information for yourself, to develop your skills in communication and teamwork. Assessments will be set which will help you to develop skills and knowledge as an integrated part of your course. Your course coordinator and specifi c module teachers will outline the modules relevant to your particular course during your induction period and supply you with an assessment plan for the year.
QQI Course Structure
Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) awards are normally achieved in one year and are composed of a minimum of eight modules, that include specific and mandatory modules related to your chosen vocational area. QQI courses are moderated by QQI External Authenticators to ensure national standards are met.
BTEC Course Structure
All BTEC awards are recognised on the NFQ and all BTEC courses are moderated by an external examiner who will usually visit the college twice in an academic year and will meet with students on the course to ensure national standards are met.
BCFE offers one Diploma course which is recognised at Level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications, with a transferable value of 90 ECTS.
BTEC Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)
BCFE offers Higher National Diplomas which are two year courses of study. The Higher National Diploma is recognised by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6, (see naric.ie). They normally have 16 modules studied over two years.
BTEC Higher National Certificates (HNCs)
On successful completion of Year 1 of a two-year Higher National Diploma (HND) a Higher National Certificate (HNC) will be claimed for each 1st Year HND student. It will be included as part of the overall HND award on successful completion of Year 2.
ACCA Diploma in Accounting & Business
ACCA stands for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and is a leading globally accountancy body. Employers seek out ACCA professionals because they know that people with ACCA after their names work to the highest professional and ethical standards. The ACCA qualification is respected globally and will help you to open doors wherever your career path may take you. Here at BCFE we deliver the Applied Knowledge exams along with the foundations in professionalism module, which will lead students to receiving an ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business.
Degree Course Structure
DCU and UOD
Degrees offered in BCFE are validated and structured by individual awarding bodies as outlined on page 15. All modules are mandatory. Students completing a degree in BCFE are required to provide evidence that they have reached a comparable Level 8 Honours Degree standard to Higher Education Institutions either within Ireland or abroad.
To achieve this standard, students are required to spend considerable time self-directing their own learning. This includes developing the following academic skills to a high standard: research skills, critical thinking, self-reflection, academic writing including academic referencing. Integral to the degree programmes are group work and presentation and public speaking skills.
In particular the Animation and Games Degrees are delivered in a studio environment where students are expected to engage with the curriculum through group work and developing their own independent software skills. The standard of the Visual Media – Animation and Games degrees is monitored by external examiners twice a year and that of the Media Production Management degree once a year.
BA (Hons) Immersive Media Production Degree
This new degree has been developed as part of the novel tertiary programmes initiative. It is an HEA/SOLAS initiative that aims to create new pathways to tertiary education with students beginning their studies in a College of Further Education before progressing directly to a Higher Education Institution.
Students will complete Years 1 and 2 in Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) (City of Dublin ETB) or Bray Institute of Further Education (BIFE) (Kildare Wicklow ETB) before progressing to IADT in Years 3 and 4. On successful completion of Year 2 students will be awarded a Higher Level 6 Advanced Certificate. The delivery of Year 1 will commence in BCFE in September 2023.
As a registered full-time student you must participate fully on your course. This includes full attendance and participation in all classes. Continuous assessment is an intrinsic feature of all the college’s courses, and this requires full participation, as learning is built on sequential blocks. Courses are demanding and success is dependent upon attendance (in class or online), commitment and hard work. What you truly get out of a course is what you put into it!
Work Experience is a mandatory element of many courses. The arrangements for work experience will vary according to each course, but in general work experience will cover a block of 2 to 3 weeks. Students are encouraged to find their own work experience, but assistance will be given by college staff if necessary. The work experience must be with an employer appropriate to the course.
Garda Vetting is conducted in respect of any person who is carrying out work or activity which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable persons. Healthcare and Social Care students in BCFE will be required to apply for online Garda eVetting so they can carry out work placement. The course coordinator will arrange for online Garda eVetting prior to work placement.
Part-time work is often a necessary source of funding for a student. Striking a balance between the demands of coursework and part time work is also necessary. Working long hours in part-time jobs can greatly interfere with the quality of your course work. The recommendation is no more than 11 hours a week in a part-time job, as any more is considered to be excessive.
Unsatisfactory Participation on Courses
Every course/activity requires a commitment to attend fully, and on time, all parts of the course. Any student unable to fulfil this commitment may be required to leave the course/activity.
Students who have been absent without satisfactory explanation for fifteen days will be deemed to have opted out of the course. In general, a minimum of 75% attendance is required. Re-enrolment can only occur with the permission of the Principal, Cecilia Munro. The policy of the college is to address unsatisfactory attendance in consultation with the student.
Poor attendance will affect SUSI grant payments as BCFE is obliged to confirm attendance with SUSI on a monthly basis.
Your coordinator and individual module teacher will explain the nature and type of assessment that will apply to your course and to each module at induction. These assessments may include portfolios, projects, written reports, skills demonstrations, oral presentations, class-based tests, or examinations.
You should ensure that you are fully aware of the assessment techniques, assessment schedule and percentage allocated to each piece of work. Most of these assessments are locally devised and graded with internal cross- moderation and external verification.
Some QQI, BTEC and degree courses use examinations as part of their assessment provision. It is the responsibility of students to be present on the BCFE campus during term time throughout the academic year to take part in all required assessments and examinations for their course. You will be responsible for ensuring that you are aware of the dates, times, and location of examinations relevant to your course of study.
(See Student guidelines for examinations in the Student Handbook).
- September 2023 All students will receive a course assessment plan on course commencement
- September 2023 to April 2024 Students complete and submit assignments according to the assessment plan throughout the academic year. Feedback will be given to students on all assignments in a timely manner
- Pre-Christmas Examinations take place between Monday, 18th of December and Friday, 22nd of December
- Last date for the final submission of assignments is the 26th April 2024. Assessment evidence submitted after the final submission deadline will be assessed for the Autumn exam boards in September 2024
- End of Year Examinations take place between Monday, 29th of April and Friday, 3rd of May
- In May 2024, all student evidence is prepared for final award determination according to the following process:
- Students upload work in the correct online format for correcting and grading
- All student evidence is internally verified
- All student evidence is verifed externally
- Final Grades Meetings are completed
- Results are uploaded to the different awarding body platforms
- Provisional results are made available to students at the end of May 2024
- Internal progression is offered to those who meet the criteria
- QQI Students who wish to appeal their provisional results in June 2024 will be given 10 days from receipt of their QQI provisional results to lodge an appeal with the college with the payment of an appeals fee.
- BTEC students may appeal their results by emailing email@example.com
- DCU, UoD and IADT students, details on appeals procedures for degrees are available in the respective Handbook or from the degree co-ordinator.
- Students who are unsuccessful in attaining their full award may under exam board criteria be offered either a Summer Projects for QQI or a Summer or Easter Projects for BTEC in order to complete their outstanding modules/ units. Summer and Easter projects will have a defined deadline for submission.
- Students dissatisfied with a grade in a unit/ module must inform their coordinator by email within 48 hours of
receipt of the grade.
- The student will discuss their grade with the subject teacher pending an appeal.
- If the matter is not resolved, and the issue involves the quality of the work the coordinator will appoint a person from the teaching staff to review the work and award a grade without prior knowledge of the student making the appeal and the appellant will be informed of the new grade within 48 hours.
- If the issue relates to the rules and procedures rather than quality of the work, the coordinator will decide on the matter.
- If the student is still not satisfied, then the appeal can be taken to the college BTEC/QQI Coordinator.
- The role of the coordinator is to establish if the correct procedures have been followed.
- Where the correct procedures have been followed, the grade stands.
- The BTEC/ QQI coordinator will respond within one week of the matter being referred to him/ her.
- The student can make a final appeal to the college appeals panel which consists of the Principal, Deputy Principals, and co-opted academic expert(s).
- The panel will respond within two weeks of the matter being referred to the panel.
- The decision of the college’s appeals panel will be final on the matter
All assignments will have a date for completion and submission. Allowances for extended submission dates will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
When a student is aware in advance of a reason for non-submission by the deadline an extension can applied for in writing. In exceptional circumstances a revised deadline can be agreed in writing. Where a student has missed a deadline with no advance notice, the grade is deemed a fail (pending action by the student). Where group work is undertaken as part of assessment, work is assessed both on a group and on an individual basis.
Health and Safety
While on campus students will receive full instruction in the correct and safe handling of equipment and materials. Students are required to work in a safe and responsible manner, you must pay due regard to your own safety and to the safety and welfare of others.
Please familiarise yourself with all exits in case of an emergency evacuation is necessary.
Drinks and food can only be consumed in the social area set aside for that purpose.
No Smoking Zone
The college is a no smoking zone.
Fully equipped First Aid cabinets are located in the porters’ and general offices.