Approach to teaching

Modularisation and Semesterisation: A New Way to Study

Courses at Cork Institute of Technology are organised in modules and semesters.

The college year will be made up of two equal terms called semesters. During each semester, you will study a number of modules. As well as their specialist modules, students will be able to choose some of their modules from right across the wide range of study areas in CIT.

The Basics of Semesters and Modules


Each year of a full-time course is divided into two equal parts called semesters. Each semester is of 15 weeks duration, including the assessments. Semester I typically starts in September and ends in January while Semester II starts in February and ends in May.


A module is a stand-alone unit of learning and assessment and is completed within one semester. A full time student will normally study 6 modules in each semester.


Credits are awarded to learners who successfully complete the assessments in a module. A module will normally carry 5 credits. Each Semester is worth 30 credits and a full-time year of study is worth 60 credits. This is in line with an international system called the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).


Assessment can consist of examinations, projects, essays, practicals etc. The new system means that the student will be assessed on a more regular basis than before, thus spreading the workload and giving the student better information as to the progress he/she is making. There will be much more continuous assessment (coursework) built into term-time, with less marks than previously going on terminal exams.

Advancement from Semester I to Semester II is automatic. At the end of Semester II, if a student has not achieved the credits needed to progress to the next year, repeat exams will be held in August.

The Benefits

  • Students will have more choice and control of what they learn from a wider range of study.
  • All first year students will take a "Creativity, Innovation and Teamwork" module worth 5 credits. This is designed to excite students about their chosen field of study, to ease the transition to third level and to encourage independent learning.
  • Examinations and assessments will be spread more evenly across the academic year. There should be less cramming for end of year exams.
  • Students will be given clear, consistent and transparent guidelines on exams and assessment issues.
  • Semesterisation & Modularisation is designed to be compatible with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) which will provide a better opportunity for students to study abroad for short periods and for student exchange programmes.
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