Patterns of elective choice in the UCD undergraduate curriculum,

Dunnion, J., Loughran, H. and Purcell, P. (2010) Patterns of elective choice in the UCD undergraduate curriculum,. In: Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Research Conference 2010, Celtic Manor, Wales..


In 2005, University College Dublin (UCD) introduced the Horizons initiative thatresulted in the development of fully modularised, semesterised and credit-baseddegree programmes. One of the key features of the initiative was the introduction ofan element of elective choice for students in the first three years of theirundergraduate studies. In each year, students can select two modules out of the twelvemodules they take from any programme across the University. This paper examinesthe impact of the Horizons initiative on three disciplines in University College Dublin,namely, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Social Science. Examination of thedata shows that 72% of Civil Engineering students, 47% of Computer Sciencestudents and 16% of Social Science students avail of the opportunity to study modulesoutside their programme areas of study. Few non-Civil Engineering students (5%)avail of electives offered by the programme, while in the case of Computer Science asignificantly greater number (46%) avail of the opportunity to study ComputerScience electives. The popularity of Social Science modules to non-programmestudents ranged from 6% to 27%, depending upon the module on offer.

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Purcell et al 2010 Patterns-of-elective-choice-in-the-University-College-Dublin-undergraduate-curriculum.pdf

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