New Student Guide

Welcome to Dunboyne College

Welcome to Dunboyne College of Further Education and welcome to MyDCFE, the college's link for it's students to all the information needed while studying at the college. 

The first time you see this page will be during your registration week. A member of the college teaching staff will go through the page with you section by section. 

Before we get to that, we have a video message and letter from our Principal, Denis Leonard. 

Message from the Principal

Welcome Letter to Students

September 2023

Dear Dunboyne College student,

On behalf of all the staff of Dunboyne College, I want to welcome you to the 2023-24 academic year, and I wish you the very best of luck for the year ahead. As a staff, we thank you for choosing Dunboyne College. Like so many who have gone before you over the past twenty years we hope that you enjoy your experience here. We also want to support you in every way to help you to access the college course or career choice you desire at the end of this programme. We hope you will also meet many new friends, have many new experiences and leave Dunboyne College the better for being here.

College life is very different as you will be expected to do a lot of self-directed learning. There will be many assignments and constant deadlines, and sometimes you may feel under pressure from a few late nights or early mornings. The year goes by very quickly between now and graduation in May so we ask that you use the support services of our college straight away for career guidance, academic support, learning support, language support, IT support, mature student support, or counselling. Your main contact for support is your mentor, and all the support information is in your diary and on the website. If you are ever in doubt, all these services are available through any of the Dunboyne College staff. The Learning Hub building is a one-stop shop for most of these services. 

We ask that you respect everyone on the campus as well as the building itself. The student code of conduct is on the website and we ask that you familiarise yourself with it, as a breach of this code can result in you being asked to leave the course.

The Coffee Shop, Learning Hub and Library are open each day, and you will be informed throughout the year on how and when you can access each. We ask that you only smoke in the designated area and that you only park in areas indicated by Martin Leddy and Tarama Otvare who are our caretakers. We ask that you do not park, smoke, or loiter at the front of the college at any time. As you will see, we have near neighbours running businesses here over many years, and we need to maintain our good relationship with them.

Finally, can you study your timetable closely! You must pass eight fifteen-credit modules to get a full award. Most courses have at least nine modules to maximise the chances of getting the required distinctions. Do not drop a module unless you are very sure that you will still be able to get your full award. (Anything less than a pass in eight modules or failure in a specific module leaves you with a component award; and you would have to finish the unsuccessful modules in another academic year. Certain higher education colleges will accept component awards over two or more years once they have eight completed modules, but most universities usually require you to get your full award in one academic year, as do all nursing programmes.)

If you are in a group where you have the option to choose one of two major awards, make sure you stay in the modules that will give you the award of your choice. Another point to note is that some modules could be a requisite for a particular university place (eg. Maths) or you may simply want a particular module as an enrichment course. If you are unclear on the modules you need, please make an appointment with our guidance counsellors Meabh Nimmo or Derek Ball

Good attendance, meeting deadlines for assignments, and preparing well for exams are the best ways to ensure you get your desired course. We wish you every success in the year ahead and if require any assistance, please just ask.  The key to success is to ask for the appropriate help at the appropriate time. 



Denis Leonard

Denis Leonard


Welcome to MyDCFE

MyDCFE is your link to all the information you need to make the most of being a DCFE student. You can use it to get to nearly all the websites and information you need from day to day.  There is a lot of information heading your way in the opening weeks of college, and it is really easy to forget something. Fear not, everything you need will be here, at MyDCFE.

Before we continue...

Take out your phone and head to

Bookmark the link, write it down, or email it to yourself.

1 - The New Student Guide

During your registration week, you will be introduced to MyDCFE, the main link for all DCFE students to find out about the college. This part of the website is a guide for our new students. On this page, you will read about some of the most important aspects to college life which you need to know about. From your timetable, to where you park, along with how your course is structured. 

The layout of the page is simple. Each section will talk about an important topic which you need to know about before you start your induction sessions. There is a lot of information on this page so after each section, there will be Key Points which sum up the section you are reading. Whenever you see the DCFE logo like below, it means there is a Key Points section which summarises things for you. 

Key Points 1: New Student Guide

2 - Your Mentor

Every class-group at DCFE will have a Mentor. This will be one of your teachers on the course. Their role is mainly one of support, though there is some admin involved too that relates to things like attendance and module choices, but more on that later. If you have any questions or problems about your studies, the class Mentor will be your first port of call. If you have a question and you don't know who to ask, your class Mentor will be able to help you too. 

The Transition to College

Whether you are coming from secondary school or you are returning to education, switching to a college mindset can be difficult. Your learning will perhaps be more self-directed than you are used to. Your teachers will challenge you to think outside the box in a way you may not have experienced before. Your class Mentor will be there to provide support, advice and motivation. All you need to do is ask. For some students just asking can be the most difficult part, so don't be put off. Your Mentor will also be able to advise and refer you on to other student support services in the college. 

Key Points 2: Your Mentor

If you have any questions or problems with your course, speak with your Mentor. They are there to help you.

3 - Coming to Class

All the staff in DCFE are working very hard to ensure that our students get the best experiences at the college, not just from the point of view of academics and your studies, but also from a social point of view.  With this in mind, there are some very important things to know about how you will study at Dunboyne College. 

Key Points 3: Coming to Class

4 - Attendance

It may seem obvious, but attending your classes is really important. If you miss classes, you miss out on exploring your topics so you can understand them better. Your attendance will also be used for your references, so don't expect a good one if you don't show up to class! No amount of reading notes or PowerPoint slides will make up for being a part of your classes each week. 

There is a direct link between doing well in your course with coming to and taking part in classes. Keeping up good attendance helps you get the most from your studies and leads to a more worthwhile and meaningful college experience.

Your teachers will monitor your attendance for every class and your Mentor will track your attendance across your modules, and if something seems the matter, will touch base with you to see what's up. 

If you are receiving a SUSI grant, SUSI will ask DCFE for information on your attendance.

Keep in mind that you are studying a full-time course. You will have classes for all your modules each week, but you will also be expected to work on assignments, projects and other activities outside of class time. For the most part, you won't be doing your assignments in class so make sure you factor that into your week. 

Many courses such as Science, Nursing, Professional Cookery, Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing will require students to take part in practical assessments. If your attendance is poor in these modules, you will lose out on vital practical experience that you will need before any practical assessments. If your attendance drops below an acceptable level, you will not be permitted to take part in certain assessments.

Key Points: 4 - Attendance

DCFE's Attendance Policy

'DCFE recognises the positive correlation between class attendance and student retention and achievement. Any class missed reduces the opportunity for learning and may adversely affect the student’s achievement in the course. Levels of attendance have a direct impact on the success of our students. Students are more likely to complete and achieve their qualification if they attend all classes. Students who arrive late will impact not only on their own learning, but on the learning of the rest of the class. Similarly employers set high expectations of attendance and punctuality in the workplace. We therefore expect our students to comply with high levels of attendance and punctuality.'

5 - Absences

If you need to take time off from college for medical reasons, it is essential that you get your doctor to provide a medical certificate. This is the only way the college will be able to account for your absence and ensure that you are not penalised, such as in references, SUSI grants and attendance awards. 

Key Points 5: Absences

6 - Timetables

Below is a SAMPLE timetable.

Key Points 6: Timetables

Your timetable will change a few times, especially at the start of the year.

The Library and Cabin are available to use when you have free periods.

You must check for any updates to your timetable on Moodle daily.

7 - Modules

As a student of DCFE, you will be working towards achieving a full award, also known as your major award. Your full award is made up of modules, which are shown in your timetable. In order to achieve a full award, you must at least pass 8 modules on your timetable. It is important to know that you can't pass any eight of the modules. You will need to ensure you have the right combination of modules. Your Mentor will be able to explain this in more detail with you during their weekly meetings with you.

Module Combinations

DCFE breaks your modules down into three types; Red modules, Yellow modules and White modules. 

Red Modules

You must pass all red modules. 

If you do not pass them all, you cannot achieve your full award.

Red modules are core modules; the building blocks of your qualification. 

Yellow/Green Modules

Most course have yellow modules, and you will have to complete a minimum number of these.

If you don't, you cannot achieve your full award.

Some courses also have Green modules; again, you will have to a minimum number of those.

These modules tend to be related to course area, but you have some options.

White Modules

In total, you need to have at least eight modules in order to work towards a full award.

Once you add up your core Red modules, and your optional Yellow/Green modules, you can use the White modules to reach your total of eight. 

If you like, you can pick extra Yellow/Green modules instead of White ones. The main thing is that you have at least 8 modules.

Meabh and Derek will take you through this and more, in the video below.

Key Points 7: Modules

8 - Getting Around

Key Points 8: Getting Around

9 - College Policies

Dunboyne College has a number of policies which essentially outline what Dunboyne College expects of it's students and what students can expect from Dunboyne College. For example, DCFE has an Attendance Policy which states the rules and regulations relating to attendance. DCFE also has a Teaching and Learning policy, Anti-Bullying policy, a Student Code of Conduct policy and Data Protection policy

In order to be officially registered as a student of Dunboyne College and to access your course materials online, you must sign up to these policies by logging into Moodle. You will shortly receive an email with your college details and a guide on how to login to Moodle for the first time.

Click here to see our policies on our college website. 

Key Points 9: College Policies

10 - Your College Email

In the coming weeks, Dunboyne College will provide you with your own DBC email account. There is not much to say here other than the really important bullet points below!

Key Points 10: College Email

Keep your email and password safe; do not share these details with anyone.

11 - Acceptable Use / Online Communication

All online communication must adhere to DCFE's Acceptable Use Policy. DBC emails issued to all staff and students are subject to rules of Data Protection.

Think Before You Click! 

Any DBC email account can be compromised when suspicious links or attachments are opened.  If in doubt, delete the email. Anything important related to the college will be discussed by your teachers and Mentors.

If Required to Access & Use Microsoft Teams

Live Streams

Chat in Teams

Webcams / Cameras 

Key Points 11: Acceptable Use / Online Communication

Your Mentor will spend time showing you how to access and use Moodle and Microsoft 365 during your meeting with them next week.

12 - Moodle

A big part of studying in college is using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is a special website which contains a digital space for your course and all of it's modules. Our VLE is called Moodle and on it, you will find a page for each of your modules. Your teachers will use Moodle to upload class materials, and it is also the place where you will engage with activities and submit your assignments for grading.

Your teachers will be using Moodle a lot in order to get you up to speed on the various topics and concepts covered in your modules. Make sure you engage with the materials on Moodle and will be designed to make classes more productive.  You will soon be up to speed and used to using Moodle for your college work. Your Mentor will guide you through using Moodle during your weekly meetings with them.

Logging Into Moodle For The First Time

The quick video below shows you how to login to the DCFE Moodle site.

Key Points 12: Moodle

During your induction with your Mentor next week, you'll be able to log into Moodle and get a virtual tour of the platform delivered by your Mentor.

Along with Moodle, we use Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams.

If you have never heard of them, don't worry! 

During  your induction with your Mentor, you'll learn more about Moodle and your Mentor will guide you through using Moodle.

13 - General Points

Key Points 13: General Points

14 - What Happens Next?

Key Points 14: What Happens Next

Regularly check the email that you used to apply to the college with.

15 - About MyDCFE

MyDCFE is a link for students to get all the information they need about a variety of things relating to the college. From campus maps, transport links all the way to information on student supports, the canteen as well as student parking. Use the buttons below and the navigation bar at the top of every page to explore the site.



Campus Map

Student Welfare

Learning Hub Supports

College Facilities