Exam Supports

As a DSS student you may be entitled to access exam supports (reasonable accommodations), such as extra time, to type, use of reading software, or a smaller shared exam room, as part of your DSS supports which are confirmed in your Needs Assessment which are informed by the DAWN national guidelines. 

The DSS will also inform the Examinations staff in your campus of these supports with your permission. There are different procedures in order to request exam supports in the university and deadlines each semester. Please read the information below to find out more, and if you have any questions please email dssCork@mtu.ie or the Exams staff on your campus.


Examinations at university

There are two main kinds of examinations in university. You can have a timed Assessment and/or an End-of-Semester Examination.

  • Timed Assessments typically happen over the course of the semester. They tend to be shorter examinations such as MCQs (multiple choice questions) or short exams. They are usually run by a student’s lecturer or department in the class or lecture room or online through Canvas. Some lecturers may book an exam hall for a timed assessment on campus.
  • End-of-Semester Examinations are usually 2-hour exams that take place at the end of each semester, and repeat/deferred exams take place in August. They are co-ordinated by the Examinations staff on your campus. They usually occur in the main examination venues on campus, but could be online.

The MTU Cork campus Examinations website has information about the exam dates, exam timetables, appeals, and past exam papers.


Exam supports

A DSS student's exam supports are confirmed in their needs assessment document. These may differ from those received previously in school or college. The DSS advocates the use of technology in exams such as reading software and typing (instead of a reader/scribe) to promote independent skills and learning.

This document explains what the typical exam supports for DSS students mean: Exam Supports (PDF - 1MB)


Requesting Exam supports

There may be different procedures for requesting exam supports either directly from your lecturer or from Examinations staff - please check your MTU student e-mail for the most up-to-date information. If you have any queries, please check with the Examinations staff in your campus (See details below).

These are some general guidelines for requesting/accessing supports:

  • Extra time – It is important to inform your lecturer in advance using your Needs Assessment document to request extra time or rest breaks (at least 1 week’s notice) or apply by the deadlines outlined in any emails. Or you can request extra time in the main exam hall during end-of-semester exams on campus.
  • Many exam supports involve a student sitting the exam in a different venue to access these supports such as reading software, typing etc, or a student may be entitled to a smaller exam room - if this is the case you need to request these supports from your campus Examination staff.
  • Assistive technology (AT) – If you are entitled to use assistive technology in exams such as reading software – you should download and practice using this in advance of any test or exam. Software installation information and training guides are available from Mark Burleigh, DSS Assistive Technology Officer, email mark.burleigh@mtu.ie


End-of-semester exams DSS Application deadlines

You must apply for supports with the DSS and receive a needs assessment by the dates below in order to request exam supports for end-of-semester timetabled exams. This applies to students in all campuses. Craft apprentices should check the application deadlines on their DSS webpage.

  • Semester 1 exams
Friday 3 November 2023
  • Semester 2 exams 
Friday 8 March 2024
  • August (repeat) exams
Monday 1 July 2024


  • Students who apply for DSS supports these dates will be accommodated in the next exam session and can still access extra time (if entitled).
  • Students with temporary injuries such as broken hands should contact the Examinations staff in their campus directly to see what supports are possible - please see the Examinations support webpage.


Marking Guidelines for students with reading, writing or spelling difficulties

MTU does not have a spelling and grammar waiver but DSS students can direct their lecturers to these Marking Guidelines for their timed written examinations if this is stated on your needs assessment..

The Marking Guidelines are available to download here.

Please note that the marking guidelines are not appropriate for any continuous assessment work that is submitted by the student such as essays, reports and theses, as DSS students are expected to engage with other supports such as proofreading software, learning support on academic writing skills etc.



Exam Supports by campus


Bishopstown campus

Muraod Kennedy, the Examination Supports Administrator in the Examinations Office, is responsible for organising exam supports for Bishopstown campus DSS students for end-of-semester exams and assessments. E-mail: examsdssCork@mtu.ie Tel. 021 433 5090



1. Requesting exam supports for end-of-semester exams

If you wish to request exam supports for these exams, such as reading software, use of computer to type, or a smaller/separate room, you must contact the Examinations office by filling out the online request form on the Exams Support webpage. Students who only wish to use extra time can use this support in main exam venue.


2. Requesting exam supports for in-class written tests

In-class tests/assessments are run by your lecturer/department. Most DSS students sit these without supports, or with extra time - after requesting this from their lecturer with at least 1 week’s notice. 

If you wish to use reading software, use of computer to type, or a smaller/separate room for in-class written assessments timetabled by your lecturer/department, you need to fill out the online request form with 1 week’s notice on the Exams Support webpage.

If possible, the Examinations Office will assist depending on room availability and other resources.


MTU Cork School of Music

If you need exam supports for your end-of-semester exams that involve taking an exam in a room separate to the main exam venue speak to your lecturer and email the Student Administrator at CSM.FullTimeCoursesCork@mtu.ie or Tel: 021 480 7309 with as much notice as possible.

If you have in-class written tests and you need extra time, a separate room, reading support/laptop for these tests, you should speak to your lecturer first well in advance to see what is possible, as sometimes students find extra time is enough.


National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI)

For students studying the Bachelor Degrees in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, and Marine Electrotechnology, the Department of Transport is the regulatory body that accredits the associated professional qualifications. Different regulations apply regarding exam supports for students taking NMCI written examinations, for the purpose of attaining these associated professional qualifications (i.e. Certificate of Competency).


The DOT Marine Notice No 65 of 2013 outlines the exam accommodations allowed for students with dyslexia. Different DOT regulations apply regarding exam supports for students taking NMCI written examinations for the purpose of attaining these associated professional qualifications (i.e. Certificate of Competency). This includes:

  • 10 minutes per hour extra time allowance and use of use of acetates or tinted film if required.
  • The extra time may be allowed in the main venue or a separate centre – this will be decided by the NMCI.
  • Allowances for spelling errors and composition of passages are also allowed if the meaning of the answer is clear to the examiner.
  • The use of a reader, scribe or laptop is not allowed.


If you apply for exam supports with the DSS, the information is confidential and is sent only to Capt. Sinéad Reen, the NMCI Head of the Department of Maritime Studies, and the NMCI Examinations Secretary with your permission.

  • Jade Atkinson, Assistant Staff Officer  Tel: 021 433 5645    E-mail: jadel.atkinson@mtu.ie
  • If you have any questions please contact, in confidence, the DSS or Capt. Sinéad Reen, Tel: 021 433 5612 E-mail: sinead.reen@mtu.ie


MTU Crawford College of Art and Design

Crawford College of Art and Design students do not usually have official exams but you may have a test in Art History in first year.

Please speak to your lecturer well in advance if you think you may need any exam supports.