The Academic System of P.A. College
This part of our website provides useful information regarding the academic system of the College. New students will find in this section terms and definitions as well as other details relating to the operation of the College.
Details such as the duration of the programmes, the academic year and the teaching period, the language of teaching, the method of teaching, the personal tutor and the tutorial systems, as well as information about the student union are all linked in this section.
The duration of the academic programmes
The duration of each programme is indicated in its registered name.
In general, the College offers one year programmes at the certificate level, two-year programmes at the diploma level and four-year honours degree programmes.
The degree programmes (full-time or part-time mode) require the completion of the number of credits specified by the programme structure, over a period of at least 8 semesters (full-time) or 10 semesters (part-time).
The duration of the academic year
Each academic year has two main semesters:
- Autumn (Fall) Semester
- Spring Semester
Each semester has a total of 15 academic weeks as specified in the calendar for the academic year.
- Summer Term:
The College, depending on student demand, may run a summer term for students wishing to speed up their studies. The summer term will have a duration of 7 weeks commencing shortly after the conclusion of the Spring semester in May / June.
The duration of the academic period
Teaching periods have the following duration:
Full-Time Mode: 55 minutes
Part-Time Mode: 45 minutes
The definition of the “credit unit”
As specified in the College Regulations, one credit hour is defined as the equivalent of one academic period of teaching per week over a semester period of 15 weeks.
The same subject taught on the part-time mode may carry a smaller number of credits, however, the subject material and final examinations are the same for both modes of study. Possible minor differences in the total teaching time between the two modes are justified by the smaller number of students of the part time mode as well as the fact that working students have accumulated professional experience facilitating the teaching process.
The definition of the “ECTS”
The College operates in parallel to its own credit unit system the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).
Each module is allocated a number of ECTS units (which may be different from those allocated through the College system). The ECTS facilitates the exchange of students through the Erasmus programme as all participating institutions in Europe have a common reference. Regardless of the individual system used by different institutions, students of one institution who take courses in another can be awarded with the corresponding credit.
Language of Teaching
The official language of teaching, for all programmes, is English. English is used for teaching and assessment purposes and all textbooks and other material used for each course are all in English.
This constitutes a major advantage for our students as English is also the official business language in Cyprus, is the language of communication with other companies all over the world, and is the language required for the professional examinations run by the major professional bodies of the United Kingdom.
Method of Teaching
Our teaching method includes a combination of lectures and presentations, tutorials with small groups of students, individual tuition and supervised practical workshop sessions.
Students also learn through working in groups for their assignments, through in-class presentations as well as through presentations and lectures by guest speakers and academics participating in the Erasmus Teaching Mobility programme.
The Tutorial System
Another important feature of College life is the tutorial system, in which small groups of students discuss specific issues with a member of the faculty. Students are also given an opportunity for reading and private study, which is the essence of College education. In these small groups a student can develop as an individual, not merely as one of a class. The technique of learning for oneself is perhaps the most important thing to learn and experience at a College/ University.
The Personal Tutor System
Students are allocated personal tutors who are members of the academic staff. The tutors act in a personal advisory capacity for the duration of a programme or an academic year and provide counselling on option choices and career development.
Personal tutors may also provide guidance and assistance to students in need of support over personal problems. The allocation of students to tutors is announced at the beginning of the Fall semester. A revised allocation is announced at the beginning of the Spring semester to account for the allocation of the new students joining the College as well as the fact that some students may graduate in Fall and have to be removed from the lists.
The Students’ Union
On enrolment, every student automatically becomes a member of the Students’ Union and receives his/her student card. The College has a formally structured Students’ Union with officers and ordinary members elected annually. The details of the election procedures are specified in the Internal Regulation and are distributed to the students through the Student Handbook.
The Union offers welfare advice to its members, and student representatives are invited to participate in various committees set up by the College. The Union, depending on student interest and participation, offers a wide range of sport, recreational and social activities including bands, party nights, educational visits, excursions, special events, and numerous clubs, all being essential to make time at the College more enjoyable. Students are strongly encourage to participate and contribute to the activities of the Union since this strengthens the sense of community and society among the students.