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Faculty Of Arts

Ordinary Diploma Programmes Regulations

Admission and Registration Requirements

A candidate must satisfy the prescribed University of Nairobi requirements.


In addition, the minimum qualification for admission to an Ordinary Diploma programme are:


(i)                  KCSE certificate with a minimum aggregate of C (plain), or equivalent.

(ii)               'O' level certificate with a minimum grade of Division II, or equivalent; or Division III plus evidence of relevant academic or professional training.

(iii)              'A' level qualification with a minimum of one (1) principal pass, or equivalent.


Individual departments within the Faculty of Arts may set additional requirements specific to their disciplinary mandates, and these shall be subject to Senate approval.


Subject to approval by the Faculty of Arts and the department(s) concerned, a candidate enrolled in any ordinary diploma programme, or equivalent, at the University of Nairobi or any other University recognized by the University of Nairobi Nairobi may register for, attend lectures and be examined in any one or more course units in any equivalent programme of his/her choice within the Faculty of Arts.


Registration for courses by continuing students shall take place before the end of the preceding semester.  Where these regulations are silent on any aspect of University admission, existing University of Nairobi regulations shall apply.

  Course Structure, Mode of Instruction and Duration

Each Ordinary Diploma candidate shall be required to successfully take at least eight (8) approved course units as well as a project paper where specified.  Individual departments shall determine how the eight course units shall be apportioned in terms of core, specialization, and elective clusters.


Each department may identify core, theory and/or methods courses which all Ordinary Diploma candidates within the department shall take, provided that these shall not exceed two (2) course units.  Each candidate shall be entitled to take at least one elective course.

The Ordinary Diploma programme shall consist of lectures, lecture-discussions, class presentations, seminars, demonstrations, fieldwork, student-teacher consultations, supervised independent study, coursework, or any combination of these, as well as written final examinations, and shall run for a minimum of two (2) semesters of fifteen weeks each and a maximum of eight (8) semesters.  However, some departments or programmes may, with prior Senate approval, require a minimum of three semesters, with the third semester being devoted to additional taught courses, semester-long laboratory work, field work, field placement, or project paper.


Except where a semester-long project is required, the minimum load in each semester shall be two (2) course units; while the maximum load shall be four (4) course units per semester.  A semester-long project consisting of laboratory/field work or project paper shall be treated as the equivalent of two course units.


Where a semester-long project paper is not required, one course unit out of the minimum of eight required to graduate may be designed to give candidates the opportunity to develop skills in independent research work and project report-writing.


Candidates shall be free to satisfy the requirements for elective courses in any department within the Faculty of Arts or any other Faculty or equivalent, subject to the prior approval of the department(s) and Faculties concerned.


Students shall undergo continuous assessment in each taught course in each semester.  Such assessment shall take the form of written tests, term paper, oral presentations, field assignment, or any combination of these.


Course Evaluation by Students

At the end of each semester, during the last class, a time shall be set aside for students registered in each taught course unit to anonymously evaluate the course and lecturer using a questionnaire developed by the Faculty office in consultation with the departments.  Students may otherwise register their views regarding the quality of teaching by any lecturer to the Chair of the Department concerned, or the Dean, at any time during the semester.


Examination Regulations

Final University of Nairobi examinations shall be given at the end of every semester in each taught course unit; and each final examination shall be in the form of a two-hour written examination paper.


Where a semester-long project paper is required, work on the project paper shall be started and completed during the final semester of the ordinary diploma programme.


To be awarded the ordinary diploma, a candidate must pass all specialized, core and elective curse units taken, as well as the Project Paper where applicable.

All examinations shall be governed by the following rules:


(i)                   The written final examination shall account for seventy percent (70%) of all the marks in each course unit, while continuous assessment tests shall account for thirty percent (30%).  The Project Paper or "Independent Research" paper shall be marked over 100, as there shall be no continuous assessment test associated with them.


(ii)                 A candidate who fails in any examination in any unit may re-sit or re-take that examination when it is next given during scheduled end-of-semester examinations, provided that he/she shall pay such fees as may be prescribed by the Faculty and the University.


(iii)                A candidate who fails in any examination in an elective course unit may, at his/her own discretion, after payment of the request fees register in an alternative elective course unit.


(iv)               In the event that a candidate re-sits the final examination in any course unit, the continuous coursework marks pertaining to that course unit shall not be considered in calculating the final grade.


(v)                 A student who, for good cause supported with authenticated documentary evidence, fails to sit or complete an end-of-semester may be allowed to sit for the paper(s) concerned when the examination is next scheduled, without paying additional fees.


Processing of Examinations

All written examinations shall be processed at the end of the semester in which they are taken.


An external examiner shall be invited at least once each academic year to moderate all end-of-semester examinations.

Exemption from One or More Course Units

A person admitted to the ordinary diploma programme may, on acceptable grounds, apply for exemption from one or more course units, provided that no person shall be exempted from more than thirty percent (30%) of the total number of course units that he/she shall be required to take in order to graduate.

Intermission of Studies

A candidate may intermit his/her studies at any time, for good cause conveyed in writing to the Chair of the department concerned, the Dean, and the Academic Registrar, and may resume later after duly notifying the Chair of the department concerned, the Dean, and the Academic Registrar.  During the entire period of intermission the student shall be required to keep his/her registration current by paying such intermission charges as the Faculty of Arts may from time to time determine.  Such charges shall reflect the period of intermission, which shall not exceed three (3) consecutive semesters.


Change of Course Registration

A candidate may officially change his/her registration from one or more course units to another or other course units being offered in any semester, provided that such a change is effected within the first two weeks of the scheduled beginning of the semester in question, and provided that such a change does not conflict with any curriculum requirements, or prescribed course sequences.


Payment of Tuition and Related Charges

Subject to such minimum charges as the University may prescribe, tuition and related fees shall be payable in advance to the official receiving officer according to the number of course units to be taken in a particular semester.  The amount of fees per course unit paid by Kenyan and non-Kenyan students shall be reviewed by the Faculty from time to time.


A student who pays fees but subsequently receives a certificate of exemption or is compelled by unavoidable circumstances to withdraw within the first three weeks of a semester, shall be entitled to a refund on a pro rata basis, less the prescribed withdrawal charge; provided that such withdrawal shall have been officially conveyed to and received by the Dean, Faculty of Arts and the University's Academic Registrar within the first three weeks of the scheduled beginning of the relevant semester.  Students who withdraw without following this procedure, or who withdraw after the first three weeks, shall not be entitled to any refund, but shall instead be free to exercise their right to intermit their studies as provided for in these Regulations or to carry forward their fees to subsequent semesters.


Award of Ordinary Diplomas

Each successful candidate for an Ordinary Diploma shall be awarded a University of Nairobi Ordinary Diploma certificate which shall specify the candidate's broad area of study or training.  In addition, each candidate shall receive a University Transcript specifying, inter alia, all the course units taken, their course codes, and the letter grades obtained in each.  The class of the Ordinary Diploma awarded shall be based on the average marks obtained in all course units.


The Ordinary Diploma shall be graded as follows:-

70% and above                            = [Distinction]

60% to 69%                               = [Credit]

50% to 59%                               = [Credit]

40% to 49%                                 = [Pass]