Introduction - How to Search - Search Results/Downloading Papers - Tips on Searching


This ISS service provides on-line access to past examination papers from the academic year 2007/2008 onwards. The James Hardiman Library maintains a separate archive of past examination papers for the academic years 2003/2004 through 2006/2007 at this page (opens in new tab).

At present, only papers for written and computer-based examinations that are formally administered by the Examinations Office are available here. Where an examination is administered by an academic discipline or school (departmental assessment), the paper is not submitted to Examinations. Accordingly, papers for departmental assessments are not available for download.

Under this system, papers are provided exactly as they are submitted, with the same paper and class codes and titles as appear on the Examination timetables where they are used. Supplemental materials distributed separately from the papers themselves are not included here.

All papers are published as Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) files.

Papers are block-released after every assessment (examining) period. The release dates for the academic year 2018/2019 are as follows:

Assessment PeriodPlanned
Release Date
Semester 1 15/02/2019 -
Summer 05/07/2017 -
Autumn 04/10/2019 -

This help screen can always be accessed by pressing the 'Help' button on the search form.

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How to Search

In order to execute a valid search, you must enter at least one of the following search terms:

  1. Module code
  2. Module title keyword/phrase
  3. Instance code

You may however enter (or select) as many terms as you wish. Search terms are generally cumulative - the more terms are entered, the more specific the search will be, and the fewer the results.

  1. Module/Subject Code - A module code (e.g., MA100), part of a code (e.g., FR2% for all second year French modules), or an entire subject area as defined by the first part of each module code (e.g., PI for Philosophy).
  2. To make searching for modules by subject area easier, a drop-down list of subject areas is provided. Selecting an entry from this list will cause the subject code to be inserted directly into the Module/Subject Code field.

    In the example above, FR2% can be understood to mean any code starting with FR2, '%' being what is known as a wildcard symbol.

  3. Title Keyword(s)/Phrases - Up to three separate words/phrases which occur in the module title. Where more than one word/phrase is entered, the default behaviour is that all must be found - Can match against any entry. However, this can be changed so that only one of the terms need be found by selecting the Must match against all entries option instead. Entries are not case sensitive.

    More information on title keyword searches is given in the
    Tips on Searching section.

  4. Course Instance - Also known as a class code. For example, 1BA1 or 3BE1. A code can be entered directly or selected from the drop-down list. The list is sorted by course code (BA, BE, BCE, etc.) and then by instance code.

  5. Assessment Sitting - If required, the first or second (repeat) sitting only can be selected. Please note that the "Autumn" period (see below) does not always equate to the second sitting, although that will be the case for most undergraduate programs.

  6. Assessment Period - The examining period of the paper. By default, all periods are included. These are:

  7. Note that Summer is also referred to as Semester 2. Trimesters 1,2 and 3 equate to Semester 1, Summer and Autumn respectively.

    The Summer Repeats/Resits period is relatively new, and refers to the period just after the main Summer period when some Arts students are now examined for a second time. NOTE: As of 2012/2013, this period is no longer in use as an examining period, so no new past papers will be added for it. Arts repeats have reverted to Autumn.

  8. Academic Year - By default, all available academic years are included, starting (under this system) in 2007/2008. A closed range of years can be selected, or an open-ended range in either direction. To select from just the one year, select the same year in both lists.

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Search Results/Downloading Papers

Once a search is entered, results will be shown wherever a paper would have been expected, even where one is not actually available at a point in time. The results are dependent on the block release dates for assessment periods - see the top of this help screen for these.

If there are too many matches returned (the current limit is 500), then no results will be displayed. Instead, advice on how to reduce the number of matches will be shown, the exact text depending on what search terms had been entered.

NOTE: It is possible to download papers in bulk from the results screen. The Firefox bulk downloader add-on DownThemAll has been successfully tested.

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Tips on Searching

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