The academic year consists of three terms with three week-long vacations at Christmas and in the spring. Undergraduate programmes consist of modules that are structured into two semesters. Semester 1 modules are delivered in term 1 and semester 2 modules in term 2. The four-week long term 3 is used mainly for the completion of assessments and classes designed to help ensure that you are well prepared for the next stage of your programme.
For more details see our university calendars.
Undergraduate programmes typically consist of four stages, each taking one academic year of full-time study. If you study in part-time mode it will normally take at least two years to complete each stage of your programme. To complete each stage you will need to achieve 120 SCOTCAT credits at the appropriate level (see table below). These credits are part of the national system of credit called the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).
At the end of each stage successful students are eligible for exit awards (see table below) which means you can leave with a qualification even if you do not complete all stages of a programme.
|Stage||Credits per stage||Total Credits||Award Eligibility|
|1||120 @ SCQF level 7||120||Certificate of Higher Education|
|2||120 @ SCQF level 8||240||Diploma of Higher Education|
|3||120 @ SCQF level 9||360||Degree|
|4||120 @ SCQF level 10||480||Honours Degree|
Undergraduate modules are generally either 15 credits (i.e. single credit modules) or 30 credits (i.e. double credit modules). Double credit modules are normally delivered over both semesters and are designed to help you develop an in-depth mastery of an important subject area. Our modular system is designed to give you maximum flexibility during your study with us. As well as the modules that form the core of your programme, many programmes have optional modules that allow you to tailor your programme to meet your interests and career aspirations.
Modules may be assessed by coursework, coursework and examinations, or occasionally by examinations only. Coursework assessments are particularly important because they allow you to find out how well you are progressing and what you need to do to get better grades in future. Normally the assessment of single credit modules is completed within the semester, whereas in most double credit modules assessment takes place at times throughout both semesters.
To progress to the next stage of a programme you will be expected to have passed all the modules in your current stage, although it may be possible to carry a single 15-credit module failure into the next stage. In the first two years of undergraduate programmes (i.e. the Certificate of Higher Education and Diploma of Higher Education stages) you will normally be given an opportunity to be reassessed in any assessments should you not achieve a pass grade.
Where the assessment was handed in before the spring vacation this reassessment opportunity will normally take place before mid-May and will be linked to appropriate tutorial support. Reassessment opportunities for students on the third stage of programmes are only available during the summer vacation.
Our modular scheme opens up a wide range of opportunities for part-time learning. Many of our undergraduate programmes can be studied on a part-time basis during the day by studying individual modules to suit your needs. The flexibility of the University’s modular scheme means that you can study for as few modules as you like (perhaps just one), depending on your aspirations.
Studying in this way involves attending classes during the day. Each module will take approximately three hours of university attendance per week (e.g. one hour of lecture time and two hours of laboratory or tutorial time).