Arts and Sciences BASc 3 years

The three-year programme of core courses, major and minor pathway and internship.


Arts and Sciences with Study Abroad BASc 4 years

The three-year programme plus an additional year abroad.



BASc degree: Rules and Regulations

Please click on the different sections below to view important information about the BASc degree and its rules and regulations.

Degree Structure

The structure of the BASc degrees are broadly similar to those of other UCL degrees, however, the number of modules you take in your major and minor pathway each year is fairly rigid. The structure of the degree each year is shown at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/prospective/structure

Each year, you must take and complete 4 course units (cu). Completing is not the same as passing. It means completing all the elements of assessment for each module, e.g. two essays, a blog and a podcast, and satisfying the attendance requirement. Failure to complete a module will mean you will have to retake or resit at a later date and may extend the duration of your degree.

Each year, you will have to complete the following compulsory Core modules:

Year 1

  • BASC1001 Approaches to Knowledge (0.5cu)
  • BASC1002 Quantitative Methods: Exploring Complexity (0.5 cu)
  • BASC1003 Interdisciplinary Research Methods (0.5cu)
  • BASC1004 End-of-Year Lab Conference (0cu)
  • Language (0.5cu)

Year 2

  • Core Course (0.5cu) - choose one or two of:

    • BASC2001 Object Lessons: Communicating Knowledge through Collections (0.5cu)
    • BASC2002 Quantitative Methods 2: Data Literacy and Visualisation (0.5cu)
    • BASC2003 Making Value Judgements: Qualitative Thinking (0.5cu) 
  • Interdisciplinary Elective (0.5cu) – choose one or two of:

    • BASC2012 Science meets Religion in the Global Community
    • BASC2032 Evolution and the Human Condition
    • BASC2042 Understanding Cities and their Spatial Cultures
    • BASC2052 Migration and Health
    • BASC2072 Energy Systems
    • BASC2082 Technology in Arts and Cultural Heritage
    • BASC2092 Psychology in the Real World
    • BASC2093 Environment Sociology
    • BASC2094 Interdisciplinary Game Theory
  • Language (0.5cu)

You can view the flexibility of how you select your second year modules at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/current/Choices

Year 3 (if on study abroad course)

  • BASC3090 Study Abroad Dissertation (1.0cu)
  • BASC3091 Study Abroad 'Shell Units' (3.0 cu)

Final Year

  • BASC3001 The Knowledge Economy (0.5cu)
  • BASC3002 Dissertation (1.0cu)
  • Language (0.5cu)

Information on the content of each of the Core course can be viewed on our webpages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/prospective/core

In Year 1, your other 2.0cu are made up with your pathway choices – 1.5cu for your major pathway and 0.5cu for your minor pathway. In Year 2, you may choose 2.0cu from your major pathway and 0.5cu from your minor, or 1.5cu from your major and 1.0cu from your minor (if you choose to only take one of the Core modules and one of the Interdisciplinary Electives listed above). It is not possible to study more than 0.5cu in your minor pathway during Year 1, but it is possible to study 1.0cu in your second and final year.

The subjects available under each pathway can be viewed on our webpages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/prospective/pathways

Degree Classification

The calculation of your degree classification is as follows:

3 Year Degree Classification (Y000) 4 Year Degree Classification (Y001)

Year 1

Average of your best three units, weighted 11.11%

Year 1

Average of your best three units, weighted 11.11%

Year 2

Average of your best 3.5 units, weighted 33.33%

Year 2

Average of your best 3.5 units, weighted 33.33%

Year 3

Average of all 4 units, weighted 55.56%

Year 3

Completion of all Shell-Units and the BASC3090 Study Abroad Dissertation module


Year 4

Average of 5 units x 55.56% (i.e. four final year units plus BASC3090 Study Abroad Dissertation)

UCL Mark Scale

Since 2005, all assessment has come under the UCL Harmonised Scheme of Award. This means that marks from all years of your degree are used in your final degree classification (as shown above). All work at UCL is assessed using the following marking scheme.

UCL mark scale for students who enrolled in 2012 or 2013

Above 70
First Class
60 - 69
Upper Second Class (2:1)
50 - 59
Lower Second Class (2:2)
40 - 49
Pass mark
35 - 39
Fail (Referral)
Under 35

UCL mark scale for students who enrolled in 2014

Above 70
First Class
60 - 69
Upper Second Class (2:1)
50 - 59
Lower Second Class (2:2)
40 - 49
Pass mark
39 or below

For students who enrolled for the first time in September 2014, there is no longer an option for a Referral (unless you take a module in the Engineering, Life Sciences or Mathematics and Physical Sciences faculties). Students who obtain 39 or below in a particular module will be required to retake the module in the next academic year.


The UCL rules relating to progression and resits are driven by the following underlying rules:

  1. You must take and complete 12 units (16 for the Study Abroad degree).
  2. You must pass 11 units (14.5 for the Study Abroad degree).

The rules for each year of your degree programme are designed to help you reach this target. The rules for progressing to each year of study are:

  • From Year 1 to Year 2 - passed 3.0 units of the 4.0 units taken
  • From Year 2 to Year 3 - passed 7.0 units of the 8.0 units taken AND be complete in all of your first year modules
  • From Year 3 to Year 4 (for Y001 students) - passed 11.0 units of the 12.0 units taken AND be complete in 12.0 units

Failure to meet the progression rules above would mean that you could not continue to the next year of study.

If you have to retake a failed 1.0 or 0.5cu in your second or final year, then this will be on top of the four new course units you must complete during that year. Whichever mark is highest from either the original exam sitting or the retake will then go back into your first year results and overwrite the fail mark originally obtained. However, the year the exam was taken and passed would be shown on your final record.

It is not possible to retake failed first year modules in your final year, as you cannot progress to the final year if you have passed less than 7 courses. As shown in the degree classification above, the marks from the best three modules, i.e. six of the eight courses you complete, contribute 11.11% of your final degree classification.

If you want to study abroad in Year 3, then you need to have obtained an average of 60% or above in all four of your first year courses and passed all of your second year units. Further information on the regulations to study abroad can be found in the Study Abroad section at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/study-abroad/regulations

To be awarded a BASc (Honours) degree, you must have passed a minimum of 11cu and completed 12cu if you’re on the three year degree (Y000) and 14.5cu and completed 16cu if you’re on the Year Abroad degree (Y001). Of these, at least 3.0cu of Advanced level courses must be taken and passed.

Failure to do all of the above means that the degree will not be awarded.

Not completing or failing a module

Under UCL regulations, students are normally permitted no more than two attempts at the assessment of any course unit. Marks for resit / repeat attempts are not automatically capped.

Please note that you cannot choose to resit a module you have already passed in order to improve your mark.

The consequences of not completing or failing a module depend on the circumstances.

There are three different reasons why you might not obtain a pass for a module:

  • Failure to complete one or more elements of assessment
  • Failure to pass one or more elements of assessment.
  • Deregistration

Failure to complete one or more components of assessment

If your attendance at the module is satisfactory, but you do not complete one or more components of assessment (e.g. you only submit one of two required essays, or you miss the exam for no good reason), your result will be incomplete. This has serious implications for your degree as, in order to be eligible for an honours degree, you are required to ‘complete’ 12 units (16 for the year abroad degree).

At UCL there is an important difference between failing a module – even if a module has been irredeemably failed after both the first and the second attempts – and being ‘incomplete’ in the assessment for a module: it is possible to fail a module permanently, while nevertheless ‘completing’ it. The difference can be very significant.

In order to be complete in a module, you must have been academically assessed in all of the examined elements relating to the module on at least the first or the second attempt. In other words, you must have seriously attempted all relevant assessment at least once, instead of being absent and / or failing to submit work. Merely attending an examination without making a credible attempt that can be academically assessed or submitting empty pages or negligible work that cannot be academically assessed does not complete the assessment.

Completing all modules, even if some modules may have been failed, is very important: in order to progress from year 2 to year 3 you must be complete in all year 1 modules; in order to progress from year 3 to year 4 (for four-year degrees), you must be complete in all modules taken in the first three years. This means that you may need to re-sit a module during your year abroad if you have failed a module in your second year. If you become permanently ‘incomplete’ in a module, you may therefore no longer be able to progress and will have to leave UCL. Final-year students who become ‘incomplete’ in a module by failing to attempt a re-sit after already having failed to complete all elements of assessment on the first attempt will no longer qualify for a classified honours degree and may only qualify for an unclassified ordinary degree.

It is therefore particularly important not to miss assessment by failing to submit work or being absent from examination; and it is imperative not to do so on a second attempt if the assessment for the module has remained incomplete after the first attempt.

Further details and the formal regulations can be found in paragraph 2.10.1 of UCL’s Academic Regulations for Students: Undergraduate Programmes, Section 2: General Regulations at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/acd_regs

If you are incomplete then you will be required to complete the missing components of assessment at the next opportunity. You do not need to re-attend the module, or to resit / resubmit components of assessment that you have already passed. For example, if you passed the exam but did not submit your coursework essays, you would not need to resit the exam. Portico should automatically re-enter you for the components that you need to complete. In cases of re-sits the best of the two attempts will count as the final mark.

Failure to pass one or more components of assessment

In order to pass a module, you need to obtain an overall mark of 40 or more for each component of assessment.

Failure to pass a module is not necessarily as serious as failure to complete it. In order to be eligible for an honours degree, students are required to pass only 11 of the 12 course units (14.5 out of 16 units for the year abroad degree).

If you fail a module, you have the opportunity to resit the component(s) that you failed. You do not need to re-attend the module, or to resit / resubmit components of assessment that you have already passed. For example, if you passed the coursework component but not the exam, you would not need to resubmit the coursework. Portico should automatically re-enter you for the component(s) that you need to resit.

If your overall mark for a module is between 35 and 39 and you are a continuing student who began your programme of study prior to September 2014, you will be given the opportunity to complete supplementary work over the summer in order to increase your overall mark to the minimum pass mark of 40. This is known as a ‘referred’ assessment. Referred assessment counts as part of your first attempt at a module, and if you pass the work that is set, the result that will appear on your transcript is a pass with a mark of 40. Referred assessments are not available to Finalist students, or to students who began their programme of study from September 2014, with the exception of students enrolled on modules taken in the Engineering, Life Sciences or Mathematical and Physical Sciences faculties.

Referred assessment is optional. If you choose not to undertake it, or if you fail the work that is set, the normal procedures for resitting the module apply.


If your attendance or work for any module is deemed unsatisfactory by the teaching department of the course, you may be deregistered from it. The implications of this are serious as, in order to be eligible for an honours degree, you are required to complete 12 units (16 for the year abroad degree). If your attendance is unsatisfactory, you will be given a formal written warning (by letter or email) in time for you to rectify the situation.

If your attendance does not improve and you are deregistered from the module, you will need to repeat the module (attending regularly) in the following academic year. Provided that you need to repeat no more than one course unit, you will be normally be able to do so in addition to the four units that you would be expected to take. If the module in question is not available the following year, with the approval of the Departmental Tutor, you may be able to substitute it with another module.

You should also be aware that, if you are deregistered from a module, you might not have sufficient units to progress to the next year of study. In this case, in the following academic year, you would normally need to register as a part-time revision student to complete the necessary units.


To be considered to have completed a module, your attendance must be satisfactory, you must submit all required coursework, and you must take all parts of any examination.
You will be considered incomplete for a module if you do not submit the required coursework and / or take all parts of any examination.
Any mark below 40 is a fail.
Deferred assessment
Assessment arranged for first or second-year candidates who were unable to sit an examination at the scheduled time due to illness or another serious problem.
Any mark of 40 or above is a pass.
Referred assessment
Supplementary assessment available to first and second-years who have narrowly failed a module (marks of 35-39).
This option is not available to students who enrolled in, or after, September 2014 unless the failed module is in the Engineering, Life Sciences or Mathematical and Physical Scieces faculties.

To take a module for a second time, attending all lectures / classes / seminars
To make a second attempt at a component of assessment that has been failed. Attendance at lectures / classes / seminars is not required.

Repeating and retaking / resitting a course unit

If you fail any modules in your first year, then you will have to resit it in your second year on top of the new 4.0cu you will also be taking.

If you enrolled in 2012 or 2013 and fail with a mark of 35-39, then this is classified as a Referral and so you are allowed a second attempt at it in the July / August / September following the usual May exam period. However, if you enrolled in 2014, then the Referral option is not available to you (unless the relevant module is in the Engeering, Life Sciences or Mathematical and Physical Sciences faculties) and you would have to retake the exam the following May.

If you fail a course unit (0.5 or 1.0 unit in value) - i.e. you receive a mark of 34 or under if you're a second or third year or 39 or below if you're a first year, you will need to do the course unit again the following year (on top of your 4 new units for that year). You have the choice of either 'resitting / retaking' the course unit or 'repeating' it. Resitting / retaking means just redoing the assessments for the course without attending the course lectures / seminars.

Repeating means both redoing the assessments and attending all the classes & seminars. Students are generally advised to repeat as this will give you a better chance of passing the second time round (no more chances after that), but this is not compulsory i.e. it is your choice. If you fail more than 1 unit at the end of each year, you will not normally be allowed to progress to the next year and will spend the following year as a PTR student = part-time-repeat or part-time-resit student. A part-time resit student does not pay tuition fees and just resubmits assessments. A part-time repeat student pays tuition fees pro-rata i.e. according to the number of courses they are repeating plus resubmits the assessments.

Students are required to advance the level of their units as they progress throughout their degree as you must demonstrate progression into depth of study to show that you have reached an advanced level in a given set of subjects. These courses normally begin with a 3, e.g. BASC3001, but might also begin with a 7.

However, it is possible to take a Year 1 course in Year 2, proividing there is a sound academic reason to do so, e.g. taking a particular year 1 course will allow you to progress in that area in your final year, and your Personal Tutor agrees to it. If you choose to do this, then you should be aware that you may not be able to take a particular subject in your final year because you will not have completed the intermediate level by the end of Year 2.

We therefore recommend that you take as many Advanced level subjects, with at least 3.5cu of Advanced level modules, in your final year as possible, in order to reduce the risk of not passing 3.0 of them.

If you choose to take an Advanced level course in your first or second year (e.g. a language course), it carries no more 'weight' than a beginners or intermediate level course and will have the standard weighting for Year 1 / Year 2. You can, however, take an advanced level language course in your first year if your ability in your chosen language is already strong.

You can check the level of a module on Portico in the 'Module Directory' in the 'Module Registration' box.

Switching modules

We know that, sometimes, students want to switch modules. If you want to switch within the first two weeks of teaching for a module within the same term, then please contact Cristy or Amanda who will check availability for you.

Switching from a term 1 module to a term 2 module

If you want to switch from a term 1 module to something that's taught in term 2, then you have until Friday 30 October 2015 to request this. Again, it will depend on availability and some departments will not consider requests to switch to a term 2 module until their own January affiliate students have submitted their course choices.

If you request a change after this date, then we need to seek approval from both the Departmental Tutor and the Faculty Tutor. Final approval will normally only be given by the Faculty Tutor if a student has suffered from extenuating circumstances which has affected their ability to study a module. Not liking the module / it being harder than expected / you don't think you'll perform well in the assessment are NOT grounds for requesting a switch to a term 2 course.

Full information on the policy for switching from a term 1 to a term 2 course can be found by logging into the Faculty Office intranet at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ah-shs-office/documents/term1_2_module_sub_policy

If you request a change from a term 1 to a term 2 module, you must continue studying the original module, including the submission of any required work, while your request is under consideration in case your request is unsuccessful.

Language Rules

  • Students must take 0.5 CU of language courses every year as part of the BASc Core.
  • In, or before, their final year, students should meet the prerequisites for, and take, a modern language course which is at a minimum of UCL “Advanced” level (CLIE Level C).
  • Students wishing to change their language must have passed a course at CLIE Level D in that language and must begin their new language at a minimum of CLIE Level B (UCL “Intermediate” level).
  • Students are not permitted to take modules at UCL “First” level in any subject in their final year; this includes CLIE “Beginners” level language modules.
  • Your CLIE language tutor is the first person to contact if you have any questions about your course. Each tutor has an office hour when they are available to answer any queries relating to the course. CLIE language tutors are also available to advise specifically on self-study.
  • Each language has a senior Coordinator who you can also contact.
  • Students should also refer to the Language and TEFL Course Units 2015-2016 booklet that is given to all students at the start of the academic year for information on assessment requirements.
  • For course administration (including changing to another class group), please contact the CLIE Course Units office (clie-courseunits@ucl.ac.uk). If you have any questions about your course level then you should go to the Course Units office before Reading Week in Term 1 (Friday 6 November 2015).

Language Progression

If you fail your language course (UCL pass mark = 40), you may be permitted to continue with the next level of language (in Year 2) but you must also resit / complete the failed language course (also in Year 2).

Applicable to students who enrolled at UCL prior to September 2014 only.

If you fail with an overall result of 35-39%, you will be offered 'referred assessment' over the summer (July / August). This gives you a chance to turn the fail into a Pass but you cannot achieve a mark any higher than 40 (i.e. a Pass), even if you get 80% in your summer referral.

This rule applies to all UCL courses, although other departments may not allow you to take a higher level in the subject you have failed before you have passed the 1st level course, because satisfactory performance at the first level is a prerequisite for the next level.

For students who enrolled at UCL in September 2014

If you fail with an overall result of 39% or less, you will have to resit / complete the failed language course in Year 2, alongside the next level of your language.

Year 2 and Final Year Courses

Choices for your second and final year modules are made towards the beginning of Term 3 before the exam period begins. If you are taking History modules in either your major or minor pathway, then you may have to select your courses in March. Most departments will not have finalised the courses that are running in the next academic year at that point, but it will allow you to discuss your preliminary choices with your Personal Tutor.

When you select your second and final year courses, you do not have to restrict yourself to the courses shown on the BASc webpages (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/prospective/pathways), as these are just suggestions. You should also look at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/current/Choices when making your choices, as this page shows any restrictions to your choices, e.g. modules that are closed to external students.

With the help of your Personal Tutor, you can consider other UCL courses that are related to your major and / or minor field. If you want to take a module outside of the suggested courses, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  1. The choice must be consistent with your Pathway objectives.
  2. You must meet the prerequisites for a module, e.g. you can’t do Year 2 modules in Computer Science without COMP102P. NB, although we aim to prepare you for a very wide range of choices in each department, there may be some modules in the second and third year which are not available due to prerequisites.
  3. The times of the modules chosen must fit in with the other modules on your timetable. It is not possible to change the time of the courses so you would need to find an alternative choice which you are able to attend.
  4. Your Personal Tutor must approve your module selection. This is to ensure you adhere to a coherent set of choices which complement each other and allow for best academic progression.
  5. The class still have places available. Please note that the earlier you can finalise your study decisions, the more likely you are to gain a place in that class.

As stated above, it is possible to take one 0.5 beginners level course in your second year, but you must remember that you need to pass 3 units (i.e. six 0.5cu) of advanced level courses to be awarded a Honours degree. Your Personal Tutor will not approve a set of course choices if they believe that you are taking first year courses to get easy marks and not for logical progression reasons.

Advanced level modules taken in years 1 or 2 will be counted in the 3.0 unit requirement, so if you started your language at advanced level in your first year, you would already have 1.0 units of the 3.0 required. We would, however, expect that at least 3.5 of your final year units are at advanced level.

It is not possible to take a first year level course in your final year under any circumstances. 

Taking courses outside of your 4 course units

Courses taken outside of your normal course load is known as ‘Auditing’ and is not encouraged at UCL, as you are expected to put all of your efforts into the courses for which you gain credit and which contribute to the completion of your degree.

In rare cases, lecturers will allow you to audit their course if there is space available and if you have permission from your Personal Tutor to attend, e.g. the course will make a useful contribution to your other credit bearing courses. However, some departments, e.g. the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) do not allow auditing for any of their courses.

If you are permitted to audit a course, then you would normally only be able to attend the lectures, as seminar attendance is rare. You would not be able to submit any assessments for the module and it would not appear on your UCL transcript as you wouldn't be officially enrolled for the module.