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.



Degree Information


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

  • BASC2001 Object Lessons: Communicating Knowledge through Collections (0.5cu)
    [NB: Students now need only choose ONE of BASC2001, BASC2002 or BASC2003 as it is not compulsory to do all three. As a result, students can take 5x0.5cu in their Pathways. Alternatively, students can pick TWO of BASC2001, BASC2002 or BASC2003 but would then stick to 4x0.5cu in their Pathways]
  • BASC2002 Quantitative Methods 2: Data Literacy and Visualisation (0.5cu)
    [NB: See comment for BASC2001 above]
  • BASC2003 Making Value Judgements: Qualitative Thinking (0.5cu)
    [NB: See comment for BASC2001 above]
  • Interdisciplinary Elective (0.5cu) – choose one 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
  • Language (0.5cu)

Year 3 (if on study abroad course)

  • BASC3090 Study Abroad Dissertation
  • BASC3091 Study Abroad 'Shell Units'

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 then 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 BASC2001, BASC2002 or BASC2003). It is not possible to study more than 0.5cu in your minor pathway during Year 1, but it may be possible to study 1.0cu in Year 2.

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:

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


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. This is why you must take and complete 4 units each year, passing a minimum of 3 in Year 1 and 7 by the end of Year 2, to be able to progress into your final year.

If you have to retake a failed 1 or 0.5cu in Year 2, 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 take 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. 6 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. Further information on this is in the Study Abroad section at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/study-abroad

To be awarded a BASc (Honours) degree, you must have passed a minimum of 11cu if you’re on the three year degree (Y000) and 14.5cu if you’re on the Year Abroad degree (Y001) and completed 12 units.

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

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 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 following the usual May exam period.

If you fail a course unit (0.5 or 1.0 unit in value) - i.e. you receive a mark of 34 or under, 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 on your minor pathway only. 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 in your final year as possible, in order to reduce the risk of not passing 3 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 advance level language course in your first year if your ability in your chosen language is already strong.

Courses starting with 6 are not always final level e.g. SELCS modules (ELCS6****) are intermediate level (suitable for Years 1 or 2), so you would need to check before selecting a particular module.

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). 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.

Some students can take advanced level modern language courses in their first year, depending upon their ability at the start.

Year 2 and 3 courses

Choices for your Year 2 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 Year 2 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. 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 COMP1001. 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. Both your Pathway Representative and the Programme Director 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 a Year 1 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 students are taking first year courses to get easy marks and not for logical progression reasons.

The final year of the BASc core courses count as 2 whole units (providing your language is of sufficient standard), so you will need to a minimum of 2 advanced 0.5cu in your major / minor pathway. We would advise you to take more than 2 to ensure that you meet the 3 advanced level requirement. It is not possible to take a first year level course in your final year.

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.