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Study options

Your study options

What are my study options?

You normally apply to one subject area and, once you arrive at UCL, you will be expected to take at least 50% of your modules within this area. You can choose the remainder from modules offered across the university, though be aware that prerequisites may apply, and spaces on certain modules may be limited.­­­­

You can also apply for joint admission to two subject areas, e.g. Economics and Mathematics – for joint admission you would be expected to take at least 50% of your modules in the first named subject area and 25% in the second, with the remainder chosen, again, from across UCL.

There are some exceptions:

Law modules are only available to students admitted to the Faculty of Laws. Students admitted to Laws are usually from institutions with pre-existing reciprocal arrangements.
English Language and Literature modules are only available to students admitted directly to this subject area.
Level 2 and 3 Economics modules are only available to students admitted directly to this subject area.
Students admitted to Fine Art (the UCL Slade School) must take their entire credit load within this area, and may not select any other modules.
Architecture modules are only available to students admitted directly to this subject area.
Most Computer Science modules are only available to students admitted directly to this subject area.

Applicants wishing to combine modules offered by the UCL Institute of Education with other UCL departments will need to seek formal agreement from both departments during the enrolment period.

When you apply to UCL, you’ll be asked to provide a preliminary list of individual modules that interest you. If you have a specialised interest, or any required modules for your home degree programme, we recommend that you get in touch with the relevant Affiliate contact for your subject area(s) (contacts are listed on the individual subject pages in this guide) to enquire whether your modules will be available. Your final module selection will be made once you arrive at UCL and consult with your own Affiliate Tutor. 

Please note that this guide lists a range of popular modules offered in 2018/19 as a representative sample. These lists are not exhaustive, and since the guide is published ahead of time, module options may have changed, been deleted or replaced. If you have very specific study needs or require confirmation of module availability for 2019/20, you are strongly advised to get in touch with the relevant Affiliate contact, listed on the subject pages, before making an application.

How your study is structured

The UCL academic year begins in September and is divided into three terms. Most of the teaching takes place in the first (Autumn/Fall) and second (Spring) terms, with the third (Summer) term reserved for revision (review) and examinations.

Most study abroad students apply for one term, although it is possible to apply for the full year. Those applying for term entry only have the choice of attending for the Autumn (Fall) Term only, or the Spring and Summer Terms.

Some departments allow entry only for the full year, so you should check availability before applying.

When do modules run, and how will I be assessed?

Modules may be taught over the full year, or over one term – you can find out how long our modules are, and when they run, by looking at the listings in this guide. Sometimes a module is marked as being available for the year and for one, or both, terms – this means that it is possible for Term-only students to take half of a full-year course and gain credit for it.

Assessment methods will vary but, wherever possible, you will be assessed in exactly the same way as home UCL students.

Can I study at UCL during my university break?

If you’re unable to join us for a whole year or semester but would like to come to UCL for a shorter-term period of study, we also run a Summer School, where students can join us for three or six weeks over the UK summer.

Module levels and credits

Which module level is right for me?

You’ll notice that modules are sometimes given a level; these are intended to indicate the amount of prerequisite knowledge required for the modules.

  • Level 1 (FHEQ 4) modules are usually introductory and would be appropriate as an option outside your main subject area, to broaden your scope.
  • Levels 2 and 3 (FHEQ 5 and 6) will normally require prior study.
  • Level 4 (FHEQ 7) modules are the most advanced on offer.
  • Core modules may be compulsory, for example the Core modules for International Relations and Political Science, but they do not usually require any prerequisite knowledge.

How are my credits worked out?

Most modules are worth either 30 credits (for modules that run over a full year) or 15 credits (for those that run over one term). A 30 credit module is equivalent to 8 US credits, 15 ECTS or 30 FHEQ, and a 15 credit module is equivalent to 4 US credits, 7.5 ECTS or 15 FHEQ.

Term dates

UCL term dates 2019/20

Autumn (Fall) Term 2019 Monday 23 September 2019 – Friday 13 December 2019
Spring Term 2020
Monday 13 January 2020 – Friday 27 March 2020
Summer Term 2020
Tuesday 27 April 2020 – Friday 12 June 2020
  • Students registered for the Autumn (Fall) Term take 60 module credits (16 US credits/30 ECTS credits/60 FHEQ credits) and are usually assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination
  • Students registered for the Spring/Summer Terms take 60 module credits (16 US credits/30 ECTS credits/60 FHEQ credits) and are assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination
  • Students registered for the entire year take 120 module credits (32 US credits/60 ECTS credits/120 FHEQ credits) and are assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination

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