UCL Module Catalogue


Glossary of terminology

A guide to the definition of terminology used within the module catalogue.

Affiliate student

Students registered at other Higher Education Institutions who enrol at UCL for a period of time (e.g. on Erasmus, Exchange or JYA programmes) and take modules for credit towards their programme of study at their home institution.

Alternative credit options

Versions of the same module with a different credit weighting in order to fit particular programmes of study. Check with your department if you are not sure which version is appropriate for your programme. 


A combination of in-person and distance and/or online learning modes.

Compulsory module

Modules which students must take within a particular programme.

Contact hours

Hours spent in contact with academic staff for the purposes of learning, teaching, and assessment (including feedback); undertaken online or in person.


Coursework not otherwise defined. Candidates are given a defined period in which to complete the assessment, but when they undertake the activity within that period is not specified. Assessments must be submitted by the deadline or penalties may apply. Examples include but are not limited to written essays, take-home papers, reflective journals, or logs.


A specified module which must be taken at the same time as another module.

Credit value

Credit is awarded to a student on successful completion of the outcomes associated with a particular block of learning at a specified academic level. In line with the UK FHEQ, one UCL credit equates to 10 notional learning hours. Credits can be converted to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) using this formula: 1 FHEQ credit = 0.5 ECTS credits = 10 notional learning hours.

Distance learning

All teaching, learning, and assessment activities take place away from UCL.

Dissertations, extended projects, and projects

These assessments are distinguished by their longer wordcounts or equivalencies and generally greater credit weighting.


Broader collections of modules from which students may choose, and which may be from outside their main field of study (see also Optional module).


Candidates attend a designated venue in-person at a scheduled time and are assessed under controlled conditions. Exams must be completed in a fixed-time period and may be written or online. 

Fixed-time remote activity

Candidates are required to complete an assessment within a scheduled and fixed period, either where all the time is allocated for the completion and submission of the assessment or where candidates undertake a timed activity within a longer overarching timeframe. Candidates complete the assessment online in non-controlled conditions. 

In-class activity

In-class activities include assessments such as quizzes, tests, instant reports, class participation. 


The traditional mode of teaching, where lectures and/or seminars take place with students and lecturer in the same room. 

Labs, practicals, clinicals

These assessments may be experiential. They may take place in laboratories or simulated environments. Students may be assessed in person or online through digital platforms.

Learning hours

The number of hours which it is expected that a learner will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at a particular level. Ten notional learning hours equate to one FHEQ credit.


The level of credit awarded for study in line with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) and the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (FQ-EHEA). Levels 4-6 represent progression through each year of standard 3-year undergraduate degree and level 7 represents study at masters level, either as part of a taught postgraduate progamme such as MSc or MA or an integrated masters programme such as MSci or MEng). 

Mark scheme

The set of available marks or grades available for an assessment or module; these may be numeric marks which map to a classification or grade, letter grades, or numeric grades. Some modules may be marked on a pass/fail basis, i.e. without a mark or grade.

Methods of assessment

The type of assessment for a module or component. See also:

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation, extended projects, and projects
  • Exam
  • Fixed-time remote activity
  • In-class activity
  • Labs, practicals, clinicals
  • Performances and exhibitions
  • Portfolio
  • Viva or oral presentation

Mode of study

The means by which teaching and learning takes place, e.g. in-person, distance learning, online etc. 

Module delivery

This refers to variations in the way that a single module is made available in an academic year. A module may be available at different academic levels, or in different teaching terms, or with different mark schemes.

Module leader

A Module Leader is responsible for the overall organisation, management and assessment of a module


A module delivered entirely through a virtual learning environment, with no in-person contact.

Optional module

Specific, limited collections of modules from which students may choose within their programme of study.

Performance and exhibitions

These assessments emphasise audiovisual or similar aspects of delivery and may be in-person or produced through digital or other means.


This assessment category often combines a range of evidence gathered into a coherent whole to demonstrate a student’s achievement of learning outcomes. These assessments often incorporate a reflective commentary. 


Taught studies offered at FHEQ level 7, as part of a taught Masters programme. Some postgraduate programmes may also include a small number of modules at level 6. 


A specified preparatory module which must have been successfully completed for a student to enrol on a subsequent module.


Additional rules affecting the selection of a module, for example limitation to students on a particular programme or programme of study, or preventing particular combinations of modules from being taken.

Teaching location

This will be displayed for module deliveries intended to be timetabled primarily at UCL East (please note these module deliveries may also include some teaching events at other locations).

Teaching term

The academic period in which it is intended the module will be delivered.


Taught studies offered at levels 4, 5, and 6. (Typically an undergraduate programme with a duration of more than 1 year of full time study will have a progression from one level to the next within this range). An integrated Masters programme will also include undergraduate modules at level 7.

Viva or oral presentation

These in-person assessments explore a student’s understanding of one or more topics to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes.