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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.

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.

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.

Please note that, while this guide lists a range of popular modules, this list is not exhaustive. Individual departments may offer new modules as and when they become available and module options may have changed, been deleted or replaced. If you have very specific study needs, 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) 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 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 on this website. 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 modules are usually introductory and would be appropriate as an option outside your main subject area, to broaden your scope.
  • Levels 2 and 3 will normally require prior study.
  • Level 4 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?

Credits at UCL are called “course units”, or CU. Most modules are worth either 1 CU (for modules that run over a full year) or 0.5 CU (for those that run over one term). A 1 CU module is equivalent to 8 US credits, or 15 ECTS, and a 0.5 CU module is equivalent to 4 US credits, or 7.5 ECTS.

Term dates

UCL term dates 2017/18

Autumn Term 2017 Monday 25 September 2017 - Friday 15 December 2017
Spring Term 2018 Monday 08 January 2018 - Friday 23 March 2018
Summer Term 2018 Monday 23 April 2018 - Friday 08 June 2018
  • Students registered for the Autumn Term only take 2 CU (16 US credits/30 ECTS) and are usually assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination
  • Students registered for the Spring/Summer Terms take 2 CU (16 US credits/30 ECTS) and are assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination
  • Students registered for the entire year take 4 CU (32 US credits/60 ECTS) and are assessed by coursework and/or departmental examination

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