Programme structure

Stages for undergraduate programmes

For students who enrolled onto the first year of an undergraduate degree from September 2020 onwards, progression is based on a linear model of progress through discrete years of study.


A programme consists of the modules taken over one or more semesters.

A single module is a unit of study usually lasting one semester. 

  • A single undergraduate module is worth 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS) and normally requires 150 hours of student study time for successful completion. 
  • A single postgraduate module is worth 20 CATS (10 ECTS) and requires 200 hours of student study time for completion.

A double module is a unit of study for which the academic content is twice that of a single module and for which twice the amount of credit is given.

Each module has a specified level and will normally be taken in a certain stage of your course. For example, Level 3 modules are usually taken at Foundation level. Level 7 modules at postgraduate level.

Types of modules

Within a programme, modules can be designated as:

  • Compulsory - A Compulsory module must be taken and passed to satisfy the requirement of your award.
  • Optional - An Optional module counts towards the overall credit required for your award.
  • Prerequisite - A Prerequisite module is one which must ordinarily be passed before taking a subsequent specified module. If you wish to register for a module, but have not taken or passed the pre-requisite, the Module Leader to discuss prior to registration.
  • Placement - A Placement module covers a period of study, normally 1 year in length, involving professional or cultural experience related to the subject(s) of study. It may carry a specified number of module credits but need not.
  • Practice-based - A Practice-based module is one in which much of a student’s time is spent working with clients or in client care areas in health or related subjects, and building the competence required for Professional practice.
  • Project/Dissertation - A Project/Dissertation is a detailed and substantial study of a topic of particular interest to the student. Undergraduate Project / Dissertations are usually carried out over two semesters and assessed in their last semester.
  • Synoptic - A Synoptic is an end of course, broad based study using theoretical methods from a range of acceptable modules within a specific subject.
  • Independent Study - An Independent Study is an individual learning and assessment package agreed between the student and the Module Leader according to the practices determined by that Course/Subject.
  • Exemption - Students may be granted an exemption from a module when they can demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of the module through prior study/experience. Please contact your Subject Co-ordinator if you wish to seek exemption from a module.