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Course and unit catalogues - Frequently-asked questions (FAQs)

This page provides the answers to some frequently-asked questions (FAQs) in relation to the course and unit catalogues.


What do the abbreviations for assessments in the unit catalogue mean?

You can find details of assessment abbreviations in the table on our page about unit assessment information.


How many credits make up a year?

The number of credits making up a year of study will vary according to the programme you are studying. See our glossary for further information.


I am due to start a postgraduate programme next year. Why can't I find my programme of study on the web catalogue?

Postgraduate programme and unit catalogues are produced to a different timetable to the undergraduate catalogues. We expect to produce the Postgraduate catalogues in August. Please note that not all programmes will be represented in the Postgraduate programme catalogues. We only usually include structures for full-time postgraduate taught programmes although some others may be included. If you cannot find details of your programme in the catalogue please contact your department for further information.

Why is only part of my programme included in the programme catalogue?

Not all years of a programme may be running in a given academic year. If only certain years of your programme are included in the catalogue then your programme is probably either a new programme which is being phased in or a programme which is being phased out one year at a time.


Can I change my unit at any time?

No. You must choose your optional units when asked to do so.

  • New undergraduate and full-time taught postgraduate students will be able to select units at the beginning of the academic year.

  • Continuing undergraduates will be asked to select their units for the following academic year on-line during April or May (prior to the start of the Semester 2 exams). Once on-line unit selection has closed, you may only change your optional units in exceptional circumstances, and this is subject to approval from your director your studies. If you meet the criteria for changing your options, you must request this change using your department's normal procedure by the Wednesday of the first week of the relevant semester. Any changes to optional units must be made on the basis of the published timetable and may be subject to constraints such as maximum group sizes and pre-requisite rules.

How do I register for a foreign language unit?

You can find details of available foreign language units and information on how to register for them via our Foreign Languages webpages.

How do I register for a Skills Centre Unit?

Please see the Skills Centre website for information on how to enrol on their courses.

It says in my department handbook (given to me when I started my programme two years ago) that I can take unit XXX this year. Why isn't this unit in the catalogue for my programme?

Programmes and units within programmes are subject to change and so the catalogues only apply to the specific year for which they were created. This means that if you are in the second year of your programme in 2023/24 you cannot assume that the third year of the programme in 2023/24 will remain the same for 2024/25. You should not assume that the programme description given to you at the start of your programme will be accurate for the duration of the programme.

What is a "Designated Essential Unit" (DEU)?

A Designated Essential Unit (DEU) is a unit which you must pass in order to qualify to proceed with a programme or to receive its normal award at the end; marginal failure in such units cannot be condoned.

What is a "Director of Studies Approved Unit"?

You can find information about Director of Studies approved units on our dedicated web page.

Useful contacts and links

For queries relating to the structure of your programme and/or the units available to you

Please contact your Director of Studies in the first instance. Although Academic Registry is responsible for the maintenance of the programme and unit catalogues on the web, this information is provided to us by your Department.

To report a problem or mistake in the web catalogue

Use the Help/Info button on the SAMIS log in page.

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