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Director of Studies Approved Options

This guide explains what Directors of Studies Approved Options are and when you can select them.

Some courses may allow students to select a 'Director of Studies approved option'. This means that you may be allowed to take a unit not normally available on your course as an alternative to those directly on offer within lists of options in your course.


Director of Studies approved options are only available if they have been specifically approved for your course and year.

If more than one Director of Studies approved options have been approved for inclusion in your course, it will be clearly indicated.

Selection of Options

Where you are allowed to take a Director of Studies approved option, you must first select enough units from the options available within your course. Specific instructions on how to request an alternative Director of Studies approved option will be provided in the help text via the 'Choose optional modules' screens in SAMIS. You cannot make this request online within SAMIS.

You will not normally be able to request to take a Director of Studies approved option until after the timetable for the relevant semester has been published. This is to ensure that the option you wish to take will fit with your timetable.


There are a number of restrictions when it comes to selecting a Director of Studies-approved option:

  • You must have the approval of your Director of Studies/Director of Teaching for the unit you want to study;
  • Where you would like to take a unit from outside your department, your choice of unit will also be subject to the approval of the Director of Studies/Director of Teaching responsible for the unit;
  • You may only take units for which you satisfy all pre-requisite rules;
  • You will only be able to take a unit if there is enough space for you to do so - if the unit is full you will not be able to take it;
  • You may only take a unit which does not clash with others on your timetable;
  • If you want to take a unit at a level lower than your year of study (e.g. if you want to take a second year unit in your final year of study) you must ensure that you have enough credits at each level overall to achieve your final award (see here for further information).

Your Director of Studies/Director of Teaching will be able to advise you regarding which units might be appropriate for you to choose.


Depending on your department's process, you may not see your Director of Studies approved option in your list of current modules on SAMIS until just before the start of teaching. Please check with your department.

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Further Support

If you have questions about Director of Studies approved units, you should either contact your Director of Studies or the Registration team in Academic Registry.