The information on this page is intended for new undergraduate students, continuing undergraduate students and full-time taught postgraduate students.
New undergraduate students and taught postgraduate students are expected to choose their units at the beginning of the academic year. Continuing undergraduate students are expected to choose their units towards the end of the academic year in April or May, even if they are currently on a year abroad/placement or in a suspension period.
Units and Lists
You will have a number of units from different 'lists' available for you to choose from. Each list has a minimum number of units, or minimum number of credits, you must select from that list. For instance, if a list has a minimum of four units, then you must select at least four units from that list.
If a list's minimum amount is zero, then you are not required to choose anything from that list. Read any explanatory text which will guide you about choosing from lists where the minimum is zero.
You need to choose units where, together with any compulsory units/DEUs, your total number of credits is equal to a certain amount. This amount will depend on your course and what kind of student you are.
- Undergraduate students should ordinarily take units worth 60 credits during each academic year.
- Taught postgraduate students on most full-time Masters courses should take units worth 90 credits during each academic year.
Sometimes you may only choose one unit from multiple lists. This is an example of an 'overarching rule.' An overarching rule applies to more than one of the group of options available to you.
Capped units are units where there are a limited number of places available, and places are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more about capped units for the 2023/24 academic year.
If you attempt to choose a unit where no more spaces are available, you will receive an error message informing you that the unit is full. If you wish to be added to the waiting list for that unit please follow the instructions provided in the error message.
If you have chosen a capped unit as one of your optional units, but now wish to change your choices – please do not undo your choices, as you will lose your place on the capped unit. Instead, please contact Academic Registry.
Undergraduate students are allowed to choose up to 6 credits of units outside of their programme of study each year. This will not count towards your degree programme but will be included in your transcript. You can find a list of these ‘Generally Available Units’ for the 2023/24 academic year in the catalogue.
You cannot select extra units via the online unit selection screens. If you wish to take a ‘Generally Available Unit’ other than units belonging to the Academic Skills Centre, please speak to your department.
Please see below for information on how to enrol on units from the Academic Skills Centre.
Director of Studies Approved Option
Some courses offer students the opportunity to request to take an optional unit not normally available within the course as an an alternative to one of the listed options. This is called a 'Director of Studies approved option'. You may only request to take a Director of Studies approved option if this is available within your course. This will be indicated on your course catalogue.
Where you are allowed to take a Director of Studies approved option, you must first complete the process of choosing your optional units for the year, selecting 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 units' screens in SAMIS.
You cannot register for units belonging to the Academic Skills Centre (units with codes beginning EL) via SAMIS on the Web. Instead you will need to apply for these units directly with the Academic Skills Centre. For further information please visit the Academic Skills Centre's webpages.
Unit Choice Confirmation
Your unit choices will be confirmed once you have confirmed your selections in SAMIS and you can see the page 'Module Choice Complete'. You will then be able to view your chosen modules via the 'Current Modules' link on the SAMIS student homepage.
Your unit choices will be reviewed by your Director of Studies. If your Director of Studies concludes that your unit choices are not appropriate, they will contact you to request you change some of your choices. If this occurs after the deadline for choosing units occurs, please see below.
For students choosing at the start of the academic year, once your unit choices have been confirmed and your new timetable has been generated, it will be available to view via MyTimetable. Please wait at least 36 hours before checking your timetable.
For student choosing their optional units for the following academic year please check the MyTimetable webpage for confirmation as to when the Timetable for the following academic year will be published. Timetables are published prior to each semester of teaching.
Changing your Unit Choices
When you are asked to choose your optional units, you will be advised of the deadline to do this.
Before the deadline, you can change what units you have selected by clicking on the ‘Undo any selection’ button.
If you have selected a unit which is capped and you want to change one of the other units you have chosen, you should contact Academic Registry for assistance rather than trying to change your selections yourself.
If you choose to undo your selections in SAMIS you may lose your place on a capped unit. Read more about capped units for the 2023/24 academic year.
Unit Choices Post-Deadline
If you did not submit your unit choices before the deadline, or if you have changed your mind about your unit choices after the deadline, then you should speak to your department about the process to get your choices changed. Use the programme catalogue for your course to help you make your choices.
It is not a guarantee that your request to change units will be granted. Typical reasons for a Director of Studies authorising a student to change their units after the deadline are:
- Your Director of Studies or other teaching staff has advised you to change a unit for academic reasons.
- You have changed course and this requires a change of units.
- There has been an unexpected clash on your timetable which necessitates a change of units.
- A unit has been unexpectedly withdrawn by the relevant department.
The final deadline for changing your unit choices is typically the Wednesday on the first week of teaching; please contact your department for further information.
Missing or Incorrect Options
If you are unable to see compulsory and optional units, then this data has not yet been generated. Please contact Academic Registry and they will update your records so that you can see your compulsory units and any lists of options.
If you can see units, but they seem incorrect for the course that you are studying, contact your Director of Studies/Director of Teaching as soon as possible so you can be transferred to the correct course. If you have requested a change of course and this is not showing, then please contact your programme administrator.