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Our undergraduate degree structure

Our undergraduate degrees are based on modules, which means you can shape and control your studies as your interests and options change.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses
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Your year

We split each academic year into two 15-week semesters, rather than the traditional three terms. Each semester has:

  • a week-long mid-semester break
  • a reading/study block
  • a two week exam period at the end

How you earn your degree — the credit system

Most higher education institutions in Scotland use the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), which is a credit system used for all qualifications.

You earn your degree by accumulating credits which show how much time it takes to complete a piece of learning. As a rough guide, one credit point equals ten hours learning time. 

The framework is divided into different levels, ranging from Access at Level 1 to Doctorate at Level 12. For Honours and Bachelor degrees, you'll typically be studying at about levels 7 to 10.

Further information on the SCQF credit framework is available on the SCQF's website.

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How you'll be assessed

We assess you as you go along. Your final grade after each semester is likely to be made up of several pieces of assessed work. These will vary from subject to subject, and from one course module to the next, but could include essays, short tests, lab reports, projects, presentations — either individual or in groups, and examinations.

In most cases, examination accounts for no more than 50% of the overall grade for each module.

Dissertations or research projects undertaken in your final year are assessed entirely by coursework.

We prefer this approach as it's fair and precise, it means you get constant feedback and it minimises the stress of intense final exams.

There are some exceptions. For example, if you're studying Social Work, Nursing and Midwifery, LLB Law, or some of the Biological and Environmental Science programmes, you'll take three prescribed modules within your programme.

What qualifications can I get?


Minimum number of modules

SCQF Credits


Honours Degree

If you're full time, you can get this in four years. In most programmes, you study three subjects in your first year.

At least 90 at Level 9 and 90 at Level 10 for Single Honours. A minimum number of Level 10 credits for each subject in a Combined Honours degree.

You can take a Single Honours degree — one main specialist area of study in your last two years (semesters five to eight) or a Combined Honours degree — two or occasionally three subjects.

Bachelor Degree

(with one module worth more than 20 credits to make the total)

At least 60 credits at Level 9.

A three-year programme in a single subject, it still combines study in a number of areas in the initial stages. You can also take a General degree over three years, allowing for a greater breadth of study.

Diploma of Higher Education


Minimum of 90 credits at Level 8 or above.

We hope you'll leave us with a degree, but if not, we offer qualifications that require less credits in case you have to leave before three years.

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