What are course credits?
Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are taught in modules, each worth a number of credits. As you complete course modules, your credits accumulate until you reach the required number to achieve an 'award'. For example, you need 360 credits to be awarded an Honours degree and 180 credits to be awarded a Master's.
Undergraduate courses are taught within the Undergraduate Modular Scheme (UMS), a nationally recognised framework made up of three levels, with each level worth 120 credits.
An individual module in an undergraduate course is normally worth 30 academic credits. If you are a full-time student, you must undertake 120 academic credits of study (that is, four 30-credit modules) each year. Part-time students normally study 60 credits each year (two 30-credit modules).
An Honours degree award comprises:
- 240 credits for a Foundation degree or a diploma of higher education
- 300 credits for an Ordinary degree
- 360 credits for an Honours degree
Generally, you follow a set diet of modules at level 1 but there may be options at levels 2 and 3. For some courses, particularly where there are professional body requirements, you may have a set diet at each level.
The taught Postgraduate Modular Scheme (PMS) comprises three awards:
- 60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
- 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
- 180 credits for a Master’s
Modules are normally worth 15 or 30 credits each and the final Master’s-level dissertation is worth 60 credits. The assessment and grades systems for postgraduate courses are the same as for the Undergraduate Modular Scheme.
As well as modules from your subject area, you may have the opportunity to take separate credit-bearing modules at levels 1 and 2. These build your CV and employability as well as supporting you to get the most out of your Uni experience.
These modules vary from year to year but may include modules which provide support (such as with academic writing and IT) and activities such as work-based learning or something of wider interest and relevance – for example, learning a language.
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