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The Catalogue of Courses is a companion volume to the Aberdeen University Calendar.  It contains details of all undergraduate courses taught in the University, except those for the degrees of MB ChB.  These courses have been organised to fit a flexible, modular teaching structure which is arranged in half-sessions.  Most courses are of one half-session's duration, involving twelve teaching weeks followed by an examination period, although some courses are shorter or longer.  The Catalogue should be read in conjunction with the degree regulations which are published in the University Calendar, and with any supplementary information issued by the relevant Academic Standards Committee.

Not all courses in the Catalogue will be available every session.  Any changes to courses including new and withdrawn courses since the time of going to print, are available on the University's course catalogue web pages, which are updated regularly.

Course Format:

In the Catalogue, all courses have been listed using a common format. Each course appears under the general heading of the department or subject group by which it is taught. The format used for each course is as follows:

Code – Course Title – Credit Points

Credit Point: the outcome of learning achieved by an average student through 10 notional hours of learning time.  From Academic Year 2003/2004 all courses will be credit-rated using SCOTCAT credit points, with in most cases 1 credit awarded in previous academic years now being equal to 5 credit points.

Course co-ordinator: the member of staff responsible for organising the course.

Pre-requisite(s): for entry to the course.

Co-requisite(s): where appropriate.

Note: of particular circumstances or conditions attached to the course.

Course Description: an indication of the topics covered by the course.

Teaching Arrangements: the duration and nature of the teaching contact for the course.

At levels 3 and 4, times for some courses are given by Threads 1 and 11 or Slots A to F. These refer to the following divisions of the teaching week:

Mon 9-1 Wed 11-1 SLOT A
Thu 9-1 Thu 4-6 SLOT E
Thu 2-4 Fri 9-1 SLOT F
Mon 2-6 Wed 9-11 SLOT B
Tue 9-11 Tue 2-6 SLOT C
Tue 11-1 Fri 2-6 SLOT D

The fact that a course is shown as falling within a particular Thread or Slot does not necessarily mean that teaching for it will occupy all the hours within the period concerned. Further details on teaching arrangements and times may be obtained from the department concerned.

Method of Assessment: the arrangements for examinations and continuous or other assessment.

In this section information on the Degree Examination relating to the course is shown first, followed by details of any continuous assessment and/or other assessment methods which will be used in the formal assessment of student performance in the course. The weighting given to such methods in the overall assessment of the course is indicated in brackets e.g. 1 two hour examination (60%) and continuous assessment (40%). Some courses may be assessed wholly by formal examination or wholly by continuous assessment. Honours candidates taking courses at levels 3 and 4 should also note any conditions governing assessment which are contained in the Honours programme for their subject(s) within the degree regulations.

The University Year

The University Year (53 weeks) runs from July to July. Please note however, that undergraduate courses do not begin until September (except Medicine and PGDE). A copy of the University Calendar Dates is detailed below for your reference. As you will note, Advising Week for Undergraduate students is Week 11 (week commencing 19 September 2011) and first half-session courses begin in Week 12 (week commencing 26 September 2011). Second half-session undergraduate courses begin in Week 30 (week commencing 30 January 2012).

Guidance on Course Codes:

Each course is allocated a code which consists of two letters, two numbers and two further characters (usually two further numbers, although sometimes letters are used).

The first two letters represent the discipline or subject group responsible for teaching the course.

The first numerical digit indicates the level at which a course is normally taught.

The second digit indicates the point in the session at which a course starts, according to the following list:

Courses beginning in Timetable week: Code digit:
12 0
15 2
18 3
21 4
30 5
33 7
36 8
38 9

Students should note that the codes 0 and 5 (weeks 12 and 30) represent the beginning of the first and second half-session respectively. In general, courses offered at levels 1 and 2 will start at one of these points in the session. Unless otherwise stated, courses will conclude by the end of the half-session in which they begin. Where a course has two codes this will normally indicate that the course can be offered in either half-session e.g. AC 2019/2519, although it can also signify that a course is offered as both an Honours and non-Honours variant. In the latter case the codes would both be for the same half-session e.g. MX 4009/4059.

The final two characters are normally only used to differentiate courses and have no particular meaning.

University Calendar of Dates

Please see

Degree Structure

The University Calendar contains the regulations for all degrees and other awards and the schedule of prescribed courses that must be taken for each programme.  In addition to studying these courses, students must also comply with the overall credit requirement for their particular degree. These are set out in the Supplementary Regulations for each degree in the University Calendar.

A full-time student generally attends a total of 60 credit points per half session, usually made up of four 15-credit point courses (or equivalent). Before attending Advising in September, students should look at the University Calendar to see which courses are prescribed for their particular degree. In addition to the required courses, students are required to choose further courses to give an overall total of 120 credit points per session for a full-time student. The modular degree structure gives students the flexibility to transfer degree programme. Students are therefore advised, when choosing these additional courses, to pick subjects which will keep open a number of different degree intentions at the end of level 1. The choice of the non-prescribed courses is, however subject to the restraints of timetabling and the restrictions laid down by the Supplementary Regulations for each degree.

For further information on degree structure and course choice for your particular area of study, you should consult the Student Attendance, Performance and Assessment Document which is available on the University’s website at the following address:

Entry to a Course:

For entry to a course, students must possess the pre-requisite and satisfy the co-requisite (if any) as they are stated in the Catalogue of Courses. In some cases, students who do not satisfy the pre-requisite and/or co-requisite may be admitted to courses at the discretion of the Head of the Department concerned.

Where appropriate the following abbreviations are used for pre-requisites for level 1 courses:

SCE = Scottish Certificate of Education examination
GCE = United Kingdom General Certificate of Education examination
ILC = Irish Leaving Certificate examination
Adv = Advanced level pass (GCE) (grades A to E)
AS = Advanced Supplementary level pass (GCE) (grades A to E)
CSYS = Scottish Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (SCE)
GCSE = General Certificate of Secondary Education examination (grades A to C)
H = Higher grade pass (SCE) (grades A to C)
O = Ordinary grade/level pass (SCE, GCE, ILC) or equivalent
S = Standard Grade (level 1, 2 and 3)

Students who may wish to enter a course for which they do not have the stated pre-requisite (or for which they will not satisfy the co-requisite) are advised to seek the permission of the appropriate Head of School at the earliest opportunity and certainly before the commencement of teaching for that course.

Students will not be admitted to any course after 25% of teaching for that course has been completed. For half-session long courses, 25% of teaching will be completed by the end of the third week of a course. In some cases, the Head of the School concerned may restrict entry to a course at an earlier point.

Resit arrangements for Level 4 courses taken as part of an Honours programme:

Please note that, unless stated otherwise, resit arrangements for Level 4 courses taken as part of an Honours programme are as follows: candidates who have achieved 90 credit points at Level 4 and who achieve a CAS of 6-8 may be awarded compensatory Level 1 credit.  Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit themselves for re-assessment and should contact the Course Co-ordinator for further details.

Adviser of Studies:

Assistance with course choices will be available from your Adviser of Studies. Every student must have his or her curriculum approved by an Adviser of Studies at the beginning of each academic session. Subsequent changes of curriculum must also have the approval of the Adviser of Studies and students wishing to change curriculum must consult their Adviser to complete the necessary procedures.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS):

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit weighting of courses is half the number of Aberdeen University Credit Points stated in the Catalogue.

On successful completion, ERASMUS students undertaking supervised project work at first degree level will be eligible for the award of 0.5 ECTS Credit Points for each week of full-time study up to a maximum of 30 in any half-session.

Programme Codes:

At the back of this document is a listing of all the Degree Programme Codes used to differentiate Undergraduate Programmes. This list will primarily be of use to Advisers of Studies, although students may also find it useful to be aware of the code of the programme they are following or to use this as a guide to the variety of programmes available.

Contact Details:

Any comments on the format and/or content of this Catalogue will be welcomed and may be directed to
University Office
King's College
AB24 3FX