Choosing your programme of study at Sheffield

Before completing an application form, you and your academic advisers should look at the modules on offer at Sheffield. You need to be sure the level of study here is right for you, and that the modules you choose will meet the requirements of your home institution.

Open departments

Closed departments

Important advice

  • Choose departments which are open (see above)
  • Check you meet the English language requirement for each department you want to study in
  • Choose the right semester – check the calendar type in the directory of modules (modules only run in the indicated semester: autumn, spring or academic year). It is not possible to take a full academic year module if you are only attending for one semester
  • Have back-up options just in case. It is possible to change modules when you arrive during the Add/Drop period.
  • Level 300 and 400 are advanced level modules. You must have an appropriate academic background to be allowed to take these modules. Level 400 modules have a pass mark of 50, rather than 40. If you do not meet the pre-requisites of a module you have requested, you may be asked to consider a level 100 or level 200 module on a similar topic. If you are new to a subject, look at level 100. The directory of modules contains information on pre-requisites (see link above).
  • Module options for students planning to study for credit in the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC).
  • Modules which are closed to study abroad students will not be available to select in the application.

ATAS information for Study Abroad and Erasmus students

If you want to take certain Level 4 (undergraduate master’s) or Level 6 (postgraduate) modules you may need to apply for clearance from the UK government as part of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).

International students who need a visa to study in the UK have to apply for an ATAS certificate if they are intending to study postgraduate material in certain sensitive subject areas, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery.

These rules apply to any Study Abroad and Erasmus students whose nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, and who intend to study affected Level 4 or Level 6 modules.

You must receive your ATAS certificate before you make any visa application, and submit a copy of the certificate with your visa application. This requirement applies with both Tier 4 and Short-Term Study Visa applications.

You will not be allowed to study ATAS modules until we have received official notification from the UK government that you have been granted ATAS clearance. If you are refused ATAS clearance, or if you do not apply, you will not be able to select ATAS modules before you arrive in Sheffield, or swap onto them when you are here.

If you think you will need ATAS clearance, you apply for your certificate online. ATAS certificates are only valid for programmes starting within the 6 months after the certificate has been issued, so you should not apply until there is less than 6 months before your exchange programme starts.

Applications take between 4 and 6 weeks, so make sure you apply early enough to arrange your visa and travel to Sheffield afterwards.  If you do require ATAS clearance, we will notify you by email or in your offer letter.

More information about ATAS can be found on the UK government website.

Understanding the module system

Courses at Sheffield are known as modules. Modules are made up of regularly scheduled class sessions of one or more hours per week during the semester. Depending on the subject area, these may include lectures, seminars, tutorials and labs.

Each module is assigned a credit value. You will need to study 60 Sheffield credits per semester to gain full time status at the University of Sheffield. Most modules are worth 10 or 20 Sheffield credits.

You can expect a ten credit module to involve 100 hours of work and a 20 credit module to involve 200. This can include lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs and self study time.

The maximum number of credits for which you can register is 120 for an academic year or 60 for a semester. With written approval of your home institution, it may be possible to register for fewer credits. The minimum allowed is 100 Sheffield credits over a full academic year or 40 Sheffield credits for one semester.

The modules you will take are part of undergraduate degree programmes taught at the University of Sheffield. You will study alongside local students, as well as students from across the UK and around the world.

You may choose modules across as many departments as you wish, subject to pre-requisites and timetabling. Timetables are published in September, so if you choose modules from different departments and/or levels, be prepared to have to make changes when you arrive.

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