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 your home degree requirements.

The Global Opportunities & Exchanges team and the academic departments here cannot do the course matching for you. We can help with module outlines to assist you.

Important advice

  • Select modules from departments which are open (see links on the right)
  • Check the course restrictions for every department you want to study in (see download on the right)
  • 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
  • Do not select graduate modules. These are courses starting with a '6' e.g. POL6001
  • Make a study plan before applying and have back-up options just in case. Prioritise modules which you must take in order to progress at your home university.
  • The academic departments will review your application to pre-approve your module selection. This is the part which takes the most time. If you choose modules from a variety of departments this will slow down the approval process and in turn this will increase how long it takes for us to make you an offer. If your modules cannot be pre-approved, they will be confirmed upon arrival (for example if your approval is conditional). It is possible to change modules when you arrive during the "Add/Drop" period.

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.

The maximum number of credits for which you can register is 120 for an academic year or 60 for a semester. With the 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.

Some useful facts about the UK module system

Terminology at Sheffield may have a different meaning to that of your home university. Here are some pointers about study in the UK:

  • British degrees are structured so that students declare their major from the beginning and study that subject for the duration of their degree.
  • Students on these courses already have an in-depth knowledge of their degree subject and will often have studied the subject at high school too.
  • Study Abroad students often take modules offered at level 100. This level best suits students studying a subject for the first time.
  • To be allowed to take level 200 and 300 modules, you must already have completed more advanced classes at your home institution in the appropriate department.
  • You should not assume a direct correlation between the 100, 200, and 300 levels used at Sheffield, and the course numbering system at your home institution.

Credit values and workload

Most modules are worth 10 or 20 Sheffield credits. How many credits you need will depend on the length of your study period (one year or one semester).

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.

You should choose modules that add up to the appropriate number of credits for your period of study abroad.

Choosing your modules

You may choose modules across as many departments as you wish, subject to 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. You must have the necessary academic experience required for the module.

You can read brief descriptions of modules and their credit values in the University's Directory of Modules.


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