UCL Department of Computer Science


Section 7: Module choices

7.Module choices

Advice on choosing options and electives, general information on choosing modules, and key contacts for module selection (Centrally Provided.)

7.1.Choosing modules

Modules are the individual units of study which lead to the award of credit. Many programmes offer students the opportunity to choose between different modules that they are interested in. However some new students will find they do not need to make selections as all their modules are compulsory. If students need to choose modules, their department will advise them of how and when to do this, usually during departmental introductions. There may be a deadline by which students should make their Term 1 module choices, so students should keep an eye out for information from their department. The deadline for term 2 module choices is outlined in Key Dates section.

Affiliate students will be advised of the process for selecting modules by their home department. Modules may need to be selected before enrolment, or after the student has arrived at UCL.

Further information:

7.2.Core, optional, and elective modules

The modules that make up a programme are either core, optional or elective, which reflects whether they must be taken or can optionally be taken. The programme’s curriculum (also called a programme diet) will prescribe in what combinations modules can be taken, any restrictions on doing so, and how much credit can and must be taken.

7.2.1.Features of core, optional and elective modules

Core/ compulsory modules

Core modules are fundamental to the programme’s curriculum and students must take these. Students will be automatically allocated a place on any core modules for their programme and will not need to select these during the module selection process. There will be no timetable clashes between a programme’s core modules.

Optional modules

Optional modules are strongly related to the programme and students can choose which of these they wish to take, usually from within specific groups (for example, a student may be asked to choose two optional modules from one group and three from another, etc.) Places of optional modules are strictly limited (due to spatial, resource and timetable constraints) and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Some optional modules have pre-requisites which students will need to meet in order to be eligible for a place.

Elective modules

Elective modules are not programme specific, but allow students the opportunity to explore their interests more widely. Students are usually restricted to taking one or two elective modules. There is no guarantee of being accepted onto an elective module. These modules are core and/ or optional on other programme diets, consequently students on these programmes will be given priority. Any remaining places will then be allocated on a first come first served basis. Some elective modules have pre-requisites which students will need to meet in order to be eligible for a place.

7.2.2.Timetabling constraints

Not all combinations of modules are possible due to timetabling constraints, i.e. where one module is delivered at the same time as another such that those modules are mutually exclusive. The department has made every effort to minimise clashes between its modules, however there will always be clashes between some optionals and electives, and particularly those belonging to different disciplines/ departments.

Students cannot select optional or elective modules that clash with their core modules, nor with each other. Students are responsible for selecting modules that do not clash and for ensuring they meet UCLs minimum attendance requirements.

All choices will be subject to approval of the Module Leaders, Programme Director, and timetabling/ resource constraints.

7.3.Module selection deadlines

Information on the deadlines for choosing modules, and how a student will know if they have secured a place.

Students must complete their module selection for the current academic year via Portico by 13 October 2017. This includes where all modules are core (as with Year 1 of the programme.) The department will approve module selections based on availability and suitability (i.e. whether any prerequisites are met.)

Modules have a limited number of places available (referred to as the module cap.) Priority on COMP* modules will always be given to Computer Science students in the first instance. Places will be allocated in the following order of priority:

  • students on programmes for which the module is core (who will always get a place)
  • students on programmes for which the module is optional (with priority given to Computer Science students)
  • students on programmes for which the module is elective (with priority given to Computer Science students)

If a student selects an optional or elective module that has no capacity remaining or for which they do not satisfy the prerequisites, the selection will be rejected and the student will be asked to select an alternative module.

Students should carefully consider the timetable that eventuates from their module selections, ensuring there are no clashes and the workload is manageable for them. UCL provides the facility to generate a custom timetable for a group of modules via the Common Timetable (www.ucl.ac.uk/timetable.)

It may be possible to virtually audit the first classes of some Computer Science optional or elective modules before making a final selection decision. However, this is subject to the availability of LectureCast recordings for those sessions, permission of the speakers, and whether the module’s curriculum has been updated.

Any students experiencing problems with module selection or having to make alternative selections after the module selection deadline should contact either the programme’s Programme Administrator (based in MPEB 5.22) or, for Affiliate students, the Affiliate Tutor, Dr Ilya Sergey (affiliates@cs.ucl.ac.uk.)

Affiliate students will be provided with specific guidance and information on their module selection during their induction period.

7.4.Key contacts for module selection

For additional advice on module selection, students should contact their Programme Director in the first instance. Students may also seek academic advice from their Personal Tutor (see Section 11: Tutorials and supervision), the Departmental Tutor, or the Undergraduate Year Coordinator. The Programme Administrator (based in MPEB 5.22) may also be in a position to help but they are unable to provide academic advice.

Students selecting modules from other departments must seek the permission of their Programme Director in the first instance, who will advise on whether this is allowed and whether the student must also seek the permission of the relevant Module Leader in the module’s home department.

The contact details for Programme Directors and other academic contacts are given via the Computer Science teaching contacts page (www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/people).

Updated: 29-09-2017