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Course units

Please read carefully the information below before browsing the individual course units for Study Abroad.

This information will help to ensure that you select courses for which you are eligible and prevent delays in processing your application.

Course codes

In most subject areas each course unit has been allocated a code which indicates the level of the course unit and the time period during which it is offered.

You will need to select a full course load:

  • 60 Manchester credits per semester
  • 120 Manchester credits for the academic year

On your application form, you will be asked to list up to five course unit choices per semester, plus up to two alternatives. Please give your course unit choices careful consideration. There is a two-week 'add-drop' period after the start of teaching, but this is primarily to enable you to adjust your course-load to take account of timetable clashes. It may be possible in certain circumstances to add or drop courses for other reasons, but you should anticipate that after you have received approval for course units there will be little change to these units after you arrive in Manchester, except for scheduling conflict purposes.

It is important to discuss your course unit choices with your academic adviser at your home campus to ensure that the courses that you take while you study at here are approved for credit transfer.

Example course unit code interpretation

EN 20502  The Victorian Novel

20502 - The initial number indicates the level of the course unit:

  • 1 – first-year course unit
  • 2 – second-year course unit
  • 3 – third-year course unit
  • 4 – fourth-year course unit

20502 - The final number indicates the time period in which the course unit is offered:

  • 1 - Semester 1 (autumn/fall)
  • 2 - Semester 2 (spring)
  • 0 - full year

EN 20502 is a second-year course unit taught in the spring semester.

Subject areas with restrictions

  • Psychology – third-level Psychology courses are only open to students majoring in Psychology, in year 3 or 4 of their undergraduate degree, with a GPA of 3.3 or above.
  • Drama – Study Abroad / exchange students can usually select only Level 1 Drama course units. However, on an annual basis, two Level 2 Drama study courses and two Level 2 Drama practice courses will be available. Please contact studyabroad@manchester.ac.uk for details of which units these are.
  • Business – courses are restricted to those listed on this website. Other courses listed on the Manchester Business School website are not available to study abroad students.
  • Creative Writing – students applying for Level 3 Creative Writing course units must supply an example of written work (eg a poem or a story). You should email this piece of writing to sarah.bloor@manchester.ac.uk after receiving your offer letter from us.
  • Electrical Engineering - these course units are not available to Study Abroad / exchange students.
  • History – most Level 3 course units are heavily over-subscribed, particularly Modern History courses. Study Abroad / exchange students who are majoring in History and already have an extensive background in the subject may be considered for Level 3 course units, but will be subject to an interview on arrival, and a place on a Level 3 course unit cannot be guaranteed. Students wishing to access Level 2 History courses should also have sufficient background study in the subject.
  • Music – please note that all Music course units have prerequisites. Students must be a music major to be eligible for consideration for these course units.

Please note that in the UK Level 3 course units are intended primarily for students who have specialised in that subject area for at least two years. Most students taking Level 3 course units in the UK will have completed at least 200 UK credits in this subject area. Study Abroad / exchange students will need to demonstrate an equivalent background to be eligible to study Level 3 course units.

Please also note that, due to the requirement to complete clinical placements, courses in the following disciplines are not available to Study Abroad students:

  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Medicine
  • Midwifery

High-demand course units

A number of disciplines are very popular both with incoming Study Abroad students and full-degree students, and fill up quickly. If you are interested in applying for course units in any of the following disciplines, we recommend you apply as early as possible:

  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • Politics
  • History

If you are applying to take course units in these areas in Semester 2, we recommend that you should aim to have your application reach us by the end of August. Applications received up to our official Semester 2 deadline of 1 November can still be accepted, but there is a better chance of places being available if you apply early.

Browsing course units

When determining the level of course units to take it is important to remember that undergraduate degrees in Britain are usually three years in duration and students attending British universities will normally specialise in a particular subject area from the beginning of their first year of study. 

The British school system means that university entrants have already begun to specialise before attending University.

For example, because of this earlier specialisation, the first year of study at an American university (freshman year) would be considered to be the equivalent of the British foundation year. The second year of study (sophomore year) would be considered equivalent to the first year of the British undergraduate degree.

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