School of Social and Political Science

Choosing courses

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Course choices

Your degree programme is made up of courses. Some of these courses are compulsory and some are optional. Below is guidance on choosing optional courses to fulfil the requirements of your degree programme.

How many credits should I choose?

Normally, as an MSc student, you will take courses amounting to:

  • 60 credits in Semester 1
  • 60 credits in Semester 2

In exceptional circumstances, and with your Programme Director’s agreement, it may be possible to change this weighting; for example take 40 credits in one semester and 80 in another.

Will I always receive a place on my chosen course?

Based on the pre-enrolment information gathered from you, the Graduate School Office will seek to ensure you are given your first or second course choices.

However, due to high demand, there is a possibility you may not be given a place on a course of your preference.

Are my course choices final?

Course choices made at this stage are by no means final. Should you decide to change any of your optional courses, for instance, after talking to your Programme Director during Welcome Week, this will be possible until the end of Week 2 of the semester the course runs in.

In doing so, however, you will have to expect that some popular course options might be unavailable by that point.

We encourage you to use the PATH tool to view your course options, plan your timetable and check for potential clashes. Please note, however, that PATH does NOT register you for courses.

PATH login

How will my courses be delivered? What teaching will be delivered in-person (on-campus)?

Hybrid delivery will be used for most SPS courses for Semester 1 of 2021/22 i.e. a mixture of in-person activity and digital (online) activity. A few courses will be taught entirely in-person and a few entirely digitally.

You can view a list of SPS Semester 1 postgraduate courses together with an indication of whether the delivery will include some in-person content here: Planned teaching delivery 

Check your courses

You can check on MyEd which courses you have been signed up for.

MyEd login portal

Please note that complete course records may not be visible until the start of week 2.

 

Course changes

Course changes are subject to availability and Course Organiser approval.

How do I make a course change request?

Three course changes may be requested per semester.

You should complete a new form for each course change required, using our Course Change Request Form:

Postgraduate Course Change Form 2020/2021

We will aim to make the requested course change within three working days of receiving the completed form.

Courses not listed on your programme

If you would like to take a course that is not listed on your programme, approval from your Programme Director, the Course Organiser, and Course Administrator is required. 

All three approvals should be sent to pgtaught.sps@ed.ac.uk or uploaded to the Course Change Request Form.

You can check which courses are listed on your programme by visiting the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study (DRPS) site for the School of Social and Political Sciences.

DPRS site

Deadline for course change requests

Course change requests can be made up to the end of week 2 of the semester in which the course is taught.

The deadline for Semester 2 course change requests is:

  • Wednesday 20 January 2021, 5pm

 

Auditing courses

As an MSc student, you may be able to audit the equivalent of one 20 credit course per semester, in addition to your standard requirement of 120 credits. 

Exceptionally for 2021, this has been temporarily raised to 40 credits.

What is auditing?

Auditing means that you sit in on a course you are interested in without being formally assessed for your performance.

Audited courses appear on your final transcript as "class only" and do not incur any course credits.

Auditing is at the discretion, and by approval of, the Course Organiser and your Programme Director. Some courses might not accept auditing students, for example, if the course is already full.

Some may only allow auditing students to attend lectures, while others may expect you to play a full role in seminar discussions.

How do I request to audit a course?

It is each student’s own responsibility to contact course organisers before signing up for their course to clarify whether auditing is possible and under what circumstances.

Requests to audit should be added to a Course Change Form and the word "AUDIT" should be clearly marked under the credits column.

Request process

If you wishing to audit a course, you must follow the following process:

  1. Email the relevant Course Organiser requesting permission to audit course
  2. Email your Programme Director requesting permission to audit course
  3. Once approval has been received via email from both the Course Organiser and the Programme Director, you must complete the Course Change Form
  4. Either attach both approval emails to the Course Change Form or send the approval directly to pgtaught.sps@ed.ac.uk
  5. Once received, the Postgraduate Support team will update your student record accordingly
  6. The course will appear on your student record as "class only"

Postgraduate Course Change Form 2021/2022

A request to audit a course may be accepted provisionally, but may be withdrawn if that place is needed by a student taking the course for credit.

Please note, it is your own responsibility to check your course record on MyEd to ensure that you are signed up in the correct study mode for each course.

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Taught MSc