School of Social and Political Science

Choosing your Courses


As part of your degree at Edinburgh, you have the opportunity to select optional courses to take alongside those that are compulsory for your degree programme.

The 2023/24 Postgraduate Course Change Request Form is now open until 4pm on 26th January 2024 for Semester 2 courses.

Below is guidance on choosing optional courses to fulfil the requirements of your degree programme. If you have a question, email us at

Start here
  1.  Use Path or DRPS to view your degree programme and what optional courses you can take. Make sure you look at and follow the correct information for your degree programme. 
  2. Take note of what optional courses you want to take. You should consider your first choices, and then what backup options you are interested in taking. We recommend you provide six optional courses in each semester where possible to ensure you have enough back up options. You must provide us with at least 4 optional courses in each semester.
  3. Make sure you check the timetabling information for each optional course choice and ensure there are no clashes in your timetable. You will be able to view the timetabling details for each course using Path or DRPS
  4. You must submit your course choices via our online course choice form by the 6th of September. You should only submit your course choices once, so take your time.  To access the form, see the 'Our course choice forms' section below. 
How many credits should I choose?

Normally, as a taught 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 Postgraduate Teaching 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.

When will I be signed up to my courses and how can I check?

You can check on MyEd which courses you have been signed up for. We aim to have you signed up for all of your courses no later than the 15th of September.  Once signed up to your courses, you will be able to view your personal timetable and guidance on this can be found at Student Timetables 

MyEd login portal

Are my course choices final?

Course choices made at this stage are by no means final. Should you decide to change any of your elective courses, for instance, after talking to the Postgraduate Teaching Office or Student Adviser 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.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about making a change to your initial course choices. 

Who to contact 
  • For general questions about the form or the course sign up process, contact 
  • If you need advice on any academic matters, please email your Programme Director or Student Adviser in the first instance. If you are unsure of who to speak to, please contact the Student Advice and Support team, and a Student Adviser will be able to help you.
Our course choice forms

 Submit your course choices here

 Course changes

Course changes are subject to availability and Course Organiser approval.

How do I make a course change request?

The course change form will reopen on 3rd January 2024 for requests to change semester 2 electives until 26th January 2024

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

Postgraduate Course Change Request Form 2023/2024

We will aim to make the requested course change within three working days of receiving the completed form. Please be advised that students will be placed on a waiting list for courses that are full.  Due to the high volume of forms being processed, the Postgraduate Teaching Office is not always able to contact students individually to advise on the outcome of a course change request. If a course change or audit request has been approved, you will receive an automated email informing you of this change. Please ensure you check your timetable to view any changes to your student record; the confirmation email will advise you on how to do this.

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 course change requests is:

  • Semester 1 - 4pm on Friday 29th September 2023
  • Semester 2 - 4pm on Friday 26th January 2024


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 of taught courses.

What is auditing?

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

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.

Request Process

The process for requesting to audit a course is below:

  1. Email the Course Organiser to obtain written permission. The course information on DRPS (link will open in a new window) will include the Course Organiser's contact information at the bottom of the page.
  2. If permission to audit the course is given, please forward the email confirming this to or attach it to the Course Change Request Form before submitting.
  3. Please note that being added to the course will also be contingent on their being space, even with the relevant permission from the Course Organiser.
  4. Once received, the Postgraduate Teaching Office will update your student record accordingly
  5. The course will appear on your student record as "class only"

The Course Change Form will open from 3rd January 2024 until 26th January 2024. 

Postgraduate Course Change Form 2023/24 


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.


Who can I speak to about choosing my courses?

If you have any questions about completing the course selection form, credit distribution or the rules for your programme, please email


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Taught MSc