How many subjects do I have to take in second year? How do I pick my subjects? How many credits do I have to take at level 2 and at level 1?

You will find the answers to these questions in the resources on the College of Arts moodle site, especially in ‘The structure of the MA degree’. But, in a nutshell, bear in mind that:


  • by the end of your second year you need to have 240 credits, with 120 of them needing to be courses offered through the four Schools of the College of Arts, and with no more than 40 credits (out of the 240) being below D3,
  • and that in your second year you should take 2 subjects at Level 2 (80 credits) and one subject at Level 1 (40 credits).


I am a part-time student. Can I select my second and third subjects?

Part-time students will discuss their curriculum with a named Adviser of Studies from the Arts Advising Team, who will contact them directly.  If you are part-time, please do not enrol in anything until you have spoken to your named Adviser of Studies.

I am a second-year student, but I have not made it into Honours. What are my options?

The best way forward here is not to worry about it but come and speak to the Chief Adviser of Studies about the situation. There is not one-size-fits-all answer to this complex question, and many factors may have contributed to this outcome. So get in touch with and ask for an appointment to discuss the matter. We are sure that a way forward will be found!

I am a second-year student. What do I need to choose as courses this year?

You need to take three subjects again, and two of your subjects at least need to be at Level 2. You need a total of 80 credits this year at Level 2. Usually you need to have completed at least one and sometimes both of the subject’s Level 1 courses to undertake study in them at Level 2. Most subjects require both of their Level 2 courses to be taken for you to be considered for Honours entry in them.

I am a second-year student. How should I choose my courses this year?

You should choose 40 credits at level 2 in each of the subjects you wish to purse to Honours next year. If you are a single Honours student, you should choose a second set of 40 credits at Level 2 in another subject, ideally one you would be prepared to study to Honours if you do not meet the Honours entry requirements in your chosen subject.

Certain subjects have specific requirements for Honours entry which might impact on your course choices this year:


  •  English Literature Single Honours: either last year or this year you must take as your third subject English Language 1A and 1B
  •  English Language Single Honours: either last year or this year you must take as your third subject English Literature 1A and 1B
  • Scottish Literature Single Honours: either last year or this year you must take as your third subject English Language 1A and 1B

You also need to make sure you meet the College of Arts regulations for progression to Honours: 120 credits of your courses across this year and last year must be in Arts subjects; you should not have more than 40 credits below D; you overall average grade (GPA) should not be below 9.

If you choose to continue with two subjects to Level 2 neither of which is offered at Honours Level in the College of Arts (for example, Politics and Sociology), you will need to seek transfer to another College; please contact us if you are in this position.

Some subjects allow you to take their Level 2 courses without having taken their level 1 courses (and sometimes that means you can qualify for Honours entry in them too). For example, Central and East European Studies allows direct entry to Level 2 courses. Bear also in mind that Economic and Social History allows entry to students who have taken Level 1 History and gained either D3 or CA in it. For other such possibilities, please email the Arts Advising Team.

Can I drop my degree subject and continue with my other subjects from last year?

That’s often absolutely fine. You need to check with us though, and we need to make the change in MyCampus to your academic plan for you. Depending on the subject you want to study there might be other courses you need to take this year.