How many subjects do I need to take in my first-year, and are all of them equally important?

You should take three (and no more than three) subjects in your first year which must not clash in the timetable and ideally should also not clash in the timetable for year 2 (the Arts Advising Team will be able to guide you in that respect). The Arts Registration and Enrolment website will be able to provide further information on Undergraduate timetable clashes. Each subject is either divided into two units (one per semester) of 20 credits each (for example History 1A in semester 1 worth 20 credits followed by History 1B in semester 2 worth 20 credits) or is offered as a single unit of 40 credits (for example Beginners Italian running through both semesters).

All three subjects are equally important in terms of weighting (each is worth 40 credits, so your Year 1 should total 120 credits), but they are also equally important in terms of the pathways and opportunities they should give you to create your own Honours degree. That is why careful thought is needed when choosing the three subjects in Year 1. The College of Arts moodle-site contains two informative videos of PowerPoint presentations prepared by the Chief Adviser of Studies in the College of Arts and entitled ‘The structure of the MA degree’ and ‘Choosing your subjects in first-year’. Watch them: they contain the answers to exactly this question and much more.


Where can I get advice on planning my subject choices? When will I pick my second/third subjects?

Ideally you should choose and enrol into your second and third subjects at the same time as you enrol into your main degree subject. Yes, there will be lots of guidance to help you with the choices.

  • Follow the guidance in ‘My Requirements’, which you will find in MyCampus; this will give you the formal answer of what options and lists of courses from various Colleges (Arts, Social Sciences, Science & Engineering) you may choose from and enrol into courses.
  • You can see a handy list of the courses offered through the four Schools of the College of Arts.
  • Both first-year students and second-year students will have the opportunity to talk about this matter with an Adviser of Studies from the Arts Advising Team.
  • There are in the College of Arts moodle-site two informative videos of PowerPoint presentations prepared by the Chief Adviser of Studies in the College of Arts and entitled ‘The structure of the MA degree’ and ‘Choosing your subjects in first-year’. Watch them: they contain the answers to exactly this question and much more;
  • Feel free to contact us at arts-advising@glasgow.ac.uk for any enquiries.

Can Arts students take non-Arts subjects (for example from the Colleges of Social Sciences and Science & Engineering) as their second and third options?

Yes, they can.

  • However, remember that, over your first two years, you must take 120 credits in Arts subjects if you wish to enter into Honours in the College of Arts, and that some non-Arts subjects such as Psychology, Geography and Maths are all worth 60 credits at level 2. If you are unsure how best to proceed, check/discuss your curriculum with an Adviser of Studies.
  • The College of Arts moodle-site contains two informative videos of PowerPoint presentations prepared by the Chief Adviser of Studies in the College of Arts and entitled ‘The structure of the MA degree’ and ‘Choosing your subjects in first-year’. Watch them: they contain the answers to exactly this question and much more.

What are the subjects in the College of Arts?

Archaeology 

Celtic Civilisation 

Chinese (Mandarin) 

Classical Civilisation 

Comparative Literature 

Czech 

Digital Media and Information Studies 

English Language & Linguistics 

English Literature 

Film & TV 

French 

Gaelic 

German 

Greek 

History 

History of Art 

International Mobility Language courses  

Italian  

Latin  

Music  

Philosophy  

Polish  

Portuguese  

Russian  

Scottish Literature  

Spanish  

Theatre Studies  

Theology and Religious Studies 


I have initially chosen to take a course that I do not want to take anymore. Can I change it, even though it may be my main degree subject?

Yes, this may be possible, although there are various factors that complicate the situation (for example, is your new preference a popular and ‘over-subscribed’ course? Is it in a different College or does it have any entry requirements that you may or may not meet—as is the case, for instance, with Music and FTV? Does your wish to change your main degree subject mean that you may need to transfer to a different College already at the start of the academic year?). There are various ‘exit points’ making it possible for this change to happen, but we would alert you to the following points:

  • It is possible to change even the UCAS subject on the basis of which you have been admitted into the University. For example, you no longer wish to study History as one of your three subjects of year 1, although you were admitted on the basis of a History UCAS code. Depending on what the three subjects are that you are interested in taking in your first year, the Arts Advising Team will be able to change your academic plan in MyCampus from the start of your year 1: for instance, from MA History to MA Philosophy. However, if you wish to change entirely the direction of your studies (for example, upon arrival at the College of Arts you wish to study Biology, not History, as your main subject), you need to get in touch as soon as possible with the Chief Adviser in the College of Arts to discuss the matter (for student transfers post-application and post-entry to the University of Glasgow, see the University Transfer Policy. You need to re-apply to transfer to other degree programmes (for instance Education, Nursing, Law) because of different application processes and entry requirements.

  • There is the so-called Add/Drop period in MyCampus, which lasts for 2 weeks from the start of both the teaching semester 1 and the teaching semester 2; in other words, before the end of week 2 in each of the teaching semesters you should be able to change your curriculum yourself in MyCampus (but do so only after consultation with the Arts Advising Team); but after the end of week 2 you will be unable to change any courses in MyCampus yourself.

  • Another ‘exit point’ is at the end of semester 1 and before the start of semester 2; in other words, you have completed the assessment of a subject in semester 1 and you are sure that you do not wish to continue with it in semester 2; yes, it is possible for you to drop that subject, but then the choice of subjects that can be taken starting from semester 2 is limited, and you should certainly consult us at the Arts Advising Team so that we may advise you on the implications of this change halfway through the academic session;

  • There is also the so-called ‘early-exit route’, which pertains to courses that are available only as one unit of 40 credits (for example a Beginners Modern Language such as Italian) and not as two units of 20 credits each; for this option you need to speak to the subject-area (for example the convener of Italian Beginners);

  • Always report to the Arts Advising Team your wish to change courses in MyCampus;

  • The course you wish to change to may be full, so our advice is that the earlier you decide to change, the more likely it is that you will be able to secure a place in your other preferred course!

I do not like one of my subjects – what do I do?

Please see the section above entitled ‘I have initially chosen to take a course that I do not want to take anymore. Can I change it, even though it may be my main degree subject?’. It will give you guidance and information about ‘exit-points’ from courses you wish to discontinue from your curriculum.