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Unusual and Outside Options

The year documents list all the normal options available. In designing the timetable we minimise the 'clashes' between these modules (and of course the core modules). You may become aware of modules offered to students on other courses which you would like to take. This may be possible via the Unusual Option scheme. This requires the formal agreement of the module organiser, the head of the department offering the module and the Physics department. If you are considering taking an unusual option you should find out whether the teaching department is happy for you to take the module and discuss the matter with your tutor. You should then complete the unusual option form. You are also responsible for registering for any unusual options on eMR. (Registration on eMR does not imply that you have permission to take the module.)

Reasonable requests will normally be supported by the Physics department, however there will be occasions the module is not appropriate and we will not approve the request. For example if the material is not appropriate, or if the timing of examinations and the availability of examination results are incompatible with your course and year of study. There are also situations where we would not approve an unusual option because the content of the module overlaps significantly with that of other modules that you have taken (or will take). When there is a choice of CATS weighting for the same module, we or the teaching department may stipulate which version of the module you should take.

Clashes between unusual options and core modules are possible. We will not attempt to modify the timetable to remove such clashes.

Level 1 Modules

The University does not permit you to take more than 30 CATS credits of level 1 modules after the 1st year. You may not take level 1 language modules in the third or fourth years.

You are also not allowed to take any level 1 modules in your fourth year.

Computing Modules

The Physics department does not allow students, in their second, third or fourth year, to take entry level programming modules. This includes any programming module with module codes such as CS1xx, IB1xx, MA1xx.

IL027 Interdisciplinary Computer Modelling may not be taken by students who have already taken, or are taking, PX281 Computational Physics or PX390 Scientific Computing or PX425 High Performance Computing. You should note that PX390 is a prerequisite for PX425.

Options available with different CATS Weightings

If you are taking modules, that are offered as 24 or 30 credit versions, you should always opt for the 24 credit version. This applies mostly to language options. The module IL907 should only be taken in the 10 CAT version.


Economics require you to clear registration for any of their modules before allowing you to take their modules. Do not register for EC modules without their permission. You need to make a request via the link in the rh column.

WBS Gateway to Business Modules

These modules are designed for students with no business background, and WBS are keen for students from any undergraduate programme to sign up. Students will have to sign up on both my.wbs and university systems though (instructions are included on the website). Please also note that demand for our Finance modules is particularly high, so we may not be able to guarantee registration for these.

Preregistration and Acceptance

You should only register on eMR for such options if you know that you have a place on the module.

Some departments restrict numbers on certain modules and may operate a separate registration system or a system of preregistration in April, May and June of the previous academic year. You should check this with the individual departments concerned, but it is the case with some IATL and WBS modules (for WBS you must use Note also that there are two types of WIISP modules: co-curricular (not for credit but appear on your record) and credit-bearing.

It is possible that the department giving a module may not wish to approve it as an unusual option for other reasons than lack of space. They may consider the module to be inappropriate, or they may not wish to take on the possible extra workload (this particularly applies to modules taken out of their normal year, e.g. a 2nd year module taken in the 3rd, where a special examination may be needed).

In your own interests you should obtain formal approval from the teaching department and by us before you devote time to an unusual option. You will also need to complete an unusual option form for each module to confirm that you have this approval. You should appreciate that this is not a pure formality, and that the approval of each party has some significance, as follows:

  • The module organiser in signifying approval undertakes to arrange any special assessments or examination papers if the standard procedures prove inappropriate or unworkable (for example, the exam marks are required sooner than would be possible if you sat the normal paper, and so a special paper has to be set ).
  • Your personal tutor in signifying approval undertakes in the event of an examination clash to arrange a chaperone for you between the end of the first of the clashing exams until such time as you can be delivered to the Examination Room to sit the second. The Examinations Office tries very hard to avoid exam clashes, but will not guarantee this in the case of unusual options.

If there are any issues with your taking the option concerned, we will contact you.

Level 1 Credit Restriction
Unusual Options FormLink opens in a new window


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