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Making a plan

You know what degree(s) and subjects you want to take? Great, now you need to plan your first year.

Timeline of a typical university year


  • In the back of the Guide to Enrolment there is a degree planning chart, or you can download a copy (PDF format, 489 KB)
  • Have a look at the qualification page for a list of available programmes.
  • Decide on your major subject(s). You may also wish to take a minor subject(s) however for most qualifications this isn’t compulsory. The major you select in your first year may not be the one you complete your qualification with, and that’s ok.
  • On the qualification page of your chosen programme check out the programme requirements for your chosen major subject. It can help to read through the complete table as there may be notes that are important.
  • Check out the 100-level papers for the major and/or minor subject(s) you’ve chosen. Getting this paper selection right can set you up for your following years of study.
    • Make sure you check which 100-level papers are prerequisites for any 200-level papers you may want to take later on. You will need to pass these before you can take the related 200-level paper. Prerequisites are listed in the prescriptions information in the Guide to Enrolment and on the website against each paper.
    • There may also be papers that are noted as ‘recommended’. These are papers that the department feels will help you in your chosen programme, and are important to take into consideration when planning your course of study.
  • Have a look at your workload and the mix of papers across each semester. Make sure you’re not overloading one semester over the other with your paper choice. It is better to pick a realistic workload than struggle with too many papers.
    Workload recommendation for first-year students
    • You’ll be able to take 100-level papers in future years alongside your 200- and 300-level papers (just check they are not a prerequisite).
  • It pays to keep an eye on the timetable for your selected papers as paper selections with timetable clashes may not be approved. See the Timetable Clash page for more information. You can look up papers in the Timetable Viewer, available via the Study Timetables page, and check the timetable for your chosen papers.

Not sure of some of the terms used on this page? View key terminology.

Top tips and great online tools

  • The A-Z of Subjects page has a list of the subjects that are available to choose from, and can be a great place to start when deciding what to study.
  • The qualifications page has a list of the programmes that are available.
  • The year is divided into two semesters - the first semester from February to June and the second from July to November. A paper usually takes one semester to complete. However there are some full year (FY) papers.
  • Summer School takes place from January to February, and is a compressed period of study, with the workload equivalent to that of a semester. Students can study at Summer School to speed up completion of their degree or if they only need only one or two papers to complete their degree (qualification) or if they have a particular interest in one or more of the papers on offer.

Support and services

Need help planning your course? Student Development can help you.

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