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Unusual Options

The year documents list all the normal options available. In designing the timetable we minimize the 'clashes' between these modules (and of course the core modules). You may become aware of modules offered to students on other courses which, because of your particular interests, you would like to take. This may be possible via the Unusual Option scheme which requires the formal agreement of the module organizer, the head of the department offering the module and the Physics department. If you are considering taking an unusual option you should complete the unusual options form and discuss the matter with your tutor.

Reasonable requests will normally be supported by the Physics department, however there may be occasions where the timing of examinations, or the availability of examination results, could cause serious difficulties for us, and thus necessitate our not approving the request. There are also a few situations where we would not approve an unusual option because the content of the proposed module overlaps significantly with that of other modules that have been taken (or are to be taken). 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.

You should be aware that clashes between unusual options and core modules are possible. We will not be able to modify the timetable to remove such clashes.

Level 1 Modules

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

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.

From 2017/18, IL027 Computer Modelling for All may not be taken by students who have already taken, or are taking, PX276 Computational Physics or PX390 Scientific Computing or PX425 High Performance Computing. You should note that PX390 is a prerequisite for PX425.

Options available in 24 or 30 CAT versions

If you are taking modules, that are offered as 24 or 30 CAT versions, you should always opt for the 24 CAT version. This applies mostly to language options.

Preregistration and Acceptance

Some departments restrict numbers on certain modules and may operate a separate registration system or a system of preregistration in May/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 need to use my.wbs). You should only register on eMR for such options if you know that you have a place on the module.

It is also possible that the department giving a module may not wish to approve it as an unusual option for other reasons than lack of spaces. 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 much time to an unusual option. You will also need to complete an Unusual Option form for each module and have it signed by all the required signatories. You should appreciate that this is not a pure formality, and that each of these signatures has some significance, as follows:

  • The module organiser and, where necessary, the HoD (or nominee of the HoD of the teaching department) in signing the form undertake 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 signing the form, undertakes in the event of an examination clash to chaperone 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: overnight if necessary! The Examinations Office tries very hard to avoid exam clashes, but will not guarantee it in the case of unusual options.

Once you have completed the form and have the required signatures, you should hand in the form to the undergraduate office. If there are any issues with your taking the option concerned, we will contact you.

Unusual Options Form (PDF document)

Outside Departments

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