We recognise that many students are at first unsure of the degree programme to which they wish to commit themselves after they have entered university.
The flexibility of study at the University of St Andrews allows you to change the emphasis or subject of your degree as you progress through your first two years. It is possible to enter the University on one degree programme and graduate in an entirely different subject. You will have until the end of your second year to decide what your final degree programme subject(s) will be.
Degree programmes at the University of St Andrews are structured in different ways depending on whether you are studying for a General Degree or an Honours Degree. Almost all students at the University apply for an Honours degree programme. However, the structure of the first two years is the same, irrespective of whether you enter with the intention of graduating with an Honours or General Degree.
Honours degree programmes are of different types which can be illustrated by flowcharts of possible routes leading to a degree. Depending on the type of Honours degree you choose you may have a great deal of choice in the modules you are able to take:
- Single Honours degrees involve the specialist study of just one subject in the final two years;
- Joint Honours degrees involve the specialist study of two (or occasionally three) subjects in equal proportions in the final two years;
- Interdisciplinary degrees, such as the MA in Mediaeval Studies, involves the study of up to three subjects in varying proportions;
- Honours degrees with a major allow the majority of modules to be taken in one specialist subject, and another minor subject in the final two years.
Your first two years
You can use your first two years to discover your own specific strengths before finalising your degree intentions at Honours level.
In the first year you are required to study three subjects. Beyond the requirement to attend the First level modules in the subject(s) to which you have been offered a place, you will be able to choose your other modules from the broad range available in many other subjects.
At the end of each semester you will have the option of continuing with the subjects you are studying; or you can drop one subject and take up something new, provided that you complete any compulsory component of your intended degree.
Towards the end of your second year, if your work has been of a good standard, then you can make a final choice of Honours programme from the Second level subjects that have been most attractive to you. It is in your final two years that you will be able to specialise and gain an intimate knowledge of your chosen subject(s).
Students who do not meet the Faculty grades to progress to an Honours degree may progress to the General Degree.
Honours degrees are classified according to how well a student has performed at Honours level, and degrees are awarded with Honours in First Class, Second Class (2.1 or 2.2) or Third Class.
- General Degree. It is possible to graduate with a General Degree after a third year of study. However, most students will follow a named honours programme for a further year and graduate with an Honours degree.