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As the name suggests, pre-advising takes place before the in-person advising meeting at which your module choices will be approved.

Pre-advising is an online process during which you submit your provisional module choices via the academic advising system. This helps you plan your academic programme for the next year, and saves time with data entry during the advising meeting. It also helps schools with planning if they have a rough idea how many students are likely to take each module. Choices submitted during pre-advising are not binding: you can change your mind any time up to the advising meeting (and indeed afterwards, up to the re-advising deadline).

You must complete pre-advising before attending your advising meeting. Your Adviser of studies may send you away again if you have not done so.

New students complete pre-advising in the summer before arrival (or January, for those arriving in semester two); returning students complete pre-advising in June of the preceding academic year. The academic advising system will be available from mid-June; you will be notified by email when it becomes available.

If you don't already have a University computer account, you will need to set it up before you can complete pre-advising.

Pre-advising – new undergraduate students

This section applies to you if you are starting a new undergraduate degree programme.

How many credits do I have to take in my first year?


Which modules should I take in my first year?

See: choosing modules.

Can I change my module choices?

See: re-advising.

Pre-advising – inbound exchange / study abroad students

This section applies to you if you are studying in St Andrews for a semester or a year, and will not graduate from St Andrews.

Courses and modules

Some non-graduating students find there is a difference in the terminology used in their home University and here at St Andrews. A course here refers to a full programme of study over a number of years, and not to an individual course in a particular subject at a particular level. Here we refer to that as a module. For example, the first-level French course in the first semester is module FR1001.

St Andrews calculates full year or semester loads by credits, not by number of modules. It is normal for students to take only two or three modules each semester. This can be different from many non-UK universities that count numbers of courses; modules here will have a heavier expected workload than courses in a system with four, five or more different courses per semester.

How many credits do I have to take?

See: credit load.

Which modules should I take?

It is a good idea to check with your home institution (if applicable) that the modules you choose are acceptable and useful for your course there.

In principle you can study any subject for which you are qualified. Many first level (1000-level) modules require no prior knowledge. Some have pre-requisites i.e. required prior learning. These are mainly in science and language modules. The course catalogue will tell you if a module has pre-requisites.

For modules at higher levels (2000, 3000, 4000 or 5000), prior study at the appropriate university level is required, e.g. taking a 3000-level module in Art History would normally require two years' prior university study in Art History. You should check that you are properly qualified for the modules you choose and will not be disadvantaged by taking modules you are not properly prepared for. If you are unsure, you can discuss this at your Advising meeting.

You should be aware that 3000- and 4000-level modules in particular are subject to change and may not always be available. Some of these modules also have limited spaces.

See also: choosing modules.

Can I change my module choices?

See: re-advising.

Pre-advising – returning undergraduate students

If you have any queries about your module choices or programme, please contact your current Adviser(s) of Studies - or if you intend to enter Honours in the next academic year, the relevant Honours Adviser(s). Your current Adviser of Studies is shown on the 'my courses' page in MySaint.

Early pre-advising

The Schools and Departments in the Faculty of Arts listed below operate an early pre-advising process in April. If you will be taking Honours modules in these subjects in the next academic year, you will be required to submit your module preferences online or on paper, or to attend a meeting:

Returning from leave of absence

If you will be returning from leave of absence in September, you will be able to pre-advise in June. To make sure that you know which modules to enter, you are advised to contact your Adviser(s) of Studies to discuss your module choices in April. This is especially important for students who will be in their Honours years in the Faculty of Arts, as some modules may be oversubscribed and Schools may not be able to allocate places to all students who wish to take these modules.

How many credits do I have to take?


Which modules should I take?

See: choosing modules.

Can I change my module choices?

See: re-advising.

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