Your first year at Lancaster

A quick guide to the structure of your first year at Lancaster as an undergraduate and the choices available to you.

How is my degree structured?

At Lancaster your degree is made up of two main parts: the first year, which is referred to as Part I, and the second, third and fourth (if you are taking a four-year degree) years, which are called Part II.

In each Part, you will study a range of modules. There are three types of modules that can appear on a Lancaster programme:

  • Compulsory major modules – these are modules that all students on a programme will take and all students will be automatically enrolled on them.
  • Optional major modules – programmes may also contain some optional modules that are also focused on the major subject area.
  • Minor modules – these are options from outside the major subject area that can be added to some programmes.

Part I is a qualifying year and doesn’t count towards your final degree result, but in most programmes, you do have to pass all of your Part I modules to progress to Part II. In your major modules you need to achieve what is called a ‘majorable’ mark, which may be higher than the pass mark.

What modules will I study in my first year?

In Part I all students take 120 credits. For the following programmes this will be made up entirely of major modules in your subject area: Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry (including with Genetics or Biomedicine), Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

For many other degrees, you will have the opportunity to take one or more minor modules alongside your major modules. Your choice of minor modules may be related to your major subject area so that it complements your understanding of your core subject, or you could choose a completely different subject that interests you.

You can see more information about your course on the course pages. We have also compiled a list of minor modules available to choose at Lancaster (link will be live on 9th September for students who have registered online).

How can I tell if my degree allows me to take a minor subject?

Your department will confirm this for you and provide advice tailored to your subject when they email you with welcome information in the week beginning 9th September. When you come to enrol, you will also be able to see which compulsory major modules you have been automatically enrolled on and how many credits they’re worth. If those compulsory major modules add up to fewer than 120 credits, you’ll be asked to choose enough optional modules to reach the 120 credit total.

When do I choose my modules?

You can make provisional choices online before you arrive. You will receive an email on 15th September from asking you to choose your modules. A link in the email will take you to the enrolment webpages on the Student Portal. Then on the Wednesday of Welcome Week you will attend a Part I Enrolment event to confirm your choices.

What subjects are available as minor modules?

There are lots of minor modules available to choose from – take a look at the listings and click on the course titles to find out more (link will be live on 9th September for students who have registered online).

What if I don’t know which subjects to take?

Don’t worry – you don’t need to confirm your choices until the Wednesday of Welcome Week. Before then you can:

  • Read about the different minor modules available (link will be live on 9th September for students who have registered online).
  • Ask staff from your major department for their advice at the Meet Your Major session on the Monday of Welcome Week.
  • Attend the Minor Fair on Monday afternoon in Welcome Week, where you can ask staff from different subjects about the minor modules their departments offer.
  • Ask staff for more information during the Part I enrolment event on the Wednesday of Welcome Week, when you confirm your choices.

Are there any restrictions on the modules I can choose?

Some minor modules have specific entry requirements; these are listed on the modules page (link will be live on 9th September for students who have registered online). You should also be aware that there may also be other restrictions such as timetable clashes and limits on the number of places available on certain modules. This information will be available during Welcome Week. Some subjects do not accept minor students.

What happens if I don’t like a module I have chosen?

You can make changes to the modules you have chosen up to the end of the third week of the term.

Can I continue with my minor module subject in my second year?

You may have the opportunity to change your major scheme of study at the end of Part I. You may be able to switch to another degree from the subjects you study in your first year – either as a single major or joint major. Alternatively, you could continue with your major subject and add a minor subject from those you studied in your first year.

What if I have any further questions about module enrolment?

You can email the Student Registry or speak with staff during Welcome Week.

Minor modules

Take a look at the minor modules available at Lancaster including their entry requirements. This link will be live on 9th September for students who have registered online.

Minor modules