Course units and credits

Students normally need to take 120 credits of course units in each academic year. Each course unit is worth 10, 15, 20 or 30 credits. One credit represents 10 hours of contact time and independent study. Typically a 10 credit course unit will have two lectures, one feedback class and 5 hours of independent study each week.

Course codes: each course unit has a course code MATH (for Mathematics course units) followed by a five digit number. The first digit indicates the level of the course and the fifth digit indicates whether it runs in semester 1 or 2 (0 denotes a full year course unit).

For level 3 and 4 units the second digit indicates the subject area, according to the following scheme: 0 General; 1 Pure (analysis); 2 Pure (algebra); 3 Logic; 4 Advanced Calculus; 5 Physical Applied; 6 Numerical Analysis; 7 Probability; 8 Statistics; 9 Discrete/Financial mathematics. In the final years the mathematical themes are used for planning the timetable.  A document providing further information on these mathematical themes is available from the Year 3 Study Module MATHS3000 in Blackboard.

Course codes for course units in other schools work in a similar way.

Course Unit Selection

Compulsory (mandatory) courses

All students in the School of Mathematics are automatically enrolled onto their compulsory course units as part of their programme of study. You can see which course units you are registered for by logging in to My Manchester. 

Optional courses

If you are on a programme that includes optional course units, then you will need to self-select your optional course units; you can do this by going to ‘My Manchester’. Further information is available from the Course Unit Selection Process website:

Course unit selection for optional course units opens early July and closes at the beginning of August for the following academic year for continuing students and early September for new students. You are strongly advised to provisionally select your optional course units as soon as you are able to ensure that you get a place on your preferred course unit options.

The selection process opens again during the first two weeks of each semester; this provides an opportunity for you to enroll, add and amend your preferred optional course units. In weeks 3-6 you can only change courses with permission of the Year Tutor by completing an online form from the Schools website. You cannot change courses after week 6.

Outside Course Units (non-math course units)

The single honours programmes and some joint honours programmes provide an opportunity to take outside course units (ie non-math course units).  Please see your programme requirements before applying to enrol onto a non-math course unit and read the information about the Schools course unit selection process.

Students may want to consider taking a course unit from The University College for interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL), who have a list of course units available to students, for further details please see their website: or a Language course unit from the University Language Centre, further details available from:

First semester course units available to second year students can be taken as an outside course unit in the first semester by taking 70 credits in the first semester or, exceptionally, by delaying a 10 credit course unit MATH20201 or MATH20701 from semester 1 until the Third Year.  This requires permission from the Year Tutor.

Further information about non-math course units should be obtained from the other School and all course specifications are available from My Manchester student portal under the course unit search engine.

All non-math course units (unless recommended as part of your degree programme) will need the approval from your Year Tutor. There is an online form for students to complete for that approval:

A list of recommened outside course units that have been taken by our previous students in the past is available from the quick links below.

Quick links:


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