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The Structure of Unit Descriptions

There are unit descriptions for all COMS-units (units given by the Department). EMAT units are given by the Department of Engineering Mathematics. Details of these units are available on request.

Code and Title

Each unit has a code, e.g. COMS30201, and a title.

Lecturers, Director

The name of the lecturer. The director is the person who is finally responsible.

Pre-requisites, Co-requisites

The pre-requisites list the codes of the units which you must have completed before starting this unit. If you believe you have the necessary background for a unit but not the pre-requisites, you should talk to the unit director. Any unit that you must follow concurrently is listed under the Co-requisites.


The period of the year that the unit is taught (usually the first semester, or the second semester). This field also specifies from when the unit will be given.

Credit Points (CP)

Each credit point is equivalent to 10 hours of nominal study: a 20 credit unit is the equivalent of 200 hours of work. Each programme specifies how many credit points must be earned in a year, usually around 120.


These list the global aims of the unit.


These are specific objectives of the unit, also known as the Learning Outcomes.


This gives a short description of the unit contents. Usually a list of keywords. In addition, the prerequisites of the unit are usually reviewed.


Often three groups of books are specified: essential, recommended, and background books. The lecturer will assume that you study any essential book. A unit will at least have either course notes or an essential book.


This specifies the total number of lectures, problem classes, laboratory sessions etc.


The assessment form and the criteria for the award of credits. Usually you will need to score at least a 40% mark, but extra requirements may be set.