How we teach and how you'll learn - Undergraduate

Our teaching is focused on building your knowledge and confidence, developing your problem solving skills and preparing you for a successful career.

Academic year and timetables

QMU’s academic year is divided into two semesters. Semester One runs from September to December with assessments taking place before the Christmas break. Semester Two runs from January to May, culminating in assessments. The majority of our undergraduate degree courses are modular, most students undertake six modules each academic year (three in each semester).

Visit our Academic Calendar page for more information.

During term time, teaching is usually between 09:15 and 18:15 Monday to Thursday and 09:15 and 17:15 on Friday, with undergraduate teaching normally ending by 13:15 on Wednesdays to allow participation in sports and societies activities. Timetables are available from mid-July (but subject to change), with continuing students able to see their personal timetables at this time. Efforts are made to make the timetables as student friendly as possible, teaching can take place at any time during the teaching week, and may not be consistent on a week-to-week basis.


Course length

Many courses at QMU offer the opportunity to study over three (Ordinary level) or four (Honours level) years. The four-year degree system in Scotland is different from that offered in the rest of the UK (although qualifications are recognised and accepted across the UK and internationally). The four-year honours degree is designed to allow students to study their chosen subject in greater depth and breadth. A number of our healthcare courses offer only a four year honours degree option.

We offer a range of four-year integrated undergraduate master’s degrees across our range health profession degrees. An integrated master's degree (sometimes referred to as an enhanced undergraduate degree) is a four-year programme which combines both undergraduate and postgraduate level of study into one streamlined course. Students start their chosen course with a view to graduating with a master’s degree in four years, instead of following the traditional model where students complete a master’s degree after completing an undergraduate degree. Years Three and Four of the undergraduate course are taught alongside postgraduate students studying on the relevant Pre-Registration* postgraduate course.

*Pre-Registration postgraduate courses are for students who already have an undergraduate degree in a relevant area who want to gain a health professional qualification.

Part-time study

Our undergraduate courses are designed to be studied full-time, although it may be possible to study some on a part-time basis. Please contact Admissions ( for advice on part-time study options.



All of our courses follow a modular pattern. Core modules, and examples of optional modules, if relevant, are listed on each course page in this prospectus. While modules listed are correct at the time of print (March 2021), they may differ slightly from those offered in 2022 and later years. Where optional modules are listed, please be aware that not all options may run in an academic year. Placements are considered as modules.


Teaching mainly takes place in our academic building on campus. However, if you are following a course that includes a practical placement (see individual courses), this will normally take place off campus. More information regarding placements is on the individual course pages. Some courses offer a study abroad option; please see the individual course pages too.

Teaching and learning activities and assessment methods

As a student at QMU you will benefit from a range of teaching methods ensuring you have the opportunity to make the most of your chosen course.

Teaching methods include lectures (some of which may feature interactive approaches including live voting systems), and seminars and tutorial groups allowing for more in-depth discussion of the topics being studied. A number of our courses include practical placements. These allow you to put the knowledge and experience gained in the classroom into practice in a real-life environment and better prepare you for your future career. In addition to your classes, you will be required to undertake self-supported learning, making use of online resources and those in the Learning Resource Centre to complete independent research or work on group projects.

Assessment take place in a variety of ways, including written, oral and practical examinations, depending on your course of study. Most courses include forms of continuous assessment, such as essays, group work and presentations. Our assessment regulations, which include our policy on assessment turnaround times, can be found on our Regulations, Policies and Procedures page

For more information on teaching, learning and assessment activities for individual courses, please visit the relevant course entry on our website and refer to the ‘Teaching, Learning and Assessment’ section.

Class sizes

Class sizes at QMU vary according to your course. However, the relatively small size of the University means that you can quickly get to know our staff and fellow students on your course, and experience a range of teaching and learning opportunities aimed at enhancing your overall student experience. You need never feel lost in a crowd of students in a huge lecture theatre.

Staff expertise providing real-life learning

We take pride in ensuring that our teaching is relevant to today’s workplaces and prepares students for their chosen careers. You will be taught by academic staff with in-depth knowledge and experience of their subject area. Our staff ensure that they are up to date with the latest knowledge, thinking and developments in their field and have strong links with industry and professional bodies. Some continue to practise professionally in their own areas of expertise, and others are involved in world-leading research, shaping future discussion and methodologies in their profession. You may be taught by visiting lecturers from across the globe, attracted to the University and its location in Scotland’s capital. Doctoral students with a relevant and current research focus make an important contribution to teaching on some of our undergraduate degrees. QMU provides initial training and ongoing development opportunities for doctoral students acting in this role.

You can find staff profiles by subject on the Schools and Divisions section of our website. Please note that our staffing is subject to change.

External review

All Scottish universities, including QMU, are subject to regular periodic external review. This is undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency. The review process is called Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). ELIR focuses on the University’s arrangements for managing academic standards and enhancing the quality of the student learning experience. QMU’s most recent ELIR visit was in 2018. The outcome was a judgement of effectiveness. This is the highest of three possible outcomes. The full ELIR report is available on the Quality Assurance Agency's website.