Expectation Setting For Choosing Final Year Modules At University

When it comes to your final year at university, lots of students have the option to choose some of their own modules. This allows you to customise your degree more towards your own interests, but as I write this, I have just finished choosing my modules and there were plenty of things I would have liked to know beforehand. Therefore, in this blog post, I’ll talk about my own experience and give you some advice so you can hopefully avoid my “mistakes”.

Why Should You Think About Your Modules Earlier?

Throughout your penultimate year at university, it’s a great idea to look into what modules your university allows you to take next year. This means if there are plenty of choices for you, then it gives you a bit of extra time to decide the direction you want your final year to go in.

Additionally, thinking about it earlier allows you to weigh up what factors are important to you, and so you can find modules that meet those requirements. That bit can be slightly time consuming. For example, if you’re better at coursework then you might want to choose modules that are more coursework focused.

How Does Choosing Your Final Year Modules Works: The Perception

Of course, everything in these blog posts are just my own opinions, thoughts and experiences. But I really don’t see why any university would be different from these major points in this post. Therefore, I fully believed when it came to choosing my optional modules for my final year that I would be given basically free rein to choose what I wanted because it was my degree and I wanted to learn about what I was interested in. This is how free the options felt when picking optional modules in earlier years.

Now I can almost feel some of you readers start to sink a little as you might have realised where I’m going with this post. Some of you might have thought about doing a module you would never do normally, others might have wondered about trying a module in a different subject area in case you wanted to do a postgraduate degree in a completely different area to your bachelor’s, and the rest of you might not have thought about this at all.

I don’t blame you!

How Does Choosing Your Final Year Modules Works: The Reality

However, the reality is a lot more strict than I realised. Since I knew that I would have to follow my requirements set up by my psychology degree, I interpreted that as me having to do my four compulsory modules and I would have free rein on the last two.

Yet this was far from the case:

Within my course and university, my options were restricted. I love copyright law and learning about the legal side of the entertainment industry, from copyright in regards to books to the entertainment law about Hollywood and other things. Therefore, when I discovered I was only able to choose certain modules within psychology, and very few outside of the school, I was a bit disappointed and that was why I wanted to do this post.


My biggest tip for you is to make sure you read your degree requirements when picking your modules. This you can easily find on your university website and you’ll probably be emailed it again when it comes to choosing your modules. However, I cannot stress enough to look at the groups within those requirements and you’ll be fine.

Essentially, it is important to do two things when faced with the optional modules for your final year. Firstly, consider what it is you really want to choose and why. Second, make sure to fully understand the requirements and restrictions placed on your choices of modules. In my course, for instance, the modules were split into 2 groups, and we could only pick one from each. I missed this detail, and it caused a lot of disappointment.

Spare yourself that pain! Read your degree requirement in your course handbook!

What about one last tip?

In my opinion, I wouldn’t really call this a tip but more of a common sense thing that gets overlooked. Just make sure the modules you pick don’t give you more modules in one university term compared to the other.

For example, my compulsory modules were 2 in the Autumn term, 2 in the spring term. But because I was really interested in my first two optional modules, I didn’t even think about checking what term they were in, so they were both in the spring term. Meaning I had 2 modules in the Autumn term, 4 in the Spring term.

Therefore, make sure you check when your modules are in the university year and don’t overload yourself, because you will have to change it.


As always none of these blog posts are ever, ever meant to be negative. The point of this post was just to get you to realise the reality of choosing modules, and making sure you avoid some of the minor pitfalls that I haven’t.

And to be honest, choosing your final year modules is hardly a negative experience, it can actually be a lot of fun and get you excited for the next academic year and your future after that.

Connor Whiteley
Connor Whiteley

Psychology Student, Author, Podcaster