Here’s The Tab Edinburgh’s guide to the easiest outside courses

Helping you get those longer lie-ins before you’ve even picked your courses

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Are you looking for an easier ride this year? Or perhaps you're a fresher aiming to make your first year as chilled out as possible.

Well, this is the complete list of Edinburgh's easiest electives, which will make those 9ams go away, and those late nights in the lib feel like a thing of the past.


Just recovering from a weekend at Leeds fest? Well channel that ketamine-fuelled camping gig into 20 credits with the ultimate first year module. Ostensibly about Edinburgh's links as an arts city, the reality of this module concludes with students jointly organising their own festival.

That's right, you could be earning credits whilst drinking tinnies in the Meadows, and with a reported 158 hours worth of independent study, that's a lot of time spent covered in glitter.

Revising x x x

History of Medicine

Despite constant proclamations of how hard science students have it, here we find another easy course your average bio-med student takes. This course is the product of what happens when science tries to do humanities.

The course covers medicine from ‘Ancient Greek and Roman medicine’ to ‘the politics of modern medicine’, so it's not too boring. Whilst the lectures are run at Kings, they’re recorded which results in few people trekking all the way from the main campus.

Even if you don’t go to any of the lectures, there are two multiple choice exams, so you could always take your chances (or just do the readings for the coursework, which is 60 per cent of the course). Since it’s a History course made by scientists, there are very few comprehensive readings.

The History of Tea

When this course was originally mentioned as one of Edinburgh’s easiest electives, a friend of mine scoffed that it would be about the complex history of colonialism. Whilst that plays a part in it, it’s primarily just about tea, really.

The course catalogue says it all: "students will gain an understanding not only of the various ways in which tea has been produced, consumed and understood in different local settings, but also of what links these apparently disparate practices together".

Unsurprisingly, this course has no exam so students are tested on a source analysis (30 per cent), an essay and a presentation. Here’s a (PG) tip = if you’re passionate about tea, this is for you.

Getting some worthwhile revision in

Introduction to Visual and Cultural Studies

Ever wanted to go five weeks writing 800 words, that don't even count? If so, this is the module for you. This module is entirely coursework-based, finishing with a rigorous 2000 word essay.. One 2000 word essay, worth 100 per cent of the marks.

Our Changing World

This module is so chill that its one and only lecture of the week is open to the public. Whilst you’re technically paying for this, this is a nice free trip out for Edinburgh local science geeks. The course has weekly speakers who speak on topics that are actually interesting, such as religion and violence to sustainability, mental disorder, immigration and sleep.

If you Google this course, the Edinburgh event ranks higher than the course catalogue, which says it all to be frank. And to top it all off, your grade is 80 per cent Coursework (35 per cent group project, 35 per cent reports on topics of your choice and 10 per cent peer assessment) and only a 20 per cent Exam. This course looks piss easy, so if you’re into science but dislike the effort that comes with it, this really is the one for you.

Making Animal Studies

Ever been unimpressed by your uni trips to a museum, hill or lab? Then look no further than this six hours of lectures. This module is 100 per cent coursework which includes planned trips to Edinburgh Zoo, Summerhall, and the cat cafe.

The assessment is no more than a 600 word blog worth 50 per cent, and a digital portfolio worth the other 50 per cent. This course is literally built for the sloths you'll be snapchatting at the zoo.

You've got to be kitten me?!

The Historian’s Toolkit

As a veteran of this pathetically easy course, I can vouch that it’s one for those with a tendency to skip lectures as they're really, really not worth your time. Whilst this is somehow a compulsory course for History students, it can be chosen as an elective for those of you who don’t want to start the year off with a rigorous timetable.

To be fair, some of the discussions you have can be interesting, but the whole thing is literally different ways to ‘do’ history making it really fucking tedious for those who’ve just smashed their A Levels to get here.

So few people attended these lectures last year that first year students were called up on it by email (yikes).

On the flip side, you’re graded on a pretend essay plan of an essay you will never write, on a topic of your choice. Why? To show that you know how to write an essay with your newly developed skills, now that you’ve undergone your ‘training’ as the next Simon Schama. Patronising, but easy.

Drawing People

Everyone's seen it in the films and television, the life drawing class. Made difficult by a gorgeous woman, or humorous by the oafish naked male.

But did you know that you are 4-6 life drawings and a 600-750 word reflection away from 20 easy credits? Complete with a meagre five hours of lectures, and only two hours on seminars.

Totally high brow.

Sustainable Sculpture Practice

The ECA is a hive of easy electives, and this one combines the true principles of every art student. Running for an impressive four years, and evaluated by a 1500-word assessment and the uploading of five images of sculptural work, this course takes the focus to the social responsibility behind sustainable practice in the arts, which as we all know is a lot of words for make five sculptures in exchange for 20 credits.