Senate, the University's main academic body, approved key elements of proposals for changes to the structure of the academic year at its termly meeting on 8 December.
Professor Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), said: "I am pleased that, after due consideration, Senate was able to support this development.
"It will help us improve how we provide mid-year assessment (both coursework and examinations) for students, something asked for by many students and staff."
The University has been considering the changes over the past 18 months and a major consultation exercise was held in autumn 2009, with further consultation taking place this term.
The University has been working with the Students' Union in developing updated proposals - and academics and student reps were consulted on these via school teaching and learning committees.
There was detailed discussion in Senate, after which it approved the following elements of the proposals:
In light of the consultation, Senate decided that further work and consultation is needed on how the Christmas and Easter breaks would be managed, and how the assessment period after the first teaching block would run.
A Senate working group - including staff and student members and chaired by Professor Mackie - is being set up to take this work forward.