Assessing Course Structures

A portrait of a mixed race college student studying at campus

Courses differ in more ways than one. We have said so in multiple articles before this. One not-so-particular thing that most applicants miss out is that courses vary in the way that they are structured. Not so sure of what we just said? Keep reading!

As you know, most courses are centered in one particular subject. During the duration of the course, you will tackle this subject and this will engulf your studies and define the course itself. But unlike this type of course, some courses focus on two subjects in a single course. Yes, you heard that right. A course that concentrates on two subjects is usually called a Dual or Joint Honours course. And there are also courses that focuses on three or more subjects throughout its study–these courses are called Combined Honours.

To avoid confusion, these courses already fixed a huge part of the course in advance, so you wouldn’t go through the trouble of picking an option, because that will surely take time. There are also courses that will give you permission to choose a considerable part of the course itself. And there are even courses that will allow you to choose from an even wider variety of options! How cool is that?

You might have heard before that some courses are based on modules. Courses that are arranged in modular structure often finishes at a short amount of time–with only about two semesters, unlike other courses that usually takes three terms to finish. Module-based courses are graded or assessed separately. It means that every topic or subject you encounter has a module of its own, and whether you do good or not in that particular topic or subject, it won’t affect the other modules that you are currently taking. Unfortunately, module-based courses tend to have more examinations of some sort. As usual, module-based courses are designed to help a university plan out a timetable correctly, and other relative reasons.

Do not fret, these courses that are in modular structure continue to be traditional single or joint honours courses. Modular courses are said to be extremely flexible, giving you the freedom to pick options from a wide variety of modules. There might be some conflicts though. Not all modules are available to you at the moment, since they are planned out in a specific time, and some modules might have conflicted times, so it might be hard for you to pick.

Before you make your choice, be sure that you assess your options in the eyes of an employer. Will they want to hire someone with a completely structured course program, rather than picking someone who finished several modules that are not related to the job? Whatever the answer is, be smart in choosing. You must know what market or audience you are trying to cater to. Then, sort it out accordingly.


Here are some things to check out before you start picking:


  1. Check where your course is based if the university you are applying to has two or more location sites.
  2. Universities that have huge advertisements in the newspaper or anywhere else means that they have lots of spaces to fill, so it would be best to check them out if they cater your chosen course.
  3. Some courses give the opportunity for their students to spend a year or a quarter of it in Europe or in anywhere else. Better grab that!
  4. Check if accommodation is only given during the first year. Also, check if it’s far from the main road or not. Check the deadlines, the prices, and any other conditions that might help you secure the accommodation.
  5. Courses that are concentrated on two or more subject departments might make it hard for you to sort out your specialty. Find out what you can work best with, and call it your own. As if branding yourself that you are part of that subject department. It feels good.


If courses differ in structure itself, they will most likely differ in the way that they are taught. There are courses that makes use of some particular methods of teaching such as tutorials, computer-based learning, or dissertations.

If you find big examinations horrendous to the core, you can choose a course that gives continuous assessments. This way, you can maximize your strength if you are not doing well in examinations that require weeks of review. And alternatively, if you’re scared in participating while in constant pressure, might as well pick a course that focuses on an all-out examination at the end of the semester.
That’s all we have regarding course structures! We hope this helped you. Be in the know, you know?

Calculating The Years: Course Lengths


Courses differ mostly in length, since not all are the same in scope and structure. Sub-degree courses last about two years and full-time courses last from about four to six years. How long is your chosen course

Most full-time courses last three years, but some add another year to add a ‘sandwich’ or a placement year. This additional year is most likely spent abroad working or they get to study there for a whole year. Majority of language courses last about four years and both science and engineering courses sometimes lead to a Master’s degree after four years.

Did you know that it is also possible to add a foundation year before you start your course? Yes, you read that right! Though it will add an additional year in your preparation, it is mostly for applicants who took the wrong subjects in their exams and expect the same standard for entry as the courses they lead on to. But hang on, these foundation courses are not the same with each other. Some are designed for those who performed a little bit less the required entry qualifications for a course, and is designed to bring them up to speed. These foundation courses also differs in entry requirements, themselves. Mostly, they are have lower entry requirements.

Not all courses will be able to guarantee that you will be a professional after taking the expected years of that course. For example, studying medicine for five years will make you a doctor by profession, and studying six years of architecture will make you an architect. However, three years of law doesn’t mean that you’re a lawyer already. You must first take some kind of expertise, or exams. They are different regarding the requirement of the course itself. You get the point.
Lastly, the start of courses may not be exactly the same as others. While most courses start during September or October, there are a few courses that start during January. Majority of these courses are nursing. But, some universities also offer a spring start in other subjects. This is done partly just to fill quotas. Also, some universities offer two-year courses that are fast tracked in subjects such as law, accounting, and business. That’s all!

What’s The Difference? Type of Course and Course Content


Now that you already know what you want to study, it all comes down to how you want to study it. There are different types of courses, and some courses vary in its content. Like finding other things, you have to know what’s best for you.

The most common and most known difference between courses are the levels that you can study it. While most courses lead to a degree, others lead to sub-degree forms like the Higher National Diploma, etc. In sub-degree courses, they are usually much shorter and are oriented regarding the vocation itself and most likely has low entry requirements.

Some shorter courses are connected to degree courses, so that you can have the option of further studying the subject, and finally earn a degree if you perform in an above average manner in the initial parts of the course itself.

The other type of differences regarding courses lie on the aspects of the course itself. First, you study a certain type of course, the most general one. During the later years, due to the large variety of academic development in the course, you can pick a specialty–or a major. Sometimes, like medicine, you have to know what subject to take up first, before you can finally pick a specialized course which is dentistry, ophthalmology, etc. If granted that you don’t want to take up your current decision, you could always turn back to the other related courses in your department–just in case you want to change your decision.

Even for courses with almost the same content, there might be some important differences. These are some opportunities you might want to check out:

It would be good to spend a year or a quarter of a year or so under the European Union while under the Erasmus programme. (Click here for Erasmus programme info)

You can extend your course to four to five years can get you a Master’s degree. This set up is usually common in engineering and most science courses. Actually, you can do this on most courses now. You can also study abroad or get work placements allowing you to have a Master’s qualification and have relevant experience. These types of Master’s degree are called Integrated Master’s.

Also, you can go study or work abroad by means of an exchange program, but not pertaining to language study. This way, you can still acquire experience and additional relevance and context.
There you have it! This article is not much, but we hope that it somehow gave you an idea! Check if your course leads to a degree, or if not, make sure it does eventually!

Knowing What To Aim For: Talking About Entry Requirements

filling the application form

You may already know that applying to a university and to a course is based on requirements, and that’s what we are going to talk about now. Before being able to set foot on the glorious fields of a university, you must first be eligible to apply. And what are you going to look out for? Entry requirements!

Universities have a General Entrance requirement, a set of qualifications that every student must have before being able to apply. Naturally, most students are already okay during this point, since these are just basic qualifications, but it never hurts to know what they are exactly. Universities may sometimes require a specific test, such as having the English language requirement, and so on. Some universities are generous enough to give low expectancy requirements to students, so you can rest knowing that you’ll be able to apply.

It’s not just the university, but also each course that you are eyeing for have a certain amount of requirements that they implement. Think of it as a filter, so they know which students have the certain abilities that are needed to study that particular subject. For example, most courses that are in line with mathematics need, well, a previous study of mathematics. Most of these information are on the UCAS website, which is here and most of the time, they provide these in every prospectus that a university has. Higher grades might get you into high quota courses, and lower grades lead you to lesser quota courses–sometimes in a different university.

It would be wise to check the UCAS website whenever you have the chance, because they provide course requirements and are the most up-to-date site regarding course applications. That would be the easiest way to see if you actually have the ability to pass the required grade of that subject. Also, frequently ask your current teachers/advisers about your grades and if they will be sufficient for the course that you are planning to take. Finally, narrow your choices down to five and up before filling up the UCAS form.

Try and predict your grades, too. Pick three courses, courses that are leveled as your predicted grade. Then, pick two lesser courses that you are somehow interested in, has lower grade requirements, and also in the university that you are applying for. And finally, pick one aspirational choice. Your aspirational choice is a course that is one or two grades higher than your predicted grade, but is worth the risk.

UCAS has a special condition called Extra. It allows you to choose another course if you are not accepted in all five courses, or if you have decided that you wanted a different course.
There you have it! We hope this helped you in some way! Requirements are a bit of a hassle, but they are one sure way to get you inside your dream course and university! So don’t take it lightly, fellas!

Top Five Factors From Applicants: Choosing a Course


By this point in time, you would’ve picked the courses that you might probably choose to study. The itty-bitty problem now is trimming that list down even more. Now, how would you do that? We gathered some info from a source and they asked applicants from all over on what factors they considered while choosing their top course choices. Here are the five factors that applicants have used to come up with their chosen course:

  1. Course Content
  • Frankly, course content is the top factor that’s considered by most applicants. At least 73 percent of them said that this was their main concern. They said that the course content must be reviewed at all costs, so that you know if what you’re planning to take up is exactly what you hoped for. If the course content of that subject interests you, then there’s a high amount of chance that you’ll be studying that, for sure.
  1. Overall Academic Reputation
  • It’s fair to say that a lot of the applicants made this matter number two. You wouldn’t want to study in a low-class university, would you? Most of them said that it helps to actually pick a course in a university that is well-known and has built their prestige over a few decades or so. Also, this is an advantage because after graduating, employers give a little more effort on accepting students from these well-known universities. But remember, the university isn’t enough. You must love the subject more than the school.
  1. Employment Rates after Graduation
  • Some applicants already know what they want to aim for after they graduate, so it’s no surprise that almost 66 percent of applicants considered that pursuing a specific vocation because of its employment rate as one of the top factors. For those people who are practical, this is one of the best factors to consider. Graduate employment rates are percentages that tells us how graduates are doing six months after graduating, so it’s a pretty neat factor to bear in mind.
  1. Quality of Academic Facilities
  • 58 percent of applicants said that they must be made available to quality facilities, and that’s why they made it one of the top considerations in choosing their course. Make sure that you check whether your course of choice is provided the quality equipment that you’re aiming for, besides, what’s to learn if you can’t do it practically?
  1. Links between University and Employers
  • The last remaining factor that applicants ever truly gave a care about, is if there’s a connection between their future employers and their university. Again, practicality at its finest. You would want to have an easier way in once you go out of university. And that’s making sure if your university can help you find a job just as easily. Also, universities that are linked to some employers tend to make vocational job students more work-ready. They are training them to be able to stand on their feet, because they’ll be aligning to work already to that particular employer. Oh, and almost 50 percent of the applicants said that this was important.

So, there you have it! Remember, these are from a wide variety of applicants, but you can still find your own considerations. We just hope that we’re able to give you a little insight, and hopefully be able to narrow your list down to two or three priority courses!

Picking The Right One: Choosing a Course


The thing that’s just as important as picking a university to go to? Picking a course, of course (pun intended, if that was a pun)! Going to university doesn’t mean you can study anything. You have to make sure that what you’re studying is worth the money and the effort that you’re putting into. So, how do you exactly go about picking the right course for you?

There has always been a trend that’s going on, which for this year is actually going to Information Technology courses, and any related studies. Most in-demand courses would mean more competition during application period, and even more competition after graduating and finding a job. So, be sure to check if going to any in-demand courses are worth it, because you might end up competing too much for something that you actually deserve.

It all goes to whether you want to go to a course that has a clear career path, or to a course that can branch out to many opportunities, or a course that has a more traditional approach. There are literally thousands of courses, and each course will not be taught the same way, in every university offering each of those courses.

For some, choosing a course is like eating cake. They know exactly where to eat it, how to eat it. They’ve always known what they wanted to be. Some wanted to be an engineer, or an educator, or a surgeon, perhaps. They always had this fascination of what they wanted to be for sure. For others, like you since you won’t be reading this if you’re sure of your course, there’s a wide variety of courses that it literally breaks you to pieces to even pick. To actually be able to pick, you have to narrow down your choices. What are the courses that you are interested in, and what are the choices you can try to be interested in? That would definitely shorten your list of prospect courses.

There are courses that you still don’t know, so you might want to do a little researching. Searching in Google is a good start, if you want to know if your hobby of some kind has a connected course for it. Don’t worry, most hobbies or passions do. If they don’t well then you have to settle for the course that’s the most logical choice for you to take.

You must be sure that you understand the course that you are planning on choosing. If it is new to you, we would advise you to research a bit, just like the earlier case. It would be a bit dangerous to go out there in the dark without knowing what you’re going up against.

To be able to successfully come out on the other end, you have to make sure that the course you’re going to take is one that you’re interested in. You’re going to spend a lot of time studying that subject, so be sure that you can take it in for years without getting tired of it or losing your passion for it. Besides, you’ll probably excel in your classes if you are particularly interested in your chosen subject. Also, it helps if you pick a course that you are already good at. You may like the subject by any means, but if you can’t bring yourself to perform your A-game, it won’t work out. In the end, you’ll be frustrated more than anything.

Seeing where you are good at now in your current studies is a good start. What subject is your strongest suit? What is your lowest? Considering these things can be a huge variable in finding out what course you will be taking up while on university. But then again, choosing a course is related to choosing a university. Just be sure that your chosen university has your chosen course in its corridors. If not, consider taking up another related course, or better yet another university that offers your chosen course.

So, there it is! We hope this short article gave you a glimpse of what you should be looking for as a course! Remember, you’ll be stuck with this course for years, so choose wisely!

Finding Your Future: What Lies For You in University?


University applications are just around the corner. Universities are opening their doors for potential students with high caliber of skill and intellect. Degree programs are waiting for aspiring freshmen who are willing to put their lives on the line for glory. Just kidding!

It is of great importance to most, and a big disappointment for others—that’s what tertiary education is. It’s this scary, gigantic, overly massive world of competition and desire for greatness, as some would say. It will make or break you, but nevertheless, it is rewarding. Tertiary Education is the start of a person’s career life. Before anything else, let’s take a trip down to memory lane: let us remember high school.

We all know that jock during ninth grade, or that crush we had on a girl or boy during the summer of eleventh grade. From sport intramurals to promenades, from first failures to first kisses, high school is full of memories. High school will always be that main source of nostalgia that you’ll always feel good about—or not. What is the difference between high school and higher education? For starters, it means a whole lot of responsibility and a dash of pressure.

Now, it’s coming your way. You’re about to experience the sleepless nights of paperwork, fun-filled days of procrastination, and a whole lot more! Pack your bags and years’ worth of energy drink supply, because college is going to be one heck of a ride!

You’re almost ready. Your enthusiasm is at its peak, but there’s something missing! You still don’t have a university to go into! On top of that, you still don’t know what program you want to take for college! So, how do you go about choosing the right university and program? What do you choose first?

Knowing what to find first is one of the most challenging things an applicant will do when going to the tertiary level. If the applicant has options in mind for their preferred university or program, then that’s a good start. If they don’t have a preferred degree program yet, they should first find the most appropriate university for their taste.  If they don’t have a favored university, they must choose between the schools that offer their chosen degree program.

There are a lot of key points to ponder when choosing a preferred degree program. It depends on the applicant itself which of those points to prioritize when they choose. Here are some points that might help you to place yourself in the right program for your college journey:


  • Something that you have interest or passion in

Would this program even make you excited about going in? Do you see yourself doing this for a long period of time and still have the enthusiasm like the first day it gripped your interest? Choosing a program depending on your passion is one of the highest criteria to be prioritized.

  • Look for relevance

Is there academic rigor in this specific program? Does it have depth? Does it allow you to challenge yourself beyond your present capabilities? Make sure that a certain program allows an experiential learning, so you would have a taste of what you will be doing in the near future.

  • Costs

Is the program worth the money it costs? Are past graduates satisfied with the program?  What can I do with this degree in both work and graduate school opportunities? This is important because your degree program will determine your future job. Knowing your path to the future is necessary so you could map out your possible income opportunities.

  • Flexibility

Is taking a year off possible? Is there a possibility of taking a term off? Is it fair to take some time off and come back easily? This is important to students now particularly to students who are still undecided and/or having a hard time at their present college.


With all these key points, it might be unclear how to choose the most accurate degree program. As stated earlier, it is up to the applicant on how he/she prioritizes these key points to arrive to a certain decision. You can reach a final decision by taking free career assessments that might help to point you in a career direction. Taking those assessments may ease your mind about your skills and interests, so you could properly put yourself in the right program.

Now that you’ve somehow sorted out your chosen program, it’s time to pick a university! This is the most crucial part of college, since one of these universities will be your home for the upcoming years. Unsatisfactory universities mean bad experience and wasted college funds.


Here are the things to consider on finding the right university:

  • Considering the Size

Ask yourself, “Where would I thrive? In a small institution or on a large university?” Knowing this would help you determine your preferred surrounding for your college life. Choosing a smaller institution might mean a better chance of polishing your major, since smaller institutions have focused programs that they excel in. Larger ones on the other hand have more programs to offer—which is good for the ones who are still undecided about their chosen programs. It all comes down to where you want to be: in a small pond, or in the ocean.

  • Considering the Location

Considering the location of your preferred university is like choosing the university’s size, it all depends on what you are used to. There are urban, suburban, and rural colleges—but you only have to pick what you are accustomed to live in. Also consider the travel time from your home, if you still live with your parents. Know that living away from home is a drastic change, so think about it wisely.

  • Consider the Cost

Check your funds. It is a big deal for most people if the university is affordable yet high in quality. If a school is unreachable due to your lack of funds, be sure to check if the school is offering scholarships or financial aids. You can always get a student loan if you desperately want to apply to a certain school—just be careful, student loans are not easy to pay off.

  • Consider Academics and Your Personal Plans

Of course, this is the most important of them all. Finding the right university is about seeing if the university is even worth everything. Do not be blind-sided by a school’s awards or reputation. A school isn’t great just because of these accolades. You should consider the education that you are actually going to get. If a university offers the quality education that you are hoping for, then it is definitely a university to consider.

In terms of your personal plans, you should consider a school with the most number of Major choices if you are still undecided on one. You must at least know the general scope of what you want to take on during your second year. Finding out if that university has a specific major that you want to focus on is a crucial part because it will determine what you will be and what you will study for the next years to come.


With these considerations, you will be able to pinpoint the university that acknowledges every aspect of yourself. Whether it is the university’s size, location, cost, or academics, it will filter out the universities that didn’t make it to your personal standards.

Being able to find your dream school and the degree program that you were born to take, you are now finally equipped with the best gear you could ever have. Just remember, the best university is still based on the applicant’s sense of comfort and that university must have your desired program! Now, go and find yours!