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?