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!

Judging a University By Its Cover: Reasons To Attend a University Open Day


University Open Days are a good way for an applying student to feel the ambiance of the university itself. But don’t get too excited, Open Days are made so that a university can show off its best parts. It is organized with that in mind, so remember that they are doing this to keep you interested, whatever happens. We will give you a list of reasons why going to Open Days are absolutely essential, minus the marketing and cosmetics that universities put during those days, of course!


– To make a good decision, there must always be human intuition. Feeling that something is the right decision to make is one of the top factors in picking choices. Nothing beats human intuition. And in this case, feeling the atmosphere of the school itself firsthand is one way of knowing if you like it there. Try feeling the vibe of the place, and if you think it suits you, then put that university in your UCAS application! Or maybe not yet, since we’ll mention a few more considerations to do. Also, be sure to reassess yourself if the atmosphere feels genuine enough before you give your overall rating (if there was a rating of some kind)!

Subject Talks:

– Also considered as one of the major factors in going to an Open Day is attending subject talks. You have the chance to visit the department of the course you might study in that particular university. If you want to know the differences about courses and what they actually are, this is the right time for you to weigh them. Don’t worry, you can visit multiple departments, if you are curious of what other courses or subjects offer during the semester itself, and where it would lead you in the future.

Course Facilities:

– Some students fancy a course because they get to be jolly inside a fully-equipped laboratory and so much more. During Open Days, you can assess every facility that is available to you, and how much that particular university cares that your course gets the best equipment available in the market.

Meeting Current Students:

– Universities like to enlist current students that they have during Open Days, so they will most likely run tours, demonstrate whatever work they’re doing, and be able to entertain any answers from passers-by. This is one of the best opportunities to learn more about the university, because most students don’t have an agenda. They will answer your questions thoroughly and honestly, so that you’ll have an idea of what they experienced already. You may talk about anything–from how the professors teach, to how good the nightlife is. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Touring the Halls of Residence:

– Most of you would be moving away from home during your university stay for three to four years, and it would be extremely wise if you’d visit that university’s Hall of Residence, so you’ll get a glimpse of where you might be staying, if you are to move away from your parents. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to live in a good apartment, right? Touring with student accommodation in mind might give you a hint of how the university is keeping the students supported in terms of their standard in living.

Visiting the Locale:

– Of course, it’s normal that you wouldn’t just study once you’re in university. That would be borderline boring. There’s also plenty of time for hanging out and meeting new friends! It would be advisable to walk through the surrounding areas and see the nearest amenities from your university. Just remember, don’t drink and party too much!
So, there you have it, ladies and gents! We hope these reasons are enough to make you book yourself into one of your prospect university’s Open Day! Just like we’ve mentioned, it is a great way to assess universities firsthand, without having to be out in the blind of everything! We hope this proved useful to you, in some way!

Making The Decision That Will Change Your Life


It has come down to this. After reading multiple articles on the internet, you are going to make the choice that will ultimately be the deciding moment of your life. For this task, you might want to compile a list of possible universities that you are eyeing for.

Most of the time, location is one of the most important things to consider. This will immediately trim down the list of universities by almost a half. Some would go to great dangers just to go to a prestigious or high-ranking university, and find out if they can meet the requirements, whether they are near that university or not. Obviously, a lot of factors are to be considered in getting the list to be filtered in a way that suits you. Find what’s the most important factor for you, and work it down from there.

Once you have a trimmed list of universities, begin scouring for more detailed information about those universities. Your first main sources of information would be the undergraduate prospectus of a university, its website, and/or its app. Note: remember that these sources of information are made by marketing people, so they are designed to keep the university attractive in your eyes. They will provide you the basic things you need to know about the institution including course details, facilities, and the entry requirements. They will give you a sense of what the university’s priority is. The website of a university usually has the most up-to-date modules and financial information. Websites sometimes provide a virtual tour of the university.

Another way of easily acquiring a bunch of prospectuses and booklets from different universities is by attending college fairs. During these fairs, universities will be given the opportunity to give information about their university to a huge group of people, and they will be open to questions regarding the university that they’re representing.

One of the best things to do when making your decision would be to visit the universities themselves! There’s absolutely nothing that can compare to the experience of seeing things for yourself. You’ll be able to feel the atmosphere of the university during their Open Day and see if it’s suited to your liking. You can also see how far you will have to work from a place to another. Basically, it’s seeing if you’ll like it there or not, for just one day! Just remember, open days are designed so you could see the university at its best, just like in prospectuses or websites. So you must be critical on seeing things, and not base your stay in a particular line that you heard in a lecture or a place you’d like to hang out on that university. If you are not able to go during the Open Day schedule, some departments might consider making arrangements for you so you could visit during the summer.

If you are still unsure and you want to have different perspectives, it always is a good alternative to talk to friends, family, career advisers and others who might be able to help you smooth out your decision. It is good to talk, yes, but also remember that your parents or other older people have been to a certain university about ten or fifteen years ago or more, and times have truly changed. What seems to be the case back then might not be the same today. Their opinions are valued, but also trust in what you feel is right.

We would like to give you a checklist to fill up, but we think it’s better if you make your own. In that case, you can customize your decision in a way that you feel that it’s truly yours. There’s nothing better than having to pick for your own sets of mistakes, right? Just joking! But truly, it would be best to create your own filter of these universities. And we hope that after a few twitches and considerations, you’ll arrive to your conclusion!

Fancy Seeing A Laundrette? Choosing a University Through Its Facilities

Student in Library

All universities have something in common. What’s that? That would be most of its facilities. They would naturally have a library, a sports centre, a health clinic, a career service and so much more. If you are trying to find a particular facility within a university, it’s best if you check them out now. Try creating a spreadsheet to see which universities you have applied on possesses the facilities that interests you.

If you are going to stay away from home while studying at a university, make sure that the university has an accommodation guarantee for students first. Some universities will offer to place you in a room with another student for your first year of undergraduate studies. Other universities offer up to later years, so check up on that. Also, be sure to check out on the condition and the deadlines of the guarantee, so you’ll be able to make it. One year of accommodation guarantee is not something to be looked down upon. You can save a whole lot of money for one year if your university offers those kinds of guarantees.

If you are a hardcore online gamer, you may want to check out if the rooms have broadband or WiFi access and if it’s free or not. Be sure to ask about the speed of the connection and other things internet-related. Gamers would know what they need to ask eventually.

Let’s say you aren’t able to live in a university accommodation for the rest of your study in that university, find out where the private accommodations are. Check where the surrounding amenities are located and if they are suited to all your needs. You may want the laundrette near you so you don’t have to walk a long way for your dirty undies. It is extremely important to check if you are safe there at night and if the crime rate is less within the area.

We all have hobbies at heart, and if you wish to follow yours while staying in university, it would be a huge factor in choosing where to study. There are a lot of organizations, societies, and the like once you’ve entered in university. There’s also the Students’ Union.

The Students’ Union, alternatively called Students’ Guild or Students’ Association, plays a huge part in the life of a student. Before, they are only unofficial organizations and they are just groups of students that either hosts parties or hosts protests for their rights. Now, they have evolved into a much wider range of services. They are providers of part-time jobs for students and are getting involved in their development of personal skills.

Since not every student can afford to go into college, universities have set up employment agencies or Job Shops for these students. They can mostly be found near the careers services or the Students’ Union centers. These agencies contact employers to help students find a suitable job for them. They will also make sure that the pay rate and the hours that you spend working are justifiable and within statutory guidelines. If you perceive that you might be needing some extra cash for your study, these agencies can help you with that, for sure!

If you are a student who has special needs, take the extra time to make sure that the university you are applying for caters to those needs. All universities have an understanding regarding the Disability and Equality Act of 2010 (remember, we’re focused in the UK).
All it takes to know something is to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask. It is your education that’s important here. So anything that can help you study better or live better while staying at university, ask of it. It is your right and your privilege to know these amenities and facilities that are available to you. Remember, choose the university that best suits your needs and can give you the best student experience, and also have the course you are most likely interested in!

Why You Should Work On Those A-Levels: Choosing University By Ranking


It would obviously be a lie if we tell you that most students would want to enroll in one of the lowest ranking universities in the country. Naturally, we all want to go to one of the best universities there is that we can possibly go to. The better the university, the better your chances at getting employed immediately after graduation, right? There is no doubt that quality is more important than quantity in terms of choosing the right university.

In the UK, Cambridge is the highest ranking university according to the University League Table that’s found here. Cambridge has an overall score of 1000 points with Oxford coming in at second place and London School of Economics at third. The League Table that is shown in the link measures every aspect of a university as a whole–its overall quality. You can also see every university’s standing in a particular subject if you opened the whole table.

Take note that even the best universities have weaknesses. It is true that these top universities show more excellence in most subjects, but even the low-ranking universities have specific subjects that they are known about. So don’t just take the main League Table as reference, but use it with the Subject Tables. It would be better if you are in a top-ranking university, but that would be useless if they’re not good in the subject that you are currently taking up.

As good as top universities get, they are more demanding than low-ranking universities. They would want to keep the standards high in their students, so obviously they would require a much higher grade requirement to be able to pass.

The main point here, though, is if you have done better than what you are expected in your examinations. It would be unrealistic if you did not do well in them, and yet aim for a high-ranking university. They would just ignore you straight away. It is best if you apply in a university that will consider your current examination results. If you’re taking A-levels and you expect to achieve AAA, then you probably have more options than other students. Unfortunately, if you are expecting to get CCC, then you might not be able to qualify in the top-ranking universities. It might be a bit harsh, but we don’t make the rules here. Some universities just demand more than others, and that would obviously be the topnotchers. They have every right to do so.
If you want to get into a high-ranking uni, then work on those AAAs! If it’s too late, don’t fret. There are still other universities out there that are willing to take you in. Not all of them are bad, you know!