student attending a university open day

 by Jon Cheek
, posted On 12 Dec '17

Two year university degrees: more information for teachers to pass to students

You may have seen recent news relating to two year degrees, and perhaps as a result students are asking you for more information. This week’s #UTDIAG blog will help with that!

Firstly – it is important to know that two year degrees are not new. They are already offered by some institutions.

More hard work (and some misconceptions)

Two year degrees require lots of hard work and commitment (as will a three year course, but adding 50% of the content each year and less time to do it). A student will be fitting a busy three year programme into just two years.

The total credits of a two year and a three year degree will be exactly the same. A common misconception of a two year degree is that it does not cover as much as a three year degree – that is wrong.

Students have to be prepared to take on the responsibility of an accelerated degree - and having spoken to an institution who has been offering these for some time, I know students often do not realise how quickly two years will fly by!

Benefits of a two year degree

A more intensive two-year course will mean there are fewer holidays, but this could be compensated with the opportunity to start a career at least a year earlier than other graduates or even spending a year enjoying a post-study break, such as the opportunity to travel.

Two year degrees also mean one year less living costs, and despite the degrees being thought to carry a £1,750 premium at proposed charges of £11,000 a year, that is saving a student £5,750 based on most three year programmes which charge up to £9,250 a year (over three years). As well as the living cost saving. It is therefore an important consideration for students worried about the volueme of student debts (although the repayment system should also re-assure them).

It will also offer mature students another study option, where they may have commitments which would make three year programmes difficult to consider.

Subject to approval

It is thought to be as early as September or October 2019 where more two year options will be available – although I understand the changes need to be formally approved, so perhaps we should wait for firm clarification given the current political climate!

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