What is an accelerated degree course?

What is an accelerated degree course?

An accelerated degree course is the same as a traditional degree — just faster!

So how is this achieved without being detrimental to your learning? With an accelerated degree you will complete the same amount of work as a traditional degree, but you will have shorter holidays (roughly the same amount of holiday as you have in the workplace). 

The structure of an accelerated degree course varies depending on where you choose to study, so look around before making a commitment to find a course that fits your lifestyle. 

There are many accelerated degrees on offer for a variety of different courses. Here at UCSA, we offer a mix of accelerated part-time degrees and fast track degree apprenticeships. 

What is the difference between an accelerated and a fast track degree course?

An accelerated degree can also be referred to as a ‘fast track’ degree or a ‘two-year’ degree. Don’t be confused by the various names, as all are referring to a degree that is much quicker to obtain than most traditional ones! 

If you are looking to get into work sooner, or progress your career as quickly as possible, then an accelerated degree can help you to do just that.

How long are accelerated degree courses?

You can complete an accelerated degree in just two years, as opposed to traditional undergraduate degrees which are usually completed in three years.

The content covered in an accelerated degree course is the same as the standard degree, but each year of the accelerated course is more intense as it is taught over three trimesters, rather than two semesters.

Who are accelerated degree courses most suited to?

There are a number of situations where a student is more suited to an accelerated degree course because it meets their needs. They include:

  • Students who are not able to spend three years studying

Accelerated degree courses are suited to students who want to gain a degree, but are not able to spend three years at university to complete it. They might have other commitments or they might not be able to afford three years of study.

  • Students who are career-driven

Some students may have already set their sights on their chosen career path and are eager to get started as soon as possible.

  • Students who want to use the third year out of the classroom

Some students might leave school and feel overwhelmed by the idea of a three-year degree, preferring to spend one of those years on a gap year, going travelling or gaining work experience. A two-year degree can provide a gentler transition from school to university or college and provide the chance for them to gain in confidence.

  • Students who want to save money

Other students might be attracted to the amount of money saved by only two years of tuition fees, living costs and maintenance support. It is also vital that less privileged students are able to have an opportunity to study if they don’t have the luxury of dropping out of the workforce for three years.

  • Students who work better at a faster pace 

Different people benefit from different learning styles. Some students find it hard to retain the information they have learnt over the long university holidays, so prefer a shorter break so they can continue to build on their skills, rather than regress.  

  • Students who are exceptionally dedicated 

If you make the choice to study a degree over a shorter period of time you will know that you will be surrounded by fellow students who want to learn as quickly as you do.

  • Mature students who want to get back to work quickly

Mature students are likely to have other commitments and juggling these alongside studying can be difficult. They will be looking for the shortest possible time to study while organising childcare or travel logistics around their studies. Childcare also adds an extra cost factor which the student will want to limit.

They might also simply be keen to get back into the working world quickly, so that they can  apply what they have learnt and use their new skills to progress their career. 

What are the advantages of a part-time accelerated degree?

Even two-year degrees can be financially problematic for mature students who are taking time out of work, especially if they don’t have the time available to work alongside their accelerated degree. They might also feel that a total career break would be adverse for their career. 

The solution to this problem is to learn while you work by means of part-time accelerated degrees. This is a more flexible way of learning where you can study outside your normal work hours, but still fast-track your degree. Part-time education can also improve your wellbeing with a better work/life balance and health benefits.

How much does an accelerated degree cost?

If you enroll in an accelerated degree course, you will only be paying for two years of tuition fees and two years of living costs, therefore making it a much cheaper option than a traditional three year degree. It is also still possible to obtain loans to help cover the cost of accelerated degrees. In addition, anyone enrolling on a UCSA Degree programme may be eligible to apply for the part-time tuition fee loan from Student Finance England.

If you choose to enroll in our fast track chartered manager degree apprenticeship, fees are funded by the apprenticeship scheme therefore helping you to save even more money!

What are the main benefits of accelerated degree courses?

✔ Fast-track your learning

The main benefit is that you can obtain a degree quicker than traditional undergraduate degrees.


✔ Save money and time

Not only will you save a year of your time, but you will also save on tuition fees and living costs.


✔ Maintaining a level of sustained immersion

Depending on the degree subject and the student’s learning style, the long holidays of a three-year degree can sometimes be a hindrance to a student’s learning as they lose momentum.  An accelerated degree course provides more of an immersion and dedication in the subject, resulting in higher rates of retention and attainment.


✔ The flexibility of an accelerated degree encourages a diverse range of students

By providing more flexibility especially with a part-time accelerated course, a more diverse range of students are catered for — many of whom would not be able to able to study otherwise.


✔ The courses offer a brilliant challenge

Many mature students start an accelerated degree course because they feel like they are stuck in a rut and are bored at work. They need the mental challenge and stimulation of learning alongside their job.

The accelerated degree gives students more choice. It is essentially a value proposition —  you can earn an extra year’s income that you would have otherwise lost during a three-year degree or you can benefit from a part-time accelerated degree course out of work hours. 

If you are ready for the demands of an accelerated course and you’d like to learn more about part-time study at the University Campus of St Albans, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.

For more information on accelerated and two-year degree courses, have a read of our related articles:

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