How difficult are two-year degree courses?
What are two-year degree courses?
Two-year degree courses do exactly what they say on the tin — they give you the opportunity to gain a fully accredited degree in just two years. This type of course, also known as an accelerated degree, gives you the opportunity to complete the same content and gain the same qualification as that of a traditional degree, but faster!
Already highly popular in the United States, two-year degrees were recently introduced to UK universities, and have already seen a significant uptake. Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities at the time, chose to introduce these new degrees to help students get into employment quicker.
But is it true that two-year degree courses are harder? This guide will give you the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can decide if this is the right type of degree for you.
Are students required to work longer hours?
To shorten the length of time spent gaining a degree, two-year courses consist of three trimesters rather than just two. Of course, this does mean that the holidays are shorter and there are less of them. However, all students do still receive time off, with most universities offering roughly the same amount of holiday that you would receive in employment. Although some students may enjoy having two or three full months off for summer, the shorter holiday time can help to ensure that more information is retained.
As two-year degree students naturally have a busier schedule, those considering this type of degree may be worried that there will not be enough time to work alongside studying. In reality, many students do still have part-time jobs. That being said, if you feel that working and studying would be too intense, it is worth remembering that with this type of degree, you can find a full-time job and begin earning more money within just two years.
Will students need to spend more money?
There is often a common misconception that two-year degrees actually cost more, which is not true. Traditional degrees cost around £9,000 per year, which is £27,000 for three years. Whereas two-year degrees only require tuition payments for the course of two years, therefore making them considerably cheaper. These degrees also mean that you are only required to pay for two years of accommodation.
For those students who are concerned about the costs of higher education, two-year degrees can be a great way to save money without compromising on your degree’s quality.
Will students miss out on the typical university experience?
For some people, university is all about the end qualification, whereas for others it is about the social experience. Traditional three or four-year degrees do leave students with a lot of spare time to participate in societies, go out with friends and find new interests. For those undertaking the faster route, there is undoubtedly less time available for all these extra activities. But you don’t need to worry about being overworked, as all students do have free time to ensure a healthy work and life balance. Due to the extra trimester, there is no need for more lectures to be crammed in each week, there are just simply more weeks within the academic year.
It is important to consider personal feelings when deciding which route to opt for. If you are someone who is career driven, gaining the full university experience may not feel entirely necessary for you. Furthermore, if you are someone who will be living at home, therefore not staying around for evening events, then the accelerated degree option may be right for you. Whichever degree you choose, there will always be plenty of time to meet new people, whether that be in lectures, whilst exploring the campus or by attending even just a few events.
Can two-year degree courses be made less intense?
If you would like to speed up the university process but are worried about the levels of dedication required, there are a number of ways to help ease concerns. Firstly, just like with traditional degrees, you will have access to mentors and student wellbeing services. These forms of support help to ensure that you enjoy your time at university and that any problems are quickly overcome.
In addition, it is also possible to study an accelerated degree part-time. The option of studying part-time enables students to still complete their degree in two years, but with the flexibility to work outside of traditional hours. At UCSA, we offer a number of part-time two-year degrees, which involve Saturday workshops, mid-week evening live webinars and independent study time. For those wishing to work alongside studying, or for those balancing childcare and university, a part-time degree could be the perfect fit.
If you’d like to learn more about part-time study and two-year degrees at the University Campus of St Albans, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.