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The university system IN UK


Higher education in Uk can be divided in to two groups: Private Colleges and Universities
Again it can be divided in to Undergraduate and post graduate studies. Undergraduate degrees are also known as "first degrees", typically a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc (Bachelor of Science).

Nearly 400,000 students entered UK institutions in 2004. The opportunities have increased hugely in recent years as the British university sector has expanded, giving today's students a wide variety of choice, with over 50,000 different courses on offer. Degree courses are available in hundreds of different subject areas, and universities vary widely in size, facilities, accommodation, style and atmosphere.

Though entry to a university is competitive, UK Universities admit students with a good first class or even high second class. It is estimated that each year some 20% of students leave university before completing their course, often because they are unhappy with university life or with their choice of course. This can be very costly, financially and emotionally, and in terms of lost time and opportunity, but it can be avoided if you take time and care over your choices.

Talentscan offers specialist advice to students who are looking for guidance on their applications and who seek guidance on graduate options and careers.
The university academic year generally begins in October and finishes in June/July. The year is divided into three terms, with breaks over the Christmas and Easter periods in December and April, although some universities operate a semester system, where the academic year is divided into two halves.

Entry requirements

Each university will specify which qualifications it will accept and the minimum grades it expects applicants to achieve in those qualifications. Often this information can be found on university websites. It is also available on the UCAS website (the Universities Central Admissions Scheme, which manages all applications).

Proficiency in English

All applicants, whether British or overseas, are required to meet a minimum level of English. This means a pass at grade C or above in GCSE English Literature or a recognised equivalent. The preferred qualification for those who have not studied in the British system and whose first language is not English is the British Council's IELTS.

Tuition :Home student or overseas student?

Most British universities and colleges of higher or further education in the state sector have two levels of tuition fees depending on the student's residential status. The higher fees are generally referred to as overseas fees as distinct from home fees. The student’s fee status for the duration of the course is fixed at the time of admission.

What types of degree are available?

Most undergraduates follow a three-year course (normally known as a First Degree) which leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) qualification. Some courses may include an additional year for study abroad or for work experience (often known as sandwich courses). Some universities offer extended undergraduate degrees, completed in four years, which lead to a Masters degree (MA or MSc), typically in Engineering (MEng). Many Scottish universities have a similar four-year system.

Foundation degrees are two-year vocational courses which lead to a qualification just below the level of an Honours degree (see above). Some universities offer these and/or Higher National Diploma (HND) courses. These qualifications can be used to go straight into employment or can be extended by a year leading to a full BA or BSc degree.

Some universities offer degree courses with extensive integrated periods of work experience. These are called ‘sandwich courses’.

Many universities offer both part-time and full-time modes of study. Part-time courses are usually completed in twice the time it takes to complete a full-time course. International students are permitted to study full time .Another, more limited option, is to study for a degree through distance learning.

There is also a small group of private university colleges in and around London which teaches within the American system. Some of the degree programmes they offer are also accredited with the British system.

Choosing your university

With well over 100 universities and colleges in the country offering degree courses, the atmosphere, campus size, accommodation and amenities vary enormously. There are also specialist institutions such as colleges of medicine, art and agriculture. If you are proposing to read any of these subjects, you should consider carefully whether you wish to be in a specialist institution or at a full university.

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