Which type of course is right for me?

There’s lots to consider when you’re applying for university, and with so many subjects and course types on offer, how do you know what’s right for you? Here we break down the main types of university courses and why they might suit your needs.

The most common type of undergraduate degree: Bachelors and Honours degrees

What is it? A Bachelor’s or Honours degree is the most common type of undergraduate degree, and is what most people think of when they think of going to university. These types of degree are usually three years long and are offered in a variety of subjects. Some subjects you’ll have heard of before and may have studied at school, while others might be totally new to you. Teaching is a combination of lectures, seminars and, for more hands-on subjects like Art, Engineering, or Nursing, practical workshops.

What are the entry requirements? Entry requirements for these kinds of degrees vary from course to course and university to university, but usually require relevant A levels, BTECs and in some cases GCSE/Functional Skills (which equate to UCAS points) to get onto them.

This is the course for you if… you want to pursue your passion, as a Bachelors or Honours degree can help you get there. These degrees are great for those who want to study their favourite subject in more detail, people who’d like to explore a totally new area, or students that know they need to gain a qualification in order to go into a particular profession (for example, Nursing, Law, Accountancy).

Need a confidence boost or to top up your UCAS points? Consider a course with a foundation year

What is it? Foundation degrees and foundation years are typically one year long and cover a range of material to introduce you to a particular subject at university level. Foundation years are a great way to bridge the gap between your school or college experience and university study, and can give you the knowledge you need to progress onto a full degree within the same subject area.

What are the entry requirements? Entry requirements for foundation courses are usually lower than those of Bachelors or Honours courses, but you may still be expected to hold particular A Level, BTEC or GCSE grades to meet the UCAS points requirements.

This is the course for you if... you are unsure about taking a full degree, as it allows you to get a taste of university study and build your confidence while exploring your area of interest. They’re also a good choice for anyone that is concerned about getting the grades to get onto a full degree, as the entry requirements are usually lower and more attainable.

Get experience while you learn with a sandwich degree

What is it? A sandwich course is a degree programme which offers a year of industry placement ‘sandwiched’ between regular university study. They’re typically four years long, with placement taking place in the third year. Sandwich courses are common in vocational subjects, where it helps to get work experience in the industry you want to progress into.

What are the entry requirements? Entry requirements for degrees with a placement year tend to be the same as the equivalent course without the placement year.

This is the course for you if... you want to gain work experience while you learn, or feel you would benefit from insight into potential areas of employment before you graduate. Having a year of experience in industry can give you the edge in a competitive job market when you graduate, as employers are increasingly looking for skills and understanding from their applicants. They can also allow you to get a real feel for the profession you want to go into, and try it on for size.

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