This topic is mainly for general understanding on the University Education system in the UK. I do not intend to explain the whole application process through UCAS or try to describe real student experience. I am just going to cover some points which I did not know much about before I actually came in and have done my degree. At my own preference these are the questions which had disturbed me the most before I started my studies. Please don’t life, I know some of those will look ridiculous to you but I was too ashamed to ask that I had to figure out all of it by myself.
What is a Sandwich degree?
Sandwich degree is a normal full or part time degree with one year’s (at least 12 months) experience in an industry. This is usually a part of 4 years degree and people you would take this year out before the final year. Probably 9 out of 10 sandwich year job offers are paid, and are paid at around £10,000 to £20,000 per year depending on the job sector, size of the company and the region you will be working at.
The major thing to know about it is that no one just offers you a job for a year to help you finish your degree. You will have to work hard in your studies to achieve high grades as well as attend numerous of interviews and complete psychometric tests. If you don’t get a job offer before your final year you might even need to take a year out since if this is a part of your degree the University may not let you proceed with your studies until you obtain relevant work experience.
How long does one lecture last?
In University that I studied at one normal lecture lasted 50 minutes. It was supposed to be an actual hour but students had to change a location of the lecture theatre and sometimes that meant to literally run from one building to another. For this reason, lecturers would normally finish they lecture 10 minutes earlier for everyone not to be late to the next lecture.
How students are graded?
Student are usually graded in marks between 1 to 100. The minimum pass mark for the first degree (Bachelor’s – Undergraduate) is 40. University may sometimes consider 37 as a pass mark as well but that is usually at the discretion of the board of examiners.
There are also four tiers in grading Bachelor degree students, and these are the classes:
- First Class  (Over 70)
- Upper Second Class [2.1] (60-69)
- Lower Second Class [2.2] (50-59)
- Third Class  (40-49)
Master’s (Postgraduate) degree has a higher pass mark which is a minimum of 50, and the degree classes are as follows:
- Distinction (over 70-75 depending on institution)
- Merit (60-69)
- Pass (50-59)
What do University ratings mean?
When you are graduating from school you probably have only heard that Oxford and Cambridge universities are great, and the rest more than 100 universities seem even to you. The best way to check out is to check out the top 100 universities in the UK ratings:
You can also check out world’s ratings to see where the university stands in the world
However, the most important rating is by the subject line rather than overall university rating. Those ratings actually show how students and academics evaluate the course, how employable they are, what are entry standards and how much is spent on research within the subject area.
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