Undergraduate Study


   Students in England, Wales and Scotland start university when they are 18 years old. Students have then received their A-level results and completed 13 years of education. Most students undertake a 3-year bachelor’s degree, which brings together a collection of modules, taught through a combination of seminars, workshops and lectures. As certain modules are optional, students are able to tailor their study to their interests and really make the most of their time at university.

What is the length of a undergraduate course?

Courses can differ significantly in length, varying from two years for most FE courses to six years for a professional course in architecture and longer for some part-time courses.


  • Most full time courses last for three years however, some add a ‘sandwich year’ or ‘placement year’ (this is usually spent undertaking work experience or studying abroad).
  • Most language courses last for four years. Most of the science and engineering courses that are available within UK universities lead to a postgraduate degree after four years (such as MChem or MEng).
  • Sandwich courses with placement years are usually written as 4yr SW when searching for them on UCAS or when reading through your university prospectuses.
  • Some UK Universities offer degrees that have been condensed down into two years as opposed to three. These tend to have four terms per academic year rather than three which allows you to complete your degree quickly and therefore you do not build up as much student debt.


Sometimes the length of a course can be misleading if you intend to develop a career in your chosen subject.

  • A medicine course that takes five years to complete or an Architechture course that takes six years to complete will enable you to start work as a doctor or an architect, however, with both professions there are still further challenges before you are deemed to be fully qualified.
  • Similarly, three years of a law degree does not make you a fully qualified lawyer. You have to complete further training (sometimes at your own expense) before you can start your career as a barrister or a solicitor.
  • For engineering if you complete a four year MEng course you will have the maximum amount of credit towards the title of Chartered Engineer, however, if you only complete a BEng degree you will have to carry out further study after you have completed your degree. However, some BEng Engineering graduates do manage to have a successful career without studying the MEng.

The start of courses may vary, too.

  • Most courses do start in September or October however; some do have January start dates as well.
  • Most of these courses are nursing courses however, some universities offer spring start dates in a range of different subjects. This is largely down to wanting to fill available places on these courses.
  • Some universities have fast track two-year degrees within their syllabus in subjects such as law, business and accounting.


Alternative Choice: 2 Year Fast track degree

How do two-year degrees’ work?

The fast-track degree condenses a three-year degree into two years by extending the teaching hours by 10 weeks. These 10 weeks generally combine face-to-face and distance learning which takes place over the summer holiday. Fast-track degrees are not intended to replace traditional degree programmes however; they are intended to increase the study options that are available for students.

Are they more straightforward than a 3- year degree?

Two-year degrees are not easy or straightforward. Essentially, you will be studying the same syllabus and the same amount of material as a student who is studying a 3-year course however, the difference being you will be completing it in a shorter amount of time. In order to successfully pass this course, you will need to be organised, dedicated and have exceptional timekeeping skills.

When and why were they first introduced?

A selection of five different universities introduced the 2-year fast track honours degree courses in September 2006. The move, which was first announced by Tony Blair in 2003, marked an effort to increase the number of people with higher education qualifications. The thinking behind this idea was that it would essentially offer a more flexible, cheaper way of studying a university degree to students. Students, essentially would only be required to pay two years’ worth of tuition fees and as a result would only be paying the same for accommodation and living costs which would essentially cut the living costs by up to a third. Blair’s motivation for this to be a success stemmed from his desire to attract more international students to the UK.

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, manages undergraduate applications to nearly all UK universities online. As an official UCAS centre, Amber Education UK’s professional, friendly and approachable consultants can guide you through each step of the UCAS application process, answer all of your questions and make sure you are happy with your university choices.

After graduation, students will have the option of either finding full-time employment or continuing to study at postgraduate level.

How can we help?

Our Education Consultants are here to help you with every step of the application process. If you wish to learn more about studying at undergraduate level in the UK, please arrange your free consultation today!

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