In the first part of ‘Deciding on what degree to choose at university?’, we answered some important questions about what types of degrees are available, and what you can study at university. In this second segment, we look at other options, such as intergrated and master’s degrees and what to do if you feel like you have made a mistake on your university choice.
What are schools?
Universities have different ‘schools’, which are similar to departments. There will be a School of Art, School of Business etc. and these represent each subject department, and usually where the lessons are held. If you have a problem about your course and taking a Tourism Management course, for example, your department head may be situated in the School of Business. Each institution may have their departments listed under different titles than ‘School’.
What is an integrated degree?
An integrated degree is usually three to four years but consists of an undergraduate and master’s degree (postgraduate) all wrapped into one. This is handy for students who know what they want to study at postgraduate level and want the advantage of having their master’s level paid for – as student finance support integrated degrees. However, there are disadvantages which include not all subjects being included in the integrated degree list – they’re limited – or that they’re not internationally recognised as a qualification; which in turn can make it difficult once you leave university.
Can all degrees lead onto postgraduate study?
With some degrees, a postgraduate degree can seem an obvious choice, such as, an English undergraduate degree, and then a student studying a Creative Writing postgraduate course which is connected. Although there are many master’s degrees, each course will have entry requirements similar to what you have to do for an undergraduate degree. Certain universities/courses will ask for a specific type of degree or grade classification (2:1, 1st) or that you just have a degree in any subject. If you have a specific route in mind and need/want a certain master’s degree, check the requirements to understand what undergraduate course you’ll need to study beforehand. Remember, entry requirements can change at any time and at the university’s discretion so it may be best to speak them first.
What if I made a mistake choosing my degree?
If you are worried about making a mistake about your decision, speak to your personal tutor or course administrator at university. If you’re not sure who they are you can visit the university in person, or by email or phone. Speak to general enquiries or reception and you’ll be transferred to the right person. There is also your department head and lecturers who can offer advice and point you in the right direction. Everyone at the university will want you studying the right course and feeling comfortable in your decision.
Who should I let help me with my decision?
When it comes to you sitting down researching universities, courses and options for your future you should talk to everybody. Talk to your teachers, friends, classmates, family and anybody that you can about helping you make your decision. It is vital to remember that nobody should make your decision for you, as it will only affect you and you alone. You’re going to be the one studying it for three years! Discuss any concerns you might have with anybody who will listen and, who might have the answers – like your teacher at school or your careers advisor at college. If you ever don’t understand anything about the UCAS application process, then ask for help! If you feel that there isn’t anyone able to help you with your problem you can contact UCAS or the university directly.
What has student finance got to do with all of this?
When you apply for student finance you have to list what university and course you are taking – so they know what tuition fees they are paying, and who they’re paying them to. If you change your mind about a course or university, or go through Clearing, you will need to contact student finance so they that have the right details and you are entitled to right support.
Deciding on what degree to choose can be an overwhelming part of the UCAS process – but it is normal to feel this way. Your future lies ahead of you, and you are committed to studying something that you are passionate about, or related to a career you want to be involved in then you’re making the correct steps into the right direction.
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