STUDYING A UNIVERSITY DEGREE IN THE UK

Studying a University Degree in the UK was precisely what I decided to do back when I was 18! I graduated from Exeter University with a 2.1 in Business & Management. Therefore today I am going to talk about the structure of the degrees and courses in UK Universities!

Three or Four Year Course?

Some universities and courses in the UK like to offer the choice between a 3 or a 4 year course. This means that you can either study three years in a row in your university of choice, or you can decide to take an Erasmus year abroad or a year in Industry, like I did.

An Erasmus year abroad means that travel to a new country, and university, during your 3rd year. On the other side, an Industrial experience means that you take a year out during your 3rd year, to work and get some experience on your CV. You may also decide to do half-half: you can study for 6 months and then you work for another 6. I chose the Industrial Year. I therefore graduated in Business and Management with Industrial Experience with Mandarin Chinese.

Every university functions differently but in my university, I did my first and second year in Exeter, and then I did a third year abroad (I worked in Germany) and then came back to Exeter for my 4th year.

The Marks Of Your Degree

For those who do not know the marking system, this is how it’s divided:

  • 70%< you have a 1st, which is the highest grade;
  • 60%< you have a 2.1, which is the mark that is acceptable to get into all the big companies;
  • 50%< that’s a 2.2 and unfortunately your degree is not worth that much in the eyes of huge multinational companies, unless you are in Oxford or Cambridge. 
  • if you have then anything below 50% is a pass
  • if you have under 40% then you’ve failed
The Credits of Each Year

Now that I’ve explained the marks I am going to explain the credits: every year you have 120 credits and that 120 credits is divided between your modules.

Your modules will be worth either 15 credits (which is the most common one) or 30 credits. If your module is worth 15 credits, it means you are only going to study it over a term. If it’s worth 30 credits, that means it’s going to be spread out on 2 terms.

In universities they say that there are 3 terms but there are actually only 2:

  • from September until end of December
  • from January until end of March

The third one is just for exams and then partying after exams, at least in Exeter.

The Weights of Each Year

Each year has a different weight and coefficient. At the University of Exeter, here is how it goes:

  • during your first year, marks don’t count. Whether you have a first of a pass the marks.
  • 2nd year counts
    • if you do a 3 year course, then it counts 3/7th of your total degree
    • if you do a 4 year course, then it counts for 2/7th of your total degree
  • 3rd year counts
    • if you do a 3 year course, then it counts 4/7th of your total degree
    • if you do a 4 year course, then it counts for 1/7th of your total degree
  • 4th year counts for 4/7th of your total degree
Module choices

The more you progress year by year, the more you will be able to choose your modules.

When you arrive as a fresher, there are lodes of compulsory modules and most of the modules are imposed on you and that is normal because the University acknowledges the fact that most of us do not know what they want to do. The system therefore decides for us and lets us choose around 2 modules.

In second year, there is a bit more freedom and in final year there is substantially more freedom. I had to choose all of my modules except for two of them which were compulsory. The rest was basically me choosing what I wanted to do.

For second and final year, your modules will be chosen during April of the year before. Therefore make sure that you do your research in time so that you get the modules that you want. Unfortunately, it happens to a lot of people that they want to be in a module and that there is just too much demand for that module.

On the other hand, if you think that you made a mistake back in April and you feel that, by talking to other people, you want to change modules, you can. At least in Exeter, you can change your modules up to beginning October. However I strongly recommend doing it September because sometimes they don’t allow particular changes.

The rest of the adventure will highly depend on what university and what course you chose! 

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via this Contact Form or via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. The Time Management Actionable Sheets: a summary of my E-Book. These sheets have conserved the absolute essential actions you need to take to make the most out of your time. Do not skip any steps!
  6. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  7. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Much affection,

Francesca Michaud

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