UK universities are some of the best in the world. They already offer individuals an advantage over other degrees since they require three years instead of the traditional four years common in the U.S. and other countries. However, now there’s another exciting opportunity for students to consider – two-year accelerated degrees are even shorter and may save you even more time and money.
While higher education in the UK is extremely popular because of the quality of education students receive, this comes at a cost. British students have to pay a maximum of £9,250, but this doesn’t hold true for international students, who have to pay substantially higher tuition fees. Two-year accelerated degrees may be the answer to this hurdle. According to IFF Research and UK NARIC, 59% of the international students surveyed had not heard of accelerated degrees. Once they learnt more about the degree, 44% of students said they would be interested in pursuing one.
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So, what exactly is a two-year accelerated bachelor’s degree, and what does it entail? In this guide, we will discuss the concept of an accelerated degree, what it entails, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Hopefully, these will help you determine whether the UK accelerated degree is right for you.
What Is an Accelerated Degree?
An accelerated degree, also known as a fast-track degree, is a degree that can be completed in two years instead of the traditional three years. It’s important to note that while this is accomplished in a shorter period of time, the academic content of the degree is the same as a traditional 3-year degree. Accelerated degrees involve the same amount of work but in a shorter period.
Advantages of Pursuing an Accelerated Degree
There are many advantages associated with pursuing two-year accelerated bachelor’s degrees, including lower tuition fees as a whole and less time spent studying. The following are some of the main reasons individuals are attracted to accelerated courses at UK universities.
They Save Time and Money
A university degree is a great step for individuals and opens a lot of doors for them. Unfortunately, many aren’t able to or struggle to devote time and resources to full three-year degrees. Accelerated bachelor’s degrees are extremely useful because they save both time and money.
In the UK, subjects like psychology, nursing, and even law can be condensed into two-year accelerated degrees instead of traditional three-year degrees, allowing students to take advantage of the benefits of a university degree earlier.
This reduces the time commitment and also results in lower overall expenditure. While the annual fees for a two-year accelerated course may be higher than for a traditional three-year degree, the overall amount is lower. This also helps students save on accommodation, commuting expenses, and other living costs.
Allow Individuals to Catch Up
If you’re someone who has taken a gap year or has fallen behind with your studies, an accelerated course can allow you to catch up with your peers.
Accelerated Degrees Are More Intensive
Accelerated degrees are more intensive since the same amount of work is completed in a shorter period. Therefore, they allow students, especially high achievers, to challenge themselves and test their focus and determination. The award at the end is the same as the award you’d get with a traditional three-year degree.
This intensive study style is great for those who find vacations disruptive since it involves the same amount of time studying, i.e., 78 weeks, but reduces holidays to 26 weeks. Students don’t get as distracted by long holidays, which can negatively impact the intensity of study as well as creativity. This is especially suitable for certain subjects that require immersive and intensive study, like video game development.
Great for Mature Learners and International Students
When it comes to accelerated degree courses, some sets of populations benefit from them more than others. Two groups that benefit from two-year accelerated bachelor’s degrees are mature learners and international students. International students have to spend less time living abroad and pay much lower fees than they would have otherwise.
Mature learners also benefit from accelerated degrees because they don’t have to spend as much time away from the workforce. Those who either haven’t previously completed their degrees or those who are switching career fields have praised accelerated degrees since this gives them a chance to learn new skills and follow their passions without giving up too much time.
Faster Career Advancement
Because accelerated degrees allow you to finish your bachelor’s degree a year earlier, you can join the job market much sooner than you would have otherwise. This can lead to career advancement in a shorter period. It’s also a great option for students going into fields like medicine. A career in medicine already takes years of study to achieve. A two-year accelerated bachelor’s degree cuts down a year of this and allows you to apply to medical school ahead of your peers.
Potential Disadvantages of Pursuing an Accelerated Degree
Accelerated degrees offer people many advantages, but they do also have potential disadvantages. Depending on what you value and hope to get out of university, an accelerated degree may not be the right option for you. The following are some of the biggest disadvantages associated with two-year accelerated degrees.
A year and a half of a three-year degree is spent on holidays and away from the university. Accelerated degrees use this fact to shorten the degrees and reduce holidays from a year and a half to only 26 weeks, i.e., 13 weeks per year. This is a time-saving advantage to some, but others see it as the time that could have been spent studying, revising, working, volunteering, or travelling.
They’re Too Intensive for Some
While some classify them as immersive, others think accelerated degrees are too immersive and even overwhelming for students. Some students cannot keep up with classes and their studies may suffer if they cannot handle the workload.
Compromised Student Experience
While the university is about education, there are other aspects to it as well. Critics of accelerated degrees argue that these degrees are so intensive that they compromise the student experience and don’t leave time for important things like socialising, self-discovery, and more.
Less Competitive Resume
With accelerated degrees, there isn’t as much time for a work placement or final-year research projects. These directly lead to more competitive resumes, leading critics to believe that those pursuing these degrees will save time and money but may compromise their resumes and not get enough practical experience.
No one degree is perfect for everyone. Accelerated degrees are a great choice for some, but they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. They may benefit some students more than others. Several universities throughout the UK offer two-year accelerated degrees, including the University of Buckingham, University of Derby, University of Northampton, and more. To learn more about accelerated degrees and UK applications, reach out to our experienced consultants.