When you start university for the first time, you will be an undergraduate. This means that you are completing an undergraduate degree, which usually takes three years to complete, but can be longer if it includes a year abroad or a year in industry.
A Bachelor degree is sometimes known as a ‘first’ or ‘ordinary’ degree and will give you a thorough understanding of the course you are studying, as well as provide you with key skills to take intoyour professional career. The most common degree type is a BA (Bachelor of Arts), awarded to students of the liberal arts and humanities, or a BSc (Bachelor of Science), awarded to those who complete studies in the sciences. Depending on what subject you study you could be awarded a BDS, BEng, BScEcon, BMid, BN, MBBCh or LLB.
An undergraduate masters degree usually takes between four and five years to complete depending on whether or not you choose to do a sandwich course with a year abroad or a year in industry. With one further year of study on top of your bachelor degree, a masters degree gives you a more in depth knowledge of your subject.
Many degree courses offer a ‘year abroad’ and for some, such as language courses, it is a requirement of the degree. On a ‘year abroad’ you will live in another country for a year (although sometimes this can be just for one semester) and either study at another university or work, for example in a local school. Studying abroad is a great experience to meet new people, develop your language skills and gain experience in a completely new environment.
Year in Industry (Placement Year)
Many degree courses have the option to take a year in industry, if your course doesn’t offer it, you are still able to take a year out of your studies to work within the industry if you find a suitable placement yourself. Often, your academic school will help to find your placement and will have links to leading businesses and organisations. You can complete this year anywhere in the country, or even abroad, and will often be paid whilst gaining valuable experience and applying your knowledge and understanding to the working industry.