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CHOOSING YOUR COURSE SHEETS

The questions to ask in drawing up a short list

These sheets are designed to lead you through the questions that you should ask in drawing up a short list of university degree programmes for particular subjects. Most of the questions apply to ALL subjects, but some are specific to each subject.

Each sheet also suggests related subjects that you might consider and, where appropriate, related Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

A list of resources is given, while the issues raised by some of the questions are discussed in individual Step sections.

 

ACCOUNTING & FINANCE

Choosing your course

“Accounting” refers to the finance-related activities carried out within organisations & focuses on both reporting & planning. “Finance” refers to the branch of commerce which supplies money to businesses and/or individuals. There are specialist courses in banking & financial services. Check each course for exemption offered from professional examinations (e.g., Chartered Institute of Bankers, accountancy bodies).


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Acc./Fin. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Acc./Fin by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Acc./Fin)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Acc./Fin. courses are general:       accounting and/or finance

                ▪ some Acc./Fin. courses are specialised:                money, banking & finance


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” (SW) courses)

N.B. SW courses set up by companies at Newcastle, Nottingham + Reading (PwC) & Lancaster (Ernst & Young)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

               

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?
                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

N.B. What Mathematics qualifications are required or preferred?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Accounting & Finance graduates?


Subjects related to Accounting & Finance:

Business Sts., Management (Science), Operational Research; Actuarial Science, Statistics, (Applied) Mathematics; Economics; Estate Mgt., Quantity Surveying.

Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 7) Accountancy Taxation Professional
(Level 6) Relationship manager (banking) ; Senior compliance/risk specialist

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Accounting ; Financial Adviser ; Insurance professional ; Investment operations specialist ; Professional accounting taxation technician ; Professional Services: Audit/Management Accounting/Management Consulting/Tax ; Public sector commercial professional 


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites

                                                                university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Accounting & Finance


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

AGRICULTURE

Choosing your course

Non-degree courses (Levels 1-3) at agricultural colleges focus more on the day-to-day skills of farming.


Degree courses (Levels 4-6) prepare students for jobs with major responsibilities, which require sophisticated technical knowledge or management expertise.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Agriculture by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Agriculture by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Agriculture)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

               

● There are 5 main types of course:

1. agriculture /agricultural sciences          agriculture offers a more balanced coverage of
                                                                                agricultural scis + production + business

2. business-orientated                   range from courses in agriculture + some business aspect to rural business mgt.
3. countryside + rural resource mgt.
4. plant-orientated         e.g., forestry, horticulture
5. animal-orientated      e.g., animal sci, equine sci


● How easy is it to change from one type of course to another?

● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How much practical work is there? When & where does it occur?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years

                (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Agriculture graduates?


Subjects related to Agriculture:

Biotechnology; Biochemistry, Chemistry; Ecology, Environmental Scis., Food Sci.; Veterinary Medicine; Business Mgt., Real Estate Mgt.; Landscape Architecture.


Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Advanced dairy technologist

(Level 4) Agriculture: Agricultural Business Management


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Agriculture


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

AMERICAN STUDIES

Choosing your course

American Studies involves the integrated study of American culture and society through such subjects as history, politics, literature and sociology.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● American Sts. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (American Sts. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is American Sts.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (American Sts. & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most American Sts. courses are general

                ▪ some American Sts. courses are specialised: American literature


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 4 years (but 4 years in Scotland or if “sandwich” year in America)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

               

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of American Studies graduates?


Subjects related to American Studies:

History, Politics, International Relations; Latin American Sts.; English Literature; Sociology, Geography.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Assessment Exercise

                                                                university entry requirements for American Studies


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:      
Indian Givers : how the Indians of the Americas transformed the world – Jack Weatherford (1988)
A fascinating insight into the cultural debts owed by Europe in particular to Native Americans of North, Central and South America.
Alistair Cooke’s America – Alistair Cooke (1978)
A very good historical introduction, well illustrated. The book of a classic BBC series.

 

ANTHROPOLOGY

Choosing your course

Biological/Physical Anthropology studies physical differences among contemporary humans + human evolution.
Social/Cultural Anthropology studies the behaviour, rules and rituals of different communities.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Anthropology by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Anthropology by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Anthropology)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Anthropology & 2 other subjects: e.g., Combined Social Sci.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Anthropology courses are general:             physical + social anthropology

                ▪ some Anthropology courses are specialised:      social anthropology

                                                                                                                biological anthropology


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many univs. offer chance to study at univ. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK univ.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

               

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of          interest? (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Anthropology graduates?


Subjects related to Anthropology:

African Sts., South Asian Sts. (etc.); Archaeology, Ancient History; Religious Sts.; Cultural Sts.; Development Sts., Geography; Oriental & African Languages; Sociology, Psychology; Human Biology.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Anthropology


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:       The Innocent Anthropologist : Notes from a Mud Hut – Nigel Barley (1983)
A classic (entertaining and illuminating) book on fieldwork (in Cameroon), highlighting the problems of

                                participant interference.
Watching the English : The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour – Kate Fox (2004)
A very entertaining and perceptive look at the English. The best book I know to sort out whether Anthropology might be of interest at degree level. The introduction has a useful list of topics relevant to social anthropologists.

 

ARCHAEOLOGY

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● Archaeology by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Archaeology by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Archaeology)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Archaeology & 2 other subjects: e.g., Combined Social Sci.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Archaeology courses are general:                                broad historical + geographical scope

                ▪ some Archaeology courses are specialised:        Egyptian archaeology


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

               

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Archaeology graduates?


Subjects related to Archaeology:

Middle Eastern Sts. (etc.); Ancient History, Classical Civilisation; History; History of Art; Art & Design; Conservation; Anthropology; Geology.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Archaeology


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:       Archaeology : Theories, Methods and Practice – Colin Renfrew + Paul Bahn (7th edn. 2016)
A key undergraduate textbook. Although it is chunky, reading even a few sections of this well illustrated work

                                will help anyone to decide whether Archaeology is an appropriate choice of subject.
Pompeii : The Life of a Roman Town – Mary Beard (2008)
A very relevant account of the light that excavations at Pompeii shed on life in a Roman town. I have visited

                                very many archaeological sites, and Pompeii is by far the most memorable.



 

ARCHITECTURE

Choosing your course

If you wish to work as a professional architect or architectural technologist, you should choose a course accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (www.architecture.com ) or the British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT) (www.biat.org.uk) respectively. “Interior Architecture” is now offered by many universities, but the subject is variously defined, ranging from conversion of existing structures to interior design.


(1) What type of course do you want?


N.B. A few courses allow you to combine Architecture with another subject.


● At RIBA-recognised schools of Architecture, course content is similar, but emphasis and delivery varies.


● Architectural Technology courses consist of: technology & technical design (c 60%); design, procedures & professional practice (c 20%); procurement & contracts (c 20%).


● What proportion of time is spent in studio work?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?

                ▪ is there more emphasis on design or engineering aspects?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad  

(but a full course at a UK uni. needs to be completed to secure RIBA accreditation)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & studio facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level? Is a portfolio of drawings needed?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.

(4) What does the course lead to?

● Part 2 of RIBA exam. after 2 yrs.’ FT study & Exam. in Professional Practice after further 2 yrs.’ practical training.

● What information is there on employment of Architecture graduates?


Subjects related to Architecture:

Building, Building Services Engineering, Civil Engineering; Landscape Architecture; Surveying; Real Estate Mgt.; Planning; History of Art & Architecture; Art & Design; Interior Design; Conservation.


Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Construction Management: Foundation Degree in Architecture


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Architecture


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

ART AND DESIGN

Choosing your course

Schools cannot teach anything like the range of art & design activities found in the professional world. Most applicants will therefore undertake a 1 year Foundation Diploma before choosing an area of specialisation for the degree course.
See https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/courses/art-and-design-foundation-diplomas-(art-foundation)/


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Art/Design by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Art/Design by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Art/Design)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

N.B. Art/Design courses are rarely offered in such combinations.

               

● There are 5 main types of course:
1. Fine Art           either based on traditional activities of painting, sculpture, drawing, print-making
                                or offering wider choice
2. Graphic Design             2 dimension: typography, print-making, illustration, photography, animation
3. Photography, imaging, time-based media        photography, computer manipulation of images, film, television, video
4. Textiles & fashion
5. 3-dimensional design                 some courses focus on specific materials (e.g., wood)
                                                                other courses use a range of materials (e.g., product design)

               

● How much studio time is there?


● What visits are there: to galleries, companies? from practising artists & designers?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory? what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work/artefacts:

                                how often are written pieces/artefacts assessed?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & studio facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Portfolios of work & interviews are very important.

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Art & Design graduates?


Subjects related to Art & Design:

Archaeology; History of Art, Conservation, Valuation; Film Sts.; Architecture; Product Design; Engineering Design

Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Product design and development engineer
Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Bespoke tailor and cutter
(Level 4) Junior 2D artist (visual effects); Assistant technical director (visual effects)


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Art & Design


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

BIOLOGY

Choosing your course

If you are considering working as a professional Biologist after graduation from university, you might consider

applying for an MSci or MBiolSci rather than a BSc degree course.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Biology by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Biology by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Biology)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Biology & 2 other subjects: e.g., Natural Scis.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Biology courses are general:          cellular/molecular biology + ecology/environmental                                                                                                                                       biology + animal/plant biology (organismal bioscience)

                ▪ many Biology courses are specialised:  parasitology; plant sci.; zoology; marine biology;                                                                                                                                              microbiology; immunology


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years

                (but 4 years in Scotland, on MSci/MBiol courses & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Biology graduates?


Subjects related to Biology:

Biotechnology; Biochemistry, Genetics; Physiology, Anatomy; Pharmacology; Biomedical Scis., Medicine, Veterinary Medicine; Agricultural Scis., Animal Sci.; Food Sci.; Environmental Scis.; Psychology, Anthropology; Human Scis.; Pharmacy; Sports Sci..
Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Food Industry Technical Professional
Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Laboratory scientist ; Life Science and Chemical Science Professionals: Food Sci Technologist / Healthcare Sci Technologist / Life Sci Technologist

(Level 4) Life Science and Chemical Science Professionals: Healthcare Science Technician / Life Sci Technician / Process Devt Technician


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Biology


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

BUSINESS STUDIES / MANAGEMENT

Choosing your course

There are very many Business Studies and Management courses. It is important to look at the detail of courses, as very different courses sometimes have the same title!


(1) What type of course do you want?


Narrow the choice by first asking yourself:

1. Do I want a largely theoretical course or one which will give me skills for business (including a paid placement year in a “sandwich” course)?

2. Do I want to specialise in one aspect of business (e.g., Marketing) or should I opt for a more general course, bearing in mind that I can specialise in the later years?

3. Do I want to focus on one area of business (e.g., Hospitality, Retail, Logistics, Real Estate) or stay general (but thereby stand out less from other Business/Mgt. graduates)?

4. If I want to study Business with a language, do I want an integrated course (where the linguistic focus is on the language in a business context) or to take subjects from 2 unrelated subjects?


● Business/Mgt. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Business/Mgt. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Business/Mgt.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Business/Mgt. & 2 other subjects: e.g., 2 languages)


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)

N.B. “International” Business/Mgt. might or might not involve study of a language & might or might not involve study/work abroad. It might just be a marketing ploy!


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?

N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options. General Business/Mgt. courses at some universities have a huge intake of students. Check out the figures!


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?
                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level? N.B. What grade in GCSE Maths. is needed? Management Science usually has a high Maths. content & high Maths. entry requirement (typically A Level).

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● In a points’ offer, do points from AS grades/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Business/Mgt. graduates?


Subjects related to Business Mgt.:

Economics, Sociology, Psychology; Mathematics, Statistics; Agriculture; Real Estate Mgt.; Operational Research; Business Information Systems; Law; Advertising; Entrepreneurship; Money, Banking & Finance.
Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Chartered manager

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Facilities Mgt: Generic; HR Consultant/Partner; HRM; Mgt: Leadership and Mgt; Operations / deptl manager;

Supply Chain Management: Intl Supply Chain Manager / Supply Chain Specialist
(Level 4) Associate project mgr;  Aviation operations mgr; Business and Professional Admin; Dental practice mgr; Facilities Mgt: Generic; Hospitality Mgt; Junior mgt consultant; Management; Project Mgt; PR; Recruitment; Retail mgr; Sustainable Resource Operations and Mgt; Water Industry: Utilities Network Planning and Mgt


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                CRAC Degree Course Guide “Business, Management & Economics”

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Business (with/without a lang.)


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

CHEMISTRY

Choosing your course

If you are considering working as a professional Chemist after graduation from university, you might consider

applying for an MSci or MChem rather than a BSc degree course.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Chemistry by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Chemistry by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Chemistry)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Chemistry & 2 other subjects: e.g., Natural Scis.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Chemistry courses are general:  inorganic + organic + physical + theoretical + analytical

                ▪ some Chemistry courses are specialised:             environmental chemistry


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most BSc courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland);

                ▪ most MSci/MChem courses are 4 years (more research);

                ▪ “sandwich” work placements will extend BSc courses to 4 yrs., MSci/MChem courses to 5 yrs.

                ▪ many univs. offer chance to study at univ. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK univ.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Chemistry graduates?


Subjects related to Chemistry:

Agriculture; Biochemistry, Biomedical Scis.; Chemical Engineering; Food Sci.; Geology/Earth Sci.; Human Scis.; Medicine; Pharmacology; Pharmacy; Biological Scis..

Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Food Industry Technical Professional
Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Laboratory scientist ; Life Science and Chemical Science Professionals: Chemical Sci Technologist / Food Sci Technologist / Healthcare Sci Technologist / Life Sci Technologist; Mineral Products Technology: Technical and Mgt

(Level 4) Life Science and Chemical Science Professionals: Chemical Sci Technician / Healthcare Science Technician / Life Sci Technician / Process Devt Technician


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Chemistry


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

CLASSICS


ANCIENT HISTORY, CLASSICAL CIVILISATION, GREEK, LATIN

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● Classics by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Classics by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Classics)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Classics & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Classics courses are general:         Latin &/or Greek (language &) literature

                                                                                                ancient history + ancient philosophy + archaeology

                ▪ some Classics courses are specialised:                  Ancient History, Latin


● Is there fieldwork available? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

            N.B. Is Latin or Greek compulsory? What provision is there for those without A Level in the language(s)?
What proportion of the course is devoted to study of texts in Latin or Greek?

            ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Classics graduates?


Subjects related to Classics:

Archaeology, Anthropology; History, History of Art; Theology, Philosophy; Oriental Sts., Sanskrit; Modern Languages (Italian, Modern Greek).


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Classics


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:       Pompeii : The Life of a Roman Town – Mary Beard (2008)
A very relevant account of the light that excavations at Pompeii shed on life in a Roman town. I have visited

                                very many archaeological sites, and Pompeii is by far the most memorable.

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Choosing your course

Computer Science spans a vast spectrum of interest and expertise.  At one extreme it merges into Electronic Engineering and at another to pure mathematics.  Some aspects can be close to management science, others to psychology and theoretical linguistics. 


If you enjoy solving problems and can work in a team, Computer Science may be for you.


(1) What type of course do you want?


Computer Science by itself or combined with something else?

  • Single Honours  (Computer Science by itself)

  • Joint Honours  (2 subjects, one of which is Computer Science – the other subject can represent between a third and a half of your degree.)

  • Major/Minor  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

  • Combined  (Computer Science & 2 other subjects: e.g., Combined Science)


General course or specialised course?

  • Do you want to specialise in a particular area of Computer Science from the start or do you want to take a more general course?


Check the actual differences between the courses – the content varies considerably beyond the introductory period.


How much choice is there within a course?

  • which topics are compulsory?

  • what is the choice of specialist subject options?

  • are there any particular specialised content features of a course that are important to you?


How many years do you want to study?

  • 3 years or

  • 4 years with a sandwich, year abroad or Scottish university.


What kind of assessment do you prefer?

  1. What proportion of marks counting towards your degree course comes from:

    • formal written examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

    • coursework (how often?)

    • research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?


What size of department do you prefer?

  • how many students are there in each year group?

  • how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. with a high research rating is likely to have more options and facilities)


What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

  • What do current/recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

  • size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

  • number of classes & lectures per week

  • feedback on written work:

  • how often is written work marked?

      Are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams?

  • support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

  • what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


What is the research quality within the department?

  • what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

  • how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

  • do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

  • do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest? (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

  • Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?  Is A Level Maths compulsory?

  • What grades are likely to be needed at A Level?

  • If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others.  A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

What information is there on employment of Computer Science graduates?


Subjects related to Computer Science:

Business Information Technology, Business Studies, Computer Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Geographical Information Technology, Information Studies, Mathematics, Physics
Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Digital and technology solutions professional; Aerospace software development engineer

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Creative and Digital Media: Interactive Design and Devt; Cyber intrusion analyst; Cyber security technologist

Data analyst; Digital Learning Design; Intelligence Operations; IS Business AnalystIT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals; Social Media and Digital Marketing: Digital Mkting; Software developer; Software tester; Unified communications trouble shooter; Assistant technical director (visual effects)


Useful reference sources:          www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com  - National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk – 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Computer Science


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN

YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

DRAMA / THEATRE STUDIES

Choosing your course

There is a large range of courses. It is particularly important to consider the balance between practical and theoretical work.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Drama/Th.Sts. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Drama/Th.Sts. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Drama/Th.Sts.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Drama/Th.Sts. & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Drama/Th.Sts. courses are general:            performance + directing + production

                                                                                                                history of theatre + textual analysis

                ▪ some Drama/Th.Sts. courses are specialised:     acting


● What is the minimum & maximum proportion of practical work at each stage of the course?


● How much opportunity is there for public performance as part of the course?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 yrs. in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & studio facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Audition & other practical tests are often very important.

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Drama/Th.Sts. graduates?


Subjects related to Drama/Th.Sts.:

Dance; Classics, English, Film Studies, Media Studies; Art & Design; Music; Psychology, Sociology.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Drama/Theatre Sts.


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

ECONOMICS

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● Economics by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Economics by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Economics)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Economics & 2 other subjects: e.g., PPE courses)

N.B. Some unis. offer different degree programmes for Economics: typically, BSc has higher Maths. content than BA.


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Economics courses are general: micro-economics + macro-economics + econometrics

                ▪ some Economics courses are specialised: business economics, econometrics


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.




● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

N.B. What Mathematics qualifications are required or preferred?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Economics graduates?


Subjects related to Economics:

Accountancy; Money, Banking & Finance; Business Sts., Management, Operational Research; Statistics, (Applied) Mathematics; Economic & Social History, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Planning, Development Sts.; European Sts.


Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 7) Accountancy Taxation Professional
(Level 6) Relationship manager (banking) ; Senior compliance/risk specialist

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Accounting ; Financial Adviser ; Insurance professional ; Investment operations specialist ; Professional accounting taxation technician ; Professional Services: Audit/Management Accounting/Management Consulting/Tax ; Public sector commercial professional 


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Economics


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

ENGINEERING

Choosing your course

Do you wish to work as a professional Engineer after graduation from university?  If so, you should must complete an MEng rather than a BEng degree course which is accredited by the relevant engineering institutions.  MEng courses are likely to require at least A and B at A Level – those who do not achieve these grades are usually offered a place on the BEng.


(1) What type of course do you want?


Engineering by itself or combined with something else?

  • Single Honours  (Engineering by itself)

  • Joint Honours  (2 subjects, one of which is Engineering – the other subject can represent between a third and a half of your degree.)

NB: Will the engineering part still get you accreditation with e.g. Institute of Mechanical Engineers?  Some Civil Engineering courses allow you to get an Architectural qualification.


General course or specialised course?

  • Do you want to specialise in a particular branch of Engineering from the start or do you want to take a more general course, leaving specialisation to a later stage?

  • General engineering courses will allow you to specialise later in the degree.

  • Specialised engineering courses might start with a general course in the first year.


A “HEADSTART” TASTER COURSE (http://www.etrust.org.uk/headstart/courses) [OR LONDON TASTER COURSE https://london.ac.uk/taster-course-search ] WOULD HELP YOU WITH THIS DECISION.


How much choice is there within a course?

  • which topics are compulsory?

  • what is the choice of specialist subject options?

  • are there any particular specialised content features of a course that are important to you?


How many years do you want to study?

  • 3 years for a BEng (4 years with a sandwich or year abroad)

  • 4 years for MEng courses (5 years with a sandwich or year abroad)

  • 5 years for an MEng at a Scottish university


What kind of assessment do you prefer?

  1. what proportion of marks counting towards your degree course comes from:

    • examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

    • coursework (how often?)

    • research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?


What size of department do you prefer?

  • how many students are there in each year group?

  • how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

  • What do current/recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

  • size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

  • number of classes & lectures per week

  • feedback on written work:

  • how often is written work marked?

are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams

  • support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

  • what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


What is the research quality within the department?

  • what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                                      (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

  • how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

  • do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

  • do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of  interest? (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)

N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3)  What are the entry requirements?

  • Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level (e.g. Maths & Physics)?

  • What grades are likely to be needed at A Level?

  • If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others.  A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

  1. what information is there on employment of Engineering graduates?


Subjects related to Engineering:

Computer Science, Materials Science, Mathematics, Physics, Technology.
Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 7) Systems enging masters; Process Automation Enginr ; Power Enginr ; Postgrad Enginr ; Outside broadcasting enginr
(Level 6) Aerospace enginr; Building Services Design Enginr ; Civil Enginr ; Product design and devt enginr ; Control / technical support enginr ; Electrical / electronic technical support enginr ; Embedded electronic systems design and devt enginr; Manufacturing enginr ; Nuclear scientist and nuclear enginr

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Manufacturing Enging: Aerospace/Automotive/Electric-Electron/ Maintce/Marine/Mechanl/NuclearRelated Techy/RailEngin/SpaceEngin/Wind Generation; Aircraft maintce certifying enginr; Bus and coach enging mgr;
Electrical power protectn and plant commissioning enginr; High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Techn;

Mineral Products Techy: Techl and Managerial Devt in Mineral Products Techny Industry; Network enginr

Nuclear welding inspection technician; Rail engineering advanced technician


Useful reference sources:             www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com  - National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk – 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for different branches of Engineering


READ A COUPLE OF ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA & TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT

 

ENGLISH

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● English by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (English by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is English)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (English & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most English courses are general:          broad range of genres & historical periods

                                                                                                language + literature

                ▪ some English courses are specialised:   creative writing

                                                                                                English language & linguistics


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of English graduates?


Subjects related to English:

American Sts.; Anglo Saxon; Cultural Sts.; Media Sts.; Journalism; Drama; Theatre Sts.; Linguistics.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for English


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:       The Art of Fiction – David Lodge (1992)
                                A clear demonstration of 50 stylistic issues using key examples as a starting point for a discussion on each.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Choosing your course

Environmental Studies courses focus on environmental problems + their possible solutions.
Environmental Science courses focus on the physical, biological + social sciences that are used kin the evaluation of environmental matters.
Ecology courses focus on the detailed interaction + interdependency of plants, animals + their environment.

If you are considering working as a professional Environmental Scientist after graduation from university, you might consider applying for an MSci or MEnvSci rather than a BSc degree course.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Environmental Sci. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Environmental Sci. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Environmental Sci.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Environmental Sci. courses are general, but there might be an orientation towards one or more of

                earth science, biology, physical science.

                ▪ many Environmental Sci. courses are specialised: meteorology, oceanography


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years

                (but 4 years in Scotland, on MSci/MEnvSci courses & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Environmental Sci. graduates?


Subjects related to Environmental Sci.:

Agriculture; Estate Mgt.; geography, Geology/Earth Scis.; Landscape Architecture; Soil Sci.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Environmental Sci.


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

GEOGRAPHY

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● Geography by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Geography by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Geography)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Geography & 2 other subjects: e.g., Combined Social Sci.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Geography courses are general:                  human + physical geography

                ▪ some Geography courses are specialised:           physical geography

                                                                                                                geographical information systems


● Arts (human geog. - BA) or Science (physical geog. - BSc) bias?

                ▪ Is there a common Year 1 & opportunity to specialise in one side later?

                ▪ Or do you take an arts- or science-biased course from the start?


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Geography graduates?


Subjects related to Geography:

African Sts., East Asian Sts., Middle Eastern Sts. (etc.); Development Sts.; Meteorology, Oceanography, Environmental Sci.; Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Politics; Geology, Earth Scis.; Planning, Transport, Surveying, Real Estate Mgt.; Landscape Architecture.


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Geography


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

GEOLOGY / EARTH SCIENCES

Choosing your course

If you are considering working as a professional Geologist/Earth Scientist after graduation from university, you might consider applying for an MSci, MGeol or MESci rather than a BSc degree course.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Geology/Earth Sci. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Geology/Earth Sci. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Geology/Earth Sci.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Geology/Earth Sci. & 2 other subjects: e.g., Natural Scis.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Geology/Earth Sci. courses are general

                ▪ some Geology/Earth Sci. courses are specialised:            geophysics

                                                                                                                                applied geology


● How much fieldwork is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years

                (but 4 years in Scotland, on MSci/MGeol/MESci & on “sandwich” courses)

                ▪ many univs. offer chance to study at univ. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK univ.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Geology/Earth Sci. graduates?


Subjects related to Geology/Earth Sci.:

Agriculture; Archaeology; Chemistry; Ecology, Environmental Scis.; Geography; Meteorology; Oceanography; Soil Sci.; Surveying; Landscape Architecture.

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Mineral Products Technology: Technical and Management
(Level 4) Mineral Products Technology: Technical and Managerial Devt in Mineral Products Technology Industry

Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Geology/Earth Scis.


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

HEALTH + SOCIAL CARE

(SEE SEPARATE SHEETS FOR MEDICINE AND VETERINARY MEDICINE)

Choosing your course

(1) Work experience before application

If you are considering applying for a course that leads to a professional qualification in this area, it is essential that you get some relevant work experience well ahead of when you apply.
- Start by looking at St George’s, Uni. of London’s website called “A Taste of Medicine”: http://www.tasteofmedicine.com/ . This will also help you to choose an area of most interest.
- An NHS website on careers in the NHS (“Step into the NHS”) includes advice on how to find work experience/shadowing: https://www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk/work-experience/smart-guide
- The Health and Care Professions’ Council regulates 16 health and care professions. Their website links to sites for specific disciplines (arts therapists; biomedical scientists; chiropodists/podiatrists; clinical scientists; dietitians; hearing aid dispensers; occupational therapists; operating dept. practitioners; orthoptists; paramedics; physiotherapists; practitioner psychologists; prosthetists/orthotists; radiographers; social workers; speech + language therapists):

http://www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/professions/index.asp?id=1#profDetails

(2) What type of course do you want?

● On the “A Taste of Medicine” website (see above) go to “Getting started” and “Where do I start?”

Section 3 lets you match your skills and interests with what particular professions in this area require.

● Note that some subjects will be required by some unis. at A Level or equivalent: e.g. Biology (or PE) is needed by many unis. for Physiotherapy but only a few unis. need it for Nursing.


● For Paramedic Sci.: some unis. state that they require applicants to have a B level (car) licence when they apply and to have applied for a C1 provisional licence (vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes) before they enter uni.. Regard a C1 driving licence as essential for pursuing a career in this profession.

● There are extensive periods of work placement required in degree programmes for virtually all these subjects.

How many hours of work placements are there?
                Where are these work placements likely to be? Over how wide an area? Is a car needed?
                If students are expected to work day and night shifts, do alternative arrangements for local
                accommodation need to be made, if a placement is far from the student’s home base?
               

● How much choice is there within a course? Are all topics compulsory?

               

● How many years do you want to study? Are there shorter and longer options?

● At what stage of the year do you want to start? (e.g., for Nursing there might be 2 entry points)

               

● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(3) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & laboratory facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)

N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(4) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades or EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(5) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of graduates?


Subjects related to Health and Social Care:

Biotechnology; Biochemistry, Genetics; Physiology, Anatomy; Pharmacology; Biomedical Scis.; Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine; Animal Sci.; Psychology, Sociology; Human Scis.; Pharmacy; Sports Sci..
Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 6) Registered Nurse ; Healthcare Science Practitioner

Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 5) Care Leadership and Management: General/Specialist Adult Social Care; Dental technician;
Healthcare assistant practitioner
(Level 4) Associate Ambulance Practitioner; Healthcare science associate

Useful reference sources:            www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Nursing, Paramedic Sci, Physiotherapy

READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

HISTORY

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● History by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (History by itself, but a few non-History options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is History)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (History & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most History courses are general:                          broad historical periods

                                                                                                                UK + European + world history

                ▪ some History courses are specialised:                   economic / social history

                                                                                                                modern history

                                                                                                                American history


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?




N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of History graduates?


Subjects related to History:

African Studies, American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, European Studies; Ancient History, Archaeology, Classical Civilisation; Anthropology, Social Sciences; History of Art, Conservation, Film History; History of Ideas, Religious Studies; History of Science; International Relations, Politics, Peace/War/Strategic Studies


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for History


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:      
Célestine : voices from a French village – Gillian Tindall (1995)
A wonderful evocation of life in 19C rural France, which is based around several letters found by the author that were addressed to the young woman of the title. Suggests how isolated some parts of France were before World War 1 – and why France has 246 different kinds of cheese!

Denying the Holocaust : The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory – Deborah Lipstadt (1993)
An important book about the growth of “Holocaust Denial”, now that the generation of survivors of the Nazi holocaust is dying. The trial in which David Irving unsuccessfully tried to sue Deborah Lipstadt for libel in 2000 highlighted for me the vulnerability of even recent history to prejudiced misinterpretation.
Montaillou : Cathars and Catholics in a French village 1294-1324 – Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (1978)
An amazing insight into the lives of medieval peasants, based on evidence given at Inquisition courts.
The Gun and the Olive Branch : the roots of violence in the Middle East – David Hirst (2003)
The best introduction I know to the Palestine/Israel conflict – by a former “Guardian” reporter.

 

HISTORY OF ART

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● History of Art by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (History of Art by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is History of Art)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (History of Art & 2 other subjects: e.g., Liberal Arts courses)


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most History of Art courses are general:              broad historical periods + aesthetics

                ▪ some History of Art courses are specialised:      history of modern art


● How much visiting of galleries/museums is there? When & where does it occur?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?

N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of History of Art graduates?


Subjects related to History of Art:

Archaeology, Anthropology; Art & Design, Conservation, Fine Art Valuation; Film Studies; History


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for History of Art


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:       Civilisation : a personal view – Kenneth Clark (1969)
                                The book of a major BBC series, this offers a concise and stimulating (sometimes controversial) cultural history of
                                Western Europe since the Romans, focussing particularly on key works of art.

 

LAW

Choosing your course

If you wish to work as a professional lawyer, you should choose a “qualifying law degree”: i.e., a course accredited by The Law Society and The Bar Council (www.sra.org.uk). If you are choosing Law in combination with other subject(s), make sure that all the core subjects in Law are included: contract, tort, criminal, equity/trusts, EU, property & public law. It is also possible for graduates in subjects other than Law to become professional lawyers by taking a 1 year Graduate Diploma in Law, which covers the core subjects.


N.B.       Scottish law is significantly different from the rest of UK law, & Law courses in Scotland reflect this.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Law by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Law by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Law)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Law courses are general

                ▪ some Law courses are specialised:         international law; English & French law


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years on some “sandwich” courses with a placement)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?

N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?
                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Some unis. require applicants to take a LNAT Law National Admissions Test.

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS grades form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● For solicitor: 1yr. Legal Practice Course (LPC) + 2yrs. training contract with law firm

● For barrister: 1yr. Bar Vocational Course (BVC) + 1yr. pupillage with barrister

● What information is there on employment of Law graduates?


Subjects related to Law:

Business Studies/Management; Real Estate Mgt.; International Relations; Politics; Economics; Social Policy; History; English Language & Literature.

Related Degree Apprenticeships:
(Level 7) Solicitor
(Level 6) Chartered legal executive ; Licensed conveyancer
Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Conveyancing technician ; Legal Services: Commercial Litigation/ Debt Recovery and Insolvency/Personal Injury


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Law


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I strongly recommend:      

What about Law? : studying Law at university – (ed.) Barnard, O’Sullivan + Virgo (2nd edn. 2011)
Written by members of the Cambridge Law faculty. Introduces the “legal way of thinking” and legal system; then looks at each of the 7 compulsory elements in a LLB degree, taking an illustrative case as the starting point.
Eve Was Framed : women and British Justice – Helena Kennedy (1992, revised 2005)
How the British judicial system and the bias inherent in those who control it make it more difficult for women to receive justice.
                       

 

MATHEMATICS

Choosing your course

If you are considering focusing on Maths. as the basis of your working life after graduation from university, you might consider applying for an MSci or MMath rather than a BSc/BA degree course.


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Maths. by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Maths. by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Maths.)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Maths. & 2 other subjects: e.g., Natural Scis.)

               

● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Maths. courses are general:  pure + applied + statistics

                ▪ some Maths. courses are specialised:   statistics; business/financial mathematics; econometrics


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most BSc courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland);

                ▪ most MSci/MMath courses are 4 years (more research);

                ▪ “sandwich” work placements will extend BSc courses to 4 yrs., MSci/MMath courses to 5 yrs.

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library & IT facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Maths. graduates?


Subjects related to Maths.:

Architecture; Accounting + finance, Business Mgt., Management Sci., Operational Research, Actuarial Sci.; Computer Sci.; Engineering (all branches); Physics; Economics; Surveying; Meteorology


Related Higher Apprenticeships:
(Level 4) Actuarial Technician


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Mathematics


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

 

MEDICINE

Choosing your course

1. What type of course do you want?


  • 1st  MB?

These one year preliminary courses (covering biology, chemistry, and physics) are available at some medical schools for students who have not studied the appropriate A-level subjects.  These courses are NOT for students who have failed to achieve satisfactory grades, and the entry standards will be high.


  • Intercalated degree?

The requirements for professional qualification mean that it is not possible to take Medicine in combination with another subject but many courses offer the opportunity to spend a year of specialised study in a related field, e.g. anthropology, bacteriology, biochemistry, genetics, history of medicine, immunology, parasitology, pharmacology, psychology. The availability of these degrees varies depending on the university but they are usually taken between the second and third years of your course. See individual course websites for more information.


  • Clinical exposure?

In most courses there is some clinical work in the early years, e.g. one day a week in a local general practice, or hospital.  Some medical schools make a special point of exposing medical students to patients early on, but in others there may be very little until later years (year 3). You may also want to consider where you are likely to have to do your clinical practice. Will travel be a problem?


  • Teaching / learning style?

Most medical courses are organised on the basis of 2 years pre-clinical, and 3 years clinical work.  However, increasingly the teaching is an integrated ‘systems’ approach, with the learning of body systems (cardiovascular, endocrine etc) together with their anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, in contrast to the ‘classical’ teaching of separate anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.  Problem-based learning (PBL) is a feature of some courses, and requires students to work together in groups, researching professional problems in a largely student-centred way.


  • Elective period?

Most medical schools have an elective period during which you can spend time in a specialty that really interests you. This can often be taken abroad. Examples include a research project in a hospital, clinic, or drug company and clinical experience in overseas hospitals.


  • Practical work?

This is an essential component of all courses.  Find out about practical work at Open Days, e.g. is there an emphasis / option for anatomical dissection, and take the opportunity to see the teaching labs.


2. What type of medical school do you want?


  • Size of medical school?

This varies between approximately 100 and 600 students admitted each year.  For many medical schools there are more than 10 applicants for every place.


  • New medical school?

The age of the medical school may affect its teaching styles or the format of the course. Newer schools include East Anglia, Exeter, Hull York, Plymouth and Brighton & Sussex.


  • Teaching Quality

Speak to current and recent students about their experiences, amount of tutorial (and other) support, size of groups, frequency of lectures and practicals.


  • Research Excellence Framework  (REF)            see  www.ref.ac.uk  

How strong is the research profile of a particular university? Do any of the research interests match your own current interests?  Ask about this at an Open Day, or interview, or search the medical school websites.


  • Scholarships?             

A few medical schools will offer scholarships, including awards for music or sport (e.g. Imperial).  Similarly, some universities will offer scholarships to undergraduates of any discipline.  The financial gain may not be great, but there is considerable prestige attached to such competitive awards.


  • Location?

Five years can be a long time to spend studying in one place. Check that the city matches your expectations. Also, will you stay in that city for the full five years of your degree? Some courses have clinical years in alternative locations, e.g. St Andrews.


What clinical experience and opportunities will be available to you and where will they be? For example, at Aberdeen you can opt for a clinical practice scheme in the Scottish Highlands.


3. Assessment

Your performance is likely to be assessed in all years on a pass / fail basis, and this can be each term, semester, or year.  There will be formal examinations, and coursework assessment may count for up to 50%.  Projects, clinical examinations, communication skills, and data interpretation may have a part to play.  Your progress to the next phase of the course may be conditional on your passing these exams.


4. Entry requirements?

A-level grades of at least AAA will be required, and most medical schools will not make an offer without an interview.  The academic requirements are high, and some also require a very good GCSE profile.  However, academic ability represents only the first hurdle, and personal qualities (including commitment, personal management skills, communication skills, and a willingness to take responsibility) will also be extremely important.  Work experience in a ‘caring’ environment is very important, as is a convincing knowledge of what a career in medicine involves.


The majority of medical schools require you to sit the UKCAT tests. These are done at the end of Year 12 and you must organise them yourself. For more information visit www.ukcat.ac.uk .


The Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT, see www.bmat.org.uk ) is a requirement for a few medical schools. It is sat in the November of Year 13. 


5. Professional qualifications

Once you have a degree in medicine, you must complete a 12-month period of ‘pre-registration’ service in an approved hospital.  A medical degree is only the starting point, and further qualifications are required to continue in any specialty (a minimum of 3 years’ training): e.g. general practice, surgery, psychiatry.


Further references



  • A list of university entry requirements

  • university websites, university prospectuses


         


6. Other related courses

Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Dentistry, Microbiology, Immunology,    Biotechnology, Human Biology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Physiology, Anatomy, Nursing, Physiotherapy and other Health and Social Care subjects



Direct Red : a Surgeon’s Story - Gabriel Weston (2010)
Among the many books that might be recommended, one stands out for its insight into issues involving patients and colleagues. It is also written in a clear and engaging way: it uses illuminating examples based on the author’s experience of training to become a surgeon after reading English at Edinburgh.                                                                                 

 

MODERN LANGUAGES

Choosing your course

(1) What type of course do you want?


● One language by itself or combined with another language or with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (a language by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: either 2 langs. or 1 lang. + another subject)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (a language & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Mod. Lang. courses are general:  language (including linguistics)

                                                                                                literature + society + film

                                                                                                but the range of historical periods covered varies greatly

                ▪ some Mod. Lang. courses are specialised:           language for business


● Do you wish to start a new language? (e.g., Portuguese, Italian, Russian)


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?

N.B. It is important to check this carefully for Mod. Langs., as there is such a broad range of topics offered across different unis.: e.g., Is medieval literature compulsory, optional or unavailable?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 4 years (& include Year 3 abroad)


● Do you want to spend the year abroad:              ▪ at a university?

                                                                                                ▪ in a work placement?

                                                                                                ▪ teaching as an assistant in a school?


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week (How much oral work with native speakers?)

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Mod. Langs. graduates?


Subjects related to Modern Languages:

African & Asian languages; European Studies, South Asian Studies; Anglo Saxon, Sanskrit, Linguistics; International Studies; International Hospitality Mgt., Tourism


Useful reference sources:            www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for French/German/Spanish


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.

I recommend:      
The Art of Fiction – David Lodge (1992)
 A clear demonstration of 50 stylistic issues in literature using key examples as a starting point for a discussion.

The Language Instinct – Steven Pinker (1994)
 A stimulating contribution to the debate about how humans learn language.
 Célestine : voices from a French village – Gillian Tindall (1995)
 A wonderful evocation of life in 19C rural France, which is based around several letters found by the author that were addressed to the young woman of the title. Suggests how isolated some parts of France were before World War 1 – and why France has 246 different kinds of cheese!
 The File : a personal history – Timothy Garton Ash (1997)
The author was a student in West and East Berlin in late 1970s-early 1980. In 1992 he got access to the Stasi file on him. He compares his diary entries and the file, but interviews most of those who compiled the latter.
               

 

MUSIC

Choosing your course

There is a large range of courses. It is particularly important to consider:

► the balance between practical and theoretical work

► the emphasis on personal creativity

► the breadth / narrowness of the historical perspective


(1) What type of course do you want?


● Music by itself or combined with something else?

                ▪ Single Honours               (Music by itself, but a few other options might be taken)

                ▪ Joint Honours                 (50% in 2 subjects: one of which is Music)

                ▪ Major/Minor                  (split as much as 75% in Major, 25% in Minor)

                ▪ Combined                        (Music & 2 other subjects: e.g., General Arts courses)


● General course or specialised course?

                ▪ most Music courses are general:            performance + composition + music history

                ▪ some Music courses are specialised:     popular music & recording


● What is the minimum & maximum proportion of practical work at each stage of the course?


● How much opportunity is there for public performance as part of the course?


● How much choice is there within a course?

                ▪ which topics are compulsory?

                ▪ what is the choice of specialist subject options?


● How many years do you want to study?

                ▪ most courses are 3 years (but 4 years in Scotland)

                ▪ many unis. offer chance to study at uni. abroad

                (Does this involve extra year or is it year/semester out of what normally taken at UK uni.?)


● What kind of assessment do you prefer?

                ▪ what proportion of marks counting towards your degree comes from:

                                - examinations (end of semester? end of year? in which years of course?)

                                - coursework (how often?)

                                - research project / dissertation (final year only?)


(2) What type of department do you want?

● What size of department do you prefer?

                ▪ how many students are there in each year group?

                ▪ how many teaching academic staff are there?


N.B. A smaller dept. is likely to be more personal, a larger dept. is likely to have more course options.


● What is the teaching provision offered within the department?

                ▪ what do current / recent students (or the academic staff) say about:

                      - size of teaching groups (number of students in tutorials/classes/seminars)

                      - number of classes & lectures per week

                      - feedback on written work:

                                how often is written work marked?

                                are there practice pieces on each topic for assessed coursework/exams.?

                      - support offered to those finding aspects of the course difficult

                ▪ what are the latest results from the National Student Survey (of student satisfaction)?

                N.B. Do they reveal the quality of what is provided or how easily the students are satisfied?


N.B. It is very important to ask students about teaching provision: there are often great differences between departments in the same university.


● What is the research quality within the department?

                ▪ what is the 2014 Research Excellence Framework rating?

                (i.e., % of research from 4* down to 1*)

                ▪ how good are research facilities, especially library facilities?

                ▪ do the full time academic research staff do the teaching? Or do PhD students teach?

                ▪ do some of the research interests of the teaching staff match your (likely) areas of interest?

                (specialist course options are likely to reflect the teachers’ research interests)


N.B. If a dept. has a high rating for research:

                ▪ you will have the privilege of being taught by world experts (who might/might not be good teachers)

                ▪ you will be expected to do much of the teaching of yourself, by adopting research methods


(3) What are the entry requirements?

● Practical tests and/or passes in grade examinations are often very important.

● Are particular subjects needed at GCSE or AS/A Level? Is A Level/Diploma Music compulsory?

● What grades/points are likely to be needed at A Level?

● If a points offer is given, do points from AS/EPQ form part of the offer or only points from full A Levels?


N.B. The grades required for a course largely reflect the fact that some subjects and places attract more applicants than others. A course which requires AAA need not be superior to a course which requires CCC, but the academic achievement of the students on entry is likely to be greater on the former.


(4) What does the course lead to?

● What information is there on employment of Music graduates?


Subjects related to Music:

Dance, Drama, Media Studies; Acoustics


Useful reference sources:         www.ucas.com

                                                                university websites; university prospectuses, including department prospectuses

                                                                www.unistats.com National Student Survey

                                                                www.ref.ac.uk 2014 Research Excellence Framework

                                                                university entry requirements for Music


READ ONE OR TWO ARTICLES OR BOOKS TO TEST YOUR INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT AREA AND TO REFER TO IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE OF YOUR INTEREST.<