Advice for parents about the career options for their children

What undergraduate degrees are available?

These are defined as 'first degrees', or Bachelors degree in either the Arts (BA) or Science (BSc). They are generally three year programmes, although some contain an extra year for an element of work experience or for the opportunity for the student to study abroad. There are some universities which offer four-year extended Undergraduate Degrees, leading to a Masters (MA/MSc), particularly in engineering (MEng). Traditional Scottish universities also operate a four year degree programme system leading to a Masters degree.


A number of universities offer two year pre- degree programmes in more vocationally biased subjects which lead to a Foundation Degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), which can then be used to take the student directly into a career or to study to a full degree level.



Some universities offer degree courses with built-in work experience. These are called 'sandwich courses', and depending on the amount of time spent in the workplace, can either be titled a 'thick' or 'thin' sandwich for obvious reasons!


It is also possible to undertake part time as well as full time study at university. Generally speaking part-time courses will take twice as long to complete as a full-time equivalent. The part-time option is suitable for many people, mature students juggling a family, students wishing to continue to work and learn and those potentially not seeking entry into employment within a specific set time period.

Part TimePart-time students make up over 40% of the numbers attending British universities. It is also possible to study for a degree from home, using online technologies and distance learning methods. Obviously for many programmes it is not practical to study in this way. Applications for part-time and distance learning courses are made direct to the university.

There are also some private universities and colleges in and around London that follow the American education system. Some of their degree programmes are also accredited within the British system and therefore offer joint accreditation for the same degree achieved. Many of these institutions still utilise the UCAS system for applications, but in some cases students are able to apply directly to their own admissions department.