The government has today unveiled plans to offer more two year degree courses instead of the traditional 3 or 4 year courses. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will get your degree any cheaper. Tuition fees for each year of a two year degree could be charged at more than £13,000 a year. The government is saying that it is time to offer more flexible study options and this is why they are putting forward these proposals.
So what are the pros and cons of this idea of a 2 year degree from the student’s point of view?
Condensed period of study – you will obviously complete your degree sooner, allowing you to get a job earlier and start earning money a year earlier than those on a 3 year degree.
Reduced living costs – one of the major costs for many students is the accommodation and living costs while away from home. This will be reduced by a third or even a half and could significantly reduce the amount of student loan you need to take.
Less in depth study – you will have to still do the same amount of work in a shorter period of time. The holidays will be reduced and you will be expected to work longer hours. However, for some degrees, students already find themselves working through the holidays to manage the workload, so it is possible that condensing the work in to two years will mean that you won’t get such an in depth view of your subject.
University experience – a lot of the university experience is based around living away from home and having the time to try new things, get involved in societies and activities that you would not do if you were at home. By intensifying the study over a shorter period of time, it is likely that these experiences would have to take a back seat as students’ won’t have as much spare time.
From the Universities’ point of view it could make a lot of commercial sense, allowing them to charge £27,000 over two years and potentially recruit more students. The question is whether employers will view a two year degree as valuable as a three or four year one?