Research released on the UK market for accelerated two-year degrees shows that there is real interest in accelerated two-year degree courses among all age groups polled, with interest highest among mature students.
The survey asked 588 students between the ages of 16 and 21 and mature students over 21 a series of questions about their level of interest in studying for a degree in two years as opposed to three, the advantages and disadvantages they perceived and their primary concerns.
Half of the students surveyed (53%) cited lower costs as the main advantage of a two-year accelerated degree, with one quarter (26%) saying it would allow them to begin earning sooner. The primary disadvantage was a concern that the workload would be too heavy (38%) and one third said they would miss out on student life (32%).
Concern about cost increased with age. 31% of students aged between 16-18 were concerned about the cost of completing their undergraduate degree and 39% said cost would be their primary reason for choosing to earn a degree in two years, instead of three. Among the students aged over 25, 84% were concerned with the cost of completing their degree and 69% cited cost as their primary reason for favouring a two-year accelerated degree.
Accelerated degrees offer the same number of teaching weeks as a three-year degree by using the summer holiday period as a third semester or fourth term, and offer the same number of credits (360) as traditional three-year degrees, delivering 180 credits per year.
“With support across the political spectrum, accelerated two-year degrees are an important way to expand opportunities to study for a higher education degree,” said Peter Houillon, CEO Kaplan UK, which is offering two-year accelerated business and law degrees in London in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). “And two-year degrees are an excellent option for many students who not only save on tuition fees and living expenses, but also start earning earlier.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West of England, Dr Jane Harrington said, “The aim has been to retain the same level of quality whilst meeting the desire from students for greater flexibility.”
The research was conducted by Amanda Gregory of Education Marketing Solutions. EMS surveyed 1000 students and 588 completed questionnaires were returned.