University Decision Time Series: Course Information – OurWarwick
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University Decision Time Series: Course Information

Vikram Kumar Khosla | Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) (Warwick Scholar) Contact Vikram

When deciding what university offers to place as your ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices, another key consideration to bear in mind is related to the course information. It’s a good idea to do a holistic ‘side-by-side’ comparison of the course information.

Comparing courses, between universities, will allow you to make informed decisions as you can see the advantages and shortcomings.

In this blog post, I will use my experience of my course- Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)- as an example of what things I was looking out for in terms of course information. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but some things you could bear in mind.

  1. Basic information

This sounds obvious but it’s important to understand the core information about the course. This ranges from course duration to structure.

At some universities, PPE is a 4-year course. At Warwick, it’s a 3-year course. Similarly, there are certain requirements – from meeting the entry requirements to the content that will need to be covered on the course.

Another example is pathways. This isn’t just a PPE specific thing as many courses allow you to decide on how to shape your degree and specialise. How open is this option for you on the course? How much flexibility will you get?

2. Modules

Following on from the basic course information, the modules you need to do is an important part of the course, and importantly deciding whether you want to do the course.

For example, with PPE, there are the usual introductory modules that you will need to do. I had the option to choose the relative difficulty of the maths/stats modules. Some other universities wouldn’t have given me the option to choose the relative difficulty or what topics I want to cover. Therefore, Warwick has given me a lot more flexibility.

Similarly, consider optional modules. How many options do you have? What sorts of core/optional modules available? Is the content of the modules something you want to study/find interesting?

3. Year abroad / placement

This isn’t necessarily related to the course itself. In some cases, like my PPE degree at Warwick, it’s optional (offered by the department) – so you can decide to apply to do a year abroad/placement. In other words, my course is 3 years of academic teaching and learning on campus. However, if I wanted to, I could have done either a year abroad or an industrial placement as part of my PPE course in-between my 2 and 3 year. Some degree courses have this as a requirement, and this is usually evident when you apply for that specific version of that degree.

4. Resources / facilities

What resources are given to you for your degree? This is so important as you want to have all the available resources and materials to make your degree a success. This is a very specific consideration. So, think about what sorts of things you would benefit from and whether the department offers them.

5. Assessment methods

How much of your course is assessed through examinations, assignments, dissertations, practical assessments and other types?

This can be quite important. My course has an optional dissertation. Other versions of this course at other universities make a dissertation mandatory. Also, my year is split 50-50 over years 2 and 3. Again, this varies in weighting.

Finally, Warwick does provide a lot of flexibility in choosing whether I want to do 100% exam or partial exam/assignment (50-50%) as my assessment method for modules. It’s important to know these things.

6. Bursaries and scholarship

Some courses, or indeed universities, may allow you to access and apply for bursaries and scholarships. Indeed, there are opportunities for you to be able to undertake independent research at some places, where the universities will support you in some way in undertaking it. Research what’s available to you as this could be related to the course itself.

Vikram Kumar Khosla | Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) (Warwick Scholar) Contact Vikram

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