Thinking of pursuing higher education? There used to be one way to get a degree and that was to move away and study on campus for three or more years. Now, there are multiple ways to study a degree. This has given more people the flexibility to study. Here are eight alternative ways to study that could be worth considering when choosing a course.
When researching universities to study at, many people stick to those in their home country. However, it’s possible to broaden your horizons and consider universities abroad. This is a big commitment as it means moving to a new country where you may have to deal with a new culture and perhaps even a new language. However, there are many perks to studying abroad. It may be perfect for doing a foreign language course as it could force you to speak in that language. It could also offer a chance to travel as you study. Different countries may have different systems for applying to courses – it may be worth seeing a study advisor who can help you to go through the application process.
Another option is to study online. This may allow you to stay at home and handle other commitments such as children whilst you study in your own time. It’s even possible to study an online course around a job (although you may want to be careful of taking too much on at once). Many courses can now be done online. You can even complete a nursing MBA online. This may allow you to study a course from a foreign university without having to travel to that country.
Have a sandwich year
Sandwich courses are like regular courses but contain one year of work experience related to the course you’re studying. For example, an accounting sandwich course may offer the opportunity to work at an accounting firm for a year. This can be a great way of not only earning a degree but also getting work experience necessary that could help to get a job in the field. Some courses may have organised placements whilst others may require you to find your own placement. There are also other courses that may incorporate work into studying throughout the three years rather than just as a sandwich year.
Does three years sound too long to be at university? There are now accelerated degrees which essentially get your completed in a shorter period of time. Whilst standard degrees may include the summer off, accelerated degrees may have lectures and seminars throughout the summer, allowing a three year course to be completed in two years. This style of studying may be only effective for fast learners as it involves more cramming in of information. This is something to consider before taking one of these courses.
Opt for a joint honours
There may be situations in which you’re torn between studying two subjects. These could be totally different subjects that can’t be combined in a regular degree. One way around this could be to opt for a joint honours (or double majors) programme. This involves studying two courses at once. In some cases, you may be able to take on less modules in each so that you’re not studying two full courses at once – you’ll still get a full degree at the end of it. Another braver option could be to study two full courses at once, having double the workload but ending up with two degrees at the end of it. There are other issues involved when taking a joint honours course. Timetables for example may clash and multiple projects may be in on the same date. Fortunately, many modern universities have ways of dealing with this such as keeping digital records of lecture slides for you to look through if you missed a lecture or allowing you to have one-on-one sessions with your tutor.
Get your degree sponsored
In rare cases, companies may sponsor you to study a course in exchange that you work for them at the end of the course. This can be a great way of doing a course without having to deal with the debt afterwards. However, it forces you to then work for that company afterwards as part of the exchange. Such companies are usually huge corporations and you may have to go through vigorous and competitive interviewing before being offered such as scheme.
In other rare cases, a company may offer a sponsored course to an existing employee as a way of then promoting them. This could be a business management course which then allows them the opportunity to have a better paid management position at the company at the end of the course. You may only discover such degree schemes after working with such a company for a few years.
Do a pay-as-you-go degree
A pay-as-you-go degree may be studied like a standard degree – what makes it different is the way that you pay for it. Usually you pay in triannual payments, however a pay-as-you-go degree may be paid on a monthly or weekly basis. If you’re working whilst studying, this may allow you to budget better. It also means that if you don’t get on with the course in the first few weeks, you can change course without having to then continue paying for that whole term.
Study for free
In some countries, university is free. However, getting the benefits of this may involve being a citizen in that country for a set period beforehand. This may also be the case with certain states. In other instances, you may be able to study for free with a government grant. These aren’t available to everyone, but it could be worth looking into.