Torvus
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Hello peeps,

I am a current student for the new UCL Arts and Sciences course (BASc). It is application time for prospective students to UCL and I noted a significant amount of questions regarding the BASc (our abbr for the course), so I thought I would create a little thread to answer any and all questions you might have about the course.

The course itself is pretty radically allowing you free choice of most modules at UCL. An example of this is me, I am doing the Science & Engineering pathway so my modules include Physics, Engineering and Maths. Plus I am doing a societies pathway so my minor includes Law (though I hope to do Geography next year). Another person I know does English, Spanish and French literature with Physics. It does give you a wide selection which you can specialise into in your 2nd and 3rd years. Plus there are the core courses which cover wide interdisciplinary fields such as Epistemology (super-concepts, censorship), Quantitative methods, research methods etc. Some of the lessons are taught in a completely new way to what has been done before, just google 'flipped lectures' if you're curious.

Furthermore being the flagship degree we have strong support from the university with us being given the biggest and most well furbished common room at UCL, and a very committed and dedicated staff to support us and the degree.

So if you have questions (you may not) just post and I will try my best to answer ^_^
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CamBerry
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Thanks for starting this thread The degree really does sound fascinating, how do you find managing your time between modules? Also I've been invited to a test day on 21st November and I was wondering if you knew what the test would be like... it sounds rather daunting Is it a mixture of essay questions and maths/science problems?
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Torvus
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Oh my bad here is the UCL page link for more information

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/basc/
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Torvus
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1. Finding time between modules is tough, timetabling-wise I would say the BASc can be one of the toughest in UCL, some of us have timetables similar to Engineers and Medicine, others do not. I depends on what modules you pick which will determine the amount of contact hours you have.

2. For the test you just need to go over your A Level and IB material. Some people were caught out last year because they forgot to revise their Calculus for Maths (only for Science and Engineering applicants). But other than that an open-mind and love for your subjects is all you need. But yes half of it will be essay based, the other will be science questions (the structure may vary and they may change it all together for this year).

Hope that helps and anymore questions just ask away
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cambio wechsel
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Do you graduate with a "BASc" or do you ultimately choose one designation or the other (or have this decided for you according to the modules you've taken)? If it's BASc, do you worry about having to explain this the whole while or the possibility that it will always be taken for a typo on your CV?
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Torvus
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We do graduate with a Bachelors in Arts and Sciences. In regards to explaining it to people our course director is making a big effort to reach out to big blue chip companies to inform them about the course and get them involved. There will always be the risk of people not 'getting' what the degree is about but why don't you think of it another way.

UCL is one of the best universities in the world, they don't churn out bad degrees. So in a competitive job market where it is difficult to stand out something a little different from the rest can often be helpful in getting yourself noticed. An employer could see your CV and think, "hmmm BASc what is that, sounds interesting" they could just as much bin it but that's life. I have spoken to many employers at careers fair and their reaction has always been of curiosity, to them this was something exciting and offered something new to them which not many other UK degree holders could offer.
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CamBerry
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(Original post by Torvus)
1. Finding time between modules is tough, timetabling-wise I would say the BASc can be one of the toughest in UCL, some of us have timetables similar to Engineers and Medicine, others do not. I depends on what modules you pick which will determine the amount of contact hours you have.

2. For the test you just need to go over your A Level and IB material. Some people were caught out last year because they forgot to revise their Calculus for Maths (only for Science and Engineering applicants). But other than that an open-mind and love for your subjects is all you need. But yes half of it will be essay based, the other will be science questions (the structure may vary and they may change it all together for this year).

Hope that helps and anymore questions just ask away
I can imagine it must be tricky to fit all the work in, it does sound quite pressured... Does it feel like you have no free time?

Ah thank you for the advice! I'm feeling a bit nervous for the test day overall so I'm definitely going to do some more Maths practice as I am applying to major in Sciences and Engineering

Thank you again for the help!
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Torvus
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(Original post by CamBerry)
I can imagine it must be tricky to fit all the work in, it does sound quite pressured... Does it feel like you have no free time?

Ah thank you for the advice! I'm feeling a bit nervous for the test day overall so I'm definitely going to do some more Maths practice as I am applying to major in Sciences and Engineering

Thank you again for the help!
Again it depends on what you study. I can only speak for the Science and Engineering pathway but I think it is particularly intense because we have more contact hours. Furthermore since it is a new course I do not think the timetabling is ideally balanced, with many of my more intensive modules this term. But since this was the first year I have no doubt that it will be corrected in time for next year.

As for the test just go through your A level Science and Maths stuff and you should be fine and good luck
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by Torvus)
We do graduate with a Bachelors in Arts and Sciences...
Good answer, and thanks for replying at such length.
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CamBerry
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(Original post by Torvus)
Again it depends on what you study. I can only speak for the Science and Engineering pathway but I think it is particularly intense because we have more contact hours. Furthermore since it is a new course I do not think the timetabling is ideally balanced, with many of my more intensive modules this term. But since this was the first year I have no doubt that it will be corrected in time for next year.

As for the test just go through your A level Science and Maths stuff and you should be fine and good luck
Thank you again for your help! Really appreciate it, your insight has been great
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BelgianChocolate
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(Original post by CamBerry)
I can imagine it must be tricky to fit all the work in, it does sound quite pressured... Does it feel like you have no free time?

Ah thank you for the advice! I'm feeling a bit nervous for the test day overall so I'm definitely going to do some more Maths practice as I am applying to major in Sciences and Engineering

Thank you again for the help!
Hiya! I'm also a BASc student, and personally I have 10 contact hours a week, so I kinda do have a lot of free time. My major is Societies, minor is Health and Environment Sciences, and the modules I'm taking this term are Social Anthropology, Arabic, Human Anatomy and the BASc compulsory core module Approaches to Knowledge (a kind of TOK remix, for those of you who do the IB...).

So yeah, a lot of free time but there is constantly stuff to do! The BASc core module ATK requires us to watch the lecture online the day before the actual lecture and ask questions on a kind of forum, and then the actual lectures are used to answer the questions with the most 'likes'. Plus there's quite a bit of reading to do for most modules, and if you take maths I know they spend at least a gazillion hours on problem sheets every week. But other than that you should have plenty of time to join societies, go to the gym, relax in our fabulous common room or whatever it is you want to do.

Timetabling for me was relatively straightforward, but I do know of some people who weren't able to take the modules they wanted because some of them clashed. Next term I am going to have 5 modules instead of 4 (Political Sociology, Arabic, Archeology and two more BASc core modules), but all in all I don't think I'll have more than 15 hours of class a week.

I also attended a test day, and was freaking out myself. I left the test feeling that it would be a miracle if I got an offer, but I did! I don't really know about the Science and Engineering test, but my questions were quite open and it was basically like writing mini-essays (some of them reminded me of IB Geography essay questions).

Hope this helps, and don't hesitate to ask any more questions!
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tl,dr
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Hi guys! I'm currently a BASc student and I'm taking modules quite different to the other two posters so I thought I'd tell you a bit about my BASc life

I'm majoring in Health and Environment, minoring in Cultures. This term I'm taking Biochemistry, Introduction to Pharmacology, Approaches to Knowledge and Arabic. Next term is History of Art (stars in my eyes for this one ), Biological Anthropology, still Arabic and the two other BASc modules(something about Quantitative thinking I believe...). This term I'm in four days of the week with a staple of 9 hours contact time. Every now and then I'll have a lab or an extra tutorial. Next term I'm only in 3 days of the week and there aren't any labs so my timetable's pretty free . Contact time depends on which courses you choose. If you choose something with a lot of labs then you'll be at uni quite a bit but everything else is usually 2-3 hours per module I believe. It's honestly not that difficult to juggle at all but I had a job when I started which I had to leave because that did make everything a bit awkward. I am looking for another one though; I think the only object there is flexibility and if I have that I should be fine. I have more than enough time to "study" (haha, lol, no) for each of my modules so that's not a problem either.

The BASc society is fantastic. There is always something going on to get involved with, wherever your talents lie. And because the degree is new and needs student feedback to improve, taking part in the society or the staff-student committee means you will actually have something to do.

As for the degree itself, I'm loving it. I was a medicine applicant before and I cannot express how much happier I am doing this. I obviously love Biology but for me, that's just learning and I love that for BASc they will always ask for your opinion and get you to think. I'm really getting a feel for what kind of topics I enjoy and what I might like to specialise in for the future. Although, of course, being a BAScer I will definitely keep my options open and think broadly.

As for the test- don't stress. Seriously it's not about what you know it's about how willing you are to explore new ways of looking at a question and that's probably the best tip I could give you. It's a little bit tricky time-wise though so keep an eye on the clock. I really enjoyed the test although I think I'm just more comfortable saying that now that I've passed it.

This all being said however, BASc is not for everyone. If you are really sure about what you want to do in life or if you're only passionate about one subject then I'd recommend doing a more straightforward degree. The same goes for if you're someone who's not interested in doing something that you could deem the slightest bit "wishy-washy". I have a feeling a couple of the core modules might get pretty deep but I know a couple of people who are having doubts about the one we're doing now.

I think I've covered the basics here but if you have any more questions I'd love to help :-)
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RecklessGleek
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Hello

Just wondering what topic your test day test was on? Are the questions designed to challenge you and make links between areas of study or are they solid subject questions within each pathway section? It sounds really scary and I feel so underprepared (even though I'm apparently supposed to feel this way...) Do you get offers soon after the test day or do you wait?

& why did you chose this course over everything else you applied for?

Thanks!
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Torvus
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My test day topic was on Food. I honestly can't quite remember the exact questions I was asked but for the Science and Engineering pathway they were specifically A Level Chemistry, Maths and Physics questions. You were given a choice of questions for the science part and then told to choose I believe 3 questions, that way you could pick the ones you knew best. Question examples such as enthalpy, ionisation something (honestly forgotten it has been a year now). Maths just had loads of calculus.

They may be changing how they do the tests this year, so my best answer would be to just read up and revise your A Level and IB stuff. Simples!

I got an offer I think a month after the test, others waited longer. But the selection works in batches, with there being a total of 3 batches. They choose a certain amount from every batch.

I chose this course because I,

1. Liked the people running it, they had a vision which I wanted to follow and seemed genuinely passionate about what they are doing.

2. Having done a specific degree such as Chemical Engineering I realised that I didn't want to specialise so soon, this degree gave me the choice to learn loads of interesting material without funnelling me into a specific career path until I was ready to do this. Plus a lot of the new modules are really cool such as the Interdisciplinary Electives in the 2nd year.

3. It's UCL! The campus and location is right in the middle of London and the university is a wonderful place to study in.

Hope that helps
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RecklessGleek
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Do the questions require A2 work or just AS? :s I think I've forgotten all my AS....
You've made UCL sound lovely as well I can't wait to visit now haha. thank you, you've been a great help!
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Torvus
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I am making an assumption here that since some of the students whom will be taking the exam will have studied the minimum of AS Level that they won't go any harder than AS Level. They are not trying to catch you out or trick you, so they will most likely do intermediate to advanced AS Level questions but potentially add an interdisciplinary twist to them.

I had forgotten much of my AS Level before I did the test but luckily remembered to revise calculus. If you revise as much as you can then you can pick the questions which you know most about. These tests are only part of the selection process and they will take into account any gaps in your education (I am assuming as long as you mention it in your additional personal statement).

If you do visit UCL make sure you see the Portico/Main Quad, check out the Bloomsbury Theatre and see the Waterstones on Gower Street where you would buy many of your textbooks. You will get a chance to see more of UCL on the Open Days if you signed yourself up to them.
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JasperGold
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Hi, I am writing my BASc personal statement and I am not sure how long it has to be.. Can you tell me? Also, when were you told about your exam/asked for your statement?

Thanks
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nugiboy
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Is it true that If I choose the Sciences and Engineering major then Mathematics has to be one of my subject choices?
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RecklessGleek
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Do arts and sciences offer holders get asked to a post offer open day or not?


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Torvus
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(Original post by RecklessGleek)
Do arts and sciences offer holders get asked to a post offer open day or not?


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I don't think they are, at least I don't remember going to one. But if there isn't one and there is interest we can always arrange one
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