Do NOT study Arts and Sciences (BASc)at UCL

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
This post may be controversial, hence the anonymity. I will be giving an insider's look into the arts and sciences course at UCL and why you should save your money and avoid this rubbish course at all costs. I am a first-year student now and deeply regret choosing this course. I can't tell you what to do but if you are considering this course, I would urge you to at least read what I have to say and make up your own mind.

  • Rubbish core modules- The course has many rubbish general/useless modules. They say these modules teach you practical skills. This is far from the truth. The interdisciplinary research methods module for example has taught me nothing. It is literally a module where you just interview academics. It's practically useless. The ATK module is literally academics saying that you can apply two things to one problem. The academics bring nothing new/interesting to the table, they just waffle. These modules act as cash grabs so the department can prevent you from taking modules in other departments as a way to save money.


  • (Tangential point) Department staff- If you are a scientist, be warned. The staff are overwhelmingly in the liberal arts/humanities. There is no sense of balance.


  • The previous professor (who originally set up BASc) has now left to set up the London Interdisciplinary School. A university with a very different philosophy/module structure than the BASc degree calling into question the original philosophy for BASc. The current professor is simply a professor of sociology, he hasn't published a single book or research paper specifically on interdisciplinary education. Any professor can call themselves interdisciplinary nowadays given how broad research is. What makes him special? What does he bring to the table? Nothing.


  • Flawed ideology- The academics will tell you the usefulness of the degree as you combine disciplines together. This is untrue. In the end, you have so little, surface-level knowledge from individual disciplines that you end up knowing nothing. True interdisciplinarity is going deep within a subject and then applying that knowledge to other disciplines.


  • Career Prospects- You end up with a general degree unspecialised in a specific discipline. This is why a very high proportion of students (40%) go on to do a masters course. They have unspecialised skills and double down by choosing to study at the postgraduate level. A degree should help you get a job, especially given how much it costs. It better be worth the £9250/£25000+. Employers do not respect the degree, you may be doing all sciences/economics subjects but you will still graduate with a seemingly hollow-sounding 'arts and sciences' degree which leaves you spending/wasting lots of time justifying to employers how your degree works. Besides if there was a demand for an interdisciplinary degree in the jobs market then there would be a specialised degree for that. For example, there was a demand for a degree that crossed between chemistry and engineering, and so universities started offering courses in petroleum engineering.

To summarise, I believe you should avoid this course at all costs. It is certainly not worth the money. But you're welcome to disagree with me, just be sure to address the points I have made.
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Levi.-
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#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
Isn't UCL a target uni for banking tho so in theory regardless of degree choice if u did the right stuff like work ex and societies you'd have an equal chance to land a job? Doing maths & chem at ucl this september btw.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Isn't UCL a target uni for banking tho so in theory regardless of degree choice if u did the right stuff like work ex and societies you'd have an equal chance to land a job? Doing maths & chem at ucl this september btw.
maybe so, I'm just criticising the degree and listing the numerous problems with it.
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Anonymous #2
#4
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damn now im quite unsure whether or not I should take my ISPS (international social and political studies) UCL offer. Although not the same degree its quite similar in that its multidisciplinary (between the social sciences) where you then specialize in one of ten humanities (econ, ir, pol, anthro, etc). IIRC in first year you hv to do a compulsory module which is an introduction to History, Law, Philosophy and Politics and then for the following years you select credits from your specialism's department. Thoughts? or have you heard experiences about it from anyone else?
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Anonymous #2
#5
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#5
oh and it also said that your specialism will not appear on your transcript or diploma (it'll say 'BA European Social and Political Studies’) but our specialism will be explained in references, cover letters and personal statements. How do you think this will be viewed by employers?
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nolemon
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#6
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I've just recieved a conditonal for the BASc, and this amuses me and worries me in equal measure.

In actual fact, I've personally become less convinced of the course's ability to effectively explore the concept of interdisciplinarity from a linguistically philosophical point of view. In other words, my feeling is that even the idea of 'interdisciplinarity' is a big semantic mess, and is therefore a problematic word to throw around, especially at undergraduate level.

Other than formulating cores modules around the notion of 'ineffective communication between practitioners using either quantative or qualitative methodologies = potential big problem', I can easily imagine that there's not much that's actually being said, simply because it seems pretty hard to extricate the underlying issues. I'd wager this means it's not that compatible with the course's overall interest (which I'm also aware is likely to be besmirched by ulterior, fiscal motivations). This might all be off the mark, though!

I applied because I was intending to study pure philosophy, but it struck me that including a environmental science component, for example, might help me distil my interests further, and allow for the application of philosophical methods to other subjects. I'm wondering whether it will just feel like what you've described, though - a potluck of bland, unrefined ingredients.

Still, if I don't enjoy it, I'm confident I'll be able to make my way onto another course - it's not exactly easy to get onto. I've blagged my way this far, I'm sure I'll do alright. I'd rather get a loan to read than sit working a job I could do with half a brain, anway.

I assume you had a good reason to join the course initially, and I'm sorry that you've been sorely unimpressed - if you could choose again, what direction would you take?

And thanks for taking the time to express these thoughts, it helps.
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Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#7
(Original post by nolemon)
I've just recieved a conditonal for the BASc, and this amuses me and worries me in equal measure.

In actual fact, I've personally become less convinced of the course's ability to effectively explore the concept of interdisciplinarity from a linguistically philosophical point of view. In other words, my feeling is that even the idea of 'interdisciplinarity' is a big semantic mess, and is therefore a problematic word to throw around, especially at undergraduate level.

Other than formulating cores modules around the notion of 'ineffective communication between practitioners using either quantative or qualitative methodologies = potential big problem', I can easily imagine that there's not much that's actually being said, simply because it seems pretty hard to extricate the underlying issues. I'd wager this means it's not that compatible with the course's overall interest (which I'm also aware is likely to be besmirched by ulterior, fiscal motivations). This might all be off the mark, though!

I applied because I was intending to study pure philosophy, but it struck me that including a environmental science component, for example, might help me distil my interests further, and allow for the application of philosophical methods to other subjects. I'm wondering whether it will just feel like what you've described, though - a potluck of bland, unrefined ingredients.

Still, if I don't enjoy it, I'm confident I'll be able to make my way onto another course - it's not exactly easy to get onto. I've blagged my way this far, I'm sure I'll do alright. I'd rather get a loan to read than sit working a job I could do with half a brain, anway.

I assume you had a good reason to join the course initially, and I'm sorry that you've been sorely unimpressed - if you could choose again, what direction would you take?

And thanks for taking the time to express these thoughts, it helps.
nice to hear from you. if i were to choose something different it would probably be something in the stem field. something with at least some practicality. e.g. healthcare,engineering, physical sciences. I think academics should be held accountable for the courses they tout and their reasoning behind offering such courses should be critiqued.
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Anonymous #1
#8
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#8
(Original post by Anonymous)
damn now im quite unsure whether or not I should take my ISPS (international social and political studies) UCL offer. Although not the same degree its quite similar in that its multidisciplinary (between the social sciences) where you then specialize in one of ten humanities (econ, ir, pol, anthro, etc). IIRC in first year you hv to do a compulsory module which is an introduction to History, Law, Philosophy and Politics and then for the following years you select credits from your specialism's department. Thoughts? or have you heard experiences about it from anyone else?
i would say the ISPS course is far better since you are not forced to take random, irrelevant core modules like you are with BASc. This will allow you to spend more time focussing on modules where academics actually bring something to the table and just waffle on about anything they want to.
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Anonymous #1
#9
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
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a

(Original post by Anonymous)
oh and it also said that your specialism will not appear on your transcript or diploma (it'll say 'BA European Social and Political Studies’) but our specialism will be explained in references, cover letters and personal statements. How do you think this will be viewed by employers?
yes, it will be quite annoying having to waste time explaining the degree to employers. you will probably be met with confused looks.
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Snufkin
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#10
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#10
Free donuts in the BASc common room tho.
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Anonymous #1
#11
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#11
(Original post by Snufkin)
Free donuts in the BASc common room tho.
Yes. Hahaha
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Anonymous #3
#12
Report 1 week ago
#12
damn... discovered this right when i was about to firm my basc offer lol. is this. the general consensus in your year or just your personal experience?
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Anonymous #4
#13
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Yikes! Anyone in this thread have insight on History & Politics of The Americas or UCL political studies in general?
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bonbon2344
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#14
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no more i love yous by annie lennox was the do song
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Anonymous #1
#15
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
damn... discovered this right when i was about to firm my basc offer lol. is this. the general consensus in your year or just your personal experience?
i'm sure some people like it. but the general consensus for example with the core modules is that they are rubbish.
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Anonymous #5
#16
Report 1 week ago
#16
That is worrying. I guess you have been learning remotely this year, do you think that has been a factor in the core modules being poor?
How easy is it to transfer to another course once you’ve started? Have many on your course tried this.
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Anonymous #5
#17
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Are there any stats online about what graduates on this course end up doing? Just wondering where you got the data about 40% going on to do masters, I haven’t been able to find any information about graduate outcomes for this course. Concerned as was also about to firm the course.
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Anonymous #6
#18
Report 1 week ago
#18
(Original post by Anonymous)
This post may be controversial, hence the anonymity. I will be giving an insider's look into the arts and sciences course at UCL and why you should save your money and avoid this rubbish course at all costs. I am a first-year student now and deeply regret choosing this course. I can't tell you what to do but if you are considering this course, I would urge you to at least read what I have to say and make up your own mind.

  • Rubbish core modules- The course has many rubbish general/useless modules. They say these modules teach you practical skills. This is far from the truth. The interdisciplinary research methods module for example has taught me nothing. It is literally a module where you just interview academics. It's practically useless. The ATK module is literally academics saying that you can apply two things to one problem. The academics bring nothing new/interesting to the table, they just waffle. These modules act as cash grabs so the department can prevent you from taking modules in other departments as a way to save money.


  • (Tangential point) Department staff- If you are a scientist, be warned. The staff are overwhelmingly in the liberal arts/humanities. There is no sense of balance.


  • The previous professor (who originally set up BASc) has now left to set up the London Interdisciplinary School. A university with a very different philosophy/module structure than the BASc degree calling into question the original philosophy for BASc. The current professor is simply a professor of sociology, he hasn't published a single book or research paper specifically on interdisciplinary education. Any professor can call themselves interdisciplinary nowadays given how broad research is. What makes him special? What does he bring to the table? Nothing.


  • Flawed ideology- The academics will tell you the usefulness of the degree as you combine disciplines together. This is untrue. In the end, you have so little, surface-level knowledge from individual disciplines that you end up knowing nothing. True interdisciplinarity is going deep within a subject and then applying that knowledge to other disciplines.


  • Career Prospects- You end up with a general degree unspecialised in a specific discipline. This is why a very high proportion of students (40%) go on to do a masters course. They have unspecialised skills and double down by choosing to study at the postgraduate level. A degree should help you get a job, especially given how much it costs. It better be worth the £9250/£25000+. Employers do not respect the degree, you may be doing all sciences/economics subjects but you will still graduate with a seemingly hollow-sounding 'arts and sciences' degree which leaves you spending/wasting lots of time justifying to employers how your degree works. Besides if there was a demand for an interdisciplinary degree in the jobs market then there would be a specialised degree for that. For example, there was a demand for a degree that crossed between chemistry and engineering, and so universities started offering courses in petroleum engineering.

To summarise, I believe you should avoid this course at all costs. It is certainly not worth the money. But you're welcome to disagree with me, just be sure to address the points I have made.
The red brick universities like the University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, University of Birmingham also have many rubbish courses. I guess the University of Sheffield is the worst among those.
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Anonymous #1
#19
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)
Are there any stats online about what graduates on this course end up doing? Just wondering where you got the data about 40% going on to do masters, I haven’t been able to find any information about graduate outcomes for this course. Concerned as was also about to firm the course.
only i am able to access the statistics because i am a student so you just have to trust me unfortunately.
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Anonymous #7
#20
Report 1 week ago
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Isn't UCL a target uni for banking tho so in theory regardless of degree choice if u did the right stuff like work ex and societies you'd have an equal chance to land a job? Doing maths & chem at ucl this september btw.
No, of course not.
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