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how long is a uni year?

How long does a typical uni year last? is it similar to secondary school?
Original post by godemperor
How long does a typical uni year last? is it similar to secondary school?


In the UK, 3 years if it is a bachelor's degree. 4 years if it has integrated masters, a year abroad or a year in placement. Medicine and dentistry courses takes around 5-6 years, depending on the path you take.
Original post by LillySingh
In the UK, 3 years if it is a bachelor's degree. 4 years if it has integrated masters, a year abroad or a year in placement. Medicine and dentistry courses takes around 5-6 years, depending on the path you take.

how long do the year last? Like how many weeks or terms?
Original post by godemperor
how long do the year last? Like how many weeks or terms?


Usually starts around September/October and ends in May/June. There should be 2 semesters, I think lecture wise there would be like 12 weeks per semester.
Most UK universities have 30-35 week academic years/term dates for undergraduate courses
Mine was from september to december, then january to april, then may to june.

You only get christmas, easter and summer holidays. Plus a couple reading weeks
For undergraduate courses it varies somewhat but usually it's roughly late Sept/early Oct to June ish, usually with two 10-12 week terms (may include reading week and/or freshers/zero week), plus a summer exam period. Some courses or unis may have longer or shorter years/terms though - Oxbridge have 3, 8 week terms instead, with longer breaks between them, and some healthcare courses extend beyond the summer exam period at a lot of unis. Healthcare courses with formal placements often will have you working basically whatever shift you're on during the placement (which may be 9-5 or may be e.g. night shifts etc).

Usually the year is a bit shorter than a school academic year as a result, particularly as there are no half term breaks (you may get a reading week in the middle of term but you are formally expected to be using this for, well, reading and catching up on coursework etc). However you end up with slightly longer breaks in the spring and summer usually. Also, a little off topic but, all the unis I've studied or worked at have Wednesday afternoons lecture free for students to participate in sports, societies, or simply catch up on work.

Postgraduate courses are different though, and many taught masters courses run for a full calendar year (with the summertime being used for research/thesis writing/project working). PhDs are basically 9-5 jobs (albeit you have more flexibility in arranging with your supervisor exactly when you work depending on your project depending on your field) you work year round and arrange to take holiday as and when possible (usually out of teaching term) - although holiday provision for PhDs is usually rather informal and poorly quantified as they aren't formally employees so don't have statutory leave, but also there is usually the recognition they need to have time off sometimes during the year, so varies a lot I think.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
For undergraduate courses it varies somewhat but usually it's roughly late Sept/early Oct to June ish, usually with two 10-12 week terms (may include reading week and/or freshers/zero week), plus a summer exam period. Some courses or unis may have longer or shorter years/terms though - Oxbridge have 3, 8 week terms instead, with longer breaks between them, and some healthcare courses extend beyond the summer exam period at a lot of unis. Healthcare courses with formal placements often will have you working basically whatever shift you're on during the placement (which may be 9-5 or may be e.g. night shifts etc).

Usually the year is a bit shorter than a school academic year as a result, particularly as there are no half term breaks (you may get a reading week in the middle of term but you are formally expected to be using this for, well, reading and catching up on coursework etc). However you end up with slightly longer breaks in the spring and summer usually. Also, a little off topic but, all the unis I've studied or worked at have Wednesday afternoons lecture free for students to participate in sports, societies, or simply catch up on work.

Postgraduate courses are different though, and many taught masters courses run for a full calendar year (with the summertime being used for research/thesis writing/project working). PhDs are basically 9-5 jobs (albeit you have more flexibility in arranging with your supervisor exactly when you work depending on your project depending on your field) you work year round and arrange to take holiday as and when possible (usually out of teaching term) - although holiday provision for PhDs is usually rather informal and poorly quantified as they aren't formally employees so don't have statutory leave, but also there is usually the recognition they need to have time off sometimes during the year, so varies a lot I think.

what are reading weeks?
Original post by godemperor
what are reading weeks?


weeks in which you have some time to do extra reading or work, pertaining to a specific topic
do you get easter break?
Original post by godemperor
what are reading weeks?


As above, some unis will have a reading week about half way through term. You won't have any lectures in this week, but are expected to continue working on things outside of lectures. You may have specific assignments set for reading week as well, or you may not end up with any!

It seems common for "arts" subjects to have work to do over reading week, in STEM subjects it seems more common for it to just end up as a week off to catch up on stuff. This is likely to vary depending on uni though :smile:
A lot of stem subjects don’t have a reading week at all.
Original post by PQ
A lot of stem subjects don’t have a reading week at all.

Good point, I think Southampton didn't have one way back when I was there briefly for a lot of them...I'd forgotten about that!
Original post by SmartUnicorn
do you get easter break?

Yes, normally you get about a month-ish off in the spring. It seems like a long time but if you have coursework to work on during that time, or are doing some kind of work experience, it can go pretty quickly!

This is the gap between the end of second term and start of the exam term usually, so often this ends up being used at least partly for revision and/or finishing up coursework from term 2 which is due at the start of the exam term. Also some sectors run assessment centres, taster events, or shorter work experience opportunities (e.g. mini-pupillage) during this period.
Some courses have longer term lengths btw. Especially if you have field trips or placements (particularly nursing and medicine)
Typically end of sept to start of june.

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