Higher education is provided at universities, colleges of education and advanced courses at polytechnics and other establishments of higher and further education. The oldest and best-known universities are in Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham. A university consists of a number of faculties (colleges): divinity, medicine, arts (philosophy), law, music, natural sciences, economics, engineering, agriculture, commerce and education.
University teaching in the UK differs greatly at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels from that in many other countries.
An undergraduate program consists of a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes which in total account for about 15 hours per week.
Following a particular program students take a series of lecture courses which may last one academic term or the whole year. Associated with each lecture course are seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes which illustrate the topics presented in the lectures.
Lectures are given to large groups of students (from 20 to 200). Seminars and tutorials are much smaller than lecture classes and in some departments can be on a one-to-one basis (one member of staff and one student).
Students prepare work in advance for seminars and tutorials. And this can take the form of researching a topic for discussion by writing essays or by solving problems.
Lectures, seminars and tutorials are all one hour in length, laboratory classes last two or three hours. Much emphasis is put on the private study nature of a UK degree. Each student has a tutor whom he can consult on any matter whether academic or personal.
The academic year is split into three terms. Formal teaching takes place in the first two terms which last for twenty four weeks in total. The third term is reserved for classes and examinations and lasts for six weeks.
After three years of study a student may proceed to a Bachelor's degree and later on to the degree of Master and Doctor.
The Bachelor's degree is given to students who pass examinations at the end of three or four years of study. Bachelor of Arts for history, philosophy, language and literature and sometimes some social studies, or Bachelor of Science or Commerce or Music. Bachelors' degrees are at two levels, Honours and Pass. It some cases the Honours degree is given .for intensive study and examination in one, two or perhaps three related subjects, while the Pass (or "General") degree may be somewhat broader. In other cases the Honours degree is given to the students who are more successful in their examinations.
The first post-graduate degree is that of Master, conferred for a thesis based-on at least one year's full-time work. Everywhere the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is given for a thesis which is an original contribution to knowledge.
The oldest Universities in Great Britain are Oxford and Cambridge Universities. They were founded in the two towns towards the end of the twelfth century. Because of their age, traditions, historical associations and reputation the prestige of Oxford and Cambridge Universities is very high, consequently, competition for admission is extremely keen.
Read, translate and learn the following words by heart: Glossary
college of education
Doctor of Philosophy
Master's degree Pass degree
a bachelor's degree
a doctor's degree
a master's degree
to confer a degree
to differ from smth./smb.
to put an emphasis on smth.
to graduate from
a graduate student
a post-graduate student
an undergraduate (student)
take a lecture course
3) Grammar: Conditional sentences (type I)
Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. They are used to express that the action in the main clause (without if) can only take place if a certain condition (in the clause with if) is fulfilled. There are three types of Conditional Sentences.