NEW ‘accelerated’ degrees in Built Environment disciplines are proving a hit with students at the University of Salford.
The ‘accelerated degrees’ – unique in the UK construction and property sectors – launched in summer 2016 with around 80 students attracted to the new all-year calendar, which allows students to complete much quicker.
Accelerated degrees are available in quantity surveying, building surveying, property and real estate, construction project management and architectural design & technology. Students benefit from the same learning experience as on a traditional course but study right through the calendar year.
The quickest form of degree, ‘accelerated full-time’, packs all the learning opportunities of a traditional three year degree into two years, and for UK/EU students it’s also around £9,000 cheaper than other routes.
An ‘accelerated day release’ degree is studied for one day per week over three years and is ideally suited to students who are already working in construction.
With numbers for 2017/18 looking likely to grow by 25%, the university is delighted with the response of students and industry alike to the innovation.
Dr Gerard Wood, Associate Dean (Academic) in the QS Top 50-rated* School of Built Environment, said: “We are thrilled that the first cohorts have started their first summer of study.
“There is even more interest for next year as more school and college leavers and also older students appreciate the obvious benefits of our accelerated programmes.”
Current students cite ‘a quicker route to a job’ and the ‘lower fee burden’ as their top two reasons for choosing the accelerated route.
Sam Cunliffe, who only started the accelerated full-time BSc Building Surveying degree in September and is already studying second-year subjects, said: “This quicker route is particularly important in surveying because we’re looking at two years in practice before we can apply for our Chartered status.
“I thought it would be a great option for me and I’m really glad I’m doing it.”
Fellow surveying student Lorna Willis says the only difference is studying through the long summer holiday: “We’re adults now, so that really shouldn’t be an issue. When we start full time work we won’t get that time off, so this is a good stepping stone into the real world.”
Both admit that concentrating the full-time programme into two calendar years is hard work but say they still get breaks, such as three weeks at Easter, and Lorna still manages to fit in part-time work in an estate agency firm, and bring up a toddler!
“It’s certainly more work than I was used to at college but it’s manageable and I find my learning is fresher in my mind,” added 19-year-old Sam.
The students say they believe employers will look favourably on someone who has achieved a degree in two years and is very much work ready.
The new degree formats have been warmly welcomed by employers looking for greater flexibility, both in recruiting graduates and in upskilling their own people.
Employers who sponsor their people through their degrees are already finding the three year day release option really attractive since it costs the same as the traditional 5-year part-time degree but delivers graduates two years sooner.
Helen Lord from BAM Construction said: “I think the benefits of doing an accelerated degree means that students who are motivated and want to progress more quickly are able to do so. They can progress up to assistant site manager and site manager much more quickly.”