THE first group of students to complete a unique accelerated degree will graduate from the University of Salford this week.
‘Accelerated degrees’ – the only ones in the UK construction and property sectors – launched in Autumn 2016, with students attracted to the new all-year calendar, which allows them to complete much quicker. And now the first 20 have finished their studies and will attend a ceremony at the University’s Peel Park Campus on Thursday.
The quickest form of degree, ‘accelerated full-time’, packs all the learning opportunities of a traditional three-year degree into two years. At Salford 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.
Brodie McAdam, Director of Construction & Management at the School of the Built Environment, who was part of the team delivering the accelerated degree project, said: “Our suite of study modes gives a great range of options to suit many different candidates. Students such as those who graduate this week can sign up to our two year accelerated full time degree and get started on their careers one year earlier. But others may prefer our standard three year degree, whereas those who are already in industry might be attracted by a choice of either a 3 year accelerated or 5 year traditional day release study pattern. This flexibility is really prized by students and our industry partners.”
And the results have shown that accelerated degrees are not putting students at a disadvantage in terms of results, with nearly half of this cohort achieving a First-Class Degree.
Students on the course cite ‘a quicker route to a job’ and the ‘lower fee burden’ as their top two reasons for choosing the accelerated route. And the new degree formats have been warmly welcomed by employers looking for greater flexibility, both in recruiting graduates and in upskilling their own people.
Muhammad Hamzah is part of the first group to graduate this week and has already started his career in Chartered Building Surveying with Trident Building Consultancy. He said: “Initially when I was first applying to study at Salford, it was for a standard three-year degree, but as soon as the Accelerated Degree programme was offered, I had to take it up.
“The idea that you could gain the same amount of knowledge in less time was really appealing to me. In my eyes, I was still being given the opportunity to learn such valuable information, with the bonus of moving into the industry quicker. I’m very lucky that it’s worked out exactly that way for me, as I moved straight into a job from university.
“I was not too worried about the extra stress of the two-year degree. Personally, that was never an issue for me. I like to work, and I like to work quickly, so it takes a lot for me to feel like I could do with a break.
“I think people misunderstand the structure of your year when you’re on the Accelerated Degree Programme, as you do have time off over the year. You do have a break, it’s just not four months like everyone else, instead we have several weeks off at certain points of the year such as Christmas and Easter. We do also get a summer break, but I think it’s two or three weeks. All-in-all the two years aren’t as intense as people may think.
“I’m currently a Graduate Building Surveyor and I’m loving it. Obviously it’s the first job I’ve had since graduating, and already I’m looking at how I can progress further. About a month ago I started my training to become a Chartered Building Surveyor. This will take me two years and will broaden my career prospects.”
Professor Hisham Elkadi, Dean of the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford said: “The accelerated degrees have been a great success so far. They can work for students who want a quicker route to a career but also for business who want to upskill their staff. This is far more efficient for them as and means their key workers will be more productive more quickly. It’s a win-win all round.”