Undergraduate degree programmes normally last three years, although some science, engineering and modern language degree programmes will be of four years' duration.
Taught Master's degree programmes usually last one year while research degrees take a minimum of two years for the MPhil and normally three years for the PhD.
University teaching in Britain is very different at both undergraduate and graduate levels from that of many overseas countries.
An undergraduate degree programme consists of a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials and, in science and engineering subjects, laboratory classes, which in total account for about 15 hours per week. Arts students may find that their official contact with teachers is less than this average, while science and engineering students may expect to be timetabled for up to 20 hours per week. In most cases, students will take a series of lecture courses which run in parallel at fixed times each week, and may last for one or two academic terms. Associated with each lecture course are seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes which draw upon, analyse, illustrate or amplify the topics presented in the lectures.
Lecture classes can vary in size from 20 to 200 students, though there will be fewer large lecture classes after the first year, when students have more options available. Seminars and tutorials are much smaller than lecture classes. UCL is proud of its tradition of carrying out teaching in small groups in this way. Students are normally expected to prepare work in advance for seminars and tutorials and this can take the form of researching and presenting a topic for discussion, writing essays or solving problems. Usually lectures, seminars and tutorials are one hour in length, while laboratory classes last two or three hours.
In addition to these timetabled activities much emphasis is placed on private study and students are expected to spend at least as much time studying by themselves as being taught.
Each student has a tutor who can be consulted on any matter, whether academic or personal. Although the tutor can help, motivation for study is expected to come from the individual student.
Taught Master's degree programmes, as the name implies, involve teaching which is organised in a similar way to undergraduate degree programmes, but at a higher level. Most Master's programmes also involve the presentation by the student of a dissertation based on an individual project. Research degrees, although sometimes involving course work, are awarded for the presentation of a major thesis based on an individual research project carried out at UCL under the supervision of a member of the College's academic staff.
Page last modified on 22 may 06 14:04