Universities favour 'pick and mix' courses

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UNIVERSITIES and colleges are moving towards 'pick and mix' and combined courses, many geared towards specific careers, according to this year's official listing of courses on offer to prospective students next year, writes Colin Hughes.

University and College Entrance, published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), is a 1,200-page volume which for the first time lists every higher education course.

The introduction to the guide says most students no longer study single subjects in the traditional way, but combine courses with a particular speciality, civil engineering or law for example, with another subject that improves their prospect of employment, such as business studies, a European language, or computing.

As well as those combined degrees, higher education institutions are increasingly offering modular courses, on which students put their own degree together by choosing from a menu of course units.

Previously, courses at universities and polytechnics were listed in separate publications produced by the Universities Central Council on Admissions (Ucca) and the Polytechnic Central Admissions System (Pcas). Now that polytechnics have been granted university status, the two bodies have been amalgamated to create Ucas.

Ucas has this year compiled a single volume which lists not only all first degree courses, but also Higher National Diplomas and Diplomas of Higher Education.

This year's publication has been sponsored by the Independent and Letts Study Guides, enabling Ucas to hold the cover price down to pounds 10, compared with pounds 27.95 for two separate guides last year.

Ucas order form, page 24