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Studying at university.

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If you to go to university, you must first pass examinations that most students take at the age of eighteen(called “A”levels). Most students take three “A” levels, three examinations in three different subjects. And they must do well in order to get a place at university because universities choose their students after interviews, and competition for places at university is fierce. If you get a place at university, the tuition is free, and some students also get a grant from their Local Education authority. The grants cover tuition fees and some of the living expenses. The amount depends on the parents income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all their expenses. Students at university are called undergraduates while they are studying for their first degree.

Most university courses last three years, some courses last four years. During this period students can say that they are doing history, or doing for a degree in history. When they finish the course and pass their examinations or finals, they receive a degree (the qualification when you complete a university course successfully).

When you complete your first degree, you are a graduate. Some students then go on to do a second course or degree. These students are then postgraduates. There are usually three possible degrees:

MA (Master of arts) – usually one year

Mphil (Master of philosophy) – usually two years

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) – at least three years

Most 18-19 year- olds in Britain are fairly independent people, and when the time come to pick a college they usually choose one far away from home as possible. Many students in northern and Scottish universities come from the south of England. It is very unusual for university students to live at home. Although parents may be a little sad to see this happen, they usually approve of the move, and see it necessary part of becoming an adult.

When they first arrive at college, first year university students are called ”freshers”. A freshers’ life can be exciting for the first week. During the first week, all the clubs and societies hold a freshers’ “fair” during which they try to persuade the new students to join their society. The freshers are told that it is important for them to come into contact with many activities during their time at university, but the choice can be a bit overwhelming.

Often freshers will live in a hall of Residence on or near the college campus, although they may move out into a rented room in their second or third year, or share a house with friends. On the day that lectures start, groups of freshers are often seen walking around huge campuses, a worried look on their faces. They also learn a new way of studying. There are regular seminars, at which they read their papers. The paper then discussed by the tutor and the rest of group. Once or twice a term students will have a tutorial and they see a tutor alone to discuss their work.


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