How courses work

You may want to go to University but are a little unsure about what studying at degree level involves. Kent offers a number of degree types to provide the right study experience for you.

Types of degree

  • Single honours: study one main subject, sometimes with the option of taking up to 25% of your degree in another subject.
  • Joint honours: study two subjects on a 50:50 basis. For example, French and Philosophy.
  • Major/minor honours: the majority of your study is in one subject and the minority in another. For example, Law with a language.
  • Honours degree with a foundation year: for students who do not have the qualifications, study skills or English language ability for direct entry.

Course duration

Full-time Part-time
Stage 1 First year Generally two years (but can be up to four years)
Stage 2 Second year Two further years
Stage 3 Third/final year Two further years

You have to pass Stage 1 to be allowed to go on to Stages 2 and 3. Typically, only marks achieved in Stages 2 and 3 count towards your final degree result.

Degrees with a year abroad, a work placement or a year in computing, usually involve an extra year on a full-time basis. A few degrees in the sciences and in engineering include a fourth year and are also usually on a full-time basis. The MArch degree in Architecture requires five years full-time study.

Academic credit

Honours programmes at Kent offer academic credits on a nationally agreed scale. You normally take 120 credits at increasingly higher levels at each of Stages 1, 2 and 3, totalling 360 credits for a full honours degree. Four-year degrees typically total 480 credits. Foundation degrees carry 240 credits, generally 120 credits per year for two full-time years.

Kent has adopted the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Each module at Kent carries an ECTS weighting, which is usually half of the credits allocated by the University. A 30-credit module at Kent has 15 ECTS credits, and a 15-credit module carries 7.5 ECTS credits.

If you have studied higher education programmes elsewhere, you can apply to transfer the credit to a relevant programme at Kent. Contact us for more details.

Modules and class hours

Programmes at Kent are divided into a number of modules (up to a maximum of eight) at each stage. Each module carries a credit rating of 15, 30 or occasionally 45 credits. Some degrees have compulsory modules while other subjects allow more choice, particularly at Stage 1. This gives you the opportunity to diversify and broaden your experience by studying topics outside your main subject area.

Class hours vary depending on which subject you take. For example, science-based degrees can include full-day practical laboratory sessions, while other degrees may only have one lecture and seminar per module each week and require you to spend more time in private study and reading.