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What are the differences between American and British colleges/universities?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2009.12  

Asked at 2009.12.22 01:56:28
I'm in high school in America right now and I recently started researching out-of-country universities, and I'm not sure what the differences are between American and UK universities.
I mean things like what are classes like? How is your schedule? Can you work, and if you can, what kind of jobs? And also, do you have to have a major, can you switch it, and are there electives and the like in the UK? Any information would help, thanks :)
answer emanwelgwent  Answered at 2009.12.22 01:56:28
It depends which university you go to, and what subject you do. Many universities rely mostly on lectures and seminars rather than classes. A tiny number of top universities use the tutorial system (2-3 students per tutor, typically between 2 and 4 tutorials every fortnight).

Schedule also depends on university, but much more seems to be left to students in the UK compared to the US. Largely time management is up to you.

Most universities don't mind people working while they study, but you get poor marks, they'll want you to quit working. UK student visas can allow limited part time non-proffessional work.

UK Universities don't have the major/minor liberal arts type system. You apply to study a subject, and that's what you study.
Opportunities to change are very limited, and may involving taking an extra year to catch up. There may be electives within the subject you choose (depends, obviously) and there's a lot of extra curricular stuff going in and around universities.

Assessment is generally different at UK universities - assessment is formal - by coursework or public examination. This means you're less likely to be assessed on a rolling basis, and things are more likely to depend on a few major pieces of work during the course and big exams at the end of each year, or even just at the end of the course.
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