How long is the university year in the UK?

(19 Posts)
QueenOfChocolate Sat 22-Apr-17 20:54:16

I'm curious-I've researched but can't seem to find how long the university year is in the UK

I'm in Ireland and am shocked at how short the uni year is here in Ireland shock

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sat 22-Apr-17 20:54:55

End September to mid June

RedHelenB Sat 22-Apr-17 21:13:23

Typically 38 weeks

hugoagogo Sat 22-Apr-17 21:17:42

39 weeks I think.

LIZS Sat 22-Apr-17 21:46:44

confused ds' is 30 weeks in total over 3 terms.

bevelino Sat 22-Apr-17 22:05:35

It depends as Oxbridge have 3, 8 week terms. York university also have very short terms.

QueenOfChocolate Sat 22-Apr-17 23:09:33

Thanks everyone smile

It's ridiculous how short the year is-here they start in early-mid September,have 6 weeks holidays at Christmas,2 or 3 weeks off for 'reading' and finish in mid May,and having had only a couple of lectures and tutorials each week,with lots of these randomly getting cancelled by the lecturer-it makes you wonder what's getting payed for hmm

OP’s posts: |


TheFairyCaravan Sat 22-Apr-17 23:15:37

DS2's course is 45 weeks a year. He gets a bit fed up when all his housemates leave in June and he's still got half a placement and 2 or 3 weeks of lectures to go.

He's back a couple of weeks before them, too.

booksandchoc Sat 22-Apr-17 23:19:05

Just finishing up uni in Scotland. Start early September, 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and finish start of may. It's 2 terms of 15 weeks but generally the last 3 weeks have study/exam weeks, unless you don't have any exams then really you are finishing the semester early.

chemenger Sun 23-Apr-17 08:20:28

Around 30 weeks. 38 weeks sounds more like school.

disappearingfish Sun 23-Apr-17 08:30:36

it makes you wonder what's getting payed for

First of all it's "paid".

And when they aren't lecturing they are prepping, assessing, giving feedback, giving pastoral care, doing admin, helping to recruit new students, running field trips, researching, writing papers, attending and presenting at conferences, keeping their own skills and knowledge up to date, and often trying to survive on short term or zero hours contracts.

University is not school. Students' learning should not be only and directly related to the amount of time that they are lectured to.

homebythesea Sun 23-Apr-17 08:40:53

Late sept to mid June for my DS however there is No teaching in the third term which starts early May, just exams after which he could come home so late May for him.

MaudGonneMad Sun 23-Apr-17 09:37:39

It's largely the same in Ireland as it is in the UK (Oxbridge aside): 2 x 12 weeks teaching terms, with varying additional reading weeks, exam periods and vacations.

Snurfle Sun 23-Apr-17 14:10:24

Depends on the university, the course and sometimes the year of study - the latter two are more important for degrees such as medicine, nursing and vet med, where the terms are generally longer and get longer as you progress.

I know people whose terms run from October to May, but also people whose terms run from August to July.

You can generally find term dates on the website of the particular university.

Needmoresleep Mon 24-Apr-17 11:17:21

DS' University has changed its approach, starting in September rather than October, having a week less at Christmas and then finishing in mid-June rather than mid-July. This gives two longer teaching terms and then an "exam" term with Easter to revise. No reading weeks either, or at least not on his degree. It seems sensible.

Bunnyjo Mon 24-Apr-17 23:26:57

it makes you wonder what's getting payed (sic) for

For most undergraduate degrees study begins in September and there are two semesters, with exams at the end of each - usually December/January and May/June - the end of semester two exams would usually signal the end of the academic year, resits notwithstanding. However, there are many undergraduate degrees where the content is stretched over 3 semesters - nursing, midwifery and medicine to name a few. Additionally, most postgraduate students work over 3 semesters - I am a postgraduate research student and I will not finish for the year until August.

I think it is also pertinent to point out that universities are not only teaching institutes - they are research institutes. Many lecturers are academics with their own research team. Thus, when there is little/no teaching taking place it is safe to assume there is more focus on research. As others have pointed out, for the staff who are more teaching based, marking, exam boards, resits and admissions (amongst other responsibilities) takes place when undergraduate students are on holiday.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 25-Apr-17 01:39:44

The big cost of a degree isn't the salary of the academic teaching the students. Contact time is relatively cheap. Of course, it'd be even cheaper if we didn't get paid for all of those open office hours and voluntary drop-in sessions and non-compulsory classes that those students who complain about contact time mysteriously never seem to attend ...

user7214743615 Tue 25-Apr-17 08:09:17

Many lecturers are academics with their own research team.

Almost all of those who teach (particularly at high tariff universities) are research active.

Academics work on average 50+ hours per week, right through the year, to keep up with the demands of teaching, research and administration.

BTW it is not usual for lectures to be "randomly cancelled". If I cancelled more than one class per year, I would almost certainly face severe disciplinary action. I have had to show up and teach with pneumonia as I couldn't find a substitute for a (specialist) class at last minute....

If a student claimed that lectures are being randomly cancelled, I would certainly wonder whether this was just an excuse for them not showing up to lectures.

PeterHouseMD Wed 26-Apr-17 07:52:22

If a student claimed that lectures are being randomly cancelled, I would certainly wonder whether this was just an excuse for them not showing up to lectures.

This is nearly always the case.

Students at this time of year are usually under a huge workload as projects and assignments are due in the coming weeks.

When parents call the university department to ask about cancelled classes etc., it's nearly always the case that the student has dropped out but hasn't informed his/her parents. The problem is that we cannot tell the parent as this would be a breach of data protection.

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