View Full Version : Crap university degrees

Ric Capucho
31st Mar 2004, 14:34
By what criteria would my fellow pruners classify a uni degree as being crap? Any interesting examples?


p.s. I've classified this thread as a '1' to save IFTB the effort, poor dove.

31st Mar 2004, 15:13
I guess any degree from this outfit are totally (XXX) and worthless.

Oops sorry about that, of course it was just my opinion that an outfit that sold degrees for $199 each was peddling in crap degrees. Anyway, do a google on "worthless university degrees" and then click on some of the ones popping up on the right (paid advertisers) and you'll be able to find them.


Ehm, Ozzy, would you mind just mentioning the kind of degree they're offering and not the outfit? Just to save Danny some thousand $ in legal fees. Thanks :rolleyes:

31st Mar 2004, 15:45
Any degree offered by an ex-polytechnic? I could mention one, but having seen the above modding won't. (Hint, look at where I am from and Google appropriately!! He he!!)

Any degree that doesn't have any use in the real world, could be many examples!

Boss Raptor
31st Mar 2004, 17:31
general comment has always been that sociology is a bit of a waste

...and I've personally had a number of Business Studies students on placement and been appauled by both the lack of substance to the university course and their general lack of any real skills

31st Mar 2004, 17:51
Sport and Leisure Management.

31st Mar 2004, 18:12
I can vouch for Business Studies being a load of old cobblers (some of my friends at uni did this very course) and it's no coincidence that you can abbreviate it to BS.

Economics - stating the bleeding obvious with the aid of a few acronyms, buzzwords and pretty graphs.

Social Studies - my girlfriend at uni did this. I wrote some of her essays and got pretty good marks considering I didn't read any of the books.

31st Mar 2004, 18:34
Any "Arts" degree....

Last thing you learn is "Would you like fries with that?"


High Wing Drifter
31st Mar 2004, 18:49
Media Studies!

I do believe that you can also do degrees in Klingon and Video Games. FFS, what is going on :mad:

Mind you I can talk, not having any qualification 'cept a CSEs, O Levels and a solitary A Level :uhoh:

School of life and all that crap :ok:

31st Mar 2004, 19:01
An 'Age' Degree (availible at Newman College of Higher Education) - What the hell do they study??

Viking Studies.... oh my :mad: god

Urdu Degree - is that even a word?

Turf Management - Anyone fancy a degree in grass selling? No not that grass...

Quarry Management

Packaging Design - Important but could you do it for 4 years??

Paper Technology - For people who get excited over A3

Meat Technology and Management - interesting :{

As someone whos off to uni next year, just a few of the exciting things i could pick from...

31st Mar 2004, 19:18
One of my sisters was working for a while on 'Women's Role in Contemporary Cinema'. It seemed to involve watching recent movies with women in them and then deconstructing the sub-text. I assume they wore PPE while doing that.

Then she moved on to studying Mayan. We have kind of lost touch over the years so that I don't know what she's working on now but I will get back with that if I find out; I am sure it will fit right in.

31st Mar 2004, 19:45
History of Art was the biggest dossers subject at our (notable redbrick) uni.

Like many arts degrees you didn't actually study for it. You just kept coming back for a few years and then you graduated.

I'm all for the govt's plans for two year degrees. Make the [email protected] do some work for a change........!!

Ric Capucho
31st Mar 2004, 21:11
IFTB is Dum,

Somehow you remind me of someone.


31st Mar 2004, 21:23
Turf management? Is that anything to turf accountant? (bookie)

31st Mar 2004, 21:27
Judging by how fast MBA's destroy airlines, I would have to say that an MBA while very cool looking on the wall, is Totally worthless


31st Mar 2004, 21:33
joesimonUrdu Degree - is that even a word?
a bit more than that, look here (http://www.online-languagetranslators.com/urdu.htm)

1st Apr 2004, 00:59
I'm starting to agree on the MBA.

One of my friends is currently working his way through an Ambra accredited MBA. Whilst the amount of work given to the students is rather immense a lot of it appears to be makework. Huge essays of 4-5000 words where x many references are demanded and the question giving so much latitude in fairly irrelevant subjects as to make the few parts of the reading (most are borderline unreadable even to someone used to an academic's style) which are useful pointless given the mass of crap.

On of my ex-girlfriends went off to do Middle Eastern studies with Arabic. I thought she was mad but no doubt it has become rather useful given the world situation in the last few years.

Some of the heavy sciences appear to be rather pointless at degree level given the number of people who graduate to become labrats.

1st Apr 2004, 05:51
Curry Studies- Univ of the Thames Valley, vormals Ealing poly, I believe.:ooh:

West Coast
1st Apr 2004, 06:45
Worthless to whom? While the industry is circling the drain those MBA's are living large on growing salaries in sharp contrast to the rest of us.

1st Apr 2004, 07:07
Turf management? Is that anything to turf accountant? (bookie)

Nope. It means the care of turf. People with turf management degrees are in high demand. Cricket clubs, football clubs, any sort of place where sport is played on grass need a good quality pitch. Folks with turf management degrees provide them.

As West Park notes, you may take the piss out of the title, but they get paid more than you.

I have not got a degree BTW (had too much fun in the sixth form!!).

1st Apr 2004, 07:10
My stepson did a Media degree at a certain uni in the south.

Having worked in film and television for a large part of my career, I calculated, that any competent media person could have done the entire degree course in about 3 months max.

Their two main projects, (to produce a 10 and 20 minute video over a period of almost a year), could have been carried out by a fairly junior director/writer/editor in the space of a week, with time to spare!

The big problem with these amateurs, is that they are prepared to work for peanuts. Witness most of the "yoof" programmes today, the quality is appalling.

1st Apr 2004, 07:10
Anything from the Fenland Poly :E

1st Apr 2004, 07:38
I can vouch for Business Studies being a load of old cobblers

Thank God I did Management then!! :D

Geography seems to be an utter waste of time. At least the two Geography students I knew at uni spent most of their time getting completely p*ssed, yet both got Firsts!

1st Apr 2004, 07:48
The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Windy Militant
1st Apr 2004, 09:38
Mr Hugmonster

Anything from the Fenland Poly

Didn't a certain certain RAF officer graduate from said institution.

are you saying that Sir Franks degree was rubbish! Mind you he had been an apprentice before going there, so he had an unfair advantage. :rolleyes: ;)

1st Apr 2004, 09:42
If yer want to find loads of useless degrees take a look at ucas (http://search.ucas.co.uk/cgi-bin/hsrun/search/search/search.hjx;start=search.HsKeywordSearch.run?y=2004) and pick them out :}

1st Apr 2004, 10:02
Gee you guys aer kinda upsetting me :(

I couldn't get a part-time degree in 'The Natural Sciences' near me so at the mo I'm doing an arts degree. When I embarked on it I feared it would be to wishy washy for me but to my surprise there's more than enough subjects on the curriculum that interest me while I avoid the more arty farty ones like Philosophy & Psychology like the plague. I have to vouch for the college, it is excellent, done very much more on the lines of a Scandanavian folkschool than a traditional university, most of whom have been hijacked & ruined to a large extent by the men with the big bucks they have the power to call the shots, not the educationalists. The university is cosy, the classes here are small, students have a great rapport with the teachers who take a great interest in them, we've great visiting lecturers.

Rather than have exams I'm marked on essays & attendance, so I can really put my mind to learning rather than cramming for exams, I find like many that you can enjoy the learning experience much more without the threat of exams hanging over you. This is a 'Liberal Arts' degree meaning I can do as many subjects as I like so I get to learn about loads of different wonderful areas, the ones I don't care for so much, I can ditch after a year. It also costs the same for me to do one subject or six subjects, the max I can do in a year due to timetable restrictions. I regard the degree I'm doing far from a waste of time much as I lament not being able to take my science degree.

I don't know how your guys estimate whether a degree is worth anything, is it merely by the earning power the students will have after it or by the quality of the education & how much they learn, surely the latter must be important too. Any degree should stand a person in good stead because it shows they have have the intelligence & commitment to stick at & attain this level of education etc etc regardless. Most employers would recognise & give brownie points for this I'd imagine.


1st Apr 2004, 10:28
Wino :ok:
But I must point out that having had the opportunity of following the course of studies on Airline Management of a friend, I came to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with it, but that they are probably taught to read the manuals backwards. No other explanation :(

1st Apr 2004, 10:56

What uni are you going to and what subjects? My daughter is debating doing Arabic as part of an Arts degree in UCD and I have mixed feelings about it. Having done various degrees in finance I am coming to think that an academic degree does a lot more for you.

1st Apr 2004, 11:05
I chose my degree (which should be obvious from my past posts) to be both intellectually interesting and to be likely to lead to a reasonably paying job at the end. Many years later, I have no regrets.

An alternative strategy is to try and do a joint honours / double major with one subject being for interest and the other for the pay packet. For example philosophy and computer science.

1st Apr 2004, 11:45
He who studies arts is becoming educated. He who reads sciences is being trained.

(BA in Russian from Bristol - that'd be the Uni not the Poly. Oh, yes.)


1st Apr 2004, 12:16
Taildragger 55

The university I go to is a small registered university called the 'Saor Ollscoil na hÉireann'. It is far cheaper than gonig to a traditional university because all the lecturers & administration staff give their time for free so it costs me the princely sum of €450 a year & far less than the UCD modular degree would cost, think that would only cover one module. I chose it cause I couldn't find any other suitable part-time science or arts degree in Dublin, (though UCD have since introduced geography which would be okay), & because this arts degree has a science & international studies bent if you wish, which appeals to me.

Now to be honest with you I was a bit sceptical with it to start, felt that my degree wouldn't be as recognised as from the traditional universities & to an extent it isn't in that if I was going for a job & was in competition with another candidate based on the degree from a traditional university, they would be chosen over me. However if my thesis is good enough I can get into a Masters in one of the more traditional universities from here, or do it here, but I'll probably chose the former for the recognition even though it'll cost me alot more. Also since its a degree in the 'Liberal Arts' its not the most vocational degree going, (what arts degree is) in other words its not a specialist degree so if you're looking up in getting trained in a particular area it may not be the one. It can be only done part time at night also.

The subjects I study are Politics (excellent teacher, this is a three year course, starting every year), Peace Studies (study modern history, conflict resolution etc), Environmental Studies (two year course), Maritime Studies and Local History. Last year I studied Heritage Studies but dropped it cause I wasn't too keen on it, & I'll be dropping Local History for next year. There hoping to bring Archaeology/Maritime Archaeology & Economics on board next year which I hope to take up instead, time table permitting

The subjects I passed over are Law, European Literature, Media Studies, Irish, Irish history, Philosophy & Psychology though there's no guarantee they'll all run next uear, sometimes they drop one like 'Classical Studies' was dropped last year, sometimes they don't. There are no foreign languages included in the degree & I've heard nothing about bringing them on stream, UCD's modular degree would be better for that should your daughter prefer to study at night (four nights a week that it, bang goes her social life) ;)

There are seminars in the university I attend after Easter, non students are welcome to attend to get a taste of what the university is like but as I ay it may not be the degree or institution for your daughter. The university is a mixture of all age groups & while we have a few terrific day trips put on each year it does not have the societies, social life, & the facilities of the larger institutions.



1st Apr 2004, 12:24
Looks very interesting, Coco, I have often wondered about it.
It might not be appropriate for my daughter (who I want to be earning lots of money as soon as possible and loaning ME money).
Only downside for me is that the mother in law lives a stones throw away from the campus:-(.

1st Apr 2004, 12:39
Well then Taildragger55

How about coming along & doing it yourself, you're more than welcome. ;)

Some not all students have done a degree before, others go on as I hope to eventually & study in the more traditional universities, some go to Doctorate level here but again as I say at that level I'd chose one of the more traditional unis for the recognition. I've no doubt the degree will stand to me, though I doubt in the big bucks area, but then again a degree in 'the natural sciences' probably wouldn't be raking in the dosh anyway though I'm sure this degree, any degree for that matter, would increase my earning power & opportunities. However I'm learning loads & I couldn't be getting a better, more enjoyable, interesting education, at the end of the day isn't that what real education should be about . :ok:


Send Clowns
1st Apr 2004, 12:42
Windy Militant - he's only jealous. I think rather a lot of the world's important scientists and engineers were educated there.

1st Apr 2004, 14:16
Goodonya Coco,

I agree with your choice. My daughter is too young at 19 to go there.
As regards going myself... there are not enough wild horses around to drag me back into being educated. I'm dumb and happy.
(Also afraid of the competition-an old friend left school at seventeen, went back to college part time 25 years later and got a First)

1st Apr 2004, 14:23

Being serious for a moment, I rate degrees on how useful they are likely to be in graduate life.

Therefore "Hairdressing Studies" or similar, whilst sounding cr*p will actually give the graduate the skills to set up in business & probably end up making more money than me!

"Media Studies" is another cheap shot from the anti-student brigade, despite the fact that it can lead to a useful career in the media, a large industry.

It's easy to go "f*cking students" (I don't 'cos I've been one!), it takes a bit of brain power to actually assess course for their usefulness.

a is dum
1st Apr 2004, 15:17
eal, :ok:

Thank you for defending the Media Studies degree.
Possibly gets it's iffy attached value from being Brighton based.

Send Clowns
1st Apr 2004, 15:56

Surely there must be some factor taking into account whether a degree is the right way to learn the material. Tourism, non-specialist media studies degrees, hairdressing degrees etc. are not poor because they do not teach anything useful, but because what they do teach can be learned more easily, correctly and usefully by a combination of a short course, or more than one and experience. Hence the comment from Luke above that media studies graduates take longer to make lower quality work than the professionals. That is why I would put forward a course in some academic subject above many vocational "degrees".

There is a separate argument as to whether the History of Art should be studied. However if it is to be to any depth, then the degree is the only reasonable option. Knowing many people in the field I would disagree with the contributor who said it was a lax subject. It may be at some places, but not all.

I would not disagree that people have much to learn to make a decent holiday package and sell it to a customer. It cannot, however, be learnt in a degree setting.

We need to start having respect for people's abilities and character, not the name put to the method of learning. Then people will look for the most appropriate training for the skills they need, rather than go for a degree because society says that is higher learning.

2nd Apr 2004, 16:55

I understand & respect your wishes not to return to education, I would have probably been the same if my education due to personal circumstances had not been cut short at school, because of it I appear to have veered the other way. Some people joke I'll be studying till retirement age & they may be right cause I've loads of courses still lined up I want to do. However I would like to clarify one point you made

(Also afraid of the competition-an old friend left school at seventeen, went back to college part time 25 years later and got a First)
This college makes a point of emphasising that learning there is not based on competition between students but co-operation, we often learn much from the other students as from the lecturers, it has a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere, the reason why the students enjoy it so much, many still study there & come on the trips long after they've finished their thesis's. The aim of the university is to encourage & promote the love of learning & make it accesssible to all, not for cut throat competition.

Hopefully anyway eventually I will be able to do my science degree without having to venture to Cork. The co-ordinator of the course got an awful slagging from me about all the natural part-time sciences courses being down there with "You do know that Dublin is the biggest city, don't you?" ;) In the meantime the 'Open University' are in continuous & torturous :rolleyes: consultations with the Irish government to try to get it to subsidise its courses in Ireland & make them more affordable, part-time courses never get the same subsidy levels for some reason or other. If it ever happens maybe I'll be able to pursue the science degree I always wanted :{


2nd Apr 2004, 18:41
Ok I'm gonna be accused of being quite snobbish and elitist and I know there will be lots of people who say I have a mate, who went to some two bob colege and he's a British Airways pilot, former doctor, barrister and engineer,etc. This is often quite true, it is the exception rather than the rule, and has more to do with the determination and intelligence of the individual then the the academic quality of the institution. Such a graduate will always have to work harder to prove himself in the workplace.

Lets be realistic, but nearly any degree in a traditional university is worth its salt. I'd be quite dissmissive of all non traditional academic subjets being awarded academic qualifications, Tourism studies, Hairdressing management, etc. These as has been stated on the thread valuable vocational training courses, but are arguably not necessarily good academic qualifications.

I'm a LL.B(hons) law graduate from a traditional and well established university. This is a good academic course, but is not geared, rightly so, to the world of practice. I rarely directly apply the knowledge learned in uni to work (as a solicitor), however the personal academic development I underwent at uni. most certainly does stand to me, not just in work, but life in general.

Whilst I am most happy with the road I took. The quite surprising dismissive attitude of some on this board towards arts graduates, would seem to be overly simplifying the matter. Just because they never seemed to have lectures and never seemed to have to do as much work as the rest, and whilst it cannot be said that all arts graduates are extraordinary intellects, these said arts graduates always seem to infiltrate the professional classes and upper echelons of, and in particular the law, accountancy, civil service, management, entrepreneurialship, politics, academia, etc, etc. Either arts graduates are an extremely lucky lot, or they expanded the not so little brains of theirs in university.

Education for education sake as opposed to training is not to be discouraged or looked down upon. It will always, always stand to you. A 18yr old could certainly do worse then getting a good honours arts degree whilst pondering and reflecting a chosen career path.

2nd Apr 2004, 19:18
Oh well then that must mean my Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) qualification in 'Travel & Tourism' was a waste of time, thanks for putting me in the right picture about it. :rolleyes:

Mind you I admit an IATA one in hindsight would have been far more practical. Still I'm sure it helped me get my foot in the door for my rail & airline interviews/jobs & will continue to stand me in good stead due to my ongoing interest & desire to work in this area. :p


2nd Apr 2004, 19:23
As one who recruited large numbers of graduates over many years, with pretty good results, I'd say the purpose of a University education is to teach you to think, to learn, and to use the little grey cells. "Vocational" degrees seem rapidly to become obsolete unless you're working at the leading edge of that vocation.

My first degree (in 1966) was in modern languages (useful when on business trips to foreign parts, but that's a fringe benefit). It taught me to be analytical, which is what I spent most of my working life doing.

The folks with "relevant" degrees knew a little bit more than me about what mattered when we started, but I soon learned the techie stuff I needed. I'd go for an analytical degree (arts or science, doesn't matter) every time.

2nd Apr 2004, 19:33
I was more getting at the acedmic education vis-a-vis training/vocational education argument. That traditional arts and humanities disciplines are not worthwhile or are a waste.

I did not in anyway mean to infer that such vocational qualifications are not worthwhile, or indeed very valuable in pursuing a chosen career path, etc.

The thesis of my argument was that, you cannot knock a traditional degree, in almost any discipline from an established university. Even if such educational achievment does not directly seem to be relevant to the workplace enviroment.

a is dum
2nd Apr 2004, 19:57
Probably not a PC question to ask, but can my adopted friend Ric Caputchio give an opinion in the thread he started. OR is this another, see how many will "bite the bait" threads??

Well, Mr Ric ? ""Any interesting examples?""

Constable Clipcock
2nd Apr 2004, 20:01
Criminal Justice is another useless one. Zero application outside of the law enforcement field, and not even very useful there. Depending on the agency with which one receives his initial training, a REAL police academy course can be done in the span of several months, after which the REAL training begins. The thought of dragging the same fundamental subject matter out over a span of four years is utterly ludicrous.

And no, for the record, I was not a CJ major! I did a double-major in biology and history, with a minor in mathematics. The US Army paid for most of it.

Ric Capucho
2nd Apr 2004, 21:07
You're welcome to try to bait me, Mr Dummy, once yer bollocks finally descend.

Anyways, is there a decent Uni in Wales? We all know every Uni in Scotland is dead posh, if a tad spartan, and probably dead good, after all, them royal halfwits go there to be edumacated, and something sticks, but what about Wales?

Anywhere? In Wales? Decent? Half? What?


a is dum
2nd Apr 2004, 21:14
You're welcome to try to bait me, Mr Dummy, once yer bollocks finally descend.

Anyways, is there a decent Uni in Wales? We all know every Uni in Scotland is dead posh, if a tad spartan, and probably dead good, after all, them royal halfwits go there to be edumacated, and something sticks, but what about Wales?

Anywhere? In Wales? Decent? Half? What?


Would you care to explain, please?? :rolleyes:

2nd Apr 2004, 23:27
Before I was accepted by Bristol I had an inty at Lampeter - a tiny college of the Uni of Welsh Wales. Beautiful place and friendly staff. Also, Uni Cymru is highly regarded and cost of living is (relatively) low. Mind you, with my BA in Russian I never truly tire of hearing, "Wow! You speak Russian? You must be REALLY clever!"

Well, quite, my dear!


3rd Apr 2004, 11:21
I wish I'd got a degree from this place...


Want fries with your MA ?:)

Han Special
3rd Apr 2004, 14:54
Either do something that interests you,that way it will be easier to get the work done,or find out which ones generate the most cash when you graduate.Simple really.Accountancy,law, computer studies,IT,civil engineering,something like that.

3rd Apr 2004, 17:09
Well I'm just back from a trip of 'Dublin Port' with my uni so I'm on a high. Got a beautiful bag of goodies too :D

My 'Maritime Studies' teacher is an ex rotor & fixed wing commercial pilot, flew Lancaster bombers during some war or other, used to fly alot from Singapore to Perth commercially. I suggested today is it possible the uni could put on 'Aviation Studies', after all they revived 'Maritime Studies' at my request. :ok:

Don't know does 'Aviation Studies' (or would 'Transport Studies' sound better ;) ) eh fit in exactly with the ethos of the uni but there's no harm in plugging away. A trip of the behind the scenes working of Dublin airport would be the icing on the cake. Here's hoping! :D


3rd Apr 2004, 18:13
Han Special et al,

"Either do something that interests you,that way it will be easier to get the work done,or find out which ones generate the most cash when you graduate.Simple really.Accountancy,law, computer studies,IT,civil engineering,something like that."

Accountancy - there aren't any UK degrees in accountancy that I know of and I shouldn't want to meet anyone who signed up for one - and I trained ACCA before I went to Uni. Business studies or a PPE is a good way into a/c but most of the City ACAs I know read arts or other subjects they were interested in.

Law - great if you want to be a lawyer. I've never interviewed anyone for a highly paid position who had a law degree (not in the City, Euroland ot the US at least). Also, not all legal types make lots of moolah.

Computer studies - IT degrees notoriously attract the MOST boring students. Not exclusively - it's not exactly a prerequisite - but in my 10 yrs of experience, unless you're REALLY into IT - stay away.

So, it's simple really - as Han Special says - pick something you're interested in.

Further, for the budding Greenspans reading this thread, if you want to get into the City then try to get into the Top 10 - there IS a list within most US banks in toon. Both the US banks I worked with used these chaps:

London - both

In my time in Investment Banking in the US, City and Euro I was never presented with a CV from a candidate with a degree from a uni not on the list and these were grad trainees who would start on c. 30K at c. 22 yrs with pleasant increases and bonuses once they understood Alex and Trixie Trader.

Sorry if this seems nasty, unfair, divisive etc but that's my experience. Also, as I understand it, law firms (esp. p.ships for the bar pupils) and the man. consultancy firms are even more selective.

Yours aye,


Send Clowns
3rd Apr 2004, 19:27
Coco - Your qualification is probably very useful. I assume it was not a degree though, and did not contain the type of training a (proper) degree does, towards self development and ability to make original research. I suspect you learnt all that on the jobs that you were given because of the knowledge you had from your course. That entirely fits with my suggestion of practical training supported by courses as best for that area of learning, rather than a degree. Your current degree also fits my comment on what degrees should be.

3rd Apr 2004, 19:45
Yes Send Clowns

It was just a one year certificate course & to be honest with you I found it a bit impractical myself & boring since I was weaned on this area due to my fathers career but I got it for nothin so I can't complain. I've no doubt it did help me get the offers of jobs with both the rail & airlines, infact the interviewers for the latter said it did, showed I had enough of interest in the area to obtain a professional qualification in it though I didn't accept the offer with the airline for reasons that I've stated elsewhere.

Thank you for the nice comment you made about the present degree that I'm doing. It is not every college that would revive a course at the bequest of one student, my ex pilot teacher even listened to my request about putting 'Aviation Studies' on politely today but whether anything will come of it who knows. I doubt he was surprised, when he's not talking about his sea bearing days I'm always busy trying to pull information about his aviation exploits out of him. Think he's used to it by now, I even managed to bring aviation folklore (true stuff that is) into the 'Heritage Studies' folklore essay I submitted last year & tactfully avoided any folklore about leprecauns & fairies :yuk: It's no wonder I gave the subject up!


3rd Apr 2004, 20:33
Abertay University, used to be a pub as I recall:E


3rd Apr 2004, 23:11
PSP - spot on. There's a lot of self-justification when it comes to "what degree to read for". I believe there are Accountancy degrees now (I saw one advertised at Heriot-Watt a few years ago), but I never hired anyone with one (and I hired a LOT over the years).

The sad truth is as you tell it (and as I did on the previous page).

In Germany, now, it's different. There I went after Diplom-Betriebswirt, or those with EuWi add-ons. But that's an entirely different system.

Gingerbread Man
4th Apr 2004, 17:21
How about Applied Golf Management Studies? I'm honestly not making it up :eek:

Send Clowns
4th Apr 2004, 18:42
Anything that says "applied" should not be a degree! A degree teaches theory and develops the intellectual capacity and intellectual independence. Application is for vocational courses :rolleyes: Why can't we just accept that vocational courses are a respectable use of time, without calling them something they are not?

4th Apr 2004, 19:14
Some interesting and for the most part, thoughtful, replies on this thread.

My own view is that whilst I have a bias towards subjects with a practical application, science or engineering for example, I can see the relevence in purely academic subjects such as philosophy, politics etc. What I cannot understand is the upgrading of equally important, but NON ACADEMIC subjects such as hairdressing to degree level. If, as the current UK government wishes, some 50% of school leavers will go on to university, the available job market will not be able to fulfill the expectations of these 'graduates' who will end up serving the proverbial fries in a fast food chain.

I am also horrified by the dumbing down of all subjects. And before the screams of horror issue forth, if this is not the case why does my professional institution ( Institution of Mechanical Engineers) now require an MSc instead of a BSc for corporate membership and a CEng?

30 years ago my lowly BSc (from a Polytech as well!) (Correction: it was The Polytech, the original one) gave me excemption from the acedemic requirements of membership.

Incidentally, I believe the demise of the traditional engineering apprentiship has done irreparable damage to the engineering industry. Many excellent engineers( and I use the word advisedly) have been produced via this route and it can be argued that it provides a more useful background to engineering, though to achieve Chartered status this way probably requires more hard work and certainly takes longer.


Boss Raptor
4th Apr 2004, 19:29
Maritime Studies = ship spotting

Aviation Studies = plane spotting :ok:

4th Apr 2004, 20:04
Boss Raptor are you trying to annoy me mate? LOL


4th Apr 2004, 23:41
Question; what is an 'arts' degree? :confused:

5th Apr 2004, 00:07
In the UK the 'sciences' would, for example, include, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering in just about all its forms, (mechanical, electrical etc), geography, medicine etc. etc. in other words subjects that have a defined factual basis whereas the 'arts' would include English language, history, philosphy, history of art, sociology and so on. That's a bit broad brush Falps, but gives you a fair idea.

5th Apr 2004, 00:10
BE, thank you kindly.
Have vaguely wondered about that for at least 20 years without ever bothering to ask.
Another of life's small mysteries solved. ;)

5th Apr 2004, 02:15
"what's an 'arts degree?" Close to a 'eads degree.


5th Apr 2004, 03:20

Well i'm in the 2nd yr of that mechanical engineering MEng course at nottingham.

Dumming down? Hard to tell. I took a sneaky peak at the last 5 years of graduate results and without exception EXACTLY 60% of people got at least a 2:1 every year.

In other words the course is marked competitively rather than against a set standard.

So whether the course is being dummed down depends on the quality of it's intake here, and of course the drop out rate.

Personally i find the course MUCH harder than A-levels. And seeing as i had to teach myself maths and physics due to dreadful teachers i think that's saying something.

I'm surrounded by 300 "A grade" students and i know that i have to beat 40% of them to stand a chance of a good graduate job. I think that's hard enough!


Send Clowns
5th Apr 2004, 09:10
To confuse it all, BE & Flaps, my BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree was in Natural Sciences, specifically Geology and Physics.

5th Apr 2004, 13:16
Oh My Gawd Send Clowns!!!

You majored in Geology, have you any idea how much I'm into geology mate. I'll even put up with your partiality for rats :yuk:

In Ireland BTW 'Geography' is considered an Arts subject not a Science one & presently I'm studying & majoring in 'Environmental Studies' taught by a scientist for my Arts degree. The difference between Environmental Studies & Environmental Science is that I wouldn't get the field work & lab work necessary for it to be called a science :{ :{

Just to confuse things even further! :D


Ric Capucho
5th Apr 2004, 13:32
Are any of these ex-Polys any cop? Which ones?


5th Apr 2004, 16:57

With respect to engineering qualifications I think I said, "why does my professional institution ( Institution of Mechanical Engineers) now require an MSc instead of a BSc for corporate membership and a CEng?" If the entry requirement to the IMechE for corporate membership is now higher than 30 years ago, one must assume that the Institution feels that to attain the same level of knowledge now requires a higher class of degree. Hence "dumbing down".

I did not say it would be easy, particularly as you have (presumably) taken A levels recently. I believe they are easier now so you would have started at a lower base. As an example, I believe that Mathematics is now a single A level, whereas at one time it was two separate subjects, Pure Maths and Applied Maths. Thus a single subject is unlikely to cover the same amount of subject matter.

Best of luck with your degree !


5th Apr 2004, 17:22
It's not just arts and sciences, you've then got the social sciences (sociology, politics etc.). Go to Cambridge and get an arts degree in natural sciences, specialising in Physics. I can see how it's confusing. If you work in academia, you get to hear what in your field is a great, good, or indifferent degree. I do sympathise with employers though. How are they supposed to keep up? There are hugely varying standards in teaching, material covered, standards of marking, and amount of work needing to be submitted per semester. Despite some opinions indicating redbrick good, poly bad, this is also not necessarily the case.

So here's some talking points. Would degrees be improved if the number and the quality if staff improved? Should universities hire people from industry with no academic background to widen their teaching? How do you do it when the starting salary is £22K a year post PhD (post doc research positions even lower)? And although I appreciate it must be difficult, are employers not making a big enough effort in keeping up to date on developments in the sector?

And who would you hire:

Student A: 1st/2:1 in Geography and Sociology from a university you have heard has a good reputation.
Student B: 2:2 in the same subject but with relevant experience they got during holiday time. Speaks 2 languages. But from a university that you don't know much about.

Incidentally, I'm not sure that the problem is the university bit - I have to spend most of the first year getting students up to degree standard. My guess is that this indicates a problem with A Level/Highers or admissions.

5th Apr 2004, 17:28

Who would I hire?

It would depend entirely on the interview! The pieces of paper are merely a means to GET an interview, after that it is how the individual presents themselves.


5th Apr 2004, 17:32
Although in a perfect world everyone would be interviewed, nobody has the time to do that and some applications get binned straight away. My question was, who would be most likely to get through the door?

5th Apr 2004, 17:55

Point noted. But............you said who would you hire.

I agree that all aplicants cannot be interviewed and a fair amount of selection is required to get to a short list, who would be interviewed. Just assumed that the examples were those selected for same.

Based solely on paper info would consider other criteria such as presentation, spelling (amazing how many spelling mistakes in CVs), additional info supplied, are the languages relevent to the post, etc.

Probably go for Student B.

But then I graduated from a Poly..........


5th Apr 2004, 18:44
A few years ago I had the bad luck to be a job seeker in the middle of a major downturn, and facing our local rules on hiring (affirmative action). At one job interview the lady from the personnel agency said something about "You're a very bright person, why did you waste your time doing an engineering degree? Why didn't you do something useful instead?"

5th Apr 2004, 20:58
I'm in (well, rapidly approaching the end of) a degree in "Aviation Technology and Management" at a certain university (look at my location and take a guess, you've a 50:50 chance of getting it) and i have to say that if a little thought was put into it, it may be a good degree. as it is, it seems thrown together and a money making exercise, especially its sister course "Av. Tech. w/ Pilot Studies" where undergraduates can get their PPL (paid for by themselves) to count for nearly 1/3rd of their degree, whilst us on management (many of whom already have PPLs, or substansial hours towards it) have to make up the credits through academic work etc etc, whilst others are off flying. ah well, whoever said life was fair is a lying SOB.

I'd much rather do engineering, but i think i'd struggle (i pretty much failed my A-Levels, got a D and an E in maths and physics respectively)


Flying Lawyer
5th Apr 2004, 21:29
Crap university degrees?
Sadly, that description applies to a significant proportion of ‘Degrees’ now awarded in this country. The days when having a Degree really meant something are long gone. Now, without knowing which educational establishment awarded it, and the subject studied, a Degree means very little if anything. Irreparable damage has been done by successive governments who’ve been concerned to make their employment figures and educational statistics look good at the expense of our education system.
Send Clowns says a degree course ”teaches theory and develops intellectual capacity and intellectual independence.” That’s what it should do, but it’s not what many so-called ‘degree courses’ do these days?
I'm often asked by youngsters who want to become barristers whether they should read Law or another subject at university. The short answer is it doesn't matter, provided they go to a good university and get a 2:1 or above - not the sort of establishment which gives degrees away like confetti. Training the brain to full-stretch intellectual capacity is what matters, not the subject.
From time to time, I read posts of the 'I had one of these clever graduates training with me. Clever? He knew nothing' type. They miss the point of a degree. It's not a vocational course.

SC asks “Why can't we just accept that vocational courses are a respectable use of time, without calling them something they are not?”
Why indeed? Because successive governments have been anxious to make the figures for school-leavers going on to ‘university’ education look good. The current government has set itself the ridiculous target of 50% of school-leavers going on to university when 50% of school-leavers simply haven’t got the ability to be educated to what, by any reasonable standards, is genuinely Degree level. A large number embark upon so-called ‘Degree’ courses (which are actually vocational courses) at so-called ‘universities’ having achieved 2 E grades at A-level. A high percentage drop out but those who don’t emerge three years later with an Honours ‘Degree’ – often a 2:1. :rolleyes:
Meanwhile the school-leaver with 4 A-starred A-levels goes to a good university and also leaves, three years later, with a 2:1. How does that happen? Is the 2 E-levels student an impressive late-developer? Does the 4 A student suddenly and mysteriously burn out? Or is the quality of teaching at the good universities so bad, and the quality at the re-named universities so good, that the graduates end up with the trained to the same intellectual capacity?
As there's no national standard, the only option is to look more closely which establishment awarded the degree, and for what subject.

Smeagol can’t understand “the upgrading of equally important, but NON ACADEMIC subjects such as hairdressing to degree level.” Nor can I – but for the explanation I’ve offered above - it's ridiculous. What was wrong with the HNC and HND?

The worst consequence of the government’s absurd policy is that so much of the education budget is wasted on pointless 'degree' courses and upgrading respectable Polytechs to 'university' status that bright youngsters from poor backgrounds can’t afford to go to university. Thirty years ago, our tuition fees were paid and we had grants. For some reason beyond my comprehension, the government claims the present system is an inprovement. :rolleyes:

5th Apr 2004, 23:35
Both my Brother and Sister have degrees in history from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European studies at London University.

The former proves he has a brain.
The later proves that she doesn't.

Any degree can be dodgy or not depending on the person.

6th Apr 2004, 02:03
"The History Of Modern Art" - Glasgow School Of Art

The title says it all really......

Pay your own fees tw:mad: t dont use my taxes

6th Apr 2004, 02:27
The only reason we have so many universities in the first place is due to the need to train administrators and other necessary people for the Empire. Most are a complete joke nowaddays.

I couldn't personally see what was wrong with the old Polytechnics, arguing that it is more PC to give all of the higher institutions equality is rediculous when all it does is make the actual status of a degree more confusing. What do you suppose requires the most work; A 2:1 in media studies from Humberside ex-poly or a 3rd in Electrical Engineering from a redbrick University? I doubt there's any comparison....