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What are the easiest subjects to study at university?

A new study reveals which UK university courses have the heaviest and lightest workloads, and how this affects students' perceptions of value for money.

Andréanne Orsier Divisional Director, Higher Education 24/01/2020
Non-STEM subjects have a much smaller workload comparably

Study International News recently reported that Medicine, and subjects allied to Medicine, require the highest amount of study hours compared to any other UK university course. These subjects involve an average of 46 hours of study per week, which comprises of contact hours, independent study and placement/fieldwork.

Non-STEM subjects have a much smaller workload comparably. Overall, the subjects with the least amount of study hours per week are Mass Communications & Documentation (22 hours), Business & Administration Studies (25 hours), Linguistics (25 hours) and Classics (25 hours).

This report is based on research we conducted for the HEPI UK Engagement Survey 2019. The annual survey sets out to highlight student perceptions of value and the factors that impact these perceptions (such as class size, study hours and course preparedness).

The survey was based on responses collected from 14,072 members of our student panel, which is made up of 80,000 full-time undergraduate students in the UK.

The results highlighted a correlation between students that choose to study a course with a heavy workload and those that felt they had learned a lot. However, this was not the case for Languages students, who, despite reporting generally low levels of taught workload, had some of the highest learning gains.

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