Data reveals disparity between the number of ‘good degrees’ awarded in subject departments

Data for degrees from the academic year 2008/9 has shown vast inconsistency across departments, Photo: Lily Eastwood

Data for degrees from the academic year 2008/9 has shown vast inconsistency across departments, Photo: Lily Eastwood

Concern has been raised by academics and University officials after data surveying degree classification in 2008/9 showed inconsistency between some academic departments.

The information, which was put together by the Standing Committee on Assessment and presented to University Senate, illustrated that students doing English are almost eight times more likely to be awarded a First than those doing Management. Similarly, while 100 per cent of music students are awarded a 2:1 or higher, only 42 per cent of those studying Electronics achieve above a Third.

This is in comparison to the departmental average for all 1994 and Russell group universities, where 65 per cent of Electronics degrees are of “good class” standard – defined by the report as a first or a high 2:1 – and just 12 per cent are awarded a Third or lower.

The data also shows a 2.8 per cent point decrease in Firsts or high 2:1s being awarded overall across the University, falling from 74.1 per cent in 2006/7 to 71.3 per cent in 2008/9.

There are concerns that such figures will serve to devalue degrees from departments such as Politics, where only 2 per cent of students achieve a Third or fail, or History, where over 90% of students are awarded a first or a 2:1, in comparison to physics where only 52% are achieving a similarly high class degree. It also raises questions on the varying standards of degrees between departments such as English and Electronics.

The survey revealed that over the last three years, the gaps between certain academic departments have continued to widen, particularly between arts based subjects and those with more of a basis in science. Those awarding a higher than average percentage of higher class degrees have tended to see increases in “good degrees”, whereas those awarding a lower than average percentage of “good degrees” over the last few years have tended to see decreases, reinforcing rather than diminishing the variability of degree classification across the institution. This has been termed the ‘York effect’ in the report.

The departments that show the most deterioration include Biology, which has shown a significant three year drop falling from 80 per cent in 2006/7 to 58 per cent in 2008/9, and Physics, which has seen a steady decrease over the three year stage.

“It is really worrying to be shown statistics like this and doesn’t really inspire much confidence in the University.”

First-year Management student
Nathan Buss

Adversely, Music has shown an increase of over 25 per cent in the number of good degrees awarded during the same period.

Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, who was present at the Senate meeting, commented: “The University of York, like most good universities, has extensive quality assurance procedures in place to ensure the quality of teaching as well as ensuring degrees challenge students. However, the variation in degree classification in departments at York does raise some concerns.”

It has also been highlighted that the data is not completely comprehensive, with History and History of Art being combined under one category, and deparments such as Physics being inclusive of a variety of different branches of the subject. The forms of assessment for arts and sciences also vary radically, with English having no exams, making it difficult to draw completely accurate comparisons between the departments.

Nathan Buss, a first-year Management student, expressed his concerns over the percentages revealed. “It is a bit worrying to be shown statistics like this, and doesn’t really inspire much confidence in the University. It shows there are problems that need to be addressed to make sure that our degrees don’t suffer in any way.”

The data places York 11th in the country for the percentage of good degrees awarded, with 71.4 per cent. This is behind universities such as Exeter, which has a percentage of 77.6 and Sussex, which has 76.4 per cent. The data also placed York third in a table of universities with a pattern of decrease in good degrees over the past three years, falling only just behind Sussex and Reading. This comes after a drop in York’s overall performance in The Times University league table last year.

However, despite the fluctuation between departments, York still remains just above the 1994 and Russell Group degree average.

Indeed, not all students are worried, with a second-year Music student stating: “Even though some departments have clearly been doing quite badly, York is still above the average and so I’m not too concerned. The results for music are a testament to how amazing the department is, and shows exactly why I chose to come to York.”

The survey also revealed the University of York course completion rates, which have been viewed much more positively. The data shows departments such as Economics and English have rates as high as 99 per cent, and Music has a 100 per cent of students completing the three year course. The department with the lowest completion rate is the Modern Languages department who have 25 per of students dropping out.

Charlie Leyland, YUSU Academic Affairs Officer, commented in response to the results: “My biggest concern is the consistent variation of ‘good degrees’ being awarded by different departments… Although the University have agreed to set up a working group to look into these matters more deeply, we may never understand the whole issue.”

41 comments

  1. From what I understand, in Politics to get a 2.1 you only need 7 modules out of 12 to be of 2.1 standard to get a 2.1.

    In Chemistry for example, you need all modules to be off 2.1 standard to get a 2.1.

    In my opinion, it is therefore easier to get a 2.1 in Politics than in Chemistry, as in effect you have 5 modules in which to try to balance your grade. This is why this story occurs year on year.

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  2. matt your wrong in chemistry you need an average of over 60% to get a 2:1 it doesn’t matter how you get the average as long as you average over 60%. Christ how you were elected board of studies rep really eludes me you don’t even know how your own degree is assessed.

    Yeah arts do tend to get higher class degrees. however with a science degree a degree of a lower standing will get you into a very good job. Employers know that science degrees are a lot harder and not that mean people do them so they place a higher value on people who have obtained these degrees.

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  3. Of course I know how my own degree is assessed. I meant that if you got 7 modules at 2.1 in Chemistry, and then say five modules at a lower grade, you would not get a 2.1. To get that 2.1, you would need all 12 modules at 2.1 standard. (Assuming the marks were all at 60%).

    I should have written: “In Chemistry for example, you need all modules to average at 2.1 standard to get a 2.1.” and I apologise for this error.

    Whereas, in Politics, you only require the 7 modules, and the remaining 5 modules do not count towards the degree. (I assume, but am not 100% certain, that in Politics they add your 7 best scores and divide by 7 to get your degree grade?)

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  4. Surely, Matt Bailey, Chemistry is a matter of getting it right and wrong? Not to sound arts-biased, but Politics requires quite a bit of skill in writing, and being able to express yourself. It’s ridiculous to say its easier because it requires a different skills set…

    And your assumption is wrong. They don’t add your 7 best scores, and divide by 7. They add all 12 scores, and divide by 12. Its called producing an average.

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  5. I don’t really consider this data to be disturbing. When it comes to science, a variation in the final results is to be expected. In my subject, computer science, you can get any score between 0-100% in your exams. In subjects such as politics, as far as I understand, there is much lower variation, because it is nearly impossible to get a score of over 80% in any exam or essay, but similarly, it is rare to get below 50%.

    On the other hand, if literally everyone receives a 2:1 or above in a department, I think that this department should try to use a bell curve to standardise the results. After all, degree classes are meaningless if they are not used to compare how students perform in relation to each other.

    Finally, the fact that Exeter may have a higher percentage of ‘good’ degrees is rather meaningless – it is quite possible that their exams are easier.

    A.

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  6. “Students doing English are almost eight times more likely to be awarded a First than those doing Management.”

    Looking at entry requirements for both subject on the Times Good University Guide, English requries a hell of a lot better grades to get onto than Management. Surely the level of degree classification has a lot to do with the basic intelligence of the people taking the degree? Not to say that Management students are thick, just that English requires a higher set of exam results (so one can deduce a basic higher level of intelligence) to get onto than a Management Degree.

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  7. “Students doing English are almost eight times more likely to be awarded a First than those doing Management.”

    .. and are almost eight times less likely to get a job, regardless of their degree classification.

    The elephant in the room here is that some subjects are less challenging than others and that some departments are far more lenient than they should be. Thankfully, employers and society in general recognise that, and so they reward people accordingly.

    In the words of officer Barbrady, move along people, nothing to see here.

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  8. @George. Different departments have different entry standards. The English department recruits undergrads with much higher grades than, say, Management. York’s English department is one of the top in the country, but the same cannot be said for the Management department. Maybe this apparently bad situation would be far more worrying if it was reversed – if the proportion of Management students gaining a 1/2.1 degree was roughly the same as it were for the English department, it could raise questions regarding declining standards in the Management department. What I’m saying is, don’t be surprised when a department with very high entry standards produces more 1/2.1’s than a department with lower entry standards. Would you rather departments with lower entry standards make their degrees easier to compensate?

    You say Management students at York “are almost eight times less likely to get a job, regardless of their degree classification” compared to York English students – Where is this information from? Perhaps you should consider what kind of jobs the grads enter into, how many go into further study, and so on? Regardless of whether your data is correct or not, it is rather naive to say in relation to a degree’s percieved difficulty, “employers and society in general recognise” it and “reward people accordingly.”

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  9. I also doubt that management students at York find it easy getting a job – the department is ranked quite poorly I believe.

    In general, from what I have seen, in the UK it does not really matter what degree you have done, as long as you’ve done well. There are people going into banking or consultancy with degrees ranging from physics to ancient Greek.

    A.

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  10. “You say Management students at York are almost eight times less likely to get a job, regardless of their degree classification compared to York English students – Where is this information from?”

    I said the exact opposite (that English students are less likely to get a job) and it was meant as a joke.

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  11. Also, in terms of the subject’s difficulty, I do believe that an Electronics graduate with a 2.2 is still more likely to get a serious job than, say, a History of Arts graduate with a 2.1. That’s what I meant when I said that employers and society tend to reward people accordingly.

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  12. George, what do you mean by a ‘serious job’?

    Of course, Electronics graduates are more likely to go into a science based job, which are, on the whole, quite well paid, and these are out of bounds to the arts students because they haven’t the trough of scientific facts and figures to call upon, nor the numerical-analytical skill set developed in such subjects.

    But when it comes to careers in Law, Politics, Management, Journalism, or any kind of career where creativity, written skills, abstract thought, debating, argumentation skills or the ability to understand complex arguments are needed. This is the skill set that is very much under developed in the sciences, and so employers looking for these kind of skills will tend to go more toward Arts graduates. Maybe these jobs are less well paid than science jobs, but they suit the character of the person more.

    Regarding employment opportunities, it must also be understood that over half of Arts students do not have plans for after university. Many plan to take time out and travel. Many others consider further education. This is borne from the type of people who are attracted to Arts. On average, people who take Arts subjects are much more open minded and crave seeing a wider world, and have a much less career focused attitude, and aim more toward a fulfilled life, rather than one ruled my money.

    Science graduates, on the other hand, are often extremely career driven, and salary oriented. Less emphasis is put on fulfilment and happiness (maybe due to the, on average, more closed mind of the science student?).

    But to say Arts students are less employable is highly misleading, for these kind of facts are not taken into account, and employment figures are taken from the first year after graduation (when many Arts students will be taking time out).

    Regarding Matt Bailey’s comments on Politics being easier (I’m not a politics student, but did take a science with an art), and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, the Art I took, was far, far more difficult and intense than the Physics I took.

    The standard of work required is a hell of a lot harder. The amount of work is way above the Sciences. The pressure is so much tougher (the pressure is on oneself, not on the teachers to spoon feed me). The work is so much more difficult to understand. And for all this, you can’t dream of getting the 80% and 90% that Science students can aim at. But the rewards when you DO understand it in the end are so much greater.

    Yet these scientists who stand all high and mighty against the arts make me sick.

    They’ve not experienced both sides of the argument, and so should keep their mouths shut, ike most of the open minded Arts students manage to do.

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  13. George, on your last point you are wrong – most companies will not even consider your application if you have a 2.2, even if it is in Mathematics from Oxbridge. I mean, they will actually not look at it – it will be automatically rejected.

    A.

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  14. “But to say Arts students are less employable is highly misleading”

    Like it or not, it’s a statistical fact. I am not in any way suggesting that BA degrees are worthless, but to believe that they make people as employable as Stem subjects is just wishful thinking.

    “But when it comes to careers in Law, Politics, Management, Journalism, or any kind of career where creativity, written skills, abstract thought, debating, argumentation skills or the ability to understand complex arguments are needed. This is the skill set that is very much under developed in the sciences, and so employers looking for these kind of skills will tend to go more toward Arts graduates.”

    If you actually believe that science and engineering do not require abstract thought or the ability to understand complex arguments, then forgive me but you have no idea what you are talking about. As for the management positions in particular, most are in fact occupied by Stem & economics graduates.

    “Science graduates, on the other hand, are often extremely career driven, and salary oriented. Less emphasis is put on fulfilment and happiness (maybe due to the, on average, more closed mind of the science student?).”

    According to what you are saying, being trained to observe and analyse the evidence in a detached and impartial manner makes people more likely to be closed-minded. In my view, it’s the stereotyping you use that is closed-minded.

    “They’ve not experienced both sides of the argument, and so should keep their mouths shut, ike most of the open minded Arts students manage to do.”

    If that’s in any way directed against me, then let me add that half of my postgraduate degree has nothing to do with science. But I am not fooling myself – I chose this degree because I found it interesting, not because I believe that it will dramatically improve my job prospects.

    “The standard of work required is a hell of a lot harder. The amount of work is way above the Sciences. The pressure is so much tougher (the pressure is on oneself, not on the teachers to spoon feed me). The work is so much more difficult to understand. And for all this, you can’t dream of getting the 80% and 90% that Science students can aim at. But the rewards when you DO understand it in the end are so much greater.”

    Considering that I’ve never got anything less than a first on the non-scientific part of my degree, I beg to oppose. In science & engineering, it is likely that will get 20% for a module that you’ve actually studied for. This simply can not happen in the humanities.

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  15. *by likely I mean possible.

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  16. To reduce a science degree to (in part) remembering facts and figures is rather poor, we simply don’t do that, it makes me wonder what physics module(s) you took. And the reason why most politicians are former arts students (or unionists) is the same reason why a lot of them went to a public school, they’re not any more intelligent or better at politics or debate than someone who didn’t have that education, they are more inclined, which is a different thing altogether.

    The amount of work done in an arts degree (in general) is more, granted, but it is certainly not of a higher standard. The linear nature of science means that scientists can learn new skill sets much more quickly, someone who gets a 2ii in computer science or physics still has a vast range of skills and are possibly still in the top half or two thirds of their cohort, this is simply not the case with a history or politics student.

    Employers know this, there is a reason why people say wow before walking off after meeting a science student, whereas people avoid philosophy students altogether because they wear funny hats. Both are ignored, but only one impresses.

    “…the ability to understand complex arguments. This is the skill set that is very much under developed in the sciences” we literally understand complex arguments, real ones too, but in terms of what you meant by that statement I am sorry but you have no idea. Science is about developing an argument, a reason, a justification for what we see in the world.

    And why you reduce scientists to money grabbing capitalism whores is beyond me, the rational arts degree you’re following doesn’t seem to be helping.

    With regards to the article, I don’t think the problem is science subjects getting low degrees, rather other subjects getting such high degrees, it’s a nationwide problem. Any disparity on such a scale is ridiculous. From A-Level I found history to be slightly easier than physics and maths, but not by much. 90% as 1st and 2is compared to ~50% just makes it confusing as to how the system has evolved to be like it is. History may not be easier than physics or maths at degree level, but obtaining a ‘good degree’ evidently is.

    Coming out of a recent exam I was scared when someone said they were happy with it when I thought I only got 50-60%, then they went on “I think I passed so it went better than I thought” we really do have very hard courses where we may rely on easier questions to pass, the moderation in my course is poor. You can fairly easily identify the quality of a student over an essay, whether it be in an exam or coursework, this is not the case with numerical answers. Part of the problem I think is that my course (physics) is 85% on examinations in the modules that are examined (95/120 credits this year) which does lead to somewhat arbitrary results and a heavy reliance on moderation, which is not always a good arbiter of a cohort’s performance with respect to other years.

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  17. I disagree with a lot of what Idoscience says, even though Idoscience. I disagree even more with Dave, who apparently is a total moron. The pressure is much more difficult in the sciences, where a greater percentage of high-grade students drop out due to stress. The 80-90% that apparently science students aim at is ridiculous when in Physics under 50% of people get 1sts or 2is (i.e. median grade is under 60%) but in music, for example, you have around 100% getting a first or 2i. The argument that the workload is tougher is just plain ridiculous – in my degree, we have weekly assignments. You do not. We have had 30 hours of contact time, which you need to match with a lot of personal work. You do not – and your “work” is mostly reading, whereas ours is actually being forced to memorise formulae, understand how to derive those formulae, understand the science behind them and know how to apply them to a range of questions. If you don’t understand any aspect of that, you will not do well – but in politics you would. And, to top it all, several arts subjects either have no exams or only have open exams. We have to go into 80% of our modules without anything but a pen and using memory and scientific ability alone answer full questions without blagging. In sciences, you get answers wrong. In most arts subjects, you don’t.

    I’ve actually been deliberately overexaggerating because I’m trying to make a point. As someone who has done a science and is applying for a non-science Masters, I feel that there is value in both. Anyone can attempt to prove whatever they want but ultimately people will just prove that particular point.

    Sciences, and this is simply fact, have lower average scores, less upper degrees, more failures and a higher drop-out rate for stress as well as failure. Having weekly assessments increases pressure to not miss any lectures, of which there are many. Having a high stake in the final exams means that people have to spend the five days between the end of summer lectures and the start of the first exam fretting over everything and doing damage. In sciences, there is a real possibility of getting under 10% in a module, which is virtually impossible in non-sciences. All of this is likely to contribute to the higher fail rates, lower grades and increased stress. The standard of work, the amount of work, is not higher for arts students. We had a dissertation too this year but we also had 11 exams and our dissertation only counted for 8% of my year’s grades. It’s not more difficult to do a science – but it’s more difficult to get a high grade in a science. And that’s objective, not subjective, so feel free to challenge it with statistics and fact but do not feel free to yell abuse at the situation that we all find ourselves in.

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  18. Surely it doesn’t matter that much the difference between degrees in that employers can easily adjust your grade based upon what degree you did and what they need you to do.
    For example if you got a 1st in physics and apply for a job in restoration work (art, buildings etc) they will weigh your degree far lower than if you went to that job with even a 3rd in the relavent degree course.

    From what I know of other courses I do think more scientific courses are harder than non-scientific courses. But that the wider would accepts such things and values different degrees differently.

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  19. But it’s pretty ridiculous when you get a difference between 80% one year and 60% another for biology – employers *can’t* know how well you did compared to your year group and will either treat you better or worse than you deserve. Employers will know that there’s a difference between a 1st in something and a 1st in something else but won’t necessarily know what that difference is. And even if that’s true, it’s still not a good situation.

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  20. I love it when science students talk about how all art students need to do is “read.”

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  21. The thing is, I could type a paragraph from one of my molecular biology books, and only the science (biology – chemistry) students would understand it, the arts students would be left boggled!

    An arts student, could type a paragraph from one of there textbooks… i’d still understand it.

    so clearly, one of the two groups has a wider knowlage base then the other. which is why 2/3 of graduate jobs, are open to science graduates, and only 1/3 to a half graduate jobs, are open to arts scholars.

    go team science xD

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  22. The thing is, as an arts student, I could pick up a dictionary and know how to use it.

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  23. 31 May ’10 at 9:07 am

    Oxford English

    The thing is, as an arts student, I would struggle as there are no pictures.

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  24. Well done for developing new skills on your arts degree. You should pop that on your CV.

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  25. 31 May ’10 at 10:03 am

    management student

    As a management / accounting student, in our first lecture this year, we were told that in the previous year, only one student achieved a first. We were then told, it was up to us. The head of the department said that there was nothing wrong with the lectures, nothing wrong with the staff or the teaching or the seminars or the assessments – the students simply were a bit rubbish across the board and didn’t put the effort in.

    Perhaps that kind of ‘bury your head in the sand and blame others for the problem’ is the reason Management suffers – it could be the case the heads of the department find it difficult to be really really self critical and say why they’re failing.

    Bear in mind at my time here, we’ve had courses that were so badly taught the lecturer had to indicate quite clearly what questions were on the exam – in one case he gave out two essay questions to practice with one of them actually being on the exam. It shouldn’t be the case that you have to really tell -some- students (anyone who missed those lectures, unfortunately, would likely receive a third or fail) what the question on the exam is likely to be, because the lecturing and reading doesn’t tie itself together nice enough.

    I think management does suffer from lack of prestige – it struggles to attract the exceptional teaching staff. Now, there are some really brilliant lecturers in the management department but on the whole I think it might potentially be a weak spot (though, this is my subjective opinion – I’ve not learnt another degree so can’t really compare!). To give you a feel for some of the problems – lecturers not turning up for lectures is not unheard of.

    Ultimately though, the department I’m sure will say ‘its just down to the students, whether they put in the work;’ so maybe it is the case as others have alluded to, that those marginal differences in A level results do make a significant difference to competence in the degree. I wonder how Universities with lower entry requirements get more than a handful of firsts.

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  26. Forgive me for generalising in a mo, but I feel you’ve failed to really grasp some of the intricacies between the arts and the science degrees.

    Generally speaking, per module, for an arts module, you will have a reading -list-. This could involve books, articles, journals, textbooks, etc. and will all cover similar topics – but often from different perspectives. Then you absorb all that information, and need to put it together in your head, and then given a question, form an answer based on all the stuff you’ve read.

    Per module, for a science module, you might get one or two textbooks, which is a reference book to complement the lectures. There is much less of a question of ‘is the book wrong’, it’s more like a handbook. If it were possible to memorise every aspect of that single book, you could probably pass most exams well.

    Obviously there are more differences than this and I am not going to say one is easier than the other – I think to a huge extent that will depend on the type of person you are, whether you feel more comfortable memorising complicated equations and methodologies, or prefer to absorb a mass of often conflicting information and then just write ‘creatively’ as it were.

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  27. 31 May ’10 at 11:12 am

    management is art

    The management degree at this university is actually an Ba, and having studied it in my first year, it does combine both creative and more methodical ways of working.

    To say that students ‘simply dont put in the effort’ is of course a natural argument for people to use, however I do believe issues regarding teaching and exam material are issues within the management department. The same issues however exist across all departments and it would be unfair just to categorise the management school as performing poorly.

    The fact of the matter is that Nouse needed an article to write and, once again, use poor sampling methods. Comparing an arts degree with a purely scientific one is counter-productive as they are fundamentally two very different areas. In this article music is used as an example of a ‘top class’ department, however to compare this to management is again a poor choice.

    Perhaps the writes of Nouse should take note of the scientific methods used in producing meaningful statistics or even the creative methods used in producing an interesting article.

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  28. 31 May ’10 at 12:06 pm

    a different '@meh'

    The thing is, as an Arts student, at least I know how to spell.

    “An arts student, could type a paragraph from one of there textbooks… i’d still understand it.”

    FYI, it’s ‘their’, not ‘there’. Somehow I don’t think your ‘knowledge base’ is quite wide enough. Good luck with the job hunt. With spelling mistakes like those in your application forms, no matter what degree result you get, you may struggle.

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  29. The information, which was put together by the Standing Committee on Assessment and presented to University Senate, illustrated that students doing English are almost eight times more likely to be awarded a First than those doing Management.

    I KNEW IT

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  30. Often you need 3 As to study an arts degree here, whilst most science degrees require a couple of Cs or Ds. This research just demonstrates that arts students are simply more intelligent. You could always disagree with me, but I will not accept graphs or piecharts as a response.

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  31. Pointing out the obvious here, but while they’re important, CV and job prospects aren’t the be all and end all of a uni course, so the very binary turn of arts vs. science this discussion has taken is to some extent missing the point.

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  32. “Often you need 3 As to study an arts degree here, whilst most science degrees require a couple of Cs or Ds”

    Not at this Uni you don’t…

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  33. Fine, don’t accept piecharts or graphs as a response (though they’re what we call “statistics” and are quite useful at determining fact)… I was given an offer of ABB for my course and I know that for some of the more popular courses in my department higher grades are taken.

    If you want to take any statistic then we’ll compare entry tariffs.

    Most recent data. Physics has an average of 410 UCAS points; Chemistry has an average of 395 and Maths has an average of 430. On the other hand, Music has 370, Archaeology has 340 and SPSW has 270 UCAS points.

    Indeed by my reckoning (taking science as Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Electronics, Computer Science and Psychology), science has an average entry of 379.3 UCAS points whereas non-sciences have an average of 355.5 points. So the argument of needing higher grade to enter Arts degrees is a pretty stupid one since it’s exactly the opposite way around.

    Worth noting that the top two are English Literature and Mathematics – and the bottom two are Electronics and Social Policy – so there is in reality very little difference between the two, even though numbers *average* in sciences’ favour.

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  34. you do in my degree…

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  35. What’s your degree? And is your degree both a science and an arts subject? Because your comment was something like “most sciences need a couple of Cs or Ds” and to get 380 points you need 3 As and extra points. The arts average, however, doesn’t even require 3As.

    Yes, many Arts will require AAA but so will some sciences – and that is a poor entry system anyway. Some students will have four or five A-levels and will therefore possibly have AABBB which wouldn’t match your criteria (but which I find more impressive). It depends how you add up!

    We have one of the best *insert arts subject* departments in the UK and we have one of the best *insert science subject* departments in the UK. But some of our lower departments still need AAB to get in – we’re a very good university!

    There are differences – but neither one nor the other is significantly better.

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  36. I agree with most of your points ~ (please start using the J again, if not the rest of your name as well) and think that Furthermore’s point of “Often you need 3 As to study an arts degree here, whilst most science degrees require a couple of Cs or Ds” is complete bollocks.

    However, you also need to take into account that some entry requirements depend on the popularity of the course. If a course is lacking in applicants then if they lower the entry grades they will no doubt get more people applying.

    Also bear in mind that although most courses have standard offers, many offer different (normally lower) offers on a per applicant basis.

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  37. 31 May ’10 at 11:09 pm

    Luke Brownbridge

    I do biology and i am mint.

    Shakespeare? i’ve seen better scripts in a porno…

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  38. The bottom line is that there should be standardisation across departments within a university. Employers are far more likely to be familiar with York’s overall place in the league tables than the individual subject tables. So, if we assumed that English at York is higher up in the subject league tables than Philosophy at York, and it is easier to get a 1st in Philosophy than in English (due to differences in the assessment criteria, for instance), then those with a 1st in Philosophy will look better than those with a 2.1 in English even if they are, in fact, equivalent.

    I don’t see why the university has not implemented methods of standardisation already.Surely it is fairer and relatively uncontroversial?

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  39. “Often you need 3 As to study an arts degree here, whilst most science degrees require a couple of Cs or Ds”

    Can you provide any evidence to support this assertion, or are you just talking out of your well-informed and open-minded rectum?

    “This research just demonstrates that arts students are simply more intelligent.”

    Firstly, if you have to tell people you are intelligent, you probably aren’t.

    Secondly, this ‘research’ just demonstrates that you are incapable of doing research, and that you have to support your arguments through absurd claims and ridiculous stereotypes. Which is all the more ironic considering that the most important thing you are supposed to learn from a degree in the humanities is how to think critically and how to argue rationally.

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  40. Stereotypical but funny description of the difference between science and art degrees: http://xkcd.com/451/

    A.

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  41. a different, good luck getting a job with your history of art degree, ive got spell check, lol at your face ;)

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