Media Release: University of the Highlands and Islands launches its first accelerated degree


THE University of the Highlands and Islands is offering its first-ever accelerated degree.

Applications have opened for the new BSc (Hons) geography which will be available to study at Inverness College UHI and Lews Castle College UHI on Lewis from September 2015.

The course will enable students to gain an honours degree – something which would normally take four years to complete – in just three years. Students will undertake two terms in their first year then go on to a trimester system in their second and third, studying for three blocks of three months at a time with a month off in-between each. The model aims to help students enter the workplace more quickly and reduce the costs of going to university.

As well as being the university’s first accelerated programme, the course will also be its first geography degree. It will be delivered using a mix of face-to-face teaching and online materials. The materials have been designed to be viewed anytime, anywhere on a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs and games consoles. Students will also have the opportunity to go on field trips, including a visit to Europe and a weekend in the Cairngorms.

Dr Michael Smith, geography programme leader, explains the rationale for the new degree: “Reports show an increasing number of pupils are taking up geography and that graduates have some of the highest employment rates across academic disciplines. Geographers have a range of transferable skills and are needed to address the environmental, economic and societal challenges we face.”

University of the Highlands and Islands principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Clive Mulholland, added: “This new geography degree is an excellent example of our innovative approach to learning. Combining an accelerated model with a mix of teaching methods will allow students to have an engaging learning experience, embark on their chosen career more quickly and save money in the process.”

To find out more about the University of the Highlands and Islands’ BSc (Hons) Geography, visit

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Contact: Alison Lochhead
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