As you know, countless students choose to study abroad, especially in the UK, to receive a high-quality education, land a sustainable job, and live a better life. But a fair few know which study course to select to make their journey easier. Nearly all UK universities offer top-notch education. Luckily, some provide study programs like sandwich courses to make students job-ready too. So, what exactly is a sandwich course? How can it benefit you? Today, UniSearch experts bring you our definitive guide all about sandwich courses in the UK to answer your queries.
What is a Sandwich Course?
A sandwich course is an academic degree that enables students to complete academic study and gain corporate experience at a company for a certain period.
After enrolling in a sandwich course, students can work in an industry related to their field of study. Consequently, they become more likely to get jobs related to their courses than other students without professional experience.
The sole purpose of this university degree program is to make students job-ready and help them land high-paying jobs after graduating.
Difference Between a Sandwich Course and a Full-Time Course
A sandwich course in the UK and a full-time course are distinctly different in terms of the facilities they offer. The significant difference between these two courses is the placement opportunity.
While a full-time course emphasizes academic study, a sandwich course enables students to work at a company for a certain period as a part of their study program. It grants students a one-year working opportunity in industries that match their field of study.
On the contrary, a full-time degree program doesn't offer a placement or work opportunity for an entire year. Nevertheless, this study course lets students do internships from a few weeks to a few months.
The other difference you can notice between full-time and sandwich courses is the course duration and employability. Speaking of the course period, a sandwich study program tends to be longer than a full-time degree course.
Again, a sandwich course makes students job-ready by letting them gain real-world work experience. Meanwhile, a full-time degree program may not have a big focus on allowing students to work at a company to complete their academic degrees.
So these are some primary differences that differentiate a sandwich course and a full-time study program from each other - which course sounds best for you?
Types of Sandwich Courses in the UK
You can find two types of sandwich courses in the UK: the thick sandwich course and the thin sandwich course. Below we have briefly described these two study programs.
Thick Sandwich Study Program
Thick sandwich programs offer students a one-year placement at a company, where they gain real-world work experience. This course requires students to study full-time at the university for the first two years and then spend one year at a company in the third year of the course.
Finally, they return to the university to complete their last year of study. That means a thick sandwich course is a four-year degree program, enabling students to get hands-on working experience in an industry related to their subjects.
Thin Sandwich Study Program
A thin sandwich study program is a three-year course, allowing students to do two to three internships or achieve six months of work experience throughout the course multiple times. Specifically, a student enrolled in a thin sandwich course may get six months of professional experience during the first year of the course. He/she will work for another six months at a company during the third year of the course.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Enrolling in a Sandwich Course
You can find benefits and demerits in every study course, and this sandwich study program isn't an exception. Take a look at some of the pros and cons below to better understand whether a sandwich course is right for you.
Pros of Enrolling in a Sandwich Course in the UK
You can stay in the UK for an additional year compared to enrolling in a traditional full-time degree program.
The chance of landing a high-paying job will be higher with a sandwich course than with a full-time one.
You gain practical experience by working in real-time in a professional field. In addition, you can earn money during the placement year and acquire valuable networking skills.
Some sandwich courses allow students to study abroad to help them broaden their knowledge of cultural and language experiences.
You will develop professional abilities and become confident to enter the real-world employment market.
Cons of Taking up a Sandwich Course in the UK
A sandwich course will need you to spend more time to complete than a full-time study program. This means you will graduate and enter the workforce full-time later compared to peers in full-time programs
Sandwich courses don't come in a variety of disciplines. That means you don’t have a diverse variety of options as you do with full-time courses.
Your focus may shift from completing academic study to working at a company, hampering your education. Remember, fulfilling certain academic criteria is a condition for graduating
Eligibility Criteria for a UK Sandwich Course
Indeed, sandwich courses in the UK offer lucrative facilities. But students must fulfill the criteria for a sandwich course to benefit from its fantastic amenities. Below, we have shared the requirements in brief.
Must obtain at least 60% grades in high school.
Have a scorecard of English language proficiency tests, such as TOEFL / IELTS / C1 Advanced. (Students who meet specific standards are exempt from this requirement at some universities)
GMAT / GRE for Master's programs
Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
Portfolio/ Research Paper (for specific courses)
Personal Statement describing your interest in the specific subject
Application Process for Sandwich Courses at UK Universities
If you meet the criteria for enrolling in a sandwich course at a UK university, it's time to learn all about sandwich courses in the UK when it comes to applying for them.
Step 1: Choose a University and a Sandwich Course
The first step to begin the application process is to select your university and course according to your academic profile (We have shared a university list with sandwich courses in the following section - this is a great place to start looking!).
Step 2: Glance at Deadlines
The following step is to know about the application deadline of your chosen university. After checking the deadline, you should begin with the application process. We recommend applying for a sandwich course at a UK university at least six months before the deadline. It will help you get plenty of time to prepare for other essential documents like the personal statement, recommendation letters, etc.
Step 3: Take the English Proficiency Test
After choosing the university and sandwich course and checking the deadline, you must prepare to take English Language Proficiency Tests based on your course requirements. You may need to sit for exams like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE,GRE, GMAT, LNAT, BMAT, MAT, and more.
These depend on the course and university’s requirements - hence the importance of starting your research early, so you can start preparing and sitting for the tests. However, some universities won't ask for your English Language Proficiency Test score if you are a resident of an English-speaking country or meet other standards of English proficiency.
Step 4: Get Your Documents Ready
Now, it's time to prepare all the documents you need to apply to a sandwich course at a UK university. First, we advise you to start writing your personal statement, transcripts and other documents, such as test scores, police clearance certificate, passport, photographs, proof of finances, and more.
Step 5: Let's Begin with the Application
The final step is to start with the application process. You can apply directly to the university website or through UCAS, an admission service that accepts undergraduate applications for all UK universities. You may read our application process for UK universities guide to gather detailed information on the procedures for applying to UK universities.
Some UK Universities Offering Sandwich Courses
Virtually all UK universities provide sandwich courses. Below we have listed our top picks, which offer various sandwich study programs in some specific disciplines, including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Math, and Humanities.
|UK University||Course||Duration||Placement Duration|
|Kingston University||Aerospace Engineering (BEng (Hons))||4 Years||1 Year|
|Aerospace Engineering (MEng)||5 Years||1 Year|
|MBA||2 Years||1 Year|
|University of Sussex||Computer Science (MComp)||5 Years||1 Year|
|University of Greenwich||Business Logistic and Transport Management (BA Hons)||5 Years||1 Year|
|University of Bath||Architecture (BSc Hons)||4 Years||2 Placements of three to six months (thin sandwich course)|
|Loughborough University||Bioengineering (BEng Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|MBA||2 Years||1 Year|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||Banking and Finance (BSc Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|International Hospitality Business Management (BSc Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|University of Sunderland||MBA||18 Months & 24 Months||1 Year|
|Staffordshire University||Mechanical Engineering (BEng and MEng)||4 Years||1 Year|
|Cyber Security (BSs Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|Fashion (BA Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|Leeds Beckett University||Accounting and Finance (BA Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|Planning (MPlan)||2 Years||1 Year|
|Middlesex University London||Business Management (BA Hons)||18 Months & 24 Months||6 Weeks or 1 Year|
|Fashion Design (BA Hons)||18 Months & 24 Months||6 Weeks or 1 Year|
|Business Accounting (BSc Hons)||4 Years||1 Year|
|Birmingham City University||MBA||1 Year||4 Months Internship|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Will Your Placement Begin?
It depends on the sandwich course and the university you select. Usually, you will get a placement in your third year if you take a thick sandwich course at a UK university. On the other hand, if you select a thin sandwich course, you will get placement in the first and third years.
What is the Duration of Your Sandwich Course Placement?
The duration of your placement depends on the sandwich course type. You will get a full one-year placement if you choose a thick sandwich course. Again, you will take several short internships and placements throughout different years if you opt for a thin sandwich course.
Can You Avoid Getting Placements in Sandwich Courses?
If you enroll in a sandwich course, you can't avoid working at a company associated with your field of study. This is because sandwich courses are designed to offer placements to students and help them gain professional work experience before they actually land lucrative jobs.
Can You Earn While Studying a Sandwich Course?
Yes, you can earn a good amount of money during your placement year. Employers usually pay around GBP 11,000 to 25,000 depending on the sector, business, and region. However, this amount can also vary based on your course and university.
Can I Apply for a Sandwich Course from Bangladesh?
Yes! As an international student, you can apply for a sandwich course in the UK as long as you meet the program's requirements. Check the university's website for country- and program-specific requirements before making your choice!
How Much Will It Cost for an Indian Student to Study a Sandwich Course in the UK?
Indian students will pay the same fees for the program as other overseas students. UK universities will charge a separate fee for international students compared to domestic students. What these fees are will vary depending on your program, study level, and the university itself. The program page of the sandwich course you're considering will usually have the information you need about international student fees!
Our Concluding Thoughts
We have delivered everything you need to know all about sandwich courses in the UK through this article. We think that by now, you understand the value of this type of course and whether it’s right for you. A sandwich course can unlock better career opportunities if you adhere to it and successfully complete the study program. This course will help you gain valuable work experience and let you apply your theoretical knowledge in a real-world work environment. Thus, you will be job-ready right after finishing your sandwich study program.