Creating conditions for student success on a two-year accelerated degree

Poppy Frances Gibson, Sharon Perera, Robert Morgan, Bonnie Kerr


Two-year degrees are intensive degree programmes that offer increased flexibility in Higher Education (HE) and are becoming a more appealing option for many students seeking HE study (Baty, 2017; Cabral and Lambirth, 2017), but with lower entry requirements, are students coming onto a degree unequipped and unprepared for the challenges that accelerated study presents?

This opinion piece focuses on the two-year BA in Primary Education and details a collaborative pilot project offered by the Faculty of Education and Health and Information and Library Services. The course uses an innovative framework that embeds academic skills in the taught programme to help students better manage the challenges that the accelerated degree brings. Academic and information literacy skills are integrated in the subject curriculum to support students with their studies but also to enhance their abilities and build lasting confidence through employability and citizenship skills.

This paper will essentially outline four potential strategies to be considered for employment on other cross-faculty accelerated programmes.


Accelerated degrees; retention; academic support; widening participation

Full Text:



Baty, P. (2017)?‘Two-year degrees: Twitter responds to UK fast-track degree plans.’ Times Higher Education. Available at: 3 September 2018).

Biggs, J. (1996) ‘Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment.’ Higher Education, 32(3), 347-364. Available at: (Accessed: 8 September 2018).

Cabral, A. and Lambirth, A. (2017) ‘Accelerated degrees in education: a new profile, alternative access to teaching or part of a re-tooling process?’ Journal of Further and Higher Education, 42(6). Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Coombes, S. and Gibson, P. (2018) ‘Feeling like a fraud: Engaging Students with Imposter Syndrome.’ Higher Education Journal of Teaching and Learning, 9(2). Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Dewey, B.I. (2004) ‘The Embedded Librarian; Strategic Campus Collaborations.’ Resource Sharing and Information Networks (The Haworth Information Press), 17(1/2), 5-17. Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Gibson, P. and Smith, S. (2018) ‘Digital literacies: preparing pupils and students for their information journey.’ Information and Learning Science, 119 (12). Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Hoffman, N., Beatty, S., Feng, P. and Lee, J. (2017) ‘Teaching research skills through embedded librarianship.’ Reference Services Review, 45(2), 211-226. Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Huxley, C., Green, M., Swift, S. and Pollard, E. (2017) Accelerated Degrees in Higher Education: A case study report. Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

McWilliams, R. and Allan, Q. (2014) ‘Embedding Academic Literacy Skills: Towards a Best Practice Model.’ Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 11(3), Article 8. Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Kitchener, I. (2017) ‘Are accelerated degrees the future for Higher Education?’ Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 10(3). Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Schulte, S.J. (2012) ‘Embedded academic librarianship: A Review of the Literature.’ Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

University of Greenwich, Library Services (2018) ‘Curious, Informed, Accomplished.’ Available at: (Accessed: 3 September 2018).

Wingate, U. (2006) ‘Doing away with study skills’. Teaching in Higher Education, 11(4), 457-469. (Accessed: 3 September 2018).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching