Vacations and Term Times
Most UK university school years start in September and end in June This allows a master’s student to use the summer to write their dissertations. Lately, many postgraduate programs begin in January basically allowing students to take a slight break. This also works for international students coming from south of the equator since it falls in line with their academic calendar.
Once a postgraduate course is started, the exact start, end, and vacation dates vary depending on the university. All universities give students a break in the warm months and on holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
UK academic calendars are considered to be somewhat different from academic calendars in other parts of the world.
Look below for a reference to the academic calendar for the UK.
When your semester calendar is cut into sections(terms), it’s likely that your school year will be split into three sections. Your work loads vary depending on the term – it tends to be largest in the last term. It’s a common practice for teachers to set large project due dates to be at the last part of a term. If this is, you it makes sense to try and keep the last month of the year and March as free as possible.
Semesters are typical at the older academic institutions and at some they have even been given specific names. For instance, at the University of Oxford, their terms are called Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity. On the other hand, Durham University’s terms are called Michaelmas, Epiphany and Easter.
Many schools use the traditional semester calendar formatting. Schools such as the University of Liverpool use semesters so they can alternate their timetables during the year. This means that those who attend the school are likely to have somewhat different course schedules at different times in the year.
Holidays to Focus on
The typical university vacation times are Easter, Christmas and during the summer. Typically, vacation lengths vary but are usually expected to be between 3-5 and 12-14 weeks respectively. Many university facilities provide limited access during these times – sometimes they don’t even open their doors. During those vacation periods students who live on campus will be expected to go home. Different arrangements are made for international students though. The longer breaks are considered a perfect time for students to be able to sight-see.
What is a Reading Week?
A few universities make it a point to add “reading weeks” to their schedule. These are weeks where students get a break from their classes. The breaks are there to give students the opportunity to sit back and read. Some classes (mainly art subjects) find it best to give their students a reading list to conquer. Reading lists are sometimes difficult, which is why universities tend to make it in the middle of the semester. Over the years reading weeks have been narrowed down to certain subjects.