Types of Qualifications for Higher Education in UK

The universities and colleges in UK offer thousands of excellent courses, leading to qualifications. When you think of higher education qualifications in UK, you might think of bachelor’s and master’s degrees.There are, however, many other types.

Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree. Academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject. Full-time, this normally takes three years to complete (four in some cases). There are different titles of degree, such as: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Bachelor of Engineering (BEng).

Degrees are classified as either Ordinary or Honours. This can vary between universities and colleges. Generally an ‘ordinary’ or ‘unclassified’ degree may be awarded if a student has completed a full degree course but hasn’t obtained the total required passes sufficient to merit a third-class honours degree. In Scotland, an ‘ordinary’ degree is usually a three-year full-time course, whereas an ‘honours’ degree is usually a four-year full-time course.

Foundation degree: The equivalent of the first two years of an honours degree, this may be studied full- or part-time, and consists of academic study integrated with relevant work-based learning undertaken with an employer. It may be studied as a standalone qualification or upon completion, you may progress to the final year of an honours degree.

Diploma of Higher Education: Two year, full-time DipHE courses are normally equivalent to the first two years of a degree and can often be used for entry to the third year of a related degree course. They can be academic, but are mainly linked to a particular job or profession such as nursing and social work.

Certificate of Higher Education: Focuses on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level. You can use a CertHE to gain confidence to study successfully at university level, change careers or progress your current career, or to achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.

Higher National Diploma (HND): A two-year course which, if completed with high grades, can lead to the third year of a degree.

Some Nature Tourist Attractions in England

Fingal Cave, Scotland – Staffa Island is home to the Cave of Fingal. It brings the sound of water flowing into the sea cave pipe. This phenomenon is similar to the Giant Causeway in Ireland. Legend has it that both are formed when two giants threw stones rival each other in the Irish Sea.

Farne Island, England – Northumberland coast is home to 23 species of seabirds, including 37 000 pairs of puffins. A large colony of gray is also here and more than a thousand puppies are born in these islands each fall. In addition to natural attractions, the islands are also historically significant as the home after the St Cuthbert in the 7th century. Today, visitors can admire the chapel dedicated to him and fine stained glass windows. A Victorian lighthouse and a medieval tower is also worth seeing and the Northumberland countryside scenery is unrivaled.

Snowdonia, Wales – The highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon is a holiday center in Welsh. Climbing is the best way to enjoy the mysterious and ancient landscape around it. Mountain railway can take you to the top if you feel less energetic, although there are some roads in accordance with ability. After reaching the top, you’ll be treated to the most spectacular views in England, which can now be enjoyed from a specialized center of unique visitors, Hafod Eryri, which opened in 2009.

Cheddar Gorge, England – Cheddar is one of nature’s most remarkable in England. This place has become a tourist destination over the years, without encroachment into the real beauty of the area. Rock climbing is better here than anywhere else by providing some exciting training opportunities, such as climbing the tower and learn about 9000 years old Cheddar Man, England’s oldest skeleton.

Simmer Dim in Shetland, Scotland – Do not let it deter you because of the remoteness of this beach can fill the void with breathtaking views along the north coast. Shetland presents a wild scene with millions of seabirds and island with a deeply rooted tradition of Viking fire festival.

With The UK Economy Stuck In A Groove, What Prospects For 2013?

On the Saturday before Christmas the shop windows told their own story. Up to 50% off at Hobbs. Discounts of 60% at LK Bennett. Similar reductions at French Connection and the Gap. The sales started early this year and that means the economy is struggling. Fearful of being left with large amounts of unsold stock, retailers are slashing prices to attract hard-up consumers.

It was the same a year ago. Hopes of recovery have been dashed in 2012, a year in which the UK has gone nowhere fast. Interest rates, gross domestic product and house prices are where they were in January. The economy is not collapsing but it is not growing either. For the past two years it has gone sideways, and the expectation at the Bank of England and the Treasury is that 2013 will be little better.

Historically, it is extremely unusual for the economy to be stuck in a groove like the needle on a vinyl record. Subsistence economies can have long periods of low or zero growth but modern western economies traditionally do not. There is a cyclical pattern in which periods of slow growth gain momentum, ending in a boom-bust phase. A recession, normally relatively brief, removes the excess and allows the cycle to begin again. For the past century, this process has been lubricated by government action: interest rates are raised to stifle mounting inflationary pressure in the boom then cut in order to get growth and employment rising again during the downturn. Tax and spending policy has tended to operate in the same counter-cyclical fashion.

The crisis of the past five years can be divided into two distinct phases. What happened in the first phase was entirely predictable: the financial collapse of 2008 and the economic slump of 2009 followed inexorably from the asset price bubbles of the mid-2000s. It was a big collapse because there was a big bubble.

Less easy to explain is the crab-like performance subsequently. The UK economy has not really budged since the autumn of 2010, something that has not happened since the second world war and probably for a long time before that. Other western economies have broadly followed the same pattern. The US has grown a bit faster than the UK and the eurozone is already in a mild double-dip recession, but there has been the same sense of economic torpor. A third year of the same would be distinctly weird.

Could it happen? Yes, of course it could. In some ways, not a lot has changed since before the crisis. Real income growth is still weak, but is no longer being supplemented by large dollops of borrowing. Banks are still recognisably the same creatures they were in 2007 but are sitting on vast quantities of underperforming assets. Macro-economic policy has been aggressive enough and persistent enough to prevent a fresh slump of the sort seen four years ago but no more than that.

Expectations are already so low there is a chance that 2013 will surprise on the upside. The passage of time together with policy action could finally work over the coming months, particularly if the Americans come to a budget deal and the eurozone gets to grips with its debt crisis. There is plenty of spare capacity in the global economy and that, in normal circumstances, would point to several years of above-trend growth.

Recent US data has looked relatively perky. Rising housing starts indicate that the long real-estate recession is over. Investment is picking up and jobs are being created. Barack Obama’s second term will be easier than his first.

Similarly, the worst for the eurozone may now be over. To be sure, the economic numbers are still dire and austerity is still hurting, but the financial markets were impressed by Mario Draghi’s insistence that the European Central Bank would do whatever it took to safeguard the future of the single currency. The next 12 months are not going to be easy, but historians could well look back to Draghi’s speech in London in July 2012 as the moment the corner was turned.

What then do we look out for in 2013? For the UK, the short-term threats are a triple-dip recession and a credit downgrade. The rating agencies have the UK in their sights and it won’t take much more bad news for the AAA status to be removed.

George Osborne will not have an easy year and in the budget will face the dilemma of whether to tighten policy further in the face of fresh fiscal slippage despite weak growth. Some analysts, such as Vicky Redwood at Capital Economics, believe the UK has more spare capacity than the Office for Budget Responsibility is estimating and that the size of the structural deficit is therefore not as big as feared. That means that the plans for budgetary tightening are too tough and could be relaxed. This would be sensible but it is unlikely to happen.

So where is growth going to come from in 2013? Not from the government, which has pledged no let-up in the austerity programme. Not from the consumer, who is seeing rising prices reduce the value of near-worthless pay rises. Perhaps from exports if the skies clear over the eurozone and the US does not hurtle over the fiscal cliff; perhaps from investment if brightening export prospects persuade companies to spend some of the cash balances they have accumulated in recent years.

Don’t bank on it, though. On past form, Europe will find a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and the UK will continue to remain highly risk-averse. The Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme may help to increase the flow of credit and reduce its cost but Threadneedle Street is fighting two powerful headwinds.

The first is the inability of first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder due to the combination of high prices and the big deposits demanded by lenders. The second is that real incomes continue to be squeezed. Capital’s victory over labour since the late 1970s has come at a price: workers lack the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they are producing, and they are no longer willing or able to borrow the money to do so. Hence the high street early bargains. There will be more, it is fair to assume, in 2013.

Attractive Destination of United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a unique travel destination, brimming with rich history and culture, dramatic natural landscapes, imposing castles and palaces, a diverse people and a lot more. The United Kingdom has an exhaustive air travel service with many leading airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, etc. ensuring world class travel experiences. Here are some places to visit

Buckingham Palace

First opened to the public in 1993 to finance Windsor Castle repairs, Buckingham Palace is the residence to Queen Elizabeth II which dates back to the early 19th century.

The Birmingham Museum of Art

The Birmingham Museum of Art features American and European art as well as pre-Columbian, Asian, African and American Indian art and artifacts. The permanent collection features more than 21,000 pieces of art.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle dominates the city of Edinburgh like no other castle in Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle is unequalled in the whole of the British Isles.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is that mysterious circle of rocks on the mystical Salisbury Plain in the south of England which hails from the days of the druids. The rocks are impressive as one approaches; stretching high into the sky and weighing many tens of tons a piece. The rocks were originally dragged to Salisbury Plain from miles away to form the monument, which is said to either be a druid temple for sun worship, an astronomical calendar, or a burial ground

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is another of London’s must-see sights and has the distinction of being the largest working castle in the world. The castle is resplendent in art and furnishings with Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and Holbein masterpieces in the State Apartments. William the Conqueror built the first castle here in 1080 to take advantage of the nearby royal hunting forest, and today it is one of the queen’s official residences.

Four Guides for Online Shopping in UK

Online shopping is extremely prevalent and is continuing to grow in popularity year upon year. Sometimes it can be easy as one click to make an order. However, before you start browsing and purchasing items, it’s best to at least arm yourself with some basic key safe Internet shopping tips. Knowing your rights and how to protect yourself from scams, fraudulent activity and unscrupulous sellers is paramount in enjoying a safe and successful Internet shopping experience.

1. Know Your Basic Consumer Rights

Before you even switch on the computer, you should be aware of your basic consumer rights, and how they apply when shopping online.

The distance selling regulations also require the seller to present the consumer with other important information. Basically, these include written details of the seller’s address and the terms and conditions of the contract you have entered into, a written confirmation of your order (usually by email or post), and provision of a notice of the consumer’s cancellation rights. They should also make the complaints procedure and any guarantees or after sales services clear to you. If no delivery date has been agreed prior to confirmation of the contract, then the seller has 30 days in which to dispatch your items to you.

2. Choose Your Seller Well

As aforementioned, under UK and EU legislation, authentic sellers are required to provide the consumer with all the prior information before they confirm their purchase. You should check that the online store that you are intending to purchase from has made all these key pieces of information available to you. If you are at all suspicious of the authenticity of the store, you can always follow up with a cursory phone call or check them out with any trade association or accreditation scheme that they claim to be a part of.

It is particularly important to check out the registered business address of your seller. If they are not based in the UK, then all the rights that you are currently entitled to under UK law will not necessarily cover you.

3. Protect Yourself and Your PC

To help protect yourself against fraudulent activity, you should always make sure that you are making your transactions over a secure server and network. Your PC should be protected with anti-virus software, as well as a firewall to block attempts to infiltrate your computer to access passwords or personal information.

For purchases above £100, using a credit card will also afford you some extra protection, as some credit companies will also be liable for goods should something go awry.

4. Ignore Scams and Phishing

From time to time you may receive emails or letters directing you to a certain website address. Sometimes the messages may seem garbled, addressed to someone else, or entirely irrelevant. Some may advertise wonder items or pharmaceutical products that seem too good to be true – and usually are. It is best to ignore these emails, and mark them as spam.

What is Account Qualified ?

Most of people do not know that “accountant” can be the name used to describe a range of different people, some of whom may not even be qualified.  This is not like a Solicitor which means someone that is qualified to give you legal advice.

Anyone in the UK can call themselves an accountant or book-keeper even if they have had no training or have no professional qualifications. This could mean that you have no comeback for the advice you are given or if any laws are broken.

If you are in business or need advice about your personal finances it would probably be best to engage a professionally qualified accountant, one that has taken and passed the stringent exams set by one of the professional institutes (the ICAEW for example requires the passing of 15 exams and over 3200 hours of relevant work experience).

Members of these professional institutes (shown below) not only have to have professional indemnity insurance to cover them, and you, if anything goes wrong but they also have to abide by the code of professional ethics set by their institute, meaning that if your accountant gets it wrong you can complain to the institute that they belong to.

Here in the UK there are many qualifications that an accountant can hold, these include (in no particular order)

  1. Chartered Tax Advisor – CTA, ATII or FTII – Member or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  2. Chartered Certified Accountant – ACCA or FCCA  – Member or Fellow or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  3. Chartered Accountant – ACA or FCA – Member or Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  4. Chartered Accountant – CA – Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS)
  5. Chartered Accountant – ACA or FCA – Member or Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland (formally, but still legally known as the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland (ICAI)) (CAI)
  6. Chartered Management Accountant – ACMA or FCMA – Member or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  7. Certified Public Accountant – ASPA or FSPA – Associate or Fellow of the Association of Certified Public Accountants (ACPA)

Many qualified accountants may even hold more than one qualification, for example they have both FTII and FCA after their name meaning that they are a fellow of the Charted Institute of Taxation and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Each of the institutes show above will allow you to check if someone that is claiming to be a member of their organisation does actually belong and can advise you if this is not the case.