Universities in England are very well known for their bachelor’s programs, so much so that people from around the world will opt to attend an English university for the whole of their college career. These universities offer thousands of excellent courses and grant degrees that are recognized around the world by employers and academics alike.
Many people often think of undergraduate degrees as bachelor’s degrees; in many cases, that is true. But, there are actually six types of undergraduate degrees that you can earn in England.
An Important Note: At most England universities, degrees are classified as either “Ordinary” or “Honours.” Ordinary degrees are typically awarded if all classes have been completed, but the overall grades were not at a particular level. Usually this will make no difference in terms of employment, but it may make a distinction in how you progress to postgraduate work. This isn’t the case for all universities, so if you are considering attending university in England, talk to those involved in admissions about how their degree distinctions work.
Bachelor’s Degree (also called a Baccalaureate or Undergraduate Degree
These degrees have been developed in such a way so that you can have a full understanding of a subject or field of study. In England, the average amount of time needed to complete a bachelor’s level degree is approximately three years, but in some cases it could take four. There are different types of bachelor’s degrees offered in England, including Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degrees. Here are some of the programs that you could take when studying in England.
- Anthropology and Archaeology
- Social sciences (sociology, psychology, etc)
- Classical history
- English (Literature, etc)
- Computer Science
- Business (economics, management)
- Medical fields/pre-medical fields
- Music and arts
- Sciences (earth sciences, biology, chemistry)
- Theology and Religion
Another type of first degree that you can obtain in England is called a Foundation Degree. This is the equivalent to two years in an honours degree program. If you opt to pursue a foundation degree, you will take classes that are related to your employment, similar to what some places would call an apprenticeship or an internship. Essentially, these degrees are meant to help you in the workplace if you opted to go into the workforce after you finished secondary school. You can complete a foundation degree, or you can decide to take the third year in order to complete an honours bachelor’s degree. Another type of degree, called a Higher National Diploma (HND), is similar in the sense that it is a two year certificate with a three-year option, but you must obtain good marks in order to qualify for the third year.
Diplomas and Certificates of Higher Education
These certificates are, like the two listed above, equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program, and they can both lead to the third year. Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE) are linked to particular professions in social work or medicine (such as nursing). Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE), on the other hand, are meant to help you gain confidence in your ability to perform at the university level or to help you change careers or progress in your current career.
Even though most people associate Master’s Degrees with postgraduate studies, but some England universities have added a specialized undergraduate Master’s Degree program to their curriculum. These programs are not incredibly common, but they are very appealing to many who were planning on going straight to postgraduate study after obtaining their first degree. These programs typically last for four years and include what you would typically learn when obtaining your first degree; it essentially melds your first degree and your first postgraduate degree into one program. These programs can end up saving the student money because they will be paying undergraduate fees throughout the entire degree program. If this interests you, take a look at the universities you are considering attending and see if they have this sort of program.
There are several places that you can look in order to find out if a university in England has the program that you are looking for. The Telegraph (UK) has a University Course Finder on their site, and you can also check out Across the Pond’s website and find a program that you are looking for.
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