Often called a university diploma or the Bachelor Degree, the first degree you will receive in education levels above college. Within the course, undergraduate students will take various modules necessary for the undergraduate degree.
How long do undergraduate degrees last?
The undergraduate degree is typically three years in the UK, but if needed, you can extend your undergraduate degree.
Qualifications offered at undergraduate level
At undergraduate level the main qualifications offered are:
- 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.