Question by M: Just need a crash course in higher education degrees?
What types are there – bachelors, e.t.c
What are they worth
What do they mean
Also, when you graduate from high school in america you get a diploma, which you need to get into uni, but in England you need A-levels to get into Uni. Just wondering, is it possible to move to England with a diploma and get into Uni, or vice versa?
Answer by Kayo
There are several types of HE degrees. The first classification is undergraduate and postgraduate:
1) Associate’s degree: Lasts typically 2 years and you can find these most commonly at Community and/or technical colleges.
2) Bachelor’s degree: You earn this at a 4-year institution. You can study majors and minors, which means you choose specific topics in which you “specialise”. I put that in inverted commas because the reality is that as that level, students tend to have more general knowledge than specific knowledge. A bachelor’s degree is the basic prerequisite to study at master’s or doctoral degree level.
1) Master’s degree: Typically last between 1 and 2 years (the 1 year course is increasingly becoming the norm). It is the 1st graduate level degree. It is a specialist degree in the sense that you become more specialised in a specific area.
2) Doctoral degree: can take 3-6 years (in many cases 7 or more!) –this depends on the programme. It is research intensive (as you are expected to make a contribution to the area of knowledge you are doing the PhD in). It is the highest academic degree possible.
3) Professional degrees: These are related to professions in which you “practise”. They are typically granted in disciplines like law, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.
In terms of studying in the UK, the idea is that your qualifications need to be equivalent to those required by UK universities. These equivalences can be identified at the UK NARIC (The National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom). Any overseas student wanting to study in the UK needs to provide a Statement of Comparability and this organisation provides this service for a fee. You can find them here: http://www.naric.org.uk/
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