UK

What are the types of degrees in the UK?

Updated on: Dec 13, 2023
What are the types of degrees in the UK?
Make your study-abroad dream a reality with Edvoy!
Continue with Google
4.7
rated
85k+
Students counselled
65k+
Courses available
Looking to study in UK?
Explore top universities and get free expert guidance with Edvoy

The United Kingdom has long been a preferred destination for Indian students seeking higher education abroad.

With its rich academic heritage, world-class universities, and diverse culture, the UK offers a wide array of degree programs catering to the needs and aspirations of students from all around the globe.

Whether you're just starting your education journey or looking to specialise in a specific field, there's likely a degree that fits your interests and goals.

In this article, we'll explore the various types of UK degrees to help you understand the different paths you can take to further your education.

Types of degrees in UK

There are several different types of degrees UK that you can pursue at universities and higher education institutions. 

The main types of degrees in UK are as follows

  1. Undergraduate Degrees
  2. Postgraduate Degrees
  3. Other Degrees

1. Undergraduate degrees

The undergraduate degrees are typically three-year programs for full-time students. These degrees are typically awarded at the Bachelor's level and cover many subjects. 

Here are some common types of undergraduate degrees in the UK:

1. Bachelor degrees

Bachelors are undergraduate degrees, and you can pursue them right after schooling.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Bachelors are typically three years long. Some courses allow you to do a Bachelor's degree in four years, including a sandwich year. This additional year will allow you to gain professional experience, or you can choose to do a year abroad.

Unlike England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland's Bachelor's degrees are four years long.

Common types of bachelor degrees UK

Bachelor degrees in the UK details

  • Duration - Typically, 3 to 4 years for full-time programs.
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements vary by university and program, but generally, students must have completed their secondary education with good grades, often including specific subject prerequisites. English language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL may also be required for international students.
  • Fees - Tuition fees can vary widely between universities and depend on factors like the program of study, location, and international status. The fees for international students range from £10,000 to £30,000 or more per year.

Explore Undergraduate Courses in the UK

Also Read: Postgraduate courses in UK for international students

2. Foundation degrees

Foundation courses are one-year-long pre-degree courses that will help you prepare to start your university education comfortably. You can choose a foundation course to improve your English language skills, get familiar with the UK's education system or learn the basics of technical subjects like engineering and medicine.

Some universities offer a foundation year for students who may not meet the entry requirements for an entire undergraduate program. Successful completion of the foundation year allows progression to a Bachelor's degree.

  • Duration - Typically 2 years
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements may include completion of secondary education or equivalent qualifications. Some programs may also require additional qualifications or work experience.
  • Fees - The tuition fees are generally lower than Bachelor's degree fees, ranging up to £9,250 per year.

Explore Foundation Courses in the UK

3. Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) 

CertHE programs are designed to provide a foundational understanding of a particular subject or field. They are often used as a starting point for students who want to explore a subject of interest before committing to a full Bachelor's degree. 

  • Duration - CertHE programs typically last one year of full-time study or can be extended if studied part-time.
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements for CertHE programs may include a minimum level of secondary education qualifications or equivalent. However, these requirements can vary between universities and specific programs.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for CertHE programs are generally lower than full Bachelor's degree programs. The exact fees depend on the university and the specific CertHE program.

4. Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)

DipHE programs offer a more comprehensive study of a particular subject compared to CertHE programs. They are often considered equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelor's degree and provide a solid grounding in the chosen field.

  • Duration - DipHE programs usually last for two years of full-time study. However, like CertHE programs, they can be extended if studied part-time.
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements for DipHE programs can vary but often include completion of secondary education qualifications or equivalent. Some programs may have additional subject-specific entry requirements.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for DipHE programs are generally lower than those for full Bachelor's degree programs. The exact fees depend on the university and the specific DipHE program.

5. Integrated Master's Degrees

Integrated Master's degrees combine undergraduate and postgraduate-level coursework, allowing students to delve deeper into their chosen field of study. These programs are particularly common in scientific and engineering disciplines. They often include advanced coursework, research projects, and sometimes an extended placement or internship.

  • Duration - Typically 4 years
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements are similar to those for Bachelor's degrees, often including specific subject prerequisites. English language proficiency tests may also be required for international students.
  • Fees - Fees for integrated Master's programs are generally similar to Bachelor's degree fees.

Undergraduate degrees typically span three to four years; foundation degrees provide a one-year pre-degree option, while integrated Master's degrees combine undergraduate and postgraduate coursework over four years.

Also Read: The best undergraduate courses in UK for Indian students

2. Postgraduate degrees

The postgraduate degrees offer a wide range of opportunities for students to specialise in their chosen field of study and enhance their academic and professional qualifications.

Here is an overview of some of the most common postgraduate degrees in the UK for Indian students.

1. Master's Degree

A Master's degree is a postgraduate qualification that allows students to delve deeper into a specific subject area. It is often chosen by individuals seeking expertise in their field or changing careers. 

You might also like: MSc Hospitality Management in UK

Different Masters degrees UK

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Science (M.Sc.)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Master's degree in the UK details

  • Duration - Typically, one to two years, full-time. Part-time options may be available.
  • Entry Qualifications - Generally, you will need a relevant bachelor's degree with a minimum second-class honours (2:2) or equivalent. Some programs may require a higher classification.
  • Fees - Tuition fees vary depending on the university, course, and location, but they can range from £10,000 to £30,000 or more per year.

Explore Postgraduate Courses in the UK

2. Doctorate (Ph.D.)

A Doctorate, commonly known as a Ph.D., is the highest level of academic qualification in the UK. It is a research-focused degree that allows students to make an original contribution to their field of study. Ph.D. programs are rigorous and require a deep commitment to independent research.

  • Duration - Typically, three to four years.
  • Entry Qualifications - You'll need a relevant master's degree with a strong research proposal and a good academic record. English language proficiency is also required for international students.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for Ph.D. programs are often lower for domestic students and higher for international students, ranging from around £4,000 to £30,000 per year.

3. Taught Master's Degree

A Taught Master's degree is a structured program that focuses on classroom-based learning and coursework. It is designed to provide in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific field without a significant research component. 

  • Duration - Typically, one year, full-time.
  • Entry Qualifications - Similar to a standard Master's degree, you generally need a relevant Bachelor's degree. Universities may also consider relevant work experience in some cases.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for Taught Master's programs vary, but they are generally in the same range as regular Master's programs, ranging from approximately £6,000 to £25,000 or more per year.

4. Taught Master's Degree by Research (M Phil)

A Taught Master's Degree by Research, often referred to as an M Phil (Master of Philosophy), combines coursework with a research project. It allows students to gain advanced research skills while still benefiting from structured learning in a particular subject area.

  • Duration - Typically, one to two years, full-time.
  • Entry Qualifications - Similar to other Master's programs, you will typically need a relevant bachelor's degree. Universities may also consider your research proposal and your potential to undertake research.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for M Phil programs are usually in the same range as regular Master's programs, ranging from approximately £6,000 to £25,000 or more per year.

Also Read: What Are The Most Popular Degree Courses in the UK?

3. Other major types of degrees in UK

In addition to the traditional postgraduate and undergraduate degrees, the UK also offers a range of vocational and further education qualifications.

1. Higher National Certificate (HNC)

A Higher National Certificate is a vocational qualification offered by colleges and universities in the UK. It is often chosen by individuals who want to gain practical skills and knowledge in a specific field, such as engineering, business, or healthcare. HNCs are equivalent to the first year of a bachelor's degree and can serve as a stepping stone to further education.

  • Duration - Typically one to two years.
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements for HNC programs vary depending on the subject and institution but generally require a good level of secondary education, including relevant A-levels, BTEC qualifications, or equivalent.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for HNC programs can vary depending on the institution and subject but are typically lower than bachelor's degree fees.

2. Higher National Diploma

A Higher National Diploma is a vocational qualification that goes beyond the HNC level. It is often chosen by individuals seeking in-depth practical training and knowledge in specific areas like engineering, business, or hospitality. HNDs are equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelor's degree and can lead to direct employment or further education.

  • Duration - Typically two to three years, full-time.
  • Entry Qualifications - Entry requirements for HND programs vary, but they typically require relevant HNC, A-levels, BTEC qualifications, or equivalent qualifications.
  • Fees - Tuition fees for HND programs are usually lower than Bachelor's degree fees and can vary by institution and subject.

3. National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)

National Vocational Qualifications are work-based qualifications designed to assess an individual's competence in a specific job role or industry. They are often pursued by individuals who are already employed and want to gain recognized qualifications while working. NVQs are available at various levels, from entry-level to advanced.

  • Duration - Variable, depending on the level and subject.
  • Entry Qualifications - There are no set entry qualifications for NVQs, as they are primarily based on workplace experience and assessment.
  • Fees - NVQ costs can vary depending on the level and provider but are typically lower than traditional academic qualifications.

Also Read: What exams are required to study in UK

Looking to study in UK?
Explore top universities and get free expert guidance with Edvoy

Conclusion

The United Kingdom's diverse degree programs provide Indian students with numerous opportunities to pursue their academic and career aspirations. Students can make informed decisions when planning their higher education journey in the UK by understanding the different types of degrees UK, their entry qualifications, duration of study, and associated fees. 

Frequently asked questions

How many degrees are there in the UK?

There are several types of degrees offered in the UK, including undergraduate degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science), postgraduate degrees (e.g., Master's, Doctorate), and vocational qualifications (e.g., HNC, HND). The specific number of degrees available varies across universities and institutions.

What is an undergraduate degree in the UK?

An undergraduate degree in the UK is a higher education qualification obtained after secondary education. Undergraduate degrees in the UK usually take three to four years to complete.

Looking to study in UK?
Explore top universities and get free expert guidance with Edvoy

What comes after a Master's degree in the UK?

After completing a Master's degree in the UK, the next academic step is typically pursuing a Doctorate (Ph.D.) A Ph.D. program involves in-depth research and the completion of a doctoral thesis, often taking three to four years. It is the highest academic qualification attainable in the UK.

What are the different types of Master's degrees in the UK?

In the UK, there are primarily two types of Master's degrees: Taught Master's and Research Master's. Taught Master's programs focus on structured coursework and assessments, while Research Master's (e.g., M.Phil) involve a combination of coursework and significant research work. 

What are the four types of degrees?

The four main types of degrees are Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate (Ph.D.), and Vocational Qualifications.


Let Edvoy help connect you with your dream university!

At Edvoy, we connect students with their dream universities. We facilitate throughout the process, from selecting universities all the way to choosing the course. 

We also help apply for scholarships. Let us help you find the education that helps unlock your true potential! Why wait? Start today!

Start your journey and begin a conversation with a friendly Edvoy Counsellor and download the app today.

Related tags:
types of degrees uk
types of bachelor degrees uk
different types of degrees uk
degrees in england
types of advanced degrees uk
0 Likes
Share this article:
author avatar
Written By

Study Abroad Expert

Stay tuned with us for more updates on studying abroad....Read More

Disclaimer: The views and opinions shared in this site solely belong to the individual authors and do not necessarily represent t