Types of Degrees In The UK
6 min read

Types of Degrees In The UK

6 min read
Uploaded on
Sep 22, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 9, 2023
Uploaded on
Sep 22, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 9, 2023
Types of Degrees In The UK
Mastering the higher degree.

Do you wish to pursue your higher education in the UK but don’t know where to start? Well, we are here for the rescue! We understand how nerve-racking it can get to choose a degree structure that suits you the best and benefits your future plans. Since degrees in British universities can have different titles than those in other nations, let us introduce to you the most common UK degrees out there.

Degrees available at the Undergraduate level:

Foundation Degree

Foundation courses are one-year pre-degree courses that prepare you for university life. A foundation course can help you develop your English linguistic skills, learn about the educational system in the UK, understand the fundamentals of technical fields, or even learn about the benefits of STEM education.

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) & Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)

If you don't want to commit to a full degree, you're frequently offered a stand-alone qualification called a CertHE or DipHE. A CertHE is awarded after a year of full-time study, worth 120 credits, and a DipHE after two years, worth 240 credits. Depending on the profession, a CertHE or DipHE may help land a job because they are equal to other degrees. For instance, an NVQ 4 Diploma in Business and Administration and a DipHE in Business and Management are comparable.
You can use a CertHE or DipHE as a stepping stone to a complete degree, and you may be allowed to forgo one or two years of a graduate program. You still need to ensure that you meet the course's entry requirements and determine whether your prior coursework is transferrable.

Bachelors Degree 

The most typical undergraduate degree is a bachelor's, also known as an honours degree. Most employers mean when they say in a job posting that they're looking for an "undergraduate" or "first" degree. Bachelor's degrees can be pursued immediately following high school graduation, and they typically last three years and are available in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 
Some programmes allow you to complete a bachelor's degree in four years, with a gap year. You can either use this extra year to travel for a year or to obtain work experience. Unlike other places, Scotland requires four years to complete a bachelor's degree. In the UK, these degrees are frequently awarded in the following fields:
1. Bachelor of Arts (BA)
2. Bachelor of Science (BSc)
3. Bachelor of Education (BEd)
4. Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
5. Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
6. Graduate Certificate (GradCert)

Bachelors Degree Requirements in the UK

The requirements for international students at UK universities might differ depending on several factors, including the course you choose, the university you attend, the level of your degree, etc. However, some basic requirements for each level of degree at UK universities apply to all international students. For bachelors in the UK, students need to make sure that their past academic qualifications meet the eligibility criteria of their favoured university. 
1. A minimum of 65% in 12th grade in Humanities
2. A minimum of 70-80% or above in 12th grade in Science & Commerce is required by most universities. 
3. Some universities conduct an entrance examination which will vary on your program (GMAT, GRE, LNAT, BMAT, UKCAT etc.)
4. English Language Proficiency Tests

Degrees available at the Postgraduate level:

Masters Degree

A master's degree is a postgraduate degree that follows an undergraduate degree. These degrees are more narrowly focused on a particular field of study. After earning your master's, you'll be able to get in-depth information and develop the skills you’ll need to succeed in your chosen field. In the UK, master's programmes typically last for a year, but you can choose to complete one in two years by including work placement opportunities in your subject to gain professional first-hand experience. An integrated master's programme is an option if you are driven to finish your master's degree immediately after graduation. You can complete your bachelor's and master's degrees in four to five years in this way.

Taught Masters Degree

Taught Masters typically consist of six months of lectures and exams, followed by six months of project work culminating in a thesis. You can finish this degree in a year or two, depending on your ambitions and interests.

Masters by Research (M Phil)

Postgraduate Research Degrees require two or three years of an in-depth, comprehensive study on a particular topic and after the programme, you have to submit a thesis or dissertation about your study in writing.

Among the many types of degrees in the UK, some common master’s degrees include:
1. Integrated master’s degree
2. Master of Arts (MA)
3. Master of Science (MSc)
4. Master of Engineering (MEng)
5. Master of Research (MRes)
6. Master of Laws (LLM)
7. Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Masters Degree Requirements in the UK

To apply for an MS in the UK, some universities may have a different eligibility criteria, so students need to make sure that they qualify for their chosen programme of study. Some basic requirements are
1. A three- to four-year bachelor's degree in a comparable discipline with a minimum grade point average of 60% to 75%.
2. GRE or GMAT score (depends on the program)
3. Work experience (mostly required for management programs)
4. Research Proposal (postgraduate research programs)Interview (depends upon program)

Doctorate/ Ph.Ds

A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or doctorate is the highest academic level a student can achieve. These degrees are extremely rigorous and frequently result in professions in academia. Students who receive at least a 2:1 at the undergraduate level are eligible for doctoral programmes. While some PhD courses require research, there are others which are taught. These taught courses typically include presentations, written coursework, exams, and a thesis and can take about 3 years. As lessons in the classroom are very engaging, active participation from the students is required at all times.

PhD Requirements in the UK

1. A Bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second Class (or its international equivalent). 
2. A master's degree in the relevant field with honours and a minimum average grade of 60% (in both the taught course units and your dissertation) 

Types of Degrees in the UK and requirements
Types of Degrees in the UK

Other Types of Degrees in UK Include:

Single honours

One particular academic subject is covered by a single honours degree. You can add additional on extra modules to your course by selecting them as electives.

Joint Honours

If you seek a dual honours degree, you will be able to study an array of subjects at once. Universities in the United Kingdom provide integrated degrees that include several relevant subjects. Short courses, certificates, and diplomas are also available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in UK institutions.

Higher National Certificate

An undergraduate degree that takes one year to complete, the HNC is comparable to the first year of a university. It is a level 4 practical certificate for students who want to continue their bachelor's degree in the second year or prepare for a particular career.

Higher National Diploma

An HND is a level 5-certificate that takes two years to complete and is the equivalent of the first two years of a bachelor's degree. It is similar to an HNC. Students in their third year of a bachelor's degree programme who wish to gain practical experience or further study can apply for this occupational certificate.

Diploma of Higher Education

A level 5 certification known as a DipHE is equivalent to an HND or two years of bachelor's degree study. Training during this will be more theoretical than practical, and earning a DipHE will allow you to finish the last year of your bachelor's degree.

National Vocational Qualification

A professional or vocational qualification is typically pursued to develop abilities or gain qualities needed for particular employment. Due to the practical nature of this certificate, it provides actual work experience.

Conversion Courses

Anyone considering a job change should enrol in a conversion course. With these postgraduate degrees, you can study a subject that wasn't covered during your undergraduate education. Most conversion courses that are offered are shortened versions of bachelor's degrees. Conversion courses are frequently taken by students who intend to continue their studies at the master's level.


As the UK has a global stature for world-class education, we want you to make the most of it! From deciding your dream profession to finalising your degree structure, we at amber want it to be a hassle-free process for you. Through this blog, we mentioned the various degree options accessible to students in the UK and other options depending on interests, aptitudes, and long-term goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions