The most common undergraduate degree is known as a Bachelor's degree, which generally takes 3 years to complete, except in Scotland, where it takes four years. Students in Scotland. However, may be able to skip their first year of University if they are reading a subject they have studied at A Level or IB, depending on their grades.
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Most students will graduate with a BA, BSc or equivalent qualification. However, Oxbridge and Scotland’s four 'ancient universities', award their undergraduates an MA (Master Degree). This is because their courses are considered to be more taxing.
At other Universities, students usually apply for a master’s degree upon completion of their bachelor's. Having said this, ‘enhanced Master’s programmes’ are becoming increasingly common, for funding reasons. These programmes are usually four years in duration and combine the Master’s degree with the Bachelor’s.
Degrees can cost up to £9,000 per year. However, funding is available to pay for your child's tuition fee - please see Fees & Finance for more information, as each UK country works under a different system.
Bachelor's degrees are generally undertaken at a university, however there are a few further education colleges which offer degrees. Traditionally, studying for a Bachelor's meant moving away from home. However times have changed with 19% of undergraduates now living at home. There is funding available for students living both at home and away from home.
Bachelor's degrees consist of a number of modules made up of credits. Usually a degree is made up of 360 credits split over three years. Therefore, in each year, students will complete 120 credits. These credits will be divided into modules of 5, 10, 20 or 40 credits. The majority of courses will include an extended project or dissertation worth 40 credits, which is completed in the final year of the degree.
In the UK, students will generally graduate with an honours degree, unless they fail a year of their degree programme or their dissertation. If this is the case they will receive an ordinary degree. Because the system is so different in Scotland, an ordinary degree is not seen so much as a failure to gain an honours degree, but rather an alternative shorter degree programme.