Confusion over uni degrees

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dogtanian
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First, apologies. I'm sorry for the very general thread title, I know how annoying threads without much in the title are, but I couldn't think of a better one. Secondly, it's a really dumb question, so sorry for that.

I'm a year 12 student, browsing UCAS, and I realised that I don't understand what all the letters after the degrees mean. Not properly, anyway.

Could anyone tell me what the more common ones mean, how you can get them and the 'status' associated with them?
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EconLou
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this may help
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...es/index.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/return...egree_01.shtml



some more information you may like, you first degree (undergraduate) is most likely to be a bachelors then you may go on to do some postgraduate study such as a masters, an MBA, or a doctor of phililosophy (PHD).
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dogtanian
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Thankyou

The B bit is Bachelor, the M bit is Master then? That's what I thought.

I'm interested in English Language and Linguistics. Some of the degrees I've researched so far are BA, some MA. Are any of them regarded more highly in society (if that makes sense)? I don't think it will drastically affect any possible choice, but I think I'd like to know. Just to end the confusion really
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dogtanian
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Oh, and the second link is quite wonderful.


Thanking you, again
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sashh
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(Original post by Hayley...)
Thankyou

The B bit is Bachelor, the M bit is Master then? That's what I thought.

I'm interested in English Language and Linguistics. Some of the degrees I've researched so far are BA, some MA. Are any of them regarded more highly in society (if that makes sense)? I don't think it will drastically affect any possible choice, but I think I'd like to know. Just to end the confusion really
You'll have to do a BA before an MA. MA is higher because it is a second degree. BA is the normal degree (or BSc for sciences).
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Nylex
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(Original post by sashh)
You'll have to do a BA before an MA. MA is higher because it is a second degree. BA is the normal degree (or BSc for sciences).
Can you not do a Master's as a first degree for arts subjects? You can for sciences.
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LongGone
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(Original post by Nylex)
Can you not do a Master's as a first degree for arts subjects? You can for sciences.
The only time I've seen a masters as a first degree for an art's subject is in Scotland, where pretty much all arts degrees seem to be an MA, I think because they spend four years doing it.
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hornblower
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(Original post by Frances)
The only time I've seen a masters as a first degree for an art's subject is in Scotland, where pretty much all arts degrees seem to be an MA, I think because they spend four years doing it.
The Master degree is the standard degree of the ancient universities.

Worth reading is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_degree and the pages it links to.
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claire1985
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(Original post by Frances)
The only time I've seen a masters as a first degree for an art's subject is in Scotland, where pretty much all arts degrees seem to be an MA, I think because they spend four years doing it.
My boyfriend does Msci as his first degree, at Imperial.
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hornblower
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(Original post by claire1985)
My boyfriend does Msci as his first degree, at Imperial.
MSci, not Msci.

Undergraduate Master's have become increasingly common in recent year.
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claire1985
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(Original post by hornblower)
MSci, not Msci.

Undergraduate Master's have become increasingly common in recent year.
Stop being so pedantic. Anyway, there are a lot of Master's at u/g level, all that happens is you need higher grades to get onto, and stay on, them.
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tommyboy
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Basically, it's the same thing in most cases,

Those who start university doing a Masters course will normally do a four year course (in Scotland, or generally for a lot of science subjects such as the ones at Imperial).

Those who don't will do a three-year BA/BSc and then a one-year MA/Msc.

In any case it takes you four years to get a Masters (i.e. either through doing one four-year course or through doing a three-year course followed by a one-year course). This holds true for the vast majority of courses. (As the Masters is a higher qualification though most universities demand higher grades to get onto a four year course though. If you take the three year course there's obviously no guarantee that you'll get onto a one-year MA/MSc afterwards).

There are a variety of other possibilities though (e.g. years abroad, Oxbridge degrees being "upgraded", MLitts, MPhils, etc.).
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CamSPSer
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[QUOTE]an ordinary degree involving 3 years' full-time study, where the student does not normally specialise in a particular subject;
an honours degree, involving at least four years' full-time study, where the student specialises in one or two subjects after the first two years (known as single honours or joint honours). QUOTE]

is this to do with scotland? as im sure you get a BA (Hons) after 3 years, or am i just imagining things?

also what is the proper way to write out your degree qualfication? BA (Hons) in Biology (Hull) or something? where does the classification (1st, 2:1 etc) go?
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hornblower
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(Original post by notyourpunk)
is this to do with scotland? as im sure you get a BA (Hons) after 3 years, or am i just imagining things?

also what is the proper way to write out your degree qualfication? BA (Hons) in Biology (Hull) or something? where does the classification (1st, 2:1 etc) go?
The ancient Scottish universities generally give the MA for an undergraduate arts degree.

The way to write your degree title is generally:

Mr John Smith BA (Hons)

Only Oxbridge and Durham graduates are entitled to give the institution after their name. The classification is not listed.
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Nylex
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(Original post by hornblower)
Mr John Smith BA (Hons)
Unless of course you didn't get an Honours degree and just got a pass.
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currency_westlake
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(Original post by hornblower)
The ancient Scottish universities generally give the MA for an undergraduate arts degree.

The way to write your degree title is generally:

Mr John Smith BA (Hons)

Only Oxbridge and Durham graduates are entitled to give the institution after their name. The classification is not listed.
Except many people do put their uni name afterwards, regardless of whether or not they are 'officially' entitled to. Most university department websites do this in their staff biographies, and I have been given business cards with (Nottm) and (Warwick) on them. I think that the old traditions are wearing off, and since nowadays the uni you studied at makes quite a lot of difference, more people like to advertise it (although obviously you're unlikely to come across: Mr John Smith BA (Thames Valley)!!!)

Also, I believe that (Imp) (LSE) (UCL) and (KCL) are 'official' anyway...

Mr Thomas Hitchings BSc Hons (LSE) .....provided I meet the offer and pass the course......and then maybe........ Dr Thomas Hitchings PhD (LSE) MSc (LSE) BSc (LSE)..........(having got the first offer for undergrad. I'm now dreaming of doing a PhD in Political Science one day!)
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hornblower
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(Original post by tomhitchings)
Except many people do put their uni name afterwards, regardless of whether or not they are 'officially' entitled to. Most university department websites do this in their staff biographies, and I have been given business cards with (Nottm) and (Warwick) on them. I think that the old traditions are wearing off, and since nowadays the uni you studied at makes quite a lot of difference, more people like to advertise it (although obviously you're unlikely to come across: Mr John Smith BA (Thames Valley)!!!)

Also, I believe that (Imp) (LSE) (UCL) and (KCL) are 'official' anyway...

Mr Thomas Hitchings BSc Hons (LSE) .....provided I meet the offer and pass the course......and then maybe........ Dr Thomas Hitchings PhD (LSE) MSc (LSE) BSc (LSE)..........(having got the first offer for undergrad. I'm now dreaming of doing a PhD in Political Science one day!)
No, you are not allowed to name the institute unless you're a graduate of the Oxbridge or Durham. There are no exceptions. Not following this is wrong and is frowned upon.

You must either write Dr or PhD, not both. The BSc is superfluous if the MSc is written.
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shiny
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The research councils have changed the funding formulas for PhDs now and generally prefer people to have done a Masters and before a PhD.
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shiny
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Unfortunatley, ESRC won't fund PhD unless you do a four year PhD incl. one year of Masters Training or you already have a Masters and AHRB strongly prefer you to have a Masters.

http://www.esrc.ac.uk/esrccontent/po...ng/foindex.asp

http://www.ahrb.ac.uk/apply/postgrad...ligibility.asp
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d750
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(Original post by Pencil Queen)
Well in engineering an UG masters is pretty much standard anyway. For most other sciences an UG masters will give you an edge (an extra year and a very in depth dissertation/project) and in the case of the arts/social sciences where UG masters aren't available a seperate 1/2 yr masters course costing god knows how much (and very very rarely funded) is a waste of everyone's time...unless it's to change discipline or to specialise into a research money rich area.

Even the funding councils aren't niaive enough to insist on a PG masters course....it's generally only necessary if you didn't achieve a 2i (as the funding councils/board will *NOT* fund a studentship for a 2ii graduate without a masters)
I think they do pretty much insist on a master's course. Their PhD funding form says explicitly that there is very little chance of getting funding if you haven't completed a master's degree.
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