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    Hi I'm in year 12 at the moment, but I've been thinking about what I would want to do at university pretty much my entire life (assuming we manage to get state funding so that I can actually go).I'll also be filling out my UCAS application in the next few months.

    However, I really don't understand how university degrees work. I know that there's first, second and third honours, bachelor's, master's and a doctorate (PHD), but I have no idea how they all fit in together or how to get any particular one.
    From research, I've come to understand that the level of honours you graduate with depends on your performance, so I'm guessing it's similar to a final grade.

    Basically, when I go to university in just under two years, what type of degree will I be doing. Is the first degree you do always a bachelor's, or can you do a master's? I think somebody said that to jump straight into a master's you need to have a certain amount of experience working in your chosen field.

    I also know that a doctorate is a postgraduate degree, so you need to have an undergrad degree first, but it still confuses me.As someone who has been obsessed with science ever since I could sit up unassisted, I definitely want a PHD. How many years will that take, and what does the whole process of getting a doctorate involve, starting when you finish your A-levels?

    Does government funding cover your education all the way up to a doctorate, or do you have to find the money to pay for it yourself? I'm asking because in two years my family managed to save up about £2500 for me to go to university, which will probably barely cover moving to the mainland.
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    You do an undergraduate degree first. There are two types of undergrad degree, the conventional three-year bachelor's degree and the four-year undergraduate master degrees (MSci, MEng etc). The latter are not proper master's degrees, think of them as a more advanced bachelor's degree. If you want to be a scientist then it probably is a good idea to do an undergrad masters.

    You can then do a postgrad degree (MA, MSc, PhD etc). You can't do a master's degree without doing an undergrad degree first. Scientists don't often need to do master degrees; they normally jump straight from undergrad to PhD.

    PhDs take 3, sometimes 4 years. The government funds some PhD students through research councils, but not everyone gets funding - you have to apply. With respect, you can't possibly know you want to do a PhD. Focus on your A levels and finding the right undergrad degree.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    You do an undergraduate degree first. There are two types of undergrad degree, the conventional three-year bachelor's degree and the four-year undergraduate master degrees (MSci, MEng etc). The latter are not proper master's degrees, think of them as a more advanced bachelor's degree. If you want to be a scientist then it probably is a good idea to do an undergrad masters.

    You can then do a postgrad degree (MA, MSc, PhD etc). You can't do a master's degree without doing an undergrad degree first. Scientists don't often need to do master degrees; they normally jump straight from undergrad to PhD.

    PhDs take 3, sometimes 4 years. The government funds some PhD students through research councils, but not everyone gets funding - you have to apply. With respect, you can't possibly know you want to do a PhD. Focus on your A levels and finding the right undergrad degree.
    Thanks so much! This answer was a lot more helpful than anything I've found so far.
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    (Original post by fotogenicz1)
    You start with an undergraduate degree, then do a masters and then a postgrad if you wish. masters might be 1 more or 2 more years, postgraduates vary in length).
    A masters IS a postgraduate degree (unless it is an enhanced undergraduate masters).

    PhDs don't vary in funded length (3/4 full time funded). The variations are down to how long students take to complete their thesis.
 
 
 
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