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About Bachelor Degree

 
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What is a Bachelor Degree?

A bachelor degree is a university degree awarded to students who complete a full 3 or 4-year undergraduate curriculum (course of study). Bachelor degrees may also be referred to as baccalaureate degrees.

Most students enter a bachelor degree program directly from high school after STPM, A-Levels or Matriculation or after completing a diploma program.

What are the benefits of having a Bachelor degree?

A bachelor degree offers many benefits and opportunities. Having a bachelor degree:

  • Can significantly increase your earnings.
  • Opens the door to many more career options, job opportunities, and promotions than you might be eligible for with a high school certificate or diploma.
  • Is a standard requirement for admission into accredited master's and doctorate degree programs.

What is required for admission to a Bachelor degree program?

Universities have different criteria for admitting students to their bachelor degree programs, but the basic requirements usually include:

  • STPM, Matriculation, A-Levels, Diploma or Foundation Program

Types of Bachelor degrees

Bachelor degrees are available in a wide range of disciplines, but the most common general degrees are the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Many bachelor's degrees are awarded as concentrations of one of these two degrees, although there are numerous bachelor degrees named specifically for their subject areas.

A degree may be awarded with or without honours, with the class of an honours degree based on the average mark of the assessed work a candidate has completed. Below is a list of the possible classifications with common abbreviations. Honours degrees are in bold:
  • First Class Honours (First or 1st or 1:1) (70%+)
  • Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) (60%+)
  • Second Class Honours, Lower Division (2:2) (50%+)
  • Third Class Honours (Third or 3rd) (40%+)
  • Ordinary degree (Pass)

If students fail the course entirely, no degree is awarded.

At most institutions the system does allow for a small amount of discretion and candidates may be elevated to the next degree class if their average mark is close or the median of their weighted marks achieves the higher class, and they have submitted many pieces of work worthy of the higher class. However, they may be demoted a class if they fail to pass all parts of the course even if they have a high average.

There are also variations between universities (especially in Scotland, where honours are usually reserved only for courses lasting four years or more, with a three-year course leading to the awarding of an Ordinary degree; and requirements other than the correct average are often needed to be awarded honours. (In Scotland it is possible to start University a year younger than in the rest of the United Kingdom as the Scottish Higher exams are taken at age seventeen, not eighteen, so four-year courses end at the same chronological age as a rest-of-UK three-year course.

When a candidate is awarded a degree with honours, "(Hons)" may be suffixed to their type of degree, such as BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons).

At Oxford and Cambridge, honours classes apply to examinations, not to degrees. Thus, in Cambridge, where undergraduates are examined at the end of each Part (one-or two-year section) of the Tripos, a student may receive different classifications for different Parts. The degree itself does not formally have a class. Most Cambridge graduates use the class of the final Part as the class of the degree, but this is an informal usage. At Oxford, the Final Honour School results are generally applied to the degree.

First-class honours

First-class honours degrees (often simply "firsts") are the highest level of degree awarded and are taken to indicate high academic achievement and ability.

Second-class Honours, Upper Division

The upper division is commonly abbreviated to 2:1 (pronounced two-one).

Second-class Honours, Lower Division

This is the second division of second class degrees and is abbreviated as 2:2 (pronounced two-two).

Third-class Honours

Third-class honours is the lowest honours classification in most modern universities. Until the 1970s, Oxford awarded Fourth-class honours degrees, but did not distinguish between "Upper-Seconds" (2:1s) and "Lower-Seconds" (2:2s), and so still had four classes like other establishments.

Ordinary Degree

An Ordinary degree is a pass degree without honours. A number of universities offer ordinary degree courses to students, but most students enroll in honours degree courses. Some honours courses permit students who fail the first year by a small margin (around 10%) to transfer to the Ordinary degree. Ordinary degrees are sometimes awarded to honours degree students who do not complete an honours degree course to the very end but complete enough of it to earn a pass.

Scottish universities offer Ordinary degrees as a qualification in its own right, which last three years, as well as an honours degree over four years. This is in contrast to English universities that have honours degree with three years of study, though a similar program in Scotland is not unheard of, provided a high entrance grade is achieved. An Ordinary degree from a Scottish university (also known as a designated degree) is often sufficient to study a post graduate course.
         
 

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