British degrees

Degrees offered at British universities can have different names than those in other countries, so let us introduce the most common British degrees.


An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer if it includes an industrial placement, an additional subject or a year abroad. Many degrees specialise in certain subjects from Year 1.

Types of undergraduate degree include:

BSc (Bachelor of Science) - a science degree

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts) - an arts degree
  • BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) - an engineering degree
  • Undergraduate master’s degree (eg MEng) - an enhanced four-year undergraduate degree including extra subjects studied at a deeper level


Students who receive good grades in their undergraduate degrees may choose to take a master’s degree, which takes a minimum of one year to complete.

Types of master’s degree include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • MRes (Master of Research)

Taught master’s degrees

Taught masters usually involve six months of intensive tuition followed by six months of project work which ends with a dissertation.

Master’s degrees by research (MPhil, MSc by Research, MEnt)

Research degrees involve at least one year, sometimes more, of full-time research resulting in an examined thesis. 


If you would like to continue to study for a PhD, you will have to conduct a minimum of two years’ research after the award of your MSc.

In some subject areas a student may transfer from BSc/BA/BEng to PhD so that they follow a three-year research programme for PhD without first obtaining a master’s degree.