4 Basic Tools You Need to Graduate With a Bachelor’s Degree in the UK

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4 Basic Tools You Need to Graduate With a Bachelor’s Degree in the UK

Your undergraduate degree can open the door to a world of opportunity. Whether you go straight from your bachelor’s studies into your career or use your stellar degree results to gain admission to a reputable graduate program, first you must be aware of the expectations you need to meet to successfully complete your degree program. Your success starts with admission requirements and culminates in the receipt of your degree after you have completed everything the university requires of you.

  • College Readiness Tests

    One of the ways colleges measure whether you are prepared for the rigors of undergraduate work is with standardized admission tests. A common test believed to be indicative of college readiness is the SAT. What is the SAT exam, and why is it so important? This exam is designed to test your knowledge of the things you are supposed to learn in high school as well as your proficiency at skills such as analytical thinking, reading comprehension and writing that are crucial for your success in college. To prepare for the SAT, you can study and take practice tests to get an idea of how well you will do on the real thing. This can also eliminate some of the nervousness you may be feeling in anticipation prior to test day. Other ways to increase your chance of doing well is to check SAT test dates, arrive on time and be prepared. Employ the same skills you use to handle school well, and you are likely to do well on the SAT or any other entrance exam.

  • English Proficiency

    Once you have taken the appropriate entrance exam to prove your ability to pursue a UK Bachelor’s Degree, you may still have to take other exams that measure specific skills. If English is not your first language, you will probably be required to take one of several tests that measure the level of your fluency in English. There are several possible tests that the university you are interested in may require. The TOEFL is a widely accepted proficiency test. It measures your ability to communicate in English at the university level. It measures reading comprehension, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. In the UK specifically, the results of the TOEFL test can help you secure a Tier 4 student visa. Consult the universities to which you plan on applying to find out what the TOEFL score requirements are. The IELTS academic test examines your readiness to communicate in English in a higher education setting. Like the TOEFL exam, it tests reading, writing, speaking and listening with an emphasis on the specific communication and comprehension level necessary for academic study. Through a series of questions in multiple formats, such as matching, multiple choice, sentence completion and diagram labeling, the test reveals to admissions officers how well you are likely to be able to communicate and participate in their undergraduate programs. You can choose your test time from available IELTS test dates so that the results get to the universities you are interested in well before the admissions deadline. The PTE exam is another way to measure your English skills. It involves a spoken portion so that your speech can be analyzed for grammar, syntax and understandability. It also includes a listening portion where you will hear English speakers with various accents so that your ability to understand what others are saying is measured. When you are looking at PTE exam dates, make sure you allow enough time to complete the three-hour test. English proficiency at the academic level is vital for success in any UK university. Knowing that you can speak the language well enough to be an active participant in academic discussions, however, is just one step toward your admission.

  • UK Admission Requirements

    When you choose the college you want to attend, it makes sense to look for its application so that you can express your interest. Many schools in the UK, however, do not accept direct applications. Instead, you complete a UCAS application that you can apply to four or five courses, depending on the specific course you choose. Universities then receive that information and use it to evaluate your eligibility for admission to their programs. Your UCAS application will ask for standard personal, academic and financial information. An important part of the application is your personal statement. This statement should cover the reason you are applying and what makes you a good candidate for admission to the courses in which you are interested. Talk about your ambitions and career goals as well as how a bachelor’s degree in the UK can help you get there. List relevant skills and experience, including extracurricular or volunteer work, that makes you a desirable fit for the course. If you are applying as an international student, you should include the specific reasons you want to study in the UK rather than in your own country. UK Bachelor’s Degree admission requirements vary from university to university. Completing a UCAS application helps you streamline the application process for both you and the universities looking for promising candidates. Once you have selected a course of study, you are bound to it. There is no changing your major as you can do at most colleges in the US. You apply for a specific course, and that course becomes your degree plan. It is possible to apply for multiple courses, but once your choice has been made, you must follow through with it to earn the Bachelor’s Degree.

  • GPA and Grade Requirements

    Grade point average (GPA) looks a little different in the UK than in other countries. UK bachelor’s grades differ according to the degree option chosen. A regular degree is typically graded on a pass/fail basis. You either get the degree, or you do not. A degree with honors is more popular because it ranks your level of achievement in your degree, which is useful to both graduate admissions officers and prospective employers alike for understanding your level of competence in your subject matter. With an honors degree, the grade point average matters, and a GPA calculator is necessary to determine what level of honors the graduating student achieves. What is a GPA in a UK undergraduate program? There are four basic grade levels for honors degrees in the UK. First class is the highest honors degree that you can get. It is roughly the equivalent of a 4.0 in the US. Students who achieve this level must be passionate about and dedicated to their field of study, and they tend to be highly sought-after candidates for subsequent educational programs or employment. Employers and admissions personnel tend to view those who graduate with first class honors to be hard workers. Upper second class is similar to a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Students who achieve this GPA are also considered viable candidates for employment and further studies. For many organizations, however, an upper second class degree is the minimum acceptable grade. It still indicates that a lot of hard work went into earning the degree and communicates general competence in the course of study. Lower second class is similar to a 2.0 or C average in the US. Most educational institution and employers consider this honors degree level the lowest one can achieve and still be an attractive candidate for admission or employment. Third class is the lowest level you can go and still earn and honors degree. It is approximately the equivalent of a grade of D in the US. Very few students graduate with a third class honors degree in the UK, as most who meet this level have failed certain aspects of their coursework. In some cases, if the margin by which a student misses the third class is small, the university may award an ordinary degree without honors instead of failing the student altogether.

  • UK Degree Requirements

    Most Bachelor’s Degrees in the UK take three or four years to finish, with Scotland notably being on the four-year end of that range. At the end of your coursework, you are expected to be competent in your chosen area of study. The purpose of the degree is to teach you how to think critically and express yourself intelligently both in written and spoken form. Courses generally require that you complete a combination of coursework and exams. Some programs may require a written dissertation at the end as your crowning achievement in your undergraduate studies. To graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in the UK, you must first be admitted. You must meet the minimum standardized test scores required by the course and university you choose. If you are coming from another country, you must take an English proficiency exam to prove that you are capable of communicating on an academic level. For an undergraduate degree, you must submit a UCAS application for your desired courses. Finally, you must complete all your coursework to earn your degree. For help navigating the admissions process, contact SchoolApply.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.