There are many different levels of university degrees, but how do you know which one is right for you? Read on to find out more about university degree levels.
An advanced certificate is a higher level qualification than a diploma and may be awarded by universities, colleges, or other awarding bodies.
It usually requires at least two years of full-time or equivalent part-time study and an average of 4 – 6 subjects studied per semester.
The term “diploma” can refer to all academic awards at the post-secondary level. Still, it most commonly refers to a certificate of completion awarded upon successful completion of a program.
For example, in North America, completing an associate’s degree will result in an associate’s diploma;
completing a bachelor’s degree will result in a bachelor’s diploma, and completing a master’s degree will result in a master’s diploma.
In Canada and the United States, there are numerous types of diplomas at different levels that accredited institutions may issue:
An associate degree is a two-year program that allows you to work towards a bachelor’s degree.
The courses in an associate degree program are designed for students who want to make a career change, enter the workforce with new skills or take their existing skills to the next level.
Community colleges, technical schools, and many four-year colleges and universities offer associate degrees.
Before enrolling in an associate degree program, be sure to check out all available options so that you can find one that fits your needs best.
A bachelor’s degree is a post-secondary academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years.
Bachelor’s degrees can be earned in about three to four years or maybe taken after completing an associate’s degree program.
Students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree should complete at least 60 credit hours, which usually requires two years of full-time enrollment. Some programs require 120 credits for graduation, but most students earn their bachelor’s degree within 120 hours (four years).
Most bachelor’s degrees are offered to undergraduate students to undergraduate students to public universities and colleges.
However, many private institutions also offer these types of programs through online classes or online campus learning centers where professors teach courses on campus using advanced technology such as video conferencing software.
A post-bachelor certificate is a program that requires more than a bachelor’s degree but less than a master’s degree.
It may be offered as part of an undergraduate or independent program and generally takes 1 to 4 years to complete. Post-bachelor’s certificates are not graduate degree programs;
As you begin your search for a post-bachelor’s degree, you will likely hear the word “certificate” used in two different ways.
First, certificate programs are usually completed within one to two years and offer fewer credits than a traditional degree program.
Then, certificates are awarded after a program is complete—just a piece of paper that says you have mastered the material in a particular field. As far as school goes, these two things are entirely different.
The difference between these types of programs is similar to that of an associate’s and bachelor’s degree.
An associate’s degree is a good stepping stone to transfer into a bachelor’s program if you want to pursue one later, but it isn’t precious.
A certificate, like an associate’s degree, is only good as a bridge to another program
—it could be used as an entry point into a more specialized bachelor’s program or job training if you want as much formal education as possible on the topic (or if you want to be able to say you have a diploma in your field), but nothing more than that.
A certificate only means that you’ve received the same type of education and training as someone who has completed the full post-bachelor’s
A master’s degree is a postgraduate academic degree usually awarded to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate proficiency in knowledge in a specific subject.
The Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) are two typical master’s degrees.
The MA requires students to complete an additional thesis or project, while the MS only involves coursework.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is similar to an MBA but focuses on business rather than general management skills. Other joint postgraduate degrees include:
The post-master’s certificate is a postgraduate degree that requires completing a master’s degree.
It is not, however, a terminal degree: it does not confer the title of doctor and does not qualify you to practice medicine.
The post-master’s certificate can be helpful for candidates wishing to teach at the college level or in other educational settings with few (or no) prerequisites for admittance.
Doctorate degrees are postgraduate degrees that universities and professional schools award to those who have completed an extra course of study after receiving a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The name doctorate is given to this degree because it is considered the highest academic degree one can achieve in most fields of learning.
In some countries, such as the United States, it takes around four years’ worth of full-time study (or equivalent part-time study) after earning a master’s degree before one can receive a doctoral degree.
In other countries, such as England and Wales, you may need only two more years after earning your master’s degree before receiving your doctorate (making it a five-year program).
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in education
The Ph.D. in education is the highest academic degree awarded in education. The degree is a research-based terminal degree, requiring the completion of original research and dissertation research.
While some students pursue this degree because they want to become full-time faculty members at colleges or universities, many students use their PhDs as a stepping stone toward other careers.
- How long does it take? 4 – 7 years.
- What is required? Several exams; a thesis/dissertation; graduate-level courses; and writing sample or final project
University degrees levels vary widely depending on the course
University degrees are classified into four levels. This classification determines a student’s education level before enrolling in a class.
- Level 1 (Foundation) – The lowest level is the first year of study at university and typically consists of introductory courses such as English Language or Mathematics.
These courses do not lead to an award but are designed to introduce students to university life and help them choose their degree subject area or field of study for further study during their second-year studies.
- Level 2 (Undergraduate) – After completing your Foundation studies, you will progress onto your Undergraduate degree program, which usually lasts three years (four if you’re studying for a combined honors degree).
Depending on your chosen course, subjects may include Psychology, Media Studies, or Business Management, but most courses involve a mixture of core modules such as Humanities & Social Science subjects alongside specializations like Law or Engineering, depending on your career path want to pursue after graduation.
– undergraduate degrees can also take four years if they involve completing an Honors degree where students undertake either an additional year’s worth of specialist research projects under supervision before submitting it as part of their final dissertation;
alternatively, they may undertake further work placements before taking up employment-related internships later down their career path, which can be helpful when applying for jobs outside academia:
The critical takeaway from this article is that the levels of university degrees can vary widely depending on the course.
Consider using our free consultation service if you need help choosing the right degree level for your academic goals.