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What is a bachelor’s degree?

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Published: 17 May 2021

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The university application process can be a little confusing when you first start. Whether you have experience of higher education or not, the terms, phrases and acronyms can be a bit overwhelming.

In this article, we’d like to simplify and explain some of those terms to help you get a better understanding of the course you want to apply for. 

BA or BSc?

At the University of Sunderland in London, we offer two kinds of bachelor’s course: BA and BSc.

BA stands for Bachelor of Arts and is usually used to cover anything that looks at people’s thoughts and ideas (which we called qualitative)

BSc is Bachelor of Science and focuses on studies that use quantitative information (or things that can be measured with data).

Most of our bachelor's degrees are BAs, but we do have several BSc’s including BSc (Hons) Nursing (Top-Up) and BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management among others.

Choosing to do one or the other will be based on what you want to study and the kind of career you’re thinking of when you graduate.

How long is a bachelor’s degree?

Bachelor’s degrees usually take between one and four years to complete.

We have a few different options designed to suit your academic needs and experience.

For example, we have the standard three-year BA (Hons) Business and Management but there’s also the top-up degree for people with some knowledge already.

We even have a four-year foundation course which gives you an extra year to learn the kinds of things you might not know if you haven’t been in education for some time.

How are they marked?

There are six possible marks you can get with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. 1) First
  2. 2) Upper second (2:1)
  3. 3) Lower second (2:2)
  4. 4) Third
  5. 5) Pass
  6. 6) Fail


You’ll notice all our undergraduate courses have ‘(Hons)’ in their title which means ‘with honours’.

It’s used to show that a course has a high academic level and when you get a Third or higher, you’ll graduate ‘with honours’ showing employers that you got a great degree.

What can I do with a bachelor’s degree?

When you graduate with a BA or BSc from the University of Sunderland in London, you’ll have plenty of options to look forward to.

You could start your career journey straight away. Most people in the workforce have a bachelor’s degree so this is a common route.

But if you want to stand out from the competition, you could take your academic career one stage further and apply for one of our master’s courses.

Whatever you’re thinking of doing in the future, take some to discuss your options with Careers and Employability.

Now you know what goes into a bachelor’s degree, it’s time to choose your path.

You can find out about all our degrees on our course pages. Or register your interest, book a Personal Consultation or visit us for an Open Day to learn more.

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