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Understanding degrees

A degree is a qualification awarded by a university. You'll get yours once you've completed a set number of modules. How many credits you need is specific to the course you're studying.

At the University of Sunderland in London, you can study for a degree at every level from foundation courses to a professional doctorate.

What is an undergraduate degree?

An undergraduate degree is any bachelor-level qualification awarded by a university. 

We teach two kinds of bachelor honours (hons) degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)


If you pass with a high grade, your final degree qualification will be 'BA (Hons)' or 'BSc (Hons)'. 

Find out more about the undergraduate degrees offered at the University of Sunderland in London.

What is a postgraduate degree?

To study a postgraduate course you need to have completed an undergraduate degree.

We mostly offer a number of taught postgraduate degrees.

Unlike our undergraduate options, we only offer one type of course at this level: 

  • Master of Science (MSc)


Find out more about the postgraduate degrees offered at the University of Sunderland in London

What is a research degree?

A research degree is the highest-level qualification awarded by a university. 

Unlike taught postgraduate degree students, research degree students don't go to classes.

Instead, they work one to one with an academic supervisor. 

We only offer one research degree: 

  •  DProf Professional Doctorate


Read more about the research degree at the University of Sunderland in London.

What is an Integrated Foundation Year?

An is a four-year undergraduate course that includes an initial year to help you get the study skills and subject knowledge needed for the other three years.

The foundation year takes place at the start of the course, with years two, three and four mirroring the first, second and third years of a typical three-year undergraduate degree.

These courses have lower entry requirements than other degrees, and many of our students come to us with relevant and valuable work experience rather than formal qualifications.

We have two integrated foundation year courses at the University of Sunderland in London: 

What is a foundation degree?

A Foundation degree is a single year of pre-undergraduate study aimed at getting you ready to take on a higher degree.

Although we offer some integrated foundation year courses, we also have a range of stand-alone foundation degrees, giving you more flexibility in your studies. 

Take a look at our three foundation courses for more information: 


Find out why you should do a foundation degree.


What is a top-up degree?

A top-up course of a way of taking your knowledge to the next level.

It's aimed at students with a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a Foundation degree and lets you bring your qualification up to a higher level.

For example, if you have an HND in business, you could turn your degree into a full BA (Hons) by studying our business or finance top-up courses.

Check out the full list of top-up degrees we offer.