Honours Degrees

Student graduatingThere are many types of degree including...

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)

Degrees are offered by colleges and universities in a huge range of subjects, for example:

  • vocational, such as medicine, computing, business
  • academic or non work-related, such as history, English, French
  • single subjects, such as chemistry, English
  • joint subjects, such as French with chemistry
  • combined subjects, such as biology and chemistry or German and law

Many can be done on either a part-time or full-time basis. They usually take three or four years of full-time study to complete - up to six years part-time.

Institutions set their own entry requirements but qualifications at level 3 or evidence of recent study is usually required, such as an access course. Specific degrees are needed for some professions such as dentistry, architecture or surveying.

Part-time degrees may form part of a degree apprenticeship.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean


Page updated November 2017

Postgraduate and professional

Group of postgraduate studentsLevel 7 qualifications include:

  • Masters degrees such as MA, MSc, MBA
  • Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas, such as the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

Level 8 qualifications include:

  • Doctor of Philosophy, DPhil or PhD

Postgraduate qualifications:

  • usually require a good first degree
  • may be vocational, for example PGCE for teaching
  • or gained through research
  • or involve doing a taught course
  • vary in length from one to three years full-time or offered on a part-time basis.

Professional Qualifications:

To become a chartered member of many professional bodies such as RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), ICE ( Institution of Civil Engineering) you need an accredited degree, relevant work experience and further training. 

Some jobs are protected in law and you can only do the work if you are a member of the relevant professional body.

There are plans for masters degrees to be offered as part of degree apprenticeships, for example in alliedf health professional careers.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean.


Page updated November 2017


Higher education ideas

Not sure what to study? Need to find out what's involved? Or what it could lead to?


Higher education (HE) is learning for people aged 18 or over, who have successfully completed a level 3 qualification, such as A levels or level 3 BTECs. Higher education courses are offered by universities as well as many other institutions and lead to qualifications such as:

  • a degree (BSc, BA, BEng)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Foundation Degree (FdA or FdSc)

Check out ideas for level 3 students about possible degree or other courses and find out the facts - log into Careers info and enter 'HE ideas' in the search:

  • Applied science
  • Art and design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Childcare and Education/Children’s Play, Learning and Development
  • Computer Science/Computing/ICT
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • Government and politics
  • Health and social care
  • History
  • Languages
  • Maths
  • Media
  • Music
  • PE/sport
  • Performing arts
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious education
  • Sociology
Page updated April 2017

Career ideas

Love history, great at art or are sciences your favourite school subjects?

Career-Ideas-posterCheck out careers using these school subjects - log into Careers Info and enter 'career ideas' in the search:

  • Animal care
  • Art and design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Catering
  • Chemistry
  • Childcare
  • Construction
  • Dance
  • Design and technology
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Food preparation and nutrition
  • Geography
  • Hairdressing and beauty therapy
  • Health and social care
  • History
  • ICT
  • Maths
  • Media studies
  • Modern languages
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Photography
  • Physics
  • Religious studies 
  • Science
  • Sport and leisure
  • Textiles
  • Travel and tourism

Page updated April 2017

Optional subjects

Group of Yer 8/9 studentsYou choose your optional subjects from those your school offers. You will be encouraged to take a range of subjects to keep your future options open. Some subjects may help with your future career but many optional subjects are not required, so ask your careers adviser for advice

ICT - computer skills are needed for nearly every job and ICT helps you develop thinking and problem solving skills.

Humanities – help you to understand the world, its people and the past, and how we react in certain situations. It’s may be possible to start a humanities A level without having done a GCSE.

  • History involves researching, analysing and presenting arguments and facts – useful for the media, education, law and architecture. Check the course covers the period you like.
  • Geography is helpful for careers in meteorology, planning, transport, environmental conservation and cartography.
  • Religious studies helps with understanding of beliefs and moral behaviour and can be useful for careers in management, law, journalism, social care, nursing, teaching and advice work.

Business studies - involves learning about company organisation, business communications and administration and can be useful for careers in office work, finance, insurance, management services, council work or the Civil Service.

Physical education - everyone will do PE but you can also choose GCSE PE as an option, useful for PE teaching, the Armed Forces, professional sport, physiotherapy, the police, sports centre and swimming pool attendants.

Technology - studying food, information or design technology develops practical skills in planning, research and design and team working skills. They're useful for design, catering, printing, engineering, construction and manufacturing.

Art and design - art GCSE is often needed if you want to go to art college or have a career in design. You need high level skills in drawing, a good eye for colour, creative ideas and for design, and an interest in the latest trends.

Music, dance and drama - performing music and drama are useful for careers in teaching, youth work and developing confidence and communication skills. If you’re good you may become a successful actor or musician.

Languages - foreign languages are increasingly sort after by employers that make or sell things abroad, as well as working as an interpreter, translator, teacher or foreign correspondent. Some top universities may ask for a GCSE language.

Work-related subjects - cover broad sectors of work such as applied business, health and social care, leisure and tourism, construction, engineering and more. They may suit you if you are a practical person and you want to develop 'work' skills. They are offered as BTECs and Applied GCSEs (a Double Award needing the same amount of study time as two GCSEs).

Our careers advisers are based at:

Head Office
C & K Careers Ltd
78 John William Street

T: 01484 225500
F: 08724 464511