Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dboven, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. dboven

    dboven New Member


    I am relatively new to the forum, so I'm not sure how often this horse has been beaten. I've stumbled on a thread from 10 years ago that discusses comparisons between US degrees and UK degrees. I'm interested to hear what the current majority opinion is on this subject, but I've not yet mastered the search functions here on the forum and can't find more recent postings. I'm hoping to get responses based on anecdotal experiences or, better yet, any research published in the last 10 years regarding the way American and British degrees stack up against each other. I have my own personal anecdotes, but I'd love to hear others' opinions or perceptions of the difference. Sorry if I'm opening a can of worms that has been opened too often. Thanks a lot.

  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Then let the old thread be necromanced and prepare to have a little fun.
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    In my opinion holders of UK engineering or science degrees at the bachelor level in general have a far greater in depth knowledge of their fields. I assume this is due to differences in the degree requirements; UK engineering degrees often do not have general education requirement (general education is demonstrated by passing A-level exams prior to university entry. I have hired engineers with degrees from both the US and the UK.
  4. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    The undergraduate degree in the UK used to be regarded as all that was necessary for professional life. Lawyers did an LLB and that was that in the academic sense. Professional bodies followed on or presented alternate routes to professionalism. The undergraduate degree, for that reason, was more focused and did not have general education requirements. These were completed in high school. The usual length for an undergraduate degree was three years, but you have to factor in the heavy load of education in the final year of high school.

    I would think that this position is still largely in place, but I see that there are more offerings of Masters Programs. Doctorates are largely research only with no coursework. Doctorates are largely unnecessary for professional life and are mainly used for university or pure research type settings. PhDs, for example, are unusual amongst Psychologists.

    The higher education system needs to be juxtaposed against the society's view of professional life and its political structure. The university does not seem to have as large a grip of professional life in the UK (not to be confused with political power) as in the United States and it has a unitary system of government, so one set of standards can be applied, unlike a federal system of govt. There is little real variance in standards between universities because of the unitary system of govt. Professional boards still operate their own training and qualifications see London City and Guilds City & Guilds | International home.

    The university standards are very high and the examinations are nothing to be taken lightly. It is unusual to get an "A" equivalency, perhaps very unusual. There may be some unevenness in the comparison between undergraduate degrees between the UK and the USA, but they are designed for different purposes. Ultimately, in the postgraduate qualifications, it evens out.
  5. UnixGuy

    UnixGuy New Member

    A degree is just a degree. Period.

    You must show the employer what you're capable of, you must build a proven career track. A Degree is just an entry level preparation. If it's bachelors, then it has entry level knowledge about the field, with some taste of research. Research degrees (MRes/PhD) is an apprenticeship /entry level training to prepare you for a career in research. and so on. Choose a reputable university (US, UK, or any country really, it doesn't matter a lot in the real world), and then prove yourself on the job

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