Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Degrees and other academic qualifications

2.1

noun

in the UK and Australia, the second-highest mark for an undergraduate degree from a university, lower than a first but higher than a 2.2

2.2

noun

in the UK and Australia, the third-highest mark for an undergraduate degree from a university, lower than a 2.1 but higher than a third

A.A.

noun

Associate of Arts: a degree given by a US community college to students who have finished a two-year course of study

advanced degree

noun

a qualification taken after a first degree, for example an MA or a PhD

associate

noun

an associate degree

associate degree

noun

the qualification you get when you have completed a two-year course of study at a community college in the US

Associate of Arts

noun

a degree given by a US community college to students who have finished a two-year course of study

BA

noun

Bachelor of Arts: a first degree from a university in a subject such as languages or history. A first degree in a scientific subject is a BSc

bachelor’s degree

noun

a first university degree. A degree that you can study for after your bachelor’s degree is called a master’s degree.

B Ed

noun

Bachelor of Education: a first university degree for people who want to become teachers

BPhil

noun

a first degree from a college or university in philosophy

BS

noun

a BSc degree

BSc

noun

Bachelor of Science: a first degree in a subject such as physics or biology from a university. A first degree in a subject such as languages or history is a BA.

BTEC

noun

one of a large number of qualifications relating to specific careers rather than academic subjects

Cantab

abbreviation

used for showing that a university degree is from Cambridge University in the UK

class

noun

one of the levels that a university degree qualification is divided into according to how well you do in your final examinations. These are first class, second class, and third class.

cum laude

adverb

a student who receives a degree cum laude from a US college or university has achieved a mark of the third highest level in their degree. The second highest is called magna cum laude and the highest is summa cum laude.

degree

noun

a course of study at a university, or the qualification that you get after completing the course

dip.

abbreviation

diploma

diploma

noun

the qualification that you get when you have completed a diploma course

DLitt

noun

Doctor of Letters

DLitt

noun

Doctor of Literature

doctor

noun

someone who has the highest degree given by a university

doctorate

noun

the highest qualification given by a university

double first

noun

a university degree in which you have studied two subjects and have received the highest mark for both subjects

DPhil

noun

Doctor of Philosophy: the highest university degree

first

adverb, number, pronoun, noun

in the UK and Australia, the highest mark for an undergraduate degree from a university

first degree

noun

a university course of study or qualification such as a BA or BSc for someone who does not already have such a qualification

GCE

noun

General Certificate of Education: used to refer to an educational qualification in England and Wales in one of a wide range of subjects. GCE O level (=ordinary level) examinations were replaced in 1988 by the GCSE. GCE A level (=advanced level) examinations allow you to go to university.

HNC

noun

Higher National Certificate: a British qualification in a technical subject, usually gained by studying for one year at college

HND

noun

Higher National Diploma: a British qualification in a technical subject, usually gained by studying for two years at college

honorary

adjective

an honorary university degree or title is given to honour someone, although they have not earned it the usual way

honours

noun

a level of university degree that is higher than an ordinary degree

honours degree

noun

a qualification that you get at a university when you have completed a degree course

Hons

abbreviation

Honours

IB

abbreviation

international baccalaureate

joint degree

noun

a university degree course in which a student studies two subjects to the same level

LLB

noun

Bachelor of Laws: a first degree in law

LLD

noun

Doctor of Laws: a high-level degree in law

LLM

noun

Master of Laws: a master’s degree in law

MA

noun

Master of Arts: an advanced degree in a subject such as languages or history from a university. An advanced degree in a scientific subject is called an MSc.

magna cum laude

adjective, adverb

used for describing the second-highest level of degree at a college or university in the US

master’s

noun

a master’s degree

master’s degree

noun

a university degree that students get if they study for one or two years after their first degree

MBA

noun

Master of Business Administration: a master’s degree in business management

MBSc

noun

Master of Business Science: a master’s degree in business science

MD

noun

Doctor of Medicine: a high-level degree in medicine

M Econ

noun

Master of Economics: an advanced course of study in economics at a university or college, or the qualification you get when you have completed it

M Ed

noun

Master of Education: an advanced course of study in education at a university or college, or the qualification you get when you have completed it

MFA

noun

Master of Fine Arts: a master’s degree in a subject such as painting or sculpture in the US

MLitt

noun

Master of Letters: an advanced degree in literature from a university

MPhil

noun

Master of Philosophy: an advanced degree in any subject at a university

MSc

noun

Master of Science: an advanced degree in a subject such as physics or biology from a university. An advanced degree in a subject such as languages or history is an MA.

NVQ

noun

National Vocational Qualification: a qualification in the UK in a technical subject

PGCE

noun

the qualification you get when you have completed a PGCE course

PhD

noun

Doctor of Philosophy: the highest university degree

premed

noun

in the US, a degree or set of classes that you take in college before you go to medical school

qualification

noun

something such as a degree or a diploma that you get when you successfully finish a course of study

qualification

noun

the action or process of qualifying for something

second

noun

a second-class university degree

second-class

adjective

a second-class university degree is a good degree, but not as good as a first

summa cum laude

adjective, adverb

used for describing the highest level of degree at a college or university in the US

third

the lowest mark for an honours degree from a university in the UK or Australia

third class

noun

the lowest mark that you can get for an honours degree from a university in the UK or Australia

third-class

adjective

a third-class degree is the lowest type of honours degree that you can get from a university in the UK or Australia

transcript

noun

an official record of the classes that a student has taken and the marks that he or she has received

two-one

noun

a university degree in the UK that is at the higher end of the second level. Degrees are divided into three levels. The first level is called a first, the second is divided into two levels, a two-one and a two-two, and the third is called a third. A two-one is also called an upper second.

two-two

noun

a university degree in the UK that is at the lower end of the second level. Degrees are divided into three levels. The first level is called a first, the second is divided into two levels, a two-one and a two-two, and the third is called a third. A two-two is also called a lower second.

paper qualifications

academic qualifications. This phrase usually shows that you think that practical experience is more important

Open Dictionary

chicken raffle

any random process, such as a competition in which a name is drawn from a hat

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog