Compare your Qualification

We have compiled a list of comparisons of UK and International qualifications for your convenience. Unfortunately, this cannot be a full listing for every country in the world but we have included qualifications from countries that we at the Postgraduate Admissions Office encounter frequently.  The list is reviewed throughout the academic year and is subject to change.

The comparability table is derived from NARIC information [International Comparisons and/or Grading Transfer System] with additional information from the Postgraduate Admissions Office and is provided for general guidance purposes only.

Aberystwyth University is only able to recognise qualifications awarded by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that are recognised degree awarding bodies and listed as recognised HEIs by NARIC.

Mature Applicants

Mature applicants with at least 24 months relevant work experience may be considered for taught Masters Programmes. Even if an applicant's academic qualifications are not comparable to a UK Bachelor's degree, their work experience may supplement their overall profile and could be a deciding factor in determining whether or not they are suitable for the relevant taught Master's, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate course.

The UK Higher Education System

To compare an international qualification with a UK qualification, one must first define the relevant UK qualification.

The UK Bachelor's degree is usually studied over a period 3 years in which they will accumulate 360 CATS credits at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Some students in the sciences may study for an additional year, at Level M, in order to obtain an undergraduate Masters degree (e.g. MEng, MPhys, MMath, ..) that consist of a total of 480 CATS credits and are recognised as appropriate research training for these subject areas.

UK Bachelor's Honours Degrees

Degree ClassificationMark Range

Percentage of Students obtaining Class/ Division
[Source: UK NARIC]

First [1] Honours 70% to 100% 18.39%
Upper Second [IIi] 60% to 69% 49.49%
Lower Second [IIii] 50% to 59% 25.92%
Third [III] 40% to 49% 6.20%

UK Masters Degrees

Masters Degrees in the UK are usually 12 month full-time, 2-year part-time or 3-year distance-learning programmes. These may be specialist courses leading on from a Bachelor's degree in that subject area; Research Training or Research Preparation Masters that specifically prepare students for PhD; or conversion courses that condense the essential elements of final 2-years of a Bachelor's degree and a Masters dissertation into a 12-month period. All taught Masters programmes and consist of 180 CATS Credits. An MPhil is a research degree with no taught element. An MRes includes a taught element (1/3) and a research element (2/3). Entry requirements to Masters Degrees are usually either a 2i or a 2ii Honours degree. Some vocationally oriented Masters courses also require relevant work experience.
N.B. 180 CATS credits = 90 ECTS credits

UK PhD

This is a pure research programme conducted under the supervision of a specialist in the field. Where relevant, students will follow research training modules during their first year to support their research project. The final assessment will be based on the doctoral thesis and a viva-voce examination in the presence of a (non-Aberystwyth University) External Examiner and a (Aberystwyth University) Internal Examiner. A full-time PhD programme takes at least 3 years whilst a part-time PhD programme will take at least 5 years. Entry requirements are usually a 2i Honours degree and in some cases a relevant Masters degree.

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Comparison with other EU HE Qualifications

Comparison with non-EU HE Qualifications