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Undergraduate VS Postgraduate: What Difference Does it Make?

The undergraduate vs postgraduate might seem confusing to lots of students especially to those who haven’t sat down to think about their differences. In the tertiary world, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are two inevitable things you will come across in your academic path. When you are done with high school, there is a high probability to start pondering about having an undergraduate degree.

Generally, the transition leap from undergraduate to postgraduate has no major difference because there is a continuity between the two of them. When you want to enroll in a postgraduate program, you don’t have to feel intimidated by the name. In any postgraduate course, when once you have an undergraduate knowledge of it, you should do well at the postgraduate level. Let’s get comprehensive knowledge on undergraduate vs postgraduate.

What is Undergraduate?

Undergraduate individuals pursue undergraduate degrees and it could be either bachelor’s or associate degrees. Therefore, if you hear people saying they want to attend any university, their major goal is to obtain an undergraduate degree. Also, it is the first degree to get after you are done with high school and there are different undergraduate degrees.

Read also: Graduate VS Undergraduate: What Difference Does it Make?

Different Types of Undergraduate Degrees

These are the two types of undergraduate degrees:

  1. Associate Degree Programs:

When you are done with high school, and you want to obtain a fast degree within two years, having an associate degree is the surest way to go. With an associate degree, you can get your dream job compared to having merely a high school certificate or diploma. Also, it helps to transfer qualifying credits that will transit into obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a reputable institution.

  1. Bachelor’s Degree Programs:

Most of these programs are the normal four conventional years, and in some courses, it could take more than four years. In enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program, you must be ready to have an extensive study when running an undergraduate program. It is necessary to possess a bachelor’s degree to become relevant in a particular field.

What is a Postgraduate?

It is a degree in which individuals can study after they are through with their bachelor’s degree. Some postgraduate degrees don’t require you to have a bachelor’s degree. Presently, it has been estimated that over 540,000 students are offering one postgraduate degree in the UK. There are different types of postgraduate degrees, and we will see them.

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Types of Postgraduate Degrees

There are four types of postgraduate degrees, and they are:

  • Taught courses
  • Research degrees
  • Conversion courses
  • Professional qualifications
  1. Taught Courses:

It comprises master’s degree and postgraduate diplomas, and it is something that is done within a year or two years after completion of either a project or dissertation. In taught courses, you have the opportunity of offering any of the master’s degrees such as Master of Business, Master of Science, Master of Arts, or Master of Engineering.

Postgraduate diplomas or certificates can be regarded as either vocational or academic qualifications. Postgraduate diplomas take nine months, while a postgraduate certificate takes approximately four months. You can study a course you have a bachelor’s degree or pick a new one.

  1. Research Degrees:

Most time, postgraduate degrees involve lots of independent research. For instance, doctorate degrees involve lots of research, and they are different types of doctorates such as PhDs, professional doctorates, DPhils, and integrated PhDs. A master’s degree is necessary for a doctorate, and it is done within two to four years. Doctorate degrees involve lots of doctoral theses and can be between 40,000 to 120,000 words worthy of publication.

  1. Conversion Courses:

Postgraduate degrees are not mainly academic sessions, but you can enroll for a new course even when you didn’t offer it as an undergraduate degree. These courses are done within one year, and they are vocational courses, diploma, master’s, and certificate conversion courses. For instance, you might read physiology during your undergraduate program, and decide to switch over to medicine and surgery using your bachelor’s degree.

  1. Professional Qualifications:

Professional bodies are offering professional qualifications, and these qualifications can give a candidate special entry into various careers. For instance, a lawyer or solicitor might decide to take a Legal Practice Course to get maximum practical training in their field

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 Undergraduate VS Postgraduate

There are differences between undergraduate vs postgraduate based on areas of specialization, and they are:

  1. Level of Expertise:

In undergraduate programs, students have a broader knowledge of different fields, and also there is a wealth of experience for them to learn new things. On the other hand, postgraduate degrees take students to have deeper analysis on a subject because it is expected for students to have the first-hand or fundamental experience to be considered as a specialist in the field.

  1. Length of Time:

An undergraduate program could be from three years and above depending on the course of study. If you will.be going for medicine and surgery, then, you should be ready to spend five years of your life studying for your degree. A postgraduate degree program might be short if it was a master’s degree, but doctoral programs could be between 3 to 4 years due to lots of doctoral theses. Also, it involves intensive research compared to Undergraduate programs.

  1. Learning Experience:

The learning experience for an undergraduate degree is quite different from a postgraduate degree. In undergraduate degrees, there are no areas of specialization because everyone has to focus and study the same courses at the same time. Postgraduate degrees offer students the chance of focusing on a specific area to build their experiences that will expand competency in it.

  1. Contact with Academic Staff:

It is difficult for students to have an easy rapport with their lecturers because there are lots of students offering the same course. In some cases, lecturers might be busy to see the need of creating time to have an interactive session with their students. In postgraduate degrees, it is easier to have a student-to-lecturer bond because the number of students is low, and the classrooms are small compared to Undergraduate classes.

  1. Assessment:

In undergraduate degrees, you might be given an essay to write which is usually two to three thousand words, but some students find it difficult to do. In postgraduate courses, you might write a thesis of 30,000 words filled with in-depth analysis of a particular subject. The essence goes this long essay is to make students become versed with their communication skills.

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Conclusion

Before gaining admission to study in any course, undergraduate vs postgraduate degrees is different from each other. It is preferable to have an idea of the various options related to the degree program before enrolling in it. This will help you schedule the various classes you want to offer in university or college, and perform well in them.

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