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A first degree may also be called a Bachelor's degree, and the name of a particular degree is Bachelor (from Latin baccalaureus) followed by the name of the faculty. Thus a first degree in the faculty of arts is called a Bachelor of Arts, in the faculty of science a Bachelor of Science, and so on. These degrees are often referred to by their initials, both in speech and in writing:
Bachelor's degrees are at two levels: Honours and General/ Pass
Honours is abbreviated to Hons when given with the letters BA, etc, for example, BA (Hons).
A higher degree is one which is awarded after further study, although not always, involving research, and corresponds on the whole to the Russian ученая степень. Academic degree is not often used, but when it applies to all degrees, including first degrees. Higher degrees are sometimes also called further degrees.
Research degree is also used, but it is not an exact synonym of higher/ further degree; it means a degree involving research, and not all (although most) higher degrees are research degrees.
There are two types of higher degree: Master's and Doctor's
Originally this was a degree awarded on acceptance of a thesis based on a short period of research, usually soon often graduation. It was taken either as an additional qualification for a profession, or as an introduction to real research, that is, work on a doctoral thesis.
In some universities it is still so. During recent years, however, there has been an increasing tendency to make the Master's degree an advanced examination degree, awarded often after a year's postgraduate course of study, rather than a degree by thesis.
As in the case of the Bachelor's degree, the name of the particular degree depends on the faculty. Thus a Master's degree in the faculty of arts is called Master of Arts (MA), in the faculty of science Master of Science (MSc), and so on.
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