Bachelor’s or Master’s?

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Before applying to university, we’re all forced to choose whether we want to study for 3 years (usually) to get a bachelor’s or do an extra year for a master’s. We have to make this choice at a time when we may barely have decided we want to go to university. Which is the best option on the menu of life choices?

Until shortly before applying to university, bachelor’s and master’s were just words to me. As I read prospectuses, however, I realised that they had to be more than a brand of soup and some kind of sports competition I’ve never seen. Indeed, they indicate the plan of study in the final year of your degree and what you want out of your studies. A bachelor’s degree is a wide overview while a master’s tends to be more specialised and aimed at those who want to do research. The bachelor’s is a beloved series and the master’s is the cult-followed spin-off. Doctor Who and Torchwood. The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. The Bachelor, and its winter Olympic themed counterpart, ‘The Bachelor Winter Games’ (which is a real thing).

Most people will tell you to weigh up your options and make the decision that’s right for you. That’s true. It’s the basis of all decision-making and you’re probably familiar with it, having made other decisions. However, being on the master’s course allows you to keep your options open. Nobody likes closed options. Once you’re accepted on the master’s course, you have the ability to downgrade to a bachelor’s should you choose to.

There’s a catch. Sort of. Applying to the master’s may mean higher grade boundaries on your offer for some courses. This may not be a problem for you, if you’re aiming for high grades anyway. But there’s no reason to worry either way – you’ll still be able to upgrade to a master’s during your time at university (before the start of the third year) if you meet the requirements during your first two years. If you’re unsure (are there any other emotions?), then make use of UoB’s offer calculator or contact the University directly.  It’s not much to worry about.

Physics East
Physics East – where there’s lots of specialised lab equipment you may one day use