“Comparable to British Bachelor degree standard”: what does this comparison statement mean?


Some UK NARIC evaluations state that an award can be “considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard”.

This might appear in UK NARIC statements of comparability issued to individuals, or in our qualification databases used by educational institutions and employers.

Some of our users are unclear about how to treat this evaluation – is it Bachelor Hons, Bachelor Ordinary, or a more general statement?

To get to the crux of the matter first – this comparability is in relation to degree-level qualifications from a national education system as a whole. The comparability is made to ‘British Bachelor standard’ because it is not possible to make a comparison to Ordinary or Honours standard for all degree qualifications from that system across the board.

Therefore, when it comes to assessing the qualifications held by an individual – for example, if you are an admissions officer looking at an application for entry – then in these cases, you will need to delve into more detail on what the applicant has studied, before deciding if the individual’s degree is closer to Ordinary or Honours standard. For example, you will probably have to examine an individual transcript, and perhaps look at how much independent study has been done, and whether a dissertation has been completed.

To give wider context, it’s worth considering the relatively specialised character of upper secondary studies in the British school system. Pupils typically narrow their focus to three or four subjects aged 16 (or perhaps five in Scotland). These relatively tightly focused qualifications can be used for entry into Bachelor degrees which are usually fairly specialised from the outset.

In contrast, many international school pupils continue to study in excess of 10 subjects right through to the end of upper secondary.

This UK upper secondary approach feeds through to the first year or two of UK Bachelor courses, with Honours programmes normally characterised by more independent research and a dissertation in the final year.

In some countries, the huge number of autonomous institutions, and differences in quality assurance structures, mean that standards and course content can vary considerably.

While some programmes require a high level of specialisation and independent research, others are more general and include a high proportion of taught content. Courses in the first category could be considered comparable to a British Honours degree: those in the second category, probably not. Yet all graduates from that national system would potentially be awarded the same qualification title.

It is in these situations that UK NARIC cannot guarantee that all degree qualifications from that country will be Honours standard across the board. Some may be, however. So a more nuanced judgement has to be made in individual cases, depending on an analysis of the transcript and other factors such as the presence or absence of a dissertation.

There is one other type of situation which leads to a British Bachelor standard comparability statement. It lies in those national education systems, typically in countries with close historical ties to the UK, which have retained a clear distinction between the Ordinary and Honours degrees, but where the Ordinary degree is by far the more common.

In these cases, learning outcomes of Ordinary degree programmes can be comparable to British Honours level. However, with these national systems, it is hard to justify a UK Honours comparability for Ordinary degrees, because of the existence of the higher Honours award in-country.

Again, in individual cases, transcripts would have to be examined, and a view taken on the particular course undertaken by the applicant, to decide if it is closer to Ordinary or Honours level.

In all of the above situations, the key point is that the British Bachelor standard comparability relates to the national education system rather than an individual qualification or individual person holding that qualification.

Ultimately, for these national systems, it would be misleading to provide a general Honours level comparability statement when that standard cannot be universally guaranteed across all that country’s degree courses.

In individual cases, a British Bachelor standard comparability should not be regarded as saying that an individual’s degree from that country is below UK Honours comparability. And it should not necessarily exclude an individual from being considered for UK postgraduate study.

 

If your organisation is a member of UK NARIC, then you might be able to use our Member Enquiry service if you are having trouble evaluating a particular qualification. For more information on this, UK NARIC members can contact their Account Manager.

15 Thoughts

  1. Hi, could I please be guided about how I can apply for equivalency through UKNARIC? I have done As in Edexcel exam board and have my result now, but I need Cambridge equivalency since I’ve moved and edexcel is not available where I now live, but Cambridge is. So if I could get equivalency for the same subjects in Cambridge system, I’d be very thankful. Kind regards.

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    1. Hi
      Thank you for your comment.
      Please note that UK qualifications are automatically recognised across the UK, even if it is a different exam board.
      Unfortunately we are unable to comment on qualifications or institutions via our social media accounts. If you would like to discuss the comparability of your awards you can call us on (0044) (0)871 330 7033, Monday to Friday (between 9:00am and 5:00pm), to speak to an Information Adviser and they will be happy to discuss this with you further.
      Kind Regards,
      UK NARIC

      Like

    1. Hi Chirag,
      Thank you for your post.
      A Statement of Comparability will provide a comparability of your overseas qualifications to the level in which they sit on the UK Framework. You can present this Statement of Comparability to Organisations and Institutions for further Work or Study.
      Please see the following page for more information on how to apply: https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/individuals/Compare%20Qualifications/Statement%20of%20Comparability.aspx
      Regards,
      UK NARIC

      Like

  2. Hi,

    I would like to ask if where can I see the complete list of Universities around the world which is recognized by UK NARIC? Or I will only know if I have first applied for UK NARIC Qualifications? thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Fe,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately we are unable to comment on qualifications or institutions via our social media accounts. If you would like to discuss the comparability of your awards you can call us on (0044) (0)871 330 7033, Monday to Friday (between 9:00am and 5:00pm), to speak to an Information Adviser and they will be happy to discuss this with you further.
      You may also wish to refer to our website for more information on how to apply: https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/individuals/Compare%20Qualifications/Statement%20of%20Comparability.aspx
      Kind Regards,
      UK NARIC

      Like

  3. Hello there,

    I have compared my documents i NARIC. I have received the assesment of comparable to UK british bachelor (ordinary) degree standrad. What does this actually mean? I am applying for my visa extension. Instead of giving a A1 test can i provide my NARIC certificate? The visa requirements shows i can provide my equivalent to british bachelor degree or i have to give an english test (A1).
    Can i please get the answer.

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    1. Hi Seena,
      Thank you for the message.
      The statement of Comparability is a document that can be used in support of your international qualifications. It guides universities, colleges, employers and professional bodies on how your qualifications relate to UK qualifications and certificates. Please note that this service will not confirm English language proficiency.
      Therefore, if you require confirmation of your English language proficiency you may require a further service.
      Please visit our website and Take the Red Route for Visas and Nationality to apply for this service. https://www.naric.org.uk/visas%20and%20nationality/Default.aspx
      if you have any further questions you can call us on: +44 (0) 871 330 7033 to discuss with one of our advisors.
      We recommend that you check with the Home Office UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) if you need a statement from UK. NARIC, as we are a separate organisation from the Home Office we are unable to advise on requirements for the visa application process. We recommend you contact the Home Office directly for more information.
      Regards,
      UK NARIC

      Like

    2. Hello seenq,
      Did u gave the A2 exam for the visa extention requirements or u provided ur naric certificate? I’m having the same problem with naric certificate and i’m applying for the extension gisa.

      Like

      1. Hi Nisha,

        When applying for a Visa, you may be asked to prove your English language level. If you hold a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability, this will only prove the level of your qualification, not your English language skills.

        UK NARIC’s English Language Assessment provides an assessment of your English language skills to the standard of CEFR B1, B2 or C1.

        We also offer the Visas and Nationality Service which confirms your academic qualification level and English language proficiency and is specifically for Home Office applicants. Check out the Visas and Nationality page for more information: https://bit.ly/2I2rMen

        I hope this was helpful.
        UK NARIC

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  4. Hello
    I need to prove that my international qualification(s) meet the academic and/or English language requirements will instead be required to obtain official statements from UK NARIC. I did my education in Anna University, India. I have the below documents
    – Degree
    – Consolidated Mark Sheets(with Medium of Instruction as English in the bottom of the certificate)

    The consolidated mark sheets provides marks with a percentage. It does not give the score in CGPA. Are these documents sufficient for issuing the documents for UKVI Tier 2 general VISA?

    Regards
    Viswa

    Like

    1. Hi Viswa,
      Thank you for the message.
      The Visas and Nationality Service costs £125 + VAT (£150) and is a 10 Working Day turnaround. These statements confirm your Academic Qualification Level (AQUALS) and/or English Language Proficiency (ELPS) – as appropriate for your personal circumstances and immigration route.
      To meet the requirements for UK NARIC to be able to provide an English Language Assessment you must hold a degree of Bachelors, Masters or Phd level from an overseas institution that was solely taught in the medium of English.
      Please visit our website and Take the Red Route for Visas and Nationality to apply for this service.
      We will require the following documents for each of the qualifications you would like to be included:
      • Final Certificate
      • Full Academic Transcripts / Mark Sheets for each year of study
      • A Medium of Instruction Letter from the Awarding Institution confirming it was taught solely in English
      Regards,
      UK NARIC

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  5. hi, is it necessary to send qualification for comparison (i.e. original degree) to naric. My origional degree will be dispatched in june and my course deadline is july. can we send letter from the uni than origional degree?

    Like

    1. Hi Anna
      Thank you for your message.
      A Statement of Comparability will provide a comparability of your overseas qualifications to the level in which they sit on the UK Framework.
      The documentation required in order to assess your qualifications is a photocopy of your final certificate and transcripts of results for each of the qualifications submitted.
      In order to consider the documents you have you will firstly need to set up an application and upload them so we can see if there is enough information on there to provide an assessment of your qualification. Please note you do not have to pay at this stage, you are able to wait until your documents have been checked to see if we can offer the service before making a payment if you wish.
      Individual circumstances such as yours will of course be taken into consideration when checking applications, to try and still provide an assessment where possible.
      Please see the following page for more information on how to apply: https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/individuals/Compare%20Qualifications/Statement%20of%20Comparability.aspx
      Regards,
      UK NARIC

      Like

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