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What is a BSc degree? Bachelor of Science guide

Looking at pursuing a career in science and technology with a BSc? Explore what this degree is all about – and if it’s right for you.

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Whether you’re in the thick of A levels or looking to retrain, BSc degrees are a popular choice if you’re considering a career in science and technology. However, making the decision to go into higher education is a big one. This article offers advice about BSC’s, so you can decide whether it’s the right course for you. 

What is a BSc degree?

A BSc is an academic undergraduate degree offered by universities and colleges around the world. It gives a strong foundation into the fields of science, technology and engineering and covers a wide range of subjects within these areas. Common subjects include: 

  • Physical sciences – physics, chemistry and biology
  • Computer science
  • Human science
  • Medical science
  • Environmental science
  • Maths 
  • Engineering

However, the specific subjects you study will vary depending on the course’s programme and what you’re really passionate about.

What does BSc mean?

BSc simply stands for Bachelor of Science degree. A BSc Hons is a BSc with ‘honours’, which usually involves a longer syllabus and completing a dissertation.

How long is a BSc degree?

A BSc degree typically takes three to four years to complete. Depending on the university, there will be some flexibility on completing the degree sooner or taking it part-time. 

What level is a BSc?

In the UK, undergraduate degrees range from levels 4 to 6, and a BSc is a level 6. BSc degrees are assessed as:

  • First-class honours – 70% plus 
  • 2:1 – 60%-70%
  • 2:2 – 50%-60%
  • Third-class honours – 40%-50%

How is a BSc different from a BA?

A BA is a Bachelor of Arts degree, and as the name implies, focuses on ‘arts’ subjects. A BSc is a fairly theory-based degree, whereas BA degrees tend to be more practical. These are just some of the many types of degrees you can choose to pursue if you do decide to go into higher education.

Are there different types of BSc?

Yes, lots. Depending on your passions and career goals, it’s a case of looking into the many different BSC degrees available and finding the right fit for you. After all, you will be dedicating a lot of time to this.

Science and maths are key elements in many BSc’s with a focus on quantitative classroom skills. However, each BSc course will centre around a specific field. Below are just some of the popular BSc degree courses you might want to consider:

  • Computer Science
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Criminology
  • Biology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Genetics
  • Maths
Online Degree

BSc (Hons) Psychology

  • 3+ years
  • undergraduate
  • Flexible Learning
Apply now

What’s involved in a BSc?

On an average bachelor’s degree course, you typically need to complete around 120 credits over the academic year. A BSc degree is no different. 

The course will be broken down into different modules spanning the various topics and subjects you need to cover, and you’ll be awarded credits for completing each module. As you progress on the degree, you build up your credits until you have reached the total needed to complete the course and graduate – usually between 480 and 600 credits.

A typical BSc involves lectures, practical work, tests, research and presentations. BSc coursework is largely practical with a focus on developing your mathematical, analytical and problem-solving skills. Usually in the final year, you will need to complete a thesis to finish the course and obtain your last credits.

 Is a BSc a good degree – is it worth pursuing?

Yes, if you’re serious about a career in science, technology or engineering. A BSc is often a crucial first step towards a rewarding, scientific-based career. Here are just some of the many varied benefits of how investing in a BSc can broaden your future prospects:

A competitive edge

The field of science is ever growing. With the rise of specialisms like Artificial Intelligence and environmental technology, having a BSc will give you the competitive edge in an exciting and growing industry. BSc graduates are increasingly in demand. Plus, graduate jobs typically offer competitive salaries with great future earning potential and benefit packages too.

Personal development

Whether you want to be a pioneer in medical research or at the forefront of ground-breaking technical innovations, this undergrad course gives you a strong foundation with excellent prospects to make your mark on the world. Many of the skills you learn on a BSc course, including research and organisation, can help you overcome real-life challenges too.

Varied career opportunities

Having a BSc does not limit you to one path or sector. Quite the opposite. The knowledge and practical, transferrable skills you will learn are attractive to employers in a variety of sectors with tons of career path choices. The job opportunities really are endless and include:

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Software Developer
  • Lab Technician
  • Bacteriologist
  • Lecturer
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Geologist
  • Agricultural Analyst
  • Further education progression

It’s often the case in the field of science that the more qualifications you have, the better the opportunities. Which is why some BSc graduates go on to study a Masters or Doctorate to progress their research in a more specialist field or become academic Lecturers. This route can often lead to higher salaries and better job satisfaction.

Research & Development opportunities

The Research & Development sector is booming and opens up even more opportunities for BSc graduates. This growing industry has also seen a rise in scholarships for students in need of financial assistance who wish to pursue a higher education in science. 

Of course, a BSc degree is not the only option. There are plenty of other courses in the science and technology field that can give you a solid basis for a scientific-based career. So it’s always worth weighing up the options to see what will work best for you.

How do I get a BSc degree?

As a BSc is an academic degree, so you need to have previous qualifications in order to be accepted onto a course.

What are the entry requirements?

Most universities expect you to have a solid high school education before you will be accepted to study a BSc degree at their institution. This usually includes A Levels, Advanced Highers or equivalent level qualifications, as well as good GCSEs (including English and Maths).

Usually your qualifications and grades are translated into UCAS points. UCAS stands for the Universities and College Admission Service and is the website where you apply to study your chosen course. Universities will ask for different UCAS points to apply, so that’s a first port of call. When you apply you will need to submit personal information, including a personal statement outlining why you want to take the degree and your goals for the future. 

Can I take a BSc degree online?

Absolutely. There are lots of opportunities for taking your BSc online. This can be a brilliant alternative if you need to have more flexibility while studying. 

You will still obtain the degree, but instead of attending lectures and seminars on campus, you can study at home around work or personal commitments. All the teaching is done online and you submit your coursework online too.

Online Degree

BSc (Hons) Project Management

  • 3+ years
  • undergraduate
  • Flexible Learning
Apply now

Explore an online BSc with FutureLearn

So now you know more about what a BSc degree is and the benefits it brings. Think it’s the best choice for you? If so, it’s worth considering an online BSc with FutureLearn. We work with leading universities and provide high-quality online degrees.

You get to learn at your own pace and have flexibility like no other. They work out significantly cheaper than in-person degrees too. Invest in yourself and browse our list of online degrees today.

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