University Of Aberdeen Requirements
Arts and Social Sciences
Master of Arts (MA) in Arts & Social Sciences
Honours degrees in Scotland normally take four years to complete. In an arts or social science subject, you have a great deal of freedom to devise your own programme of study. Most first year classes are open to you even if you have not studied the subjects before, and you can usually go on to Honours in any subject that particularly interests you, even if it is not the subject you applied for via UCAS. All degrees have core courses, but your freedom to combine subjects is generally limited only by the timetable.
Changing Your Subject
The tradition in Scotland is to admit students to a degree programme rather than to a particular subject or degree. You do have to put specific subjects and course codes on your UCAS form, but essentially we admit you to the MA degree programme rather than specifically to an MA in Anthropology or History or Philosophy, for example. As a result, it is possible in most cases to change your Honours preference after you have begun your degree.
Specialised Years – Honours
Honours students can specialise in their third and fourth years in one particular subject (Single Honours), in two (Joint Honours) or in the case of Scottish Studies, three (General Honours). You can also take an Honours degree in which you add a ‘minor’ in a subject like Music to your ‘major’ subject. Honours degrees are classified, that is to say you will be awarded a first-class, upper-second, lower-second, or third-class degree.
Minimum Entry Requirements
Entry requirements for the MA are rarely subject-specific: we are more interested in your overall ability than in the precise content of your pre-university studies. In most cases you do not need a prior qualification in the subject to enter a first year degree, even if the subject in question is one that is on the school curriculum. There are some exceptions, but they are rare. When you apply, do not worry too much about getting your subject choice absolutely right on your application. If you find your interests changing, you will usually be able to change your degree intention accordingly.
Level Two (Advanced Entry)
Offers of Admission
Applicants should note that achieving the minimum entrance requirement from a single sitting of exams will not guarantee an offer of admission. We have many more applicants than places, and most of them meet our minimum entrance requirements. Consequently, we may need to ask for more than the minimum. An applicant’s academic profile will normally be the most significant factor in our decision making. Additionally, certain features of the personal statement may help to strengthen an applicant’s case.
The traditional four year MA Honours degree with its ‘two-plus-two’ structure (two pre-Honours years followed by a two-year Honours programme), allows you to experiment with new subjects in your pre-Honours years, and perhaps change your Honours intention, while still completing your degree in the normal time. However, if you are clear about what you want to study, and have (or are likely to get) good qualifications in the subject or subject area you have applied for, it is possible to complete an Honours degree in three years. In your first year, you would take a combination of first and second year subjects, and then proceed to third year in your second year of study. Direct entry to the second year of study is possible in most subject areas covered by the MA degree. To qualify for Advanced entry, prospective Single Honours students must hold an A grade pass at A Level, or an A grade pass at Advanced Higher, in the subject they wish to study for their degree. Prospective Joint Honours students may be admitted directly to the second year of the degree if they hold an A and B grade pass at A Level, or one A grade pass and one B grade pass at Advanced Higher in the subjects concerned.
You may have the opportunity to take Enhanced Study options as part of your degree and widen the breadth of your studies even more. Visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/enhanced-study-options-1518.php for further information.
‘Arts’ degrees are often thought of as educationally attractive but not strongly job-related. In fact, some degrees within the arts and social science area are strongly vocational: most graduates in Accountancy, Computing and Economics, for instance, will have no difficulty in finding a job, and will be employed because of the knowledge and skills they have learned at university; Mathematics graduates, too, are highly employable. As with most science graduates, however, the majority of graduates in arts and social science subjects go into careers in which they do not use their subject knowledge directly. They nevertheless have access to a wide range of career openings, because more than 40% of the vacancies notified to university careers services, or advertised in the broadsheet press, are for holders of degrees in any subject. Employers are looking for the qualities that any good MA graduate will have.
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Sciences
The University is a major international centre for teaching and research in all divisions of scientific study, and Aberdeen has an unparalleled provision of buildings and equipment for science students.
Flexibility and Breadth
The University of Aberdeen BSc degree structure is extremely flexible. When students apply, they are asked to nominate a specific degree title. However, admittance is actually to the general BSc Pure Science programme. Within this programme, students are free to change their degree intention to any of those listed in the BSc section of the prospectus. There are a few exceptions: the Biomedical Sciences, MChem, MPhys and some MSci degrees have higher entry requirements than other science degrees, and consequently formal approval is required before changing degree intention to one of these degrees.
In the first year of study, students typically take at least three subjects. One of these is continued in second year for half of the time, alongside either one of the other subjects studied in first year, or a selection of subjects, some of which may be new. At the end of second year the final choice of degree intention is made, based on the subjects studied so far, and the results obtained. In years three and four, students follow the specified curriculum for their final choice of degree subject.
Each student has a Personal Tutor to guide them in their subject choices and to ensure that these choices comply with the degree regulations.
The Honours BSc requires four years of full-time study. The degree classification is based on the student’s performance in the final year, and in some cases the third year as well.
There are also a number of integrated Masters programmes (e.g. Mchem, MPhys and MSci) which require five years of full-time study. These degrees normally include an integral industrial placement. A student who leaves the University after one, two or three years of study can be re-admitted to study for a more advanced qualification.
Below you will find a full breakdown of our entry requirements. We look for a good level of proven academic ability overall, and strength in Science or Mathematics subjects. Beyond this we do not usually insist on specific subjects.
In some cases, such as Chemistry and Mathematics, previous study of the subject is usually desirable in order to cope with the first year material. A student applying for one of these degrees who does not have the required background may still be offered a place, but in this case may be directed towards one of the other science degrees for which their background provides a better preparation.