**Primary Education

Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system.

** Secondary Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

      - Schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland tends to emphasise depth in a few chosen subjects.

  • Year 7 to 11 (Year 8 - 12 in N. Ireland), typically for students aged 12 to 16.
  • Some secondary schools offer a non-compulsory sixth form department, Year 12 and 13
  • After the successful completion of Year 10 and 11 a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is awarded, usually in five to ten different subjects.
      - Secondary Education in Scotland

      Scottish education tends to focus on more breadth across subjects than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Year 1 to 4, typically for students from the age of 12/13 to 15/16.
  • Scottish Qualification Certificate is awarded after successful completion of Standard - Grade courses taken during Secondary 3 and 4, usually in seven to nine subjects.
  • Optional upper secondary education: Secondary 5 and 6 is available, typically from the age of 16/17 to 17/18.
** Post-16 Education in the UK / Further Education

      - A-Levels (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

      The most common form of post-16 education is the study of A-levels (General Certificate of Education in Advanced Level certificates), which are used as a form of preparation for admission into university. Students generally study three or four subjects to A-level relevant to their chosen degree subject.

  • Year 12 and 13, commonly called Sixth Form, typically for students from the age of 16/17 to 17/18.
  • A-Levels can be studied at a secondary school, sixth form college or further education college.
      - Highers (Scotland)

      Generally, students take Highers, a Scottish Qualification certificate offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, after Secondary 4. Highers are a university entrance qualification and are offered in a wide range of subjects. Though students can typically enter university at the end of Secondary 5, most remain through Secondary 6 to take more Highers courses or progress to the Advanced Highers level.

  • Secondary 5 and 6, typically for students from the age of 16/17 to 17/18.
  • Highers take place at secondary school.
  • Requires the completion of Standard Grade exams
** Higher Education in the UK

      - Bachelor's Degree (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland)
      Students apply to UK universities, through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), a central government agency that coordinates applications for every university. Students may make 5 choices on their UCAS form. Wide ranges of degree courses are available, which provide skills for a variety of jobs or further study. A Bachelor’s degree is usually a 3 year programme at a university or higher education college. Universities evaluate students’ predicted A-level scores (or equivalent), among other criteria, during the admissions process. Students must choose a course as part of their university application. Types of degrees include: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc). Some degree programmes are for 4 years and include a ‘sandwich’ year when students gain relevant work experience for 1 year. In countries where students have fewer than 13 years education, it is likely that students will need to study a year-long Foundation Certificate program before starting a Bachelor’s degree.

      - Bachelor’s Degree (Scotland)
      Wide ranges of degree courses are available at Scottish universities, which tend to emphasise breadth across subjects; and students typically do not specialise subjects until the third year. A Bachelor’s degree is a 4 year program at university. During the admissions process universities evaluate the students’ Highers results among other criteria. Students may take a sandwich course, a year of study abroad or work before courses are completed Traditionally, Scottish universities award a Master of Arts (MA) degree, which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree. The Honours degree is awarded after an additional year of research at the university.

      - Masters Degree
      A Masters degree in the UK may be research based, a taught course or a combination of the two; and will prepare students for a particular career or for a doctorate qualification. They are offered in a variety of fields and require the successful completion of an undergraduate degree. Typically a 12 month program, taught masters qualifications include: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) Research masters qualifications include: Master of Research (MRes), Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

      - Doctorate
      Doctorate programs require students to undertake an original piece of research. They generally require a Bachelor’s or Masters degree and have a minimum length of three years at a university. Typically students work on a single research project or dissertation. Types of degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (Phd or Dphil)

Sources:
Education system in the UK, Kaplan International Colleges
http://www.kaplaninternational.com/resources/education-system/uk-guide.aspx
Education in England http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England
British Council USA http://www.britishcouncil.org/usa-education-uk-system-k-12-education.htm
Table of Class Placements : Placement Equivalent in Other National Systems