Monday, June 22, 2009


it's important to know that your degree is valid: if it's not, it won't count when you're looking for a job. Not all degrees you might see advertised are recognised by UK employers and the government, but it's easy to find out which are genuine.

Finding a genuine degree course provider

check that your course leads to a degree from a recognised degree-awarding body

If you want a genuine UK degree you must ensure that your course leads to a degree awarded by a recognised degree-awarding body.

Universities and some colleges in the UK are given the power to award degrees under an Act of Parliament or by Royal Charter.

They are then recognised as degree-awarding bodies by the UK government and other official organisations, and known as 'Recognised Bodies'. The degrees that they award are referred to as 'recognised UK degrees'.

Some colleges do not grant degrees but run courses on behalf of Recognised Bodies, thereby contributing to a degree. These are known as 'Listed Bodies'.

Only Recognised Bodies can award genuine UK degrees, and only courses provided by them or by Listed Bodies can lead to a recognised UK degree.

Use the links below to check that the institution where you wish to study appears on either the official record of Recognised Bodies or of Listed Bodies.

Register of Education and Training Providers

Universities and colleges who recruit students from overseas should also be recorded on the Register of Education and Training Providers. But It's important to remember that this register exists only to help the government tackle immigration abuse.

Just because an institution features on the register, this doesn't mean it can award recognised UK degrees - and it doesn't guarantee the quality of education at that institution.

There are over 14,000 organisations on the register, most of which don't offer any degree-level qualifications.

If you are applying for a higher education course, you should still check that the institution is a Recognised Body or Listed Body.

Spotting bogus degrees

There are organisations which offer bogus degrees or degree courses. Often publicising themselves through the internet, these:

  • offer qualifications that are not recognised by the authorities in any country
  • use English-sounding names and addresses without actually being located in the UK
  • take your money but give nothing in return, and do not give a refund

If you suspect that an organisation which appears to be in the UK is awarding bogus degrees, contact the local Trading Standards office. The Trading Standards website allows you to locate the nearest office by entering the organisation's postcode.

Degree checklist

Before paying any money or registering for your chosen course, make sure that:

  • you know which university or awarding body will award the degree at the end of the course
  • if you want to study for a UK degree, you have checked the list of Recognised Bodies to make sure that the awarding body is acknowledged by the UK authorities as having UK degree-awarding powers

If the awarding body is not based in the UK, check that the degree is recognised or accredited by the government of the country that it operates from - see 'Studying at an overseas university: doing your research' to find out how.


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