What is a Dual Degree and What is a Twinning Degree?

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When choosing where and what to study at higher education level you are faced with a tonne of choices. Which country? Which city? Which university? Which course? Often in answering these questions you’re faced with tough dilemmas and, with the choices you make now having such an impact on your future, fear of making the wrong one can be overwhelming.

What is a Dual Degree and What is a Twinning Degree
What is a Dual Degree and What is a Twinning Degree

What if you could, quite literally, have the best of both worlds? What if you could do some of your study in one country, city, university and some of it elsewhere? Well, with the increase in cross-border options this is actually a choice some people are able to make.

Studying in two places? How does that work?

There are lots of different flexible study options that are becoming more and more prevalent, such as branch campuses (where universities have ‘outposts’ in other countries) and franchises (where universities accredit degrees gained elsewhere) and as such, there are options to take advantage of this.

Though many people will choose to study at a franchise or branch campus for their whole time in education, others can choose to spend some of their time there and some of their time at the accrediting university.

Give me a real world example!

Ok, so you might do a year studying at Middlesex University in the UK, then you might go and do the other two years of your qualification at their Mauritius campus.

The words explained…

Because the idea of cross-border study is pretty new, there are a lot of ways of describing the different concepts within this area. Here are some of the most commonly used ones explained…

What is a dual degree?

A dual degree refers to this idea we’ve just been talking about – it’s a degree you study in two different places.

What does twinning mean in education?

Essentially, the same thing but it might be used more as a verb, eg ‘we are twinning with the University of Reading to offer this’. Sometimes you might see dual degrees referred to as twinning degrees.

What are 2+2, 2+1, 1+2 degrees?

These are ways of referring to the make-up of dual or twinning degrees. So they’ll sometimes be referred to in this way. Basically, the numbers indicate the years. So a 2+2 degree would be two years in one location, two years in another; a 2+1 degree would be two years in one location, then one year in another; and a 1+2 degree would mean one year at the start in one location and two years after that in another.

Things to look out for

Be aware that because this is new, the words universities use will differ. Dual degrees in some institutions refer to the study of two subjects to make up one degree, whereas in others it means what we’ve explained above. 2:1 is often how a second class honours degree is written so be careful not to mistake it for a 2+1 degree. Our best advice is to do plenty of reading of different institutions’ websites so you’re really clear on what they’re talking about.

What next?

If you think a dual/twinning degree might work for you, the next step is to search for a course right here on Hotcourses Abroad. Our filter will help you sort the results and you can specify that you want to include cross-border options. Or, if you need further help on the terms, catch us on social media where we will be able to answer any questions you have.