Joint Degrees and Double Degrees – what is the difference?
Both types of arrangements involve significant collaboration effort with an external partner in developing and delivering a degree programme to the extent that the programme would not exist in the absence of the partnership. In both cases, successful completion of the entire programme by the student to the satisfaction of both institutions is essential before either institution could issue any form of award. The key difference is that a Joint Degree would lead to one single award by both institutions and a Double Degree would lead to two awards one by each institution. Double Degrees are most usually chosen in cases where there are legal or regulatory reasons why a single award is not possible for one or both institutions.
Such arrangements will involve a significant collaboration effort with an external partner in developing and delivering a degree programme to the extent that it would not exist in the absence of that partnership. Each partner will bring its own unique perspectives and expertise to the programme which will lead to an enhanced learning experience overall. These programmes have significant benefits for students not least in terms of giving students an international experience that might not otherwise be available to them.
It is therefore important to ensure that the curriculum is well-designed, which means that its components should be properly integrated, and will not be based on taking parts of one institution’s existing programme and bolting them onto another’s. This requires aligning different regulations and requirements and negotiating the detailed arrangements with the partner. It is important that the programme offered is also viable hence the importance of gauging potential student interest before entering into detailed discussions.
Please note that QMUL currently permits taught joint award arrangements with UK institutions and with EU institutions within the Erasmus+ framework only.
For definitions, key characteristics of joint,double and dual degrees, examples and overview of the approval process, please refer to the following Joint and Double Awards Guidance [PDF 56KB].
If you are thinking of developing a joint or a double award, please contact ARCS in the first instance.