BA vs. BSc: Which Degree Is a Better Choice for You?

Whether you are an international student or a fresh graduate from a local Polytechnic or Junior College looking to enter a university, it can be hard when you have to consider a BA vs. a BSc degree. In fact, the two to three letter abbreviations of degrees do not exactly describe how rigorous the degree programme is. You should first understand what each stands for and their differences to decide which type of degree programmes suits your career goals better.

What does BA (Bachelor of Arts) stand for?  

BA means Bachelor of Arts, and this degree usually takes between three and four years to complete. The duration depends on the course, country, and institution you choose to study in. Students who take on a BA degree study a wider range of subject which emphasize lesser around technical fields and may often be perceive as less specialized to a BSc degree. In fact, a BA programme allows creative thinking, more qualitative while developing critical and theoretical thinking. Depending on each school’s programme structure, a BA student is likely to have more opportunities and options when it comes to selecting electives.

What are the benefits of taking a BA degree?

A versatile degree for your future career

Employees looking for a way to stand out among others can study for a BA degree. It gives you a chance to grow career-wise and be relevant in the ever-changing employment world.   

Building on professional skillsets and knowledge

A BA degree increases your qualification, teaches essential knowledge and skills that you can use at work and in daily life. Some of the skills you develop include communication and writing skills along with self-organization skills. In short, you develop skills needed in different work environments, which means you can fit in almost to any organization.  

Aligning your degree education with your passion and interest 

Going to school not only helps you develop education-related knowledge but also gain a strong interest in what you love. A BA degree allows creativity, which will enable you to follow your passion.  

What does BSc (Bachelor of Science) stand for?  

BSc degree stands for Bachelor of Science. It requires more credit and is more focused on the subject. It promotes detailed and deep thinking while improving statistical and analytical thinking. This degree is typically for scientific courses such as Computer Science.   

What are the benefits of taking a BSc degree? 

Enhancing your Career Opportunities 

A BSc degree gives you an excellent entry point into your career path. It equips you with skills that allow you to go for well-paying jobs in industries such as technology, medicine, and engineering.  

Industrial hands-on experience through internship programme and exposure 

Some Bachelor of Science programmes offer students sandwich courses with placements and internships that provide valuable hands-on experience.

Flexible learning route with a BSc degree 

Taking a Bachelor of Science degree does not limit you to science subjects only. You have the flexibility to explore other areas and routes.  

What is the significant difference between a BA and BSc degree? 

A BA degree programme can encompass broad and diverse specializations and subjects ranging from Business Management, Marketing Research, Project Management, Media Communications and Accounting. While a BA degree has less emphasis on Math and Science subjects, a BA student who majors in Psychology or Computer Science can have entirely different tracks from a BSc student taking on the same major.

A student can choose what to study depending on the career path they want to follow. For example, students can study in Psychology BA if they want to become a counsellor or go for a Psychology BSc if they want to become researchers. 

A BA degree helps you develop analytical, communication and writing skills, and a BSc enables you to view things from a mechanical, practical, and functional perspective. 

Common grounds of the BSc and BA degrees 

Some subjects are offered in both BA and BSc Degrees. They include business, accounting, and psychology.

Both the BA and BSc degrees come with the same value and recognition; you can continue to pursue a master’s degree after completion. Besides, students are unlikely to be locked out of job opportunities for their choice of BA vs. BSc degree. 

It is not the title of your academic study that matters to the employers, but often what the job candidates have to offer with skills learned in the course.  

What are the career options for BA graduates? 

BA graduates can work in a variety of industries and take on many different job roles in business, creative arts, marketing research and media advertising. Some common jobs for BA graduates include PR and communication officer, advertising journalist, project manager, psychologist, and content writer.    

What are the career options for BSc Graduates? 

Apart from working as a research scientist, lab technician, professor or assistant professor, statistician, chemical analyst, or food and drug investor, a BSc graduate can also take up non-science related career path. They include journalism, management, hospitality, and animation.  

What makes the right degree choice for you? 

In general, both BA and BSc degrees carry similar qualifications to earn you a credible degree and enriching education. What a student should consider when choosing the right degree is the curriculum and content offered, as well as the academic experience they can get from their study in the university. Depending on an individual’s learning interest and course of study, a BA degree often provides a more expansive pathway, while a BSc degree provides better options for students looking to work in specialized professions.

The entry requirement for BA and BSc degree 

In Singapore, every university or institution has their own set of admission criteria, application procedures and requirements. To be considered for BA and BSc undergraduate programmes, applicants must have at least one of the following qualifications:   

  • Polytechnic Diploma  
  • Cambridge ‘A’ Level
  • Singaporean High School Diploma  
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma  
  • International Qualifications (apply to international students, Singaporean Citizen/Permanent Residents holding overseas education qualifications) 

International students may be required to demonstrate their English proficiency to study in Singapore. For example, they will have to take and pass the TOEFL test to prove their English abilities.

Why choose MDIS for a BA or a BSc degree?  

MDIS partners with globally-recognized university partners in the UK to offer BA and BSc degree programmes across various disciplines. These programmes are designed and curated to prepare graduates for local and international career success. You can view here for the list of degree programmes offered by MDIS.


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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