A UK degree is acknowledged if it is awarded by a Recognised Body.
Recognised Bodies are independent, self-governing institutions which may develop their own courses and award their own degrees. Degree-awarding powers are granted by a Royal Charter, Act of Parliament, the Privy Council or, for applications in England received from April 2018 onwards, the Office for Students (OfS). A list of Recognised Bodies is available on the UK government website.
Degree programmes can also be delivered by Listed Bodies. A Listed Body is as an institution, often a college, that does not have its own degree awarding powers but is authorised to deliver courses that lead to a UK degree awarded by a Recognised Body. The Recognised Body validates the course and confers the final certificate.
Information on Listed Bodies
You may have noticed that the UK Government no longer publishes Listed Bodies on its website, though continues to list Recognised Bodies. The OfS intends to publish a new Listed Bodies Order once a data collection exercise from Recognised Bodies has been completed. This new list will apply to Listed Bodies in England only. The devolved administrations for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will publish their own lists with providers for their respective countries. As long as a degree is awarded by a Recognised Body, it is nationally recognised in the UK, even if the course was delivered by another institution.
A Register of English Higher Education Providers, which contains information about providers in the regulated higher education sector in England, is maintained by the OfS. The Register is updated regularly.
Previous Listed Bodies Orders are available at www.legislation.gov.uk. The most recent Listed Bodies Order for England was passed in 2013. In 2016, the Listed Bodies Order for Wales was passed, whilst the recent update for Orders in Scotland and Northern Ireland was passed in 2018.