A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study.
Today the terms "master", "doctor" (from the Latin - meaning literally: "teacher") and "professor" signify different levels of academic achievement. Different countries adopt different norms.
The University of Bologna in Italy, regarded as the oldest university in Europe, was the first institution to confer the degree of Doctor in Civil Law in the late 12th century; it also conferred similar degrees in other subjects, including medicine.
The University of Paris used the term master for its graduates.
The term master for its graduatesa is adopted by the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the ancient Scottish universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh.
The practice of using the term doctor for all advanced degrees developed within German universities has spread across the academic world.
The naming of degrees eventually became linked with the subjects studied.
Issue of certificates
In the past, degrees have also been directly issued by authority of the monarch or by a bishop, rather than any educational institution. This practice has mostly died out. In Britain, Lambeth Degrees are still awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Only the universities of Oxford anddge|Cambridge]] still permit the D.Phil.(Oxford) or Ph.D. (Cambridge) to be conferred upon a student by an individual member of the faculty.
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