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I have finished a fundamental course in cooking at a high school, and I am going to study an advanced course in cooking at a university.

I ask this question because I am accustomed to using "further" as a verb. When I told my friends that "I want to further my study of cooking at a university,
they asked me why I wanted to "pursue a bachelor's degree" on hearing my plan, and this made me wonder if I had misunderstood the usage of "further".

Given that situation, are these two sentences different in meaning?
1. I want to further my study of cooking at a university.
2. I want to pursue a bachelor's degree in cooking.

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They express very different notions.

  • To further your study or further your knowledge means that you want to extend your study or knowledge into new, unspecified domains: you are moving in a particular direction but have no particular end in sight.

  • To pursue a degree means that you want to arrive at a specific state, which might be understood as either mastery of specific body of knowledge or achieving the formal accreditation: you are moving toward a particular goal.

In your particular situation they may amount practically to pretty much the same thing; the difference lies in how you portray it.

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    Exactly. Put another way, everyone who is pursuing a degree is also furthering their education, but not everyone who is furthering their education is pursuing a degree. – J.R. Feb 17 '15 at 16:34

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