The term "honours degree" (or "honors degree") has various meanings in the context of different degrees and education systems. Most commonly it refers to a variant of the undergraduate bachelor's degree containing a larger volume of material or a higher standard of study, or both, rather than an "ordinary", "general" or "pass" bachelor's degree. Honours degrees are sometimes indicated by "Hons" after the degree abbreviation, with various punctuation according to local custom, e.g. "BA (Hons)", "B.A., Hons", etc.
Examples of honours degree include the honors bachelor's degree in the United States, the bachelor's degree with honours in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and India, the honours bachelor's degree in Ireland, the bachelor with honours and bachelor honours degree in New Zealand, the bachelor with honours and honours bachelor's degree in Canada and the bachelor honours degree in Australia. In South Africa the bachelor honours degree is a postgraduate degree that follows on from the completion of a bachelor's degree. The undergraduate master of arts degree awarded by the ancient universities of Scotland in place of the bachelor of arts may be awarded as an honours or non-honours degree; these are at the same level as equivalent bachelor's degrees. At master's level, the integrated master's degrees in British universities, which students enter at the same level as bachelor's degrees, are also honours degrees. Honours degrees should not be confused with the Latin honors attached to degrees in the US and some other countries.
Many universities and colleges offer both honours and non-honours bachelor's degrees. In most countries where honours degrees are granted, they imply a higher level of achievement than a non-honours degree. In some countries (e.g. Australia), an honours degree may also involve a longer period of study than a non-honours degree. Students who complete all the requirements for a non-honours bachelor's degree but do not receive sufficient merit to be awarded an honours degree would normally be awarded a non-honours degree (sometimes known as a "pass", "general" or "ordinary" degree), although students who do not complete the requirements for an integrated master's honours degree may receive a bachelor's honours degree. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, almost all bachelor's degrees are awarded as honours degrees; in contrast, honours degrees are rarely awarded in the United States.
The current British undergraduate degree classification system, with its division into first, upper and lower second, and third class honours, was developed in 1918 to distinguish between students on the basis of their academic achievement. The concept of an "honours" degree goes back a lot further than this, however, with there being examinations for honours in the original regulations of the University of London in 1839, and Nevil Maskelyne being recorded as taking a bachelor's degree with honours at Cambridge in 1754. Other countries influenced by this system include Australia, Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong.
The consecutive Australian with-honours degree is usually a one- to two-year research program, after the completion of a bachelor's degree in the same field. It can also be started as a concurrent program in the fourth year of a four-year bachelor's degree. It is generally considered a postgraduate year because a bachelor's degree can be completed without it. Entry to an honours degree generally requires proven abilities and a distinction (75% or greater average) in the relevant area or the final-year units, and even then is quite competitive.
In the regular (standalone) honours, the student will complete selected courses within a supervised program of research (field, laboratory, or secondary), and produce a long, high-quality research thesis. This is usually accompanied by a seminar or presentation of the findings to an academic board for marking. In the case of a quality thesis being produced, its findings may be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal or similar publication. Students receiving high marks in their honours program have the option of continuing to candidature of a doctoral program, such as Doctor of Philosophy, without having to complete a master's degree. Honours can be awarded at up to five levels, depending on the awarding institution, and may be indicated in post-nominals in general as "(Hons)":
At the master's level, Monash University has a Master of Business with Honours program in which students can be awarded an honours classification upon completion.
In Canada there are two type of honours degree. Some universities, especially in Ontario, award honours after four years of undergradute study, instead of the three years of a 'general' bachelors degree. Examples include Queen's University and York University. In those universities, honours students may undertake an honours thesis.
Some other universities, such as Mcgill University, University of Ottawa, Western University, University of British Columbia, Concordia University and Dalhousie University, require students to undertake an honours project in order to graduate with honours (Latin cum honore, French spécialisé). In those universities, honours programmes also require a higher degree of specialization than non-honours 'major' degrees, including a supervised research project or thesis, and students are required to maintain a high academic standard.
Thesis-based honours degrees prepare students for research-based postgraduate study, and may sometimes allow direct entry into doctoral programs. A four-year bachelor’s degree is required for entry to most postgraduate courses in Canada.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, bachelor's degrees are normally awarded "with honours" after three years of study. The bachelor's degree with honours meets the requirements for a higher education qualification at level 6 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in full, and is a first-cycle, end-of-cycle award on the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area established by the Bologna process. Students can be awarded an "ordinary" degree if they achieve the required learning outcomes over a smaller volume of studies than is required for an honours degree, e.g. only passing 300 credits rather than the 360 usually required for an honours degree. In addition to bachelor's degrees, four-year integrated master's degrees, which combine study at the bachelor's and master's levels, are also awarded with honours.
The bachelor honours degree is a separate level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework from the bachelor's degree without honours, as in Australia and Scotland. It may either be a 4-year (480 credit) course or a single-year (120 credit) course following on from a bachelor's degree, and it prepares students for postgraduate study.
In Scotland, all undergraduate degrees with honours must be of four-year duration. Students can choose to do the honours degree or the general (or pass/ordinary) degree. The first two years of both types of degrees are the same; however, after that, students who pursue the honours route will complete more advanced subjects and a dissertation in their last year, while students who choose to do the general degree will complete their third year at a lower level of specialisation.
Entry into the honours year in Scotland is generally not restricted and students are encouraged to take the honours year as the general/ordinary/pass degree does not provide the same level of depth and specialisation.
Students enrolling in the honours program but failing to achieve the required academic merit for honours are awarded a pass/ordinary/general degree.
In Ireland, honours bachelor's degrees are at level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications and are Bologna first cycle degrees. They normally follow a three or four year (180-240 ECTS credits) course. The higher diploma may be awarded at the same level following a single year of study (60 ECTS credits) and is normally taken following an honours degree as a conversion course. Ordinary (non-honours) bachelor's degrees are at level 7 of the framework and take three years (180 EFTS credits) to complete.
In South Africa, non-professional bachelor's degrees (BA, BSc, BCom) are three-year degrees (professional degrees such as engineering degrees or medicine are longer). The honours degree is an optional fourth year and is an additional one-year qualification. Usually the honours degree specialises in one subject matter (e.g., mathematics, English). Intake into the honours degree is often highly selective. The bachelor's degree is at level 7 and the honours degree at level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework of the South African Qualifications Authority. Research components must comprise at least 25% of the honours degree.
In the United States, an honours degree (or honors degree in US spelling) requires a thesis or project work beyond that needed for the normal bachelor's program. Honours programs in the US are taken alongside the rest of the degree and often have a minimum GPA requirement for entry, which can vary between institutions. Some institutions do not have a separate honours program, but instead refer to bachelor's degrees awarded with Latin honours, which may be based either on GPA or class position, as honours degrees.
A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin baccalaureus) or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin baccalaureatus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years (depending on institution and academic discipline). In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework (sometimes two levels where non-honours and honours bachelor's degrees are considered separately), although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels (e.g., MBBS) and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees (e.g. the Scottish MA and Canadian MD).
The term bachelor in the 12th century referred to a knight bachelor, who was too young or poor to gather vassals under his own banner. By the end of the 13th century, it was also used by junior members of guilds or universities. By folk etymology or wordplay, the word baccalaureus came to be associated with bacca lauri ("laurel berry") in reference to laurels being awarded for academic success or honours.Under the British system, and those influenced by it, undergraduate academic degrees are differentiated as either non-honours degrees (known variously as pass degrees, ordinary degrees or general degrees) or honours degrees, the latter sometimes denoted by the addition of "(Hons)" after the degree abbreviation.An honours degree generally requires a higher academic standard than a pass degree, and in some systems an additional year of study beyond the non-honours bachelor's. Some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, have a postgraduate "bachelor with honours" degree. This may be taken as a consecutive academic degree, continuing on from the completion of a bachelor's degree program in the same field, or as part of an integrated honours program. These programs typically require completion of a full-year long research thesis project.Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB—often styled B.A.; from the Latin baccalaureus artium or artium baccalaureus) is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus (from the Latin bacca, a berry, and laureus, "of the bay laurel") should not be confused with baccalaureatus (translatable as "gold-plated scepter" by using the Latina bacum and aureatus), which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree (Baccalaureatus in Artibus Cum Honore) in some countries.
Diplomas generally give the name of the institution, signatures of officials of the institution (generally the president or rector of the university as well as the secretary or dean of the component college), type of degree conferred, conferring authority, and location at which the degree is conferred. Diplomas generally are printed on high-quality paper or parchment; individual institutions set the preferred abbreviation for their degrees.
The Bachelor of Arts is usually attained in four years in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Armenia, Kenya, Canada, Greece, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Serbia, Spain, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Ireland, South Korea, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Hong Kong, the United States, and most of the Americas.
Degree attainment generally takes three years in nearly all of the European Union and Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Israel, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Singapore, the Caribbean, South Africa, Switzerland, and the Canadian province of Quebec. In Pakistan, the Bachelor of Arts can also be attained within two years as an external degree.Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science (Latin Baccalaureus Scientiae, B.S., BS, B.Sc., BSc, or B.Sc; or, less commonly, S.B., SB, or Sc.B., from the equivalent Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University of London in 1860. Prior to this, science subjects were included in the BA bracket, notably in the cases of mathematics, physics, physiology and botany.Whether a student of a particular subject is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree can vary between universities. For example, an economics degree may be given as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) by one university but as a BS by another, and some universities offer the choice of either. Some liberal arts colleges in the United States offer only the BA, even in the natural sciences, while some universities offer only the BS, even in non-science fields.At universities that offer both BA and BS degrees in the same discipline, the BS degree is usually more extensive in that particular discipline and is targeted toward students who are pursuing graduate school or a profession in that field.British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading structure for undergraduate degrees or bachelor's degrees and integrated master's degrees in the United Kingdom. The system has been applied (sometimes with significant variations) in other countries and regions.Bruce Maslin
Bruce Roger Maslin (born 3 May 1946) is an Australian botanist.
Born in Bridgetown, Western Australia, he obtained an honours degree in botany from the University of Western Australia in 1967, then took up an appointment as a botanist with the Western Australian Herbarium. The following year he was conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War; he gave three years in National Service, serving in Vietnam in 1969. In 1970 he returned to his position at the Western Australian Herbarium, serving in that institution until 1987. During this time he was Australian Botanical Liaison Officer in 1977 and 1978; editor of Nuytsia from 1981 to 1983; and acting curator in 1986 and 1987. In 1987, Maslin was appointed a Senior Research Scientist, still within the Department of Environment and Conservation. He remains in that position to date.
A specialist in the genus Acacia, he has published around 250 Acacia taxa.Cayman Islands Law School
Cayman Islands Law School is a law school based in George Town, Cayman Islands affiliated with the University of Liverpool in the UK. It was founded in 1982.
The school offers two qualifications:
Full and part-time programmes leading to the Bachelor of Law (Honours) Degree of the University of Liverpool
and attorney at law qualification of the Cayman Islands.E. L. Senanayake
Deshamanya Edward Lionel Senanayake (known commonly as E.L Senanayake) (8 August 1920 - 29 January 2000) was a Sri Lankan Politician belonging to the United National Party. He was the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament. Senanayake was the Governor of North Central Province and Central Province of Sri Lanka. He was elected to the Sri Lankan Parliament from Mahanuwara in Kandy.He was the son of Gate Mudaliyar James Senanayake and was educated at Trinity College, Kandy and at the University College, Colombo graduating with an honours degree in Economics. Having entered politics at the age of 23 after being elected to the Kandy Municipal Council, he went on to serve as Mayor before being elected to Parliament.Foundation degree
A foundation degree is a combined academic and vocational qualification in higher education, equivalent to two thirds of an honours bachelor's degree, introduced by the government of the United Kingdom in September 2001. Foundation degrees are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, offered by universities, by colleges that have their own foundation degree awarding powers, and by colleges and employers running courses validated by universities.
Foundation degrees must include a pathway for graduates to progress to an honours degree. This may be via joining the final year of a standard three-year course or through a dedicated 'top-up' course. Students can also transfer to other institutions to take a top-up course or the final year of an honours course. It may also be possible for students to join the second year of an honours course in a different but related subject.Honors student
An honor student is a student recognized for achieving high grades or high marks in their coursework at school.Jim Green (activist)
Dr James "Jim" Green is the national anti-nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and Australian coordinator of the Beyond Nuclear Initiative. Green is a regular media commentator on nuclear waste issues. He has an honours degree in public health from the University of Wollongong and was awarded a PhD in science and technology studies for his analysis of the Lucas Heights research reactor debates.Jim Smallman
James Daniel Smallman (born 11 May 1978 in Leicestershire, England) is a stand-up comedian, radio presenter, professional wrestling promoter, blogger and voice-over artist. Smallman attended school in Hinckley, and went on to De Montfort University, graduating with a first-class Honours degree in English Literature.Joint honours degree
A joint honours degree (also known as dual honours, double majors, or Two Subject Moderatorship) is a specific type of degree offered generally at the Honours Bachelor's degree level by certain universities in Ireland, the UK, Canada, Malta, and Australia. In a joint honours degree, two (or more) subjects are studied concurrently within the timeframe of one honours.Master of Arts (Scotland)
The degree of Master of Arts (MA) in UK typically refers to an undergraduate degree (either a three-year general degree or four-year Honours degree) in humanities or social sciences awarded by one of the ancient universities of Scotland (the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Edinburgh) plus the University of Dundee (as a result of its history as a constituent college of the University of St Andrews) and Heriot-Watt University (at honours level only). The first two years of the Scottish Master of Arts consist of ordinary Bachelor level courses; however, after these, students who are accepted to pursue the Honours route will complete more advanced subjects and write a dissertation in their fourth year. Students who choose to do a "general" degree will complete their third year at a lower level of specialisation, and receive a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or MA without Honours. For the postgraduate degree referred to in other places as "Master of Arts", Scottish universities usually award the degree of Master of Letters (MLitt). Generally, non-ancient universities in Scotland (e.g. University of Strathclyde, The Robert Gordon University, Edinburgh Napier University, etc.), award arts degrees as Bachelor of Arts.Royal Institute of Chemistry
The Royal Institute of Chemistry was a British scientific organisation.
Founded in 1877 as the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain, its role was to focus on qualifications and the professional status of chemists, and its aim was to ensure that consulting and analytical chemists were properly trained and qualified. It awarded qualifications: AIC (Associate of the Institute of Chemistry) indicating full training, and FIC (fellow) indicating professional competence.
It received its first Royal Charter in 1885. As well as insisting on thorough professional qualifications, it also laid down strict ethical standards. Its main qualifications were Licentiate (LRIC) (professional training following a course of practical study to a standard lower than an honours degree), Graduate (GRIC) (completion of study equivalent to at least second class honours degree), Associate (ARIC) (LRIC plus professional experience), Member (MRIC) (GRIC plus professional experience) and Fellow (FRIC) (more experience and standing than MRIC) of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. Following a supplemental Charter in 1975, Members and Fellows were permitted to use the letters CChem (Chartered Chemist).
It published Royal Institute of Chemistry Reviews from 1968 to 1971, when it combined to form Chemical Society Reviews, and the Journal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry.
At the same time, the Chemical Society had concentrated on the science of chemistry, and publishing learned journals. In 1972 these two organisations, together with the Faraday Society and the Society for Analytical Chemistry, started the process of merger, becoming the Royal Society of Chemistry on 15 May 1980.Sudipta Chakraborty
Sudipta Chakraborty is an Indian actress who mostly works in Bengali cinema. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Bariwali.
She completed her secondary education from the Alipore Multipurpose Government Girls’ School, and later completed her school leaving examination from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fort William. She graduated with an honours degree in English from the Indira Gandhi National Open University.Her sister Bidipta Chakraborty is also an actress. Sudiptaa made her debut in the film SanghaatUniversity of Edinburgh School of Health in Social Science
The School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh is a department undertaking research and teaching into health, health policy and related fields. It is part of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The school offers postgraduate degrees in Clinical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dementia, Health and Social Care and Nursing Studies, together with an undergraduate honours degree in Nursing (Bachelor of Nursing with Honours).University of Murcia
The University of Murcia (Spanish: Universidad de Murcia) is the main university in Murcia, Spain. With 38,000 students, it is the largest university in the Región de Murcia. The University of Murcia is the third oldest university in Spain, after the University of Salamanca (1218 AD) and the University of Valladolid (1241 AD), and the thirteenth in the world. The University of Murcia was established in 1272 by the King Alfonso X of Castile under the Crown of Castile.
The majority of the University's facilities and buildings are spread over two campuses: the older is La Merced, situated in the town centre, and the larger is Espinardo, just 5 km to the north of Murcia. A third campus for Medical and Health Studies is currently being built next to the suburban area known as Ciudad Sanitaria Virgen de la Arrixaca, 5 km south of the city. A new campus had been made in San Javier too, that hosts the Sports Science faculty.Wrangler (University of Cambridge)
At the University of Cambridge in England, a "Wrangler" is a student who gains first-class honours in the third year of the University's undergraduate degree in mathematics. The highest-scoring student is the Senior Wrangler, the second highest is the Second Wrangler, and so on. At the other end of the scale, the person who achieves the lowest exam marks while still earning a third-class honours degree (that is, while still earning an honours degree at all) is known as the wooden spoon.
Until 1909, the University made the rankings public. Since 1910 it has publicly revealed only the class of degree gained by each student. An examiner reveals the identity of the Senior Wrangler "unofficially" by tipping his hat when reading out the person's name, but other rankings are communicated to each student privately. Therefore, the names of only some 20th-century Senior Wranglers (such as Crispin Nash-Williams, Christopher Budd, Frank P. Ramsey, Donald Coxeter, Kevin Buzzard, Jayant Narlikar, George Reid and Ben J. Green) have become publicly known.
Another notable was Philippa Fawcett. She was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge which had been co-founded by her mother. In 1890, Fawcett became the first woman to obtain the top score in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos exams. Her score was 13 per cent higher than the second highest score. When the women's list was announced, Fawcett was described as "above the senior wrangler", but she did not receive the title of senior wrangler, as at that time only men could receive degrees and therefore only men were eligible for the Senior Wrangler title. The results were always highly publicised, with the top scorers receiving great acclaim. Women had been allowed to take the Tripos since 1881, after Charlotte Angas Scott was unofficially ranked as eighth wrangler.
The strain of preparing for Tripos could lead to mental breakdown. Students found it necessary to build up their physical endurance. It was noted that "virtually every high wrangler (for whom records exist) participated in some form of regular physical exercise to preserve his strength and stamina."Obtaining the position of a highly ranked Wrangler created many opportunities for the individual's subsequent profession. They would often become Fellows initially, before moving on to other professions, such as law, the Church, or medicine. Throughout the United Kingdom and the British Empire, university mathematics professors were often among the top three Wranglers.The order of Wranglers was widely publicised and shaped the public perception of mathematics as being the most intellectually challenging of all subjects. According to Andrew Warwick, author of Masters of Theory, the term 'Senior Wrangler' became "synonymous with academic supremacy".Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Chinese: 杨秀桃音乐学院) (YST Conservatory), an autonomous school of the National University of Singapore (NUS), is Singapore's first conservatory of music. Primarily an undergraduate institution, it offers full-time studies in 20 majors leading to a Bachelor of Music (Honours) Degree, as well as programmes for NUS students and young artists. The YST Conservatory maintains an undergraduate cohort of 220 Bachelor of Music students, all of whom receive full financial support through government grants, the Yong Loo Lin Trust and other donors. It also hosts a performance calendar of around 200 concerts annually.
Levels of academic degree