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What does an Honours degree, really mean?

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    Hey peeps,

    What's really the difference, if any, between BS.c Degree and BS.c Degree (hons)?

    From what I understand, it's a little bit different in Scotland to England and I've heard a few different reasons but haven't had anyone say anything conclusive?

    Ta
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    Hey peeps,

    What's really the difference, if any, between BS.c Degree and BS.c Degree (hons)?

    From what I understand, it's a little bit different in Scotland to England and I've heard a few different reasons but haven't had anyone say anything conclusive?

    Ta
    Well for my degree course (in the UK) it means that you have done 120 credits a year for honours and you didn't get less than 40% average for any module.
    For a non-honours degree you only do 100 credits a year.

    In Scotland I think you have to do 4 years instead of 3 and the last year consists of research and a dissertation

    Not much of a difference, but you get an (Hons) onto the end of your BA/BSc
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    Hey peeps,

    What's really the difference, if any, between BS.c Degree and BS.c Degree (hons)?

    From what I understand, it's a little bit different in Scotland to England and I've heard a few different reasons but haven't had anyone say anything conclusive?

    Ta
    It is different in England & Wales and Scotland.

    In England and Wales, nearly all degrees are with honours, which is simply a reference to an old system of grading degrees. A degree with honours is at a specific European wide academic standard, so it is understood internationally (though it's Europe, there is plenty of bickering). You can get a degree without honours, but nearly always it is because you have tanked the course and not quite failed. The grades for a degree are 1st, 2.1, 2.2 and 3rd all of which mean you passed your degree with honours, ie you can put BSc (Hons) or whatever. Worse than a 3rd, but technically not a fail is a Pass, which is a degree without honours. Then of course you can fail a degree. A Pass without honours ie a degree without honours is pretty much useless to the majority of employers.

    In Scotland the system is slightly different. Assume that the years at university in England and Wales are 1, 2 and 3, then in Scotland most universities offer courses that are 4 years long and go year 0, 1, 2, 3. This is because in Scotland you can start university after year 12, ie aged 17. Because you haven't completed the A2 equivalent year, you do a year 0. This year does not count towards a degree with honours because the academic level is too low. If you stay at school or have done A levels you can skip year 0 and join in year 1 and do a 3 year degree, with honours.

    So it is the same as England and Wales in that you need to complete years 1, 2 and 3 to get an honours degree, but you can do years 0, 1 and 2 and get a degree without honours. I don't know how many people do that, but not so many I presume, because outside Scotland it's not a standard degree.

    If you find a degree in England or Wales that is without honours, think very carefully about investing in it. It will be easier to get, but it may not be worth anything to employers.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    It is different in England & Wales and Scotland.

    In England and Wales, nearly all degrees are with honours, which is simply a reference to an old system of grading degrees. A degree with honours is at a specific European wide academic standard, so it is understood internationally (though it's Europe, there is plenty of bickering). You can get a degree without honours, but nearly always it is because you have tanked the course and not quite failed. The grades for a degree are 1st, 2.1, 2.2 and 3rd all of which mean you passed your degree with honours, ie you can put BSc (Hons) or whatever. Worse than a 3rd, but technically not a fail is a Pass, which is a degree without honours. Then of course you can fail a degree. A Pass without honours ie a degree without honours is pretty much useless to the majority of employers.

    In Scotland the system is slightly different. Assume that the years at university in England and Wales are 1, 2 and 3, then in Scotland most universities offer courses that are 4 years long and go year 0, 1, 2, 3. This is because in Scotland you can start university after year 12, ie aged 17. Because you haven't completed the A2 equivalent year, you do a year 0. This year does not count towards a degree with honours because the academic level is too low. If you stay at school or have done A levels you can skip year 0 and join in year 1 and do a 3 year degree, with honours.

    So it is the same as England and Wales in that you need to complete years 1, 2 and 3 to get an honours degree, but you can do years 0, 1 and 2 and get a degree without honours. I don't know how many people do that, but not so many I presume, because outside Scotland it's not a standard degree.

    If you find a degree in England or Wales that is without honours, think very carefully about investing in it. It will be easier to get, but it may not be worth anything to employers.
    Excellent! Thanks for clearing that up!

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