Easier to see in the Cambridge system, where you get a mark for each Tripos, and are not prescribed a way to add them up to get an overall mark.(Original post by Teebs)
I'd be fascinated to know how exactly being awarded a classification for the required exams and coursework to complete a degree does not constitute awarding a degree classification (I'm talking about Oxford here by the way).
I can't remember exactly the source for my claim, so I can't vouch for it 100%. However, wikipedia does say something similar:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...classification(Original post by wikipedia)
At Oxford and Cambridge, honours classes apply to examinations, not to degrees. Thus, in Cambridge, where undergraduates are examined at the end of each Part (one- or two-year section) of the Tripos, a student may receive different classifications for different Parts. The degree itself does not formally have a class. Most Cambridge graduates use the class of the final Part as the class of the degree, but this is an informal usage. At Oxford, the Final Honour School results are generally applied to the degree.
What are the downsides?