Starred First? Possible? Watch

anonymaths
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#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
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Hi TSR...

I've heard that a few universities do a special degree class called a "first with distinction" or informally a "starred first". I'm a maths student at York university, and they actually award this grade for people who get >85% over the first 3 years, as well as in their masters year. And even then, they "consider you individually" to see whether you're worthy.

Apparently it's very hard to actually achieve it, but is anyone else here working towards one? Or actually have one? How hard is it to actually get? There's barely any information around due to the few universities that do them, and the few people aiming for them.

Looking forward to hearing from you all...............
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Phugoid
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You should be aiming for 100% no matter what university you attend, and no matter how the degree classifications are divided.

A starred first doesn't actually mean anything - a person who gets 90% in their First Class Degree is doing better than somebody who gets 88% to achieve a Starred First because their university happens to offer such a classification.

I'm on course for this kind of percentage.
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anonymaths
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(Original post by Phugoid)
You should be aiming for 100% no matter what university you attend, and no matter how the degree classifications are divided.

A starred first doesn't actually mean anything - a person who gets 90% in their First Class Degree is doing better than somebody who gets 88% to achieve a Starred First because their university happens to offer such a classification.

I'm on course for this kind of percentage.
(I agree you should aim for 100% no matter what.)

But I wouldn't go as far as saying a starred first doesn't mean anything. Admittedly it's not really fair, because not every university offers one so you can't really distinguish a starred first from a first (on paper).

My point is, degree classes aren't equivalent in the first place!! Look at Cambridge (and Oxford) for example. A first class degree there is always going to be better than a first class degree at York. The employer will often not see / care about the percentage but will just see the sheer classification. Wouldn't a starred first help at least "narrow the gap" between a first at York and at Cambridge?

One of my lecturers actually claims that the degree classifications at Cambridge 'interlace' Yorks like Cam 1*> Yorks 1* > Cam 1 > York 1 > Cam 2:1 > etc .... However that is just his opinion

According to Wiki, York, UEA, Oxford and Cambridge do them. Does anyone know of any other unis that do them?
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tetedupet
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Yeah it's pretty pointless if only a few universities award it, it's the % that counts!
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anonymaths
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(Original post by tetedupet)
Yeah it's pretty pointless if only a few universities award it, it's the % that counts!
Do employers ever *care* about the % though?
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yoyo462001
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(Original post by anonymaths)
Do employers ever *care* about the % though?
For your first job employers will not only ask for your percentage but may request your modules and grades.
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thepinkbanana
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A minority of universities award first-class honours with distinction, informally known as a "Starred First" (Cambridge, York, UEA) or a "Congratulatory First" (Oxford). These are seldom awarded; among notable recipients are the writer Karen Armstrong, the philosopher Bernard Williams, the historians Simon Schama and Quentin Skinner and the classicist Bob Cowan.

A "double first" can refer to first-class honours in two separate subjects, e.g., Classics and Mathematics, or alternatively to first-class honours in the same subject in subsequent examinations, such as subsequent Parts of the Tripos at Cambridge. The term "double-starred first" is used at Cambridge in the same fashion. At Oxford, this term normally refers to a first-class honours in both Honour Moderations and the Final Honour School.
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Retrodiction
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(Original post by anonymaths)
(I agree you should aim for 100% no matter what.)

But I wouldn't go as far as saying a starred first doesn't mean anything. Admittedly it's not really fair, because not every university offers one so you can't really distinguish a starred first from a first (on paper).

My point is, degree classes aren't equivalent in the first place!! Look at Cambridge (and Oxford) for example. A first class degree there is always going to be better than a first class degree at York. The employer will often not see / care about the percentage but will just see the sheer classification. Wouldn't a starred first help at least "narrow the gap" between a first at York and at Cambridge?

One of my lecturers actually claims that the degree classifications at Cambridge 'interlace' Yorks like Cam 1*> Yorks 1* > Cam 1 > York 1 > Cam 2:1 > etc .... However that is just his opinion

According to Wiki, York, UEA, Oxford and Cambridge do them. Does anyone know of any other unis that do them?
As far as I can tell there's no actual basis behind this. The universities in the country that produce the highest numbers of students with firsts and 2:1s are without exception the better universities by the standards of the the other league tables. Oxford and Cambridge top this list, with between 88-90% of their graduates getting a 2:1 or above. The ex-polys are all toward the bottom of this ranking. The standard of a first and 2:1 seems to be equal between the universities, but the better places can afford to push students toward getting the higher classifications. The ranking details are behind a paywall on The Times' site, but I can post a screenshot if you'd like.
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username1221160
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(Original post by Retrodiction)
As far as I can tell there's no actual basis behind this. The universities in the country that produce the highest numbers of students with firsts and 2:1s are without exception the better universities by the standards of the the other league tables. Oxford and Cambridge top this list, with between 88-90% of their graduates getting a 2:1 or above. The ex-polys are all toward the bottom of this ranking. The standard of a first and 2:1 seems to be equal between the universities, but the better places can afford to push students toward getting the higher classifications. The ranking details are behind a paywall on The Times' site, but I can post a screenshot if you'd like.
You're replying to a 5 year old post. The person in question either got their starred first or failed their degree and stacks shelves in Tesco while wondering what could have been.
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