British undergraduate degree classification

The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees (bachelor's degrees and some master's degrees) in the United Kingdom. The system has been applied (sometimes with significant variations) in other countries, such as India, the Republic of Ireland, Kenya, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Nigeria, Malta and Canada. The Latin honors system used in the United States is different but has some similarities.

Degree classification

A degree may be awarded with or without honours, with the class of an honours degree based on the average mark of the assessed work a candidate has completed. Below is a list of the possible classifications with common abbreviations. Honours degrees are in bold:
  • First-Class Honours (First or 1st)
  • Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1)
  • Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2)
  • Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd)
  • Ordinary degree (Pass)
  • Fail (no degree is awarded)
The system does allow for a small amount of discretion and candidates may be elevated up to the next degree class if their average mark is close or the median of their weighted marks achieves the higher class, and they have submitted many pieces of work worthy of the higher class. However, they may be demoted a class if they fail to pass all parts of the course even if they have a high average.

There are also variations between universities (especially in Scotland, where honours are usually reserved only for courses lasting four years or more) and requirements other than the correct average are often needed to be awarded honours. (In Scotland it is possible to start University a year younger than is normal in the rest of the United Kingdom as the Scottish Highers exams are taken at age seventeen, not eighteen, thus four year courses end at the same chronological age as a rest of UK three year course, assuming no 'gap years'.)

When a candidate is awarded a degree with honours, '(Hons)' may be suffixed to their type of degree, such as BA(Hons) or BSc(Hons).

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 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.

In some universities, candidates who successfully complete one or more years of degree-level study, but do not complete the full degree course, may be awarded a lower qualification: a Certificate of Higher Education or Higher National Certificate for one year of study, or a Diploma of Higher Education or Higher National Diploma for two years.

First-Class Honours

In most universities, First-Class Honours is the highest honours which can be achieved, with about 12% of candidates achieving a First nationally. [1]

A minority of universities award First-Class Honours with Distinction, informally known as a "Starred First" (Cambridge) or a "Congratulatory First" (Oxford). These are seldom awarded. In Oxford, the Congratulatory First involves a ceremony where examiners give a standing ovation.

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 the University of Cambridge. At Oxford, this term normally refers to a First in both Honour Moderations and the Final Honour School.

A Cambridge "Double First" originally referred to a first in two different Triposes. The phrase "Double First" originally referred to people who got firsts in both the classical and mathematical Triposes ("double men"). The two-Tripos criterion for a "double first", even in vaguely related subjects as English and History, constitutes a far higher hurdle than simply repeating the same performance in competition with the same students in a Part II of the same Tripos; it is harder because the subject matter is different, and the candidate has to reach a mark of excellence in competition with people who would have been studying the subject for longer at university level. However, this usage is less and less common in recent years and the term is now more frequently used in the ordinary sense of obtaining a first in subsequent examinations in the same subject, rather than simultaneous examinations in different subjects.

At Cambridge it is possible to obtain a Double Starred First (noted recipients being Quentin Skinner, Alain de Botton, Enoch Powell, Lee Kuan Yew and Orlando Figes), or, in extremely rare cases such as Maurice Zinkin[2] and Abba Eban, a Triple-Starred First.

The Graduateship (post-nominal GCGI) awarded by the City & Guilds of London Institute is mapped to a British Honours degree.

The Engineering Council Graduate Diploma set at the same level as the final year of a British BEng.

Second-Class Honours

The bulk of university graduates fall into Second-Class Honours, which is usually divided into Upper Second-Class Honours and Lower Second-Class Honours. These divisions are commonly abbreviated to 2:1 (pronounced two-one) and 2:2 (pronounced two-two) respectively.

Nearly three-quarters (73.3%) of 2006 graduates in the UK gained a second-class degree. This includes the 43.4% of 2006 graduates who gained a 2.1 - this was the most common degree classification. [3]

Third-Class Honours

Third-Class Honours is the lowest honours classification in most modern universities. (Until the 1970s, Oxford awarded Fourth-class Honours degrees, but did not distinguish between "Upper-" (2.1s) and "Lower-Seconds" (2.2s), and so still had four classes like other establishments.) Roughly 7.2% of students graduating in 2006 with an honours degree received a Third. [4] Third Class honours were tradionally regarded as 'a Gentleman's degree'.

Ordinary Degree

An Ordinary degree is a pass degree without honours. A number of universities offer Ordinary degree courses to students, but most students enroll in Honours degree courses. Ordinary degrees are sometimes awarded to students who do not complete an Honours degree course.

Aegrotat degrees

A candidate who is unable to take his or her exams because of illness can sometimes be awarded an aegrotat degree; this is an honours degree without classification, awarded on the understanding that had the candidate not been unwell, he or she would have passed.

Progression to postgraduate study

Regulations governing the progression of undergraduate degree graduates to postgraduate programmes vary between universities, and are often flexible. A candidate for a postgraduate master's degree is usually required to have at least a 2:2 degree, although candidates with 2:1s are in a considerably stronger position to gain a place on a postgraduate course and to gain funding. Some institutions specify a 2:1. Candidates with a Third or ordinary degree are sometimes accepted, provided they have acquired satisfactory professional experience subsequent to graduation. A candidate for a doctoral programme who does not hold a master's degree is nearly always required to have a First or 2:1. For highly desirable programmes a First is usually required.

Undergraduate degree honours slang

A form of rhyming slang has developed from degree classes, usually using names of famous people. Due to the conventions of rhyming slang, only the person's first name is used. A Third is also known as a 'Richard' after the monarch Richard III; a 'Vorderman' after the British television celebrity Carol Vorderman who received a Third at Cambridge[5].

Finally, a Pass degree is sometimes known as a 'Khyber' (after the Cockney rhyming slang phrase 'Khyber Pass') .

A fail is sometimes known as a Michael Palin (as 'failing' para-rhymes with 'Palin') .

See also

External links

grade (or mark) is a teacher's standardized evaluation of a student's work. In some countries, evaluations can be expressed quantifiably, and calculated into a numeric grade point average (GPA).
..... Click the link for more information.
undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree) is the most common and primary academic degree available and is normally studied at a higher education institution, such as a university.
..... Click the link for more information.


A bachelor's degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases and countries, five or six years.
..... Click the link for more information.
master's degree is a postgraduate academic degree awarded after the completion of a program of one to four years in duration.

In the recently standardized European system of higher education diplomas, it corresponds to a two years postgraduate program undertaken after at
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
..... Click the link for more information.
This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
..... Click the link for more information.
Anthem
Amhrán na bhFiann  
The Soldier's Song


..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"Harambee"   (Swahili)
"Let us all pull together"
Anthem
Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu
"Oh God of All Creation"
..... Click the link for more information.

..... Click the link for more information.

..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu"
"Unity Is Strength" 1

Anthem
Negaraku
..... Click the link for more information.
Anthem
March of the Volunteers[1]



Capital None[2]
Largest district (population) Sha Tin District
..... Click the link for more information.
Anthem
Advance Australia Fair [1]


Capital Canberra

Largest city Sydney
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
Anthem
"Arise O Compatriots, Nigeria's Call Obey"


Capital Abuja

..... Click the link for more information.
Anthem
L-Innu Malti
("The Maltese Anthem")

Location of  

..... Click the link for more information.
This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
..... Click the link for more information.
Latin honors are Latin phrases used to indicate the level of academic distinction with which an academic degree was earned. Some universities in the United States use the English translation of these phrases rather than the Latin originals.
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
median is described as the number separating the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the observations from lowest value to highest value and picking
..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
Nemo me impune lacessit   (Latin)
"No one provokes me with impunity"
"Cha togar m'fhearg gun dioladh"   
..... Click the link for more information.
University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. for post-nominals, from "Oxoniensis"), located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
..... Click the link for more information.
University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the world's most prestigious universities.
..... Click the link for more information.
This article is about TRIPOS, the operating system. For the name given to undergraduate degree subjects by Cambridge University, see Tripos.


TRIPOS (TRIvial Portable Operating S
..... Click the link for more information.
A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom. It is awarded after one year full-time study (or equivalent) at a university or other higher education institution.
..... Click the link for more information.
A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the HNC is a BTEC qualification awarded by Edexcel, and in Scotland, an HNC is a Higher National
..... Click the link for more information.
A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom. It is awarded after two years full-time study at a university or other higher education institution.
..... Click the link for more information.
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the HND is a BTEC qualification awarded by Edexcel and in Scotland is a Higher National
..... Click the link for more information.
  • Distinction,the fundamental philosophical abstraction, involves the recognition of two or more things being distinct, i.e. different.
  • Distinction (social), is a social force that places different values on different individuals.

..... Click the link for more information.
Classics or Classical Studies is the branch of the Humanities dealing with the languages, literature, history, art, and other aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during the time known as classical antiquity, roughly
..... Click the link for more information.
Mathematics (colloquially, maths or math) is the body of knowledge centered on such concepts as quantity, structure, space, and change, and also the academic discipline that studies them. Benjamin Peirce called it "the science that draws necessary conclusions".
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.