The term “honours degree” has different meanings for different countries and for different degrees. Generally “honours degree” is connected with undergraduate Bachelor degrees; it is rarely used for Masters degrees. The term originally comes from an early 20th century degree classification system to distinguish undergraduate students based on their academic achievements. Nowadays, honours are instead awarded to students who show exceptional depth of knowledge and originality.
In the British system, almost all undergraduates apply to an honours degree. An “ordinary” degree may also be offered, however, it involves a much broader understanding of a topic compared with an in-depth honours degree. Hence, an honours degree typically refers to a higher academic standard than a pass degree, which is why at some universities an additional fourth year during the Bachelor is required. When a degree with honours is being awarded, the suffix “(Hons)” may be attached to the degree title, for example BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons).
In Scotland however, the MA (hons) refers to a four-year integrated undergraduate degree in the arts. During the first two years, ordinary Bachelor level modules will be completed, while the last two years, or honour years, consist of more advanced subjects and finish with a dissertation.
In Australia the term “honours degree” may also refer to a two-year consecutive research degree, which is a continuation of a bachelor’s degree in the same field. It is supposed to extend understanding and research skills in order to directly commence a PhD programme. Entry to an honours degree is therefore competitive and requires a Bachelor’s with distinction.
In the US, a degree with honours simply signifies academic excellence, indicating a high overall grade point average.
As described above, there are only very few Masters programmes which offer the honours supplement. If it is available, it can have many different meanings and may be connected with different criteria. In some cases you will find the term “Honours” within the study programme description, in other cases you will have to ask the student advisory service about the award of honours degrees. The search for a postgraduate honours degree is therefore difficult. Instead of devoting time to looking for an honours degree, you should focus on other aspects of your Masters programme.
|University of Birmingham|
|Hult International Business School|
|University of Warwick - WMG|
|London School of Economics and Political Science - Department of Management|
|Newcastle University Business School|
|Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University|
|The University of Sunderland|
|The University of Buckingham|
|Glasgow Caledonian University|
|The University of Law|
|King's College London|
|University of the West of England|
|University of Dundee|
|University of Southampton|
|University of Winchester|
|University of the West of Scotland|
|University of Sheffield|
|University of Bath School of Management|
|University of Hull|
|Manchester Business School|
|University of West London|
|Birkbeck, University of London|
|Imperial College London|
|Nottingham Law School|
|Middlesex University London|
|London South Bank University|
|EDHEC Business School|
|Birmingham City University|
|Royal Agricultural University|
|The Glasgow School of Art|
|University of Kent|
|University of Portsmouth|
|University of Huddersfield|
|University of Worcester|
|University of Gloucestershire|
|Royal College of Art|
|Brunel University London|
|University of Aberdeen|
|The University of Northampton|
|emlyon business school|
|Oxford Brookes University|
|University of Suffolk|