What is the difference between honours and a non-honours degree?
Deciding on a University degree can be tricky, not to mention where (in which country) to study. Whether you want to apply for pre-university institutions, or go straight to university and get your dream degree, the sky’s the limit. However, with a plethora of various degrees, things can become slightly complicated. For example, you might have come across degrees labelled as bachelor’s degrees and others as honours degrees in your research, but what’s the difference between the two?
We’ve broken down the ‘need-to-knows’ when it comes to an honours degree vs ordinary degree to help you make the right decision for you! However, it’s important to understand that degrees can signify different things depending on the country you are studying in. So whilst we’ve listed the universally applicable fundamental definition of an honours degree and a non-honours degree it’s worthwhile researching the specific degree structure of the country you are planning to study in to ensure you are equipped with all the information you need.
What Is An Honours Degree?
As mentioned, before we get into what an honours degree means, you should be aware it may differ from country to country. However, an honours degree and a non-honours degree both have a basic core definition that can apply universally.
An honours degree is an undergraduate one that is designed to be at a higher standard than a general Bachelor’s degree. Essentially, the curriculum requires a higher level of achievement while still at an undergraduate level by including the pathway of research and professional work. Some countries offer honours degrees as a separate year of studies, which is common in the US, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland for example. Other countries like the UK and Canada offer it as inclusive, meaning it would take the same duration as a regular Bachelor’s degree.
3 Different Types of Honours Degrees
To make things even more complicated, there are several different ways you can acquire an honours degree. This can however be a good thing since it offers more flexibility and you can select the type of honours degree that suits your own goals and studying preferences.
The first type of honours degree is the ‘Single Honours Degree’. It’s a stand-alone honours degree and is considered an additional course that is taken after you finish your undergraduate studies, as an add-on.
You usually choose one of your undergraduate subjects to specialise in and you can sometimes choose a course with three subjects under a single honours degree like Marketing, Management and Consumer Behaviour. This honours degree requires an extra year of study, and is not embedded in your bachelor’s degree.
- Combined Honours Degree
A combined honours degree is a great option if you’d like to study several subjects separately at an undergraduate level. Students choose separate study modules for each subject, and each one will be provided by its own department or school within the University.
- A Degree with an Honours Project
A degree with an honours project is perhaps the most straight-forward way to get your honours degree. It’s similar to a standard 3-year Bachelor’s degree but instead of 300 credits the degree would be worth 360 credits thanks to a special project in the final year of study.
Why Should I Consider An Honours Degree?
So now when you know the different paths to take to acquire an honours degree, you might ask – what are the benefits of putting in all the extra hard work and what do I get out of it?
Apart from adding a feather to your academic hat and give you a fast-track ticket to any future further studies, an honours degree will equip you with unparalleled research skills and transferable skills such as time management, organisation, and planning, not to mention it will give you networking opportunities with experts in the field. Many claim, an honours degree will give you an edge when entering the workforce putting you one step ahead of your peers.
It’s also a satisfactory personal achievement and a great reward to become a published researcher once your thesis has been published in a journal at the university library as a reference for other students and researchers.
Who qualifies or an honours degree?
Since the honours degree varies between countries, the eligibility for the degree differs significantly between countries and universities. If you are interested in doing an honours degree, a good start is to look into specific universities and countries and compare the requirements.
So What Is A Non-Honours Degree?
A non-honours degree simply means it’s an ordinary bachelor’s degree without an honours degree. Usually it involves a 300 credit undergraduate degree in the field of choice.
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