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BSc (Hons) - what does that 'Hons' mean?

Discussion in 'Access to Medicine' started by sviestine_muse, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. sviestine_muse

    sviestine_muse New Member

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    Could anyone explain me the meaning of 'Hons', please? Why do all science subjects have this notice?
     
  2. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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  3. yas78687

    yas78687 New Member

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    theyre honours - for people who were in the top 5% for that course i think... just a distinguishing feature to a course - like (say for a gcse version) everyone gets A's, but only the top 5 percent of them will get a * with it (hope that makes sense)
     
  4. Prolific

    Prolific New Member

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    oh its basically just a technicality. Think of degrees in two types:

    Ordinary
    Honours (Hons)

    An ordinary degree means you pass or you don't. You don't fail a degree, you just don't get it if you don't pass. They'll be a pass mark (say 40%) if you get above it you go the degree... the BA for example. There is no high pass, mid pass or low pass, no A*, A, B, C etc. You pass or you don't get it. Like a driving test if you will.

    Now an honours degree is technically a higher standard of degree which is graded. 70% is usually a first class. 60% an upper second class (2i), 50% a lower second class (2ii) and 40% a 3rd. Technically if someone got below 40% they could still get the degree but it wouldn't have honours with it. Although in practist if you don't get 40% you usually just don't get the degree.

    Usually what honours actually referes to is a degree worth having. if anyone could take your degree it wouldn't be worth anything would it? An honours degree usually suggests some level of appitude or skill toward the subject matter is nessessary...which with science it certainly is. Not everyone is capable mentally of comprehending the way the world around them works, in just the same way that not everyone can sing, or draw or do a backflip.
     
  5. yas78687

    yas78687 New Member

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    well said Prolific :)
     
  6. Prolific

    Prolific New Member

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    oh and you know how in scotland undergraduates study 4 years. Usually if you leave after 3 you can claim an ordinary degree. So if you studied a BSc (Hons) you'd get a BSc. In the same way in England, Wales, Ireland etc. if you couldn't take your final exams due to illness or personal stuff you can usually claim an ordinary degree. Which is just a degree, it usually has no classification. Think of it like this from top to bottom:

    1st Class
    Upper 2nd Class (2i)
    Lower 2nd Class (2ii)
    3rd Class
    Ordinary Degree
    Fail (you don't techincally fail, you just don't graduate, like failing a driving test, you don't 'fail' you just arent allowed to drive still)
     
  7. yas78687

    yas78687 New Member

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    "oh and you know how in scotland undergraduates study 4 years. Usually if you leave after 3 you can claim an ordinary degree. So if you studied a BSc (Hons) you'd get a BSc."

    I didnt know that!! :eek: should have applied to a course in Scotland - would have saved a year! :eek:
     
  8. sviestine_muse

    sviestine_muse New Member

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    wow thanks. i think i understand it now ;) going for hons then ;)
     
  9. Prolific

    Prolific New Member

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    basically the only place you'll get a BSc without hons is at a former polytech doing BSc Mickey Mouse Studies or BSc Golf Course Management (which don't have honours for a good and obvious reason).

    Disclaimer: Prolific in no way suggests that BSc Mickey Mouse Studies or BSc Golf Course Management are an academic joke. He accepts that these are a serious life calling and wishes all the best to those who undertake this tenacious career.
     
  10. nik236

    nik236 New Member

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    This is not strictly true. I'm not sure of the situation in England, but in Scotland where honours degrees last four years, graduating with an ordinary degree after three years by no means indicates a lack of aptitude. Certainly at the older universities such as Glasgow, achieving an ordinary degree is not a feat to be sniffed at and many students will have completed the same coursework and exams as students who will continue on to honours year. You cannot 'claim' an ordinary degree simply by leaving at the end of third year, you must still pass your exams and coursework, and have gained enough credit points and a high enough gpa (or however your own university grades students) to be eligible for graduation. In many cases students may simply opt not to continue to fourth year, in which case they may be awarded an ordinary (pass) degree provided they satisfy the conditions.
     
  11. nik236

    nik236 New Member

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    This is not strictly true. I'm not sure of the situation in England, but in Scotland where honours degrees last four years, graduating with an ordinary degree after three years by no means indicates a lack of aptitude. Certainly at the older universities such as Glasgow, achieving an ordinary degree is not a feat to be sniffed at and many students will have completed the same coursework and exams as students who will continue on to honours year. You cannot 'claim' an ordinary degree simply by leaving at the end of third year, you must still pass your exams and coursework, and have gained enough credit points and a high enough gpa (or however your own university grades students) to be eligible for graduation. In many cases students may simply opt not to continue to fourth year, in which case they may be awarded an ordinary (pass) degree provided they satisfy the conditions. However, if you continue to honours year and fall below the benchmark of a 3rd, it is the case at Glasgow and, I believe, all round that you will not be awarded a degree at all, ie if you fail honours you cannot 'fall back' to an ordinary degree. Unfortunately, you only get one shot at honours, no resits allowed.

    Even at a former polytech, it is an unfair comment to refer to any students achievement as 'mickey mouse'. However easy the entry requirements may seem, to achieve a degree in any discipline requires hard work and effort by the student, and many graduates out there with pass degrees are no doubt very proud of their achievements.
     

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