|Reference: Honours Degree|
Note that, in the question, we are told this is a British degree. That's important because, as the Wikipedia article shows, honours means different things in different countries. However, note that the information that this is British is not sufficient, because Scotland is slightly different.
"Many universities and colleges offer both honours and non-honours bachelor's degrees. In most countries where honours degrees are granted, they imply a higher level of achievement than a non-honours degree. In some countries (e.g. Canada or Australia), an honours degree may also involve a longer period of study than a non-honours degree. Students who complete all the requirements for a non-honours bachelor's degree but do not receive sufficient merit to be awarded the honours degree would normally be awarded the non-honours degree (also known as a "pass", "general" or "ordinary" degree). In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, almost all bachelor's degrees are awarded as honours degrees; in contrast, honours degrees are rarely awarded in the United States.
The current British undergraduate degree classification system, with its division into first, upper and lower second, and third class honours, was developed in 1918 to distinguish between students on the basis of their academic achievement. The concept of an "honours" degree goes back a lot further than this, however, with there being examinations for honours in the original regulations of the University of London in 1839, and Nevil Maskelyne being recorded as taking a bachelor's degree with honours at Cambridge in 1754. Other countries influenced by this system include Australia, Brunei, Canada, New Zealand, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Bachelor's degrees are normally awarded "with Honours" after three years of study. The bachelor's degree with Honours meets the requirements for a higher education qualification at level 6 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in full, and is a first cycle, end-of-cycle award on the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area established by the Bologna process. Students can be awarded an "Ordinary" degree if they achieve the required learning outcomes over a smaller volume of studies than is required for an honours degree, e.g. only passing 300 credits rather than the 360 usually required for an honours degree. In addition to bachelor's degrees, four year integrated master's degrees, which combine study at bachelor's and master's level, are also awarded with honours.
The University of Oxford does not award honours with its standard BA degree, but considers students who gain a third class degree or better to have "achieved honours status". "
| B D Finch|
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Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12