It consists of a single-year full-time or two years part-time research programme, which follows a bachelor's degree and is usually obtained in order to join a master's degree programme; it is considered to stand between the undergraduate and the postgraduate level. An honours degree is generally entirely focused on research and research preparation, its structure being generally made by research workshop units and a research report with original content and contribution. The honours degree is awarded in most anglophone countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and should not be confused with the undergraduate classification of general degrees, which also uses the word Honours to award a high academic standing (First Class Honours, Second Class Honours, Third Class Honours).
The honours degree does not exist in most European, South American, Asian and African countries and is not included in the Bologna Process, therefore its utility in order to achieve a doctoral programme depends on the evaluation of the single university. For purposes of comparison and conversion, the UK Department for Education has nonetheless recognised the Italian Laurea Magistrale, the French licence and the regular German Bachelor degrees as being equivalent to a British honours degree - this recognition of equivalency is also extended to pre-Bologna Process qualifications such as the Italian laurea vecchio ordinamento, the French Diplôme and Maîtrise, as well as the German Staatsexamen, Diplom and Magister.
- "The Role of Honours in Contemporary Australian Higher Education". Olt.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "4 Year Degree (With Year Abroad) - University of Hull". .hull.ac.uk. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Higher education | Education UK (Global)". Education UK. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Degree structures | University of St Andrews". St-andrews.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Honours degrees - - The University of Sydney". Sydney.edu.au. 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
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- "Bachelor Honours Degree". NZQA. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Honours Degrees, University of Otago, New Zealand". Otago.ac.nz. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "4.3 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree Regulations". Mun.ca. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Honours Degree". Msvu.ca. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Unisa Online - Honours degrees". Unisa.ac.za. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Honours Degrees". Uj.ac.za. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "The Bologna Declaration of 19 June 1999". Ehea.info. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- "Table of comparison". Education.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-09.