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This article is very misleading for those who are in the UK. An Honours degree in the UK is the degree that most people would expect to get from 3 years of study at University and is a taught course e.g. BSc (Hons) Chemistry. You will only receive an ordinary Bachelors degree if you fail to get the required standard for a 3rd class honours degree.
- This is correct, though the distinction is more significant in Scotland, which typically has four year undergraduate degrees; after the first three years an ordinary degree can be taken, with the fourth being necessary to obtain honours. --Poppy Appletree (talk) 22:54, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
This article is probably written by an Aussie or New Zealander. Therefore it is definitely misleading because the way Australian people perceive the word "honours" is different from that of the rest of the world. The word "Honours degree" originates from the UK (England, Wales) and is a special characteristic of the UK education system. It requires students to achieve a certain level of academic merit AND successfully complete an independent research project. In this system, all students who do not pass their thesis shall be awarded a "Pass degree".
After that, other Commonwealth countries copied the system and modified it creating some significant variations around the world. A typical example is the Scottish tertiary education system which requires a bachelor honours degree to be of at least 4-year duration. The last year is called the "honours year" when students do research and further advanced subjects. However, they can choose not to do the 4th year and be awarded a "Pass/Ordinary/General degree". Note that Scottish universities do not restrict the entry into the honours year and the vast majority of students choose to get the honours degree by completing the full 4-year program.
Australia and New Zealand are where everything became messy. In these countries, the norm is to do the 3-year bachelor degrees. Entry into the honours year is restricted for high-achievers only and is highly competitive. Most students only get the Pass/Ordinary degrees and it is commonly perceived that an "honours degree" is something very special and elite. Apart from that, an "honours degree" in Australia is nothing different from that of England, Scotland or Welsh. Graduates from Australian universities still need good honours to get into postgraduate programmes in the UK and US. The "Pass/Ordinary degrees" they get domestically are generally not acceptable in the UK.Pythonnn (talk) 14:01, 29 December 2013 (UTC)