a 2:1 in philosophy

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Senior Member
Español (Santiago, Chile)

What does this mean? It may seem obvious (to me, at least) that 2:1 represents some kind of score/ mark, but still the sentence doesn't really seem to fit in the context.

Context: A man is astonished at the news of his daughter's upcoming wedding. He does a bit of reflecting on the subject.
What was Katie doing? You could not control children, he knew that. Making them eat vegetables was hard enough. But marrying Ray? She had a 2:1 in philosophy. And that chap who had climbed into her car in Leeds. She had given the police a part of his ear.

From "A spot of bother" by Mark Haddon

Thanks in advance

  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi gvergara

    For the 2:1 see this Wiki article on British first degree classifications:
    A degree may be awarded with or without honours, with the class of an honours degree based on the average mark of the assessed work a candidate has completed. Below is a list of the possible classifications with common abbreviations. Honours degrees are in bold:
    • First Class Honours (First or 1st)
    • Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1)
    • Second Class Honours, Lower Division (2:2)
    • Third Class Honours (Third or 3rd)
    • Ordinary degree (Pass)
    It appears that the father feels Ray is not good enough for his daughter who, among other things, has a good degree in philosophy;)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think it means she was pretty intelligent because she had gained a university degree (upper second class) in philosophy. Intelligence seems inconsistent with wanting to marry Ray.
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