Second-class honours degree

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Psy577

Senior Member
Italian
Hi there! Its my first post here so: be kind :)

I'm trying to apply to a master degree in Ireland and, among the requirements, I often read that: "second-class honours degree".
I already read here that honours could mean "cum laude" or that it could be the fourth year of specialisation after a three-years bachelor, isnt it?
But what about "second class"?

Ill be very grateful to the ones who would help me
Cheers
Raf

ps: and what about "primary degree"?
GOSH!!
 
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  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Raf ~ Welcome to the forum:) I shall try to be nice:D
    I got a 'bog-standard' BA in 1987. As far as I can remember there were four 'grades' for it: First, 2:1, 2:2 and Third. Obviously 'first' was the top one, 'third' the lowest. The middle two were referred to as 'second class'.
    Unfortunately this was in the UK, not Ireland, but with any luck they will use the same grading system over there too.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I suspect that what Ewie calls a bog-standard BA was what he should be calling an honours degree. I think only honours degrees are classified, but my university experience was back in the dark ages. If you did worse than a third, but did write a bit of sense on your paper, you got a pass degree. Honours degrees in some subjects take three years, and in others four. Also some universities, like Edinburgh, take four years for honours degrees which others seem to manage in three.

    What I suspect they are looking for, Psy, is a good qualification through an examination of some kind, after at least three years of under-graduate study. You will have to be in touch with them about how any Italian qualification translates into the Irish higher educational system.

    Welcome to the forum. I hope you will find people kind here.
     

    Banbha

    Senior Member
    Irish & English
    Ciao

    In an Irish university, at least in my one (University College Cork) the results of an honours degree are as follows:

    First Class Honours = 70-100%
    Second Class honours (Grade I) = 60% - 69%
    Second Class Honours (Grade II) = 50 - 59%
    Third Class = 45 - 49 %
    Pass = 40 - 44%
    Fail = below 40%

    So seeing it doesn't specify between Grade 1 and Grade 2 in the Second Class Honours requirement then I'm guessing that to do a Masters Degree there, you would need to have got an average of at least 50 % in your undergraduate degree. This usually means >50% average in your final year modules. However sometimes, results from previous years may go towards your final degree result so you may need confirmation from the university but generally that's the story with the Degree system here.

    However, the failure level (below 40 %) in Ireland is low in comparison to many European countries where a minimum of ~ 60 % is required so if you have a degree from Italy you probably have achieved a sufficient degree to apply here ;)

    Ciao!
     
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    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Honours degrees in some subjects take three years, and in others four. Also some universities, like Edinburgh, take four years for honours degrees which others seem to manage in three.
    Purely as a matter of interest, all Scottish universities require three years of study for an ordinary degree, and four years for anhonours one.

    They use the same system of honours classification as described by ewie and Banbha. On that basis I suspect the Irish university is looking for a first degree at honours level with a grading equivalent to an overall mark of not less than 60%.
     

    Redshade

    Banned
    UK
    English.
    Purely as a matter of interest, all Scottish universities require three years of study for an ordinary degree, and four years for anhonours one.

    They use the same system of honours classification as described by ewie and Banbha. On that basis I suspect the Irish university is looking for a first degree at honours level with a grading equivalent to an overall mark of not less than 60%.
    Similarly in England . A standard degree takes three years and is graded as first class 1 or 2 , second class 1 or 2 or a third class degree (which some Universities use euphemistically instead of a "fail" ).If one wants to progress to a Masters one has to complete a fourth year of study to obtain "honours " which can be variously graded as : 1st class honours degree (which can be qualified as a first or second) and a 2nd class honours degree (ditto).

    I speak as one who left school at 17 so would not be surprised to be challenged about these assertions.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ... so would not be surprised to be challenged about these assertions.
    Challenge on the way :)

    In those circumstances the degree awarded after three years is a "pass degree" and is unclassified.
    The classification system applies to honours degrees which may be first, second or third class. Second class honours degrees may be first division or second division.

    See also WIKI and HERE for a random university's view.
     

    Redshade

    Banned
    UK
    English.
    Challenge on the way :)

    In those circumstances the degree awarded after three years is a "pass degree" and is unclassified.
    The classification system applies to honours degrees which may be first, second or third class. Second class honours degrees may be first division or second division.

    See also WIKI and HERE for a random university's view.
    Hello Panj.

    Every University prospectus that I perused (longingly I might add as a 16 yr old in 1971 not having much chance of going to "Uni" as the oldest child of five in a working class family ) with all my chums; the options were an " ordinary degree "or " bachelors degree " (the terms being interchangeable) of three years which could be graded as
    1:1 ,1:2 ,2:1 , 2:2 or "Fail".There was another grade ( depending on the College ) called "not awarded or 3rd which most of my old schoolmasters told me meant "fail".
    If one achieved one's ordinary bachelors degree (of three years whatever the grade) one left college.If one wanted to apply for a place on a Masters degree course ( a further three years study ) one had to complete an additional fourth year at bachelor level to achieve "honours"
    the four year degree being,as was the three year degree given various grades.
    A chum of mine at grammar school attained a "double first with honours " ( a 1:1 with honours) from Oxbridge whist another achieved an "an ordinary first with honours" (A 1:2 with honours) a third went on to attain a"2:1 with honours whilst a fourth recieved a 2:2 with honours ,all went on to achieve a Masters Degree and became lawyers and doctors etc.

    Other chums ,it has to be said ,ended up in jail.

    I ,by the way ,as if anyone is interested,achieved 7 mid grade "O" levels.

    Or is that off subject or inappropriate humour Panj?



    To bed.

    R.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Thanks to everyone for their answers. (Oh just a minute ~ it wasn't me asking the question, was it?:eek: Still, that particular gap in my ignorance is now filled.)
     

    Psy577

    Senior Member
    Italian
    You're right ewie: thanks to everybody. At the end of the discussion I feel much more "reassured", cause I already have a master degree in Italy with the highest grade one could get (that here is 110 over 110 cum laude), so I guess I'll be ok. One day, if you want, I'll esplain you the difference between master degree in Uk/Ireland and "master course" in Italy, that is, as far as I understood, a kind of "postgraduate course" (the one that I think, in Uk/Ireland, is called "postgraduate diploma", I hope!)

    Had enought :)
    Psy
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...]

    Other chums ,it has to be said ,ended up in jail.

    I ,by the way ,as if anyone is interested,achieved 7 mid grade "O" levels.

    Or is that off subject or inappropriate humour Panj?

    To bed.

    R.
    Not at all :)
    But I have to say that I don't recognise much of the grade scheme you set out. The schemes I described and linked to above are current, but were also around back in the 1960s.
     

    Redshade

    Banned
    UK
    English.
    Hi Panjandrum.

    The facts I quoted were all off the top of my head from memories almost 40 years old so if I recalled them incorrectly I am more than willing to be corrected and apologise in advance .The debating style I am used to is along the lines of " I will concede your points "x" and "y" ,but take issue with...". I am learning that the style here is a little different :)
     
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