upper second class honours degree (2:1)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Lisa59, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Lisa59 New Member

    Hello everybody,

    I am a French student and I have been graduated with a 2:1 honours degree. However, I don't really know how to translate "upper second class honours degree".
    I have seen in some web site that it can be translated by "mention bien" but I am not quite sure.

    Your help is more than welcome.
    Many thanks in advance

    Best regards

  2. gillyfr Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    English - England
    Hi Lisa, I translate mine as "mention bien".
  3. Lisa59 New Member

    Hey gilly:)

    Thank you so much for your reply! I think you are right, I'ev done some researches and 2:1 upper second honours degree was mostly translated into "mention bien".

    Any other suggestions?
    Many thanks in advance
    Best regards
  4. gillyfr Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    English - England
    One other suggestion, don't translate it as "licence" - a "licence" is not worth much in France. Use "maîtrise" instead.
  5. Lisa59 New Member

    Cheers mate!:)

    Alright, I didn't know that the equivalent of an upper second class honours degree was a "maîtrise"..That's interesting!
    So according to you, I have two options left?
    Either Mention bien or maitrise?
  6. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    Wouldn't it be maîtrise, mention bien? (This is a guess - based on the type of degree and the marks you received being two separate things.)
  7. bubbs64 Senior Member

    UK, English
    I always thought a "maîtrise" was the equivalent of a UK master's degree, implying one or more year's study after the bachelor's degree or "licence".
    That's what I was told at university, anyway...
  8. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    That's what I thought too. Although, at least where I went to university, an honour's did necessitate an extra year's study. I suppose the question would be what's the difference between an honour's and a master's in French (or is there none)?
  9. gillyfr Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    English - England
    It's not a question of the difference between two degrees in the same country. It's a question of how what you have got on your cv will be perceived by your target audience - a question of communications, therefore.

    The way the education system works in France, the écoles de commerce and d'ingénieurs rule the roost. These elite schools require exceptional mathematical and scientific ability, and anything else is worth zilch. A university graduate will start to be taken seriously with a "Bac+4", which is 4 years of study after the baccalaureate. Some university Bac+5 are starting to be viewed as equivalent to the hautes écoles now, but not many.

    Basically, to maximise your chances of succeeding, you need to make your cv look good. I am quite convinced that a UK honours degree is worth at the very least a maîtrise in France. No-one does a licence in France unless they are aiming for a maîtrise, because a licence is worth nothing.

    So Lisa, I'd put "équivalent maîtrise, mention bien" in brackets after putting the full title of your degree. And where did you do it? Because that also makes a huge difference in France - what school you went to. The French audience won't have the references to place your alma mater, unless it's Oxford or Cambridge, so you'll need to provide those. Isn't there a ranking system in the UK now?

    Hope this helps.
  10. DorianaR New Member

    Actually a 2:1 is "mention : très bien" in my opinion. :)

    Here is the list as on my degree:
    (Average of: 18, 19, 20) 1 - Outstanding. I would say the equivalent of the French "Félicitations"
    (Average of: 15, 16, 17) 2:1 - Very Good. "Très bien"
    (Average of: 14, 13, 12) 2:2 - Good. "Bien"
    (Average of: 9, 10, 11) 3 - Pass.
    Average below 8: fail.

    Basically the French do not have any "mention" for people under the average of 14/20. While the British lack one under 12/20.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013

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