Getting a First-Class Honours Degree – What does it (Actually) mean?

When you are doing a degree in university you may get different levels in it. First-level degree honor degree is a part of the honorary degree that you may receive. Many students are confused between the levels of honor degrees. Though there are different levels first-class honor degree is the greatest of all the degrees.

Quick Takeaways

  • First-class honor means that you have passed the degree with more than 70%. 
  • This is one of the greatest degrees that you will be getting. 
  • There are four different types of honour degrees – First level degree, second-level degree, third-level degree and ordinary degree.

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of what is an honour degree and how to get a first-level degree.

Getting a First-Class Honours Degree - What does it (Actually) mean?

What is an honors degree?

This is one of the highest degrees that you will be studying in the UK. Unlike the normal degree, the course curriculum of this degree is quite tough and hard. As it is the highest degree the credits that you may earn are much more than the normal degree. The credits for the honorary degree that you will be getting are 360 whereas for the normal degree is 300. As these credits are mentioned following the 10 hours of learning.

This means that it comes with extra 600 hours of education. Also to complete this degree you will need to submit a special project also known as the dissertation or the term paper at the end of it. This degree allows you to vast your knowledge in the subject you have chosen. Though you must remember that some universities may not have an honor degree in it. The honors degree is mainly of four types which we will be studying in the next section.

Getting a First-Class Honours Degree - What does it (Actually) mean?

Types of honors Degrees

In the grading system for an honor university degree, you may get four different levels. The following are four types of the honors degree-

1. First-level degree

It is one of the highest honor degrees that you can get. It is awarded to the students who have done extremely well and have achieved higher than 70% with their hard work. Having the first-level degree is a great advantage as it shows how much hard work you have done during your academic program. Getting it is not like making a cup of coffee for everyone. Thus it is respected by most of the companies to which you will be applying.

2. Second-level degree

Obviously, this is the one that will be lower than the first-class honor degree. This degree is further divided into two sections- Lower and Upper second level degrees. The lower second-level degree is a higher level than the lower one. To get this degree you must get between 50-60%. However, if you are getting this degree, you may again have little disadvantages. It is also known as 2:2 or two-two degrees.

On the other hand, if you are awarded the upper second-level degree, it means that you have worked very hard and achieved around 60-70%. This is also known as 2:1 or two-one degree. 

Getting a First-Class Honours Degree - What does it (Actually) mean?

3. Third-level degree

Now it comes to the third-level honors degree. This is the lowest honor degree that you can get. To get this degree you must score between the 40-50%. If you are being awarded this degree you must remember that it may be hard to get a good job as most employers will look for someone with a higher job. Though by showing them the relative skills and experience you can turn the tables to work for you.

4. Ordinary degree

This is the degree that you get when you are unable to clear the third-level honors. You must remember that you only qualify for this degree if you fail the third-class honor degree by just a few marks. Otherwise, you will simply not be awarded the degree. However, when you are choosing this degree you must remember that you will not be awarded an honor degree but rather just a simple one.

How hard is it to get a first-class honors degree?

Doing an honor degree is a challenge in itself. Thus if you think you will pass it easily, so you are wrong. This makes all sense to say that it is very tough to get a first-class degree with honors. As we already discussed, the minimum percentage that you will need to get is 70%.
This is very tough and you will need to do a lot of hard work to get it. You will need to make sure that you have given more than your best in every aspect of your degree. This means that you will not only need to be serious about your exams and your assignments but also the presentations. There is no doubt that it is hard to get this degree, but the next section will help you to go through its journey. However, if you have taken the six-month associate degree, you may not be having this marking division.

How can you get a first-class honor degree? – Getting a First-Class Honours Degree

Following are the ways by which you can get your first-class honor degree-

  • You must attend all of the classes along with the seminars at the university. It will help you to know what is going on around you at the university. 
  • If you are having problems studying, you will need to get in contact with your tutors. However, if you are shy, try to ask your doubts once the class is over. 
  • Try to make notes of your own. When you create notes for yourself, you remember the content more easily rather than taking up notes from others. 
  • Doing an honor degree is quite tough in itself. Thus to complete it you must try to organize everything. Try to create a timetable in order to know what you should do at what time. 
  • One of the most important things that most students do not care for is to take proper sleep. This is very important as it helps you to keep refreshed and helps you complete the degree properly. 


Doing an honors degree is tough and getting a first-class honor degree is even tougher. For getting a first-class honor degree, you will need to have at least 70% scores in your honor degree. If you get lower than that if you are eligible for getting a second and third class or an ordinary degree depending upon the marks you have scored. Though it is very tough to get a first-class honor degree, there are several ways like being organized, regularly going to classes, etc by which you can score above 70% and get your first-class honor degree.  

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