How hard is it to get a first class Honours degree?

Asked by: Melvin Windler DVM  |  Last update: August 4, 2022
Score: 4.1/5 (50 votes)

A First-Class degree, commonly known as a 'first' or 1st, is the highest honours degree achievable, and is well respected by employers. Students must get a percentage above 70% to be awarded this degree, thus it is very challenging indeed.

What does it mean to get a first class honours degree?

First-Class Honours (70% and above): a first class degree, usually referred to as a 'first' or 1st, is the highest honours degree you can achieve. Upper Second-Class Honours (60-70%): there are two levels of second class degree. An upper second class, known as a 2:1 or two-one, is the higher of the two levels.

Is an honours degree difficult?

It's a common misconception that an Honours Degree is ridiculously tough to get. Whilst it's no walk in the park, it's totally possible with the right personal dedication and academic support from the lecturers at The IIE's Varsity College.

How many people get first class honours UK?

Percentage of undergraduate degrees awarded each grade in the UK 2011-2021. In the 2020/21 academic year, 36 percent of undergraduate students obtaining their degree were awarded a degree with first-class honors, the highest possible grade for UK graduates.

Do employers like first-class degrees?

A 2:1 or even a first-class degree is not enough to impress employers. It is certainly a great personal achievement and testament to your strong work ethic. However, as tens of thousands of graduates achieve these grades each year, it is no longer a differentiator.

I Got A First-class Honours Degree! (Somehow...)

37 related questions found

Is a 21 a good degree?

Here's what the numbers mean: First-class honours (1st): this is the highest degree classification. Usually, the average overall score of 70%+ Second-class honours, upper division (2.1): usually, the average overall exam score of 60%+

What percentage of students get first class honours?

About 36% of students were awarded the top grade in 2019-20 and 38% in 2020-21, according to analysis by the Office for Students (OfS).

What grades do I need for a first class honours degree?

In your first year at university, achieving a grade of 50% or more is a good thing.
UK degree classifications are as follows:
  • First-Class Honours (First or 1st) (70% and above)
  • Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1, 2. i) (60-70%)
  • Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2, 2. ii) (50-60%)
  • Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd) (40-50%)

Which is more difficult BA or BA Hons?

Both B.A and B.A(Hons) are undergraduate courses but the sole difference is this that in Hons you are specializing in one particular subject, so you'll have more papers of that subject and the syllabus for the B.A(Hons) courses are difficult as compared to the B.A course.

What is the most useless degree?

20 Most Useless Degrees
  1. Advertising. If you're an advertising major, you may hope to get into digital marketing, e-commerce, or sports marketing. ...
  2. Anthropology And Archeology. ...
  3. Art history. ...
  4. Communications. ...
  5. Computer Science. ...
  6. Creative Writing. ...
  7. Criminal Justice. ...
  8. Culinary arts.

Is it easier to get first at worse uni?

It is easier to do well at a lower ranked uni as the workload is less and they expect less.

What are the benefits of a first class honours degree?

First-Class Degree

Students must get a percentage above 70% to be awarded this degree, thus it is very challenging indeed. This degree is widely respected in the working world and puts you at a great advantage in job interviews, as you are more likely to be prioritised for the role.

Is a 2 2 degree worth anything?

Businesses may claim that they will look beyond the numbers, but the pay and employment evidence suggests that many still don't, and it's hard to believe that those with 2:2s are genuinely worth so much less than those with 2:1s. The second is the system itself.

Is 75 a good mark in university UK?

70% or above is the top band of marks. It is still relatively rare for a student to receive higher than an 80%, though it does happen. Anything in the 60% range—what is known as a 2:1—is considered a “good” grade. Half of all UK university students graduate with a 2:1.

Are more people getting firsts?

The proportion of students achieving a first-class degree has more than doubled in that decade, from 15.7 per cent in 2010-11 to 37.9 per cent in 2020-21. In total, 84.4 per cent achieved a first or 2.1 compared with 67 per cent ten years ago.

How do you write first class honours on your CV?

How to Write a First-Class Honours Degree on Your CV (The Proper...
  1. There are many variations and abbreviations of the words 'first-class,' however, the way we recommend is writing simply '1st' or 'first'. ...
  2. [Degree Type] [Degree Name] (Degree Class), [Years Attended] ...
  3. BA (Hons) History and Politics (1st), 2017-2020.

Is it hard to get first at uni?

To get a first-class degree at university, you'll usually need an average of around 70 percent or above overall. This average is calculated across coursework, presentations, projects and exams, so you'll need to achieve consistent good grades throughout university.

Is 69.5 a first?

In the current example, although the 15th ranked grade is higher than the 18th, it is less than 69.5 (the lowest grade in the first class band, as set out in 6.1 above), and the preliminary classification indicated by Calculation 2 is therefore still 2.1.

Is a 21 from Oxford Good?

Read the advice from TARGETjobs about declaring mitigating circumstances in job applications. Employers may consider a 2:2 from Oxford a better result than a higher class degree from many other universities. See some employers' views on how they view degree results below.

Is a 21 from Cambridge good?

yeah it depends on the course... a 2:1 in Maths from Cambridge is almost certainly better than a first from anywhere else except for Oxford...

Is a 2.1 good enough for a Masters?

A 2.1 is still a good degree. In most universities a first is 70% and if you get put up to a 1st from a 68% onwards, you should consider yourself very lucky. If universities inflate grades in this way, they are usually only doing it to make themselves look better.

Is a 2.1 good UK?

A 2.1 also puts you in a good position for employment, graduate programmes and post graduate study. For some institutions and for some employers, this is the minimum grade acceptable. Like a first class honours, the number of students achieving a 2.1 has increased significantly in the past few years.

Is getting a 2 1 hard?

It does depend on the uni. For example for a 2:1 you'd have to work much harder at Cambridge in comparison to Essex. And you'd have to work much harder at Manchester in comparison to the University of East London. But my uni is in the top 20and it is HARD.

What is the hardest degree to get a first in?

Law. Law is officially the hardest subject to get a first class degree in4, so we all know it's hard going. If you think you know what it's like to have a lot of reading, go and talk to a Law student.