Honours Degree or Master Degree after graduating from my Bachelor Degree?

Those who are studying or are planning to study for their bachelor in Australia may have come across the term “Honours degree”. Students usually come across the term with these two situations:

1. When you receive the offer acceptance letter from a university, your degree is bracketed with the “Honours”. Reference the image below, the degree is usually a 4-year program or 4-year above.  

2. Some students might have excellent academic achievement during the 3-year bachelor degree, then they might receive an email invitation from the university to continue their study for an honours year.

Here comes the question, should you choose to further your study with an extension year completing an honours degree, or should you choose to pursue a master course instead?

Firstly, you need to know what is an honours degree. Australia has the foundation of the British Education system which honours degree is a degree that has a higher ranking than a bachelor, students who have outstanding grades would get the opportunity to do the extra honours year. The honours year mainly focuses on research studies base on the profession. In conclusion, an honours degree is academic excellence and research study.

Honours degree is different from an honourary degree. An honourary degree is a title for someone who contributes to society for some reason, which is nothing to do with academics.

What can I do to get the honours degree?

1. During your bachelor degree, be outstanding in the class, hopefully, top 10% of the year. Then, the university might contact you to offer an extension year of study.

2. Some professions such as engineering, architecture, psychology are mandatory to complete the bachelor with the honours year. Once you finish your bachelor degree(3years) + the honours year, then you are graduated as an honours degree student.

The honours degree has two grades, A grade or B grade, it depends on your overall grade during the final year. Moving on to a more familiar topic, Master Degree. We will explain the education system in Australia along with the AQF (Australia Qualification Framework)diagram.

A bachelor degree is AQF level 7. A bachelor honors, graduate certificate, and graduate diploma are ranked as AQF level8. A master degree is ranked as the second last level, which is AQF level, which is only under the PhD program. As you can see here, the honours degree and master are on different levels. Master courses usually take 2 years, some condition when students have credit transfer or the institution has other criteria, they may only take up to 1.5 years or 1 year.

What are the advantages of being an honours degree or a master?

Honours Degree:

1. If you finish your honours year with an A grade honour, you may skip master degree to pursue a PhD. In this sense, an honours degree could weigh higher than a master degree.

2. American, English, Canadian and Australian universities have high recognitions towards honours degrees. Data shows a higher chance of successful application at top universities in America and England with an honours degree.

3. In Australia, employers highly recognise honours degree graduates.

Master degree:

1. Master ranks higher than honours bachelor in the AQF chart.

2. You may freely choose your profession in Master degree, unlike bachelor that limits to your bachelor profession.

3. Masters have higher recognitions in Hong Kong.

After reading all these you might have your conclusion on whether you want to do master or honours.

If you are still confused, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation! We provide free consultation and application services to assist you throughout your study journey!