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British Degree Class conversion in Australia

British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Old May 7th 2015, 10:20 am
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Default British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Hi,

I am moving to Oz in August and I will hopefully be graduating with a 2.1 but maybe a 2.2 if the worst happens (depending on what I get for my dissertation).

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to write this on a CV/Resume in Australia and I would be grateful if anyone could answer the following:

1) Here we would write "BA (Hons) subject x...degree class: Upper second" or "BA (Hons) subject x...degree class: Lower second". I presume in Australia it would be the same format, but replace 2.1 and 2.2 with Distinction and Credit, respectively.

2) As I understand it, in Oz, a three year degree is a BA, whereas a three year degree plus an extra top up makes it a BA (Hons). Does my three year Honours degree translate to an Honours degree in Australia?

3) I hear of people here having trouble to get a good graduate job if they graduate with a 2.2 because many employers frown upon this degree class, and many employers demand that graduates have at least a 2.1 (Australian Distinction) - is this exactly the same in Oz? Do employers attach the same importance to this cut-off point of a 2.1?

Thanks
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Old May 7th 2015, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

I'm not responding to your question and not commenting on your degree but just on the subject of degrees with honours.

When I did my degree at the University of Melbourne there was a 1st year intake of 400 students. We were told on the first day by the Dean of the Faculty when all students were assembled (does this happen now?) that of the 400, 1/3 would drop out and not gain a degree, 1/3 would complete their degree in minimum time and 1/3 would take a year or more longer than the minimum time to complete their degree.

Of the 1/3 who passed all subjects at the end of 1st year, 1/3 were offered a place on the honours degree course and 1/2 of these accepted the place and 1/3 of those who started honours didn't pass the course. (2/3 of 1/2 of 1/3 of 400 got Hons).

'Once upon a time' a vast majority of people graduated with an 'ordinary' degree and very few people with an honours degree. It seems nowadays that most people do and expect to complete honours as a matter of course.

That's without even getting into the realms of how much harder it was for these 400 to gain the entry score to get a place compared to today nor how it was impossible to obtain a qualification without sitting some exams. Melbourne had 3 universities then; 9 now.

I'm not suggesting of course that things must have been dumbed down so a much greater % of teenagers now go to tertiary institutions.
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Old May 7th 2015, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by northlondoner View Post
Hi,

I am moving to Oz in August and I will hopefully be graduating with a 2.1 but maybe a 2.2 if the worst happens (depending on what I get for my dissertation).

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to write this on a CV/Resume in Australia and I would be grateful if anyone could answer the following:

1) Here we would write "BA (Hons) subject x...degree class: Upper second" or "BA (Hons) subject x...degree class: Lower second". I presume in Australia it would be the same format, but replace 2.1 and 2.2 with Distinction and Credit, respectively.

2) As I understand it, in Oz, a three year degree is a BA, whereas a three year degree plus an extra top up makes it a BA (Hons). Does my three year Honours degree translate to an Honours degree in Australia?

3) I hear of people here having trouble to get a good graduate job if they graduate with a 2.2 because many employers frown upon this degree class, and many employers demand that graduates have at least a 2.1 (Australian Distinction) - is this exactly the same in Oz? Do employers attach the same importance to this cut-off point of a 2.1?

Thanks
Hi. It's a bit different in Australia. Your present qualification does not equate to Honours in Australia - this is a postgraduate year of study after completing your basic undergrad degree. This may help to explain it (note the section in bold font)

In Australia a Bachelor's degree is a three to five-year program. Entry to a number of professions, such as law practice and teaching, require a Bachelor's degree (a 'professional' degree). Other degrees, such as Bachelor of Arts don't necessarily elicit entry into a profession, though many organisations require a Bachelor's degree for employment.

A one-year "postgraduate" (With) Honours degree can be achieved as a consecutive stand-alone Bachelor (with) Honours degree following a Bachelor's degree in the same field. It is usually available only to students who achieve a distinction average in their undergraduate studies. Generally the (With) Honours degree involves completion of higher-level courses and the submission of a research thesis. In this way the Australian Honours degree differs from the English/Welsh Honours, which requires only the completion of a short so-called "dissertation" as part of the three-year Bachelor's degree.

The Honours program allows students to pursue an independent research project in an area of interest under the supervision of an academic staff member. Students acquire skills which will enable them to work without close supervision in a research environment in industry or government, or to proceed to a higher degree by research (such as a PhD).First-class and second-class (first division) is generally the standard required for entry into a PhD or very high research Master's program in Australia. In science, a second-class research honours or higher is generally a prerequisite for entrance to a PhD program (a Master's is an uncommon route).
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Old May 7th 2015, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Hi. It's a bit different in Australia. Your present qualification does not equate to Honours in Australia - this is a postgraduate year of study after completing your basic undergrad degree. This may help to explain it (note the section in bold font)

In Australia a Bachelor's degree is a three to five-year program. Entry to a number of professions, such as law practice and teaching, require a Bachelor's degree (a 'professional' degree). Other degrees, such as Bachelor of Arts don't necessarily elicit entry into a profession, though many organisations require a Bachelor's degree for employment.

A one-year "postgraduate" (With) Honours degree can be achieved as a consecutive stand-alone Bachelor (with) Honours degree following a Bachelor's degree in the same field. It is usually available only to students who achieve a distinction average in their undergraduate studies. Generally the (With) Honours degree involves completion of higher-level courses and the submission of a research thesis. In this way the Australian Honours degree differs from the English/Welsh Honours, which requires only the completion of a short so-called "dissertation" as part of the three-year Bachelor's degree.

The Honours program allows students to pursue an independent research project in an area of interest under the supervision of an academic staff member. Students acquire skills which will enable them to work without close supervision in a research environment in industry or government, or to proceed to a higher degree by research (such as a PhD).First-class and second-class (first division) is generally the standard required for entry into a PhD or very high research Master's program in Australia. In science, a second-class research honours or higher is generally a prerequisite for entrance to a PhD program (a Master's is an uncommon route).
Thanks for your reply,

I'm aware that the route to getting an honours degree differs between the two countries, and that in Australia you can go onto a PHD from doing a one year honours. However, I'm still really confused as to how I can present my British honours degree on my CV when I taylor it for Australia.

Do I simply remove the (Hons) part on my CV or leave it there? I have read that a UK honours degree is equivalent to an Australian honours degree (with regard to them both being awarded with honours despite one taking an extra year) but i am still confused
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Old May 7th 2015, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by northlondoner View Post
Thanks for your reply,

I'm aware that the route to getting an honours degree differs between the two countries, and that in Australia you can go onto a PHD from doing a one year honours. However, I'm still really confused as to how I can present my British honours degree on my CV when I taylor it for Australia.

Do I simply remove the (Hons) part on my CV or leave it there? I have read that a UK honours degree is equivalent to an Australian honours degree (with regard to them both being with honours despite one taking an extra year) but i am still confused
You need to remove the Hons from your CV when applying for Australian jobs. They most definitely are NOT equivalent, so whatever book you read that in, throw it away!
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Old May 7th 2015, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
You need to remove the Hons from your CV when applying for Australian jobs. They most definitely are NOT equivalent, so whatever book you read that in, throw it away!
http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads...ison-table.pdf

But it says on the British government website in the table that an Australian bachelors (with honours) degree is equivalent to a British honours degree...

So in Britain they're equivalent, but not in Australia? It seems strange that to be accepted onto a masters degree in the UK that Australians would need a bachelors with honours, too.

Maybe it's just Britain that draws this equivalence, I will look into Australia's side of things.

Here among many other British university websites it states that the equivalent of a British bachelors with honours at a 2.1 grade is an Australian bachelors with honours with distinction (between 70 and 79%)
http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/ho...ty/noneuquals/


the UK clearly equates a British honours with an Australian honours, but I cannot find anything from Australia's side regarding this!

Also came across this old thread where one user stated

"If you have a first or a 2:1 from a UK university you'll be fine to be accepted onto a PhD program in Oz"
http://britishexpats.com/forum/austr...lasses-635200/

Surely I don't remove the "hons"?

finally, i've also had a skim through people's linkedins who studied at British universities and work in Australia, they have all put "with honours" for their 3 year degrees...

Last edited by northlondoner; May 7th 2015 at 7:12 pm.
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Old May 7th 2015, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

It's not correct to speak of BRITISH honours degrees as typically they are 3 years in England but must be 4 years in Scotland like they used to be in Australia and I presume still are?
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Old May 7th 2015, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by OzTennis View Post
It's not correct to speak of BRITISH honours degrees as typically they are 3 years in England but must be 4 years in Scotland like they used to be in Australia and I presume still are?
Sorry I should have said English

I remember hearing that Scottish degrees required four years of completion to receive Honours when I was thinking of applying to a Scottish university too.

The fact that Scottish Honours take 4 years, English Honours take 3, and Australian Honours take 4 just makes me think that it is correct that an honours degree here is in fact recognised, equivalently as an honours degree in Australia (regardless of the route/how many years it took to acquire it).

Also, an Australian BSc/BA without honours is actually unclassified and is equivalent to a British "ordinary degree"/"pass degree".

I am pretty sure spouseofscouse is wrong on this and that a Scottish or English honours degree is recognised as such in Australia and that is not necessary to remove the "hons" part on a resume/CV i.e. not necessary to downgrade an honours degree to an ordinary degree.

It's a fact that in the UK they equate an Australian honours with UK honours degree and I cannot imagine it only works one way.
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Old May 7th 2015, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

'Just don't tell them you got your honours degree in 3 years then if they are the same and you can get away with it. Hons is hons is hons.

(this is meant to be a true story) Interviews for teaching positions in Glasgow when a councillor had to sit on the selection panel. The councillor on this particular set of interviews was from the Govan shipyards. Someone on the panel asked in discussion after one candidate had been interviewed if he had Hons. (you need to understand broad Glaswegian for this). Of course he has Hons' said the councillor, 'I seen them placed on the table'.
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Old May 7th 2015, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Hi, I've just jumped on here, although I now live in NZ, I have a BSc (Hons) Social Policy (First) from an English university but this does not equate to an Honours degree in New Zealand and am fairly sure it is the same in Australia. Even with this qualification they were very thorough in assessing before letting me take a post graduate honours year here.

The systems are very different and I think are much more based on the American system. That said I do like the flexibility here.

In regard to how to write you qualification on your CV, you certainly do not drop the Hons as it is the qualifications you have and it is recognised as being important certainly in the UK as it differentiates between those who successfully completed the dissertation and those who didn't. I write mine simply as

BSc (Hons) Social Policy, University of...., First

Then my NZ quals

BA Honours Sociology, University of Auckland 2:1 etc

Hope that helps
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Old May 7th 2015, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Yes, when I applied for GTC registration (to teach in Scotland) I had to produce my certificates and I had to get in writing from U of M an outline of the syllabus for each subject I passed in my degree. They were extremely thorough and you would expect every employer or institution in Australia to do the same. As you said above, if you have an honours degree you say what it was and where it was from - and it will then be vetted.
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Old May 7th 2015, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Funnily enough it took me 4 years to complete because I did a year abroad in industry ha.

That has clarified my concerns about the format on the CV. Slightly off topic but are there actually any CV conventions that are to be used in Australia that we don't use here, or is it generally ok to send a British style CV out when job hunting?

Thanks
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Old May 7th 2015, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by northlondoner View Post
Funnily enough it took me 4 years to complete because I did a year abroad in industry ha.

That has clarified my concerns about the format on the CV. Slightly off topic but are there actually any CV conventions that are to be used in Australia that we don't use here, or is it generally ok to send a British style CV out when job hunting?

Thanks
First thing to note is that its no longer a CV, its a Resume.
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Old May 8th 2015, 12:57 am
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
First thing to note is that its no longer a CV, its a Resume.

Well, they call it a resume, but what employers actually want is a CV. A resume is usually a 1-2 page summary, whereas here agents and employers seem to want chapter and verse which is very much CV territory.

As to the OP's question, I would put on exactly what it says on the certificate - that way you can't be accused of misrepresenting yourself at a later time.

I definitely, always use BSc (Hons) Engineering Science, Upper Second Class. I have stopped writing 2:1, as nobody seems to know what that is here, but Upper Second seems to work.

And nobody knows what a Desmond is either


S
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Old May 8th 2015, 1:01 am
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Default Re: British Degree Class conversion in Australia

I find it different in my occupation. I am a scientist - geoscientist with a 2:1 (Hons) from the UK. Not only is my degree recognised as a honours degree, but it is usually prefered by employers over a 4 year Australian degree. As someone that has been involved in recruiting grads and training them, I understand why.

For my occupation, we find that the fact many Aus grads have done subjects that make up their degree that have nothing at all to do with the subject is a serious hinderance to them.
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