What is the difference between normal bachelor’s and bachelor honors degrees?

Both “normal” Bachelor’s degrees (often referred to as ordinary Bachelor’s degrees or Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc)) and Bachelor’s honors degrees are undergraduate qualifications, but there are some key differences:


  • Ordinary Bachelor’s: Typically takes 3 years to complete (full-time), though some programs may be 4 years.
  • Bachelor’s honors: Usually takes 4 years (full-time), with some programs extending to 5 years.

Depth of study:

  • Ordinary Bachelor’s: Provides a broad foundation in a chosen subject area.
  • Bachelor’s honors: Offers a deeper and more specialized study of a chosen subject, often including a research project or dissertation.


  • Ordinary Bachelor’s: Primarily assessed through coursework and exams.
  • Bachelor’s honors: In addition to coursework and exams, often includes a final research project or dissertation that contributes significantly to the final grade.


  • Ordinary Bachelor’s: May require lower entrance requirements in terms of academic qualifications.
  • Bachelor’s honors: Typically require higher entrance requirements and sometimes even specific subjects studied at the high school level.


  • Ordinary Bachelor’s: Considered a complete undergraduate degree, but in some countries, an honors degree might be seen as more prestigious.
  • Bachelor’s honors: May be viewed more favorably by employers and postgraduate programs, especially those requiring research skills.

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your individual goals and preferences. Consider factors like:

  • Your desired career path: Some careers may require a specific type of degree (e.g., an honors degree for research-oriented fields).
  • Your academic strengths and interests: Do you prefer a broader overview or a deeper dive into a specific subject?
  • Your time commitment: Are you willing to dedicate an extra year to an honors program?

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • The terminology may differ depending on the country or university. Not all countries offer both types of degrees.
  • Some universities offer “integrated master’s” programs, which combine an honors degree with a year of postgraduate study.
  • It’s always recommended to research specific programs and their requirements before making a decision.

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