What Does BA (Hons) Mean?

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BA (Hons) is short for Bachelor of Arts with Honors, which is an undergraduate course for liberal arts, sciences or both. In the U.S., a Bachelor of Arts degree is sometimes called an Artium Baccalaureus. Because it is an honors degree, an extra postgraduate year is usually required to complete the research thesis.

A Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree can mean different things in different countries. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the honors are earned with a postgraduate year. After the extra year, students are eligible to enter a doctorate (Ph.D.) or a high research master’s degree. In Canada, BA (Hons) are given to students with sufficiently high grades throughout the course of the degree and who have taken the extra programs required for honors. It is given as an academic distinction; however, it is not the same as a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors but is a postgraduate program. Like in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Canada allows access directly to a doctorate or master’s course.

In the United Kingdom, an honors degree can be given to any students who score well throughout their degree program. The scores given in the first year usually do not count towards the honors, which are based on the average scores for later years. In Scotland, honors may only be given to students on degree courses that last more than four years.