As soon as you enter high school, you are often bombarded with questions about your future ambitions and dreams. These come from a variety of people. Friends, relatives, your teachers at school, and even the shopkeeper’s uncle where you go to buy your daily snacks. Most of these questions are basically the same. But sometimes you get asked about things you might have no idea about. What if you are asked to list the differences between an Honours Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree? Do you have a clear-cut idea? Almost 99% of students don’t really know the difference. So, let’s dive in to explore all the key features of each of these popular degree types, how they are different from each other and in what ways they can impact the future trajectory of your career.
What is an Honours Degree?
The Honours Degree was first introduced to the world by the United Kingdom. It became a popular course which was preferred by those who pursued to establish a deeper understanding and learning of a subject of their interest. The honours degree was made to differentiate from the bachelor’s on the criteria of deep learning and specialization over specific subjects. Soon the Honours degree made itself home across various nations including India. Many prestigious universities and colleges became the first to adopt it and started offering their courses to their students. Central Universities, being one of them, continue to offer many popular Honours courses to their students till today.
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The curriculum of an Honours degree is designed specifically for a higher standard of learning. They are prepared keeping in mind the requirement of a deeper understanding of the given subject. Despite being at the undergraduate level, an Honours degree curriculum may contain a diverse range of topics and lengthy coverage of each of them to inculcate a specialized form of understanding of the subject topics in the students.
Types of Honours Degree
- A Degree with an Honour’s Project: This is the most common, popular and the simplest kind of Honour’s degree. It consists of a standard three-year degree with a dissertation or project in the final year of study. It always consists of more credits when compared to a regular Bachelor’s degree course.
- Single Honours Degree: A stand-alone Honours Degree is taken as an additional course that is taken to finish your undergraduate degree. Students choose any one of their subjects from the undergraduate course to specialize in. Often students can choose even more than one subject to specialize in. For example, some take a bundle of subjects related to humanities as their specialization. This bundle could include Economics, Sociology and Anthropology. Thus, giving them an extra edge. This type is differentiated by requiring an extra year of study, unlike integrated or embedded Honours, where you complete your Honours requirements within the duration of your study.
- Joint/Combined Honours Degree: When students are interested in studying several diverse subjects at an undergraduate level, they can choose a joint or combined Honours degree. This is the toughest of all since it would require one to put in extra effort to complete all the learning and studying. This is for all the high-achievers who can’t be satisfied with just one subject to specialize in and want the opportunity to have two or even three subjects’ specializations as part of their standard undergraduate degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree
Bachelor’s Degree are much more common than Honours Degree. Every University across the world offers courses in the ordinary bachelor’s degree format. It primarily extends to three to four years. Many popular courses like Engineering, BBA, BCom, etc, are offered in such formats.
The curriculum of a regular Bachelor’s degree comprises all the essential aspects of every subject topic. However, they do not enter deep levels of any topic. The objective of a Bachelor’s degree is not to offer students a subject of specialization. But to inculcate in them a very strong foundation for learning. This strong foundation helps students to pursue further courses at the specialization level with ease and confidence.
- Types of Bachelor’s Degrees
Bachelor’s degrees are primarily of two kinds depending on the duration of the course. Most common Bachelor’s degrees are from three to four years. However, depending upon the requirement of the curriculum, they may also be available in a five-year format as well.
Some institutions also offer dual Bachelor’s degrees in a span of five years. The most common is the combination of BBA + LLB.
- Key Differences between the both
The key difference lies in the requirement of specialization in subjects. An Honours degree requires a more professional and higher command over research throughout the course. It would also require passing extra papers and requirements than in a non-Honours degree. While on the other hand, Bachelor’s degrees work primarily to establish a strong foundation for students in a way that they learn the nuances of each topic with ease. But to go deeper into them, they would be required to take another course which offers specialization.
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