By tradition, Honours degrees are graded by class. From highest to lowest, the classes are:
- First Class Honours with University Medal
- First Class Honours
- Second Class Honours (Division 1)
- Second Class Honours (Division 2)
- Third Class Honours
The degree that a student is eligible for when starting Honours is a Pass degree. The work done in the Honours year can be thought of as an 'upgrade' of this degree. If a student fails the Honours year, it simply means that the student is left with the Pass degree - no class of Honours is awarded. First Class Honours is generally accepted as the standard for admission into postgraduate studies (research Master and PhD) throughout Australia and abroad, although those obtaining Second Class Honours (Division 1) are sometimes successful at gaining admission. As a rule, candidates require First Class Honours in order to be able to compete for postgraduate scholarships such as the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA). There is much variation across departments and faculties as to how the class of Honours is calculated. For BCST, BCST (Adv), BIT, and Science students, two main indicators are taken into account:
- the WAM calculated over all years (except first year) of the undergraduate degree, and
- the WAM calculated over the Honours year alone (the Honours year mark).
These indicators are also used to rank students who apply for postgraduate scholarships. Using the overall WAM and the Honours year mark, the Faculty calculates the class of Honours as follows:
First Class Honours with University Medal (H1M)
To be considered for a University Medal, one needs as a minimum an Honours year mark of 90, and an overall WAM of at least 80. The University Medal is a rare honour awarded not by the Faculty, but rather by the University Senate. It is not awarded automatically.
First Class Honours (H1)
Awarded to those students with an Honours year mark of 80+.
Second Class Honours (Division 1) (H21)
Awarded to those students with an Honours year mark of between 75 and 79.
Second Class Honours (Division 2) (H22)
Awarded to those students with an Honours year mark of between 70 and 74.
Third Class Honours (H3)
Awarded to those students with an Honours year mark of between 65 and 69.
Students who do not obtain an Honours year mark of at least 65 are not eligible for the award of Honours. It should be remembered that the School reserves the right to scale marks, both by individual unit of study and as an overall coursework or project grade.