How to Write a First-Class Honours Degree on Your CV (The Proper Way) (2023)

Achieving a first-class honours degree is a hugely admirable achievement.Itis an essential element to include when piecing together your CV. However, the question lies in how to do this properly? Ensuring it is written on your CV the correct way would make sure employers do not look down on you if you made an accidental error. It also makes sure that your fantastic degree is recognised!

There are many variations and abbreviations of the words ‘first-class,’ however, the way we recommend is writing simply ‘1st’ or ‘first’. Contrastingly, ways we do not recommend writing ‘first-class’ are as follows: ‘1 class’, ‘1’, ‘1stclass’. There is also the option to write your gained percentage next to your degree too- this is optional.

This article will give you clear, guided instructions on how to write a first-class honours degree on your CV.Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

How To Write First Class Honours on Your CV?

There is a general rule that you can follow, no matter what type of degree you graduated with. By following thisformulabelow, you can write it accurately and professionally.The rule goes as follows:

[Degree Type] [DegreeName] (Degree Class),[Years Attended]
[University Name],[University Location]

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As an example, this is what someone who followed this rule may write:

BA (Hons) History and Politics (1st), 2017-2020
University of Portsmouth,Portsmouth

There you have it! Writing your degree on your CV is really that simple!

Below any additional questions you may have on this topic are answered in thorough detail, so it is recommended you take the time to read each section.

What Different Ways Can You Write ‘First-Class’?

There are many different variations and abbreviations of the word ‘first-class’ in the working world, however, only some are acceptable to write on a CV.

Although all are technically permitted, using the wrong types can make your CV appear unorganised and messy, and may distract from the actual content included in it.

Simply writing the words ‘first-class’ is not usually recommended, as it can appear over-complicated and lengthy.‘1stclass’ or ‘1 class’ is not recommended eitheras this too looks scruffy and not very professional.

Plainly putting the number ‘1’ is not much help either. This could also confuse employers over which degree you actually attained, as it is very vague and could allude to a number of different degrees.

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If you wish to write out the words ‘first-class’ to avoid any confusion, we recommend you do it the following ways: either ‘FirstClass’ or ‘First Class Honours’.

The most favourable way to write ‘first-class’ on your CV is to state it as either ‘1st’ or ‘first’. These two options are clear in which degree you achieved and are concise. They are certain to look neat on your CV and will cause employers no additional unnecessary confusion!

Although the final option is considered the best option in our opinion, please do not worry if you wrote yours in another variation or wish to write yours in a different way to what we have recommended.

The point of this article is to ensure you write it in the best way possible, to ensure the highest possible chance of success and to make a good impression on your potential future employer.

Should You Include Your First-Class Honours Degree on Your CV?

Yes!It is essential that you do this to do your achievement the justice it deserves.Attaining first-class honours requires an astronomical amount of effort, hard-work, and determination, therefore you must be sure to include it when putting together your CV.

Stating you have first-class honours may also give you an advantage, as it is such an uncommon high achievement it is likely to put you above other applicants who may have a lower degree.

Why Does it Matter How You Write First-Class Honours on Your CV?

Presenting your CV in a respectable and neat way is a sure-fire way to impress employers right from the beginning.

An unorganised CV will lead to disapproval from your employer and may put you in a negative light if you get called back for an interview. It may even jeopardise your chances of getting an interview in the first place. This makes it vital you know how to set out your content correctly and tidily.

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Following the below tutorial will ensure you do this correctly, and will avoid anynegative impressions that could be created from a messy CV.

The main importance of writing ‘first-class’ correctlyis to create the best possible impression of yourself through your CV.

Writing it incorrectly or untidily may put you in a bad light, and especially if you are applying for a popular job with many applicants. It is essential for you to create the best impression possible to enable you to be accepted.

To do this you must get everything correct- everything down to the very last detail, and that includes even miniscule things like the way you write ‘first-class’.

Should You Write Your Percentage Next to Your Degree Also?

To be awarded a first-class honours degree, the student taking the course must have gained a percentage of 70% or more. However, there is a huge difference betweena 70% and a 90%+ student.Due to this, is it necessary to state your percentage?

Although most employers do not actively request your percentage, it may be of use to you toinclude it if you feel it would benefit your CV.For example, employers are most likely to choose the applicant with 88% over another with 71% as long as theymatch the criteria in other areas too.

Some people do not find out their percentage after university, and if you can relate to this situation, do not worry! As mentioned earlier, employers do not actively seek this statistic,so it will not damage your CV if you do not include it (unless it is requested, although this is rare).

If you were to write your percentage, it is recommended you follow this formula:


[Degree Type] [Degree Name] (Degree Class:Percentage), [Years Attended]
[University Name], [University Location]

Here is an exampleof this:

BA (Hons) History and Politics (1st: 86%), 2017-2020
University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth

If you were not given your percentage, you may be able to contact your attended university and see if they have a file containing it.

What Does a CV Look Like?

Although this section may seem off topic from the subheading, it is more useful than you may think to understand the general format of a CV. This is so you can then interpret this in your mind as we proceed to tell you how and where to write your honours degree.

A typical CV includes contact information(so employers are able to send a reply!),a personal statement(an account of all your achievements, talents, interests, and goals),previous work experience(if any),and your past education and skills.

You are also free to include anything you think would impress employers and add to the image you would like to portray of yourself- as long as it is true, of course!

CVs are typically flexible in regard to what you can put in, so ultimately it is up to you what you include (although vital information such as contact details are highly recommended!).Some employers may give specifications of what is required to be included.

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You can view onthis websitean example of a typical CV, with contact details at the top, and all other subjects following.

If you wish to create your own whilst following along with our tutorial on how to write your first-class honours degree in correctly, you can find many professional templateshere.


How to Write a First-Class Honours Degree on Your CV (The Proper Way)? ›

First class can be abbreviated as '1st' or simply left as 'first'. Don't include lower second- (2:2) or third- (3rd) class honours but do leave the 'Hons' after your degree type or name.

How do I write 1st class honours on CV? ›

First class can be abbreviated as '1st' or simply left as 'first'. Don't include lower second- (2:2) or third- (3rd) class honours but do leave the 'Hons' after your degree type or name.

How do you say graduate with first class honours? ›

1 Answer
  1. Graduated with first class honours is the right usage.
  2. I graduated with first-class honours in software engineering.
  3. I graduated with first-class honours for my bachelors in software engineering.
Apr 29, 2019

Do you put honours on CV? ›

You should always include your classification if you achieved upper second-class upper honours or higher. Because many employers only consider candidates with a 2:1 or higher, you can leave off lower degree classifications.

How do you put class honors on a resume? ›

You can list graduation honours with your degree under the education heading and list scholarships and awards in their own section if you received several. If you only want to include one or two, you may consider including them under the education header to save space on your resume.

How do you say honors in a CV? ›

You should always include, the name of the award, the year earned, and the institution where it was earned. Ideally, you should also write a brief description about the qualifications needed to receive each award (as they relate to the position/field at hand).

How do you mention honor in a CV? ›

The following should ideally be included when you share an award on your resume:
  1. The name of the award.
  2. Date or year received.
  3. Who gave the recognition?
  4. The reason for the award.
  5. Context of the award (scope / frequency)

Is a first class honours impressive? ›

In fact, getting a first-class Honours degree effectively indicates a student's best academic achievement possible.

Which is correct 1st honor or 1st honors? ›

The difference is that honor is US spelling and honour is UK spelling. You can't use the two spellings interchangeably.

What is the difference between a first class degree and a first class Honours degree? ›

To distinguish between students on the basis of their academic achievement, undergraduate degree awards are classified as follows: First-Class Honours (70% and above): a first class degree, usually referred to as a 'first' or 1st, is the highest honours degree you can achieve.

How do you indicate an honours degree? ›

Honours degrees are sometimes indicated by "Hons" after the degree abbreviation, with various punctuation according to local custom, e.g. "BA (Hons)", "B.A., Hons", etc.

Where do you put honors and awards on a CV? ›

When listing your awards and accomplishments, you usually want to put them under their respective education or employment history sections. If the award is part of your education history, include it under your education summary. If it is relevant to past work experience, include it with your employment history.

How rare is first class honours? ›

First Class Honours, referred to as a 'first', is the highest honours classification and indicates high academic achievement. Historically, First Class Honours were uncommon, but as of 2019 are awarded to nearly thirty percent of graduates from British universities.

What GPA gives you first class honours? ›

The class of degree shall be awarded as follows:

First Class Honours - Weighted GPA of 3.60 and above. Upper Second Class Honours - Weighted GPA of 3.00 - 3.59. Lower Second Class Honours - Weighted GPA of 2.50 - 2.99.

What GPA is honours first class? ›

Honours I (First Class Honours): Honours GPA of 6.20 to 7.00. Honours IIA (Second Class Honours, Division A): Honours GPA of 5.65 to 6.199. Honours IIB (Second Class Honours, Division B): Honours GPA of 5.00 to 5.649. Honours III (Third Class Honours): Honours GPA of less than 5.00.

What is higher than first class honours? ›

First-Class Honours (First or 1st) (70% and above) Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1, 2.i) (60-70%) Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2, 2.ii) (50-60%) Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd) (40-50%)

Is First honors the highest? ›

Generally, the highest honor in college is the valedictorian, followed by the salutatorian. As a group, the highest honor is summa cum laude. The next highest is the magna cum laude, and the third is the cum laude.

What is a first degree honors? ›

A Bachelor's, or Honours, degree is the most common type of undergraduate degree. It's what most employers mean when they're looking for an 'undergraduate' or 'first' degree on a job posting.

How hard is it to get a first-class honours degree? ›

As a rigorous academic honour, gaining a first-class degree takes hard work and dedication. They are not given easily and will require you to spend a significant amount of time studying and doing wider reading and work to engage in your subject to the highest level.

How important is a first-class honours degree? ›

Graduates that hold first-class honours degrees are the ones at the top of their class with an average grade of 80% and higher. Their outstanding grades can connect them to more lucrative career opportunities.

Does Masters have first-class honours? ›

Instead of a 1st, 2.1, 2.2. or 3rd, Masters students usually receive a Distinction, Merit or Pass.

Should you put first class honours on your CV? ›

While you may still want to include details of your degree on your CV for the rest of your working life, such as the type of degree, subject matter, and name of the university, writing first class honours on your CV won't be so necessary.

How do you write honours after your name? ›

Post-nominal letters should be listed in the following order:
  1. Civil honours.
  2. Military honours.
  3. Appointments (e.g. MP, QC)
  4. Higher Education awards (in ascending order, commencing with undergraduate)
  5. Membership of academic or professional bodies.

What is the difference between honors and awards on resume? ›

In terms of resume writing, there is no difference between honors and awards as they are included in the same section. It is not always necessary to include them and it is not the most important part of your resume. Both your work experience and your skills section should be more prominent.

How do you say you graduated with first class? ›

Stating the percentage of your first class degree

Presenting your percentage can look something like this: BA (Hons) in Applied Languages, First Class (88%), University of Portsmouth (2022)

How do you say you are graduating with honors? ›

Put cum laude in your resume's education section or in a separate section for honors and awards on a resume. If you list cum laude on a resume, you might want to skip adding information on your GPA. Use the phrasing from your diploma. Don't convert graduated with honors into cum laude and vice versa.

What do you call a graduate with honors? ›

Types of honors

Cum laude: 3.5 or higher. Magna cum laude: 3.75 or higher. Summa cum laude: 3.9 or higher.

What is the word for graduating with honors? ›

What Is Cum Laude? The meaning of cum laude is "with praise" or "with honor" in Latin and represents an academic level of achievement. Educational institutions use the phrase to signify an academic degree awarded to someone with honorable excellence in academic coursework.

What is another word for first-class degree? ›

Alternate Synonyms for "first-class honours degree":

first; honours; honours degree.

What is excellent with first-class honors? ›

Graduates that hold first-class honours degrees are the ones at the top of their class with an average grade of 80% and higher. Their outstanding grades can connect them to more lucrative career opportunities.

What is it called when you graduate at the top of your class? ›

Summa Cum Laude and Class Rank

One of these is class rank; some institutions reserve the summa cum laude title for students graduating at the highest levels of their class.

Is graduating with honors impressive? ›

For future employers, seeing a student graduating with honors can verify that the student has the competence to do the work they are assigned to do. For graduate or doctoral programs, a student graduating with honors signifies that they not only have mastered their subject but have mastered the art of being a student.

What is the difference between graduating with distinction and honours? ›

The Honours Award recognizes those students who have obtained an average mark of 80.0% to 84.9% in their course of studies in each of grades 9-12. The Honours with Distinction award recognizes those students who have obtained an average mark of 85% to 100% in their course of studies in each of grades 9-12.

What is the difference between honors and degree? ›

An honours degree is an undergraduate degree that is of higher quality than a conventional Bachelor's degree. While continuing at the undergraduate level, the curriculum in these degrees requires a higher level of competence.

What is the difference between high honors and honors? ›

High Honors: Current-year non-weighted GPA of 3.30 – 3.89 (average course grades of 3.50-3.74 for the year). Honors: Current-year non-weighted GPA of 2.70 – 3.29 (average course grades of 3.00 – 3.49 for the year).

What are the three types of honors? ›

On graduation day, three traditional honors designations are referenced based on the student's GPA. Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude distinctions are noted in the graduation day program and announced with the student's name.

What GPA do you need to get a gold cord? ›

Cum Laude Students (Gold Cord and Gold Tassel) Students with the distinction of cum laude must have a weighted GPA of 3.75- 3.9999999.


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