I'm in the UK and graduated with 1st class honours. Should I write my name as:

  • FirstName Surname Bsc(Hons) (1st class)
  • FirstName Surname Bsc(Hons)

or something else when writing a CV and on business cards?

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    In the UK, even writing "BSc" (without the "Hons") looks pretentious - but there are a few fields where pretentiousness is the most important qualification you can possess, of course.
    – alephzero
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 20:24
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    Before getting on to the question of whether the Bsc(Hons) should be included at all... don't you feel that "(1st class)" just sticks out, looking awkwardly verbose and neon-sign 'look at me'? Where does it end? Do you add '[top of class in 2 Subject X modules]'? You see we're rapidly writing a CV, and it turns out that's the place for all of this. Commented May 29, 2016 at 21:32
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    Not being from the UK, If you wrote it there, I wouldn't even know what that means. I could guess, yes, but I wouldn't be sure.
    – skymningen
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 7:32
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    In Canada, (Hons) actually indicates that you completed a 4 year Honours degree, not that you graduated 'with Honours' which I would assume it means you did well in the programme. Not sure if it's the same in the UK. Actually, here's a useful link proving I'm mostly wrong about the UK.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honours_degree Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:12
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    I'm English and you'll look like a bell-end if you do this. The degree class is not part of the post-nominal letters in any case. Put it on your CV, on your business card, but not your signature. I would stick to just BSc. as Honours are assumed for virtually all UK degrees. Commented May 31, 2016 at 9:54

5 Answers 5


No. The class of a degree is not written in your post-nominal qualifications. You can add it in he educational details on your CV.


Here is a slightly different answer, you shouldn't write anything (even if you are very proud of your achievement) in most fields. Your education is for your CV. Normally people put their doctorate and if they have it, habilitation. Any titles, such as Professor go before the name. Most people do not put masters of bachelors titles after their name, check if it is normal for your area of work.

Edit: taking into account comments

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    Yeah, fwiw, someone pointing out their Bachelor's in an email signature or similar generally makes me feel like they might be trying too hard. Especially when the designation doesn't seem related to their job, which describes an unfortunate number of graduates for various reasons, so you would think that'd be even more incentive to avoid! Commented May 29, 2016 at 21:27
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    @Pieter Geerkens, re: Accountants. Many of the letters they append (e.g., CPA, CFP) are not degrees at all, but rather certifications required to perform certain types of work (at least in the US); their inclusion is therefore not (merely) pretense, but actually useful information. Commented May 29, 2016 at 23:17
  • Depending on location, it is not very uncommon to put master's degrees in signatures.
    – Davidmh
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 8:29
  • I've updated to take into account the comments. I leave the advice mostly as is, since in my (academic) field it would look bad and I think it is good to tread with caution. Commented May 30, 2016 at 11:43
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    @PieterGeerkens: Please don't be so arrogant as to claim that all professions follow the same rules as you do. Doctors most certainly don't list "all degrees" -- an undergraduate degree would never be listed once the MD / PhD / OD / DDS / etc is held, and a masters degree might but only if it's in a significantly different field (such as an MD with an MBA or an engineering masters)
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:41

When writing it in full, you should write whatever your university specifies you should write. This should be specified on a letter sent to you when you completed your course, or you can probably find it somewhere on their website. It would be unusual, to say the least, for the grade to be included like that.

However, in general, I would prefer either not including them or including only the most minimal form, e.g. J Smith, BSc rather than including the full length post-nominals as, for most purposes, it comes across as pretentious.

  • 3
    In some countries a "BSc" is a three-year degree whereas a "BSc(Hons)" is a four-year degree. It is not a grade and should definitely be included if applicable (assuming you want to mention your degree at all, but that's a different question).
    – Thomas
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 22:20
  • @Thomas It is not the number of years that matters, it is the number of credits, e.g. I obtained a BEng (Hons) in 3 years.
    – csg
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:53

Say it... be proud of it. BSc (Hons) "Disipline" (1st class). You've worked hard so put it where you like. Well done.


In the UK a degree with hons requires 360 credits, whereas a degree without hons only requires 300 credits of modules, that's equivalent to a deficit of one half of a full time year of study (120 credits).

The class system is a convoluted but comprehensible method of determining the level of excellence you have achieved in said 360 credit hons level of BSc/BA undergraduate degree undertaken.

The first years studies don't count towards the class system. The second year counts but only by a fraction that I cannot recall at present. 50% or something. The third years classes contribute 100% to the resulting class level. If I remember correctly its a golfing type system, whereas the lesser points achieved results in the higher class of honours.

Again if my mind serves me well (and it usually doesn't) you need approximately 65%+ in second year classes and 90%+ in third year examinations.

This was at the Open University where the level for top marks in an exam was 85%+ whereas in brick uni's its 75%+.

I achieved a first in molecular biology based largely on my excellent year 2 grades which offset my mediocre (but sufficiently passable) year 3 examination results.

I'm doing a double major (to use US vernacular), 180 credits in mol. Bio. which involves every module of that subject available, and 180 in classical chemistry, which also covers all available classes in the subject.

I would add that I am intensely proud of my first class achievement, I worked above and beyond to achieve it and earned the right to be proud of said achievement.

I'd include it on a CV/resume but not a business card, letter, email or on a first date...!

  • 1
    It's possible that recent reforms have standardised things, but I'd be wary of making general claims even with the disclaimers you've included. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:44

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