New Honours – LLB(Hons)
All ANU undergraduate law students will be enrolled in an LLB(Hons) degree as this degree program has been in place since 2015. This program delivers and assesses Honours-level research skills in all coursework, including both compulsory and elective courses. This means that a student enrolled in this program is eligible to be awarded a degree with Honours without needing to write a thesis. This path to Honours is also called embedded honours.
Students who wish to write a thesis in the LLB(Hons) program can enrol in the course LAWS4300 Supervised Research Paper. You do not need to write a thesis in the LLB(Hons) program to be awarded a degree with Honours.
Calculating your Honours grade in the LLB(Hons) program
Upon completion of the LLB(Hons) program, students are given an Honours grade. This grade is different from a GPA. Information about the ANU GPA and how it is calculated is found here: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/grade-point-average-gpa
The LLB(Hons) grade is calculated using WAM (Weighted Average Mean).
Only eligible courses are used for this calculation. Eligible courses are those undertaken at the ANU College of Law for a grade. Students may have fewer ANU law courses if they have, for example, undertaken an exchange, cross institutional study, or transferred to the ANU after starting their law degree somewhere else. While courses studied elsewhere might count towards the completion of a law degree, as they do not have an ANU grade they cannot be used in the Honours calculation.
The honours grade is calculated by adding together the marks for all eligible courses, and then dividing by the total number of eligible courses. This method is called WAM, and is set out in clause 45 in the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy.
At the ANU College of Law may also apply a ‘discount rule’. The discount rule works in the following way;
- If you have studied 16 courses at the ANU law school, add the 16 grades together and divide by 16.
- If you have studied 17 courses at the ANU law school, discount the lowest grade and add the 16 highest grades together and divide by 16.
- If you have studied 18 courses at the ANU law school, discount the lowest two grades and add the 16 highest grades together and divide by 16.
- If you have studied 19 courses at the ANU law school, discount the lowest three grades and add the highest 16 grades together and divide by 16.
- If you have studied 20 courses (or more) at the ANU law school, discount the lowest four grades and add the marks for all the rest of the courses together and divide by the number of courses. This means that you can only discount a maximum of 4 courses.
WAM will produce a number out of 100. This is used to calculate the law Honours grade.
- 80+ = H1 or First class Honours
- 70- 79 = 2A or Second Class Honours Division A
- 60-69 = 2B or Second Class Honours Division B
- 50 – 59 = Third class Honours
- Below 50 = No Honours
Please note that for the purposes of Honours calculation, an N or an NCN grade is given 0 marks. Unless a 0 can be excluded according to the discount rules above, it is included in the WAM.
Previously the CRS/CRN grade is not included in an honours calculation.
In 2020 and again in 2021, the university has implemented an optional CRS/CRN grading system.
If the CRS/CRN is applied, no numerical mark appears on your transcript. The CRS/CRN does not form part of your GPA calculation. The underlying numerical mark (not shown on your transcript) will still be part of your Honours Classification calculation, unless the numerical mark falls under the discount rule.
The ANU College of Law will stress CRS/CRN grades can have significant unintended impacts, including:
- negatively impact professional accreditation; this may include admitting authorities who have not advised if they will recognise the mark
- may make an applicant ineligible for particular scholarships [for example, applications based on academic merit are exceptionally competitive. A student who has opted in for a CRS will have less available information for scholarship and prize selection, and may therefore be considered less competitive
- it can make an applicant ineligible or uncompetitive for particular academic programs [for example, Law Schools may require a certain percentage of courses attempted within a defined period to have a mark and grade for that period to be included in the admission assessment. A student who has opted in for CRS may not meet this threshold.
Students should carefully consider their circumstances before requesting a CRS/CRN.
Transferring students – from LLB to LLB (Hons)
Students enrolled in a law degree at the ANU prior to 2015, would have enrolled in an ‘LLB’ degree. With the introduction of the LLB (Hons) program in 2015, many students transferred from the LLB program into the ‘LLB (Hons)’ program. Students must apply to transfer. It does not happen automatically.
For transferring students, the calculation of the Honours grade is the same as for New Honours students. Regardless of the date of your transfer, ‘eligible courses’ include all those completed at the ANU College of Law for a grade on or after Semester 1 2015.
As it is not possible to include the grades for courses before semester 1 2015, it is likely that transferring students will not have many courses to ‘discount’.
Old Honours – LLB with Honours Thesis
Students in the LLB degree who woudl like to be eligible to graduate with Honours need to complete the course LAWS3202 Honours Thesis. Please note this course will be offered in Semester 2, 2019 for the final time, as that is when the ANU College of Law completes the teachout of the old LLB program.
Honours under the previous LLB program is calculated differently. It is a combination a student’s coursework average (Part A), and the mark for the thesis (Part B).
Part A is calculated by applying the Honours scale (see below) to eligible law courses (see below). The mark for Part A constitutes 70% of the mark for the final Honours examination (see below).
Part B consists of a mark derived by applying the Honours scale to the candidate’s result in the Honours Thesis. The mark for Part B constitutes 30% of the mark for the final Honours examination.
An explanation of the terms used in this formula is set out below.
Final honours examination is the calculation of the result for Part A and Part B and leads to the Honours Grade.
Eligible Law courses included 14 or more completed law courses at the ANU. Eligible courses do not include:
- Honours Thesis
- A course completed by a candidate at another university which has been given status, or any cross institutional study
- A course taken for a second or further time, the student having failed the course at the first attempt
- If (a) a student has completed 19 courses at the ANU including Honours Thesis, then 3 courses (18 units) in which the candidate has the lowest mark (b) a student has completed 18 courses at the ANU including Honours Thesis, then 2 courses (12 units) in which the candidate has the lowest mark (c) a student has completed 17 courses at the ANU including Honours Thesis, then 2 courses (6 units) in which the candidate has the lowest mark
|Course result (0-100 per cent)||Honours Mark (0-10)|
Part A: The Honours scale is applied to the results from all the eligible law courses, and an average mark is calculated. This mark is then worth 70% of the overall mark.
Part B: The Honours scale is applied to the Honours Thesis result. The resulting mark is worth 30% of the overall mark.
- Honours (First class): if the candidate obtains an Honours mark of 4.25 or more in Part A, and a mark of 4.00 or more in Part B, and an Honours mark of 7.25 or more overall.
- Honours (Second class division A): if the candidate obtains an Honours mark of 4.25 of more in Part A, and a mark of 4.00 or more in Part B, and an Honours mark of less than 7.25, but more than 5.75 overall.
- Honours (Second class division B): if the candidate obtains an Honours mark of 4.25 or more in Part A, and a mark of 4.00 or more in Part B, and an Honours mark of 5.75 but more than 4.25 overall. Note that the ANU College of Law may make an award of honours where the student has an Honours mark of 4.25 or more in the final honours examination and there is a marginal shortfall in Part A which may be considered to be compensated for by the result in Part B.
Only JD students enrolled before 2015 are eligible to graduate with Honours. If so, Honours is calculated in the same way as for ‘Old Honours’ students. JD students enrolled in or after semester 1 2015 who wish to complete a thesis should look to enrol in ‘Graduate Research Unit’ (LAWS 8301).