Changes to Honours grade thresholds

From 2021, there will be a few changes to the Honours grade threshold. 

What is the change to honours grade thresholds?
There will be a 3% increase applied to all threshold levels for Undergraduate engineering students from 2021.

Here is a summary table of the new thresholds:

Weighted Average      Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Class
>=78% First
<78% but >= 73% Second 2A
<73% but >=68%   Second 2B
<68% but >=50%  Third

When will the change occur?
This change will be implemented from the Semester 1 2021 graduation and conferral round. Students who complete Semester 2 2020 will not be impacted.

Note: many students received a communication in 2018 and again in 2019 indicating this change would be implemented for the Semester 2 2019 conferral round. After a review of communications and timelines, the decision has been made to defer the implementation until Semester 1 2021.

Why is the change happening?
The decision was based on external benchmarking and a review of the Honours Grading Scheme requirements. The new Honours Grade Threshold will align our Honours distributions with peer institutions ensuring comparability of University of Adelaide Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) with those awarded by other universities in Australia.

Doesn’t this represent a change to the program rules and grading scheme from the year I originally started my program?
The honours thresholds do not form part of the Academic Program Rules and the University’s Mark and Grade Schemes do not specify the honours thresholds for embedded honours programs.  The honours grade is only known at the completion of a program when it can be calculated. The honours thresholds do not therefore affect the way you are assessed through your studies.

A change in thresholds will always have a cut-off date that will affect a group of students and not those who graduated before them.

How is the honours grade calculated?
A new Honours Calculator Tool will allow students to calculate their own honours grades. The webpage also has an FAQ regarding Honours and how it is calculated.

Honours Calculator Tool

How will the recently announced changes to assessments and grades in response to COVID-19 impact my honours grade?
Ask ECMS will announce more detail regarding this shortly, including how to use the Honours Calculator Tool taking into account Pass Non-Graded grades.

This information will also include updates for those who will complete their degrees at the end of this semester, and how the grading adjustment process may impact on the Graduations period.

I still have some questions.
If you would like clarification please don’t hesitate to contact us at

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