Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF)

11 – Baccalaureate/Bachelor's Degree: Honours

A. QUALIFICATION DESCRIPTIONS

The qualification categories distinguish between levels of knowledge based on a continuum ranging from the mastery of particular, established bodies of knowledge and skills to levels at the frontiers of knowledge where new knowledge is created and established assumptions and methods are challenged. Each qualification may be seen as a reference point along that continuum. The descriptions of each qualification outline its purpose, typical admission requirements and typical duration.

Overall Program Design and Outcome Emphasis
Programs provide more conceptual sophistication, specialized knowledge and intellectual autonomy. Students learn appropriate applications of conceptual frameworks. Normally require students to prepare, under supervision, a terminal research paper, thesis, project, exhibition, etc. May also require to complete other practice-based exercises intended to develop and demonstrate the student's readiness for employment.

Types:

  • Academically-oriented
  • Profession-oriented
  • In an applied area of study

Preparation for Employment and Further Study
For entry into graduate study in the field, second-entry professional degree programs or, depending upon content, employment in a particular field of practice or employment in a variety of fields.

Typical Duration
Eight semesters or more. Normally 120 credits or the equivalent. May be supplemented by required professional experience (e.g., supervised practica, internships, work terms, co-ops).

Admission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent, six university or university/college courses at the Grade 12 level, a minimum average set by the institution and additional requirements as programs require.

Provider
Ontario public university/consent holder pursuant to Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000.

Qualification Awarded
Baccalaureate/Bachelor's Degree: Honours

B. QUALIFICATION STANDARDS

This section outlines the generic competencies that the holder of each qualification is expected to be able to demonstrate, with a focus on knowledge and skills transferable to the workplace or useful for further study. The descriptors indicate the different categories of competencies, which vary in nature and degree depending on the qualification. The capacity to work creatively and autonomously is required at all levels but in contexts that range from fixed routines to those characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty.

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

  1. A developed knowledge and critical understanding of the key concepts, methodologies, current advances, theoretical approaches and assumptions in a discipline overall, as well as in a specialized area of a discipline;
  2. A developed understanding of many of the major fields in a discipline, including, where appropriate, from an interdisciplinary perspective, and how the fields may intersect with fields in related disciplines;
  3. A developed ability to:
    1. gather, review, evaluate and interpret information;
    2. compare the merits of alternate hypotheses or creative options, relevant to one or more of the major fields in a discipline;
  4. A developed, detailed knowledge of and experience in research in an area of the discipline;
  5. Developed critical thinking and analytical skills inside and outside the discipline;
  6. The ability to apply learning from one or more areas outside the discipline.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness/ Research and Scholarship
An understanding of methods of enquiry or creative activity, or both, in their primary area of study that enables the student to:

  1. Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems using well established ideas and techniques;
  2. Devise and sustain arguments or solve problems using these methods;
  3. Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship.

Communication Skills
The ability to communicate information, arguments and analysis accurately and reliably, orally and in writing, to specialist and non-specialist audiences using structured and coherent arguments, and, where appropriate, informed by key concepts and techniques of the discipline.

Application of Knowledge

  1. The ability to review, present and critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to:
    1. develop lines of argument;
    2. make sound judgements in accordance with the major theories, concepts and methods of the subject(s) of study;
    3. apply underlying concepts, principles, and techniques of analysis, both within and outside the discipline;
    4. where appropriate, use this knowledge in the creative process;
  2. The ability to use a basic range of established techniques to:
    1. initiate and undertake critical evaluation of arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and information;
    2. propose solutions;
    3. frame appropriate questions for the purpose of solving a problem;
    4. solve a problem or create a new work;
  3. The ability to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources.

Professional Capacity/Autonomy

  1. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for further study, employment, community involvement and other activities requiring:
    1. the exercise of initiative, personal responsibility and accountability in both personal and group contexts;
    2. working reflectively with others;
    3. decision-making in complex contexts;
  2. The ability to manage their own learning in changing circumstances, both within and outside the discipline and to select an appropriate program of further study;
  3. Behaviour consistent with academic integrity and social responsibility.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
An understanding of the limits to their own knowledge and ability, and an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits to knowledge and how this might influence analysis and interpretations.