How UK Universities grade UG students

When you graduate employers will ask you the classification (e.g. 2.1) of your degree. This article will give you an overview of how UK universities mark you as it differs from the way your previous qualifications are graded.

You are marked out of 100% with percentages being  grouped into a ‘class’.

  • 70-100% = First class honours (1st)
  • 60-69% = Upper second class honours (2:1)
  • 54-59% = Lower second class honours (2:2)
  • 42-53% = Third class ordinary degree (3rd)

If you get 38-41% this is a pass and not part of the class system. A fail is given if the overall percentage score is below 38%.

A First class honours is considered the best degree classification a student can leave university with, but it is also the hardest to achieve. Approximately 10% of all candidates achieve ‘a first’ nationally.

Most university graduates are awarded second class honours degrees.  These awards are usually divided into upper second class honours and lower second class honours (abbreviated to 2:1 and 2:2 )

Third class Honours is the lowest honours degree classification. Roughly 20% of students achieving an honours degree receive a third.

Usually in order to progress to a postgraduate degree, students need to achieve a second class honours.

Each university decides the weighting which they will place on each year of the degree course, and this will vary between courses and institutions. Each module to be studied will state how it will be assessed.

Honours degrees are awarded to those who complete their degree with a successful dissertation and scoring 54% and above.

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