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Explaining the UK Grading System

Explaining the UK Grading System
READING PROGRESS
Created By: Engy Hassanon 20 July, 2021

Being the number one-go-to country for international students, the UK is a country with an extraordinary grading system that many countries have adopted, including Canada and India. It is one of the systems that students need to understand to convert correctly to get their equivalent grades in their countries.

Undergraduate Degree Options in the UK

There are two types of undergraduate degrees in the UK:  

1. Ordinary Degree 

An ordinary degree consists of a regular BA or BSc that lasts for only three years with a total of 15 credit hours for different subjects. It requires students to pass all subjects; otherwise, they won’t be awarded their degree at the end. 

2. Honours Degree

This is a 3-4-year degree in which you specialise in one subject. It is more valued by employers after graduation, and it requires finishing a total of 20 credit hours of both your chosen subject and compulsory subjects. Unlike an ordinary degree which highlights your grades only, an honours degree highlights both your grades and your performance level.

How Does the Grading System Work in Honours Degrees? 

The UK has a grading system that classifies the marks based on a scale that starts with an A, a 1st class honours degree, and ends with an F, which means fail. To understand the system classifications more, here is a table to explain the grades and their classifications. 

Classification

Score

Equivalent grade

First-class (1st)

70%+

A

Upper second-class (2.1)

60-69%

B

Lower second-class (2.2)

50-59%

C

Third class (3rd)

40-49%

D

Fail

30% – 39%

E

Fail

0 – 29%

F

1. First-class (1st)

La Crème de la crème that every employer is looking for. Achieving 70% or higher means you are awarded with a first-class degree, the highest degree classification awarded for an undergraduate honours degree program. It’s a pretty challenging degree for students to obtain and takes some sweat and tears; however, getting a first-class degree means more open doors and more opportunities! 

2. Upper second-class (2.1)

Usually, this is the minimum requirement for post-graduate studies and the award that most employers look for. It requires an academic score of 60-69%, and it is the 2nd highest degree within an undergraduate honours degree program.

3. Lower second-class (2.2)

Achieving 50-59% means you are rewarded with a lower second-class degree, the 3rd degree awarded within an undergraduate honours degree program. This degree won’t really help you find the opportunity of a lifetime; however, finding a job won’t be impossible. Don’t forget; we currently live in a world that focuses on skills as well as education.

4. Third class (3rd)

Probably this is a degree you should never aim for. Achieving a 40-49% academic score means you are rewarded with a third-class degree, the 4th degree within an undergraduate honours degree program. Although acquiring this degree means you have passed your honours degree, it reduces your employability chances a lot. Luckily very few students ever earn a third-class degree. 

5. Fail

Getting a score that is lower than 49% means you have failed your honours degree. Therefore, depending on the university, you might be awarded an ordinary degree if your grades are close to third class grades, or you might have to consider retaking your subjects. 

The UK Grading System and The US Grading System

Many US students travel to the UK to study abroad; therefore, they need to know how to measure their grades compared to the UK system. The following table will showcase a comparison between the UK and US grading systems. 

UK Grade

UK Classification 

Percentage

USA Grade

Definition 

A

First-class (1st)

70%+

A

Pass

B

Upper second-class (2.1)

60-69%

A- / B+

Pass

C

Lower second-class (2.2)

50-59%

B / B-

Pass

D

Third class (3rd)

40-49%

C+ / C /C-

Pass

E

Fail

30% – 39%

F

Fail

F

Fail

0 – 29%

F

Fail

Now you know everything you need to know about the UK grading system, apply to a UK university and book a student accommodation in the UK Casita now. 

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