UK Grading System

The United Kingdom Education System follows a unique grade pattern that slightly varies for the constituent countries. For example, the grading system for England, Wales, & Northern Ireland are identical, while the Scottish grading system is different. The grading structure contains multiple elements that highlight your academic strength, weaknesses, and particular skills, which proves to be advantageous when looking for a job as an employee because employers receive a transparent idea of your overall performance. 

Let us familiarize ourselves with the United Kingdom grading system with the help of the table we created below.

Grade 

Percentage

Grade Definition 

Honours Degree

Founders  Degree

A

70 to 100%

Excellent to outstanding

First

Distinction

B

60 to 69%

Good to very good

Upper second 2:1

Merit

C

50 to 59%

satisfying

Lower second 2:2

Pass 

D

40 to 49%

Sufficient 

Third 3

Pass

E

30 to 39%

Unsatisfactory

Fail

Fail

F

0 to 29%

Unsatisfactory 

Fail

Fail 

 

UK Grading Degrees

  • First-class degree.
  • Second class degree.
  • Third-class degree.

First-class degree

While pursuing a course to study in the United Kingdom, your objective should be to achieve a first-class degree. It is considered the highest academic achievement in the undergraduate or UG level in the universities in Northern Ireland or other constituent nations of the United Kingdom. To receive a first-class degree, your academic score should be equal to or more than 70% or, in other words, the A grade in the United Kingdom to qualify for a first-class degree if you happen to be among the toppers in a United Kingdom university. In that case, you will possibly earn a high-paying job. Your probability of receiving scholarships for higher education is boosted.

Second class degree

If you achieve a score between 50 to 69%, you are awarded the second class degree. The United Kingdom has broken it down into two sections: an upper second class degree labelled as 2:1 and a lower second class degree marked as 2:2. Even though a first-class degree guarantees high-pay employability and significant career opportunities, achieving a second class degree in the United Kingdom grading system does not mean that you lag behind others. However, you have performed well in your academics, but there is space for improvisation. For an upper second class degree, or 60 to 69% is the minimum criteria if you wish to pursue a master's degree such as Master of Science, also known as MS in the United Kingdom.

Quick Read: UK Education System

Third class degree

You should always try to avoid the 3rd class degree. It should be your last option while pursuing education in the United Kingdom, as it is the lowest academic certification at the undergraduate level. The percentage of the degree ranges between 40 and 69%. Furthermore, the chances of searching for an excellent job or opportunities to get enrollment in the best universities with a third-class degree are very low. However, there is a catch if it is from a reputed college or university, your chance enhances. However, lower-class degree achievers in the United Kingdom are significantly less. That means if you are studying in a good college or university, you will probably achieve high grades as the syllabus in the universities in the United Kingdom is created to prepare students for examinations rigorously.

The UK Grading System and the US Grading System

Degree Class

Percentage Score

US Grade 

First class degree

70 to 100%

A

Upper second-class degree

60 to 69%

or B+

Lower second-class degree

50 to 59%

B or B-

Third class degree

40 to 49%

C+ or C or C-

Fail

0 to 39%

F

The UK Grading System and ETCS grades

Another standard grading system they use in Europe is the European Credit Transfer and accumulation system, also known as ETCS. They use this system to facilitate the procedure of converting grades from a local grading system to another one.

In the table below, we represented the final grades in the UK and their exact equivalent in the ETCS.

Degree Class

Percentage Score

US Grade 

First class degree

70 to 100%

A

Upper second-class degree

60 to 69%

B

Lower second-class degree

50 to 59%

Third class degree

40 to 49%

D

Fail

0 to 39%

E or F

 

 

UK Grading System GCSE

The new General Certificate of Secondary Education, also known as the GCSE grading system, has been introduced in England for its students. It holds a 9 to 1 grading scale that helps distinguish between the high performing students and the low performing students and differentiate transparently between the old and new certifications.

New Grading Structure

Old Grading Structure

9

A*

8

A*

7

A

6

B

5

C

4

D

3

E

2

F

1

G

U

U

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