Study in United Kingdom

UK Grading System: The Simplified Guide

UK Grading System: The Simplified Guide

grading system uk

The UK has a global reputation for excellence in higher education, attracting international students who contribute enormously to the economy and culture of the country. University and college facilities are of high quality - from libraries to computer labs to theaters, music, and sports - and institutions invest a huge amount of money in providing them.

One of the most unique features of the UK's higher education grading system is that it aims to be more specific when describing students' academic achievements. Students at UK universities are graded from A to F based on their academic performance. An A means you showed outstanding knowledge, while an F indicates that your score was insufficient to pass the exam.

Related: How to apply to a university in the UK.

United Kingdom’s education system awards grades as follows:

Grade Percentage Description Pass or Fail
A 70% - 100% Excellent to outstanding. Pass
B 60% - 69% Good to very good. Pass
C 50% - 59% Satisfying. Pass
D 40% - 49% Sufficient. Pass
E 30% - 39% Unsatisfactory. Fail
F 0% - 29% Unsatisfactory. Fail

There are many advantages to this type of assessment. Most importantly, it reveals your academic strengths and specific skills, which allows employers to see your true potential. At the undergraduate level, final degrees are also classified according to overall students' academic performance and grades falling into different mark bands.

Undergraduate degrees are classified into these categories:

  • First-Class Honours (70% and higher). A first-class degree is the highest academic achievement at the undergraduate level in UK universities. Simply put, your overall academic score equals or exceeds 70% of the highest possible score you could have achieved during your undergraduate degree program.
  • Second-Class Honours (50% - 70%). Second-class degrees are divided into two categories: upper-class degrees and lower-class degrees. The upper-class degree is known as 2:1 degree, in order to be awarded a 2:1 degree, your academic score must be between 60% and 69%. A lower second-class degree is a lower academic achievement, not significantly improving your CV and employability.
  • Third-Class Honours (40% - 50%). Third-class degrees are the lowest academic qualification you can attain in an undergraduate program. Students who earn third-class degrees have taken between 40% and 49% of the courses.

UK Grading System and ECTS

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) is a common grading system European countries use to facilitate the conversion of grades from one grading system to another.

The table below shows final grades in the UK and their equivalents in ECTS:

Degree Percentage ECTS Grade
First-Class Degree 70% - 100% A
Upper Second-Class Degree 60% - 69% B
Lower Second-Class Degree 50% - 59% C
Third-Class Degree 40% - 49% D
Fail 0% - 39% E/F

In Europe, the transcript of a student's grade will most often include an additional column for ECTS grades alongside local grades. ECTS, however, are largely optional and universities are free to follow their own grading policies.

UK Grading Compared to the United States Grading

The table below shows grades in the UK and their equivalents in the US:

Degree Percentage US Grade
First-Class Degree 70% - 100% A
Upper Second-Class Degree 60% - 69% A-, B+
Lower Second-Class Degree 50% - 59% B, B-
Third-Class Degree 40% - 49% C+, C, C-
Fail 0% - 39% F

UK Grading Compared to Indian Percentage

The majority of Indian universities use a 10-point GPA system, while UK universities use pass/fail or some other distinction.

Here is a comparison between the two countries:

UK GPA Indian Percentage
4.0 +70%
3.3 - 3.9 60% - 69%
2.7 - 3.2 50% - 59%
2.0 - 2.6 40% - 49%

GPA Requirements to Study in UK

For centuries, the UK has been an academic leader. Two of the world's three best universities are located here, and the UK has one of the most diverse subject offerings in the world.

Exact entry requirements differ by program, but UK universities generally require an undergraduate degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA, preferably 3.3 and above.

Top universities and their GPA requirements:

University GPA Requirements
University of Oxford 3.7 out of 4.0
University of Cambridge A minimum of 3.7
University College London 3.3 to 4.0
Imperial College London A minimum of 3.0 to 4.0
University of Manchester A minimum of 3.0, preferably 3.3 or above
University of Edinburgh A minimum of 3.3 to 4.0
University of Warwick A minimum of 3.3 or above

Find more information on the requirements to study in the UK.

What Grade Is 80% In the UK?

A 80% percentage in the UK is equivalent to an A+ grade in the US.

Is 85% a Good Mark in University UK?

70% or above is the top band of marks in UK universities.

What Is 4.0 GPA in UK?

A GPA of 4.0 classifies into the First-Class Honours Degree in UK.

How to Calculate The Final Grade in the UK?

To calculate your final grade you can use Erudera's Final Grade Calculator.

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