Can I Do Masters in UK With A 2.2 or 3rd Class Degree

Can I do masters with a second class lower or third class degree in UK? This is a very common question graduates who want to further their studies in the UK often ask. Getting into the university, most students set their target to graduate with either a first-class or a second class upper degree.

However, for some reasons, they end up with either a 2.2 or a 3rd class degree. Now, there is the prospect of furthering to obtain a postgraduate degree in the UK. But the common question is whether your class of degree is accepted in UK.

If you’re an international student, you might be wondering if your class of degree will be accepted in a UK university. However, before we go into addressing your question, you need to understand the UK grading system for undergraduate degrees.


UK Grading System for Undergraduate Degrees

Just like every other country, the UK grading system for undergraduate degree isn’t quite different. However, there is a need to know before applying for an MSc to study in the UK.

  • First-Class Honours (70% and above): a first-class degree, usually referred to as a ‘first’ or 1st, is the highest honours degree you can achieve
  • Upper Second-Class Honours (60-69%): there are two levels of second class degree. An upper second class, known as a 2:1 or two-one, is the higher of the two levels
  • Lower Second-Class Honours (50-59%): a 2.2 or two-two is the lower level of the second class degree
  • Third-Class Honours (40-49%): known as a ‘third’ or 3rd, this degree is the lowest honours degree achievable
  • Ordinary Degree if an honours student fails to achieve a third class by a small margin, they will be awarded an ordinary degree ie without honours.

Can I Do Masters With A Second Class Lower Degree in UK?

Back to the big question, can one do masters with a 2.2, 3rd class or even pass degree in the UK? Well, the answer is simply YES.

For a candidate to be eligible to do masters in the UK, you must have obtained a good first degree with at least a second class upper (2.1) in your field of study. However, there are some instances where you’ll be offered admission even with your 2.2 or 3rd class.

Also, some universities and courses do not specify the exact grade required, and instead request applicants with a good honours degree.

Entry Requirements for Masters Degrees in the UK

Before considering to do your masters in the UK, you need to ensure that you meet the entry admission requirements. Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and universities but are very flexible. Below is a typical entry requirement for a Masters in the UK.

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
  • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
  • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
  • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

How to Study in the UK With a 2.2 or 3rd Class Degree?

As earlier mentioned, you can get admission for MSc program in any UK university with your 2.2 or 3rd class degree. However, you need to give them a strong reason why you should be admitted.

1. Personal Statement: You need to write a strong personal statement stating a reason why you should be given admission with a 2.2 degree. You should also include that your grade is not a true reflection of your academic abilities. If possible you could state reasons why you graduated with a 2.2.

2. Professional Experience: Some courses or universities will need you to have professional experience before giving you admission with a 2.2. You also need to state relevant skills when applying for admission.

3. Obtain a good reference: Getting a good reference letter from academics from your previous university goes a long way in boosting your chances of getting admitted. Especially if that university is a renowned one.

4. Defend your grade: You need to prepare to defend why you had a 2.2 or 3rd class degree in your undergraduate.

5. Research: Importantly, you need to carry out research on your course of interest, the university and other relevant information you could get. You can as well email admission tutors for more information.

Universities that Accept 2.2 for Masters in UK

Below are some of the universities in the UK that accept 2.2 for masters.

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Kent
  • Kingston University London
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Warwick
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Bristol
  • University College London
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Sussex
  • University of East Anglia
  • Kings College London

This is not an exclusive list of universities accepting 2.2 in the UK. Other universities do accept a second class lower degree for masters in the UK. However, you need to give them a good reason why you should be admitted with your 2.2.

Furthermore, your chances of getting admitted depend on so many factors including, your preferred course, the university, the strength of your personal statement, your reference letter and others.

Bear in mind that some universities will need you to go through a PGD programme before switching to your MSc program.

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