Careers Service


Your Qualifications

Concerns and questions around previous qualifications and/ or degree classification can sometimes arise when applying for graduate jobs. This page aims to answer some common queries you may have or scenarios you may encounter.

GCSEs, A Levels & UCAS points

What if I don't have GCSEs, A Levels or UCAS points?

When applying for jobs, some employers may ask for your GCSE, A Level and/or UCAS points.

If you have alternative qualifications, give as much information about these in order for employers to judge whether they meet their minimum entry requirements.

The format of some graduate application forms may not allow for other qualifications to be listed easily. In this situation, you may need to contact the employer directly to explain the qualifications that you have and find out how they would want you to present them on the form.

The UCAS website has a tariff that can be used to find out how many points your qualifications equate to. A new tariff was introduced in 2017 which includes more qualifications, but uses a much lower points system to the previous version. If you come across an employer that requires UCAS points, check whether they are using the new tariff.

Do all employers use UCAS points as an assessment tool?

An increasing number of large graduate recruiters no longer use UCAS points when shortlisting candidates, or have lowered their UCAS points requirement. Many of these recruiters have taken this step to ensure that they do not miss out on talent from a range of different backgrounds. Examples of these employers are listed below:

  • The 'Big Four' These employers have either removed or lowered their UCAS points requirement.
  • SMEs Smaller businesses may place less emphasis on UCAS points.

Degree Results

Do I need a 2:1?

Some graduate training programmes and other graduate jobs require a 2:1, but not all. Plenty of large graduate employers accept applicants with 2:2 degrees as do smaller organisations.

Which employers accept 2:2 degrees?

You can use employer and institution websites to find out about the entry requirements for certain jobs or courses and whether they will accept a 2:2 degree. The following resources list employers and course providers who accept applications from those with 2:2s.

What if I get a 3rd or an ordinary degree?

Firstly don't panic! Academic ability is just one area which employers look for in graduates. Relevant experience and transferable skills are just as important so you'll need to focus on these in any applications that you make. Emphasise work experience and any positions of responsibility or extra curricular activities you've taken part in.

  • EY As of 2016 Academic qualifications have been removed from EYs entry requirements.
  • Penguin Random House From 2016 Penguin are removing the need to have a degree for all new jobs.