Do masters degree grades matter? Here's our guide

 

Many students look to going on to further study once they have completed an undergraduate degree. In the UK, most students who go on to further study go on to study for a masters degree. A masters degree is normally a taught degree but can also be research-based too. Many students wonder if getting a good grade in their masters will matter.

All we can say is, you get out what you put into anything in life, and a masters degree is no exception. The grade you get will help you to go on to get the job you want or the PhD you want.

Below is a reminder of the masters degree grades system in the UK, from the highest grade, distinction, to the lowest a fail. Most universities in the UK will use this system and will have similar grade boundaries.

 If you find that it is slightly different at your uni, you should check with your institution.

Destinction

 

A distinction grade is usually anything that has scored 70% or above. Think of this as being equivalent to a first at undergraduate level. This is generally the highest level of award, as well as the hardest one to achieve, that you can get at a masters level.

Merit

 

A merit grade is usually anything that has scored 60-69%. Again, this is an equivalent to a 2:1 grade at the undergraduate level and is the upper-middle grade on the scale.

Pass

 

A pass grade is anything that scores 50-59%. This is similar to a 2:2 at undergraduate level.

Fail

 

A fail grade is anything under 50%. Notice that there is no equivalent to a third class grade at a masters level. The pass threshold is also 10 marks higher as well, reflecting the greater difficulty of a masters degree, compared to an undergraduate one.

Do masters degree grades matter?

 

Only you can judge whether or not you think that masters degree grades matter, but being able to boast a high mark would look great on your CV! You don’t necessarily need to reveal your grade if you pass to employers, so even if you are disappointed with either a pass or merit, this is unlikely to make the employer think any less of you.

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