What to do if you are disappointed by your degree results

Posted in: Advice, Graduate Jobs

  1. Receiving your degree results is an exciting time, with the culmination of all your hard work and the prospect of graduation right around the corner. However, if you have received a lower degree grade than you had hoped or expected – don’t panic.

We appreciate that you may well be feeling disappointed, upset or possibly quite unsettled.  However, a lower degree classification does not define you or mean that you can’t have a successful career.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of examples of people who have gone on to have great success with a 2:2 or thirds - see this list of celebrities, some might surprise you. 

So take a deep breath and have a read through our suggestions for what to consider next.

Can you still take up your job/course offer?

If you have an offer for a job or course that was conditional on a particular grade, you need to talk to the organisation about your results as soon as possible.

Many employers or institutions may still be happy to accept you with your lower results. After all, it will have been more than your predicted degree grade that impressed them enough to give you the offer in the first place.

If you had mitigating circumstances that affected your performance, make sure you have the evidence you need for this that you can share. If this means you need to disclose a disability to the employer or are just unsure about how to approach this, we can give you specialist advice and support. Get in touch via the details at the end of the post. You can also watch our webinar on disclosing disabilities to an employer.

Even if there were not mitigating circumstances, you can still prepare. If you were very close to the grade boundary or have excelled in some modules that are relevant to the job/course – mention this. We appreciate this can be a scary conversation to have so if you are worried about what to say, ask us and we can help.

A grade isn’t everything to some employers

Not every employer is looking for a 2:1 or above degree classification. Increasingly, employers are relaxing degree requirements and are much more interested in the skills and experience you have to offer.

TargetJobs has an excellent overview of which big graduate schemes are open to applicants with 2:2 degree and also includes information on employers who have no degree classification requirement. Read how to job hunt if you get a 2:2 when you graduate. 

Remember organised graduate schemes are not the only graduate job option out there. Check out our Finding a graduate job guide to get an overview of other options and job search strategies to consider. If you need more help with your job search our Information Officers can give you support.

Articulate what you can offer

Your skills and experience are of no less value just because you haven’t got a particular degree classification. However, a potential employer needs to be able to know what you can offer. Make sure your applications are making an impact by following the advice in our CV and cover letter resources on MyFuture. 

You can also book an Application advice appointment to get feedback on your CV, cover letter, application or personal statement for work or further study. Even if you have had one of these appointments from us before, we can work with you to adapt your CV to reflect where you are now. If you are still in Bath book via MyFuture, or if you are no longer in the area you can call us on 01225 386009 to book a remote appointment.

Not sure what you want

Finding jobs where you meet the degree criteria is good. But if you aren’t sure what job you want to do, finding out what you want is the first place to start.

Work through our How to choose a career page  and book an appointment if you are still stuck.

Final thought

We completely understand that this may be an upsetting, disappointing or even unsettling time. Your plans may have had to change from what you had hoped or expected. Take the time you need to look after yourself but do make an effort to look forward and work out a strategy for what you can do next.

If you aren’t sure what to do, have questions or just want to talk things through – we are here to help. And remember that the Careers Service supports alumni for life. You can book a face-to-face appointment through MyFuture or if you aren’t in Bath we can offer remote appointments. Give us a call on 01225 386009 to discuss booking or any other questions. You can also contact us via email careers@bath.ac.uk.

If you are feeling very upset or distressed, you are still able to access Wellbeing until your Bath email is withdrawn at the end of August. Find out more about the Wellbeing Service. The University also provide access to a self-help platform for wellbeing and mental health called Silvercloud. 

Samaritans are also available 24/7 to provide a supporting listening ear. You can talk to them about anything that is troubling you with no judgement. Call 116 123 (it’s free) or visit their website .



Posted in: Advice, Graduate Jobs


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