What to do if you are disappointed by your degree results
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.
Please note: If you are affected by the ongoing industrial action, make sure to read the Industrial Action: Information for undergraduate finalists and/or read the FAQs for students .
This blog was originally written by our careers colleague Rebecca Wray and has been updated with correct links and information.
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 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. You can find more resources in our Get started guide on Disability and your career journey.
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 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. You will find more information about employers, big or small, accepting students with a 2:2 or a 3rd in our blog being published on Monday, so make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out.
Remember organised graduate schemes are not the only graduate job option out there, and SME (smaller to medium enterprises) might be a great option. Check out our Get started guide on Search for work to get an overview of other options and job search strategies to consider.
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 you never leave the employer guessing. Make sure your applications are making an impact by following the advice in Get started guide on CVs and applications.
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. You can book in-person, remote or telephone appointments via MyFuture.
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 Get started guides on Start thinking about your career and Discovering your career options and book an appointment via MyFuture if you are still stuck.
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, remote or telephone appointment through MyFuture. You can also contact us via email email@example.com.
If you are feeling very upset or distressed, The University’s Wellbeing Service is available seven days a week. You can book an appointment online or get in touch by phone (01225 383838) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All the services are confidential.
The University’s Be Well - Talk Now service also provides free, confidential advice and support by phone, video call or live chat from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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 .