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Percentage of undergraduate degrees awarded each grade in the UK 2011-2019

In the 2018/19 academic year, 28 percent of undergraduate students obtaining their degree were awarded a degree with first-class honors, the highest possible grade for UK graduates. Almost half of all students achieved an upper second or 2.1, with around a fifth obtaining a lower second or 2.2, just four percent of graduates obtained a third, the lowest possible pass grade. The share of UK students graduating with a first-class degree has increased by 11 percent in seven years, while the share of students obtaining a 2.2 has fallen by nine percent in the same time period.

The UK's top universities

Britain's oldest and most famous universities, Oxford and Cambridge, remained the two highest-rated universities in the UK, with the Imperial College in London a distant third. According to the ranking, the University of Edinburgh was the top university outside of the south of England, with the University of Manchester being the highest ranked university in the north of England.

Lithuania has the highest share of young graduates in Europe

In 2018, approximately 49 percent of people aged between 30 and 34 in the UK had obtained a degree, the eleventh-highest in Europe. Lithuania was the country with the highest-share of 30-34 year old's with a a degree, at 57.6 percent, followed by Cyprus, and the Republic of Ireland. When the age group is expanded to include the entire working age population (15-64 year old's) Ireland had the highest share of graduates at 40.5 percent, with the UK having the third-highest share of graduates in this age group at 39.3 percent.

Percentage of first degree qualifiers obtaining each classification in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2011/12 to 2018/19

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Release date

January 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2011 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Numbers may not add up to 100 due to rounding

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Statistics on "Higher education in the UK"

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