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How to List Your Degree on Your CV as a Recent Graduate

December 2, 2021
by
Chloe Chioy

You’ve successfully completed your university course and have your degree. Now all you need to do is list your new qualifications on your CV to begin the job hunting process.

Keep in mind that the way you structure your education section is just as important as the content, so learn how to list your degree on your CV below.

Required information and grading system

There are three types of university degrees:

  1. Undergraduate
  2. Postgraduate
  3. Ph.D.

Each degree awarded follows the same format and is listed in the education section of a CV.

Include the information below in the same order:

  • the educational institute that awarded the degree
  • start and end date of the degree (month and year)
  • type of degree awarded
  • Your course title

For example:

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
August 2018–July 2021

BA (Hons) Journalism, 2:1

The results of UK undergraduate degrees are classified with honours:

  • First class (1st)
  • Second class upper division (2:1)
  • Second class lower division (2:2)
  • Third class (3rd)
  • Ordinary degree (Pass)

You should always include your classification if you achieved upper second-class upper honours or higher. Because many employers only consider candidates with a 2:1 or higher, you can leave off lower degree classifications. The degree classification is usually written after your degree subject.

Types of degrees and abbreviations

An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer depending on the subject or placement years.

The types of undergraduate degrees include:

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts)
  • BSc (Bachelor of Science)
  • BEng (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • MEng (Undergraduate master’s degree)

A postgraduate degree requires at least one year to be completed and takes place after your undergraduate course.

Types of postgraduate degrees include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • MRes (Master of Research)

A Ph.D. requires a minimum of two years of research after your master’s degree and you’ll end up with the same course title, with ‘Ph.D.’ replacing ‘MA’, ‘MSc’, or other abbreviation

You'd normally list the abbreviated version of your degree but you can write out the full qualification if your education section lacks other relevant information.

Include other relevant information about your education

Simply listing the bare minimum information isn’t enough. A good cv writing tip is to include your relevant modules, dissertation topics, qualifications, and the titles of any student union or society positions underneath your degree name.

Remember to tailor your content to the job description. If you’re applying to a tech firm, there’s no point in listing your art qualifications.

Highlighting other areas of your academic background is particularly important as a recent graduate, because you may not have any work experience yet. It’s okay to lean on your education section to most effectively convey your qualifications and relevant interests — (most) employers understand that we all start somewhere.

Here’s an example of a CV education section that includes additional academic details:

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
August 2018–July 2021

BA (Hons) Journalism, 2:1

  • Relevant Modules: News Writing, Political Writing
  • Dissertation: Mental and Societal Impact of Rape Anonymity in the Media (1st)
  • Shorthand Gold Standard awarded by the NCTJ
  • Shefnews radio and news reporter
How to list an incomplete degree

Listing an incomplete degree on your CV is the same as listing a completed one. If you haven’t graduated yet, include your expected graduation date so employers know when you can start working full-time.

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
BA (Hons) Journalism
Expected graduation date: July 2021

And if you haven’t graduated yet, instead of writing your degree classification, you can consider including the modules you studied and the number of credit points you received from each one, like so:

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
August 2018–June 2019
Completed 60 credit points towards a BA in Journalism

  • News writing (20)
  • Political writing (20)
  • Video editing (20)

Just remember, do not include ‘incomplete’ at the end of your degree name. The word incomplete’ will draw the employers’ attention away from what you’ve actually accomplished during your course, so omit the word ‘incomplete’ and discuss these details during the interview stage (if necessary).

Now that you know how to list your degree on your CV, don’t be too surprised when you get called in for an interview!

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