Talking About Grades 💯

As one of the top universities in the UK, you have to get pretty good grades to get into Surrey- and one would hope that you’d keep the standards up when you get here as well. From my experience, uni has actually been easier than CAPE, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish. The grading system here is a little bit different, but fairly straightforward to understand.


Firstly, your first year grades don’t count toward your final transcript. This is good news for many, as you’re given a generous amount of time to adjust (emotionally, academically, mentally and socially) to a new environment. Many people take this opportunity to relax (relatively) and focus more on experiencing the more recreational aspects of uni without stressing as much about the workload that’s likely to increase in second year anyway. For instance, I took this opportunity to do extra-curricular French classes alongside my degree. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be diligent with your studies, though!

This is important to note, especially if you’re considering going a Professional Placement Year or a Study-abroad programme. In this case, other institutions will be quite likely to look at your first year marks as a reflection of your competency, even though it won’t contribute to your overall degree itself.

Aside from this, the grade classifications follow the regular UK structure.

All degrees at Surrey are honours degrees, and your overall average will determine what level of honours you are awarded.

The highest is a First Class Honours (typically called a First), which is where your average is above 70%

Then, there’s the Upper Second Class Honours (2.1) which is an average between 60 and 69%. This also puts you at a good position for employment/further study after you graduate.

Below that, there’s Lower Second Class (2.2) which is usually a minimum grade requirement between 50 and 59%.


These classifications apply to your final degree mark, as well as your individual modules and academic years.

This means that if you score 71 in one of your modules, you’ll get a First in that particular subject.

If you get similar grades in all 8 of your modules for both semesters, you’ll finish the academic year with a First.

Furthermore, if you get similar grades throughout all your modules, you’ll graduate with a First Class Honours degree overall..and so on and so forth.

In most cases, anything over 65 is a really good grade- especially in the humanities & social sciences, where it’s a bit more subjective.

Surrey has also recently started using a GPA system alongside these classifications, which is explained in more detail here.