How to Convert UK Grades for Master’s Degrees in Other Countries

How to Convert UK Grades for Master’s Degrees in Other Countries

Are you a graduate of a British university and you are planning on going for your master’s degree outside the United Kingdom? One thing you might have discovered about your school hunting is that the grading system in Britain and other countries is quite different. You will be stunned to discover that some countries make use of percentages, letters, numbers to mention just a few to grade students, a sight which might appear strange to you if you have spent all your life in the U.K. To avoid the headache of surfing the internet for several hours to learn how to convert your grade to fit the system of your prospective graduate school country, we have curated a list of some countries and how to convert your grade from a British system to grades from the other countries. It is important to point out that what we have done here is just to provide you with information on how to convert your grades, for deeper knowledge into the grading system of the country, consult the schools you are looking to apply to.

Find Masters in Europe

There is no generally accepted conversion system for all schools around the world. The conversion system of a university depends entirely on the institution. Take for instance, in Europe, tertiary institutions make use of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for the conversion of results. However, it doesn’t mean that they have to make use of this system. The conversion system in America is quite different from the one used in Europe. It is for this reason many people find conversion of grades a challenging task to carry out. Nevertheless, there are still similarities between the different grading systems available and they can aid in identifying when an individual has a bad, good, or average grade in any country.

The British Grading System

Universities in Britain grade undergraduate students in two different ways namely: Honours and ordinary (regular) degrees.

The most popular grading system for undergraduates is the Honours degree. You can complete an Honours degree with different marks or grades. After spending the required number of years, four categories of honours degree are attainable:

First-Class Honours (First or 1st): This is the same as having an A by scoring nothing less than 70% in all the courses you take from your first to final year in the university. Achieving this feat stands you a great chance of being accepted when you apply for a master’s degree or you are seeking a job opportunity.

Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1): This is the same as being graded a B in other places. You will need to score between 60-69% in all the courses you take while you are in the university. For many schools’ home and abroad, having this grade is the minimum requirement to apply for a master’s degree course.

Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2): This is the same as being graded a C in other grading systems. To attain this feat, you must have scored between 50-59% in all the courses you offered in the university. Indeed, it is not as recognized as earning the First-Class degree, it is nevertheless still accepted by some schools as a requirement for a master’s degree course.

Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd): This grade is the same as being graded D. It is given to students who scored between 40-49% in the courses they took in college. Indeed, it is a pass mark, nevertheless, it is quite challenging to get admission for a master’s degree course with this grade especially when you consider that you are going up against students who finished with higher grades.

A lot of people don’t talk about this, but for clarity’s sake, we would. Scoring below 40% in courses you offer is the same as failing a course. Indeed, many schools do not offer students who score below the requirement, degrees, however, some schools do, and it is for this reason you come across people with ordinary degrees.

The British Postgraduate Grading System

Indeed, similarities exist between the grading system for master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in the UK, however, there is a major difference, and this is the minimum passing mark. The pass mark for a master’s degree program in the UK is 50% while, for a bachelor’s degree program, the pass mark is 40%. Below you will find out the grading system is used for a master’s degree in the UK:

  • 70-100% is for Distinction.
  • 60-69% is for Merit.
  • 50-59% is for Pass.
  • Below 50% is for Failure.

Converting British Grades into French Grades

The grading system is made use of in France is the numerical grading system with a 0-20 scale. To reach the minimum passing grade, you must score at least 10. It is quite rare to see people score beyond 16. Look at how to convert British marks into French grades:

  • + 70% (A) = 16-20
  • 60-69% (B) = 14-15.9
  • 50-59% (C) = 12-13.9
  • 40-49% (D) = 10-11.9
  • Below 40% (F) = lower than 10 (fail)

Converting British Grades into Spanish Grades

Spain, like France, also makes use of a numerical grading system. However, it is a 0-10 scale, with the minimum passing grade pegged at 5. Look at how to convert British marks into Spanish grades:

  • +70% (A) = 9-10
  • 60-69% (B) = 7-8.9
  • 50-59% (C) = 6-6.9
  • 40-49% (D) = 5-5.9
  • Below 40% (F) = lower than 5 (fail)

Converting British Grades into Dutch Grades

Like Spain, the Netherlands uses a 0-10 grading system. Grades 9 and 10 are rarely given, and the minimum passing mark is 6. Look at how to convert British marks into Dutch grades:

  • +70% (A) = 8-10
  • 60-69% (B) = 7-7.9
  • 50-59% (C) = 6-6.9
  • 40-49% (D) = 5-5.9 (fail)
  • Below 40% (F) = lower than 5 (fail)

Converting British Grades into American Grades

Unlike European countries, the grading system in the United States makes use of letters to grade students. There is A-F (without E), with D being the minimum passing grade.

  • +70% = A
  • 60-69% = B
  • 50-59% = C
  • 40-49% = D
  • Below 40% = F (fail)

In America, students’ grades are converted into GPA (Grade Point Average) to assess the overall performance of students. The GPA is calculated by multiplying your grades by the number of credits of each course you offer. Take a look at a draft of how to convert British grades to GPAs:

  • +70% = 4.0
  • 60-69% = 3.3-3.9
  • 50-59% = 2.7-3.2
  • 40-49% = 2.0-2.6
  • Below 40% = 1.0-1.9 – This is not necessarily a failure; at some universities, it might be equivalent to receiving an ordinary degree in the UK.

Converting British Grades into Canadian Grades

Canada is one particular country as there is no general grading system. The grading system depends entirely on the region. Even at that, schools can still adjust the grading system being used in the region. This makes it quite difficult when attempting to convert your grade. In this post, let’s take a look at some examples and show the conversions between British marks and Canadian grades:

Grading system in British Columbia

  • +70% = A (86-100) and B (73-85)
  • 60-69% = C+ (67-72) and C (60-66)
  • 50-59% = C- (50-59)
  • 40-49% = F (0-49) – fail
  • Below 40% = F (0-49) – fail

Grading system in Alberta

  • +70% = 7-9
  • 60-69% = 6
  • 50-59% = 5
  • 40-49% = 4
  • Below 40% = 3,2,1 (fail)

Grading system in Saskatchewan

  • +70% = A+ (90-100) and A (80-89) and B (70-79)
  • 60-69% = C (60-69)
  • 50-59% = D (50-59)
  • 40-49% = F (0-49) – fail
  • Below 40% = F (0-49) – fail


From the above, we have helped to make your conversion of grade easy with the general information on the grading system being used in different countries.