Should i put my undergraduate degree on my CV

#1

This may seem like a dumb question but since obtainig my BA Hons i have gone on to complete my MSc s a result i feel this is a higher grade. Because i only got a 2.2 it automatically precludes me from certain jobs yet i would argue that having my MSc is higher than that of an undergrad with a 2.1 so im just interested in peoples opinions on this matter. What would you do ? So far i have simply stated that it was a four year course with an MSc as a result.

Whats your thoughts on this ?

#2

Although many companies state a minimum of a 2.1 is required, often they’ll accept your application, if you call them before you send it to make them aware of it, and explain why you got a 2.2 (e.g. illness, involved in other activites - such as S.union activites or work experience, etc).

Unfortunately for you, most recruiters are fairly savvy when it comes to CVs. They see a lot of them, and are usually well aware of the very common ways candidates cover up poorer grades such as 2.2’s, for example: changing the grade to a 2.1; not including the degree at all; including the degree but with no result; or, or you are intending, just blending you BA in with your MSc. If you do this, the recruiter will almost certainly realise there is an issue with your grade and either call you up to confirm the grade achieve for the BA (in which case you’ll have to tell them anyway), or they just won’t bother considering your CV at all.

In my opinion, the best thing to do is to present your MSc on your CV and BA separately - and put down the correct grades for both. If you are applying for positions that state they need a 2.2, call up the companies to discuss things (make sure you state you have a very good MSc). If you have a good MSc, it’l highly likely a recrutier.employer would overlook the 2.2 grade.

Where are you applying?

#3

PwC,KPMG, got rejected by the likes of Credit Suisse,Deutsch, and HSBC etc and many others i want to be an Economist and thus far its proving difficult because often both of which i was told i couldnt be considered because i didnt have a 2.1 vey frustrating.

#4

Have you considered seeing if it possible to re-sit the modules that you did badly in? Or possibly seeing other option modules?

I have two friends who did this and many employers saw this as a prudent move.

Moreover, I see on many graduate schemes that they consider a 2.2 when a master is undertaken afterwards. Competitor is worse than ever for these positions, I have had several banks say they are full already (via interns) and I got a 1:1 in my BA and am currently doing my MSc. Don’t take it to heart, a lot of this is to do with current market conditions.

#5

Not allowed to resit them im afraid and wouldnt make any odds as the highest mark you could get if you in fact failed a module was 40 and seen as thatw ould be less than what i got pointless. Thanks for the input tho and your right about the current conditions my best mate went for an interview with JP and he got a 1st and Distinction in his MSc and got rejected by them in fact most of the interiewiees were people who had been sacked with 1-2 years work from the likes of Merill and Lehmans so realistically have no chance oh well.

#6

You are right on the inability to resit modules you didnt fail as it would be capped, but it is possible to sit additional modules that are elective. Most degrees have core units that must be sat and several electives. It is possible, therefore, to sit additional modules to replace your current electives.

If you don’t mind me asking, what was your overall %age? Feel free to PM me and I will tell you more about how my housemate went about upgrading from a 2:2 to a 2:1

#7

Nah im not bothered i got 57% but i am interested in this so pm me please

#8

Hi sl8700, I have a 2:2 with a 59% in my master degree. I had an overall 62% before handing in my dissertation. As Redsuperted pointed out, I can justify the dip in my overall score by hinging on my involvement in the Student Association. Also, I had taken up an organisational research and the IT consultancy firm was based in Chile. I was required to maintain relationship online and with no face-to-face interaction with the company or its clients the whole dissertation turned out a bit challenging. My supervisor also got a different idea of my research altogether. Can I use all/any of these as an extenuating factors that plummeted my overall MSc result ?

#9

Hi,

how did you friend upgrade from a 2.2 degree to a 2.1?

#10

Hi Guys,
Could you also let me know, hows that even possible?
Thanks a lot.

#11

Hi all,

I will try and reply in turn…

ringthechanges - I would be very careful about using extenuating factors that were not particularly disruptive, for example, being involved in student activities. Some may see this as acceptable, others might view it as poor decision making. If you had a genuine reason (having to work to fund MSc, illness, accidents) then go for it. If you want to PM me the details, I will see if I can help. Your situation with your supervisor is not uncommon. I just completed my MSc and many on the course had the same problem. I was lucky to have a good tutor, but many had only online help. I assume you were on for a merit beforehand?

#12

Lawtorisk & davidfr

Both friends actually studied law. How they managed to upgrade from a 2.2 - 2.1 was to first-sit second and third year electives. Clearly, this is dependent on degree programmes, but almost all will have option modules along the way.

Lets assume you sit 3 x 5 modules in your undergraduate. 1st year doesnt count, so looking at the remaining 10, often 5 will be core and 5 elective. The way to get the grade up is to change electives.

They did it by changing, lets say, “enviromental law” to “EU law”. One friend (who now is a paralegal) went from a mark of 42 to 67 (I remember this, as he must have read his revision notes to me 10+ times!) which moved his average sufficiently to push him into the 2.2-2.1 realm (if my memory serves me correct, he was around the 59% mark). The second module then pushed him over the 60+ threshold and into a 2.1.

Unfortunately, I also have another friend (doing economics) who tried to same strategy, but didnt put enough (any) effort into the new modules and actually ended up failing them. So only do this if you are prepared to work hard.

Still, don’t get your hopes destroyed if even with a 2.1 you get rejected. I recently applied to a top 5 Investment Bank who previously had taken me up to an assessment centre. Since then, I have achieved a distinction in the examination component of my Msc and am awaiting the results of my thesis, but they still found fit to reject my application at the first hurdle. Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield! Whilst they would never admit it, the day, mood and time of receiving your application can really make the difference. I find being early is always good, or being approx 75% towards the deadline. If you are in the middle I tend to find they are somewhat harsh as there are still “a lot of applications left to review”.

Any way, good luck to all.

#13

Lawtorisk & davidfr

Both friends actually studied law. How they managed to upgrade from a 2.2 - 2.1 was to first-sit second and third year electives. Clearly, this is dependent on degree programmes, but almost all will have option modules along the way.

Lets assume you sit 3 x 5 modules in your undergraduate. 1st year doesnt count, so looking at the remaining 10, often 5 will be core and 5 elective. The way to get the grade up is to change electives.

They did it by changing, lets say, “enviromental law” to “EU law”. One friend (who now is a paralegal) went from a mark of 42 to 67 (I remember this, as he must have read his revision notes to me 10+ times!) which moved his average sufficiently to push him into the 2.2-2.1 realm (if my memory serves me correct, he was around the 59% mark). The second module then pushed him over the 60+ threshold and into a 2.1.

Unfortunately, I also have another friend (doing economics) who tried to same strategy, but didnt put enough (any) effort into the new modules and actually ended up failing them. So only do this if you are prepared to work hard.

Still, don’t get your hopes destroyed if even with a 2.1 you get rejected. I recently applied to a top 5 Investment Bank who previously had taken me up to an assessment centre. Since then, I have achieved a distinction in the examination component of my Msc and am awaiting the results of my thesis, but they still found fit to reject my application at the first hurdle. Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield! Whilst they would never admit it, the day, mood and time of receiving your application can really make the difference. I find being early is always good, or being approx 75% towards the deadline. If you are in the middle I tend to find they are somewhat harsh as there are still “a lot of applications left to review”.

Any way, good luck to all.

#14

Hmm … I find it odd that you could upgrade your degree just by effectively sitting more modules. Do many unis do this? Seems a bit unethical to me - surely then anyone could just sit as many modules as they liked until they got good enough grades to give them the result they want.

Besides which, I would imagine you could only pursue that route if you were still with the uni?

Anyway, re the original question, I think with firms like PwC/KPMG you’ll probably struggle to be considered with a 2.2 if you dont have any genuine mitigating circumstances to explain it. I’m not particularly savvy on how accountancy firms see it but i know a lot of other industries don’t give much weight to a masters unless you’re looking at a very specific specialism (eg: applying to a niche media law firm) and study a masters in that specific subject. Maybe you’d be better off looking at potential employers that don’t have such stringent application requirements? I’d advise contacting the firms in advance to discuss your situation and see whether they’d consider your application - that way you don’t end up wasting time applying to firms who arn’t going to look any further than your degree results.

I wouldn’t advise trying to hide your undergraduate grades - bear in mind businesses (and especially the professions) value integrity very highly - when it’s discovered that you attempted to disguise a less than perfect result this isn’t going to reflect very well on you.

If you’re dead set on the big 4, I believe PwC do some sort of programme that’s designed for students with 2.2s - Headstart maybe? I’m not sure, I get confused with the numerous entry methods they offer. But maybe it’s worth looking into this??