Clever ways of presenting your degree on your CV! - CV Plaza

How to present your degree on your CV

By: Sobhan Mohmand, Editorial manager       Last updated: 2 Dec 2018

Presenting Uni Degree on a CV

Successfully completing a University study and being awarded a degree is undoubtedly one of the biggest achievements that you will have. Unfortunately, not many applicants give the proper attention to their degree representation on their CVs.

Let’s look at some of the RIGHT ways of presenting your degree on your CV…

Minimum information required

  1. The type of degree awarded (such as BSc (undergraduate), MEng or PhD (postgraduate));
  2. The subject of the degree (such as Business or Law);
  3. The educational institute that awarded the degree (e.g. Cambridge University), and;
  4. The start-date and end-date of the degree (e.g. Sept 2007 – June 2010).

Example:

2008 – 2012: BA Business and Management (Hons) Cardiff University
Classification: 2:2

That’s it. A bit boring, isn’t it?

Let’s see how we can put some meat on the bones…

Optional (well, recommended) information

Simply listing the bare-minimum information may not do justice to the time, money and effort you have dedicated to earning your degree! It is highly recommended to elaborate on your studies by listing all the relevant and/or significant;

  1. Modules;
  2. Projects, and;
  3. Dissertation information.

Example:

2008 – 2012: BA Business and Management (Hons) Cardiff University
Classification: 2:2

Modules included:

  • Enterprise Computing Strategies
  • Professional Aspects of Computing
  • Entrepreneurial Theory and Practice
  • Applied Business Intelligence
  • Java Programming

Final Year Project (Dissertation):

  • IT Portal to Support Business: designed a first-class IT Portal System to support the day-to-day operations of a local Accounting firm. The system has been deployed and is currently in use to give the firm a strategic competitive advantage.

Degree Classification and Honours

Not all degrees are awarded with equal significance.

The weighting of the UK undergraduate degrees are derived from the following classifications:

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

Undergraduate degrees may be awarded with “Honours” (abbreviated in brackets (Hons)). Some, however, may be without honours; these are then referred to as “Ordinary” or “Pass” degrees. A degree with Honours indicates the successful completion of all (or most) of the modules.

Therefore, if you have been awarded a good degree (1st, 2:1 or even a 2:2 in some cases) with Honours, it is highly recommended to use it as a selling point of your academical achievements by clearly stating your degree classification on your CV.

If on the other hand, you have not performed as well as you would have hoped and were awarded a 3rd or Ordinary degree, then you may want to, like some graduates, disguise your poor results by not mentioning your degree classification at all (… some even resort to deception – more on that below!)

Not finished degree programme yet

It may be the case that you have not yet graduated and are still in the middle of your current University studies. In this situation, you can neatly convey this on your CV in the following manner:

Sept 2012 – Present LLB Law University of Leicester
Year 2 Performance: 68% overall
Year 1 Performance: 66% overall

Tip: keep the information as concise as possible

Consider the following example of the way a course has been presented on a CV:

September 2010 – June 2012 Foundation Degree FdSc in Countryside Management University of Birmingham, Birmingham

Three improvements could be made to the above-mentioned example.

First, the dates can be shortened (i.e. Sept instead of September).

Second, ‘Foundation Degree’ can be omitted since ‘FdSc’ already indicates the degree to be a foundation degree.

Third, it is clear from the name of the University that it is located in Birmingham (and therefore the location can be omitted as well).

Improved version:

Sept 2010 – Jun 2012 FdSc in Countryside Management University of Birmingham

Warning: Do NOT lie about your Degree Classification

The Guardian newspaper recently reported that the Government has set up an online service called the Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) that allows employers to check the candidate’s qualifications.

This system will make it much easier for employers to check whether the applicants are being truthful about their results and grades. You can only imagine how displeased they’ll be once they learn that the candidate they employed was deceiving them (or trying to deceive them)!

Why risk it?

Different Styles and Approaches

There are a number of different ways in which you could style/format your degree information on your CV. Below you will find three examples of acceptable ways of doing this:

Example 1:

2006 to 2009: BA (Hons) Business Management (1st Class) Southampton University

Example 2:

Sept 2003 – Jun 2006 BSc Multimedia (Hons) Bath University

Example 3:

Oxford University
Computer Science BA (Hons) 2:1 2001 – 2004

Conclusion

The successful completion of a degree programme is an invaluable asset to your future career. Your CV should appropriately reflect the many sleepless nights and long-revision days that you have spent to earn your degree. It is your hard-earned trophy; make sure it gets the proper attention on your CV that it deserves.