How to Study Master’s with a Third-class Degree in the UK

How to Study Masters with a Third Class Degree in the UK (1)

You can enhance your career and personal growth with a master’s degree. It allows you to go deeper into a field and might provide you with an advantage in a competitive employment market. This is the reason many people wonder if they can get a master’s with a third-class degree. Not just that, they also wonder if it is acceptable in a country like the UK. Although it can be tricky and challenging, it is possible. 

Just because you have a third-class degree does not mean you should give up on your dream of obtaining a master’s degree. Read on as I share how to obtain a master’s degree with a third class and the universities in the UK that accept it.

How to Apply for a Masters with a Third Class Degree

The prerequisites for master’s admissions differ from university to university, so your undergraduate degree won’t be the only deciding factor in getting accepted to a program.

There are a number of ways to get beyond the issue of having a third-class degree to apply for a master’s degree. 

Below are the ways you can improve your chances of getting accepted to study for a master’s with a third-class degree in the UK.


Get a Third-class Degree Top-ups

In particular circumstances, you may need to apply for a third-class degree top-up. This top-up will upgrade your third-class degree to one with full honours. For one of these top-up degrees, which institutions only offer in specific fields, you’ll most likely need to have acquired a certain number of credits at the undergraduate level. After earning a top-up degree, you will have a better chance of getting accepted to study for a master’s degree.

Send a Compelling and Impressive Application

Most universities won’t be particularly impressed with a third-class degree. This grade, barring unusual circumstances, may be seen as an indication of your hard work and commitment.

However, you can increase your chances of success if you include an explanation for your third-class academic standing (as well as specifics about any relevant additional experience). Hence, your application needs to stand out and be impressive.

Do Original Research and Publish it

Carry out research in your field and have it published. Choose an interesting topic to work on or make a contribution to your field. The ability to pass scrutiny in peer review will be a huge asset for your application. This is a great way to secure admission in the UK for a master’s with a third-class degree.

Pursue Relevant Field Experience

Finding suitable work experience or internships might show that you have initiative and competence. Additionally, before you go to graduate school, it can assist you to improve your credentials in pertinent abilities.

These advantages may assist in overcoming your low grade or relieve related worries about your capacity for success in graduate school. It can also be an opportunity to develop a connection with a professional who might later provide you with a stellar letter of recommendation.

Write a Unique Statement of Purpose

Applying for a master’s degree can be competitive. To be honest, with a third class, you may have to work harder. For instance, your statement of purpose needs to be unique. By writing a strong statement of purpose, you can showcase your personal skills. You can also explain to admissions committee members the unfortunate circumstances that led to your low GPA. 

By emphasising your enthusiasm and dedication for your major and any related life goals, you can attempt to make up for your result. Doing this can also convince the admissions committee to consider your application. See tips on how to write a good statement of purpose.

Get an Additional Degree

After completing your undergraduate degree, you are not obligated to go to graduate school right away. You can enrol in a non-degree program, such as a university advanced education program. You could dedicate one or two bridge years and enrol in a few graduate classes. To improve your academic performance, you might need to master some study skills. 

Getting high marks and a few solid recommendations from your instructors in pertinent bridge-year courses could boost your admissions chances. It will convince the university that you are willing to take your education seriously.

Have a Backup Plan while Trying

Sadly, enrolling in a postgraduate program with a third-class degree is significantly more challenging than it is with a first or second-class degree. If you want to apply to a master’s program but have a third-class degree, be aware that you will not be admitted at the first trial.

Make sure you are prepared with a solid fallback plan in case it turns out that postgraduate education is not a possibility for you. This, however, is not to discourage you. It is to make you prepare ahead of time. You may need to fall back on your backup plan while you try again.


Universities in the UK that Accept Third-class for Master’s

UK universities usually give priority to applicants with a Second Class Upper or higher. Nevertheless, some universities don’t turn down third-class applicants. Below are some of the universities in the UK that accept a third-class degree for a master’s.

Coventry University

At Coventry University in the UK, a student with a third-class degree can enrol directly into a one-year master’s program. They must, however, demonstrate up to five years of professional experience and a CGPA of 2.0 or higher. With this chance, a student can pursue whatever course they want that is relevant to their educational background and professional experience.

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is one of the universities in the UK where you can study master’s with a third-class degree. People who have a bachelor’s degree with a third class are allowed for a one-year top-up in several business courses. Third-class holders may be admitted to the MBA and MSc Management programs if they commit to a complete one year and six months of study. 

Postgraduate degrees from the University of Birmingham give you highly sought-after abilities and experiences that will give you an advantage in your professional career. At the master’s level, they provide a variety of possibilities. You can increase your basic business knowledge, earn a professional credential, or use our specialised courses to develop your current business skills.

University of Bradford

The University of Bradford provides a Global Development Scholarship to help students who are struggling financially. The purpose of this scholarship program is to help students in need and ease their financial burdens, so it pays little or no regard to the degree class they hold. Simply put, if you fulfil all other conditions, you can enrol in the University of Bradford’s master’s program with a third-class degree.

University of Staffordshire

The University of Staffordshire has a policy of accepting more international students in an effort to boost the number of foreign students on campus.

However, this admittance takes the shape of a grant offered to foreign students from a few chosen countries. As a result, you can study master’s with a third-class degree there.

Manchester Metropolitan University

The Manchester Metropolitan University is another UK university that accepts third-class degrees for master’s. All you need to do is meet all the requirements listed on the school’s official website.


University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia is another university in the UK where you can study master’s with a third-class degree. All you have to do is pass the entry-level exam and fulfil any additional requirements the institution has listed for admission to the master’s program.

University of Warwick

The University of Warwick admits domestic and international students who have a pass, third class, or HND certificate and want to advance their studies. It is one of the best universities in the UK that you can apply to with a third-class degree. 

Studying for a master’s degree at the University of Warwick will push and motivate you. Your intellectual curiosity will grow, and the instructors will promote flexible thinking. With this knowledge, you can pursue a lucrative career after graduation or advance in your current one.

Northumbria University

Northumbria University is one of the biggest regional universities in the UK. Northumbria University takes great satisfaction in conducting research that has practical applications and impacts people’s lives.

After completing a pre-masters program, the school will consider international students with a third-class degree to study in any related field for a master’s degree. 

University of Sussex

The University of Sussex accepts third-class degrees for master’s. Your undergraduate degree is merely a prerequisite for the master’s program you want to enrol in. The most important thing is to meet the other requirements. 

University of Surrey

A Surrey master’s degree gives you an edge in the employment market. Fortunately, they accept students to study for a master’s with a third-class degree. 

If you have a third-class degree, you can always use your work experience to get admitted to study for a master’s in the UK. You don’t have to accept every recommendation stated above, but you should make an effort to stand out from the competition. Don’t give up on your dream of getting a master’s degree. Just be ready to put in the work and effort.

Do you have an HND? See how to study abroad with an HND via top-up degrees.

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