As everywhere in the European Union, students in the UK receive the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) for completed courses in the UK grading system. However, Great Britain would not be Great Britain if the United Kingdom had not reserved its own credit point system here as well.
In the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS), students usually receive 10 credits for each course they attend. Per year have 120 points are provided, which makes an average of 12 courses per year – four per term and six per semester. This means that two CATS points can be roughly converted into one ECTS point.
In the UK grading system, grades are calculated using percentages. In addition, the percentages correspond to certain deals. Most UK universities use a degree classification system. The First Class honors, also called First, is the highest rating awarded to students, which only achieves around 10%.
On average, university graduates finish their studies with a Second-Class Honors degree. The second best degree is divided into two levels: The Upper Second-Class and Lower Second-Class. A third class degree is only awarded in very rare cases.
The following conversion table provides guidance, but the decision on equivalency is made individually by each university.
The UK grading system in comparison
|Degree||In percent||German equivalent|
|First class (1st)||70% and more||from 76%: 1.0; 70% – 75% 1.3|
|Upper second class (2.1)||60% -69%||66% -69%: 1.7; 66% -63%: 2.0; 63% -60%: 2.3|
|Lower second class (2.2)||50% -59%||59% -56%: 2.7; 56% -53%: 3.0; 53% -50%: 3.3|
|Third class (3rd)||40% -49%||49% -46%: 3.7; 46% -40%: 4.0|
|Fail||39% and less||5.0|
There is only one university association in Great Britain that is of international importance: the so-called Russell Group. In 1994 the university network was founded in the Russell Hotel of the same name in London. There were 19 rectors and chancellors from universities across England. To learn more about United Kingdom and Europe, please visit themotorcyclers.
The UK university network now consists of 24 leading UK universities committed to promoting research and teaching at Russell Group universities:
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- University of Cambridge
- Cardiff University
- Durham University
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London
- University of Leeds
- University of Liverpool
- London School of Economics & Political Science
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University College London
- University of Warwick
- University of York
Russell Group Benefits
International Master’s students benefit from studying abroad in Great Britain at a Russell Group University, especially when preparing for a doctorate. The association can look back on impressive figures since it was founded.
A budget totaling 2.7 billion pounds is available for research. The Russell Group universities thus determine over 67 percent of national research funds that they can reinvest in doctoral positions, scholarships, and research awards:
- The half of all doctoral positions awarded across the UK to Russell Group universities.
- In a national comparison, the universities in the university network have an above-average number of excellent teaching staff.
- Graduates from a university in the university network usually receive a starting salary that is around 10 percent higher.
- Over a third of all international students from non-EU countries study at a Russell Group University.
The Russell Group in University Rankings
Both nationally and worldwide, the Russell Group universities can convince in university rankings. For years, Russell Group members have ranked at the top of the world’s best universities: the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.
In the national ranking list of the Guardian University Guide, the Russell Group universities have been among the top 30 rankings for years. In addition, the universities particularly stand out in the fields of business and design. In the worldwide ranking lists of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 15 Russell Group universities are in the top 100.
Russell Group Goals and Quality Assurance
As an association, the Russell Group also stands for joint lobbying and quality assurance vis-à-vis the Higher Education Funding for England (HEFCE) and the Department for Education (DfES).
The declared aim of the university alliance is to use strategic research funding to bring the Russell Group universities to the top of the world in research and teaching. The Russell Group also aims to promote social, economic and cultural developments in the UK.