How much more advantages is a First class degree compared against a 2.1? Watch

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Doits
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Amidst the loads of debate for the distinction between a 2.1 and a 2.2, how much does everyone think a First class degree has an edge over a 2.1 degree?
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Smack
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Advantage in what?
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Doits
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(Original post by Smack)
Advantage in what?
advantageous*
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paddyman4
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In before people with a 2.1 claim there is no difference and people with a first claim there is a big difference.
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Alex_Jones
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The simple answer is not as big as a difference as between a 2.2 and a 2.1.
However it will probably add a couple points to a job app but experience is going to probably be more important
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flying plum
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It depends what you want to do. For most things, a first is no more advantage than boosting your self confidence.


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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ageshallnot
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As someone who has read through hundreds if not thousands of job applications, I would definitely say that a candidate with a First would certainly be noticed. I was usually involved with recruiting people for their second or third jobs so their previous professional experience was most important, but a First was a definite plus in the initial sifting of applications.

More recently, having been involved with postgraduates studying for a Master's, it was pretty clear that those who ended up with Distinctions (equivalent to a First) were more motivated, worked harder and were in general simply better than those who achieved a Merit or Pass.

(BTW, I got a 2:1 so I'm not being snobbish about my own degree!)
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Doits
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Hi ageshallnot, I wonder what do you work as?
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Heather11
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From my experience those who get firsts are generally no harder workers than those who get 2,1s or 2,2s as there is little real difference between them beyond marginal grading brackets.
The established rule is in fact that 1sts are obtained by those who 'do well in exams' (often a little weird), and they are often the type that are least competent generally, just the type that can pass exams. It certainly shows little else.
I read a good article once that 2.2s reflect a more rounded student who actually balanced themselves and their life better at University.

Now though in this age of Universities popping up all over the place and cashing in on the limitless horde of often vacant-minded students, it's more relevant WHEN you studied, as everyone knows what a conveyor belt process getting GCSEs, ALevels, and Degrees became after the mid-1990s.

The best employers look beyond the always subjective exam grade, so as long as a student gets their degree and builds their experience from ground level, they should be looked at as favourably as anyone who happens to have got a first.
I've known many students choose the easiest degree modules in order to get a higher grade, so it can really be meaningless.
Trust me
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cambio wechsel
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For securing postgraduate places? Considerable.
For getting funding for same? Huge. This will likely be the determining circumstance (very few people with 2.1s get funding for Masters).


With regard to getting a job? Likely not much and certainly far less than the jump from 2.1 to 2.2. Indeed it was at one time widely said that employers rather preferred people with 2.1s over those with firsts, because the first was regarded as the preserve of the socially-inept obsessive. I don't know whether there was ever any truth in that, and it was said at a time when proportionately fewer firsts were given than now.
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Clayman
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#11
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(Original post by Heather11)
The established rule is in fact that 1sts are obtained by those who 'do well in exams' (often a little weird), and they are often the type that are least competent generally, just the type that can pass exams. It certainly shows little else.
I read a good article once that 2.2s reflect a more rounded student who actually balanced themselves and their life better at University.
I don't even know where to begin here... are you for real? "Established rule"? Least competent generally? Often a little weird? 2:2 = more rounded?

I got a high First. If anything, I think I put in less time than my course mates did (who mostly got 2:1s and 2:2s). I had so much free time around April despite also being in a long-term relationship and having a social life.

I got there by:
- Using time efficiently (e.g. not spending hours faffing around with things that don't matter or don't get you marks).
- Working fast.
- Not procrastinating.
- Enjoying my chosen subject.
- Having a mixed skillset.
- Using common sense.

Your point about exams is also invalid in many cases. On my course, only around 1/3 of overall module credit was exam based. The rest was practical work, similar to what is done in a workplace.

I don't mean to sound arrogant or insulting, but you're coming off bitter and sound like you're trying to make yourself feel better. Some of the ridiculous statements you're making aren't doing you any favours either...
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wanderlust.xx
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(Original post by paddyman4)
In before people with a 2.1 claim there is no difference and people with a first claim there is a big difference.
I have a first and I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that it makes no difference.

It makes you look smart, yeah, but your degree is such a minor aspect in recruitment that as long as you have a 2:1 it's fine. It's like, "okay, you've got over a 2:1, great, now on to the important stuff... what did you do at university?"

I still get the same amount of rejections and the same level of treatment. I worked towards my first like a fool because I loved my subject, but in reality I should have done less uni work, gotten a 2:1 and just focused on internships and work experience.

(Original post by Heather11)
From my experience those who get firsts are generally no harder workers than those who get 2,1s or 2,2s as there is little real difference between them beyond marginal grading brackets.
The established rule is in fact that 1sts are obtained by those who 'do well in exams' (often a little weird), and they are often the type that are least competent generally, just the type that can pass exams. It certainly shows little else.
I read a good article once that 2.2s reflect a more rounded student who actually balanced themselves and their life better at University.
I always laugh at this argument. It just sounds like someone who got a 2:2, trying desperately to repeatedly console themselves while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels, sobbing in the corner.

Some people are just naturally able to work less and achieve more. I'm sure that you'll brush aside those people with firsts and ECA's who went to Cambridge or Harvard as "perfect people", when in reality they're simply better at time management and absorbing information.

There are people with firsts who did less work than those with 2:2's because they worked smarter. As an example, I had comparatively less stress during my final year exam period because all I needed for a 2:1 was 51%, and that's because I worked smarter, earlier, and for longer. For a first I needed 63%. Since I'd already scored quite well in second year, I had little to worry about in terms of understanding how to study. The majority were cramming their arses off, trying desperately to remember what they did in second year, ferociously writing down proofs and theorems page after page.
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cjc3676
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When I got a 2.1, I was very worried that that had finished off any chance of doing research. It didnt. I got a Research Council award to do a Masters (Distinction) and later another Research council award to do a PhD.

For each application, what was most important was the University I had the previous degree from (academic credibility for the 2.1 - not Oxbridge but top Unis) AND the academic references (from well-established people in their field) who stressed my ability to work on my own with minimal direction and produce highly original work.

So, whist having a First is great and probably will open lots of doors, it isnt everything. A good 2.1 from a good Uni is still something to be very proud of.
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Donald Duck
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I got a 2.1, and during my last year, my thesis professor inquired if I'd be interested to go into research, and my economics professor basically offered to take me up into the MPhil programme.

I think it depends where you wanna apply.
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Donald Duck
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(Original post by Heather11)
From my experience those who get firsts are generally no harder workers than those who get 2,1s or 2,2s as there is little real difference between them beyond marginal grading brackets.
The established rule is in fact that 1sts are obtained by those who 'do well in exams' (often a little weird), and they are often the type that are least competent generally, just the type that can pass exams. It certainly shows little else.
I read a good article once that 2.2s reflect a more rounded student who actually balanced themselves and their life better at University.

Now though in this age of Universities popping up all over the place and cashing in on the limitless horde of often vacant-minded students, it's more relevant WHEN you studied, as everyone knows what a conveyor belt process getting GCSEs, ALevels, and Degrees became after the mid-1990s.

The best employers look beyond the always subjective exam grade, so as long as a student gets their degree and builds their experience from ground level, they should be looked at as favourably as anyone who happens to have got a first.
I've known many students choose the easiest degree modules in order to get a higher grade, so it can really be meaningless.
Trust me
In Oxford, they used to call the equivalent of a 2.2 a 'gentleman's degree'. However they've realised this doesn't apply to our generation any more.
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MagicNMedicine
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The big difference between 2:1 and 2:2 is autofilters when you are looking for your first graduate job. Loads of grad jobs say you need to have this many UCAS points plus a 2:1 degree so you need to have the 2:1 to be able to apply. The larger firms tend to have long recruitment processes with online tests, assessment centres and interviews so they pretty much score you on their own recruitment tests, your degree isn't going to make much difference as long as you are 'in the mix'. In these a 1st isn't going to have much or any premium.

A 1st will have a premium in academia or related fields like think tanks/research consultancies. It's a signal of being a high flier academically which is what they want. TBH I think its the norm in consultancies, when you look on the websites of economic consultancies and they have their staff profiles, it is always stuff like "Tabatha obtained a 1st in BA Economics from Cambridge, and went on to graduate with a Distinction in MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from London School of Economics, she interned in the Government Economic Service and the IMF before doing a research assistant post at the University of Chicago prior to joining us...."
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dean01234
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I would say no,

They are both very good qualifications and unless you are applying for the handful of jobs that would be very picky about that I think it would be fine to have either.
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xJessx
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I think it only makes a big difference if you want to go into academia and even then, as some posters have pointed out, you can still achieve this with a 2:1 as long as you have passion for your subject.

If you are applying for a job with a company or any other non academic job, I think someone with a 2:1 and relevant experience would have more chance of getting the job than someone with a first and no relevant experience.
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callum9999
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(Original post by shaniieexo)
I heard that 2.1 is actually more widely accepted ... Only what I have heard though
Don't be so ridiculous...

Everywhere that takes 2.1's will take 1st's. Some places that want 1st's won't take 2.1's. It should be blatantly obvious that, if anything, firsts are more widely accepted...
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shaniieexo
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(Original post by callum9999)
Don't be so ridiculous...

Everywhere that takes 2.1's will take 1st's. Some places that want 1st's won't take 2.1's. It should be blatantly obvious that, if anything, firsts are more widely accepted...
I didn't say they wouldn't take firsts, I think you have misunderstood me - I don't think there is much difference between them once you get into the world of work. It's all about your personality and how you sell yourself.
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