Every summer, for GCSEs, A-Levels and other national qualifications, students wait in excitement, nervousness and sometimes even absolute terror in anticipation for their respective national results day. However, when it comes to university study, there is no national results day.
Due to this, you might have a range of questions about how university students get their results. Do they have to wait for their results to be released? Where and how are degree results released? As well as many, many other questions.
In short, some universities will publicly publish students’ degree results. Although it’s important to note that this is not the case for all universities in the UK as they each have different policies on this. However, in England and Wales, universities are expected to create degree outcome statements, where they take an overview of degree results and compare these to previous years. These degree outcome statements are publicly published.
This article will give you a breakdown of all the important detail that you need to know about how universities release degree results. This article will give you more about where degree results are published, how they’re published and so much more.
Table of Contents
Do universities publish their degree results publicly?
As previously mentioned, when it comes to universities, there is no national results day for them to release results. Moreover, in this same way, there is no actual standardisation between universities on their policies for handling degree results.
Therefore, this means that whether a university will publish degree results publicly will depend on their own policies. Due to this, while many universities do publish results, some do not.
For example, in 2016, the University of Cambridge stopped publicly publishing students’ degree results on their noticeboards. This was following a student campaign to stop this as they didn’t want anyone to be able to know what degree results, they had received. You can learn more about this by checking out this article by the Daily Mail.
Another thing that can differ between universities is how the degree results are released to the public if this is done.
For example, according to the University of Bristol’s policies degree results are publish publicly. This can be done on the noticeboards or websites of the individual schools within the university, meaning that where the student’s results are published will depend on which school their course comes under. You can learn more about the University of Bristol’s policies by checking out this page on their website.
Other universities might choose to publicly publish their students’ degree results in a different way. If you would like to find out more, look at the specific university’s website as there will likely be more information there.
However, while they may not all publish detailed results on what each student received, universities in England and Wales are expected to produce a report known as a degree outcomes statement. You can learn more about these in the next section.
What are degree outcome statements?
A degree outcomes statement is where universities look at the trends in degree results over several years and compare these.
They then look at the regulation of degree standards, pretty much in making sure that there aren’t any issues found in the trends, such as potential grade inflation or problems with student’s performing significantly worse. Finally, they will outline their own actions and progress in up keeping these degree standards.
Degree outcome statements are published publicly as they are needed for transparency and ensuring the university’s integrity. Therefore, universities in these regions will have to publish an overview of their results.
You can learn more about these by referring to this article by Universities UK.
Do universities publish their exam results publicly?
While we’ve looked at how universities deal with degree results, as in the final grade that students get at the end of their degree, universities may have a slightly different policy when it comes to publishing exam results. In this case, exam results are taken to mean any exam that students do throughout their course, regardless of whether it’s their first year, their final year and whether it will be the most important exam of their course or if it’s not at all.
When it comes to raw exam results, universities don’t seem to tend to release these to the public. Instead, students will receive these marks in whatever format is preferred by the university, whether this is by email, through an access portal on their website or through some other means.
For example, Edge Hill University uses this access portal format for releasing exam results. By this, I mean that they publish each student’s results on their website, but it is only accessible for them by logging in with their student account. You can find more on this by taking a look at this page on their website.
Alternatively, universities, such as London School of Economics (LSE), will email student’s their raw marks before their final grade has been decided. You can see more on this by checking out this page of the LSE website.
How do you receive your degree results?
Once again, due to each university having different policies, exactly how you receive your degree results will depend on which university you go to. In general, universities tend to release students results in either an online format or in-person.
As this will typically be done before the official graduation, it will most likely be done through a slightly less formal process. Then when it comes to your graduation, you’ll already be aware of your results, allowing the process to go on much more smoothly.
As previously mentioned, some of the online formats that a university could use to release degree results include their website and email. To find out how you will specifically get your degree results, it’s best to look at the website of your specific university which will most likely detail how results are given out.
Despite there being so many different policies between universities, most universities end their academic year in either June or July. Due to this, it is likely that you will get your degree results at some point within these months, most likely a few weeks after your course has finished.
This would allow for everything to be marked and for your final grade to be officially decided. You can check out this Think Student article to learn more.
Do you receive a university degree certificate?
When finishing any kind of qualification, you will often need some kind of certificate to prove that you really did complete the course and that you do actually have that qualification. This applies to many different types of qualification, from ones that you can do online to types of vocational course and even to things like GCSEs and A-Levels.
Thus, you might be wondering if you’ll also get a certificate from university to prove that you really did complete your degree with whatever grade you received.
For university study, yes, students do receive degree certificates. In fact, it is a staple part of finishing your degree as it ends up being the physical embodiment of what you worked so hard for.
Also, as proof of your degree, it tends to be fairly important for your future prospects. For more information on this, check out this page on the University of Reading’s website.
These will usually be awarded to students during their graduation ceremony. You might have even seen students being handed their degree certificates during one of these graduation ceremonies.
If you’re not at your graduation ceremony, how you receive your degree certificate might depend on the university. However, it tends to be a fairly common practice for them to post it to your home address afterwards. You can learn more about this by looking at this page on the University of Oxford’s website.
Will anyone else find out what exam and degree results you received?
As previously mentioned, universities don’t typically seem to make students’ results for individual exams public. Therefore, no, it is very unlikely that anyone will be able to find out what exam results you received without asking.
Once again, as previously mentioned, some universities do publish students’ degree results publicly on their website, noticeboards or on other public outlets but this isn’t the case for all universities. Therefore, whether the public and even other students are able to find out what degree results you received without asking you or someone you’ve told will be dependent on your university’s policies.
However, when it comes to employers, this is slightly different. If you’re applying for a graduate job, it is likely that the employer will check your degree and your results.
The most common way for them to do this is to ask to see a copy of your diploma/ degree certificate or to submit a sealed degree transcript. However, they may instead decide to contact your higher education provider.
In this case, your university or alternative higher education provider would release details of your degree. This might include your degree results, the date of your graduation and maybe other detail also, in order to allow them to thoroughly check your education history.
You can learn more about this by checking out this Think Student article.