What can I do with a 2.2 degree?

Find out what a 2.2 means for your job hunt and which employers are open to applications from graduates with 2.2 degrees.

A graduate programme that requires a 2.1 isn’t your only way into a career.

While some big graduate employers will not accept a 2.2 degree for their graduate schemes and jobs, this is by no means true for all. Even the most popular and sought-after employers sometimes take a more flexible approach to degree classifications and entry requirements.

In this article:

Is a 2.2 good?


Employers that accept 2.2s


Applying for 2.1 jobs with a 2.2


Applying with mitigating circumstances


Accounting with a 2.2


Training contracts with a 2.2


Other sectors that accept 2.2s


Tips for getting a job with a 2.2


Applying for a masters with a 2.2


How to sell your achievements beyond your degree

Is a 2.2 degree good?

In short, yes. You can still get a good graduate job with a 2.2 degree. The direction that a lot of employers are moving in is away from viewing a first or 2.1 as the be all and end all.

Which graduate employers accept 2.2 degrees for their graduate schemes and jobs?

Some employers set a minimum degree classification across all of their graduate schemes, while others set different entry requirements for each of their programmes. Here are just a few graduate employers that either take a 2.2 or do not set a minimum degree grade for at least some of their vacancies:

  • Atkins
  • Babcock International Group
  • BAE Systems
  • Barratt Developments
  • The Civil Service Fast Stream (NB: not all streams)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • EY
  • FDM Group
  • HMRC
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Lloyd’s of London
  • MI5
  • The NHS graduate management programmes
  • Nationwide
  • Network Rail
  • nucleargraduates
  • Sky
  • Tesco.

Can you apply for jobs that ask for a 2.1 if you have a 2.2?

Some employers usually require a 2.1 but will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, some employers use a contextualised recruitment process, pioneered by


. This process assesses your grades in the context of your socio-economic background (such as the school you attended), meaning that employers may accept 2.2s from individual candidates. Check out the websites of your chosen employers to see whether they participate in the programme.

If an employer has set a 2.1 degree as a minimum requirement for a job and doesn’t mention exceptions or a contextualised recruitment process on its website, you could try contacting them (for example, by attending a careers fair where they have a stand) to explain your situation and check if a 2.1 or above is a strict requirement or if they would be willing to consider your application.

Can you apply for 2.1 jobs with a 2.2 if you have mitigating circumstances?

Yes. If your grades have suffered due to extenuating circumstances such as illness or bereavement, you are still eligible to apply for jobs that have a 2.1 entry requirement.

Find out more about when and how to disclose mitigating circumstances to recruiters.

Are some careers harder to get into with a 2.2 degree?

Employers in sectors such as finance and law have always had a reputation for stricter entry requirements than some other sectors. Historically they have requested a 2.1 degree or above, but some have since relaxed their entry requirements.

Applying for trainee accountant jobs with a 2.2 degree

You can still become a trainee accountant with a 2.2 degree – and at a Big 4 accounting firm, too. EY does not ask for a specific degree classification or UCAS points and states that it doesn’t screen out applications on academic performance alone.

Meanwhile, Deloitte seeks a 2.1 degree and 104 UCAS points from its graduates, but it does say that you can still apply if you have narrowly missed those grades and it will take into account your personal circumstances. Likewise, KPMG as a general rule asks for a 2.1 degree but states that it looks at more than just academic results. There is also an opportunity on its application form to disclose an extenuating circumstances that impacted your grades.

Find out more about the entry requirements for the Big 4


Getting a training contract with a 2.2 degree

It’s not impossible to become a trainee solicitor with a 2.2 degree, but it may be more difficult. Usually you will need a 2.1 to apply for training contracts at top law firms.

However, it is law firms that most notably partner with Rare to use its contextualised recruitment process, which assesses grades in the context of your socio-economic background. According to Rare, it is used by 95% of the UK’s top law firms. This includes magic circle firms.

What about other sectors?

There are plenty of employers across different career sectors that welcome applications from graduates with 2.2 degrees. Take a look at the articles below for more sector-specific information.

The secrets of getting the graduate career you want… no matter what

By the time you have some proper professional experience behind you and are applying for experienced hire roles, recruiters won’t be looking at your degree class. They will be looking at your previous performance in the workplace. The key lies in finding your first job and a graduate programme that requests a 2.1 isn’t your only way into a career.

You could:

Can you apply for a masters with a 2.2 degree?

Some universities or courses require you to have a 2.1 degree, but others ask for a 2.2 degree or above. Some that ask for a 2.1 may consider a 2.2 if you have related work experience alongside your degree. Just like employers, universities will also take into consideration any mitigating circumstances that affected your undergraduate degree result.

Not just all about your degree

Remember that employers don’t just look for academic achievements when assessing you for a role; they look for evidence of your skills. As such, it is worth putting in the time to develop the competencies that employers seek. The coronavirus pandemic paused a lot of the ways to gain work experience and pursue extracurricular activities, but there are more opportunities as things open up. The following articles might be a good starting point for exploring your options:

Conduct a skills audit by looking at some job advertisements in the career sector that interests you. If you lack evidence of a skill, seek out ways to develop it. Take a look at our

skills and competencies section

for a definition of key skills and inspiration on how to develop them.