Undergraduate degree results
1. Main facts and figures
- 341,550 people graduated from an undergraduate degree course in the 2021 to 2022 academic year – this only counts students who were UK residents before their degree and whose ethnicity was known
- 36.1% of white students got a first class degree, compared with 17.3% of black students – the highest and lowest percentages out of all ethnic groups
- students from the mixed (48.7%) and ‘other’ (47.6%) ethnic groups were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to get an upper second class (2:1) degree
- in the 8 years to July 2022, the percentage of students getting a first class or 2:1 degree went up from 50.8% to 62.7% for black students, and from 77.1% to 83.7% for white students
Research from Universities UK and the National Union of Students (PDF opens in a new window or tab) found that a lack of role models and ethnic diversity in senior staff influenced the differences in achievement at university between ethnic groups.
2021/22 HESA statistics showed that 79.6% of academic staff were white (out of staff whose ethnicity was known). This percentage has gone down in recent years, but there is still a lack of ethnic minority representation among academic staff. As noted above, this is likely to affect students’ educational outcomes, particularly for black people. Black people make up only 2.9% of academic staff and are the least likely out of all ethnic groups to get a first class degree.
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the results of students on undergraduate degrees in the UK, by ethnicity.
Undergraduate degrees are usually bachelor's degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc).
The data only includes students whose normal residence before starting their degree was in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
Student numbers are rounded to the nearest 5. Percentages are calculated using rounded numbers, and are rounded to 1 decimal place.
Not included in the data
The percentages do not include students whose degree was ‘unclassified’. This includes some degrees (such as medical degrees) that can be awarded without a classification. The number of students with unclassified degrees is shown in the table in the analysis by ethnicity.
The ethnic groups used in the data
Data is shown for 5 aggregated ethnic groups:
This means figures are shown for these groups as a whole.
Students state their ethnicity when they apply for a degree course or register with a higher education provider. The percentages are based only on students whose ethnicity was known. See the data for students whose ethnicity was not known.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.
The 2 academic years between August 2019 and July 2021 were affected by COVID-19. Many higher education providers said their students would not get a degree result that was worse than their final assessment before the pandemic. This may partly account for the higher percentage of first class degrees in these 2 academic years.
3. By ethnicity
|1st class honours||Upper 2nd class honours||Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass||Unclassified|
|Ethnicity||1st class honours % of each ethnicity||1st class honours Number of students||Upper 2nd class honours % of each ethnicity||Upper 2nd class honours Number of students||Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass % of each ethnicity||Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass Number of students||Unclassified % of each ethnicity||Unclassified Number of students|
Summary of Undergraduate degree results By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time
|Academic year||Asian 1st class honours||Asian Upper 2nd class honours||Asian Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass||Black 1st class honours||Black Upper 2nd class honours||Black Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass||Mixed 1st class honours||Mixed Upper 2nd class honours||Mixed Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass||White 1st class honours||White Upper 2nd class honours||White Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass||Other 1st class honours||Other Upper 2nd class honours||Other Lower 2nd, 3rd or pass|
Summary of Undergraduate degree results By ethnicity over time Summary
5. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Higher Education Statistics Agency
Purpose of data source
Student information collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. It is used by various stakeholders for:
- performance indicators
- publications (including UNISTATS)
- league tables
The student record collects individual data, including:
- the student’s entry profile and personal characteristics
- module and course-level data
- funding information
- qualifications awarded
6. Download the data
This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, time, time_type, classification_of_first_degree, geography, numerator, value, value_type and denominator