1. How to Write Your Degree on a CV [6+ Examples]

How to Write Your Degree on a CV [6+ Examples]

LiveCareer Editorial Team

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You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your university degree, and want to do it justice in your CV. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to how to write a degree on a CV, though. From how to abbreviate degree types to how to write up an honours class.

This article is here to give you proven approaches for how to write your degree on a CV in the UK. With concrete advice and examples, you’ll be confident that your education section contains all it needs and is set out such that it actually gets read. 

This article will show you:

  • How to write your degree on a CV the right way.
  • Expert examples of how to write degree classification on CVs.
  • What is a degree with honours, and how to write first-class honours on a CV.
  • CV template you can use to reflect your degrees and honours.

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How to write your degree on a CV (UK sample)

Mollie Barton

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MA Journalism 2014 – 2015

University of the West of England, Bristol

BA (Hons) Film and English (2:1), 2011 – 2014

University of Bristol, Bristol


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  • Derp Wyatt Prize for Short Fiction, 2014
  • Bristol Young Writers’ Awards, Non-Fiction Category, 2012


  • German – B2
  • Japanese – intermediate

Types of degrees you can put on your CV

Depending on your educational background, you can include various degrees and abbreviations in your CV. A typical classification includes two degree categories: undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The undergraduate degrees include:

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts)
  • BSc (Bachelor of Science)
  • BEng (Bachelor of Engineering)
  • LLB (Bachelor of Laws)
  • MEng (Undergraduate Master’s Degree)

The postgraduate degrees are:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)

After completing a master’s degree, you can do a PhD or a research degree which will take at least 2 years and will top up your previous education history.

Where to include your degree on a CV

Once you’re a proud holder of an academic degree, it’s important that you showcase it in your CV’s crucial sections.

For starters, mention your degree in your personal profile, especially if you’re a fresh graduate. Put your University and degree names at the beginning of your personal statement before presenting your individual traits and skills.

Most importantly, include your degree in the education section. List your qualifications in reverse-chronological order and place your academic title and dates of studying first. Below, mention the university name and the location.

If you’re still finishing up your most recent degree, include your expected graduation date instead of the actual date. You can leave your high-school education out of your CV once you have an undergraduate degree and a year or more of postgraduate study or post-graduation work experience.

Degree on an academic CV example

PhD Philosophy, 2016 – 2020

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

  • Research funded from the Damian Cox Bursary
  • Thesis: ‘On the Twofold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason’. Supervisors: Prof. Ludwig Kojack and Dr Rex Jordan

MPhil Philosophy, 2015 – 2016

University of Southampton, Southampton

  • NOS scholarship awarded
  • Thesis: ‘Subjectivity and Narrative: Writing the Will as Nuomenon’. Supervisor: Dr Mitchell Wong

BA (Hons) Philosophy (1st), 2011 – 2014

University of Winchester, Winchester

  • Thesis: ‘The Tractatus as Allegory of Development’. Supervisor: Dr Jacques Thwaite

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How to write your degree on a CV when you have a bachelor’s

A bachelor’s degree is where most people begin their tertiary education, but it’s certainly not the only way into postgraduate study. The following template will guide you through setting out your bachelor’s degree in your CV. It can also be adapted for other tertiary qualifications.

[Degree Type] [Degree Name], [Years Attended]

[University Name], [University Location]

Use standard abbreviations for the degree type, like ‘BA’, ‘BSc’, and ‘BEng’, but don’t abbreviate the degree name, so ‘Mechanical Engineering’ rather than ‘Mech. Eng.’. Once again, include an expected graduation date if you’re still studying the given degree. Don’t include anything not required by the template.

How to write a bachelor’s degree on a CV

BA Film and English, 2011 – 2014

University of Bristol, Bristol

What is a degree with honours, and how to write first-class honours on your CV

Honours can be hard to come by in many fields. Be sure to do your achievement justice by clearly including the abbreviation ‘Hons’ in your degree description. This can really give you an edge on the labour market. Use the following template to set out your honours degree in your CV:

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[University Name], [University Location]

Include your degree class only if you’ve achieved upper-division second-class honours or first-class honours. Anything less should be characterised simply by its degree type and degree name. There are several acceptable ways to abbreviate your honours degree class, or you might choose not to abbreviate at all.

Writing upper-second class as ‘2:1’ is perhaps the most common, although ‘2.1’ is equally appropriate.

First class can be abbreviated as ‘1st’ or simply left as ‘first’. If you wish to use full words instead, write 'First Class' or 'First Class Honours'

Don’t include lower second- (2:2) or third- (3rd) class honours, but leave the ‘Hons’ after your degree type or name.

How to write a first-class honours degree on CV

BA (Hons) Film and English (2:1), 2011 – 2014

University of Bristol, Bristol

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

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How to write your degree on a CV when you have a master’s degree (by coursework)

In many countries, a master’s degree is considered the minimum for jobs that require you to have a higher education. For some people, it’s a stepping stone toward a doctorate and a career in academia. In any case, completing a master’s degree is an achievement of which you should definitely be proud.

If you completed your master’s by coursework, without having to conduct research and submit a thesis, use the following template. This template and its caveats should be familiar to you by now. Abbreviate only the degree type (e.g. ‘MA’ rather than ‘Master of Arts’).

[Degree Type] [Degree Name], [Years Attended]

[University Name], [University Location]

How to write a master’s degree on a CV

MA Journalism 2014 – 2015

University of the West of England, Bristol

How to write your degree on a CV if you have a master’s by research

Completing a master’s by research is, for most people, their first taste of independent academic research. It’s also usually the first opportunity you get to contribute something novel to your field, even if only by slight extension or adaptation. Follow the same template as for a master’s by coursework degree.

Add to this template information regarding your thesis: the full title, your supervisor’s name, and your academic title. If you held a scholarship while completing your master’s degree, you can optionally include it here. You should only consider merit-based and/or competitive scholarships, though.

How to write your degree on a CV – MPhil example

MPhil Journalism 2014 – 2016

University of the West of England, Bristol

  • Thesis: ‘Boundless Greed and Reckless Disregard: Facebook’s Ethics as Symptom Rather Than Cause’, supervised by Dr Edward Greenward

How to write your degree on a CV if you have a doctorate

For some people, a PhD is the ultimate destination on their academic journey and for others, the very beginning. Whichever camp you fall into, make sure your doctorate is given its due in your CV. The template remains unchanged from a master’s by research. Add thesis and scholarship information, too.

How to write a PhD degree on a CV

PhD English Literature, 2016 – 2020

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

  • Thesis: ‘Gonzo Journalism and Free Indirect Discourse vis-a-vis Lacanian Subjectivity’, supervised by Prof. Thomas Duke and Dr Sam Owen 

Keep the big picture in mind beyond how to write your degree on a CV

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and lose sight of the fact that your education section is just one part of your CV, and your CV is just one part of your job application. As you’ve seen, getting your education section right isn’t difficult. Once it is sorted, you should take care of the big picture.

Here’s what to keep in mind beyond mentioning degrees on your CV:

  1. Make sure you choose the right CV format and follow a proven CV-writing guide. Regardless of the format you pick, leave your CV personal details near the top of it, where they’ll be easier to find. Use subheadings and lots of white space to break your CV down into subsections clearly.
  1. Go with an appropriate CV font that’s easy to read and doesn’t draw attention to itself, like Noto, Garamond, Liberation, or even Calibri. Lock the font size in at a readable 11–12 points. Limit yourself to a single A4 page for your CV, up to two pages if you have over 20 years of experience.
  1. Be sure to complete your application by including a properly laid-out cover letter. The only valid reason for not doing so is if you’ve been explicitly asked not to. Follow a business letter format to determine how you start and end your cover letter. Everything in between is where the magic happens.
  1. Make use of an effective cover letter writing guide. Doing so will leave you with 250–400 words of compellingly laid-out cover letter that will help your cover letter nicely fill an A4 page. Attach your cover letter and CV in PDF unless you’ve been asked for something else – it’ll help preserve your formatting.
  1. Thoroughly proofread your job application (CV and cover letter) for spelling and grammar mistakes. Don’t trust your English skills? No problem, there are many plugins, apps, and web apps you could use—the spellchecker on your word-processing software is a good place to start. Get someone to read over your work.

One last piece of advice: follow up if it’s been a week since you submitted your application and still haven’t heard back. All it takes is a quick phone call or short email. It can make a huge difference. If nothing else, you’ll likely get some insight into how your application is going.

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

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Has this article answered your questions regarding how to write a degree on a CV? I hope it has, and then some. Please leave any questions, comments, feedback, and job-hunting experiences down in the comments section!

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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