What Is a Degree Transcript?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Completing a degree is a big deal, but how do you prove to employers that you’ve got the grades you say you have? Find out more about what a degree transcript is and why your academic record plays such an important role in your future.

[Featured Image] A smiling woman sitting at her laptop in her home office holds her degree transcript.

Graduating is a significant achievement. However, you are one of many other learners to do so. According to Statista data [1], more than 520,700 people in the United Kingdom get their degrees yearly. Whether you’re applying for postgraduate courses or your dream job, one of the items you will need is your degree transcript. 

After investing in your education, it’s essential to have proof of where you got your degree, what you’ve studied, and the grades you’ve received. Your degree transcript is an important academic record to keep and present when needed. 

This article explores degree transcripts in greater detail to help you better understand them and how to obtain a copy when you need one. 

What is a degree transcript?

Your degree transcript is a summary of your academic achievement at degree level. It records the degree you studied, the modules you completed, their credit value, and the grades you received for each. You must keep your degree transcript safe as it proves you have completed your degree and academic achievements. With this, you can prove to prospective employers or postgraduate course providers that you have completed your degree and are at the required level. 

Degree transcripts are available for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, where you receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree transcript. You can also request an interim transcript for degrees you have yet to complete. 

What information does a degree transcript contain?

Degree transcripts hold the same standard information no matter where or how you receive your degree, as outlined by UK ENIC and the Europe Unit of Universities UK. All have an official university stamp, or the university prints it on official paper. You’ll typically find the following information:

  • Your name

  • University start date

  • Degree course

  • Modules taken with credit values and grades received

  • Educational institution (this might be more than one place if taking a year abroad)

  • Dissertation or thesis (if applicable)

  • Degree classification

  • Award date

Types of degree transcripts

Degree transcripts are traditionally on paper, stamped by the university you attend, but more frequently, they are available as e-copies. E-copies of your degree transcript make sharing with potential employers and course providers easy and quick. To use this service, you must register for an account, where you receive access to all your official course documents, which you can print and share. 

The difference between a degree transcript and a degree certificate 

Your degree transcript is your only official proof of the modules you studied and the credits and grades you received for each. Your degree certificate is the award you receive to demonstrate that you completed your degree. Although they are not the same document, both are important in verifying your achievements. 

How do I get my degree transcript?

Your university registrar issues your degree transcript after you complete your degree and receive your final grades. It may be a paper copy, an e-copy, or both. You may receive your copy and certificate at your graduation ceremony or request a copy by post. You can also request an interim degree transcript before finishing your degree. Doing so is useful when applying for internships and postgraduate study. 

Why is a degree transcript important?

Your degree transcript provides tangible evidence that you hold a degree and achieved your stated grades when applying for jobs or further education. Employers may ask for your degree transcript when interviewing you, so you must keep it safe. You can often send a copy if you have access to an e-copy portal, although some universities require you to request a copy for them to send directly to an employer. Employers cannot request copies as a third party; only you can issue these.

Who might ask for a degree transcript?

Degree transcripts show what you achieved during your degree, providing value to future employers and universities where you wish to undertake further study. For example, access to a postgraduate course will likely require a degree transcript to ensure you meet course requirements regarding grades and modules studied. 

When applying for a postgraduate qualification, the course provider may ask you for an interim degree transcript if you haven’t finished your degree.

What to do if you lose your degree transcript

Upon completing your degree program, your university issues you with a degree transcript, and it’s up to you to keep it safe. However, each university has a process to follow if your degree transcript is lost, damaged, or stolen. 

If you can access an e-portal containing your documents, you can order a replacement copy by logging into your account. This will give you access whenever you need it. Portals typically allow you to request a paper transcript if necessary. However, you can contact your university directly if you lose your password and want access granted. 

To request a copy without access to an e-portal, you can use an order form provided by your university or contact your university directly. Your university may charge you for reordering a hard copy of your degree transcript.

Start your degree with Coursera.

Are you looking to enroll in a degree course? You’ll find many options on Coursera for bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in a range of subjects. You might consider a Professional Certificate if you’ve recently graduated and want to boost your CV. You can also check out the Google Project Management Professional Certificate or learn the basics of information security with the Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate on Coursera.

Article sources

  1. Statista. “Number of degree qualifications obtained in the United Kingdom, https://www.statista.com/statistics/875089/uk-undergraduate-qualifications/#:~:text=In%202021%2F22%2C%20there%20were,year%20during%20this%20time%20period.” Accessed May 9, 2024. 

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.