Careers Service Explaining your qualifications

Job adverts will often ask for qualifications from the country the role will be based in. Most employers will accept an international equivalent. It's helpful to understand how your qualifications relate to those of the country you are applying to. You'll then understand these requirements and if you meet them.

UK companies that recruit international candidates may include information on their website about the international qualifications they accept.

If you can’t find the information you need, you should contact the recruitment team of the company. They should be able to provide the appropriate information and advice.

University qualifications

You may have completed a degree or other university qualification outside the UK. If you need to check how your grade compares to those awarded under the UK system (1st, 2.1, 2.2, etc) you can use this table on the Graduate Recruitment Bureau page.

School qualifications

Employers in the UK can require information about school-level qualifications as part of an application. The UK has more than one school education system. Companies usually advertise as requiring an equivalent to the most common school-level qualifications in England:

  • GCSE (subject-specific exams, usually taken at around 16 years old)
  • A Levels (subject-specific exams, usually taken at around 18 years old)

They may include the equivalent qualifications in the Scottish education system:

  • National 4 or 5 (subject-specific exams, usually taken at 15-16 years old)
  • Scottish Highers (subject-specific exams, usually taken at 16-17 years old)

Email for an ENIC lookup to get a general comparison of your school qualifications. And look at our online Curriculum Vitae (CV) resources for more guidance on presenting international qualifications.

UCAS tariff points

Some employers also ask for a minimum number of UCAS tariff points in their applications. UCAS Tariff is a system that applies a number of points to school-level qualifications. It's used as an entry requirement by some UK universities. It includes some international school qualifications. If your qualifications are not on the list, contact the employer to discuss this.

Find more information about the UCAS tariff system.