Transcripts: All You Need To Know

President Kate Roberts catches you up on the changes to transcripts, including a much more detailed breakdown to reflect the changes that the 2019/20 academic year brought.

As we look ahead towards starting the 2020/21 academic year, there is one small administrative process to end the unusual 2019/20 academic year, which we wanted to catch you up on.

What is a transcript?

The transcript is the document you receive at the end of your studies which details your overall classification and grade percentage, as well as details the courses that you took to achieve your degree. Each year you are provided with an interim transcript as well to show to employers throughout your degree, detailing your achievements to date.

The transcript is not the same as your degree certificate. The degree certificate just displays your name, course title and classification, and is issued from the University of London. The transcript is a more detailed document and is issued by Royal Holloway.

Why are the transcripts slightly different this year?

As Coronavirus turned everything upside down in March, it was clear that students needed support and reassurance heading into a difficult examination period. It was based on this need to safeguard students’ achievements that we worked with the University to implement both a Safety Net/No Detriment policy and a Best 90 policy to ensure students achieved the results they deserved.

During the examination period it became clear that how these policies were reflected on transcripts was an important question for many students, with some looking for assurance that future employers will be aware of the difficult conditions in which students graduated this year and other students looking for as little mention as possible of Coronavirus to ensure that they weren’t singled out as a graduate of an unusual year in future job applications. In essence, the University needed to provide a transcript with the situation noted, but not overly referenced.

Having sat on the Transcript Working Group across Term Three, it was very important to me that we got this balance right, assuring the best reflection of students’ achievements as they go forwards into a difficult employment environment.

What has changed?

The main decision made was that each transcript would have two pages.

The first page shows the overall classification achieved (1st, 2:1, 2:2 or 3rd) alongside a list of the modules which were passed. This page provides no mention of the Coronavirus situation, nor a detailed breakdown of the award percentage or module percentages.

The second page is designed to provide a much more detailed breakdown, including the classification, award percentage (which will be the Safety Net or Best 90 grade) and list of modules, including percentages for each. The principle is that this should reflect the full portfolio of work in as much detail as possible.

On the transcript the award percentage will not mention either the Safety Net or Best 90 policies. The detailed small print notes signposted on the transcript will reference these policies, but not indicate the specific calculation used for each student.

What do the new letters used on the transcript mean?

PC: Pass

The student attended the course, submitted the required work and achieved the learning aims specified for the course. Some or all of the assessment for this course were undertaken during the disruption caused by the physical closure of the University during the period of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

IC: Incomplete Assessment

The student completed the taught course. Some or all of the assessment for the course were not completed in the disruption caused by the physical closure of the University during the period of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

What about second year students?

The same principles and process will be used for an interim and final transcript for those students graduating next year as has been used for students graduating this year.

What about first year students?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, first years were asked to complete a portfolio of work over Term Three, which was given a PASS/FAIL result.

The interim and final transcript will include a list of all modules attempted in fist year, with a PASS statement for the year. If you would like further information on your performance, you should contact your department. This can be presented on your CV as you wish.

Receiving your Transcript

Transcripts for those graduating from undergraduate degrees were sent out in the week commencing 10 August. They were posted 1st Class to students with UK addresses and by DHL courier to students with overseas addresses, so all students should have received these by now. If you have not yet received your transcript, please contact Student Services.

The same approach for developing transcripts is being applied to PGT students as described above for finalist students. Transcripts for PGT students will be sent out in the Autumn.