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What is an Academic Transcript?

Dr Harry Hothi
What is an Academic Transcript?

An academic transcript is a university document which gives a complete breakdown of each individual module or subject you studied for your degree and the grade or mark that you were awarded for each module. This academic transcript will also give the level or credit value of each module and how it contributes to the final degree grade that you achieved. For example, your final year dissertation is likely to worth a greater number of credits than a single taught module.

Note that the academic transcript is an official university document and will detail the final marks that you were awarded after confirmation by the relevant examination boards. These will not include provisional or predicted marks if you are a current student yet to complete your degree (for example).

Professional bodies also provide transcripts that are similar in structure to the university academic transcript format. That is that these will give a breakdown of individual modules or units of study and the mark or grade awarded for each.

Note also that academic transcripts may be referred to using different terms depending on the university or country. These may include terms such as a record of achievement, a statement of learning, an academic record, a transcript of records, a diploma supplement, graduate diploma or a permanent record.

Why do I need an academic transcript?

You may be asked to provide a copy of your academic transcript when applying for certain jobs or if applying for a postgraduate degree such as a PhD. These may then be used by potential employers or institutions to determine which specific subjects you undertook.
To that end, this document needs to be official certified by the university or institution you gained your degree at. The normal format here is for the academic transcript to be presented on the university’s letter-headed paper and either signed or stamped by the registry office.

How do I get a copy of my academic transcript?

Most universities in the UK will automatically send a paper copy of your academic transcript to your home address, together with your degree certificate, after you complete your degree. It is important that you keep this copy safe; replacement copies can be obtained but universities usually charge a small fee for this. For example, the University of London guidance is that a replacement copy will cost £25.

Note also that academic transcripts can only be requested from a university by the student that completed the degree. Requests from others (such as potential employers) are not permitted.

What information does an academic transcript contain?

This is an official transcript which details your full name, the university or institution that you studied at, the full title and level of your degree, the degree class you were awarded, a list of all courses, subjects, modules or units you undertook and the marks or grades that you were awarded for each of these.

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