PwC removes 2:1 criteria for undergraduates

PwC, one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, is removing the 2:1 degree classification requirement for all its undergraduate and graduate roles, internships and placements.

The Big 4 firm explained the move is designed to open up opportunities to more people, increase the socio-economic diversity of the firm and support its efforts to improve social mobility.

It stressed that changing the entry criteria will enable PwC to further diversify its graduate intake through broader access to talented young people, who may not have the top academic achievements, but have the attributes and all-round proven capabilities for a career with the firm.

Ian Elliott, Chief People Officer at PwC, said: “Whilst academic achievement has its place, for far too many students there are other factors that influence results. Talent and potential is determined by more than academic grades and so removing the 2:1 entry requirement will open our roles to a greater pool of talent.

“We were fortunate to have over 95,000 applications to our graduate and school leaver programmes this year. This move isn’t primarily about attracting more applications but opening our roles to students from a broader range of backgrounds, including those from lower income households. Removing the 2:1 criteria will allow us to make real progress in driving social mobility of PwC recruits.

“We know that competition for our graduate roles will be as tough as ever but we’re confident that our own aptitude and behavioural testing can assess a candidate’s potential.”

And, for the third consecutive year, PwC UK has told candidates with offers to join its School and College leaver programme that their places are guaranteed even if they don’t achieve the A level grades previously required. Around 80 students were made offers to this year’s programme, which is one of the ways PwC has broadened access to the firm beyond graduates.